My Three Words That Will Make 2018 Successful – #my3words

My three words that will make 2018 successful is a campaign started by my 2017 business hero, Chris Brogan. In fairness to Chris, he calls his goal-setting method, My 3 Words. I added the “That will make 2018 Successful” part. I hope he’s good with that.

Keeping things simple is a challenge for me. How about for you? It’s easy today to sit down, get started working, have a plan, and in five minutes be slipping down Alice’s rabbit hole.

Squirrel! Shiny object syndrome. However you name it, can you relate?

While working on Brogan’s method and idea, I admired the simplicity. His Owner Media Group that I joined this fall is the most worthwhile investment I’ve made in a long time and I recommend it highly. The content Chris and his business partner, Rob Hatch, create offers simple, action-oriented ideas and strategies. I’m grateful I found the resource and encourage you to check it out.

Goal Setting Works

Ok. Enough about my business crush on Chris Brogan. I learned about setting goals the first time I read “Think and Grow Rich.” After that, I’ve never missed a year. Sometimes it’s good to adjust goals at mid-year, too. The point is, goal-setting works.

The other day I had breakfast with a long-time friend and mentioned that I wrote a 20-year plan in 1991 when I first got into Ophthalmology. Incredulously, he asked, “Do you still have it?” Of course, I replied. Then he asked, “How’d you do?”

I answered that I got close, but the world, and I, evolved and what I imagined wasn’t possible because the company no longer existed because of M&A activity in ophthalmology. What’s true, though, is that exercise laid a path and began a habit that is core to who I am. Do you have a story about your goals?

My Three Words That Will Make 2018 Successful

It’s possible I labored over these three words. Do you ever do that? You start thinking about something and all of a sudden it creeps everywhere. On the treadmill – what are my three words that will make me successful in 2018? In the shower – what are my three words that will make 2018 successful? Driving to the office…you get the gist.

In this case, I’m glad I did press on with an obsession because I’ve come up with three that will serve the functions of the exercise as Chris Brogan taught. In a way, I’m taking my own cooking advice I give to my kids: “Don’t change a recipe before you’ve tried it first.”

Here are the words I will use to help me build a platform for success in 2018 (A nod to another business crush of mine, Ann Handley…I am shifting away from writing to the reader and talking about me. It seems apropos and I beg forgiveness.):


This is my word. Well, not mine. But, sort of. No one uses it, but it makes a lot of sense to me and it fits with an objective I have for 2018. The word stems from when I read a book by Kevin Kelly called, “The Inevitable – Understanding the Twelve Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future.”

I wrote a review of this book last Spring. Also, I started a Podcast called Make Marketing Easy on December 31st with the goal of 52 episodes in 2017. I did 8. Podcasting is hard work when you’re doing it all alone. My goal is to do 26 in 2018.

Cognified, to me, is about being smarter. Kelly said in his book that adding a little bit of intelligence to even the dumbest thing can have amazing effects. I believe this is true for me. Not that I see myself as a “dumb thing,” because I’m not.

But sometimes I do dumb things, that’s for sure. In 2018, I will remember to ask myself, “Am I doing this as smart as I can?” And if the answer is,”No.” I’ll stop doing it.


I love Archimedes quote, “If you give me a long enough lever, and a fulcrum upon which to place it, I may move the world.” Leverage came to mind as I was working on my three words that will make 2018 successful, but I like lever better. We use this term a lot in our business at Sightpath Medical as we think of “levers that we can pull to_______.” Fill in the blank.

It’s not always easy to know what levers to pull, but it’s a good metaphor that ties nicely to cognified, too. I am grateful I’ve learned this through my association with smart Private Equity, finance, and operations people.

I’d like to use a lever to create value using the tech stack I’ve built and the connections I am making. Sometimes, the hard part is finding the fulcrum. Thinking about the lever and fulcrum relationship will help me stay focused in 2018.


This is the word I struggled with the most. Ironic, I know. When there’s friction, there’s action. Whether it’s good or bad often depends on perspective and attitude. Brogan’s written about this lately and it resonates with me. He responded to an email I sent him about his weekly newsletter and used this word. That got me thinking.

I avoid friction and try not to create it. Well, unless I’m finishing a piece of wood or sharpening a knife. Considering I almost never do the former and not enough of the latter, it seemed like a good, aspirational one of my three words that will make 2018 successful.

A word I considered, that I believe relates to this, is “execute.” When I bring projects, commitments, ideas, and goals to anything less than completion it creates internal friction for me. I don’t think I’m alone here and want to find ways to deliver value by finishing.

My nature is to create. When I don’t create, it causes personal friction. If I’m forced to slog through the mundane at the expense of time to create, I promise to get cognified, use a lever and look to reduce the friction.

Friction between people never works. When it’s there, it manifests as heat and causes problems until it dissipates. So that’s another aspect of this word for me – peace. And in the words of St. Francis of Assisi, “Let it begin with me.”

Make 2018 a great year for you by building your platform

My friend Nancy Lyons, another business crush of mine from years back, recently created an engaging post on Facebook.  I want to steal her idea here and iterate it just a bit.

What Nancy did was posted a simple image and it said, “Ask me anything.” What ensued from her post was entertaining, humbling, educational, and amazing. So in the spirit of Nancy’s wit, in the comments below you may either ask me anything or post your three words. Either one works.

I work with doctors, salespeople, and marketing types who ask me often about my blog, podcast, social media activity, and content creation. They mostly wonder, where do you find the time? It’s a good question and something I’m working on to help people. If you’re interested in some projects I’m working on to bring some value there, put your name and email in the box below. I’ll keep you updated on the progress of the projects and send you a weekly digest of ideas and strategies you may find helpful.

As always, thanks for reading my work. I’m grateful you gave me a few minutes of your valuable time.

Leave a Comment