Dangit. What a Year……….
So for those of you that have been keeping up here’s a little bit of the insanity of 2009 here at North River Geographic Systems, Inc.
- Dove in with both feet this year and went full time with the business. Up until late 2008 I was working for the federal government and was balancing work with…well – work. When I reached the tipping point I left in late 2008 and cranked NRGS up to 11 for 2009.
- Owning a small business has been an experience. With the switch to full time how would the business fare economically? I started the new year with one estimate in hand and one customer. By the end of the year I had essentially four full time clients and an increase in Business income of about 500%. Impressive – sort of. if I tossed out actual numbers it wouldn’t be that impressive. Except I grew in a recession.
- So now I’m balancing Home life with Work life. Unfortunately Home life lost out as I ended up divorced. Was the business at fault? Was it something inevitable? I could type for hours but I won’t. The problem with this is that I turned into a bit of an angry person this spring….and was a bit uglier than I needed to be to alot of people. So to anyone I was a stark raving jackass too – I apologize. Profusely. Unfortunately, I learned my life at work and home doesn’t separate well anymore. I am the business and the business is me. Luckily all the planning I did in setting up the business held true. I’ve just got to watch my personal barometer as I interact with people and customers.
- Work picked up enough to get a plotter. Up until this year I had been using friends and other businesses to make prints. That really had me at a disadvantage. So I invested some time and money and am leasing a Canon IPF750. So far the plotter has paid for itself which was the whole plan for the plotter.
- Jumped from North Georgia Sub Chapter Chair to education and Outreach for GA URISA. While getting involved in a group doesn’t pay me anything, it does pay with networking, friends, and a chance to see how a whole group of professionals work and exist in the Geospatial world.
- Became 2nd View President of the Mid South ASPRS Chapter. I have known the President, Ms Amy Zeller, for more years than I will admit and she encouraged me to run. She’s smart and I’ve learned to follow advice from smart people – even if it runs against what I think I should do.
- Held my first and second ESRI Training Class. Overall I’m a bit torn about ESRI Training. The Authorized Trainer Program seems to be in flux but settling down. Overall it is unbelievably tough to set up classes and get all the dominoes to fall into place. Reviews of the first were positive – reviews of the second had me somewhere between terrible and beyond suck. I’m taking the reviews from both and planning changes. One of my favorite comedians once said that you need to fail to know how to succeed. I’m taking all that and I believe training will be better and more fun this year.
- I spent waaay too much time worrying about the competition. In constantly looking at ways to succeed it seemed I was always looking at ways to one up the competition. The minute I stop worrying about the competition I succeed. So in 2010, If people want to work with me they can…if they don’t that’s fine. They won’t have as much fun – but hey. I’m good.
- To finish up everything, I sit with a pile of estimates that I have completed for 2010 and the chance that I will be picking up my largest job to date….and repeat customers. Gracious, very nice repeat customers.
On the Volunteer Front:
- Am working with the Cumberland Trail to get it GPS’d.
- Participated in several Open Street Map Events. If you haven’t tried it – Open Street Map is actually kinda relaxing. It’s fun.
- Working on a Coyote Location Project at Berry College, Georgia (more on that later)
- Working on locating a murder victim with a little bit of data, some clues, and my brain (more on this later). I dive into the world of Geographic Profiling.
- Got a chance to work with the Tennessee River Gorge. Only made one map but I did get to do alot of digging.
- Discovered The GIS Forum.
Got to meet the following GIS/Mapping user groups this last year:
- Alabama URISA
- Georgia URISA
- Cumberland County GIS Users Group
- URISA Intl.
Overall….2009 – it was the best of times and the worst of times. I survived a year that should have ended the business and possibly myself. I survived. I thrived. I’m in a good place now with the business. It moves, it grows. I’m not pushing it as hard or as much as the last three years. It’s dragging me.
Goodbye 2009. Hello 2010.