10th January 2020
3 Words to Guide Your Year
With 2020 underway at great pace, we’ve been doing a lot of planning to make sure we begin the decade as we mean to go on. For the past couple of years, I’ve been using Chris Brogan’s practice of choosing 3 words to guide our business actions and choices over the year to come. Each January reflecting back on the previous year’s words and setting new ones for the coming year has been an invaluable practice.
If you’ve seen our blog on picking your brand words you’ll know we’re a bit obsessed with the ‘power of 3’ for making your marketing consistent and well-positioned. We find that having the 3 words for the year in addition to your core 3 words results in an extra dimension of focus and clarity.
As it works so well for us, I wanted to share how Chris’s method works (he also uses the hashtag #my3words so you can see other examples.)
What is ‘My 3 Words’ About?
The ‘My 3 Words’ idea is simple. Choose 3 words – not 1, not 4 – that will help guide your choices and actions day-to-day. Think of them as a guiding light; “Should I say yes to this project?” “Does this align with my three words?”
How to Choose 3 Words
When Chris started this process back in 2006 his 3 words were “Ask; Do; Share.” These very simple words served him well – the result was one of his best years ever.
When he asked questions, he learned. When he took action based on his learning, he covered more ground and took over more of the universe. When he shared what he learned with everyone, he made connections.
You can choose any 3 words you feel will guide you forward, but to help you Chris has some key tips…
- Don’t make it a phrase. “Publish the book” is a terrible choice. “The” is wasted.
- Try to make the words actionable. “Expand” is better than “bigger.”
- The more utilitarian the word can be, the better. These words have to be your compass.
- Stick with the 3 words all year.
- Years where he tried “fancy” words with layers of meaning, he lost the thread. Use plain words, maybe.
- BUT the words don’t have to mean anything to anyone but you. Don’t worry about explaining them.
Review Them Daily
The more often you review your 3 words, the better. We have them hanging up in our office and reflect on them daily.
Past Iterations of Uniquity’s ‘My 3 Words’
2019: Clarity, elevate, inspire
2018: Upscale, refine, thrive
And My 3 Words for 2020 Are:
More of our work is becoming about creating amazing brands and brand experiences with so much of this to do with positioning. Our world is becoming increasingly commodified, and as a result the expression ‘differentiate or die’ has never been more true. This is the element we are passionate about – creating brands businesses and their clients love. And finally, on a personal note, this year I also want to write a book about how to create great professional services brands as part of our company differentiation.
For the past year we’ve been creating all of our processes on Asana and our marketing automation on ActiveCampaign – it’s paid dividends. We’ve laid the foundation, now it’s time to build and scale to the next level. For our clients, marketing technology is a huge theme and we’ve built some brilliant frameworks that are making businesses more efficient whilst engaging with more clients.
We love to learn, especially from the experts. This year we’re on a mission to learn from the best in the business build that learning into our work; we’ll learn from marketeers, established brands, growing brands, and influencers. One of those activities will be to interview some of our most admired brands and share the learnings – maybe it will even make a podcast at some point!