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Straight to the tops !

Random list of the top things that made our year of 2016

· Entrepreneurship,Organizational Skill

This year was intense and a lot of what have happened would not have been possible without the support of most of you! So, first of all, I thank you for this...

Since I always have been about sharing, I thought that I would wrap up my tops of the year, randomly. I decided to talk about the things that made my year and what made me genuinely better than I was when starting 2016.

In this article, I will be sharing about the books I liked, Podcasts that taught be a lot, as well as countries I have visited, projects I am following and a few more ...

So, feel free to share your own tops in the comment section below.

3 concepts I learned, understood and embraced

  1. Accountability. I discovered this, this year. When every single task of your business are taken care off by someone you trust. I discovered that by surrounding myself with people who consider their work as their "business". If they don't deliver, they'll lose their job. No more people put on life-support with salaries. It's not a charity, it's a business. I still help a lot of people, but it cannot be work related anymore. People need to understand that there are no places to hide. Show up and do the work, that's how you'll gain something from it.
  2. Unlearning. In order to create the new, advanced, and balanced work environment that I based everything I do on, I had to first unlearn so much. Corporate experience will teach you a lot but put you in a frame that works in this kind of environment. When you work on your own, things change a lot (read my post about it here)
  3. 80/20 Principle. That principle works mainly when you know when you have a clear idea of what should be done or not. Once you know, you are capable of taking decisions faster and will be able to understand where you should focus more. (You can grab a video about my last workshop here).

3 books I really needed to read, and you should read too

I always had a hard time to read books. I don't like to be caring a book around... but I discovered Audible.com. Now I don't read my books anymore, I listen to them. It's not for everyone, I get it, and not everything is available in an audio version yet. If the book does not exist, I will get a digital version anyway.

  1. The Inevitable by Kevin KELLY amazing book about the 12 technologic trends that will shape our (very near) future: Sharing Economy, AI, Screening, VR,... so many topics that are already in the center of our lives.
  2. Never Split the Difference by Chris VOSS, written by a Negotiation Master who became the FBI’s lead international kidnapping negotiator. Several of the tips and experience shared could be applied in your personal and professional life and it makes you think twice about how you could get the most of any situations.
  3. The subtle art of not giving a f*ck by Marc MANSON, I recently finished this book and I really enjoyed the short, straightforward, read. In order to get the most from this book you will have to right away use your own situations, or from people you know in order to see how some worry way too much.

Bonus: The 4-hours workweek by Timothy FERRIS, I have read this book for the 3rd time this year and I keep on understanding things from it. I believe that there were concepts that I could not have understood 10 years ago when the book came out after my first read. A lot of the way I have built NextStep follows Tim Ferris' tips.

(Those are affiliate links)

2 Podcasts you should be listening during your commutes

I love podcasts. It's a great way to learn a lot while doing something else. This is how I like to get my day started by listening to one of the interviews below that will definitely influence my day by bringing new ideas or new visions... Here are the business podcasts I would definitely recommend.

  1. Mixergy by Andrew Warner. Andrew is probably one of the best interviewers I've heard. He is capable of deconstructing and going deep into a topic and bringing up what the audience would really like to learn about. The topics are mainly around entrepreneurship in the Tech business but not only. The angle of the interviews is not tech related (I am personally not tech) but really about "How did you get your very first client? What was the email you sent? Why did it failed and how much you lost and got screwed over ?"... I would recommend Brian Goulet's interview #1,342, Jose del Bario's interview #1,329,...) 
  2. James Altucher’s Show by James Altucher is about pretty much everything, writers, entrepreneurs, athletes, ... and James himself is a character (he sold everything he owns but 8 items and has been living in Airb'n'b location for the past years. He had been able to get some amazing people on his show and manage to get them very comfortable. I would recommend especially the following episodes  with Chip Conley's interview ep 191, and Daymond John ep 151

Bonus: Le Nomade Show (in French) by Adrien and Hugo that just started a few months ago. This is really about remote work and people who have decided to work anywhere around the world for themselves or for other companies (Buffer, Strategyzer,...).

2 Countries that I absolutely loved visiting in 2016

2016 was a year full of travels and we spent our time in 9 different countries overall (including China). Every time, the experience has been the same: Could we work from anywhere? and What can we learn from all these places?

  1. Norway was such a surprise, and I have to say that it was very exotic to me! Far from the jungle, the white sand and the blue lagoons from South East Asia, but what a blast. Incredible infrastructures, underpopulated countries, friendly people with a strong history and culture definitely gravitating around the wild and nature in general. (More on this trip soon here)
  2. Mexico, Guadalajara. My wife being Mexican from GDL, I had the chance to go there on a regular basis and I am very surprised to see that things have turned around pretty well. I can see that new buildings are coming out of the grounds with malls, restaurants,... which is to me a great sign.

