Each year I write a review and goals blog post, these posts help me to look back on the year, and figure out what I want to do going forward.  There have been a few years I didn’t write these posts, and I regret those years as I can’t look back and figure out where I was at that point in my life.

With that said, this post is primarily written for future me, so if you are reading this and find that it’s braggy, or in some way insulting to you, that is not my intent, this is about me, and for me. I post it publicly so that I have some accountability and can find it easily in the future.

2015 was an amazingly great year. I had a terrific first half of the year, and followed that up by launching out on my own.  2016 followed up on that awesomeness. My NorthIQ Business Solutions had a successful 2016 and left its first full year in business profitable and alive. That means I am one of the 50% of businesses that actually SUCCEEDED in their first year.

While I did some hard work, the real thanks for the success of 2016 goes to the amazing clients I met, and my phenomenal network which fed me with a series of incredible leads which I was able to build on.  2017 is only a few days old, and already I can see that this new year is going to be even better.

On the personal front, I started playing softball this year, and ended up hurting my hamstrings in the very beginning. We didn’t go on any big “out of country” vacations this year, but we did rent a cottage outside of Kingston which was an awesome vacation.

2016 In Review:

What Went Well

  • NorthIQ is a full time job
  • Worked with a lot of great companies
  • Made a lot of new friends
  • Manage Comics is a great product
  • Discovered who I can count on

I’ve succeeded at making NorthIQ my full time job, and I did pretty well in 2016. For 2017, I want to build on that success and bring on a partner, and maybe focus on bigger projects that will challenge me a little more.

I got to work with some really cool companies that are literally changing the world.  My main client is a timber log home builder who builds homes with an R36 insulation factor.  Ecologically friendly homes is a pretty cool thing.  Additionally, I’ve done a bunch of work with Trojan Technologies, who is on the forefront of water reuse. Add a wellness company in there and I think we’re working with great companies who can help change the world.

I made a ton of new contacts. Between the Archangel Summit and Networking in Cars, I got to meet so many great people. That will be a major focus of 2017 is meeting people and doing more networking.

In August I ran a survey for All New Comics and Manage Comics.  I got a TON of great responses, and we’ve built a road map off those responses to build the tool going forward. This year I plan on really marketing Manage Comics to other companies and getting it out in others hands.

One of the most important things I discovered this year was who I could count on, and where I could outsource certain jobs to. After experimenting with some outsourcing websites, I started reaching out to my own network and found people that I can totally count on.  Going forward those are the people I will most rely on.

What Needs Focus

  • The Kickstart Guide needs major focus
  • Build an audience
  • Do more stuff around the house
  • Get in shape

The Kickstart Guide needs major focus

I took some courses and got some certifications this year. One thing I learned is that I know at least as much, if not more than the people teaching these courses. I’ve also taught…formally, at two different colleges, so I understand HOW to teach as well.  The first thing I am going to do is transform the Kickstart Guide to Getting Started with Marketing Using Science, Not Magic into – 10 Marketing Recipes You Can Use Today.

This will be a recipe guide of 10 things you can do to get your business noticed on the internet.

Build an audience

I’ve got good stuff to say, I need to say it to more people. This year I am going to work on building an audience that I can communicate to at least monthly. I’ll do this through networking, email list building, social media, and video.

Do more stuff around the house

This house is 10 years old, and the first floor has never been painted.  Additionally, the basement has a roughed in bathroom that needs to be finished, and I’ve got a bunch of things like my barn doors, outdoor shed, and bathroom renovations that need to be done.

Get in shape

This year my shape became “round”, and I really noticed it playing softball last spring. First, I hurt both quads by running, then I hurt my shoulder by throwing. I need to spend at least 3 hours a week in the gym getting back into shape, and I need to be able to run 5k by the end of April. Losing 20-70lbs wouldn’t be a bad thing either.

