Happy New Year! 2020… Crazy, how time flies by. 

The holiday season just flew by, one minute I was preparing for it, next it was over. I do love the holiday season. Stay tuned for the end of the podcast episode, because I have a little gift for you. It should help you orient yourself for 2020.

 There is something magical about the holiday season. I always end up crying in commercials/ movies, you name it, my heart literally skips a beat.  

I was thinking about the holidays and why is it the time of year that get people choked up. The spirit of generosity, kindness, love, family, compassion, triumph and magic – and then it dawned on me the magic word “INNOCENCE”. Seeing things through children’s eyes. It brings out the inner giant in everyone of us. The age of Innocence where good always beats the bad. Santa is real. Elf on the shelf are really Santa’s helpers, the joys of wishes and the idea that wishes could come true. With a simple letter to the North Pole. Human Connection, it truly is something gives us hope. Belief… That’s it… 

The holiday season reminds us to believe in all the things that we normally forget. To make time for those that we love (let’s be honest, we are all so busy these days & we hope everyone understands), to help the less fortunate. How is it that we are more giving during this time of the year? 

Does anyone remember Charles Dickens timeless classic, A Christmas Carol? I found this incredible article where Time describes Charles Dickens as the “Inventor of Christmas”. The story is from 1843. Can you believe that? The story is 176 years old. 

I’ll be honest, I was always a fan of Bill Murray’s Scrooged. It cracked me up and still makes me giggle. What I loved most about these stories, is how he visits the Christmas Past, Christmas Future and then goes back to the Present to change things! There is always time for reflection, in order to move forward. So, definitely take a moment to reflect, before you start planning out your goals. I’ve enclosed a gift for you, so that you can also take a moment to reflect back into 2019.  

So, in keeping with the holiday spirit, a look back to my 2019. I’m pretty excited. 2019 has been another incredible year, that I’m extremely proud of and have learned a lot.

  • I launched my 1st book – Connect the Dots – how to turn strangers into meaningful relationships. I nearly fell out of my chair, when it hit the Amazon Bestseller List! I’m still stoked! I’m already planning my next book. There were so many learnings from this entire experience. Getting the book formatted for ePub version has different formats based on online reader – Kindle/Kobo/tablet etc…  I tried to use Fiverr to get the book interior designed, which just became a nightmare. There was extra spaces and new dashes everywhere. Every time, one person would fix the mistakes that I found, 5 more new errors would just show up. Then I finally just did the interior formatting myself, took over two full days but it was just easier than outsourcing. Lesson learned, If I’m going to outsource any activities, it might be better for me to send to 4-5 in parallel. Hedge my bets, instead of sending to 1 person & then it being a disaster and then wasting more time to find someone else. I think this task, took nearly 6-8 weeks longer for me to complete things and I was just getting more and more frustrated each time! Ugh… So, outsource to 4 or 5 people at the same time or just do it myself. 

  • As per my goals, I also launched and held a few different webinars. I did a sales webinar on how to optimize your sales proposals. I still see so many poorly written sales proposals. It really astonishes me, that people don’t see that this is the first touch point that that a client receives from you. Need to make sure it provides an ideal experience.  I’ll make sure the link is available. Remember, that this is the first official deliverable that your client is to get from you. We need to think, what is the experience that we are delivering during the honeymoon phase. 

 

  • Brainfood Book Club was just an experiment and it has been the BEST experience ever.  There are a few of us that meet virtually every month at lunch time to discuss the book.  Honestly, the book provides the topic and it enables us to apply and discuss so many other discussions (both professionally and personally). We record the episodes, HOWEVER, I take out the other personal banter. The non-book relevant stuff. This virtual book club has developed new friendships, deepened existing ones and we are really dedicated to helping each other grow. We really love our monthly virtual social.  SO much laughter. You can hear our discussions or even join us.. It’s free! 

  • Teaching Consulting 101 at George Brown College. Which has been an absolute joy.  I’ve been teaching for the past few semesters and really enjoy every minute of it.   However, I’m ready for something new.

 

However, in looking at my goals for 2020. I’m ready to learn something new. Both personal & professionally. I’ve recently taken on a new role that has been consuming a lot of my time.  There are lots of teaching & coaching opportunities. Which means, I need to balance myself out. I need to learn something new. It’s like that Yin/Yan – Give & Receive. Everything needs to be in balance.  

So, here we are 2020. I remember writing about where the industry would be in 2020 and now it’s here! I definitely have a lot of goals for 2020, but more importantly, I have a lot more courage. No excuses, and I’m ready for 2020… game on! This year I’ve decided is to be filled with lots of new experiences. 

CanInnovate podcast features timeless professional development secrets & essential business life skills, that management consultants have been using for decades. We are unapologetically curious!

I wanted to start this year off right by providing you with some inspiration. I want everyone to be unapologetically curious & courageous!

It all started off when I was watching one of my guilty pleasures. Yes, I was watching X-Factor Celebrity. I think I'm drawn to it because people are trying something new and taking a chance. But, this season I was drawn to it, because these are people that already have a following or known in their particular geography, but not well known globally. So, them entering a singing competition is a little bit like a ‘fish out of the water’. Which I absolutely love! That’s how innovation happens.

But, I need to tell you about this one particular contestant that had this amazing story and literally stole my heart and probably everyone else that heard it. So, of course I want to tell you about it.

Allow me to introduce you to Martin Bashir. Martin Bashir is known as a very well respected and hard nosed journalist. He’s interviewed everyone from Princess Diana, to Michael Jackson too many politicians. So, it came as a surprise for a 54 year old professional journalist to enter a singing competition. A Complete ‘fish out of water’ indeed.

Then he mentioned that his late brother was the driving force behind the inspiration. His brother was 29 years old, when he lost the battle of Muscular Dystrophy (MD). For those that don’t know what Muscular Dystrophy is a group of muscle diseases that results in breakdown of skeletal muscles over time. Just heartbreaking. 

Then Martin shared the wise words of his late brother Tommy. I hope it inspires you as much as It did for me.

“When you grow up with a child and you fight over toys. At age four,  he never fought back and, by the time he was 13 he couldn’t feed himself, you feel that you have no excuse for turning down opportunities.”

 

Martin said: “Every time I have faced a challenge I have heard him whispering saying, ‘What excuse do you have? You have no excuse.”

I was at a Raptors game (for my international listeners, its a basketball game) and one of the folks that I was with, secretly really wanted to get a picture with Super Fan. I probed a bit and discovered that they were a SUPER FAN of Super fan! So, off we went to get in line to get a picture! Don’t let being shy or fear of judgement hold you back. Why would you want to miss out on opportunities?

Every time you try something new, you learn a new experience and will have a new story to share. The best stories are actually those that don’t exactly turn out the way we want them to turn out. So, enjoy the roller coaster and a new adventure. 

I really hope that 2020 really provides you the courage to be curious. In the words of Tommy, “What excuse do you have? You have no excuse.”

I really hope that 2020 brings you lots of goals, inspirations. Take time to reflect. In fact, I’ve got a little freebie cheat sheet for you.  It’s my gift to you, as you embrace 2020.  Revisit the Christmas ghost of the past in order to help you figure out where you want to go in the future.  

Be unapologetically curious & courageous in 2020! Be bold, brave and adventurous.  

 

ALL my best,

Sapna 

me@sapnamalhotra.io

 

P.S.  Here is the link for gift or  just click the image below – all free: Reflections Review 

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How to turn strangers into meaningful network relationships.

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