Closing Out the Year

It’s time to review my 2005 New Year’s Resolutions! There weren’t that many of them:

  1. Build a new creative network — This took the form of the New Media Group. I also met several people through some online forums, and eventually met them in real life. The unexpected bonus was 9rules. I found out about it the day before their 2nd round submissions. Serendipity!

  2. Develop an original concept into a project — At the time I wrote this, I was thinking about a game or some kind of software project. Instead, it took the form of The Printable CEO.

  3. Maintain momentum — keep doing what I started in 2004, and keep moving. Momentum is one of the big keys to staying productive!

I need to look at my 2004 resolutions too, because there is a lot of carry-over. These are not “recommendations for life”, people…they’re just what was on my mind at the beginning of 2004. Here’s the list of 2004 resolutions:

  1. Don’t be a Patsy by Volunteering without due Compensation — I used to volunteer for causes because it was the “nice” thing to do. However, I noticed that a lot of times, this ended up being a losing deal for me; I would be drained of energy without meaningful appreciation for my contribution. Compensation doesn’t necessarily mean money in this case either; I just became more mindful of what I would get out of a given situation, and made sure that I was 100% comfortable before proceeding.

  2. Avoid Enterprise for Enterprise’s Sake — I noticed that a lot of people did things because they thought they were supposed to do them. The main example that comes to mind is the desire to scale; bigger is better! I would sometimes ask why bigger was better, and I would get looks from people like they thought I was an idiot. But when pressed further for specifics, I didn’t get any meaningful answers other than “when you’re bigger, you have more resources and can do bigger jobs!” Some people think that by following the patterns suggested by “common wisdom”, success will follow. What I want to do is define what success is first, then engage in whatever enterprise will make that happen. I’m still working out what that means exactly, but the upshot is that I try to think before I act.

  3. Build David Seah as a Business — I didn’t know what that meant at the time I wrote it, but I knew it was important to think about this. It took almost 10 months until I came up with the Printable CEO to help focus myself. In 2006, what I need to do now is proceduralize and systemize business processes so I’m more profitable for less effort. Consistently so.

  4. Shift from Graphics to Software Development — I’m continually drawn to software development, but I haven’t really taken the plunge. In the beginning of 2005, I was unable to really claim that I was a developer in the classic software engineering sense of the word. By the fall, my first Actionscript 2.0 project for Intel gave me some credibility here, but I’ve since become aware that there’s a lot of additional work to do to be competitive. So in 2006, I’ll be pushing much harder on this. I’m not ruling out regular graphics work; it may help pay the bills.

  5. Focus on Making Things to Attract People — The theory is that it’s a lot more compelling to show than to just tell. This concept is reflected in the Printable CEO’s high weighting of “tangible work”.

  6. Focus on Achieving Financial Stability First, Riches Later — I got the idea out of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, where the author talks about being taught to take jobs to find opportunity over pay. However, I also need to make sure that I have money to live on. I also need to squirrel away money so I can afford to hire people when I need to. In 2006, more of the same, with much stronger controls on spending in place.

  7. Focus on Finding the Right Kind of People — As a freelancer, I was feeling quite isolated. Having lost my creative partner in 2002, I also needed to find people who I could really talk to. I have yet to find someone local that really gets the kind of things I want to do, and is doing it him/herself.

  8. Distinguish between Hanging Out and Working — I have a tendency to work long hours without much differentiation between “work” and “play”. I think it would be healthier if I could make a cleaner distinction between the two activities. However, if it’s work I’m passionate about, maybe this isn’t such a big deal.


p>My 2006 resolutions are still fuzzy, but I’m pretty sure a narrowing of my business focus is in the cards. High on the list also is the tightening-up of my workpractice, with an eye toward generating greater revenue with fewer hours. More on that later.