When people have asked me in recent months how I am, one of my go-to responses has been “excitedly exhausted”.
While 2019 won’t go down in the books as the best year in my life, I am learning to find the gifts within it.
That’s what you’re meant to say when things have been tough, right?
Seriously though, it has been a big year in a range of ways.
I know the industry feels the same from the most common keynote session selected from my annual repertoire, as well as the resounding themes that adorn the pages of event schedules around the country.
My favourite session has been ‘debunking the work-life balance myth’.
In it, we discuss everything from the lessons I learnt as a youngster, through to the challenges I have now, at 43, with keeping all of the balls in the air.
As attendees nod their heads in unison, we agree that we all overshoot what we can achieve in a year.
It’s these unreasonable expectations we put on ourselves that can often create a feeling of hopelessness, and a sense of underachievement.
I’ve got a few missions this year for you all when it comes to doing your 2020 planning, but as an overarching principle my mission is for you to be kinder, expect less (yes, you expect too much in one year), challenge yourself and your team, and be more authentic when it comes to setting your goals for the year ahead.
MISSION 1: PRIORITISE YOUR HEALTH
When was your last pap smear, mammogram, skin check or prostate exam?
Why haven’t you made the appointment to go to the doctor about that niggling pain in your arm, that funny spot on your leg, or that headache you’ve been complaining about for a while?
You’ll say time, and I’ll say priorities.
Do not become a barbecue story in 2020.
You know the moment, when someone at a barbecue says, “oh yes Jane, if only she had got that checked sooner she’d be here right now”.
Employers, you can remove obstacles to employees getting their check-up by giving your team members the equivalent of a free day off each year to get their regular check-ups.
MISSION 2: GCI – GROSS COMMISSION INCOME
I do a wonderful impersonation of a group of agents standing around at a café playing ‘How big is your GCI?’
Hate is a strong word, but I hate how the acronym GCI – Gross Commission Income, is used.
I’m all for big goals, I have a few myself, but what I don’t like is for a measurement of someone’s success to be based on one number.
It’s a number many don’t really think about, they just heard $1 million GCI from someone speaking on a stage and have been aiming towards it, with little regard for the balance in their lives.
My father always said it was rude to ask someone what their result was unless you employed them or they employed you to ask, and instead you should ask, “Are you happy with the result?”
So perhaps that’s what we should do, change GCI to Goal Commission Income and measure success on the attainment of a well thought out goal.
MISSION 3: ASK WHY THREE TIMES
My final mission is a message for myself as much as it is a message for you.
Recently I was reminded of an idea as I listened to a gripping Ricardo Semler Tedx Talk on how to run a company with almost no rules.
Ricardo recounted how he asks why three times when faced with a no.
This question allows him to identify if the answer really is no, or just that we don’t yet know how.
As I build my life, and we develop our businesses, I’m challenging what we do and asking “why” three times, just like my inner child would do, to discover what can and should be done better.
It’s a fascinating process.