The most positive way to describe my life in 2011 would probably be ‘interesting’. Along with every high, such as celebrating my first year in business, there have been a number of lows, particularly when it has come to family life. So the coming of a new year is a welcome fresh start, and rather than partying to celebrate midnight, I’m choosing to focus on how I start 2012 tomorrow morning when I wake up.
And rather than setting out a list of resolutions, a term which seems almost invented to accommodate them being broken, I’m thinking about my obsessions for the next year – things which will continue to drive me forwards no matter what happens.
The Business obsession: Building businesses which enable others to gain control of their employment.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to achieve work-wise. Obviously I’ll always be working towards greater financial security, as I suspect you will, too. And within my portfolio career in marketing, writing, teaching and other stuff, there are areas that I feel driven to concentrate on and expand.
But when I imagine success, I’ve realised a key motivation is that I know many, many people who are incredibly talented and skilled, and feel disillusioned with their current employment. So if I’m able to grow my business and can help other people become empowered to choose their own destiny in their professional life, that appeals far more to me than managing people in an office who are just paid to turn up every day.
So the plan for 2012 is to increase the turnover for my career, and get to the stage where I’m able to employ and empower at least a couple of those people on a regular basis by the end of the year, whether that’s in an existing project or something new.
The best way to achieve any plan is to break it down into smaller steps, which include improving what I produce for my own websites and the way I work, continuing to always do the best possible work for clients, and also making more of opportunities elsewhere.
The personal obsession: Building better connections with family, friends and strangers
Despite doing a reasonable job of keeping in touch with my friends and family via social networks, I’ve been a bit rubbish at actually catching up in the real world, and I’m obsessed with changing that in 2012. Not only do I need to keep working on being the best dad I can, I also intend to try to be a better son/grandson and friend to all the people who have supported and helped me over the years. It’s incredibly important that all of us make time for the people we care about, and it always benefits us as much, if not more, than it does the people we’re visiting/helping/supporting.
And by the same token, since being based more at home and outside of London, I’ve been rubbish at catching up with people I know well electronically, but failed to connect with in the real world. There are several people I haven’t seen in ages, and several more that I keep aiming to meet but fail to arrange it. And each one of them is inspirational in some way.
I have a sneaky suspicion that actually getting my social life together offline will also drastically help my creativity and business – I’ve already benefitted immensely from the clients with whom I regularly work in the office as well as virtually, from Digital People in Peterborough meets, and from the chats and conversations I’ve managed to make time for in 2011.
Again, I’m breaking it into smaller steps, by making lists of the people who I want to make time for, and sorting out my calendar in a more organised fashion.
How you can help…
No one achieves all their obsessions completely alone, and I’m going to take this opportunity to ask you for a tiny bit of help. Whether or not we’ve met before or chatted online, if you’d like to meet up for a drink or a chat, let me know. And if I don’t come back straight away with a date or time, then keep reminding me. Because I definitely want to meet up with you (if you’re not going to be in the UK at some point, then Skype works!) And this isn’t about me trying to sell your my services as a prospective client – it’s purely because there’s nothing more interesting to me than finding out about what you’re doing and what your passions are. And the fact you’re reading this means that you’re part of a self-selecting group that are guaranteed to be interesting – after all, you’re reading my blog aren’t you?
The only thing to know to save some confusion are that even if we’re meeting for ‘coffee’, I don’t actually drink the stuff, but mainline caffeine from soft drinks (I do, however, drink beer).
Here’s to a great 2012 for everyone, and I can’t wait to meet up with more of you this year.