Tomorrow is the first day of 2013.  10 February 2013 is the first day of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Snake. Have you reflected in the victories and lessons of 2012,  and what 2013 will bring? The Snake represents calm, prosperity and good luck. There’s also unpredictability because a snake is expressionless and may strike without warning. Are you ready?

Year of the Snake

Chris Penn of, Awaken Your Superhero neatly summarized his 2012, defined 2013 and offered an assignment that invites everyone to

  • choose 3 words that will define 2013

I invite you to do the same. Share in the comment area below, share with a friend, share with Chris, tweet it, whatever … just share. (And read Chris’ blogpost)


My 2013 will be defined by

A good performance is a gift to any audience. Alas, performance was missing in 2012 as I got wrapped up in learning to run a business in 2012. I love being in front of people, playing my bass, speaking or training. As a passable bassist I know that I bring showmanship and passion to the stage. Passion keeps my Data Management students engaged.

There are enough droll lecturers and bands that stare at their shoes. Audiences don’t need to dress up and pay to see that.

Performance … liveliness … being loud and passionate are gifts that say, “I’m here for you as well as for me. So, getchoo summa dis fire!

Performance has shown up at the end of 2012 and it’s got good momentum for the start of 2013 with the workshops I’m scheduled to lead in January and February.


(A nod to friend and fellow blogger Alyssa Dyksterhouse of Adventures in Alyssaland. ) In a touching and passionate post Alyssa described the concerns of blogging, being vulnerable, and being criticized. This lead to her declaration of letting go and giving herself permission to just be. This was another recurring  reminder for me in 2012.

Fret not; consider this me catapulting off the wagon willing to expose all aspects of Alyssaland.
Alyssa Dyksterhouse started the year as a stiff, straight blog that had very little Oz personality. As the year went on, it became easier to let go and let go and let go … allowing personality to show through.  I’m a 5’4″ Black guy with $2000 worth of tattoos and I know my shit in the areas of Excel and Data Management. I solve problems and deliver results. As soon as a prospective client sees all 5’4″ of me in my cowboy hat, they know this is going to be something different. So, there was no use trying to be genteel in this blog. Genteel was phony. Genteel doesn’t scrub 20,000 rows and 600 columns of data.

In 2013 … Cheeky! Thank you Alyssa for the reminder. Your post got inside of me and crystallized a significant lesson.


Triage is about making hard decisions. In 2012 there were so many opportunities, so many books to read, so many great blogs and events … and I’ve only had peace and productivity when I’ve said “no.” I’ve been clearing out my email inbox by unsubscribing to fantastic blogs because there’s a sober truth that I don’t read them or am not compelled to implement what they’re teaching. Yet, they’re in the way of the items that need to get handled.

The obvious response: “if you make time, you don’t need to think either/or, you can think both/and.” Naaah! That’s just an invitation to a head trip over feeling too undisciplined to have all the things we want. 2012 regularly reminded me that when I can say “no” to good ideas, there’s room for acting on the great ideas. All aspects of life benefit from this: friends, health, clients and colleagues are all winners as a result of good triage.

Success in 2013 is going to rely on a triage-like attitude in the face of all the Next Shiny Things.

No - Triage

Sometimes you gotta say “no” in order to stay on track.

Performance,  Cheeky & Triage in this Year of the Snake

What 3 words will define your 2013? Let’s meet here in 6 months and see how it’s going.

Snake photo credit: Jenna Matsalla

Subway photo credit: nick.garrod via photopin cc