My 3 words for 2013

Thick encyclopedias with colorful hardcovers by Horia Varlan

Last year I continued my annual tradition of putting together my three main words to live by for the year ahead. This process has been inspired by the work of Chris Brogan who has been sharing his three words and encouraging others to do the same since 2006.

As another new year begins, I have decided on three new words that sum up what I want to work actionably on changing and improving in the coming year. But before I look at these, I think it’s worth reviewing my three words from 2012:


Attention is a scarce resource in today’s modern world of multiple social networks, apps, tablets and smartphones. I decided a year ago that instead of being distracted by all the bright, shiny objects around me I’d ensure that I gave myself the time and space to focus on bigger, more challenging projects and to create meaningful work.

In 2012 I managed to focus specifically on a number of projects, from building a brand new corporate blog to applying for a new job (in which I was fortunate enough to be successful!). All of these tasks required me to create work based on careful planning and focus.


A key barrier to success for many is confidence. The confidence in one’s own abilities and the confidence to simply ‘give things a go’.

One of my goals in 2012 was therefore to have the confidence to form my own opinions and to express them confidently in front of my peers, both in person and online through blog posting and article writing.

Whilst blogging on my own site reduced slightly in 2012, I made up for this by increasing the amount of guest blogging I did, notably with Smart Insights – a site which is run and managed by a group of experts in their field.


I’ve always been inspired by individuals such as Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Sir Alex Ferguson. Individuals who never seem to lose the passion, drive and energy they possessed when they were half their age!

I therefore approached 2012 with ‘energy’ in mind. The energy to focus on my goals and use my confidence to achieve them.


Whilst I will continue to build on my three words from 2012 (as well as my other three words from 2011), I’ve decided to look at three new words for 2013 to define my year: Expertise, Inquisitiveness, Imagination:


Human beings learn and develop the most in their early, formative years. Children are constantly interested, intrigued and inquisitive about the world around them, allowing them to think, dream and learn openly and without cynicism.

I believe it’s just as important to remain inquisitive in one’s adult years, too. I don’t believe we ever stop learning and curiosity and keeping a genuine interest in everything around us is one of the keys to remaining open-minded, tolerant and receptive to change.

As a digital marketer, I’m faced with change on a near-constant basis. New social networks are springing up all the time whilst search engines tinker and change their algorithms every few months. It’s therefore important that I remain switched-on to what’s going around me as well as open to new ideas in order to make the most of such a fast-moving environment.


Imagination is one of the keys to creativity. And I believe creativity is one of the best ways of producing work that inspires, engages and provokes.

I want to ensure that in 2013 I keep my imagination active and alert. I don’t want to become narrow-minded or too task-focused. Just as it’s important to remain curious and inquisitive, having an imagination will hopefully allow me to think more broadly and diverse about the work I’m involved in.

And how will I do this? Whilst I’ll continue to keep up-to-date with the latest marketing experts, bloggers and opinion leaders, I’m also going to keep reading and listening to great fiction and non-fiction, watch interesting films and TV shows and keep writing my own work and push myself to be more original, diverse and imaginative.


I’ve always admired the craftsmanship of great experts such as carpenters, musicians, authors and architects. There’s a real sense of hard work, focus and proficiency in the work they produce.

In 2013 I want to continue refining my core marketing skills whilst building on new competences. Whilst I’d like to become more creative and imaginative, I also want to improve my analytical skills, too. I don’t believe I’ll ever become a complete expert – one never stops learning – but I’d like to become a marketer with a rich vein of knowledge composed of experience and continuing professional development.

So, here we go. Another 12 months to make things happen!

What are your 3 words for 2013?