A year ago I walked out of the Info-Tech Research Group for the last time as an employee, and walked into my new career as a small business owner.  It’s been an incredible year, and I’m doing things now I couldn’t have imagined a year ago.

So what have I done in the last year?

I created a business! YAY ME! NorthIQ is a sole proprietorship in Ontario.  I use Xero for my accounting needs, and I’m accepting payments using Stripe.

I totally revamped All New Comics with a brand new website.  I’ve been tweaking it over the last year, and I provide Peter with some content marketing services.

I came up with the idea for Manage Comics and worked along with Code Elves to make it a reality.

I created a podcast, Sequential Fiction, and I have hosted 40 episodes to date.

I built websites, So. Many. Websites.

I built a site for Nate Robinson’s CityWide Homes, I built sites for Western, Trojan Technologies, and my friend Matt.  I’ve done big sites, I’ve done little sites, I’ve done quick jobs to help people out, and I’ve done big things that took months.

I co-wrote the “Kickstart Guide to Marketing with Science Not Magic”. I learned that long titles that use words like “Kickstart” in them are confusing. Craig and I are going to revamp this guide totally in October to be “The NorthIQ Way – A Marketing Recipe Book”, a series of simple step-by-step plans all laid out like recipes.

Then there’s my major clients.  Timber Block Homes takes up about half of my time.  I totally revamped their site this year, and rebuilt it from the ground up.

Just recently I started working on Well Nation, a health and wellness company which is opening up shop here in London soon.

There is still a lot to do.  I need to focus on my own NorthIQ website, I need to double down on the same advice I give my clients (post regularly, post good content), and I need to start really marketing Manage Comics because it’s something I believe in.

Overall though this was a successful first year. I’m hopeful that year two will see me bring on at least two people to the business, maybe three.  I want to run this business different than any other one that I’ve been a part of. I want to be fully transparent, and I want everyone who works with me to be as invested in the company’s success because when we succeed, they will also succeed.

There are so many models that show how this works, from Buffer to Zappos, to Groove, all companies I admire greatly.