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Four Non-Resolutions for the New Year

by Katie Mehas

in The Bureauverse

About this column

“You guys . . . the blog post is coming from inside The Voice Bureau.” Let’s talk insider stuff.

So 2016 is finally over.

Look, I had a pretty amazing baby in June, so I’m not going to call the entire year a wash, but let’s be honest: when the general consensus is “dumpster fire,” I don’t think any of us are really mourning the auld lang syne this time around.

But I’m not here to complain about what’s been and gone. There were, of course, good points to the year. If there’s anything that 2016 has taught me (and, I hope, many of us), it’s that we need to get it together and do better next time around. Obviously, not everything is avoidable. (If I’m 100% honest, I may never get over losing David Bowie, and I’m okay with that.) And I’m not one for “New Year’s Resolutions.” If I’m going to lose weight/get more sleep/be more mindful in my parenting, it’s going to be because I’ve made a conscious decision to change parts of my life that aren’t fitting with the narrative I want to be telling, not because a ball dropped in Times Square and wiped the slate clean. But there’s nothing like turning that last page on the calendar to kickstart a little bit of introspection.

Of course, taking ownership of The Voice Bureau was a big change for me in 2016, and a huge driver of how I’m approaching 2017. I have big, exciting ideas for what I want to do in business this year, and you don’t tackle “big and exciting” without a bit of “planned and intentional.”

So here’s what I’m planning for 2017.

No resolutions; just a little bit of thinking ahead. (I’d throw in a little, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” here, but gag, right?)

1. I’m going to ask for help when I need it.

This is a big one for me. I have a bad habit of trying to do everything, all the time, for all the people. But with two young kids, The Voice Bureau to lead, a home that is a study in entropy (see the bit about the kids), and, er, the occasional bit of sleep, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done and maintain my sanity. I’d rather have time to spend with my girls than time to spend updating plugins, which is why I need to just hire that out and move on. Yes, Katie, I know you know how to do these things. That doesn’t mean you have to be the one to do them. Let it go.

2. I’m going to get a better feel for what people want to hear from me.

When Abby started this business, she had a pretty good handle on who was reading her blog posts, taking her courses, and hiring her for web copy and consulting work. It’s been a while, and we’ve definitely seen some shifts in our demographics, but we haven’t really taken stock. It’s time. That’s why you’ll be seeing a reader’s survey sometime soon — I want to make sure I’m giving people what they want, both here in the blog and in our services. We get fantastic feedback from the people we work with, but are we doing enough to align what we’re doing with what you need? I want to work smarter, and the first step in doing that is to make sure I’m focusing on the right things.

3. I’m going to be better about communicating with our readers.

I’ll be the first to admit, this has fallen by the wayside a bit lately. I’m ready to do a few things about it. First of all, I’m going to practice what I preach and create a real editorial calendar, like I teach people how to do in our course, Run Your Business Like a Magazine. (By the way, that’s coming back very soon, and at a celebratory rate to kick off my first year of ownership — keep an eye out.) And I’m also going to be gentle with myself. Sometimes, you just don’t want to write that blog post, but there are other ways to maintain a connection with your community. I’ll be writing more about those ways in a blog post coming up, but trust me: there are other options. (Do I recognize the irony in writing a blog post about not needing to rely solely on blog posts? Yes. Yes, I do.)

Full disclosure: I will probably continue to suck at maintaining social media for a while. I’ll get there, just give me some time.

4. I’m going to stand by my convictions.

We’ve always danced around politics a bit here, which isn’t particularly unusual for a business. But the world we live in is increasingly politicized, and not taking a stand is taking a stand. So I want to be explicit here: we stand for the marginalized and repressed. We will not tolerate hatred or bigotry. We want better for our world, and the world we leave future generations. Black lives matter. Love is love. We’re better together. We all belong here.

So that’s the bulk of it, for me.

Of course, I have some personal plans, too. (Sleeping more than three hours in a row is pretty high on that list, but that one’s not exactly up to me.) But as the new year sees me stepping into the lead at The Voice Bureau, a lot of what’s on my mind is how to take this to the next level — to help more people find their own voices, to help more businesses connect with the exact Right Person for them, to do a better job of using what I’m best at to provide just the right sort of help for those who need it. I hope you’ll help me do that. I think we can do a lot better in 2017, don’t you? We’d almost have to.

In the comments, I’d love to hear:

Do you have any big goals for 2017? How did you bid a fond farewell to that dumpster fire on December 31st?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

shivan sarna January 5, 2017 at 6:14 am



Katie Mehas January 6, 2017 at 2:58 am

Thank you, Shivan! I hope your 2017 is shaping up to be a great one, too!


erin January 5, 2017 at 7:26 am

Congrats! Wishing you well with your new perspective in the business. Love your non-resolutions, might borrow them if you don’t mind. Hope to do the run your biz like a magazine course when it comes back too. Best wishes.


Katie Mehas January 6, 2017 at 3:19 am

Thanks, Erin. Borrow away!

We’ll be opening up registration later for Run Your Business Like a Magazine later this month — I’d love to have you join us!


Beatrice Pizer January 5, 2017 at 9:17 am

Thank you for your work.
Please unsubscribe me.
I have tried unsuccessfully to do so before. This is not a good fit for me.
Wishing you well.


Katie Mehas January 6, 2017 at 3:21 am

I’m sorry to see you go, Beatrice, but I understand. You should be able to unsubscribe from our mailing list using the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom, but I’ve gone ahead and removed you manually. Best wishes for a great year!


Jane January 5, 2017 at 2:57 pm

So excited for you, Katie! Looking forward to seeing the journey unfold.


Katie Mehas January 6, 2017 at 3:21 am

Thank you, Jane! I’m really excited, too!


Bianca January 6, 2017 at 3:47 am

Looking forward to your work, Katie! I’m curious to see the path the Voice Bureau will take in the next months:) (And I agree – no one will ever get over David Bowie’s death!)


Katie Mehas January 6, 2017 at 5:43 am

Thanks, Bianca! I’m really looking forward to connecting more with our readers in the coming year.

I love that we’ve all been so affected by David Bowie’s life that we’ll collectively never get over his death — what a sign of a life well-lived! Though I dread the day when I have to break it to my (now) three-year-old that the Goblin King isn’t around anymore.


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