Each year I look back to review what I’ve done.
I like lists. I find them motivating and easy to understand. It’s a structure to limit and highlight, whether they be daily to-do lists or curated honors or resolutions — both personal and professional. I also like somewhat arbitrary milestones to serve as an opportunity to review my progress to the goals I have. It’s the same reason why I celebrated my 10,000th day alive.
Here’s another. I turn 30 this week and have used that as a reason to feel good about what I’ve done so far.
I want to keep developing as a small business owner and leader.
That’s why I keep track of my professional goals each year — in addition to personal resolutions. This past year was no different. Most of those goals involve my company Technically Media but not all.
Below see what I’m most proud of having accomplished in 2015.
Here’s what the year of 2014 looked like for me.
I took a month-by-month look at 2013 to get a sense of my year, always striving for having a bigger impact than the year before.
It was a good year.
- January 2012: I moderated a CSPAN-televised online privacy panel held at the National Constitution Center.
- February 2012: We celebrated three years of Technically Philly.
- March 2012: I finally became an official member of the Pen and Pencil Club.
- April 2012: Invited to private roundtable discussion held in the Pulitzer Room at Columbia University on the next stage of news innovation academia, which resulted in this academic report released in November.
- April 2012: We hosted the second annual Philly Tech Week.
- May 2012: I designed and launched Ph.ly/newsweekly, as first discussed here.
- July 2012: After first hiring a reporter back in December, we hired another in Philly and our first in Philly.
- September 2012: After a July soft launch of Technically Baltimore, we more formally expanded by hosting the inaugural Baltimore Innovation Week.
- October 2012: A short profile of Philadelphia’s new Chief Data Officer was my first proper clip in a major regional print magazine. (I also landed another Temple Review feature.)
A year ago, I felt scattered. I wanted to focus in 2011, and I think, as a full-time employee of my own business with clearer goals and objectives, I have accomplished that.
As detailed below, I feel very proud of the success I had in meeting my professional resolutions for the year. So, it’s important to me that I do so again, which I also did below.
In them, I’d say the theme for my 2012 is RISK.
It’s time to risk fast or succeed for me professionally. I want to be more aggressive in business and outreach, now with a more stable company and clearer focus.
I’ll set goals to do so, but it’s also worth reviewing what has been a wonderful year. Here are some professional milestones not included in my planned resolutions below:
- January 2011: Launching Technically Media, a consultancy that publishes Technically Philly and launched that month a new blog strategy for the National Constitution Center.
- February 2011: Philadelphia magazine covered a multimillion dollar journalism effort at Temple Unuiversity and referenced that we at Technically Philly helped conceive of its structure. (I offered other strategy around the effort and wrote about a similar effort.)
- March 2011: I helped develop the strategy around OpenDataPhilly.org, an open data catalog built by Azavea and unveiled in April during Philly Tech Week.
- April 2011: I was invited to attend the Hardly.Strictly.Young conference on news innovation at the University of Missouri.
- April 2011: Addressing Philadelphia City Council, regarding Philly Tech Week.
- May 2011: NBC 10 listed me as among 20 locals who are worth following on Twitter.
- June 2011: I was invited to attend an intimate Aspen Institute roundtable on news innovation.
- July 2011: I spoke about technology issues on local NPR affiliate WHYY several times, like here, here, here and here.
- August 2011: Alumni magazine or not, I had my first glossy print feature published in the Temple Review.
- September 2011: With the generous support of the Center for Public Interest Journalism, I attended the national Online News Association conference in Boston.
- October 2011: I released a particularly large piece of journalism around a bottlenecked city data set.
- November 2011: Yes, I finally got a smart phone.
Below, see my 2012 resolutions and a review of how I did with my 2011 goals too.
I had no heat, two plastic chairs and a coffee table. I was chasing down the last of that year’s freelancing invoices to make about $16,000.
I was certainly still privileged for an endless list of reasons, but, to put it shortly, for a lot of reasons, 2009 was a miserable year for me. The three of us all had disappointing years. We all agreed that 2010 was going to better. Much, much better.
What I did do last year was reflect on 2009 and decided upon a theme: slow start.
I haven’t paid it much mind until now, but I think that’s a great task, summing up a year and trying to move in the direction of another for the following year. In that post, I suggested 2010 would have to be a year of ‘next steps.’
Basically, I need a thousand flowers to bloom so I could see which one I wanted to pick.
As expected, 2010 was a much, much better year. It was a year of tremendous growth for me, and, yes, next steps, as I’ll reflect upon below.
Yes, I’m doing a resolutions post. If for no other reason than to hold myself accountable.
Looking at last year’s professional goals, which were much more about staying afloat financially, I think this year, the theme is laying the foundation of sustainability to grow a business and opportunities at journalism and the like.
I broke them out more specifically by month, as I did for last year’s personal resolutions:
But first: yesterday I shared my best read posts of 2009. Because ultimately I’m a freelancer, I thought I ought to share my best clips of the year, if only to satisfy my concern that 2009 was all for naught.
See my portfolio here.
Meaning they must have met a good portion of the four reasons a freelancer would write a story, below I list the best one or two clips from each calendar month of 2009: