Looking back on 2016…

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

There’s still a month left in 2016, but I’m taking the time today to wrap things up here for the year. (More on that tomorrow.)

This year was interesting and more successful than unsuccessful.

I flew around the globe again, sharing and training the important message of sharing our authentic stories. 90,000 airline miles total – most ever for a year for me. (Some days this storytelling blog turned into a travel blog. Sorry, if those stories weren’t your thing, but stories from the road are often interesting and worth sharing, in my opinion.)
This blog also had its best year ever. 140,000 plus visitors from many different countries. 62 percent still from the United States but that share seems to be decreasing – not because there are fewer U.S.-based readers (that’s increasing too), but because there are more from other countries. Here are the top 10 countries:
1. United States

2. United Kingdom

3. Canada

4. India

5. Australia

6. Germany

7. Netherlands

8. Philippines

9. Malaysia

10. Indonesia



I’ve visited five of those and hope to visit the others (UK, Australia, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia) in 2017 or 2018.


Let me know here if you like to book me for an event.


Growing a global audience can be interesting, of course. It makes me think: How do we share stories differently for people in different countries? There might be cultural differences, but for the most part I’m sharing the same message for all. My target community is executive leaders, marketing people and journalists  and they often have similar traits – no matter the country. Of course, when I’m speaking in those countries I do adjust some of the stories and some of the takeaways for that specific culture.

It’s already possible to serve personalized content by geography. So the reader in Indonesia would get a different piece of content than the reader in the U.K. Technically possible, but actually necessary? Probably not. But it’s interesting to think about how technology has advanced and will likely advance even more.

As is often the case, I wrote this blog post on an airplane from Düsseldorf to Barcelona and set it to publish sitting on my hotel’s balcony in Barcelona. Twenty or even 10 years ago I would have never believed that I would be doing most of my writing today on my phone with my thumbs or through voice dictation. I’m thankful for useful advances in technology. 

Other – and more important – things I’m thankful for in 2016:

– That my girls are healthy, smart and stand up for themselves. While that can be a pain to me as a parent, I strongly believe that will help them be successful.

– Hope (Related: Hope might not be a strategy, but it’s a motivator)

– Opportunity

– Continued professional advancement: I got promoted, added new responsibilities to the plate and built a new team.

– That people are continuing to buy my authentic storytelling book. It has sold in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. I’m currently negotiating a deal to sell a bunch in South America.

– My second book – on customer service – is due out in February.

– Lifelong learning

Overall, 2016 was more successful and positive than not. Of course, it’s always important to keep some hunger and awareness of what may or may not work out.

Here’s to the hope that your 2016 was more on the positive side than the negative one. Happy Holidays and a Happy 2017.