This is the most transparent post I have ever written. I’ve long been a fan of the year-in-review blog posts, but have always been afraid to write my own, but I’m taking the leap now. This is my honest assessment of my year, mostly relating to social media and business, but there’s some bigger picture stuff in here as well.
Social media reach: 4/5
I was able to grow my influence by several thousand connections including my Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and Pinterest networks. Clever use of hashtags, effective content curation, and perhaps most importantly, writing more often (this was my first year writing for the Adam Smith Blog). I definitely want to see this trend continue.
I’ve not been very good about regularly posting and engaging on social media. Even with all of the resources a guy could need, my own social media presence has taken a back seat to that of my clients (as has my website, more on this below). I’m making a commitment to improve in this area in the next year.
While I’ve been consistently publishing a new blog at least once a week for the entire year, I still have not committed to writing on my own blog. Most of this is due to heavy client load as I build my digital marketing business, but that’s still no excuse. I’m already working on my new website, which is expected to be ready by mid-January.
I had a decent year in this category as I exposed myself to lots of new material that really helped me become a better businessperson. Although, I definitely read a lot for fun this year, which I consider a positive. I can’t quite justify a 5/5 because I fell just short of my 50 books-in-a-year goal, though I came pretty close, considering the year I had (wedding, finding out we were expecting one month later, starting a new business, family tragedies).
My use of this term refers to the frequency with which I apply the 80/20 principle to my life and work and focus on the areas in which I am most gifted. While I don’t claim to be an expert at anything, I’m definitely more confident in my skills in sales and marketing than I am in, say, my programming or operations skills. Knowing that, I’ve outsourced a large chunk of those areas of my business in which I don’t contribute as much as a specialist could.
Finally, I’ll leave off with three areas in which I plan to really improve upon with my goals for 2015.
1) Growing my business
Beyond just increasing sales and retainer clients, I am going to make a concerted effort to explore additional revenue streams and strategic partnerships that will make for a more sustainable enterprise. Also, it will be very important to establish processes that allow for me to take on additional work without burning out. This means documenting recurring tasks and off-loading or automating them when possible.
2) Writing more original content
Like I mentioned above, I’m going to focus on establishing a habit of writing every day so that I’ve got plenty of original content for my business blog as well as this one. I’ve already seen small improvements since implementing a 100 word per day maximum (yes, I said maximum). This keeps me from feeling overwhelmed at the total word count. I’m going to slowly increase that maximum as I get more comfortable.
3) Implementing things I read
I’m a big reader and I don’t see that changing, but I really feel like I could make that activity more worth-while by picking out one thing from every book I read to actually implement into my life. Instead of either reading and forgetting or trying to revamp my entire life after each book, I’m going to read each book like a gold-miner looking for that one nugget of information that will help me move the needle in my life and work.
I’ve really gained a lot of value in writing a yearly review. Even if you decide against publishing your self-evaluation for the whole world to see, I highly recommend writing your own, if only for your private records.