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The last time I wrote a yearly recap was in 2016. Three years ago. I can’t really remember why I skipped out on recaps for 2017 and 2018. I have a feeling it’s because those two years and much of 2019 were marked by massive change and periods of growth. That’s interesting though, because apparently 2016 was like that as well according to the aforementioned blog post. So if that’s true, and I know it is, the past fouryears have been rough or at least had their very rough moments. Sounds about right, if I’m being honest with myself.
But, it’s not all doom and gloom!
2019 has been a renaissance of sorts for me, both personally and professionally.
I don’t really like to air much of my personal life, so I will simply say that there was a lot of healing that was done due to some um, “things” I never fully dealt with. That lead to growth that has impacted every facet of my life… in a good way.
From a professional perspective, I became much more focused on my work than ever before. And that has brought an immense amount of clarity on how I want to run my business and how I want it to serve me (not the other way around).
So the lessons I learned were numerous. But here are the ones that stand out the most:
- My business should serve how I want to live my life.
- Clients who truly appreciate you and the work you do are worth their weight in gold.
- Actionable goals make all the difference.
- Learning on a consistent and/or regular basis is critical to personal and professional growth (but I don’t mean the kind of growth for growth’s sake Silicon Valley likes to drone on about).
- Simplicity is the key to just about everything.
- Overhead = death.
- Not reaching a goal does not equal failure.
As I wrote back in 2014, goals are difficult for me. I don’t think I was ever properly taught how to track and achieve them. Setting them is easy. But one thing I’ve learned that is clearly true: goals without actionable steps and tracking are just dreams.
One of the awesome things about my 2019 was that goals became a lot easier. With some research, habit tracking, and good old fashioned stubbornness, I set concrete goals. Although I hit many of them, I also ditched a few, and missed the mark on some. And that in and of itself was a mind shift – realizing that goals are yours and yours alone. You can do whatever you want with them, including deciding that a goal isn’t worth pursuing after all. And not achieving a goal? That’s okay too – it just means you either set the bar too high or just need to readjust.
Here are some of the goals that I set and achieved for myself in 2019:
- Read 11 books out of the 10 I had set for the year.
- Went to Peers Conference. I wrote about it here.
- Revamped and streamlined some of the services I provide for clients.
- Redesigned block81.com. Twice. I only intended to redesign it once, but I ended up hating the first redesign after only a few months. Thus the new one you see now.
- Redesign blockwire.co, the hosting side of Block 81.
- Applied for and got accepted into the Craft Partner network.
In case you’re curious, here are the books I read in 2019:
- Refactoring UI
- Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong
- Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business
- The Outsider
- Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World
- The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts
- The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
- Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day
- Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business
2019 was the first year that I felt truly 100% comfortable in having a “company of one”. Admittedly, a big part of that is because I read Paul Jarvis’ book, Company of One. He helped clarify what that really meant in general terms, which I was then able to take and mold into my own terms. It may sound silly, but that has been very liberating and it makes 2020 all the more exciting!
I’m aiming to take all that focus and keep it going. And I have lots of new goals to set throughout the year. I’ve never been more excited, which is awesome because not only will it be a new year, we’re headed into a whole new decade!
Here’s a big thank you to my partner, my friends, my chosen family, and my clients. The reasons are numerous, but the gratitude is genuine.
BRING ON 2020!! 🎆