Keepin’ this three-year ball rollin’. Here’s a quick recap of 2017 and some thoughts on 2018.
Freelance work was not as “good” in 2017 as 2016 from a financial standpoint. However, 2017 was a great year for professional growth and further thoughts and ideas on how I want to continue to grow and work into 2018.
2017 Freelance Results
Total Freelance revenue: $56,070.88
Highest Paying Freelance Project: 12k
Longest Freelance Client: 1 Year
Freelance Hours Worked: 440.33 Hours
Freelance didn’t consume as much time as in 2017. Which was great. Of course, it also means I’ve earned less money than last year.
2017 felt great in terms of cadence of work and inbound projects. It feels like I’m starting to hit my stride in growing the business and shaping a profession I want to have versus the profession I am given.
Projects were a mix of redesigns, one-off work, on-going staff augmentation and front-end leadership. Projects are starting to feel bigger which is a welcomed change.
Clients called more frequently and projects sizes have stayed the same size or steadily gone up. It was eye-opening to talk with a few larger clients (FAANG-type clients). And while I didn’t end up getting the work, being in a room was a great feeling. A sign I’m going in the right direction.
As usual there were a few pains. While communication was important in 2016, 2017 growing-pains focused on scoping. Dan Mall recently wrote an article on the topic and it made me realize how little I really know about the skill. No matter what you believe you can never account for the unknown. It became clear on a few projects scoping caused issues. Whether it was a misunderstanding of the final project or schedule-shifting due to new information.
A big goal professional goal in 2018 will be to hone my scoping skills. To increase my ability to scope projects appropriately will mean I need to come to terms with things I’m good at, things I’m not good at and things I know absolutely nothing about.
It also means I’ll need to be more honest with clients and co-workers about asking for help when it comes to realizing a project and where questions and issue could come into play.
I never thought my personal life would change as much as it did over the last twelve months. My professional life was my top priority and I certainly paid my dues. Three big things happened this year:
Planning a Wedding
Better with finances!
If you read my review last year you’ll know that I got engaged at the end of 2016. We’ve spent all of this year planning the wedding and, as you can imagine, it has its ups and downs.
Without going into terrible detail the only advice I could provide someone based on my experiences is to really dig deep and understand what you and your significant other want in your wedding. Parents and family suggestions are reflections of their desires, not yours. Parents (in most cases) have already gotten married so they had a chance to do what they want. This is your wedding, your celebration, your party. Have a chat (or a few) with your significant other to really understand what y’all want, what matches your personalities and mostly, what fits your budget.
We are a few months away from our wedding and I’m super pumped and excited to marry my lady.
I started 2017 at about 200lbs. This year I’m down to 180-185 (depending on the holidays). My goal this year was to lose about 3 lbs a month leading up to the wedding. I’m not nearly as close to that as I’d like to be but I’ve still lose about 20 lbs and have 3-4 more months to go!
Separate of the wedding, it became incredibly clear that showing up is the biggest proponent to going to weight loss. I’ve gotten a ton better with eating but still struggle from time to time with stress-eating sweets or over indulging on the less-healthy food. This year I hope to get better at food-planning to keep indulgences under control and really leverage healthy eating to rid myself of a few extra pounds.
2017 was a 180-degree change in terms of finances. Saved all of my freelance revenue with the except of about $10,000 for business expenses. On one or two occasions I did need to front a little cash for personal/wedding costs but this is still a big addition to the win column.
This year also introduced me to the idea of Financial Independence. The concept blew my mind and I’ve shifted my financial focus/interest on preparing my financial future as much as possible.
If you’re interested in learning more about FI/RE and live in NYC feel free to join us at our monthly FI/RE meetings.
I started toying with the idea of meditation. This year was pretty stressful with wedding planning and it became pretty clear, pretty fast it was impacting my relationships and work. I believe my old boss, Ryan, mentioned it helped him so I downloaded Headspace and tried to practice as much as possible. I love it.
My goals for 2018 are to be more consistent with it. I’ve already felt the positive impact it has on my emotions and attitude even though I practiced once every couple of days or weeks.
In 2017 I tracked a lot of time, working or otherwise, and it’s been really helpful to determine if I spent time doing things I deem “of value”.
In 2016 I read about 6-8 books throughout the year. As noted in the 2016 year-in-review I wanted to read more. In 2017 I did that. I bought a kindle and read 15 books. It felt great to enjoy reading again. For a really long time I dreaded it. I didn’t realize how much time I was wasting on my phone playing games during my commute or otherwise waiting to do stuff (appointments). So instead of pulling out my phone I’ve started pulling out my Kindle. In addition, I’ve tried to read for 10-15 minutes before work to help ease into the day.
While I didn’t read every book my list in 2017 I’m fine with the pace I’ve made. Hoping that 2018 I can alternate between fiction/non-fiction to keep it going.
You can find all the books I read in 2017 here: https://github.com/patrickbjohnson/Books
148 hours of TV this year. Not including sports.
Reading that number feels sort of shitty. My only rationale is that TV acted as an escape from work. So spending an hour a night or even binge watching a show was an easy way to take a break from work.
Halt & Catch Fire
I spent roughly ~80 hours watching 41 movies. Movies acted as the medium for quality time with my significant other, whether part of a date or just a chill night in. It was a way to unwind with the person I care about the most. A big change from last year.
By far one of the better years since I started doing these year-in-reviews. Look forward to seeing what 2018 brings and how life changes.