4 ways to approach 2019

As the new year gets underway, you’re probably thinking about a mountain of deadlines, new clients, product launches, fresh campaigns, and 1,001 goals you’d like to accomplish by December 31, 2019. We know how easy it is to get overwhelmed by your endless to-do list, so here are four ways you can find inspiration, organize your thinking, and keep your business moving in the right direction in 2019.

#1 – Find a fresh new blog, newsletter, or podcast for inspiration. There’s no better way to refresh and broaden your perspective than to learn about how smart, creative, and dedicated people run their businesses and live their lives. For example, Joanna Goddard’s A Cup of Jo is a lively compendium of posts about everything from overcoming social anxiety to travel to book recommendations to motherhood. Meanwhile, podcasts like Quartz’s FWD: Thinking can introduce you to fearless innovators and status quo-busters, while AdWeek’s recently launched CMO Moves with Nadine Dietz showcases the human side of game-changing CMOs. No matter what industry you’re in or what’s happening in your world, there’s plenty of thoughtful and inspiring content out there just waiting to be discovered.

#2 – Don’t focus on methods, focus on results. Whether you’re developing a glossy new campaign, a business strategy, or a new product, it’s vital to remember that all of these projects are a means to an end: reaching and retaining customers. A prime example of a results-oriented company is Coca-Cola, which uses large-scale consumer data to pursue specific, well-defined outcomes. As Justin De Graaf, Coke’s Director of Data Strategy and Precision Marketing, put it in a recent interview: “With endless problems that data can address, it’s critical that we prioritize our resources toward the ones that drive the greatest consumer and business value.” At RG, the first thing we ask a client is: “What outcomes are you trying to achieve?” This immediately directs our efforts toward what matters most.

#3 – Refresh your content and tell your story. You should always be looking for new ways to present your content to the world. This could mean consistently publishing Instagram stories or launching a weekly podcast. Or perhaps it means asking your customers what sort of content they’d like to see in that newsletter or which fascinating people they’d love to hear you chat with. If you want to see a sharp and scintillating example of how to break down barriers that stand between you and your readers (or listeners), look no further than Kim Naci’s always vibrant, never boring fashion blog. And above all else, remember that you’re telling a story. What are your values? Where do you come from? How are you changing the world?

#4 – Get out, breathe, and soak up some IRL. We’re living in a hyper-connected era. From cloud workflow solutions to smartphones to social media, we’ve never had more ways to communicate and cooperate – even over vast distances. But there’s still no substitute for real life experiences. If you take the time to explore your community, you’ll often discover that you’re surrounded by interesting people – artists, writers, designers, and creators of all kinds – many of whom can make invaluable contributions to your business. We personally love perusing the Chelsea art galleries near our neighborhood when we need some creative inspiration. Generally speaking, inspiration doesn’t strike when we’re chained to our desks.