2011 New Year’s Resolutions and General Life Update

Well, that didn’t go according to plan!

This time last year, I wrote up 3 New Year’s Resolutions, which were:

  1. Give up booze for the whole of 2010, no exceptions.
  2. Give up sugar in all its forms. Yes that means chocolate, for all of 2010!
  3. Earn enough money online to be able to give up paid office work by the end of 2010.

Things started well and no booze passed my lips for many months and no chocolate was consumed till Easter. I decided I’d been so good that I was entitled to an Easter off, which is when that one went pair shaped. There are other issues too, work and my personal circumstances, but I’m not here to make excuses. I am happy to renew my vows of abstinance for 2011 and intend to do better than last year.

In many respects it’s the 3rd resolution that was worse though. Try as I might, I was unable to balance working on my own money making projects with a fulltime freelance consultancy role, especially one that I wasn’t happy in. After doing a full day’s work, I found my motivation for working in the evening too was very low. I tried various approaches, all without much success. So I find myself a year later, having achieved none of my 2010 resolutions. Ho hum.

However, there’s one interesting thing I’ve learnt since starting my first company 10 years ago (and to steal a quote from Myth Busters): “Failure is always an option.” In the last 10 years I’ve tried several ways to earn money, some successful, some not, but each attempt has a lesson to be learnt and with each failure I get closer to success. A couple of light bulb inventor Thomas Edison’s quotes spring to mind:

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.

However it’s the quote from Frank Wilczek, the 2004 Nobel Prize winner for Physics that I think I like best:

If you don’t make mistakes, you are not working on hard enough problems. And that’s a big mistake.

And so it is that I have never been in a better position to progress my ideas and turn them into a profitable income! As a short summary, in the last 10 years I’ve:

  • Started and run 2 small but very profitable IT consultancies, mostly farming myself out to the highest bidder.
  • Created an internet marketing company that whilst profitable, wasn’t quite what I wanted long term. (I ended up as a simple salesman, selling services for a host of offshored staff.)
  • Launched an air conditioning company that was profitable from its first month, which I ultimately shut down for various reasons (a long story!).
  • I have also launched some info products online, that again were profitable but not quite what I’d hoped for.

Looking back, I made some obvious mistakes, well at least obvious to me know, but each of these ventures have been great learning experiences and prepared me well for what lies ahead in 2011. I’ve also learnt a lot about myself and my own motivation. As a result, I’ve decided to leave my consultancy work to one side for this year and concentrate 100% on launching an online only business.

One of the most exciting additions to my approach for 2011 is starting from the beginning to outsource many of my tasks, not only business tasks but personal jobs that distract me from profitable work. So I spent a week in December interviewing and recruiting some very talented people from the Philippines to work for me.

And so it is that ironically, my 2011 New Year’s Resolutions are pretty much exactly the same as 2010’s! Certainly I intend to do the no sugar and no alcohol, that’s a given. As I am stepping back from the consultancy work fulltime then in some ways I’ve already achieved the (3), however it’s currently not sustainable as I haven’t yet generated the income necessary to perpetuate it, but that’s just a matter of time.

As I think I said last year: this time next year Rodney…! 😉

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