I’m not generally fond of resolutions. But for the past several years, with a few exceptions, I’ve spent some time at the first of each year to recap the previous year’s goals and accomplishments (and failures) and look forward to the new year. It’s never been something too strict, I haven’t always stuck to the same format for instance. I never realized how rewarding it would be to look back until this year. After reviewing several past years, going back to 2008’s recap above, it’s amazing to look back and see all that I have accomplished, all that I haven’t, and what I set as my goals each year. If you’re not currently taking the time to recap the previous year and seriously think about the upcoming year, I highly recommend it. It doesn’t have to be published publicly, you can just keep it to yourself if that works better for you.
In my recap of 2013, I was a little hazy on my goals for 2014. I said it was going to be a transition year of sorts, and it was. 2014 was an amazing year, both for the big events and accomplishments and because of the small things.
Good Friends, Good Times
Every year a group of college friends and fraternity brothers get together on a “guy’s trip” that has become something I look forward to every year. This year was no exception… while it’s unfortunate that many of us only see each other once a year, I’m glad we at least get that chance to hang out and reconnect. One guy in our group just recently moved back to Georgia (from NYC) and it’s great to have another old friend close by.
Patrick O’Keefe, one of my very best friends, also visited this year. This was the third year he’s visited us in LaGrange, and it was great to hang out and catch up. I hope he can make it again this year sometime.
Left Kelsey after Eight Years
Leaving Kelsey Advertising & Design was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. I never imagined when I sold my little web development company in 2006 that I’d stay there eight years. In fact, I really thought I’d work there a year or two and move on to something else. We did some amazing work at Kelsey, and I learned a lot there. But everything comes to an end eventually, and I really felt it was time to move on.
Although bittersweet, leaving Kelsey has freed me up to focus my time and energy on growing our business, which seems to have been the right decision.
Huge Milestones for 2BigFeet
While we don’t disclose actual revenue numbers, 2BigFeet hit a huge milestone this year and it’s really exciting. We are also still growing by 30-40% a year, and that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. In fact, I’d really love to see a 50% growth this year after a website redesign and new features like search by size/width and a mobile optimized responsive design.
And this year was the first year I have been able to work full-time at 2BigFeet since we started it 15 years ago. I only worked in the business four months in 2014, so I’m excited to see what we can accomplish with me here for a full year.
I’m also really proud of our team. We’ve struggled to find great employees over the years, something a lot of small business owners can relate to I’m sure. Our current team is by far the best group of people that have ever worked here, and I’m excited to see what we can accomplish together in 2015.
I was honored to be nominated and selected for the 2015 class of Leadership Troup. Leadership Troup is a program of the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce that selects existing and emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds and offers them educational experiences to expose them to various aspects of the community.
So far we have learned about social issues affecting our community (and some local organizations that are helping), civic engagement, and we had a kickoff retreat to get to know each other. I’m looking forward to learning more about how we can give back to our community through leadership and service.
After a few years with relatively few professional speaking engagements, I started speaking professionally again this year with presentations at Ecommerce Fuel Live in Austin and ICE Retailer in Atlanta. I plan to write more this year, and while I’m not actively soliciting speaking engagements, I welcome them and would love to give a few presentations this year.
I am also joining my local chapter of Toastmasters so I can become a better presenter and communicator. Several friends and colleagues have recommended Toastmasters as a great way to get constructive criticism and feedback, and a lot of practice, so I’m excited that we finally have a chapter in LaGrange.
Looking Forward to 2015 and Beyond
I have a long list of goals for 2015 that range from small to large, from personal to professional, and from (relatively) easy to accomplish to extremely challenging. But, being inspired by Gary Vaynerchuk, 2015 is going to be a year of hustle. I won’t post my full list of goals, but some of the highlights are below.
- Launch a redesigned website for 2BigFeet, responsive and with advanced search capabilities
- Create and launch a new product in a different market than I’m currently involved with to diversify our income
- Blog regularly about e-commerce and online marketing
- Journal regularly
- Exercise at least three times per week, every week
- Have regular outings or activities with each of my kids, individually
This isn’t even half of my list, and I’m not done brainstorming yet. These aren’t final, but many of my final list of goals will go up in my office as a daily reminder. I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited as I am right now to get to work and start accomplishing things. In my first full day in the office in 2015, I’ve already made great progress, too.
How was your year? What are your goals for 2015? Let me know in the comments.