All in all 2009 was a really good year for me and I feel like I managed to achieve quite a large amount, but I'm certainly not resting on my laurels. I'm going to do a quick review of the goals which I set myself a year ago and then dive right into everything which I want to achieve in 2010. All my goals for this coming year are harder to achieve, and there's also a lot more of them. To avoid this turning into a mammoth post covering all my various goals and benchmarks, I'm going to keep this to just the calendar year and my personal goals. With that in mind, let's proceed!

Reviewing 2009 Goals

[caption id="attachment_917" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Click above if you're interested in seeing a list of which business books I read in 2009."][/caption]

I covered this briefly last month, but now the year is over and it's time to look at what I did and didn't manage to do. Overall I'm pretty happy with the success rate (81%); out of 13 goals there was only 1 that I didn't manage to finish, and 2 that I didn't manage to start - everything else got done!

  1. Sustain myself comfortably between now and May 1st 2009 - Success
  2. Find and successfully acquire some finance for Lyrical Media - Success
  3. Release 8 Wordpress themes - Success, but I didn't release them, watch this space.
  4. Code a Wordpress plugin - Fail
  5. Read 11 web/marketing related books - Success
  6. Get featured on Smashing Magazine - Success
  7. Get featured in a web design publication - Success
  8. Get featured (or mentioned) in a web design podcast - Success
  9. Take at least 1 big holiday (to see my best friends in Australia pls) - Fail
  10. Take at least 1 small holiday (inside Europe) - Success
  11. Develop a web application and have it ready for Beta testing - Fail, it's not ready for Beta
  12. Grow Lyrical Media to take on 1 full-time member of staff - Success
  13. (bonus goal) Quit smoking - Success

Reviewing 2009 as a Whole

It's easy to review goals and achievements, and they give me some sense of achievement - but if you're reading this blog whilst thinking about making the jump into self-employment yourself, then they don't do much in the way of giving you a "big picture" perspective. With that in mind, I could bore you with several thousand words of descriptive commentary... or I could create a simple graph!

I know it's not a particularly aesthetically pleasing thing to look at, but it is functional. I've plotted what I consider to be the four most important parts of self-employed life, along with the three major events of the year that had the most influence on them.

The three major events in question were all significant, but the 'bad client' was probably most significant as they managed to drain my energy, my motivation, and pretty much my entire bank account. From a business perspective this meant I came very close to going under, which is why I now tell anyone who will listen not to take on any client who you have a bad feeling about.

Thankfully I started doing a lot more paid blogging, I got some advertising going on this blog, and I got 2 really awesome (and big) clients towards the end of 2009; Ubisoft, and Virgin Atlantic Airways. This new threefold approach meant that I was able to rapidly increase my income and make up for my losses in the middle of the year.

What About 2010?

Now 2009 is out of the way, let's get onto 2010. I've got some really ambitious (and pretty intensive) goals for this year, and I'm totally committed to fulfilling all of them.

[caption id="attachment_923" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The first of the 365 photos which I'll be taking this year."][/caption]

  1. Speak at 3 public events
  2. Go to 12 concerts/gigs
  3. Exercise 3 times a week
  4. Project 365 - Take one photo every day
  5. Write 1 paid guest blog post per week
  6. Write 1 blog post for lyrical media per week
  7. Write 1 blog post for john.onolan.org per week
  8. Be more positive - complain/argue less
  9. Write and release my first book
  10. Get 1 million page views in a single month on Lyrical Media [caption id="attachment_929" align="alignright" width="300" caption="This would work for my bonus goal of driving a supercar."][/caption]
  11. Get 5 full-page press features
  12. Write 5 full-spread magazine articles
  13. Sell 2,500 xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx*
  14. Pay myself £xx,xxx** for the year
  15. (bonus goal) Drive a supercar

*I can't tell you what I want to sell 2,500 of yet, but it's my biggest project for 2010 :)

**This is a salary equivalent to a 30% raise from what I was making in full-time employment before going freelance

That's the list! I've already started on several of them, in fact this very post is itself contributing to goal number 7! Now the hard part is going to be keeping it up and not slacking off!

What About You?

I'd love to hear about what you're up to in 2010 - if you've got any exciting upcoming projects that you're able to talk about (or even if you haven't) then please drop me a line in the comments below!