Every year I write a blog post that’s about a review of the previous year, and goals for the current year.

This post is one of the few posts I write every year that is for an audience of one.  They’re for future me, and I post them publicly so I have some accountability, and so that I can reflect on them a few times during the year.

The last two years have been a whirlwind. It has both taken longer to accomplish everything I wanted to do, and yet everything is happening so fast.

In 2017, NorthIQ Business Solutions became NorthIQ Inc., and my business made it through two full years in operation.

2017 In Review

  • I nearly doubled NorthIQ’s income in 2017
  • I added a partner to NorthIQ
  • I incorporated NorthIQ
  • We doubled the number of clients we work with
  • We made massive improvements to Manage Comics
  • We came up with another awesome product to work on
  • I handled several banking challenges.

My 2017 Resolutions in Review:

  • 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

As a whole, I am going to give myself a B- on the year.

Getting in shape was a bit of a bust, I am going to make that a main focus for 2018, it wasn’t enough of a focus in 2017.  Part of this will be to mandate “no 9am meetings” 9-10 is “me time” from now on.

Do more podcasts/video casts and post more stuff.  Well, I cancelled Sequential Fiction in January when I got too busy, I did zero video casts, but I posted a ton of stuff.  NorthIQ had 48 blog posts, as well as about a dozen that are in our drafts folder.  Manage Comics got 20 posts starting in May 2017, and this site had 8 posts for the year.  It’s a little off my goals (52 for NorthIQ, 12 for Manage Comics, and 12 for Brian Garside), but overall, I was ahead on content.

Team Garside had an awesome adventure when we travelled to Orlando to visit Walt Disney World in March.  It was one of my favourite trips I’ve ever taken, and our kids have hit the age where they are great travel companions.  This summer we’re going to take a week and go out East, and I’m really looking forward to that.

We got NorthIQ in front of way more people, and our content marketing efforts did an awesome job.  We didn’t speak at any conferences, but I’m not convinced anymore that this is necessary.

We didn’t do any development projects, but we did a lot of websites. We also finally decided what NorthIQ is exactly.

We also figured out our next SaaS, but we’re not quite ready to announce it yet.

What needs focus in 2018

  • Get in shape
  • Continue building NorthIQ
  • Build a second saas product
  • Be consistent with Content Marketing
  • Plan some actual vacation time
  • Do more stuff around the house

Get in Shape

  • 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

Continue building NorthIQ

A great goal, and there are some specific goals around this that will help to make things more clear.

  • Double Revenue in 2018
  • Market our services better
  • Continue with Content Marketing
  • Support Manage Comics
  • Hire two employees in 2018

Double Revenue in 2018 – We did a great job in 2017, but we came up a little bit short in the end, finishing with a strong 48% growth.

Double revenue will allow us to hire two people in 2018, and invest in a small office or shared office space.

Market our Services Better – we’ve settled on our unique value proposition, and we know what we’re good at, now NorthIQ needs to start pushing that out to everyone.

Continue with Content Marketing – We’ve done good with content marketing so far, the goal here will be to continue with this.

Manage Comics Support – We need help documents, webinars, and advertisement to help really sell Manage Comics.  This is our first Saas, so we need to get this right.

Hire two employees in 2018 – by the end of Q1 we’ll know if we’re able to do this.  Being able to hire more people will give us more bandwidth to do even more things!

  • By end of Q1 2018, be in position to have doubled revenue
  • Achieve 2018 Content Marketing Goals
  • By January 30th, post our UVP and positioning statements to NorthIQ
  • By January 15, 2018, begin regular (monthly) Manage Comics emails going out.
  • By February 1, 2018, Create help documents for Manage Comics
  • By February 1, 2018, Set up a weekly webinar for Manage Comics
  • By February 1, 2018 Begin to Advertise Manage Comics
  • By April 1, 2018, begin hiring process for employee #1
  • January 2, 2018, begin looking for office space
  • By July 1, 2018, begin hiring process for employee #2

Be consistent with Content Marketing

Content Marketing has been very successful for NorthIQ so far, and it will be even better in 2018.  We’ll market a date that works best for posting (Wednesdays for NorthIQ and Mondays for Manage Comics), and stick to that schedule.  Ideally all blog posts will be complete in advance and just be waiting for the magic button to be pushed.

  • 52 Blog Posts for NorthIQ
  • 26 Blog Posts for Manage Comics
  • 12 Blog Posts for BrianGarside.com
  • 12 Case Studies for NorthIQ
  • 12 Video Posts for NorthIQ
  • Full Help Documentation for Manage Comics with Video Screencasts

Plan some actual vacation time

In 2017 we went to Disney for an entire week, and it was great, but that’s pretty much the only true vacation I took in 2017.  I took a couple of days off here and there, but I always felt guilty, and I was always “on call”.  Even last week when I “closed the office” from Christmas to New Year’s, I ended up working two full days.

Goal, take three weeks of vacation in 2017:

  • Schedule vacation week for March
  • Schedule vacation week for July
  • Schedule vacation week for October

Do more stuff around the house

The house is starting to show its age, and it needs a few things done to it.  The first floor needs painting, and our furniture needs reupholstering, it’s time to plan for that stuff, and get it done.

  • By March 2018, get painting quotes for first floor
  • By June 2018, have new office barn door completed
  • By October 2018, have furniture reupholstered.