Will Your Year Be A Fireworks Show?

Reading some of my earlier posts it may seem that the words pour out after the title is written. Let me assure you that I struggle with both the blog post idea and the writing to support the idea. That may be what is supposed to happen. The reality is that I am as familiar with the ‘delete’ key during the writing of a paragraph on my Mac as I am with the ‘return’ key once the paragraph is complete. They say that writing is a ‘process’. I think this may be writer speak for a real struggle. It takes time. It takes work. It is not an overnight success. So, my post today. Will your year be a firework show?

Fireworks over Seven Mile Beach

A January 1 ‘any year’ post by a blogger may be the most difficult to write. What do I have to say that may not have already been said? What can I write that may be of a level that would be worthy of a read in a noisy world? Could I write something that was relevant and new?

Then, BOOM, it came to me … Fireworks! Not many bloggers are writing about that subject and linking it to a year of resolution and change. Read on.

One of my businesses here in the Cayman Islands is a display and retail fireworks company. Several years ago I was probably just like you. I enjoyed fireworks, but beyond watching a few shows a year and last-minute shopping for New Year’s Eve fireworks, I knew little about the industry. While I am no expert now, I do know enough to have an appreciation not just for the art and science of the show itself, but also for the work that goes into the few moments of beauty in the sky. It is in that work that I find my January 1, 2013, post.

The fireworks business is hard work! Products are still made in the same way that they have used for centuries, with the majority of world production now coming from China. Once the shells are received we produce a show using a variety shells. The client or public has the pleasure of watching a show that, if all has been planned properly, leaves them with their WOW moment for the night.

What no one sees is the work that happens to produce the 5 minutes of artistry in the sky. That 8-12 hours of hard work has its parallel in what we see in life as the overnight success. We often see a company or individual that seems to come out of nowhere and have huge success. As in the fireworks business, what we don’t see is the years of hard work, the successes and failures, that lead to that overnight success. No goal, no final goal, will happen without the groundwork being done. Do the work!

What has me doing the work?

A blog post by Lara Casey at the end of 2009, ‘Get Fired Up‘, was a game changer for me, and I know by connecting her post to others over the past couple of years it has helped others. Read the entire post available through the link, but know that through it all Lara is saying that you will need to ‘DO THE WORK’.

More recently, personal visioning exercises involving my wife Christina and I and facilitated by our business coach, Tom McCallum of Shirlaws Cayman, have both of us focused on longer term goals and what it will take for us to reach those goals intentionally. Years go by for so many people with drift and no specific end game in mind. We are planning now for what we will be doing when we are 50. If you are 20 you will be above most of your peers if you plan for what you will be doing when you are 30. You will live life more intentionally, work harder and with purpose, and you will be an overnight sensation when you are 29.

Writing is something I have wanted to do but just did not know how to get going with it in a meaningful way. Do you know what I found? START. It really is that simple. Start. Do something. Be diligent about it. The answers will come when you stop making excuses and get on with it. Carve out time to do the thing that you want to do. In my case, in 2013 I plan to set aside 15 minutes a day to write. It seems a small amount of time but it is realistic given all I have going on in my life. It is achievable and not a goal that will be easy to fall away from. I am publicly stating that this is my goal which ties into accountability, an important factor in success. Finally, the writing and blogging builds platform for my future that is not tied to my present.

In February I am attending a workshop conference to learn more about writing and blogging. Michael Hyatt’s posts and podcasts have been guideposts and direction for me and this website. At the conference Michael will be joined by Ken Davis, Pat Flynn, Jeff Goins, John Saddington, Carrie Wilkerson, Chris Ravenscraft, Stu McLaren, Michelle Cushatt, and Andrew Buckman. Two months ago I did not know these names. Now I know that these are the top bloggers, podcasters, writers, WordPress experts, and thought leaders in the industry. I could not be more excited to be a part of this learning experience. If you have any interest in blogging consider attending too. The point, though, is that in whatever you have determined as your desired future state you must do the work to achieve the result. You must do the groundwork to prepare to light the fireworks show that you have within you.

Your year can be a spectacular fireworks show, just like one you probably saw on December 31. But you must know that the show came about after work, good old-fashioned hard work. Start today, describe your outcome, and begin the work needed to get the result.

Lara Casey frequently quotes Karen Lamb who wrote one of the most powerful statements around productivity and personal development. A year from now you will wish you had started today. Try it!

I welcome your thoughts on long-term goal setting and the people or stories that inspire you to keep on your course and doing your work towards your goal. Please take the time to share them here.

I live in the Cayman Islands and I'm married to Christina. We have two incredible children, Ryan, attending Northeastern University in Boston, MA, and Taylor, attending Trinity College School, in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada. I own several businesses in Cayman. My list of 'pasts' include past chairman of the Cayman Islands Special Economic Zone Authority, past president of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, and past president of the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce.

Please note: I moderate comments and reserve the right to delete or edit those that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 thoughts on “Will Your Year Be A Fireworks Show?

  1. A picture that hangs outside my office is from Hugh McLeod of Gaping Void, says simply : “Inspire, Be Inspired”, with arrows drawn between those two phrases to create an endless circle.

    You are an inspiration, David.

    Now, to return something to you and your readers, to share something inspired by Seth Godin’s latest book, The Icarus Deception, just released yesterday :

    The legend of Icarus, as we learned it, was all about not flying too close to the sun. The part of that legend that has been lost is that Icarus was also warned not to fly too close to the water, as the lift in his wings would be lost.

    Over the industrial age, we have been conditioned to play it safe, to fly close to the water.

    As Irvine Welsh wrote in Trainspotting (edited for language):

    “Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who you are on Sunday morning.”

    Perhaps Mr Welsh is a little negative, but we are conditioned to play it safe, to put our comfort zone in our safety zone. The thing is, in this connected world we now live in, what was safe is no longer. The safety zone has moved.

    The new truth: It’s better to be sorry than safe.

    Seth Godin’s book shows how we can thrive in an econ­omy that rewards art, not compliance. He explains why true innovators focus on trust, remarkabil­ity, leadership, and stories that spread. And he makes a passionate argument for why you should be treating your work as art.

    Art is not a gene or a specific talent. It’s an atti­tude, available to anyone who has a vision that others don’t, and the guts to do something about it. Steve Jobs was an artist. So were Henry Ford and Martin Luther King Jr.

    To work like an artist means investing in the things that scale: creativity, emotional labor, and grit. The path of the artist isn’t for the faint of heart—but Godin shows why it’s your only chance to stand up, stand out, and make a difference. The time to seize new ground and work without a map is now. So what are you going to do?

    Now just START. You never know.. THIS. MIGHT. WORK.