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Business Strategy

Beyond Resolutions or Goals: I Invite you to Choose Your “Themes” for this Year

Around this time of the year, you’ll hear a lot of people talking about resolutions. Talking about the goals and intentions they have for themselves for the coming year.  And you’ll hear a lot of people saying “resolutions don’t work.”

Whichever side of the fence you’re on, I’d like to invite you to think about a different question — not of what you want to do or achieve in the coming year, but the bigger question of who will you become through your business?

I’ve always believed that business is the greatest force for personal development on the planet.

Because — it’s not just about products, clients and money — it’s about who you want to be and how you want to feel. It’s about how you’re showing up and how you feel in relationship to your business — each and every day.

Yes, you get to build a business that nourishes and inspires you. Because when you’re inspired, then guess what? You inspire others not just to work with you but to change their lives for the better. You can create a ripple effect not just through what you do but through who you are.

That’s why each year I choose 2 “themes” for the year that go beyond the vision and goals for my business…

These themes are like my heartbeat for the year.

I choose one personal theme. For my growth and evolution. And one professional theme. For the growth and evolution of the business.

My personal theme for this year is “relax into leadership”.

Here’s what I mean by that. For me, leadership is not something I reserve for business. It’s something I do in all areas of my life. I’m the leader and creator of my life. Each day, I lead myself, my choices, habits, and practices. I lead my relationships – deciding whether I want to put up the walls or go deeper into connection and intimacy. I lead my team, my customers and my clients.

And for the longest time I’ve taken this responsibility a little too seriously. I’ve pushed too hard and clung too tightly.

This year my desire is to relax in order to get there. To slow down to speed up, as it were. That doesn’t mean giving away my power or dimming the fire in my belly. It simply means owning my power at a deep level so I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, especially to myself.

I am enough and I am worthy just for being who I am. I don’t need to do all the time. I can enjoy the process of being a leader without thinking I need to do all the work. This is key, because I know that when I truly lead, not out of lack, but out of real vision and power, it’s the most natural and graceful thing in the world. I feel ease. And others feel led not to do what I want, but to live their message alongside me.

So take a moment to think about your personal theme for the year?

How do you want to be as you grow your business and achieve your goals? What’s the deeper plan for your life and how can you use your business as a way to allow the design of your life to unfold?

Now let’s talk about your professional or business theme. For some people their personal and professional theme are one and the same.

For my student Amanda Leonardo, her theme for the year was Resurrection. Period. And that theme spanned across everything. And others (like me) have a separate business or professional theme.

My professional theme for 2017 is “scale gracefully”.

Ever since we started in 2011 we’ve pretty much doubled or even tripled our business every year and I’m proud to see we brought our business over the multi-million dollar mark last year.

Now when I look at doubling or tripling again from here, we’re looking at a much bigger company with a lot more impact and a lot of moving parts.

I’m super excited to scale the business and help more people… and I want to do it in a way that feels “graceful”. That really preserves the spirit of why we started the business. Our values. The connection we have with our tribe.

So many people end up automating their businesses in a way that takes all the humanity out of it.

I don’t want that. My goal isn’t to have the business run on autopilot while I relax on the beach drinking mai tais. My goal is to build a truly extraordinary company and inspired team that has real relationships with the people we serve. To grow in a soulful and authentic way, so you can still feel our hearts beating through the screen.

Or better yet, come out and join us in person and give us a big hug… while you learn what to say and what to do in the next year to grow your business.

In the meantime, let us know what your personal theme and what your professional theme is in the comments below, so we can inspire each other!

Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. Gagan

    Great piece Marissa. It’s all about Mindset and you are just talking about it. My theme would be – don’t just Survive when you can Thrive. It goes in personal and professional life. 🙂 Iam glad we are talking about it.

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa

      I love this Gagan! We have a powerful opportunity to go beyond our biology and do something extraordinary with our lives!

      Reply ·
  2. Dj Segovia

    My themes for life in 2017 is Faithful, Joyful, and Triumphant

    Faithful to keep the fear out…

    Joyful because I can experience that always and not depend on happiness which is an illusion (because happiness always depends on circumstances)

    Triumphantly is defined as something done in a victorious or proud manner and it’s celebratory – makes a statement and I hear trumpets going off…take a minute~ see? Can your hear them? … I wish the sound of trumpets for all of you this promising New Year
    Dj Segovia

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa

      I love that you’re celebrating your wins DJ. That’s so important to both faith and joy. 🙂

      Reply ·
  3. Janet

    Choosing a theme is a great way to increase focus, and provide direction and motivation! Thanks for another great idea Marisa. My personal theme will be ‘clarity’. My business theme will be ‘steady progress’.

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      You’re welcome Janet! Love your themes… 🙂

      Reply ·
  4. Robyn

    LOVE! I’ve been doing deep reflection on previous year+contemplation and planning/intention re New Year my whole adult life, maybe 25 years now! Not just a few “resolutions” but really deep, detailed exploration for every life area. I do that I think is one of the reasons I have good years. 🙂 I only just started doing the themes a couple years ago (I got the idea from Brian Johnson) and it REALLY made a difference.I am excited to see how it keeps impacting. My theme for 2015 was FOCUS (because I had to let some things go to go deeper with what was emerging as my chief aspiration, and I’ve had a tendency to do a lot of different things but go a mile wide and not as deep). And I did it! A lot anyway. I’m still working on it. 😉 I think focus (in that sense) is always going to be an effort for me—to not take on too many different things or pursue every interest. In 2016 my theme was PROVIDE VALUE because I wanted my new business (and me!) to lead with value, with service (a daily mantra to that theme was “how can I serve?”) and I also feel like that kept my head on straight about what I am doing, coming from the right place, and kept my ego out of the way so I was concerned about the right things. This year, after much reflection and playing with ideas, my theme is GROW TO SERVE and I think that will work across biz and personal. My secondary theme is RADIATE. Thanks! Can’t wait for MTM Live!

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      Love the depth of thought and care that you put into growing your business Robyn! I can see your evolution as an entrepreneur and a person through the themes you’ve chosen each year. It’s beautiful to watch. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply ·
  5. Mark S. Morano

    Marisa, I can’t wait to see you in February! Mark In Boston

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      Looking forward to seeing you too Mark!

      Reply ·
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About the Author Marisa Murgatroyd

Marisa is the founder of Live Your Message, where she turns entrepreneurs into Online Superheroes, and the creator of Start With You where she helps people just like you to discover the business they're meant to build, not just the business they can build. At 4’11 and a quarter, she’s called the shortest woman in marketing — and that doesn’t stop her from having huge ideas. She’s the “go to” brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights such as Justin Livingston, Callan Rush, Danny Iny, Alexis Neely and Susan Peirce Thompson. Marisa helps entrepreneurs create a business that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their “inner superhero”, so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives.

What's the Business You're Truly Meant to Build?

You have a purpose here on Earth that you’re supposed to fulfill. And certain people here to serve. Watch this Masterclass to discover the business you're meant to build & how to share it with the world.