Small Business Year in Review Part 1: Intro.

Dec 13, 2011 | Chattanooga, Rambling, Small Business

So I’ve promised others and myself to talk about this year a little bit. It’s been interesting. I left last year with a plan to more or less stop doing what I was doing. Work was down. I was questioning a lot of things professionally and personally. So I gave myself a deadline for changes to occur. Then one thing changed. Another thing changed. The cosmos more or less aligned for me business wise.

It’s been interesting for multiple reasons. I’ve made more as a business this year than I have the last 4 years. I’ve traveled more. I’ve met more people. I’ve had more people come up to me and go “you’re that guy with the business”. And why? I don’t know – I’m going to see if it was a bubble or I’ve reached a new playing field this upcoming year.

In getting busy,  I actually got too busy. I decided in January to push myself and see how much I could accomplish as one person. It led to a lot of late nights. Driving to a location to meet with a client.  Leaving far later than I wanted to get back home to work the next morning. At one point I tried the “First Shift Randy” and “Second Shift Randy” to deal with work. I worked one job in the morning and then other jobs at night. I actually would literally get up and go for a walk around the block at 5:00 p.m. and then “clock in” for the 6 to 10 shift.  Overall I lost my weekends and literally by August I had lost some sanity. My breaking point for 14 or 15 hour days is about 7 to 8 months. I didn’t work every day – I had friends pry me out of the house at times. Sometimes I would take a break. Sometimes. It showed. I made some bad decisions in August and it took me about two weeks after for me to go “what the hell was I thinking”. There will be Balance this year.

The two jobs I took because I needed the work came back to bite me. I learned to not just take a job because I needed the money – don’t let the customer steer the project to a resolution. I’m there to get them from point A to D. I learned some tough lessons on both of those jobs. These lessons will spill over into new jobs in 2012.

I started being different. I’m opinionated. Owning a business will do that. I became more opinionated this year for better or worse. I always try to make the opinions worthwhile whether they are well received or not. At about July I realized I was turning into my uncle. He has a knack for giving an opinion. Best part about his – he’s almost always right. I’m still running in the 50% range I feel. Maybe a bit more.

I became too involved in user groups. I had a colleague in one of my multiple user groups tell me “you always get too involved and then you end up pulling back”. I’ve rated the groups I’m a member of and have made some decisions as to the ones with which I will continue. The best one I’ve been part of has been Georgia URISA. I’m president this year. So I get to set the tone for this years activities. It’s going to be interesting.

These little blurbs will continue till the new year. I wished it was all about GIS. It’s not. Taxes, Balance, Jobs, Clients, and a little it of insanity colored this year. Next year will be colored a bit differently. Overall though – I had more fun than not although it didn’t look like it at times.

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