Every year I come to the same table. That's the "What the hell happened this year?" table. I basically lock myself away in a cave and start gathering everything I can to comb through the data. Be it the number of coaching consultations I've given out, the number of hours I've coached, how much I've spent on books or the amount of money I've spent on growing my business during the last 12 months. And I'm always amazed (and slightly shocked) at what I find.
Although I've always struggled with maths and accounting (I took my Accounting exam three times at Uni, no joke), I find that well crafted data can tell amazing stories that are able to shape and inform our future decisions. The problem is, every year I say that and yet, do nothing with what I find.
But as we're bizarre creatures of habits, I couldn't pass the opportunity to reflect on 2016 and share with you why I believe 2017 is going to be our best year yet.
WEB TV SHOW
One of my objectives for 2017 is to find a clearer focus for my YouTube channel. Although I'm blown away that I've managed to reach my goal of 1,000 subscribers slightly earlier than the 31st December 2016 deadline (having released a weekly video on YouTube since January 2016) I know there's so much more I could be doing to serve you and my wider community.
And that's where you come in: What is one thing I could be helping you with right now? (Be it with regards to starting your business, growing your business or figuring out what you're next career move may be?). Please let me know by either posting a comment below this blog post or by Tweeting me @markleruste. That would help me tremendously as it will shape the content I create for you in 2017. Thank you so much.
Another intention I hold for 2017 is to release a bi-monthly episode of The Unconventionalists talk show. I recorded four episodes in 2016 (published three of them) and I have so much fun doing them and I believe they bring value to you too. But as the production costs are so high, it means I'm going to have to find sponsors to come on board and support the show if I'm going to be producing them more regularly. So if you are looking to grow your business or know someone who could do with some help with getting their message out into the world, let me know by commenting below or by sending me a message on Facebook.
And in case you missed it, here's the latest episode of The Unconventionalists talk show with Daniel Priestley, best-selling author, philanthropist and CEO of Dent Global who's sat down with 5,000+ entrepreneurs to help them hit the ground running.
Launching The Unconventionalists podcast back in 2015 was one of the best decisions I've made. I've learned so much and I've had so much fun speaking to so many amazing guests over the last 536 days since the first episode aired on iTunes on the 12th July 2015. I can barely believe it that we've already hit more than 12,700 downloads.
In fact, to date I've have the privilege of interviewing 43 guests on the show, 31 of who were published this year (i.e. over 70% in 2016). 2017 will see additional solo rounds of me sharing what I've learned along the way of starting my own business.
Fear not though, I've got some exciting guests lined up for 2017 including a former contestant on The Great British Bake Off in 2016. So make sure to subscribe to the sow on iTunes by clicking here.
Oh and the most downloaded episode of the year was my interview with the Founders of TheMinimalists.com, who went from 52 readers to 4 million.
READY, STEADY, TEDx!!
This is probably one of the most exciting news of 2016. That's right, I'm honoured and excited to have been accepted and invited as one of the TEDx speaker for the TEDxCardiff event, taking place on the 22nd April 2017 at TramShed Cardiff, in Cardiff. Obviously...
It's been such an incredible journey and I can only now appreciate why TED and TEDx events are so unique. Most people (including myself originally) want to give a TED(x) talk for all the wrong reasons. They make it about themselves. In the words of Gina Barnett, "most people don't have an idea, they just want attention."
But this time, I believe I'm giving at TEDx talk for all the right ones. This isn't about me. It's about what I want the audience to know and learn so they may see the world differently and actually act on it too.
I will be talking about my journey to the main TEDx stage in my newsletter, on my podcast and on my YouTube channel. So make sure to subscribe to whatever feels right for you.
In the meantime, here's a look behind the scenes of TEDxCardiff 2015 by Callapro Films which got me both fired up and totally terrified.
When it comes down to live events, talks and workshops, 2017 is already looking rather fabulous!
My first corporate gig of 2017 will be a keynote talk on "How to Find Your Purpose" at Intuit, a pioneering business and financial software company with 7,700 employees around the world who generated $4.2billion turnover in 2015. I'm honoured and thrilled at the idea of going into a global company and helping their employees find purpose and meaning in what they do.
I'll be then running a 4hr workshop on "How to Build Your Personal Brand" for the MBA students at École des Ponts Business School on the 23rd January 2017 in Paris. Helping them learn how tp stand out (for all the right reasons) in a noisy digital world to hopefully land their dream job.
OnPurpose have asked me to run a 2hr workshop on "How to Master The Art of Storytelling" on the 10th February for their 2016/2017 Fellows. That should be a ton of fun too!
Although those workshops and talk aren't open to the general public, you'll be happy to know that I'll be running two live events that I'd love to see you at.
Oh, and if you haven't done so already, make sure to join my free Meetup group where I'll be hosting regular events, talks and workshops in 2017.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
I want to hear from you. What are you taking away from 2016 and what are you planning for 2017? What are the big bold ambitious goals or projects you want to take on in the new year? If you could tell me that you've achieved only one thing, this time next year, what do you want that one thing to be? Let me know by posting a comment below!