looking ahead at 2019

In building a business, Unreal Collective by Jay Clouse

I don’t know about you, but I’m still not quite sure what happened to 2018. We’re sitting here at November 18, and I vividly remember this time last year.

Looking forward at the calendar, the next month and a half are going to breeze by. This week I’ll head to my hometown for Thanksgiving with my family, then I’m heading to Boston for a 10-day Vipassana Meditation retreat, back in Columbus for a week, back to California for a week to record another course with Linkedin, and then we’re at Christmas!

And, after Christmas, it may as well be 2019.

So I’ve spent some time reflecting on this past year — an appropriate time of year to look back and be thankful.

Some highlights:

  • Worked with 35 new members of Unreal Collective
  • Worked with over a dozen coaching clients
  • Created four online courses for Linkedin Learning/Lynda.com
  • Launched our podcast, upside, recognized by Fortune as a top business show
  • Invited to present at SXSW, CES
  • Put some really great systems in place, kept up with quarterly taxes, etc
  • Speaking gigs in Alaska, Alberta, Columbus, and more
  • Continued writing to you fine folks, and nearly doubled this list
  • Formalized the Create Columbus Commission as a 501(c)(3)
  • …on and on

Some lowlights:

  • Did not yet publish my own digital products via Unreal
  • Have not made a marketing plan for Unreal community membership
  • Fell a little bit short of my (aggressive) 2018 earnings goals
  • Did not take on any formal advisor roles
  • Still can’t swim

I don’t love sharing those lowlights, but I want to give you a full picture. Not everything went according to plan.

A big part of that was the launch and early success of the podcast. Looking at my 2018 goals, which were written before the podcast was even conceptualized, I had allotted no time towards it. In reality, I spend ~10-20% of my time on the podcast.

But also looking at these goals, I am blown away by how close I came to accomplishing nearly all of them. Some of them were constantly top of mind and easy to track towards, some of them were stretch goals that I didn’t spend a ton of time actively thinking about.

I think one of the magical parts of annual goal setting and planning in general is our natural, sometimes nonconscious, confirmation bias. I think that’s why Debbie Millman’s 10 Year Plan exercise is powerful (I did this in July 2017) but all things “planning” work in a similar way.

Once you set an intention, you’re much more likely to achieve it.

A trap I try to avoid is the comfort that comes from a sense of inevitability. I often feel a sense that things are going well, trending well, and I’m going to find success — financially, emotionally, everything.

But without being able to visualize how you get there — and I don’t mean you have 20/20 vision of the path that gets you there, but at least a direction — I think you’re doing yourself a disservice.

The path changes, but setting an intent for your destination and a plan for getting started really sets you on your way.

I’m spending a lot of time thinking about and setting my own intentions for 2019, and I invite you to do the same. 

I’ve been honing my own process and framework for how to set myself up for success from the beginning of the year. And if you are getting serious about 2019, I’m happy to share it with you too.

During the week of December 10-15, I’ve blocked off some time to sit down and help you hammer out a plan for 2019. I shared this in the footer of last week’s email, and so some of the spots are already taken — but there are plenty more if you’re ready to jump.

I’ll send you some prework before our hour together, and during that hour we’ll really focus on what would make 2019 a meaningful year for you, and create a starting plan to get there. Click here to learn more and get started.


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