If you’ve been part of my community for a while, you might be familiar with my One Word Tradition. Each January, I land on the word that I want to live my year by, professional and personal. 2018’s word was Yes: choosing a frame of mind that helped me to grow, create bigger opportunities, and step into the next version of myself.

What I’ve come to look forward to about the One Word Tradition is the process of deciding. Deciding how I want to live for the next 365 days. The decision to land on the word is positive momentum, creating an anchor point for me.

One Word

The One Word for 2019?

Standout.

To standout is to be highly noticeable. Distinguished. Someone who shines. Who stands firm. Who steers away from shore. I especially love those last two, because they honestly make me the most uncomfortable – standing firm and steering away from shore.

I explain in this short video; there’s more below, too.

To standout is to be the exact opposite of what I wanted to be growing up. Even into adulthood, in so many ways I wanted to blend in, to be like everyone else. Get the college degree, have the big company logo on my business card, work toward corporate leadership. I did that for about 10 years, and I’m genuinely grateful for that part of my path. I couldn’t do what I do today without that part of my path.

The call to standout was always there, to steer away from the shore. I knew from a young age that I would either start something or lead something, but I had no idea what that could look like. For the last 12 years (as of this month actually), I’ve been on this entrepreneurial adventure. That decision may very well be my first standout moment.

While I probably could’ve chosen Standout as my word for any one of these 12 years, my theme usually presents itself when I most need it to show up.

So why Standout in 2019?

  • It’s a natural next step to 2018’s “Yes.” 2018 saw the launch of The Modern Seller, expanding my brand, and stepping onto bigger stages. 2019 will continue that, but with even more transformation. I’ve made some decisions about where to take the business next — more to come on that mid-year.
  • There are some significant leadership opportunities in my path that will require me to be standout. Especially in standing firm, and in a willingness to steer away from the shore of what’s comfortable to make a difference.
  • Being a standout means being a category of one. When you work with me, you’re getting a category of one – whether it’s a sales keynote, sales training, or board service. Having that One Word front and center will be an anchor and reminder for that promise.
  • It’s not just a professional theme, but a personal one. It’s easy for standout to be described in terms of being more visible. But a standout can also be things like: Am I challenging myself? Am I learning? Am I better today than I was yesterday? Am I working on standing out as a whole person and not just in my profession?

As you start your 2019, I hope this gives you some ideas on creating One Word or a personal theme for yourself. When you reflect back, you might be surprised at how one word does make a difference for your path.


Also published on Medium.

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