As the year comes to a close, I am one again reflecting upon this past year, and thinking ahead to the next.
For me, 2014 started out with a lot of promise. I landed a couple of new clients and was working on some promising new projects at the beginning of the year. I was also back at the gym and watching what I was eating. I was determined to get healthier again, and hopefully lose some weight.
Unfortunately things fell apart by Spring and work became more sporadic. Ultimately I had a total of 10 weeks of no billable work this year. That really ate deep into my pocketbook. With that I lost my motivation to go to the gym and between the lack of work and my perimenopause I have been somewhat depressed this year. I could go on hormone replacement therapy, but I don’t like the cancer risk that comes with that, so I plan to just weather this out (apologies now to my husband, who will have to weather it with me!).
While I didn’t have work, it’s not that I was entirely idle. I spent more time online networking and making connections, building up my Twitter and LinkedIn followings and posting more in social media. I also kept following up on potential leads for new clients. I also prepped for a critical certification exam that I took near the end of summer.
I passed the certification exam and started making it known that I was now an Adobe Certified Expert in Reports & Analytics. Within a week I actually started getting calls from potential clients, including one that I had been pursuing at the last Adobe Summit conference I attended in March. Soon my workload began to increase to the point that I was putting in a good 20-40 hours of work myself, and also having projects coming in for my subcontractors as well.
I am hoping I can continue this momentum into 2015 and then be able to continue to expand operations. I know at the very least my team and I will be busy into February of next year, which is sort of where I was a year ago. I just need to focus on making sure I keep bringing in more work beyond that so I don’t have the same slump. Hopefully having that certification will continue to make the difference.
My husband also has gone through a major transition in 2014. He quit his engineering job at Intel in April, and began focusing on this business. He’s developed a portfolio optimization software and has been working with one paying client this year so far. Over the Summer he also took, and passed, his Series 65 certification, which is required for the kind of work he’s doing within the financial industry.
Then in August he also started back at school and he’ll be earning his MSBA in Financial Risk Management, graduating in May 2015. It’s a compressed 1 year graduate program, which is pretty intense and has kept him working really hard.
2014 was definitely very much a transitional year for both of us and we’re hoping that things will stabilize and we’ll be in a good place both career-wise and financially by this time next year.
I hope you had a good 2014 and wish you a happy and wonderful 2015.
Happy New Year!