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I saw a funny gif recently that said “New Year, Same Me.”
It’s a joke – meaning the same lazy person that eats chips on the bed is still the same person on January 1st that they were on December 31st… even after the New Year’s celebrations.
But I see a deeper meaning and application to this gif. The gif is true. Just because a calendar changed from one year to the next doesn’t mean you have changed with it. And before you beat yourself up, let me say that people change over time, not from one magical day to the next. Positive change in humans is usually not instantaneous.
So cut yourself some slack at the beginning of this new year!
And just so you can keep your emotions and perceptions in check, moving from 2020 to 2021 hasn’t created any magical change in our world either. We’re pretty much in the same state now as we were a few days ago (some will say it’s worse). I don’t mean to be a downer, just to bring some reality into the feelings we may all be having as we elicit stronger senses of hope that may or may not be misplaced due to a change on a calendar.
Here is something you can know for sure: you are a valuable person. You bring value to others in your life. And a calendar changing didn’t make you more valuable. You have always been valuable to your family, your friends, your clients, your team, your partners, etc. Your value is a fact. I’m not saying we don’t all struggle to believe we are actually valuable sometimes. I know I do, and I need people to remind me that I’m valuable. I’m reminding you – you are valuable and this new year doesn’t add to or detract from that fact.
Though the calendar has changed, you can live within the reality of who you have always been, whether it’s 2020 or 2021. Now that we’ve established who you are and your value, and that you didn’t magically change from the turning of one day to the next, let’s talk about how humans do change.
People are strengthened and forged by the experiences and hardships they encounter through life. That’s a tough perspective and one we all struggle with, but it’s the truth that what we go through makes us who we are. We don’t magically become a new person from one day to the next (usually), it takes time as we experience the ups and downs of life. Some of our experiences are more traumatic than others, and we learn more about ourselves in one situation as compared to another, but we are still always learning about ourselves through our trials. And since this is true, the way in which we respond to those trials is a key to our becoming stronger over time.
One thing I’ve been thinking about a lot lately are my choices and my feelings of being a victim. ‘Being a victim’ is one option as a response to the trials we encounter. And truly it feels justified when we have gone through difficult things. We can’t always control what other people or what situations have done to us – but we do always own our responses. We are the ones with the sole power to control how we respond to situations and the choices we decide to make as a result. This skill of making better choices through life’s ups and downs is what produces strong people (not the change of a calendar). It’s a process, and it is a process for everyone, no matter what you think you see in other people.
And since it is a varying process for everyone, it is not valuable to compare your process to someone else’s process. The process of maturing is highly individual and intimate to each and every person on the planet. So it is unhelpful to compare our maturing journey to someone else’s journey. Comparison leads us to inaccurate conclusions that confuse us and make our continued journey of maturing through our trials much more difficult. Further, the process of maturing is done internally by the people around you. So you often aren’t seeing the internal battles the people are fighting behind those bright and shiny Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin posts. Humans rarely struggle openly so you will make inaccurate conclusions about their journey of maturing if you compare your internal struggle (which you know all too well) to the public persona seen on social media posts. Comparison is just dangerous.
Let’s write down some takeaways from my personal journal entry here:
- Moving from one day on the calendar to the next didn’t do anything magical.
- People typically change over time, not instantaneously.
- The trials and tribulations we all walk through are what change us.
- We have the power to respond to our trials with better and better choices.
- Don’t compare yourself to others as they go through their journey of maturing because it will most certainly be an inaccurate comparison.
This has been a personal journal entry for me at the beginning of this year. I wrote this because I need these reminders. This was for me, and I hope it helped you too as we begin a new year and a new day.
Jason is the Founder of Thriveal and the Chief Innovative Officer of his CPA firm, Blumer & Associates. He is the co-host of the Thrivecast and The Businessology Show and speaks and writes frequently for CPAs and creatives, his firm’s chosen niche. Jason loves to watch documentaries on just about anything. He lives in Greenville, SC with his wife and their three children.
Yo, yo, Jason Blumer here from Thriveal and I wanted to read you something, it’s really cool. Some people in our online private community in Thriveal are posting about their hopes about 2021 and how they’re looking so forward to 2021, and that’s so cool. And one of our long-time members posted some things that he was excited about and then he said, “I’m working to share that energy with my customers who are tired, fearful, but hopeful to what 2021 will bring.”
So you have permission right now in this video to be hopeful about 2021, right? We’re angst-y about what 2020 was and how hard that year was and so we’re a little jaded to have hope for 2021. But I just want to give you some hope and give you permission to have hope, you can have hope for 2021. You get to because in life whatever you’ve gone through up to this point does not predetermine what you’re going to go through in the future. You know what, guess who I’m talking to? Myself. All the hard things that my partner and I have gone through this year, and a lot of personal things, that doesn’t define and necessarily state what 2021 is going to be.
So I hope you will have hope for the future, hope for 2021. It’s going to be what you always do as an entrepreneur and you’re going to own your future. And then I hope you’ll do what this member of Thriveal said that they’re going to work to share that energy with their clients who are still struggling and I hope you’ll do that too.
So here’s to 2021, you know what? 2020 can kiss our butt, it does not define or own who we are, 2021 gets to be a future that we decide. So I hope you’ll commit to that ownership of 2021, do that with me, do that with me and Julie, my partner, as we’re going to step into the future and we’re going to own 2021. So come on that journey with us and here’s to great holidays and to a great next year, take care.
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Did you know that Thriveal is a community? You probably knew that. Thriveal has been building community for over a decade. That’s a long time. And it was wild to see 2020, that was the year of community building. Now that’s something Julie and I watch. We watch communities that are being built. We’re interested in what people think about community. So our antenna are up about watching for community. And I don’t know if you knew it, but the year of 2020 was a lot of people joining a lot of communities. And we saw people joining free communities, centering just in small groups around various topics. All kinds of communities were being built in 2020.
Well, Thriveal’s been on that journey for over a decade. It doesn’t mean we’re the best community in the world, but we have an interest and some thoughts and opinions about community building. And one thing about our community is that it is not a free community. We are not free. And what that means is there is a barrier to get in, and we recognize the value of that barrier. In fact, when we put a price on a community, we’re saying, “Our community is of such value, you do need to pay to get in.” And that means we’re not right for everybody. Some people are like, “I don’t know that. I don’t believe you.” Or, “I don’t need to pay for a free community,” and that’s fine. But by putting a price on a community, we are really making a statement about what we believe our value is. And we believe the Thriveal community is very strong. Julie and I love to lead this community. Jon Lokhorst, our coach, loves to lead this community. Our team, Mariela, Amy, Lauren, all these people involved in seeing the mission and efforts of Thriveal move forward, we all care about this community, and we’re devoted to the value of these people and the education that they get.
And then of course, Julie and I are always in tune to building, writing, creating new educational programs for accounting firm entrepreneurs. So it’s a big deal. That’s why we put a price on it. Because we believe there’s so much internal. We’re even having some … We do classes on a quarterly basis for our members to teach them and engage them. So we really think there’s a lot of value, and a price is our statement to the world. Hey, if you want to come in here, we’re valuable. It doesn’t mean you’ll agree, it just means it’s what we believe is true. So that’s one thing about our community, it is valuable. That’s why it has a price. Which it doesn’t mean free communities don’t have value. That’s not what we’re saying. We’re just saying ours is so deeply defined with value, we have to price the community for people to join. So that’s a really differentiator for communities, and we’ve been doing that for years.
Another thing is that our community is centered around education. Thriveal is centered around really a language. If you come into Thriveal, you have to seep and soak in a lot of the community conversations, because you’ll learn a lot of people are speaking a certain language. And it’s not necessarily that we plan that, it’s that we teach certain things in Thriveal. We teach methodologies, we teach ways to operate and work and grow your firm. And so a lot of people come through our programs, the Incubator, the Future Firm Groups, Deeper Weekend, and then they come into this community having known really some of the beliefs we have about how do you run firms in effective and efficient and profitable ways. And so you’ll find this language.
So our community, when you’re invited into our community, it’s centered around a common sense of learning. There’s some kind of sense of we all understand the same things we’re talking about. And man, that drives such a tribal language and knowledge through the community. People really start to get embedded into how they can challenge each other better. It becomes more of an intimate community where they’re speaking to each other in a language that we all truly understand. And it’s all because we center the community around some education and learning. And so that’s a really important part of what our community is all about.
Now, if it’s centered around some community learning and education, it makes Julie and I are deeply embedded in teaching this community. We think about it, we read, we write, we research. Learning and teaching, we put graphs together. We build tests and assessments and curriculum, all these things. That’s what Julie and I do for a living is build these things to teach and help firm entrepreneurs grow. And so all of the community is centered around this learning.
So that’s just a couple of things around a community as we’re looking back at 2020, and we see all that this year brought, community was a huge part of this year. And so we wanted to give a little refresher as to why we’re different and why it’s valuable. So we put a price on it. In how this language is adopted in this community, centered around a lot of learning and methodologies and teaching. So we welcome you to think about coming into our community. A lot of people are coming in to be led and to grow and to understand that being with Thriveal members, just having them wash their thoughts and ideas over you, is what makes you a better firm owner. So we welcome you to our community in 2021 if we’re right for you, and if you believe some of these core principles of our community. We want to help you grow too, and we want to care for you, and we want to be with you in 2021, because we have a lot of care and learning and hope to give, and we hope you’ll come join us if you need those things.
So, thanks so much. Hope you had a good 2020. Here’s to a better 2021. Take care. We’ll see you.
Jason Blumer here, and I wanted to quickly talk about the benefits of writing. As we head into 2021, I just want to point out all the benefits I gained from writing. So I have a whole day set aside for writing and content creation. We do a lot of writing and webinar creation with our partners, our sponsor partners. We do a lot of writing and video creation for our firm.
And having to be forced into a place to produce content, what it really does for me, personally, is it really helps me think through a lot of the things I’m learning and growing in. And I’ve been doing it for years. And it’s something I never realized, but when I want to write something or create something like, if you’ve come to any of my webinars, I take time to research those thoughts in my head. And I have a notebook where I journal my ideas about new webinars and content I want to create.
There’s a process I go through. Things start coming up in my head. Then I get my notebook out and I journal these ideas down. And then I form them into a webinar. Well, what this does for me is it really solidifies my thinking and understanding about the things I’m writing about or creating webinars about. So if you read anything I’ve written, or if you see any webinars I’ve done, there was a process behind that, a pretty intensive process for me to understand those things. I had to learn them myself first.
And so when you produce content for yourself, you are going to grow and learn so much more than when you’re not outputting a lot of your thoughts and ideas. So as people, we’re not meant to be only consumers. So if we consume information, that’s good. We’re meant to output that information too. And it makes us better people. And it makes us smarter people because we learn more about the things we’re thinking about when we output them in an organized way. It forces us to organize them. And by doing that, we understand it better.
So the value of writing is just huge. And I wanted to say that out loud, how we do that and the value it’s been to me personally. I hope you can commit to some writing and creating videos in 2021. It’s going to make you a better professional. It’s going to make you smarter too, because already you have those smarts in your head. Just organizing those will allow you to speak about those in more concrete terms and really deliver education in a different way than most professionals can. Hope that helps. Happy 2021.