My 3 Words for 2018

It’s that time of year again!

Since 2013, I’ve been picking 3 words as my themes for the year. You can read all about it here and see links to previous years.

This year

A lot has changed for me in 2017.

  • My agency had its best year ever, and consequently…
  • My agency was acquired
  • I got engaged

The person I’ve been for nearly the last 6 years, is about to experience a major shift.

My Three Words 2018 is brought to you by the letter ‘A’


Before I thought of any of the other words for 2018, I knew that appreciate would be one.

Every year, I sit down with someone for drinks and they inevitably try to convince me that I should be proud of what I’ve accomplished. And every year, I smile, thank them, and politely explain why it wasn’t much of an accomplishment at all.

Entrepreneurialism can breed a certain dissatisfaction with achievements. It’s what Jon Nastor refers to as “The Entrepreneurial Gap.” No matter what you accomplish, you’re immediately looking forward to the next milestone. Rarely do any of us stop to truly appreciate the results of our time and energy. You can hear all about The Entrepreneurial Gap” on Jon’s podcast Hack the Entrepreneur.

This year, my role is changing. My day-to-day responsibilities are changing. And along with that, I’m going to focus my energy on appreciating how far I’ve come in my career. I ran a successful agency for 6 years and because of what we bring to the table, I had the freedom to explore an amazing opportunity for a larger agency to acquire us. Now I am joining their leadership and ownership team.

At the same time, I was also growing as a professional including my role as a strategist, a mentor, and as a leader.

On top of that, I can’t ignore how lucky I am to have found such an amazing woman that I get to spend the rest of my life with. Through my various ups and downs, Erica has been my cheerleader, my muse, and has supported me in every conceivable way.

This year, I want to take a much needed deep breath, take a moment to look around, and appreciate where I am. It’s actually pretty great.


For 6 years, I’ve been THE boss. Now, I’ve never seen myself as much of a “boss.” But I have had the privilege of being a leader to my team. When I speak, they listen. When I make a decision, we move. I involve my team in all of these decisions, but at the end of the day, the buck stops with me.

I’m now part of a different environment. I can no longer make decisions in isolation. My decisions impact other parts of the company. I am part of the team and I must adapt.

To explain why I feel that adaptation will be such a crucial component of a successful 2018, I’ll explain it like this. I’m terrible on panel discussions. At the end of every panel discussion I’ve ever been on, I feel like I have to apologize to my fellow panelists, because I have hard time not taking over the entire panel. It doesn’t matter who is asked the question, I’ve got the answer.

I have trouble being part of a panel rather than dominating a panel and this is my concern going into the new company. I’m now on an ownership panel of sorts, and I want to be respectful to my partners. This is something I’m going to be watching for.

I know that my ability to adapt will make or break this transition.


I have been treading water for the majority of my career. I’ve earned enough to “get by” and the rest gets reinvested into the company. Financially, I’ve alternated between being up and being down.

This is the year that I begin to save, that I eliminate my debt, that I release my chronic-dread and fear of money. This year, I’m going to get ahead.


These are my three words. What are yours?

Don’t feel like writing your own three words blog post? Just put them in the comments, we’ll talk about it.



What do you think?

What did I miss? What did I get wrong? Help build this idea with me by leaving a comment below.

2 replies on “My 3 Words for 2018”

  • Jess Smith
    January 4, 2018 at 3:14 am

    Love all of this Jeff!

    Wow, good question to think about. Here goes my 3 words:

    1. Patience – Everytime I was patient, the right thing came my way, or the right answer uncovered itself

    2. Acceptance – accepting what’s ahead and not putting too much pressure or expectation into the journey.

    3. Appreciation – appreciate where I am in life/career, appreciate the people in my life, appreciate the opportunities.

    • January 4, 2018 at 3:47 am

      Love these three Jess. Perfect for you. You’re brilliant, so of course if you are patient, things will work out. Glad to hear you plan on enjoying the journey, you’re true go-getter/hustler, take some time to accept and appreciate all you’ve learned over the past few years. It’s truly impressive. Thanks for commenting Jess. Love ya girl.

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