It's been a while since I've done one of these (again), but I'm going to try out a new post-schedule for this blog so I can deliver content to you a bit more regularly. Quite a lot has happened over the last few months, thankfully the overwhelming majority of it has been positive - and the business is currently the strongest it's ever been.
The BusinessOnce again, here are the headlines of what I've been up to since the last review post. Some of it you may already know from recent posts, some of it you may not.
- Completed about 8 client projects
- Won about 5 more clients
- Won 1 very big new client (under wraps for now)
- Smashed all my traffic records for this blog with this post (15,000+ visits in 3 days)
- Launched the new design for this site, with some great advertising space!
- Ordered new business cards from Moo
- Did a big FreeAgent review + competition on this blog
- Started writing a book about my first year of business
- Set up a Facebook Page to connect with more people
- Released my Moo'd Cards source files as an opensource project
- Replaced my RSS reader with a twitter account
- Picked up some new business books from Amazon (I'll review the good ones later)
In DetailI've been on the up and up since my last review here, which is a good thing because it got pretty hairy back there for a while! I can tell you now that the business came very close to going under a few months back when I had one particularly bad client who decided to screw me around for 2 months and then never pay me. It was a close call, but I'm very pleased to say that I've worked with nothing but really awesome clients since then.
The most interesting thing I've noticed in the last few months is a real pattern of motivation-swings. Just like mood-swings they come and go, sometimes I'll be insanely motivated and work non-stop, other times I just can't stop procrastinating. I can only imagine that this is normal after the start-up honeymoon period is over, but I'm keeping a close eye on it nonetheless.
In other news I'm still in the process of switching accountants, though it looks like all my financial data went missing en-route to my new accounting company during the postal strikes. Not good. Should've known better and dropped it off myself. I don't think there's anything in there that would be particularly valuable to anyone, but you never know!
(Firefox just crashed for the 6th time today and lost more than half this post, so I'm officially switching to Safari as my primary browser now - I'm sick of all the instability and the massive memory leak. If anyone from Mozilla happens to be reading this: You're losing supporters fast, fix it.)
Reviewing Goals from AugustThis is traditionally the part of the post where I review the last list of goals which I set myself... so that's exactly what I'll do!
- Take home a salary equivalent to what I was making at my job before I went freelance. This is my number 1 most important goal for the month. - Success, I'm just about there now!
- Launch this blog with the new design – MUST do this month. - Success, you're looking at it.
- Write two (high quality) guest posts for other blogs - Success
- Finally get around to reading and reviewing “How To Be a Rockstar Freelancer” - Fail :(
Reviewing Goals for 2009As the year comes to a close I think it's also appropriate to also review my goals for the whole year and see how I'm getting on from that perspective.
- Sustain myself comfortably between now and May 1st - Success
- Find and successfully acquire some finance for Lyrical Media - Success
- Release 8 Wordpress themes - Can't talk about it, but watch this space ;)
- Code a Wordpress plugin - Fail (so far)
- Read 11 web/marketing related books - Fail (so far, I think I'm up to about 8)
- Get featured on Smashing Magazine - Success
- Get featured in a web design publication - Success
- Get featured (or mentioned) in a web design podcast - Success
- Take at least 1 big holiday (to see my best friends in Australia pls) - Fail, but they are coming here instead!
- Take at least 1 small holiday (inside Europe) - Success, weekend in Dublin
- Develop a web application and have it ready for Beta testing - Fail, it's not ready for Beta
- Grow Lyrical Media to take on 1 full-time member of staff - Success
- (bonus goal) Quit smoking - Success, for about 2 weeks now
Goals for The Rest of 2009This is a fairly big occasion - my final goals list for 2009!
- Code a Wordpress plugin
- Read the last few web/marketing books for my 2009 goals
- Get my side-project ready for launch
- Dream up and release another cool Moo MiniCards project
- Write at least half of my book (this is going to be a tough one)
- Now I've stopped smoking - start doing some regular excercise (more on this another time)
What About You?There's not much left of 2009! I don't know about you, but it seems to have gone incredibly fast for me - I can't quite believe it. You're looking at the words of someone who usually gets bored of a job within 6 months, so the fact that a year has gone by without me noticing is definitely a good thing.
What are you guys doing for the rest of 2009? Is anyone taking the jump into self-employment at the start of 2010? Give me an update in the comments below, or if you need anything please feel free to drop me an email via the contact page any time - if there's any way I can help then I will!
Photo by Yos Wiranata