“Aim for progress, not perfection.”
If you’re new here, this is my Quarterly Progress Report. At the end of each quarter I summarize what I did, what I learned, and what I’m working on now. Since it’s the beginning of a new year, I’ll also provide an overview of what happened last year and fill you in on what’s in store for this year.
I created my blog a few years ago because I wanted to advance in the workplace. After a disappointing performance review at work, I decided it was time for a change. It was time for me to take personal responsibility for my growth and write my own story. That day I made The Personal Growth Choice.
Since making that choice, my life has been immeasurably different. I challenge myself, take risks, and most importantly, I learn and grow each and every day. The most rewarding part of the growth process is giving back and teaching others what I have learned on my journey.
My Quarterly Progress Report is a tool I use to track my progress and share with you what is and isn’t working on my journey. It’s my hope you’ll take something away from this report that inspires you to achieve success and lead your own remarkable journey.
MoE came a long way in 2012. At the beginning of the year, the website was completely overhauled. I set a goal of re-designing the site once we reached 1000 monthly visitors. We achieved that goal in January and I delivered on my promise.
In August, I published The 45-Minute MBA. This is an eBook I created from a series I blogged. In the series, my goal was to teach you everything I learned in business school in less than 45 minutes of reading. I enjoyed the challenge of extracting the important lessons from business school and converting them into this handy guide. The underlying message is that you don’t need a whole lot of money or a fancy title to start a business. What you do need is:
1) A product or service,
2) A customer, and
3) A way to get paid.
As we continue the journey this year, I may build off that message and convert it into another product. But for now it’s available as a free download – The 45-Minute MBA.
I also started the Remarkable Leaders Series (RLS) and the Ice-Breaker Series. RLS is a continuous series where I interview leaders who are making a difference in the world.
Here are the leaders I’ve interviewed so far:
Each of these leaders has a unique story and I encourage you to read the articles.
The Ice-Breaker Series is a documentary of my journey into public speaking through Toastmasters. I joined Toastmasters last summer as a challenge to improve my speaking skills. So far, I’ve completed 2 of the 10 speaking assignments and I look forward to continuing the journey in 2013. My goal is to complete the program by the end of this year. My next speech is scheduled for January 8th. Here are the articles I’ve written so far in the Ice-Breaker Series:
Overall, I’m very excited by our growth in 2012. We started the year with 112 email subscribers and finished with over 1100. Here is our traffic breakdown last quarter:
October: 1962 visits
November: 2058 visits
December: 2172 visits
This year’s goal is to grow the community to 10,000 monthly visitors and 2500 email subscribers. In order to reach that goal, we need you to tell your friends about us!
One of my daily habits is to read, listen to, or watch 30 minutes of personal development material. This is a key part of my personal growth journey.
Here is what I read/listened to/watched last quarter:
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber. This is a good book about the fatal traps many business owners fall into and how to avoid them. My biggest takeaway from this book is how an entrepreneur must work on the business and not in the business. After starting a business it can be easy to lose our entrepreneurial drive and revert back to our familiar role as a “technician” or “manager.” Don’t.
The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Full Potential by John Maxwell. Of all of John Maxwell’s books, this is my favorite. Most of his other books are about leadership and it was nice to instead get his perspective on personal development. (I downloaded the audio version of this book from Audible)
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life by Donald Miller. It’s amazing how your life can change when you turn it into an actual story. This book will inspire you to write/live a better story.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. This is probably one of the most informative time-management books on the market. I found the methods in the book similar to those discussed by Peter Drucker. However, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the advice in the book. I suggest you choose 1 or 2 ideas that work best for you.
Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job by Jon Acuff. Jon’s advice is actually “not to quit your day job” to pursue your dream – at least, not until your dream is almost a reality. Don’t get lost in the “all or nothing” mindset. Work hard at your job, give your employer your best, and build a business in your spare time if it’s important to you. That’s what he did and he shows you how it worked. (I downloaded the audio version of this book from Audible)
I’m Fine Thanks. This inspiring documentary became one of the most funded documentaries in Kickstarter history. It will inspire you to battle complacency and live “your dream,” not necessarily the “American dream.” Watch the trailer; it will give you goose bumps.
Speak: Come Find Your Voice – A documentary about the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking. I was truly inspired by the contestants in the film and their quests to become world champions. This is a tear-jerker.
Finally, what’s on tap for 2013? In a few weeks I’m launching a new coaching service called Personal Growth Coaching to help you create a Life Plan through a process I call Extreme Goal-Setting. Over the past few months I’ve been working with clients to fine-tune the course. The feedback has been great. Here’s what one client had to say:
“I greatly enjoyed working with Scott as my Life Coach. Over the course of a month, we met four times over the phone to discuss my life goals. I had never consulted a Life Coach before, and I had never really thought about my goals in such depth. Scott did an excellent job teaching me how to analyze the 8 pillars (business, financial, physical, mental, family, spiritual, lifestyle, and relationship) in my life. Within these 8 pillars, we worked together to come up with a comprehensive list of goals for next year and for my entire life. The key takeaway from the program is a fantastic workbook that I can use to track my goals and my progress for the rest of my life. I highly recommend participating in Scott’s program if you are committed to personal development and living a fulfilling life.” -Mike Malloy
Contact me if you’d like to learn more about the course and I’ll make sure you are one of the first to know when it’s ready.
Another goal I have this year is to create a forum – either on my website or on Facebook – where the MoE community can come together. I want to create a supportive environment where we can help each other achieve our goals.
When my clients set goals in my coaching course they choose a theme for the year. This is a fun way to focus their plan on a particular message.
To create your own theme for this year, ask yourself questions like, “What’s most important to me right now?” “What do I want this year to be about?” “Where will I be next year at this time?”
My theme in 2013 is “The Year of the Entrepreneur.” This year I will make my offer.
And as I do, I want to inspire each of you to make your own unique offering to the world. There is someone out there waiting for you to step forward with your idea, product, or service. Use your unique talent to deliver to the world what they so desperately need.
What are your big plans this year?
I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.
Scott Mackes is a leader and founder of the blog Margin of Excellence. A U.S. Navy veteran and graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Scott’s mission is to help others lead remarkable journeys. Connect with Scott on facebook and twitter.
Previous Progress Reports: