To prepare for 2017 work as a CEO and leader, it’s important to look at my past year.

Over the last year…

I’ve been diving deep into understanding online business, my role in it and how it will contribute to my income.

Online business word cloud

there. is. so. much. information.

Honestly, I’ve heard about some of this way of working over the years but have never truly studied what I needed to do to make it work for me including different techniques, case studies or even virtual mentors beyond Ramit Sethi, Pat Flynn and my fave inspiration MarieMarie Forleo Work

until this last year.

Work. Work. Work.

To prepare for the work I expected to do in 2016, I subscribed to way too many email lists, purchased digital products, downloaded and then turned off Periscope, created so many graphics with Canva and Typorama, and got down into the weeds of creating a semi-passive, digital empire that would work for me, my family, and my other interests (and company).

Yolanda Brown MBA Collage of Work in 2016

If you didn’t have a chance to help in adding to this by sharing what you need to become a better entrepreneur and/or community leader, I would love your comments. Start with this survey for mom entrepreneurs and leaders ;-).

I observed styles that were executed in some ways I thought would not work for me and other ways I figured would. Having a grip on my personal mission, vision, and values helped TREMENDOUSLY with filtering out the noise.

I just had to get to the point of doing the filtering.

I even created a great editorial calendar with themes for each month from this summer through the end of 2016. With a 2016 personal theme of EXCELLENCE, these monthly themes spoke to my quest to improve that trait in me.

Last week we had our vision boarding session and it was awesome. My theme for 2016 is EXCELLENCE so I added affirmations and imagery that spoke to excellence and outcomes I want from owning that in my life. I may add more to the #visionboard but here’s my base. This weekend is about creating the goals and #strategy to make it happen. Shout out to @surefire16 for joining in the session with all of our kids and mom too! #excellence #godswill #momlife #wealthcreator #sharelove #healthylife #wanderlust #lifestylebusiness #goals #writeabook #franchisebusiness #halfmarathon #cookmore #motivation #mindset #inspiration #businesswoman #bosslady #entrepreneur #mompreneur #christianpreneur #businesscoach #entrepreneurship #entrepreneurism #womeninbusiness #womeninbiz #momsinbusiness

A photo posted by Yolanda Brown, MBA (@yolandanichole777) on

I defined EXCELLENCE as pushing for daily practice to get better and better at my craft, particularly as a content provider.

The same thing I did to complete my first half-marathon almost a year ago.

Awesome work and plan. Poor execution.

I came up with some great topics to share that would relate well with my offers but took forever to actually write out the words.

The worst thing I did was HIDE my work by not talking about it every day with the world. I kept holding back on actually pushing publish on this blog or the live button on Facebook or Periscope because of feelings of inadequacy in this space or simply not being ready. There was always more information to gather before deciding on the right path for me 🙄 .

In some ways I actually wasn’t ready since I had nothing to sell that aligned with my vision. I’ve given away free content online for many years but admit to struggling with monetizing in a way that works.

I did hit publish on a few new lead magnets including:

Essential tools for creating income for the mobile mom entrepreneur(now available here)


CEO Resource Library by Yolanda Brown, MBA

The CEO Library includes all of my free content upgrades and lead magnets as well some of the resources I access to help my business go.

And then my latest – 

Strategy Session with Yolanda Brown MBA

I also created and developed the following products:

Launch Your Business Now 10 day challenge

YESFilter - Determine who you are and say yes to more focused, meaningful work

and a fast upcoming Plan Your Business 30 Day Bootcamp. {Details soon}

This hasn’t been my sole focus in life either.

The highlights of the last nine months and what I’ve been busy doing:

  • selected, interviewed, and hired a new Executive Director as part of the transition team for Urban Ministries of Durham (UMD).
  • voted in as Vice-Chair of the board of directors for UMD.
  • advocated for the rights of others in a way I have not before including standing up to racism against my youngest son and therefore other young African-American boys.
  • grew in knowledge about the history of racial inequities in my country and the unhelpful implicit biases that I and so many around me continue to hold.
  • helped plan the Cub Scouts Occoneechee Council Cuboree (spring camping) and volunteered for the Mawat district summer day camp. I did these in addition to my regular duties as Pack Committee Chair (which I’m still learning) and building our pack’s leadership team. I supported Cub Scouting in a way I never expected but with gladness to help many boys have good, positive influences that help build strong character. This has become my contribution to mentoring the next generation in a way that I never expected but always hoped for especially without compromising my role as a mom.
  • continue to raise two happy, healthy, friendly boys and make sure they have experiences that help them grow into loving, well-balanced men.

That said, there is still more to do for this year to be a success in my book.

The Struggle is Real

At times, I struggled as a leader and, often, sole decision-maker, particularly over my children’s well-beings. I have to remind myself that in leadership, I chose it not others, so I shouldn’t expect them to do or even want to do what I do.

At the end of the day, work must be done and it’s bigger than me. I can’t be frustrated about the indecisiveness of others and be indecisive myself. Thankfully, I’ve taken my advice and started tapping into strategic advisers just to talk things out, relieve some anxiety and make better decisions. I look forward to the day when I can delegate more too.

I’ve said NO to opportunities that sounded REALLY enticing but would add one more thing to my plate and take focus away from work I’m still building or I’m already neglecting (like my company and my running – no half-marathons this month 😥 ).

We Have One Quarter Left

With my two growing boys to raise and the life I desperately want to live, I know I have to step things up a notch… to put it lightly.

After experiencing losses in my family this year of both young and middle-aged men, it’s crucial for me to get this right for me and the boys. Part of my life mission is to show them how to live a good life and that’s just frankly not happening. I’m not in pursuit of perfection but I am in the pursuit of excellence… joy… peace.

Over the next few months, I’ll be grinding daily to pull off my vision for this year, and decide on the theme and plan for 2017. I feel much more confident and prepared for 2017 than I was for 2016 this time last year.

This time last year, I was more distracted except for my single great focus on crossing the finish line of my first half-marathon! Having a running partner was so crucial to that success.

I am challenging myself to release content every day for the next 45 days.

Why you may ask?

Because it’s time and I am prepared.

Just confirmed tonight by watching this video after it randomly popped on my social feed

(language warning: cursing persists but the message is awesome and relevant)

Watch for more to come from me very soon.

Your Turn To Prepare For 2017 With A Call To Action For October!

  1. Review your work and experiences since January especially things that took you out of your comfort zone. Setbacks included – consider what you can learn from them and how to mitigate them so you can reduce any losses.
  2. Write out the accomplishments and note how you have grown.
  3. Create a visual of the fruit of your work AND list them out in text. Consider creating a video or slideshow to have it in another format especially if you plan to share with the masses.
  4. Celebrate! I bet you got more accomplished than you thought you did.
  5. Review your plan for the last quarter of 2016. Make sure it is aligned with what you want out of life (or life this year). If you have no plan, create it to end the year on a good, measurable note. It’s never too late to create or start a plan when the buck stops with you anyway.
  6. In a similar vein, begin brainstorming about 2017 and how you want to grow in the year – personally and professionally. Think of the last couple of months and pull out any frustrations, patterns, or sentiments you have noticed. How can you explore, improve or change these?
  7. Choose inspiration to pull you through your plan. What is your reward for following through with this plan? Not the monetary rewards that come naturally, but the reward you will purchase as a gift to yourself for fulfilling commitments to yourself. A real family vacation for you and your children? That new shiny car you’ve been eyeing for way too long? Or because your legacy can’t wait any longer???

You don’t have to plan for 2017 immediately but I strongly suggest a deadline now (and may I suggest it be prior to Thanksgiving so you won’t be distracted by the holiday season… if that’s your thing).

How will you finish 2016 and prepare for 2017? Share in the comments.

P.S. My favorite mentors this season have been:

Course experts: Regina Anaejinou, Melyssa Griffin

List-building experts: Bryan Harris, Melyssa Griffin

General life/business success

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