Midsummer has been and gone, which means that the days are getting shorter and we’re heading towards winter. Yes, that’s the spirit! Six months of 2016 have already passed, with six months still to go. It’s time to review our progress on our theme for the year.
My theme for 2016 is being EXTERNALLY FOCUSED. The intention is largely to shift my attention a little away from my own website and blog, and work on making new connections and reaching new audiences.
It’s been a tricky theme for me, and I’ve been easily distracted and tempted back into my internal world. I need to keep reminding myself that I want to be externally focused – that is, after all, the point of having a theme for the year, to guide me in decisions and priorities throughout the year.
Ironically, or perhaps not so surprisingly, I’m doing quite well now on last year’s theme. Last year was about BEING ACTIVE and although I did embark on a few new adventures I didn’t really see any big impact. This year, after some physio for a bad knee, I’ve finally got into a great exercise routine, running three times a week and doing yoga three times a week too. I’m feeling strong and hoping it will continue!
Anyway, back to this year. There has definitely been a bit of a shift in focus.
While I’m still maintaining my weekly posting schedule on my own blog, I’m also posting daily on my Facebook page, and I’ve created a regular newsletter that I send out to my mailing list at the end of each month. I’ve done my first podcast interview, and my first talk on a personal topic (past presentations and workshops have always been as a subject matter expert, which, I can tell you, is a very different experience). And I’ve written quite a few guest posts and articles that have been published both on media outlets and on other blogs and websites (scroll down to see the main ones; I also collect them on Pinterest), as well as being featured in a number of round-up posts.
But it’s not such an easy ride.
I applied and was accepted to be a guest writer on Elite Daily (essentially Huffington Post for Millennials), which I thought was an achievement in itself; as it turns out, though, it’s hard to actually get something published. I submitted one article right away and got a response a month later to say that it was interesting but it’s already been covered (hasn’t everything?!). They also send daily ‘trending topics’ and I responded to one of these that was a perfect fit, having spent a good few hours writing a post, only to get a response the next day that they had received too many replies and hadn’t even read my post. I’m all about being persistent and embracing failure but I’m afraid I don’t have time to write posts that no one is even going to read!
For speaking engagements and workshops, it can also be an uphill battle. Some opportunities will come along via word of mouth and I’ll be given a spot right away. Others can be more difficult, with a lot of people wanting to meet face to face first, which can be difficult when I’m constantly on the move. I’ve also discovered that I have ‘resting grumpy speaker face’ so I’ll need to work on smiling while I’m talking. And, of course, a fun peculiarity of a lot of these gigs is that they are unpaid!
So it can be very tempting to retreat back to my computer and focus on my own projects. But, of course, it doesn’t matter how many blog posts you write, how many ebooks you publish – if no one knows they, or you, exist, then you’re unlikely to progress in your business. So I’ll keep pushing myself, out of my comfort zone and away from my computer… and I’ll let you know how I’m doing in September!
How are you getting on with your theme for 2016? Need a bit of a jumpstart now that six months have already passed? Do share your progress in the comments below!
Guest posts and articles:
7 Signs You May Be Ready for a Big Career Change – Inc Magazine
10 things I realized after I quit my job without a plan – Business Insider
Overcoming the Good Girl Syndrome – Get Out Of Your Own Damn Way
How To Avoid Failure By Redefining It – Everyday Power
Portrait of a #Wonderer – Go Wonder
Entrepreneur Friday Interview – Female Business Hub
Get Out of Your Own Damn Way Podcast – Get Out Of Your Own Damn Way
Interview with author Anna Lundberg – Awesomegang
Interview with author Anna Lundberg – Book Goodies
Wolf Tracking in Sweden – Secret Adventures