2008 was such an amazing year, I really didn’t think 2009 could be much better. Boy, was I wrong! 2009 was the most exciting, rewarding year of my life so far, and that makes me so much more excited about 2010.

As you might remember from my post last year, I don’t really make New Years resolutions. I am constantly reviewing my goals… I do it weekly, monthly, quarterly and yes, annually. A year is a good time frame by which to set larger goals, though, so I do like to take a little time every year to review my progress and look at what’s in store for the next year.

Looking Back

Looking back on 2009, here are a few of the highlights…

I Wrote a Book

I coauthored “Online Marketing Inside Out” with Shayne Tilley. What a great way to start the year… on January 14, Shayne Tilley (marketing manager at SitePoint) contacted me about the possibility of me coauthoring a book with him (then tentatively titled “The Art & Science of Online Marketing”).

It came as a complete shock but was a great start to the year. Of course, I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into. I never could have imagined I’d have to have all my first drafts in by the end of February! After a few gruelling months of edits and impatiently waiting, Online Marketing Inside Out hit the shelves at the end of May.

I Really Started Speaking

After the book launched, I started looking for opportunities to speak about online marketing, both to help promote the book and because professional speaking has been a long-time goal of mine. With the help of some friends and colleagues, I was able to quickly find several opportunities and kick-started my professional speaking career.

My speaking engagements included a book signing at Blogworld Expo in Las Vegas, several American Advertising Federation chapters, a few trade organizations, and a private college. All in all, I traveled 12,000 miles from June to November (I took December to myself to wrap up projects and spend time with my family and catch up on some projects I’d been neglecting).

Although I do have experience speaking at conferences, it’s been almost 10 years since I’ve spoken to more than 10 people. It took a few times to get back in the swing of things, but once I got used to it I really started to enjoy it.

I’ve already lined up several speaking engagements for 2010 and am still looking for conferences and industry associations looking for online marketing speakers (check out my speaking page for more information).

3 Years at Kelsey

November 13 marked my 3-year anniversary at Kelsey Advertising and Design. When I sold my consulting company to Brant Kelsey in 2006, I never thought I would stay on board for over 3 years.

I’m kind of a rebel… I don’t really fit into the corporate culture. I’ve worked for a few small businesses (less than 25 employees) and it’s easier, but I’m still not comfortable taking orders or conforming.

I’m definitely more of an entrepreneur at heart (obvious by all my other endeavors I guess). Fortunately, the work at Kelsey is extremely exciting and I’m free to do things however I see fit, as long as the job gets done. It’s been extremely rewarding so far and I’m looking forward to many more anniversaries.

I Became Editor of the SitePoint Tribune Newsletter

After five years as editor of the SitePoint Tribune, Brendon Sinclair stepped down. His coauthor, Miles Burke, continued to write issues every other week and SitePoint asked several people to be guest authors to fill in until a permanent replacement could be found.

I wrote a guest issue for October 22, 2009. I enjoyed it so much, I dropped a few hints that if they ever needed someone for a more permanent commitment, I’d be extremely interested. I was extremely excited when SitePoint asked me to be an editor of the SitePoint Tribune and penn issues alternating with Miles.

My first official issue was published on November 23, 2009.

I’m Speaking at SxSW

I found out that I would be doing an official book reading and book signing at South by Southwest in March 2010 in November 2009, but couldn’t announce anything until December 2. I’ve been to SxSW twice now, and it’s been a goal of mine to speak there since I first discovered the conference.

2BigFeet Had Another Record-Breaking Year

In 2007, Tracy (my wife) and I took over sole ownership of 2BigFeet, our e-commerce retailer of big shoes. 2007 was a rebuilding year… we replenished depleted inventory, cut unnecessary expenses and paid off debt. In 2008 we kicked into high gear and more than doubled 2007 sales.

I didn’t think we’d be able to come close to repeating that, but from early estimates (we haven’t really taken a good look at the books yet) it seems we’ve still had a 25% increase over 2008… amazing in this economic climate. We had an amazing holiday season, and are still going strong the first week in January.

Looking Forward

2010 is sure to be an amazing year. Unlike hoards of A-list bloggers, I’m not writing a “predictions” post. I think they’re a crapshoot at best, anyway. As selfish as it sounds, I’m more concerned about what I’m going to do in 2010 than what everyone else is working on.

So what do I have in store for next year?

More Speaking

I’m really interested in more speaking opportunities. I have several speaking engagements lined up already (like a book reading/presentation at SxSW in March) but am looking for more. If you know of any conferences that have a call for online marketing speakers, let me know!

Podcasting Time

I’m starting a podcast about e-commerce and online marketing. I’ve already acquired all the equipment I need… microphone, software, video camera, etc. I’m lining up a few interviews for the first episode and testing out my editing skills (anyone offering video editing services?).

Hopefully by the end of January I’ll have the first episode ready to publish.

My Next Book

By the end of 2010 I’d like to be pitching my next book. I already know what it’s going to be about (mostly business, not just online marketing). I don’t think it’s feasible to have a contract by the end of the year, but it’s not impossible either.

I’m going to be hitting up all my friends who are published and will be asking for tons of advice, introductions to agents, etc. It’ll be a fun and interesting process pitching a book idea, since I was approached for my first book.

I really think the idea is unique… something that hasn’t been done before and yet something that people need to know. I’m excited about both pitching the idea and writing the book.

Unknown Projects

Well, if I gave away all my ideas for 2010, where would that leave me? I need to keep a few aces in the hole so I can have a few surprises for next years post.

Seriously, I have a few ideas that I’m working on that aren’t even close to the point of realization (doesn’t everybody?). They’re exciting, somewhat risky and a little different (at least to me). I’m sure some will be hits, and some will completely flops… only time will tell.

All in all, I couldn’t be more excited about 2010. It’s sure to be my most exciting year yet. I’m most excited about the opportunities that haven’t even presented themselves yet. Looking back at last year, so many things that were the highlights of my year weren’t in my “roadmap” or predictions. They were a complete surprise.

You have to keep your eyes open for opportunities and seize them when they present themselves… After all, we make our own luck.

Have a great 2010!