My friend Phil Ebiner just posted his year in review. I love this idea, and so it’s time for my look back at 2017. Here are some personal and business highlights, in no particular order.
Udemy Live 2017
This year was the second time I attended Udemy Live.
People sometimes ask, what’s the benefit of going? Are you really going to learn things there that you can’t learn from home?
My primary reason for going isn’t the sessions themselves. Oh don’t get me wrong. The sessions are good, and I love hearing from leaders in their space about what’s working now. But the primary reason I go is much more personal.
I go to Udemy Live to meet people, and deepen relationships with Udemy and with fellow instructors. And that’s why I’ll go again this year.
Last Full Year Working for Someone Else
I end 2017 with a “day job” still. A lot of people don’t know that about me, and assume I am entirely working from home on my training business. I actually run my training business during nights and weekends, while spending the week working at my client’s office.
In 2018, I will transition to working from home on my training business entirely. So a highlight of 2017 for me is starting the process of saying goodbye to traffic and meetings.
Financial Stability and Growth
I don’t talk about money much, and am not going to start any time soon. 🙂 But I don’t mind saying that this year has been a really good year in terms of making me feel free. I’ve never had to make a decision because “I can’t afford it”. Well, I still say no to a lot of things because they’re “too expensive”. But too expensive is not the same as can’t afford it.
The revenue from my online ventures has given me the freedom to make decisions for the right reasons.
On the personal side, my wife and I have done a bit of travelling this year. I counted six vacations or conferences this year.
- Euro Trip – Belgium, Netherlands, France
- San Francisco for Udemy Live
- Puerto Rico (I hope they recover quickly)
- Orlando, Florida
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Memphis, Tennessee (yes, two separate trips to Tennessee! Who knew!)
Here I am in Brugge, Belgium.
While travelling is nice, being home is also nice. While I have sometimes wished to become a “full-time nomad” as you see a lot of online business people do, I’ve settled on the fact that I like having a home and not always trying to time my visa runs.
More Clarity About Who I Serve Best
As my brand grows, I get more students into my courses, and interact with more students in my Facebook group and other places. And in 2017, I feel like I’m closer to getting full clarity on who it is that I serve the best.
That might sound like a strange statement, but I believe that fully knowing who you can help best helps you attract more of them to you.
It’s absolutely impossible that any one teacher is the ideal teacher for all 7 billion humans on this planet. So perhaps there is 1 million people who you have the chance to be a rock star outstanding teacher to. If you serve those 1 million people really well, everything will be easy in life, and you will have made a significant impact.
Try to serve 7 billion people? No impact. Try to serve 1 million, significant impact.
New Business Opportunities
Is it me, or are there business opportunities everywhere online? I find myself turning down a new idea or a new business opportunity all the time now. I really think I could be successful with X if I had the time to pursue it. But I don’t have the time. It’s a wonderful feeling living in a world where you can see opportunity everywhere, but only have the time to pursue a couple of sure things.
Closer Professional Friendships and Partnerships
Phil recently did a podcast episode about a professional mastermind group I am in. This group has been going for a couple of years, but I’ve now grown really close to the mastermind members. They’re my friends. We help each other. It’s really powerful having a small group of people like this, especially when you’re working “on your own”. Being self employed can sometimes be lonely, but having good, smart people to talk to each week helps with that.
I’ve also launched a new course with my good friend Sean Kaye, and that’s another example of a strong personal friendship and business partnership. I can talk to Sean about challenges in my business, and he can share his with me. That allows us to work together with trust. Sean’s recently launched his Authority Matrix course, and it’s my pleasure to serve as a case study for him in that. It might be closed for new members by the time you read this, but it’s cool to develop these personal and professional friendships and partnerships across my business.
This is one of the reasons that going to Udemy Live is essential for me. It accelerates professional relationships.
I had hoped to have my Hero Courses brand fully up and running in a bigger way, but I was able to launch a number of my courses on that website, and am making sales. Honestly, making a little bit of progress is better than no progress. I’m excited to grow Hero Courses in 2018 and even grow from there.
6 New Courses Launched
I sat down to count the number of courses that I’ve launched (or co-instructed). 8 courses! I can’t believe that. It’s been a very productive year, and I’m very happy with how that’s gone.
Azure Serverless Functions and Logic Apps – https://www.udemy.com/azure-serverless/
2017 AWS Solutions Architect Associate Fast-Track to Success – https://www.udemy.com/aws-architect/
Practice Tests for 70-532 Developing MS Azure Solutions – https://www.udemy.com/70532-azure-tests/
Microsoft Azure and Cloud Computing: The Basics – https://www.udemy.com/azure-cloud/
Practice Test for 77-728: Excel 2016 Expert: Data Insights – https://www.udemy.com/77728-excel-2016-expert/
Practice Tests for 70-534 Architecting MS Azure Solutions – https://www.udemy.com/70-534-architecting-microsoft-azure-solutions-practice-tests/
Momentum into 2018
And finally, the really great thing about 2017 has been how it’s set me up for this year. Since I’ve tried a lot of interesting things last year – including thousands of dollars spent on advertising, and experimenting with other platforms – this has resulted in a lot more clarity as to where I’m heading.
I’m past the stage of wondering “what should I do”, and onto the stage of just having to get into the routine of getting it done.
And that was 2017.