At the end of every year, I like to take time to look back on the previous year and reflect on how things went. This past year was certainly crazy, but overall I feel it went pretty well. At the beginning of the year, I set out some goals. Overall I met the intent. Things are definitely moving in the direction I laid out in that post, but some of the details did not work out exactly as I thought they would.
It is amazing how much sleep (or I should say lack of it) affects you. I have 2 little kids and at the beginning of the year, one of them was not sleeping. Luckily that changed a few months ago. For probably a year I didn't sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time. It is brutal. There is the reason the CIA and others use sleep deprivation as a form of torture - it works. One of my biggest accomplishments for this year is just getting back to a normal sleeping schedule.
The lack of sleep definitely affected my reading this year. I hit about half my goal on goodreads , but I only hit a handful of the books that I laid out in my plan in January. Such is the nature of plans - no plan survives contact with the enemy. But I did read some good technical books along with a mix of just fun books. More importantly, I learned a lot from the few books I did manage to read, which is always the important part.
One of my big goals for the past few years has been steady revenue. 2020 was a horrible year. I barely broke even. Last year I made more than I ever made and I did so again this year. I've also secured a contract for 2023 that will bring in a fair amount of money. I feel like I am finally getting off the rollercoaster.
Teaching and mentoring
I did do some teaching and mentoring this year. I sold a few of my "Using Git Effectively" courses. I taught a DQMH workshop recently, which was a lot of fun. I tried to run a workshop at GDevCon NA, but couldn't drum up enough interest. I'm talking with the DSH folks about doing a joint workshop this year. I'm really rethinking the way I deliver training in general. I think getting students to sign up for big chunks of time is hard. I'm trying to figure out how to deliver things in smaller chunks, like a lunch-and-learn style to see if that changes things. If taking a full or even half day off is hard, maybe an hour over lunch is more doable for students.
Growing the business
I really do feel more like a business owner and less like I own my job now. I was able to bring on a contractor to help me out on a job this year. That went very well. I'm also leaning very heavily on my assistant Taylor, who is also my podcast producer. I'm also leaning on Kayla who does my social media for the business, the podcast, GDevCon N.A. and the GLA Summit. I also rely heavily on Stephen, our podcast engineer and general media person. This year I've really embraced the idea that I don't have to do it all myself. It is very freeing.
I've been trying to teach myself Python over the past few years. I've been semi-successful. I can use it for things like Advent of Code without any problems, but have yet to find a customer to pay me to use it for a project. I did decide this year to invest in myself and took a Python Course from Enthought, which was really good.
The biggest thing I did this year was to start a podcast. It had been an idea in my head for a while and the timing was finally right. It worked out much better than I could have imagined. I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes this coming year.
As you may have noticed I moved my website at the beginning of the year. That was an interesting experience. I did get lots of compliments on the new site, but there were some issues. Some content got lost in the move and some links got broken. In general, it was semi-controlled chaos. The new site does look nice and the copywriting is much better. It certainly more clearly conveys what I do, so that is good at least.
Things are moving in the right direction. It is a time of growth. The business is growing. I'm growing. My kids are growing. I just need to keep making sure that everything is getting nourished properly and growing in the right direction.