3 Expressions I used a lot this year

During the workshops I hold, I try to mark people's mind with some basic and repetitive facts. This year was really about those 3 concepts:

  1. "Better done than perfect". So many people I have worked with are always looking for excuses to not get started... Just do it and we will see later.
  2. "Sell it before you make it". You don't need the last upgraded machines, a full customized website or a brand new office to get your client... You can work with your first client and build what you need.
  3. "Dare to be remarkable". You can have the best services or products, if nobody knows about it, you will never sell any. When you are an entrepreneur, I believe that you need to be the voice and be out there because what you need to sell first is your energy, your story and of course your vision.

2 Projects that I am following closely (in Shanghai)

Thanks to the workshops, I have the chance to meet with some amazing entrepreneurs, and I try to stay ahead of the curve by following interesting projects that I find online.

  1. CAREERXFACTOR is an online platform offering very new marketing solutions for Talent Acquisitions in China. Created first by Jill TANG, to help Chinese returnees in fitting in again, CXF was then joined by Ana RAMOS and Michelle LI over the summer of 2016. CAREERXFACTOR is now undergoing a drastic pivot that will definitely bring something new to how HR management, recruitments and talent acquisitions are done in China. Stay tuned!
  2. La Maison Traiteur, from the team behind La Maison GourmandePierre WEYLAND, Philippe MORISSON and Marc MICALLEF, will soon be opening their WeChat shop. La Maison Traiteur will now be mainly offering chemical free and non-processed food made in their Gubei based (Shanghai) kitchen/shop to be delivered to Shanghai and beyond

Bonus: Le Milu was initially a guidebook in French to help People who decided to move to China and Shanghai especially. In 2016, after launching a new paper version of the guidebook, Le Milu, decided to complete its reach with a more in-depth approach through weekly posts on its WeChat account and its website (new version coming soon).

**Note that I am also a shareholder in Le Milu.

3 Services we offer that have been keeping us busy, and yet, you've might not have heard of:

Even though the NextStep Workshops are what seems to be the most visible, it's only the tip of the iceberg. If you are interested in any of those services, please contact us a greg@nextstep-services.com

  1. Content Marketing solutions to help small entrepreneurs with their online presence by creating articles and posts in different languages to be published on different social media platforms such as WeChat, Weibo, FB, Twitter, Instagram,…
  2. Consulting to support entrepreneurs on getting started in China with operational help. Thanks to my 10 years experience in bringing businesses to China, my team and I have been recently more busy with this kind of projects.
  3. Coaching and Training around entrepreneurship for individual and corporate teams. Helping them on staying focus and mentor them on reaching the next milestone. Or training a team about doing business in China, pitching projects,...

6 Things I want to improve, do, or learn in 2017

Enough with the past.

Let's plan out what should be done next year.

  1. My emailing system needs to be Improved and I will be requiring the help of a professional outsourcing solution, we are always receiving great feedbacks from our NextStep Newsletter but we know that many of you are not receiving it and I decided to invest in order to fix that.
  2. Process my reporting and invoicing by using tools like Zoho or Freshbooks or…. (if you have suggestions, please reach out). I want to spend less time doing this, however, it’s is also what needs to be kept under control and processed regularly without any risk.
  3. Visit Turkey, since it has been on my list for several years already, I never managed to actually squeeze Turkey in my trips. The first semester is already pretty full with trips in 4 different continents… but Turkey is so much in the center of so many things important happening that I have to go see it.
  4. Blogging more. I know we are a few of having this on our lists for years… I need to get to it, period and I recently read Gary Vaynerchuk's post on Medium that just might have given me the right kick. "If you want people to start listening to you, you have to show up. [...] Document. Don't create."
  5. Grow my team of freelancers and associates to enlarge the solutions we are offering with our Content Marketing Services, but also being able to absorb every new ideas and business that will be coming our way in the coming months.
  6. The NextStep Website will become a platform and will be remodeled in order to bring up the amazing content that has been produced over the year (~100 posts ! ~40 workshops !).

Now, let's do it!

Article written by Greg Prudhommeaux, serial-entrepreneur and NextStep Co-founder.

Greg can easily be reached on greg@nextstep-workshops.com

What are your tops?

What do you want to learn this year? What do you want to improve next?

Share with us your tops and what you've accomplished and we could feature you in an upcoming interview. Contact us at info@nextstep-workshops.com if interested or just drop a comment below!

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