December 31st. The end of another year. The time certainly seems to be going faster the older that I get. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was welcoming 2017 in, and here I am bidding it farewell.
2017 was an amazing year for me, on so many levels. The obvious one is winning the Intuit Global Firm of the Future contest. Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected that my small business in Burlington Ontario would be recognized on a global stage. There are so many days that I still can’t believe that it’s true, and not just some dream that no one was woken me up from yet.
But 2017 was a great year for me for more than just that recognition. It was a big year of awareness for me. I think that in 2016 I was drifting. Not sure what I wanted to spend my time doing. Not sure where my energy should be focused. Not sure of the direction I wanted to be heading. And as I always say to my daughter, if you don’t know what direction you are heading, how will you know if you’ve arrived. I’m great at giving advice to my 17 year old daughter…taking it myself….not so much ☺
But in 2017, I got some clarity. Some clarity around my life’s purpose. Clarity around what I wanted to be doing in 5 years when I “retire”. What I wanted my legacy to be that I leave behind when I’m no longer here. Some people are fortunate to know their purpose early on in their life and are able to create that path for themselves in their 20’s and 30’s. I wasn’t one of those people. My younger self wanted to be a doctor that conducted cancer research and found the cure for cancer. It didn’t even occur to me that I wouldn’t find the cure, as my dad always told me that I could do whatever I set my mind to ☺
But med school was not to be a part of my life’s journey. There were a lot of things that I didn’t expect to be part of my destiny, a disastrous engagement, a failed marriage, a divorce, being a single mom….At the time of all of those events, I honestly felt that I would never recover. But I did, and came back stronger and more determined than ever. There were days that the only thing that fueled me to move forward was to prove everyone wrong. But I digress….
My clarity. That’s where I was heading with this….. In 2017 I found what my life’s purpose should be. Don’t ask me why now. I don’t have that answer. Perhaps it was turning 50 and realizing that I probably had more years behind me than ahead of me. Realizing that I better hurry up and get started, before I run out of time.
I’m happy to share this purpose with you, although you may not really care ☺ I’ve determined that my purpose is to educate and empower. I believe this so strongly in my bones that we’ve actually changed the Vision for the business to be that statement. So how am I going to do that, you ask? (Actually, you probably didn’t ask, but I’ll tell you anyways. I do that a lot…I have a lot of conversations with myself ☺)
The first step for me is to build AIS Solutions into the biggest bad assiest (I’ve just made that a new word) bookkeeping and training business possible, as it will be the foundation that funds everything else that I want to do to change lives.
Phase two will be Kninja. Kninja 2.0 is coming this year, and it’s going to be awesome. We’ve learnt a lot from Kninja 1.0. What works. What doesn’t work and more importantly what is really needed in our industry and who we can help the most. It’s the bookkeepers and accountants that want to grow. There are lots of resources out there to help accounting professionals get started. But if they want to take their business to the next level – from $30K/year to $100K/year, or $100K to $500K, or $500K to $1.0M. From just themselves to adding staff. Those are different growth challenges, and that’s where we can be of most value, so that is where we are going to be focusing all of our time and energy. Kninja 2.0 is going to be courses. With defined starting points, and defined outcomes. Because as I said before, if you don’t know your direction, you’ll never know if you arrived. So stay tuned☺
But it’s Phase three that is going to probably be the most exciting for me personally. Travel and Write. That’s my target for 2019. All I want to be doing is travelling from country to country, city to town and help people. More specifically women. I want to fundamentally change the lives of as many women as I can. I want there to be an AIS Solutions Foundation which helps women who want to start their own business. And the writing piece….that’s what I’ve always wanted to do. Since I was 16 and wrote my first “book”. (Although my first book was probably Grade 6 and it was called Gnomes in Danger☺) We are still having to work out some logistics on this goal, as one of Steve’s is to have a farm with 100 Boxers that we’ve rescued. That kind of makes it hard to travel a lot, but I think with a 100 boxers we will need someone living full time on the ranch to look after all the dogs, so it might still work!
So there you go. I’ve put it out there for the world to see. It’s pretty lofty, I know. It scares me to death and excites me all at the same time. But I know that I can do it (thanks Dad!) because I have a plan. Not just a dream, or a wish, or a goal, but a plan. And without a plan, your goal is just a wish.
Here’s how I’m going to do it. To start my 2018 off right, I’ve got the year mapped out for what needs to happen with both AIS Solutions and Kninja so that in 2019, I’ll be where I want to be. I’m a journal person, so am using the Best Self Journal to get me there, but I know that doesn’t work for everyone. I do know, however, that you need to write it down. Either on paper, or digitally, it doesn’t matter. And plaster it everywhere so that you see it each and every day. And write out your goals every day. Yup. EVERY day. And write them out as if you’ve already achieved them. There’s tons of research and evidence out there on the internet as to why you need to do this, so I won’t list them again here (just Google “Why I should write down my goals everyday”, but basically your subconscious will kick into overdrive looking for opportunities to help you achieve them.
Don’t just create a New Year’s Resolution that disappears from your mind by the end of January. In fact, don’t bother with any New Year’s Resolutions if you are not prepared to write them down every day, at least until the end of January….that is 31 times…without missing a day. That way you will have a much better chance of making that New Year’s Resolution a New Year’s Habit.
Our family also created a travel calendar for us for 2018. It’s a big wall calendar that is hanging on the back of our bedroom door and we’ve blocked off all of the days and weeks that we will be travelling in 2018. Some are work, some are pure vacation, but they are already mapped out so that they happen, and don’t get pushed by life. As important as the work and business are, it’s the memories you create with the people you love that make life worth living. So map them out and don’t let time pass you by.
How about you? What’s your big dream for your life? I’d love to hear it, if you’d like to share it. If there’s anything that I can do to help you get there, do let me know.
I look forward to sharing this journey with you. It’s going to be quite the ride.
Image Copyright: FreeImages.com/Eran Becker