It’s been a whirlwind of a year, and I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling that way. 2023 has been a test in navigating change, uncertainty, and, for me, balancing work with energetic twins who are growing up way too fast!
One of the reasons I love this time of year is because it is a chance for reflection and inspiration—looking back to see how far we’ve come, and looking forward to where we are going. It’s also a time for family, friends, and celebration—because hey, after everything 2023 threw our way, I think we deserve it!
This winter, I’m enjoying reading, listening, and watching for relaxation and inspiration—and I’m sharing my lists so you can explore whenever you find the time, whether that’s by the light of a cozy fire or simply at your kitchen table with a cup of hot coffee.
Okay, I promise there’s at least one easy read in here (if you can even call it that). I’ve been thinking a lot about strategy as my company moves into its 9th year (woohoo!), as well as how we can best position ourselves to assist our clients in navigating a changing M&A market. Here’s what I’ve read recently:
10x Is Easier Than 2x: How World-Class Entrepreneurs Achieve More by Doing Less by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy: These two authors are consistently a powerhouse duo and their latest book explores the idea that achieving more (10X growth) is actually easier—and less work—than trying to achieve a smaller threshold (2X growth).
Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy propose focusing on what they call “your four most important freedoms—time, money, relationship and purpose.” I finished the book feeling inspired to think differently about Audacia Strategies’ long-term goals and our plans for how to get there. At the end of the day, it’s not necessarily about the outcome—it’s about the mindset that you cultivate, and your ability to focus on quality over quantity.
Talk about a good New Year’s resolution!
PwC’s US Deals 2024 Outlook: M&A activity has been on a rollercoaster ride in 2023—from coming out of the pandemic, to global turbulence and economic uncertainty, many of us have been watching the year unfold at the edge of our seats! PwC’s US Deals 2024 Outlook offers an interesting perspective on this ever-shifting landscape.
Audacia Strategies is all about bold transformation—and I was excited to see that this is exactly what the PwC report calls for: “Business reinvention is an imperative across industries; business-as-usual strategies need the catalyst of transformation…” There may still be economic uncertainty, but we’re ready to help companies who want to take bold, transformational steps.
Word Finds on Instagram: Okay, don’t judge me—but when “The first 4 words you see will be your mantra for 2024” image popped up on my screen, I just couldn’t resist! I love these silly word finds that come up in my Instagram feed (admittedly my guilty pleasure).
So what was my 2024 mantra? POWER, PURPOSE, ALIGNMENT, CREATION
Even if the method of finding this inspiration was slightly ridiculous, I’m loving the energy these words bring me and will be carrying them with me into the new year (I recommend you give it a try!).
I love a good podcast—whether it’s driving to and from client meetings or picking up my kids from school, listening to podcasts is a great way to keep learning even while “on the go.” Here’s what I’ve been listening to:
Acquired Podcast: Okay—so I’m a little obsessed with this podcast! It’s a bit of a third party “How I Built This,” exploring the stories and strategies of great companies, and I started with their episode on Costco (near and dear to my heart for their diapers, meats, and basically everything!).
I recently listened to their episode on Nike, and WOW! What a story. It’s such a good reminder that even companies that seem to have it all figured out have another story to tell—and all of us can benefit from hearing it.
Bonus? Don’t miss their longform interview with Charlie Munger, who recently passed away on November 28, 2023. Charlie, most well-known for being the vice chair of Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffet’s right-hand man, shaped much of the world of investing and business during his 99 years. His words are invaluable.
Indestructible PR Podcast with Molly McPherson: Yep, indestructible was what every company was hoping for in 2023. If you want a crash course in crisis PR or just insight into why the latest Taylor Swift, Kardashian, or Beiber headlines look the way they do, this is your podcast.
McPherson is a pro at managing reputation in a way that is ethical and with a clear eye toward remaining true to your values and long-term viability. Plus, she’s absolutely hilarious. I want to have a drink with her just so I can listen to her “off-the-record” stories!
M&A Science Podcast with Kison Patel: This is my go-to podcast for everything M&A. Kison Patel always has great interviews with topics ranging from why small deals are just as hard as large deals (SO TRUE!), to examining post M&A integration strategies, to M&A Surprises and Horror Stories (my favorites). Laugh, learn, explore—it’s all here.
Cold weather usually means some cozy TV time—here’s what has me hooked:
Deion Sanders on 60 Minutes: I’m not a diehard college football fan (although my husband is—go FSU!), but I did catch Coach Prime on 60 Minutes a few months ago and was intrigued. After his first losing season as a college coach, Coach Prime still continued to offer a masterclass in leadership and effective branding—language, promise, and the power of belief.
In the work that I do, we talk a lot about really understanding your audience and it’s clear that Coach Prime and his team walk that talk. He knows what works: a simple message, real talk, a focus on relationships, and ensuring credibility. These are the values we promote at Audacia, and I’ll definitely be watching Coach Prime moving forward.
Suits: I’ve apparently been on the “Suits” train along with everyone else. It was the top streaming show for most of the summer and fall, and it’s still up there. One of the things I love is that there are SIXTEEN episodes per season! That’s unheard of these days, where we’re lucky to get eight episodes to a season…
Christmas Movies: I’m not even ashamed of this one! I’ve been watching some really bad Christmas movies recently, because I love to love/hate them. There’s something relaxing about settling into a festive movie with a plotline I know and a guaranteed happy ending.
So far I’ve watched: Falling for Christmas (gotta love Lindsay Lohan!) and Best.Christmas.Ever! (definitely not the best Christmas movie, but a cast of stars from the ‘90s/early 2000s is super fun). Next on my list? Genie (I do love Melissa McCarthy!) and The Real Housewives of the North Pole (because it can’t be any more fake than the “real” Real Housewives franchises!).
Live from New York by Eleanor Hawkins: This article is GOLD. While we don’t do PR at Audacia, we certainly work closely with PR folks and think about companies’ reputations on a daily basis. This quote by Cheng Meservey has stuck with me: “an external crisis is inconvenient and an internal crisis is existential.”
Blackstone’s 2023 Holiday Video: Watch this one for a good laugh—it is hilarious!
Here’s to closing out 2023 on a high note and ringing in 2024 ready to bring your big goals to life. Wishing you all things merry and bright from the team at Audacia Strategies!
Image by: Racool Studio on Freepik