In today’s episode, I’m sharing my 2023 word of the year, and the journey I went on to discover it. I’m Julie Bee, and they don’t teach THIS in business school.
Hey there, this is Julie Bee, and you’re listening to They Don’t Teach THIS in Business School. Thanks for being here with me today. In today’s episode, I’m sharing my 2023 word of the year. Drumroll please…
My word of the year is Emerge.
In my life and in this organization, words have power. We try very hard to use words well here at TJB (that’s The Julie Bee, for short). When it came time for me to discover my word of the year for 2023, I knew I had a challenge ahead of me. I’ll get into my process in a minute, but let me share why this was such a challenge this year.
A word of the year is meant to summarize in a single word what you hope to do, embody, be, or achieve that year. I guess there are no rules that it has to be one word, or that you cannot change the word during the year. For me, though, I pick one word and stick to it for the whole year. That one word keeps me focused all year long on all the goals I’ve set and the dreams I hope come true.
Not an easy task, especially for those (like me) who have a LOT of goals!
So Why do I think a Word of the Year is Important to Business Owners? As business owners, we can easily be pulled in multiple directions through the days, weeks, and months of a year. We have goals, rocks, intentions, BHAGS…whatever you call them at your company. We also have visions, missions, Whys, and passion-fueled ventures. One word, top of mind every day, can serve as a guiding light for each year that keeps us uber-focused not only on what we hope to achieve but also remind us of how we want to “show up” each day.
For me, it took almost three months for emerge to, well, emerge as my word of the year. For the past three years, I have been building something. Working on something new – a new service, a new business, a new brand. I’ve been making a personal brand as a public figure.
I first started this word of the exercise in the Fall of 2019, for 2020. I went into 2020 with my word of the year being “Manifest.” Looking back, that’s precisely what I did – I manifested a change for myself and my companies. While it didn’t manifest exactly how I thought it would, a significant change happened in all areas of my life and work in 2020. That was the year I started podcasting, leading to numerous opportunities and changes.
In January 2021, with so much uncertainty still surrounding us, I needed a little magic in my life. My word of the year for 2021 was “Believe.” 2021 was the most challenging year I’ve endured in business since starting in 2008. I went into the year believing anything was possible; at the end of the year, I was grasping at straws to believe in myself. I went through a major burnout. I stopped networking. I continued to stay in the shelter of Covid because I was not in the right frame of mind to be around people. It turns out I was starting the necessary internal work to be able to do the work I love to do, which is helping business owners.
Going into 2022, I decided to keep my word of the year, “Believe,” for another year. The first half of the year was spent stripping away a lot of noise, writing a book, redefining my core values, and realizing that I have a lot to offer the business community (and the world). The second half of 2022 was spent figuring out ways to monetize all that I offer, embodying core values, and reflecting on the journey I’ve been on. Basically, I did a lot of believing in myself and betting on me last year.
Last October, when I started thinking about my 2023 word of the year, I knew it had to change. I no longer needed an entire word of the year to remind me to believe in myself, to find that confidence. Don’t get me wrong; there are still days when I think, “I can’t do this,” but I’m quick to check those thoughts.
I’d also been hunkered down in my home office for almost three years. I had done a few in-person speaking engagements and virtual networking events, but I had mostly stayed in a bubble. But I now had this burning fire in my gut. I needed to get out there again. I wanted to come out (for the 2nd time in my life) as who I am and the true value I offer.
It was time for me to EMERGE. And that’s why this is my word of the year for 2023.
If you’d like to learn more about the process I follow for the word of the year, you can check out my blog post about it – I’ll leave the link in the show notes. It’s a three (ish) step process I usually begin in October and finish by December 21st of each year.
This formula may not work for every business owner, but it has become a ritual for me. If you have a word of the year for 2023, please share it with me on social media or email me directly. I really do love hearing from my tribe!
I’m Julie Bee, and They Don’t Teach THIS in Business School