The New Year Planning Secret Every Great Entrepreneur Knows

The New Year Planning Secret Every Great Entrepreneur Knows

There’s one thing most people miss when setting up their goals for the coming year. And because of this little oversight, so many new years resolutions that started out as cheerful balloons dancing towards the sky become like coins slipping our grasp and clattering to the ground. That means that New Years resolutions can become frustrating and apathy-inducing, and cause you to live so far beneath your potential.

Well, lucky for you, there’s a solution that will help you start off the new year strong and accomplish way more than you had imagined. It’s this new year planning secret every great entrepreneur knows.

As we transition into the new year – heck, a whole brand spankin’ new decade – we wanted to bring you a personal message about how we close out one year and transition into the next with as much strength and intention as possible.  We think this will be really helpful to you as you’re building a life and business you love and taking control of your destiny.

In this episode, we share our most important lessons from last year and how we’re using that as a foundation for success in the new decade.

The Clean Slate of a New Year

Ever since I was a kid, I loved waking up to freshly fallen snow.  The world was covered in white with no tracks, disruptions, or flaws. It was a fresh, clean slate.

That’s how I feel about the new year. It’s this clean slate that creates an expectancy, like anything is possible.  It’s a new beginning, a new start, and new goals.

Purpose Instead of Resolutions for the New Year

But instead of getting caught up in the buzz of new year’s resolutions that usually are broken and fail within the first 24 hours of the new year, how do you stay in abundance and the right mindset?

How do you set your intentions and purpose for the new year so you’ll succeed? 

Start with this New Year Planning Secret Every Great Entrepreneur Knows

Don’t start by listing goals.

First, honor last year’s successes.


It’s way easier to win again at a bigger thing when you’re already winning.

As Dan Sullivan coaches, this process helps you to stay positive by looking backward at how far you’ve come. It’s like pulling back the slingshot to give maximum thrust and force to the rock you’re shooting.

How do you do that?

Whether last year was a triumph that exceeded all of your goals, or whether you are still reaching for goals that you haven’t yet mastered, honor and value last year. The big and small triumphs along your journey have given you strength, lessons, and chiseled your character. They’ve laid the foundation for everything you can and will create in the future.

This gives you a sense of closure, meaning and purpose about last year.

And then, last year becomes a foundation that propels you into the new year as a better, stronger, kinder, wiser, and more successful person.

Since this life is one long story, this is how you finish well in the middle of the journey.

Our Year End Reflection Tradition

In the Marshall house, part of our ritual and tradition at the end of every year is to reflect on the last year, gain insight, and then get clear on the next year.

Start With Gratitude

It’s critical to start with gratitude.  Gratitude paves the way to focus on the good stuff and invites more of it into your life, because you’re in the right mindset to receive more.

Take Inventory of Last Year

Then, we take inventory and write down all of our major life moments over the last year.

Accomplishments, wins, defining moments, big decisions, new things we started, things we ended. High-quality conversations, enriching relationships, leaps of faith, answered prayers.

We open our calendars, emails, text feed, facebook, and notes to help us really remember everything.

It’s a journey down memory lane that’s so invigorating because of the focus on what was good. And before we know it, we have a humongous list of everything awesome we’ve chosen and lived and accomplished over the last year.

Find the Meaning

Then, we assign meaning to gain more insight.

Here are some of our favorite questions – that we learned from Jon and Missy Butcher – that we use to go deep in our conversation about the last year:

  • What was your biggest triumph in the past year?
  • What was the smartest decision you made in the past year?
  • When did you feel most alive in the past year?
  • What one word or phrase best sums up and describes your past year’s experience?
  • What was the greatest lesson you learned in the past year?

Design Your Next Year

This reflection journey energizes to create our next year as a continuation of this same success trajectory.

From this position, set your intentions for the next year. As Dan Sullivan admonishes, create a 20-year vision, and break it down into 90-day action plans.

Our Top Three Lessons from 2019

As a team at The Money Advantage, here’s our top three lessons we’ve learned as we’ve 10X’ed our company over 2019:

  • Build the team. We gave team members clear roles in their area of unique ability, and trusted each other to execute well. Then, we communicated regularly to find areas for improvement and growth.
  • Incremental improvements. Never stop growing and becoming better. We didn’t accept a win as the best that can be. We chose to keep up leveling. As you grow, you’ll encounter new and unforeseen challenges that will become new opportunities for improvement. Don’t get discouraged. This doesn’t mean your first efforts weren’t good enough. It means they were exactly what’s needed on your journey to grow to the next level.
  • Maximize efficiency. Always look for better, faster, more efficient ways to do things. Systematize and automate whatever you can, so that you focus 80% of your energy on work that moves your business forward.

Don’t Forget to Focus

As we’ve continued to build The Money Advantage from a podcast to an online business, focus has continued to be a key theme for us.  This was more about saying no to all the wrong things. 

As Richard Wilson points out, the ultra-wealthy focus on what they do best.  

Only a few things matter to anything, find those few things, stick to them and master them. 

Darren Hardy

Anything that you do there are only a few things that are vital.  There are 100’s of things that must happen with open heart surgery, I only do 2 or 3 things and I leave everything else to my competent team. 

Dr. Oz, Heart Surgeon

For every 100 great opportunities, I say no 99 times.

Warren Buffet

I’m as proud of what we don’t do as what we do.

Steve Jobs

We set up the foundation for expansion by focusing on our unique abilities and delegating.

Looking Forward to the New Year

Because we’ve laid down a tremendous amount of foundational work, we are now poised to gain momentum.

The Value of Faith

Wherever you are, whether satisfied that last year was exceptional, or frustrated that it was less than your expectations, choose to walk in faith. 

Persevere in seeing every step you take as part of a bigger journey, and know that you’re becoming the person who’s capable of serving more greatly and expanding your influence.

Here’s to a very successful 2020!

Happy New Year!!!

Success leaves clues.  Model the successful few, not the crowd, and build a life and business you love.

Rachel Marshall

Rachel Marshall is the Co-Founder and Chief Financial Educator of The Money Advantage and President of Marshall's Insurance and Financial Services. She is known for making money simple, fun, and doable. Rachel has built a team of licensed professionals (investment advisors, insurance agents, attorneys, tax strategists) to help her clients create time and money freedom with cash flow strategies, Privatized Banking, and alternative investments. Rachel is the co-host of The Money Advantage podcast, the popular business and personal finance show. She teaches how to keep more of the money you make, protect it, and turn it into cash-flowing assets.
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  1. Tom Spoors on January 2, 2019 at 5:25 pm


    • Rachel Marshall on January 3, 2019 at 12:03 pm

      Thank you!! I’m glad you enjoyed our recap! Hope this helps you think through closing out your year and embracing the best in the coming year!