As I write this, 2014 will be officially over in approximately ten hours, give or take. I wish I could say it was hands down an amazing year. It wasn't. That's not easy to admit because the excitement at the beginning of the year was at an all-time high. Unfortunately we hit a couple of major bumps that made this year barely tolerable at times.
Thankfully it wasn't all gloom and doom. I wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on the year and what we learned and share some of those things.
But first things first:
To our clients who have continued to trust and believe in us, and to our friends and peers who push us to be better: it is undoubtedly because of you that we are able to do what we love every day. To say that we are grateful and blessed would be an understatement of the largest magnitude. We simply cannot thank you enough.
This past year was a serious kick in the gut. We were taught or re-taught some difficult lessons that I have wished didn't happen. But deep down I know they had to happen and that in the end they were good for us.
Some lessons were new ones that come with starting fresh and reaching new market segments and forming new partnerships. Other lessons were more practical and technical in nature. And still others were really harsh reminders of things we knew and deviated from.
I can't help but think about how 2014 could have been such a huge year for us. It tempts me into figuratively crying into my pixels. But that would be the easy way out and doesn't move us forward in any way. Plus, I hate pity parties. There were failures during the year, but we are still here and despite those failures, we had many successes too.
I may write about those specific events in the future, but I think it's much better to focus on the positive results that came from those (sometimes really harsh) lessons. Here's a sampling:
- We now have a stronger sense of who we are and the kind of work we want to do.
- We have a clearer sense of who we want to work with.
- While we've never truly put all our eggs in one revenue stream basket, we have one or two projects in the works that will add to this.
- Our processes have become much more defined and documented which has already allowed us to produce better work than ever before.
- We love and embrace Dribbble.
- We've created new relationships and strengthened other ones with clients and colleagues alike.
Goals are difficult for me. I get them and I've set them - even reached a few. But for the most part they are a bit nebulous. For 2015 I have some concrete goals that I hope we're able to not only hit, but exceed by laying out steps and milestones for them. Here are three examples of those goals:
- Increase revenue by 25%.
- Continue to organize, sponsor, promote, and attend events that are relevant and foster real growth and learning in the design and development industry.
- Produce the best work possible and show it off.
Bring on 2015
We are ready!
Note and disclosure: This article is inspired by Focus Lab and their annual recaps. They are a company we greatly respect and admire and our intent is not to copy, but to borrow and make our own.