How to Predict the Future

John Alexander Ball
6 min readJan 7, 2023

We’ve always been fascinated with the future but our predictions are often wrong. Here is one way to make some solid predictions for 2023.

Forget crystal balls, tarot cards and astrology, they’ve never been reliable methods of divining the future or anything else for that matter. We often encounter points of the year that tend to encourage reflection and thinking ahead and the new year is one we commonly share.

Did you achieve all you hoped you would in 2022? What were your high points? What were your low points? What would you do differently if you could replay the previous year?

The lessons we take away from the past are our teachers for the future.

One of my high points from last year was getting a job with a podcast growth training company. It was unexpected, even though I had applied for it, I didn’t honestly think I would ever get it. I was up for a coaching role at the same time and thought it more likely to get that, based on my years of coaching experience, than a sales position that I had much less experience in.

I’m very glad things worked out the way they did and am excited for the year ahead. The experience has taught me to bend with the breeze of life more and to embrace new opportunities, even in mid-life.

A low point of last year for me was the unexpected passing of my father-in-law. It was painful for all the family and particularly for my husband who had been building a closer relationship with his papa over recent years. This experience reminded us both that tomorrow is never guaranteed and we must appreciate our lives and treasure the people around us in the time we are here.

Both lessons I will keep in my heart throughout this year.

I am not much of a new year’s resolutions kind of guy but I do like to take the opportunity to reassess my journey and where I would like to go in the year ahead. I have a mix of personal goals and professional ones and I had a think about what I needed to do and who I need to become in order to achieve them.

Two things became very apparent to me over the holiday break:

  1. I spend too much time scrolling through Twitter (my social media drug of choice) and
  2. I stay awake too late most nights to allow myself the opportunity to feel completely rested and start my day in a more active and productive way. These are 2 of my priority objectives for 2023.

Working on these helps me to predict the future since success in them will lead to improved outcomes. Here’s what I’ve already done to help curb my Twitter addiction: I went into my digital wellness settings on my mobile (the device I use most for scrolling) and I created a focus time period where all my social media apps are unavailable. I can still use them on my iPad and laptop but I know I am not inclined to spend much time on them with those devices.

Seeing that my daily Twitter usage had gone up massively over the holidays, I set a time restriction for how much I can use it. I know I can override these if I really want to but having these little boundaries in place means I am less likely to. This may also have a beneficial effect on my second objective.

Getting to bed earlier has always been one of my greatest challenges and this year I have decided I am not just doing this for myself, I am doing this for others too. I am part way through creating a product I came up with last year and am determined to finish it, record it and make it available to buy. This is going to require some time.

I also am aiming to stay on top of my podcast production this year and so starting my day with energy, feeling rested and with time available is going to be critical to achieving my outcomes but when I do it those outcomes become more inevitable.

If you want to predict the future, set yourself up for success by looking at your biggest obstacles to achieving it. When there is no barrier to your success, it becomes more of an inevitability. Focus on the process and the changes you believe will need to be made.

We don’t build muscle by only doing 10 press-ups, we build muscle by doing them most days and building on that foundation. It’s process and consistency that allows us to achieve outcomes with a degree of predictability.

I have a small(ish) bunch of podcasts I consistently listen to and keep in rotation. On my current list is The Email Marketing Show with Rob & Kennedy. I was listening to their latest episode about predicting email marketing trends for 2023 and was especially interested in how marketing on social media platforms is only going to keep getting more expensive but the virtual real estate, in terms of people on platforms like Facebook, is decreasing with people switching to newer platforms or moving off social media altogether.

Their prediction is that there will be a resurgence in the ability to directly communicate with your potential customers and clients and therefore a return to email marketing. This ties in very well with my own beliefs about being able to directly communicate with perfect future clients through podcasts.

Change is one of the few certainties. Nothing stays the same, especially in digital marketing. I’ve been saying for a few years now that we are in the age of relationship marketing and although I do believe email marketing is a key part of this, I also think blogs, vlogs, video media and podcasts are going to be key for creating growth and influence.

One of the most powerful tools in relationship marketing is the ability to connect with people and also create connections in their minds. This is exactly what my incredible guest and friend Simon Lancaster has done with his latest book Connect: How to Inspire, Influence and Energise Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime

Simon was kind enough to include my Podfluence podcast in his book launch last year and we did a live online event on the book’s launch day. You can hear the whole episode here and if you enjoy that, you may even want to go back and listen to my first interview with Simon from a few years back. (Sorry for the obvious mistakes in the links, still trying to get this issue fixed with my hosting service but they will still work.)

The new product I mentioned is going to be all about how business coaches, professional speakers, course creators and business authors can build authority, become known as an industry thought leader and develop star profile charisma through podcasts.

At a recent entrepreneurial workshop, it became clear to me that there is not only a demand for this information but a deep need for it too and given the way marketing seems to be going these days, it’s needed sooner than later.

I’ll soft launch/beta test it with people who follow this newsletter first, so if you’re interested in being a part of the beta launch, let me know at and title your email ‘Beta Test Group’ and make sure you stay subscribed for updates.

See you next week.

Originally published at



John Alexander Ball

Host of the Podfluence podcast. Professional speaker & ethical influence coach. The James Corden of podcasting, a chubby British guy who thinks he’s funny.