Monthly review: December 2012

Last monthly review, I wrote:

What might December look like? I want December to be a time to:

  • celebrate and share the things I’ve learned in the past year
  • lay the groundwork for more awesomeness in 2013
  • reach out to people and help them out

To help my consulting clients prepare for the transition and also to help me ease into other kinds of businesses, I’d arranged to take all of December off from my consulting engagement much like I’d taken September off. During my regular consulting months, I kept 1-2 days a week free to nudge these other businesses along, but I wanted to experiment with full-time focus on building other businesses such as this conference sketchnoting idea. I’d still be available by bat signal in case they needed urgent help or questions answered, and I promised to check in every so often.

You’d figure that having three extra days to work on my business combined with the typical holiday slow-down would leave me with empty space to fill. I got tons more done than I expected. I sketchnoted the Lean Startup Day conference livestream hosted at MaRS (professionally!), to much delight and retweeting. I came up with a company name, designed my own logo, registered the domain and created a website, and worked on my marketing and sales plans. There’s something about focus, steady progress, and momentum. Despite the holiday closure of many of the events I regularly go to, I sketched a lot anyway.

W- took some time off work during the holidays. He usually works really hard, so I decided not to waste the opportunity. I blocked off time around my existing appointments and asked my assistant to postpone other arrangements until after the holidays. We spent our time trying new recipes, organizing the house, building a habit of exercise, and getting ready for the next year. I’ve been going to krav maga self-defence and fitness classes once a week for more than a month now, and I’m ratcheting it up to twice a week.

One of the other things I experimented with in terms of time was to use my mornings for coding and a little writing. It felt great to sit down and tweak my Emacs configuration for extra productivity, add small improvements to my Quantified Awesome, or tinker around with WordPress on my websites and blogs. I saved the afternoon for meetings, planning, and drawing. I’ll be back to a 3-day consulting schedule in January and February, so I’ll need to see if I can find the same balance on Mondays and Fridays or whether business-related work will take up all my brainspace. If so, then I’ll know that from March onwards, I should focus on building a flexible business instead of taking on full-time contracts that may distract me from what I want to learn and do.

What could January look like? I’d like to:

  • create lots of value for my consulting clients
  • start the marketing and sales process going for upcoming events – hope I’m not too late for the events in March!
  • delegate more: add a new person to my virtual team
  • maintain my twice-weekly fitness/self-defence class schedule

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