2023 in reviewJan 02, 2024
It's funny, one of my last posts to be published on the site was '2022 in review', with one of my goals set out was to create loads more content for 2023. This is going to be fun looking back. Lets go!
What did I set out to do?
It's always good to take a step back and look at what your goals and aspirations were. It has always been one of the reasons I do something like this every year (whether it be a social post or on a blog). I try not to dwell or kick myself for not sticking to the goals, but it helps to set out a roadmap of sorts.
To save you going back to the original post, I set out to achieve the following:
1. Focus on family time more.
2. Get stupidly fit
3. Produce more content
4. Go to more events/user groups and interact with the community
5. Transition to outcome based consulting
6. Pass vendor agnostic exams
7. Go full time into Yobah
Out of all my main goals was probably the one I succeeded in closest to how I wanted it to go. This time last year, I’d started the transition from an ‘all in’ contractor and wanted to free up my time to ‘be there’ for the family, while also getting some time to do my own projects.
My standard day, I’d be rushing out of the door, stressed in the evening that they kids weren’t in bed as I had a deadline to meet, and any last minute ask from their school and the whole weeks plans went to shit.
Now, it is the exact opposite. Work comes after the family. I’m able to see them more, I drop the kids off and pick them up from school pretty much every day, and am lucky to say I haven’t missed any of their activities. It’s taken a lot of work to get here, but the main factor in my mind is the ability for me to say no to engagements that come my way. I found myself having conversations with my customers on what it was they actually wanted from me, and whether it needed to be 5 days a week.
I was lucky to get a piece of work that was mostly outcome based that let me work around the hours I wanted.
Keeping fit was also a goal that I somehow managed to achieve. Throughout the year, I got to the gym at least twice a week excluding when I was away on holiday. Although I didn't push to get to the level that I wanted, I managed to keep a baseline (read: I didn't go back to my heavy heavy weight). This year I hope to pick it back up and ideally get back into rowing. Plan to get sub 7 second 2000m. Lets see how that goes!
My business goals have always been in a bit of a flux. One on hand, I want to build a successful MSP (Yobah), while on the other, I enjoy consulting and the flexibility it brings. Last year, I was very much in the camp of pushing for the MSP to be the main day to day, with everything else a sideline. However, as the year went one, and how a few things turned out, i'm leaning towards the whole solo consultant and flexible model. However, thats not to say Yobah isn’t still a priority, it’s just the plans and realisation as to where it sits in my overall life portfolio. I’ll put a dedicated post to this in the coming weeks.
The aim this year is to very much ‘give back’. Turns out, I really like teaching and some level of mentoring. It’s great to be able to work with people in the industry who want to push themselves and learn more, while able to help them on that journey. It’s one of the reasons Ive moved to this new platform, as it gives me certain content options that will help this goal.
You'll notice the new branding from Paul Sanders Consulting to Tame Your Cloud, which will be a key focus of mine moving forward. This website is hosted on a platform called Kajabi, that gives me an extensive toolset to be able to build out digital products, with the main one being digital courses. Which, spoiler, is one of this years goals! More on that later.
Exams and Certs
I passed a whole bunch of certifications last year, mostly to meet the crazy requirements Microsoft set out for Microsoft partners. It pushed me, the team at Yobah and took a large strain on any spare time we had. I'd got into the swing of passing exams, and decided to aim for some vendor agnostic certs such as the CISSP. However, re-thinking my goals... there is not much point me pushing for it. My goal should be helping others attain their certification goals by sharing knowledge and content. The benefits of me passing the certs are diminishing the longer i've been in the industry.
So, with that in mind, I'm going to take a break for a little while on getting new certifications - and will focus on keeping my current exams in date, and will re-consider in the following months.
So what about 2024
This is going to be a year of change for me. Mostly around building in flexibility and control over my personal time and health. I'll keep pushing the transition to be in consulting, rather than a typical contractor, while building out a bunch of digital products and content that can help get knowledge and information out there to have an impact on the industry and peoples careers.
I'll still be consulting using the associate model (where I basically work white label with other consultancies) to keep my skills at the forefront.
Therefore, you are going to see a lot more of Tame Your Cloud, with my first digital course planned in February. Alongside that, you will see my newsletter is going end up in inboxes, and I even have a Youtube channel ready to go! So, with that in mind, I wish you all a Happy New Year, and ill keep you all updated on my progress.
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