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When December approaches each year, there’s a natural tendency for business owners to say, “It’s time to update the marketing plan based on our sales results this year and to prepare a new budget for the coming year.” While these are important things to do in running any business, I suspect they are often done out of habit, without much attention being given to the bigger picture….the “why” behind the “what” that needs to get done.

The same could be said for setting your personal goals for the coming year.

“Purpose is the reason you journey. Passion is the fire that lights the way.”


I suggest that as you plan for 2019, whether in your business or your personal life, maybe this December is a good time to step back and really think about what drives you — your ambition, your goals.  And why these are important to you.


Georg Hegel, the German philosopher, once said, “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.”

Before you begin developing your marketing plan and budget for 2019, or setting your personal goals for the coming year, step back and evaluate what you are most passionate about – in your business, your job or your personal life.  What drives you and excites you about coming to work each day?  What gives you the most enjoyment?  And why?

Being around passionate people is contagious, something I have witnessed time and time again, both in business and in my personal life. A client who is passionate about his or her business and who has employees who are equally passionate about what they do, will instill that same enthusiasm in their professional associates and their customers or clients.

But to be successful, however you wish to define success, passion alone is not enough.  That’s like filling your car with a full tank of gas, but not knowing where you are going or why you are going there.


 “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

So what drives you to do what you do?  How would you define your purpose…in your business, in your job, or in your life in general?

What’s most important to you in your life?  What values define who you as a person and as a professional?  Have these changed over time and if so, why?

The contribution you are making in your personal or professional life through your knowledge, your experience and the manner in which you communicate with others can have a direct impact on the success of your business and those around you.

In his poem, “Live a Life That Matters,” author Michael Josephson wrote, “…What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built, not what you got but what you gave. What will matter is not your success but your significance. What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught….”

Once you have a clear understanding of how you define your purpose in your life and in your job, and what you are most passionate about, then you can invest your time and energy in setting goals for your business, your professional career and your personal life.

Making a difference

Choose to live a life that matters, making a positive difference in others’ lives, be they family, friends, work associates…or strangers.

If you take the time to step back and thoughtfully reflect on both the purpose and the passion in your personal and professional life and, once you are comfortable with that, I believe the goals you set for yourself and your business in 2019, will be clearer and you will move forward in the coming year with a renewed sense of commitment to achieve those goals.

For nearly 30 years, we at Carlson Communications have been working with clients throughout the country, helping them achieve their sales goals by developing creative marketing strategies that attract qualified leads.

Contact us and let’s set a time to discuss ways in which we can work together with purpose and passion.

Author Rich Carlson

Senior marketing specialist, Rich Carlson, has 44 years of experience working in advertising, marketing, and public relations on national, regional and local levels. In the 11 years prior to founding Carlson Communications in 1989, Rich worked in senior management positions for three prominent real estate developers in New England and Texas, specializing in real estate marketing and sales. Since 1995, Rich has specialized in all facets of marketing senior housing including active adult, independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing. As a marketing consultant, Rich helps clients achieve their sales goals while strengthening in-house sales and marketing teams with strategic advice on planning and implementing effective marketing strategies. He is a frequent speaker at national and regional conventions and is the author of, "Are You Prepared for the Recovery?"

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