I’m not really a big New Year’s Resolution guy. I mean, what’s the real difference between last week and this week? All that changed was the calendar.
But in business it’s a little different. When your fiscal year aligns with the calendar year like ours does, it just makes sense to take a step back and evaluate 2009 vs 2008 vs 2007 and then put together a tentative game plan for 2010.
Last year we did a good job of setting realistic goals. We got the new Detailed Image launched. We hired our first employee. We grew a lot in a year when many companies didn’t. We passed the point where we were “ramen profitable” and became very profitable. Essentially everything I had hoped that we would do, we did, plus a lot more good stuff that came from the unexpected.
A few weeks ago we met with our lawyer for our annual meeting. Then earlier this week we had a long team meeting about the past year and the coming year. I couldn’t have been more pleased with how things went.
From a business perspective, I’m really excited for 2010. I think we’ve done a good job of thinking through what our goals are and creating a work environment moving forward that meets everyone’s needs. It really is important to us that everyone involved has work that they are passionate about, a reasonable work load, and the flexibility that they want for their personal lives. Even more so than making a few more bucks. I love that.
Personally though, 2009 wore me out. It went from launching the DI site, to moving into a new apartment, to a whole bunch of trips (bachelor party, vacation, wedding, talk at JMU, etc), to the holiday season. It was a great year, but I think I’d like to slow that stuff down for at least the first half of ’09. I like traveling and keeping a busy social life, but last year was too busy at times. And for me personally, when things get too busy I get stressed out and start to lose out on time at the gym, time to read, time to just relax by myself or with my family/friends/girlfriend. I start looking forward to trips ending more than I look forward to them starting, and that’s not how I want things to be.
It’s interesting how this stuff unfolds. For the first two years after I left my job, it was business 24×7 just trying to survive and not take a job. In 2008 I made a concerted effort to get my personal life back on track a bit. And in 2009 I had to re-focus and get the DI site built so I could do my part in helping us take that next step as a company.
This year should be a little bit of a leveling out. Which I think is natural as a company ages. We’ve got some really really cool stuff to work on. Stuff that excites me and I cannot wait to show the world. My personal life and living situation is the best it’s been since I left my job (maybe ever), so I hope that allows me to just enjoy my work and enjoy my time off. Sometimes I over-extend myself and try to do too much, so this year I’m just going to try to keep it simple.
I’ll probably say “no” a little more than I have in the past. It’s impossible to be everything to everyone. It is possible to do a few things really well though. Overextending myself definitely does not make me happy. What does make me happy is running a profitable business, creating jobs, giving back to our community, developing a lot of great personal relationships, having some time to myself, and hopefully having fun doing it all. That’s what I’m shooting for in 2010.