2017 Resolutions:

  • Get in shape
  • Do More Podcasts / Video Casts
  • Post More Stuff!
  • Go on an awesome adventure
  • Speak at a major conference
  • Double my revenue
  • Bring on a partner
  • Make Manage Comics Work for Me
  • Get NorthIQ in Front of People
  • Look to do more development projects
  • Build an even better SaaS than Manage Comics

Get in Shape

A shape other than “round” would be nice.  I’ll be playing softball again this year, and this time I want to be able to run the bases a little better, hit the ball a little better, and field a little better. Plus, avoiding injury would be nice.  To do this I’m going to go back to my simplified weight training workout, and will add a “couch to 5k” workout to the mix.


  • Go to the gym 3-4 days a week (9-10am)
  • Be able to run 5k by April 21 2017
  • Lose 20lbs by April 21, 2017

Do More Podcasts / Video Casts

Last year I recorded 40 podcasts, that’s a good number, but I would like to improve it by also experimenting with more video.  I would like to post at least 1 video a month, experimenting with Facebook, YouTube Live and Periscope.


  • Post 1 video per month.

Post More Stuff!

I will post at least 1 blog post per week for NorthIQ.  1 blog post per month for Manage Comics, as well as 1 podcast per week to Sequential Fiction, and a minimum of 1 blog post a month on this website.


  • 1 Blog Post per Week for NorthIQ
  • 1 Video cast per month for NorthIQ
  • 1 Blog Post per month for Manage Comics
  • 1 Podcast per week for Sequential Fiction
  • 1 Blog Post per month for BrianGarside.com

Go on an awesome adventure

In April 2017 we’re planning on a trip to Disney World. I want to make this an amazing adventure, which I’m sure we’ll do.


  • Go to Disney World in April
  • Have fun.

Speak at a major conference

In order to get my name out there, I want to find and pitch a talk for a major conference. I also want to do another live episode of Sequential Fiction, and I would like to moderate some talks at a larger comic convention.


  • Pitch and deliver a talk at a major conference in Toronto or London
  • Deliver a live episode of Sequential Fiction
  • Moderate panels at Toronto Comicon or Fan Expo Canada

Double my revenue

I need to double the amount of money coming in to NorthIQ in the next year.  To do that I need to finalize our Unique Value Proposition, and start reaching out to more prospects. So far I’ve built my business by just using my network, but I need to start expanding that network.


  • By February 1 – Define NorthIQ’s Unique Value Proposition
  • By April 1 – Deliver on NorthIQ’s Q1 Goals
  • By April 1 – Create NorthIQ’s Q2 Goals

Bring on a partner

I’ve managed to “Lone Wolf” year 1, but I need help. It’s hard to both build a business and work on projects at the same time. By bringing on a full time partner, I’ll be able to devote more to business development.


  • By April 1 be in a position to bring on a full time partner.

Make Manage Comics Work for Me

Manage Comics is great, but I really need it to start making some money. Right now it’s a cost centre which costs more than it brings in.  Break even for it is 10 customers, and will allow me to do more updates.


  • By February 1st, complete the “Manage Comics Quickstart Guide”
  • By March 1st, schedule 10 demonstrations of Manage Comics
  • By March 30th, sell 2 monthly subscriptions to Manage Comics

Get NorthIQ in Front of People

This goes hand in hand with my goals to speak at a major conference and to post more stuff. I need to get NorthIQ out in front of more people. The things we do are pretty cool, and help our customers make more money.


  • Speak at a major conference
  • Deliver on weekly blog postings
  • Cross post to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
  • Create a LinkedIn group for London small businesses

Look to do more development projects

I would like to get into development projects this year, and start working on cool projects that help other businesses make more money.  These will be higher level projects than simple website creation / maintenance, and will leverage my 20 years of project development experience.


By March 1st, find a big software development project that I can manage.

Build an even better SaaS than Manage Comics

I have an idea for a small business dashboard that would give a small business insight into the various pieces of their lead generation strategy.  This would not only show them what they most important KPI’s were for the business, but also the positive or negative changes in those indicators.


By April 1 – Define the Small Business Dashboard project

By April 30 – Create a static HTML prototype of the SBDp

By May 30 – Scope out the work for the SBDp

By June 30 – Begin work on the SBDp