This is a response to Chris’ call for annual reviews. In this post, I’ll be answering two questions:
What went well in 2011?
What did not go well in 2011?
And then next week I’ll publish my goals for the new year, which I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.
I can’t believe it’s already been a year since I set my intentions for 2011. I remember the flurry of excitement in the blogosphere, everyone on Twitter sharing their goals and pumping each other up. I remember feeling intensely grateful to be a part of such an amazing community. I felt more optimistic than ever about the future. Meditating on my vision for the upcoming year made my heart race.
Puttylike had only been around for three months, I’d just graduated from law school and was a “non-student” for the first time in my life. I’d also moved back home to Montreal after studying abroad in Denmark for five months.
To say that a lot has changed in the past year would be an understatement. I live in Portland, Oregon for gods sakes! A place I consciously chose, not because of life circumstances (school, employment, etc.), but because I thought the city would suit my personal philosophy and lifestyle. It was also a hub of bloggers.
The whole year was an exercise in turning big visions into reality. It wasn’t always easy, but overall, things worked out fairly nicely.
What went well in 2011
Puttylike’s growth was great. As I’ve said before, I’m less interested in having a large community as I am with the quality of those connections. The Puttytribe is still relatively small compared to other blogs, but I get such wonderful comments and replies to my emails, that I’m very happy. I’ve also made some of the most wonderful friends through the blogosphere, many of whom I now hang out with in person.
At the beginning of 2011 I launched my coaching packages. Things started off slowly, but once I found my “specialty,” (helping multipotentialites find an overarching theme to bring together their interests and build a business around them) things started picking up.
My coaching work grew from there, and I actually had to take down my offerings in the fall because I was booked solid through November. I was feeling bad about having to tell people “sure, we can work together, but it’ll have to wait a couple months…” (It’s back up now though, with a new booking system that removes this problem).
The biggest business success was by far was the launch of my first book, Renaissance Business. I worked really hard during the months leading up to the launch, tried to keep my fears at bay, and kept my expectations nice and low (as long as I sell 1 book, I will be happy, I told myself. Just keep your head down and do the work. Whatever happens, happens).
Well it turns out I had nothing to worry about. And for that, I must thank you guys from the bottom of my heart! I’ve heard from many of you and I’m overjoyed that you’ve found it so useful.
On the personal side of things, I am now fully financially independent, entirely through my business. I don’t have to take on web design work or other freelance gigs to support myself.
As I mentioned earlier, I moved to Portland in June and found myself a wonderful community of friends. I created the Portland Clue League, started taking Bollywood dance classes, and began playing the violin again after eleven years off ( here’s a video, if you’d like to check that out). I also took a six week trip down the West Coast by myself, which was a big deal for me.
What Did Not Go Well in 2011
I experimented a lot in the last year and some projects either completely flopped or didn’t happen at all.
First, the podcast didn’t really work out the way I’d hoped it would. Well, that’s not entirely true. On a personal level, it did wonderful things for my confidence. If you listen through the first five episodes or so, you’ll see a dramatic reduction in the “ums,” and some of those later episodes were pretty damn impressive. (This one‘s my favourite. I think it’s practically radio quality.) Podcasting made me better at giving interviews and speaking publicly. It was also wonderful to collaborate and become friends with Abe. We’ve worked together on other projects since, and hopefully there will be more in store for us in the future.
However, the podcast did not bring in a new stream of traffic from iTunes, which was what I was hoping for. The posts for podcast episodes received the fewest amount of comments and it was difficult to get blog readers, who were accustomed to consuming the content in one form, to switch over to listening to podcasts.
We probably didn’t give it enough of a chance, but it was a lot of work, and our interest was waning after five months. Plus I was about to move to Portland and wanted to focus more on writing my book. Abe also got really busy with freelance work, so it just had to get put on the backburner. Now we’re both sort of over podcasting, and ready to move onto new projects. Call it a scanner thing.
I still keep the podcast episodes online though, because there is the occasional new puttypeep or student who finds Puttylike through iTunes or just prefers getting to know me through that format.
Group Coaching Workshops
In November I tried launching some group coaching workshops to help puttypeep refine their overarching themes. I only filled half the spots and ended up canceling the whole thing. Instead, I worked with those who had signed up individually. It actually worked out for the best, since I was traveling and later realized how hard it would have been to organize weekly Google hangouts while on the road.
I am still very interested in some form of group work or facilitating community engagement between puttypeep though. I have some ideas percolating in my mind right now…
Last year I mentioned that I wanted to start speaking publicly. I pursued this goal a little– at the WDS multipotentialite meetup, where I was flung into the spotlight (but was still quite unprepared), and through the podcast, interviews, and videos. Still, I have yet to really get out there and deliver in-person presentations or workshops.
This is a great place to leave off, since my major goal for 2012 (to be discussed next week), is related to public speaking.
The idea of devoting my year to public speaking (among other things) terrifies me a lot. However, I know that that’s a good sign. The fear just means that it’s important to me.
What went well in 2011? What did not go well in 2011?
Leave a comment here, or publish your own blog post and link back.