I am familiar with the phrase "closing the books". A term from the business world it addresses the year-end business accounting we all dread. Nobody more than my accountant. Let's just say I can be a bit laissez faire at times. My new mantra for 2016--feed the pig. I heard you chuckle--or was that a snort?
The best practice for this time of year is to look at your debits. Where did the money go? Was it well spent? Any repetitive expenses that can be trimmed in the coming year? I think of this part of the year-in-review as an informed action item for the upcoming year. Here are 3 money saving things I learned this year. If you have media credentials (I do) use them, airbnb can be a great cost cutter, and invest in a decent mic for spur of the moment conversations.
How about the credit column? Where did the value originate? Were there projects or types of work you would like to see more of? What about "dog" projects accepted in haste? I am a sucker right before summer when the sea is beckoning. A crap assignment now becomes currency for a few extra weeks at the beach. Hold your nose and let the muses in...
Fiscal accountability is necessary. I travel a lot. Some of it is reimbursed but some is not. At this stage of my personal (more of that to come) and professional life I am on a ledge. We naturally transition from the glow of large compensation and ego driven choses sans importance to less quantifiable motivators. We stick our flag in our passions and perceptions--no longer afraid to fail or be wrong--just hoping to have the conversations. Look for wider ledges not lower goals.
I could listen to recorded webinars of important meetings on topics of health policy, economics, patient centricity, real world evidence, or preventing over diagnosis but that goes against my curious nature. The "what" can be articulated in absentia but the "why" is a mystery unless you travel to DC for NIH, Brookings Institution Meetings, Health Affairs, TheBMJ, The White House, or National Press Club invitation only discussions, data visualization conferences, and society meetings--to ask the questions.
The personal balance sheet is a work in progress. Two simple blogs inspired by the media, conversations with clients and colleagues, and a deep curiosity have allowed unprecendented access to more than 100,000 unique viewers, a wider audience of readers of my books, or sitting in the audiences of several live presentations, and even twitter followers from over 22 countries.
What an easy fill for a professional gratitude journal--if I could ever get around to writing one. But with the upside, comes the doubt. Even when the voices are few, you wonder why people challenge your successes (no matter how small) and grin at your setbacks (even when they seem gigantic).
You get unfriended, newsletters get unsubscribed, and you may even get fired.
Don't be discouraged. I have dozens of private messages of gratitude from so many of you. I write for you. I write for me. There is no looking back. The year 2015 is a one way street now. The words of 2015 have been written--I can learn from them and move on. Thank you for the journey. And to those that took the time to write, make a donation, buy a book, or just "like" and "share" over the year--deepest thanks and gratitude.
I have a new proverb that I bring into every health analytics meeting. Tattoo it on your arm, it is that good.
If upstream is dirty, downstream will be muddy – Tibetan Proverb
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In a world of "evidence-based" medicine I am a bigger fan of practice-based evidence.
Remember the quote by Upton Sinclair...
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