Twenty Thoughts for 2020

I started this post on January 3rd, but the life of George in 2020 is already hectic. Good, but hectic. So this is being published a little later than planned, but I hope valuable and entertaining, nonetheless. Here are my 20 thoughts to kick off 2020.

My entrepreneurial, marketing and life journeys are ever-evolving. For your amusement and pondering, here are 20 thoughts for 2020 that I currently have on these subjects. Be forewarned – my thoughts may change daily and I stray into some politics, too. Hope you enjoy.
  1. Everyone should be an owner at least one time in his or her life. Find a mentor (or several) and learn from their entrepreneurial journey and create your own. All you need is a passion or idea. Tons of capital not always needed.
  2. You – and only you – should define your own success as an entrepreneur. Don’t think the only way you can be a success is to create a startup unicorn. (What does that mean, anyway?)
  3. Make enough money to be comfortable, provide for your family, and set up a comfortable retirement. Most importantly, enjoy life. Have fun. Life’s too short not to have a lot of fun. In work and life and family. Whatever those things mean to you, do it.
  4. The highest paid person in the room isn’t always the smartest. That goes for Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and heads of marketing, too. The smart ones know that they will always benefit from different points-of-view, collaboration with others, and trusted partners to make long-lasting good decisions.
  5. Successful entrepreneurs are their own CMOs – for better or for worse. They have the passion, drive, smarts to make things happen instinctively. They don’t succeed every time, but they listen to others (sometimes) and learn from their marketing mistakes to create something special that fits who they are as an entrepreneur and person.
  6. Social media is the wave of the future.
  7. JK on #6. Digital media for marketing is constantly evolving. For 2020, social remains important for establishing your voice, creating conversations and enhancing brand awareness. Social can also create leads, but real lead generation happens when there is intent, and the best way to capture intent is through other forms of paid digital media – search, display, remarketing…etc.
  8. Big fat ad agencies are still big and fat. I’m biased, but if I were in charge of a marketing budget on the client side, I would work with a small agency with the right experience, resources and roll-up-your-sleeve attitude to make things happen.
  9. As a client, you should always be nice and respectful to your outside partners. (Partners – not vendors. Drop the word vendor from your vocabulary.)
  10. Don’t burn bridges. Keep the good relationships going for as long as possible. And don’t let old, but good relationships die.
  11. Feeling fulfillment is like the stock market – sometimes your fulfillment level goes up, sometimes it goes down. But hopefully, over time, your fulfillment level is as high as you want it. Keep chasing fulfillment. (There’s a book idea in there somewhere.)
  12. Healthcare is a universal right and all people should be free. And the right to boycott is a democratic pillar.
  13. Big corporate and interest group money should be scrubbed out of politics and democracies forever.
  14. According to Gary Vaynerchuk and my kids, Tik Tok is big. I still need to figure it out for myself and clients. So do you. Or at the very least, you should explore it. Get to understand what is trending in and out of your space.
  15. Content Marketing King Joe Pulizzi says that social is dying. His job is to be provocative and this caught my attention. He says we need to get back to basics of websites, blogs and email – the channels that we actually own. (You don’t really own your social channels. You know that, right?) I agree with the overall premise – don’t forget about the tried and true tactics that you own because social media, as we know it, is disappearing.
  16. Love your children and try to guide them the best you can. If you have something on your mind that you think can help them, say it.
  17. Call your mother. And go see her. Face-to-face. You only have so many more days left to do that. This article really hits that point home: The Tail End.
  18. Even if you don’t ski, still go on ski trips. Have fun hanging with friends, do what the locals do, explore the area, be yourself, snow shoe and snowmobile. The crispness and glory of the Colorado sunshine, even if you don’t ski, is good for the soul.
  19. The ONE Thing Author Gary Keller says that we all should be a “maker in the morning and manager in the afternoon.” He also says we should all strive to “have a great day by noon” by accomplishing your one thing and the afternoon will become better. I’m writing this at 5:30pm and it’s been on my list all day. I have some work to do.
  20. “Life is like a cucumber. Sometimes it’s in your hands. Sometimes it’s in your salad.”

    In closing, as my uncle once told me, “Life is like a cucumber. Sometimes it’s in your hands. Sometimes it’s in your salad.” Open to a wide range of interpretation. Consider it a gift from me to you to ponder by yourself or with others. Happy 2020.

George Rafeedie is an entrepreneur and a story marketer. He has a purpose of bringing good people together to achieve things that none of us would be able to accomplish on our own. He answers to George, Rafeedie, Raf, G or G$. Find out more here: LinkedIn, Tell Your Story and CoWorkers.