It’s the beginning of a new year and the best time to look back on the one behind us. As writing reviews of the past times is generally a good thing, because our memory of lesser moments will fade away, there is only one way to be able to look back and have enough consistent data of the past. If nothing else, we can use it for future benchmarking and see if we are moving in the right direction.
I wrote more blog posts in 2014 than all the previous years combined. Thirty posts came out, averaging 2.5 per month. That is not bad, but still not close to one (good) post a week which is my long term goal, in addition to other writing I’m planning to do.
I’ve had a fairly good year business wise, my business making more than ever before. It was also the first full year I was doing remote only consulting. And it is much better than my previous employment. Stepping out of the box, analysing and solving different problems each week/month is a terrific way of improving yourself and your business down the way. I’ve had two burnouts last year, and decided that I need to slow down a bit, and focus on what is really important. Applying the Pareto principle saved my sanity. I stopped working on a few projects, and I’m happier about the time that I now can spend with my family. Also, I have attended my first CodeRetreat, and learned a lot, not only about programming and TDD, but about myself, and how to handle working under tight constraints.
Remote work, and the ability to plan my own day has been a blessing, especially because of the fact that I have a two year old son, and spending more time with him than I normally would if I had a normal job, is in itself a blessing. Also, we have been able to spend more than a month at the coast last summer, working from there was a great experience and a proof that this way of life indeed is better (for me).
I’ve rediscovered my Kindle somewhere around the summer and started reading again. Reading about a book each week, sometimes less, sometimes more. Most of those were business books, but also some of them are design and UX books, recommended by a friend. Design has always been a dark magic art to me, but lately I’m finding out that is isn’t really magic, but constrained by lots of rules and boundaries. And human psychology, which is also of an interest to me. Also, I’ve been reading some biographies, philosophy, almost anything that felt OK when I was reading the book summaries.
Plans for 2015
I have many plans in my head, but everything is a bit foggy and probably unattainable in a year. So, here are some business plans, some personal development, some simple wishes I aim to accomplish in 2015.
- Creating some small products, I haven’t figured out what they will be, probably a booklet/book, or a small course. I’ve always been wanting to create a SAAS(software as a service) product, and have some passive monthly income, who knows, if I put enough elbow grease into it, it might happen. Small sites like the ones that Kurt Elster does are something also worth exploring. Although the money from AdSense isn’t something you should rely upon, I agree that it is a nice way to direct people into your sales funnel.</li>
- Build a site for my consulting business, it has been more than one and a half years, and I don’t even have a landing site for the business I’m working from. That is one of the top priorities for 2015. Even if it is some custom WP theme.</li>
- Learning more about design, and user experience. It is a great interest to me, and although I realize that I can’t be that developer/designer unicorn, I just want to know enough about design, so I don’t feel totally incompetent among designers.</li>
- Speaking to user groups, and maybe even a conference. I will have to free up my schedule for this, but the goal is attainable, and speaking to people about the things you are working on and know about isn’t that hard.</li>
- Reading more. My ballpark plan is to read 54 books in the next year, so basically one per week. And I plan to write reports on the site about them. This could also serve as a nice passive income generator because most books I read are from Amazon, and you can earn a pretty sum of money in the Amazon affiliate program.</li>
- Spend the whole summer at the coast. I always loved the sea, the air there (living 5 kilometers from an old refinery makes you appreciate the smell of fresh air), and the feeling I have always had. I do plan to work, but work less than usual, and have fun with my family at the beach, for as long as we can.</li>