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The New Year is Our Blank Canvas!
12/29/2017 John Grubbs
Happy New Year 2018

Call me old fashioned but I love the passing from one year to the next.  It is an opportunity to reflect on the past year of accomplishments and failures; a time to appreciate the blessings of life and the pain of loss.  Are we satisfied with 2017? What regrets are we lugging into 2018?

The New Year is our blank canvas.  We can paint our 2018 picture through the choices we make and the decisions (both made and unmade) that will come our way.  We can attack 2018 with a purpose or we can let others paint for us.  We have a choice.

We only get so many new years and only one 2018.  I encourage you to make it the year of opportunity.  Make the decision to write a song, go back to school, publish your book, take that trip, or make that necessary move that you are so afraid to make.  Do something different that challenges and pushes your limits.  Break out of your comfort zone and live life to the fullest in your discomfort zone. 

Surround yourself with people that tell you what you need to hear rather than what you want to hear.  Be unique, genuine, and different on purpose.  Recommit to your faith, family, friends, and fears.  We will soon get a new year’s beginning but we aren’t guaranteed the end.

Take chances and risks that make it hard to sleep some nights due to the anticipation and excitement of something difficult yet rewarding.  The greatest tragedy in life is regret.  Commit to no regrets at the end of 2018.  Grab the year by the horns and push with all your strength.  Leave it all on the field.  Promise to look back on the year and say well done!  Don’t allow your brain to overthink your heart.

One of the most significant and scary changes I made in 2017 was starting a Peer Group for CEOs and Business Owners in the Tyler/Longview, Texas area.  I had every excuse not to take the leap.  I am too busy in my other business. What if nobody will join?  Can I really make this happen?  I call those "gremlins" in life.  They are the little voices that keep us from saying yes to change and difficult challenges. 

Starting this group has been the most rewarding accomplishment I have ever experienced in business.  I am lucky to be surrounded by caring people that really work to make each other better each month.  They work very hard to make each other more successful and better humans.  We are truly invested in one another and we all have a safe space to challenge and be challenged.  The best word to describe the feeling is magical.  A group of smart, humble, and caring people with no agenda other than helping each other grow.  My 2018 wish for you is to find something similar!

I thought you might enjoy this article from a friend of mine that chairs a similar group in another state.


Recently, I asked Members why they joined our Vistage Chief Executive peer group Advisory Board.  They had plenty to say!

Based on their input, I developed a list of why candidates should not join the Group.  Here’s the list I was quickly able to develop.

  1. I have an incredibly patient group of investors who understand when I tell them our ROI will eventually correct itself. 
  2. I’m confident I’d be the smartest person in the room.
  3. I am not interested in helping others grow.
  4. I have no big opportunities or issues in my life that I cannot handle alone.
  5. I don’t need to be held accountable by anyone.
  6. I’m not interested in growing my business >3X faster than my industry peers.
  7. I’m not experiencing any form of pain.
  8. We don’t have to offer competitive wages because our company’s culture is so completely amazing.
  9. I already have all the skills, knowledge and competencies I need.
  10. I’m comfortable being on an island alone and don’t need any outside perspective.
  11. I like working long hours and enjoy running a business that cannot exist without me.
  12. I don’t want more time with my family or to pursue hobbies.
  13. I’m perfectly healthy as-is and enjoy high levels of stress.
  14. My relationships with people are already amazing because, without failure, I know how to read people and they naturally understand exactly who I am.
  15. I’m not interested in networking with industry peers operating in non-competing geographies.
  16. I have accumulated all the personal wealth I’ll ever need and flawlessly manage it with ease.
  17. There is an unlimited supply of labor and I’m the most attractive employer in town.
  18. We’ve successfully differentiated ourselves in the markets we serve, our competition seems to be retreating and our profits are soaring.
  19. Cheap capital is readily available to fund all our new growth strategies.
  20. We wrote the book on “Best Practices.”


I wish you and your family the best 2018!

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