One week until Christmas and two weeks until New Years. I can hardly believe how fast this year has gone by. When I reflect back on the year, there has been so much good.
My son Michael continues to work with me. This is our second anniversary and it is so cool and something so unexpected. It is especially great that now he knows more than I do in certain areas and I can totally rely on him. Since Cara moved on to her own business and taking care of her teenagers, we also added Aaron K-A, who we have known since grade school, to the team. Oh, and of course there’s Carol Sue who helps me get the Just A Digital Minute out each week. Jonelle, who use to work with us, is doing Social Media for a company in New York City. It makes me happy that she learned chops here that gave her a great boost in life. I do miss her, though.
For larger websites, we bring in Allison Boaz to write content and do project management. What a blessing she is and fun to work with as well. I met Allison a few years ago in a WordPress Meetup and its great to see her business grow and be a part of that.
WordPress turned ten this year. I have been using it for eight of those ten and started my web design and consulting business six years ago. WordPress has been good to me and to so many people who are making a good living helping businesses create sites on this platform that allow their teams to be more nimble in managing their marketing.
Some people have asked me if I was worried that so many people are making their own sites, or making sites for others at impossibly low fees. I believe two things about that. First, there is plenty of business to go around for all of us and second, it is really easy to make a bad WordPress site, so we spend about a quarter of our time fixing sites that were not done right. We also created 36 brand new websites, half of them included branding and logo design, as well as on-going support for larger clients and the technical support that is a necessary evil (not my favorite thing, although getting really good at it.)
It is not only small businesses that are hopping on the bandwagon. Georgia State University, moved its entire University wide website to a WordPress Multi-site platform. I had a front row seat watching this process as New Tricks was one of the first outside vendors to create a site for one of their programs, on the new platform.
On a personal note, I made a commitment this year to get out of my house more. For those of you who don’t know, I have a 6,000 square foot loft and my husband and I started renting out the kids rooms as a bed and breakfast, Urban Oasis, once they all grew up and moved out. New Tricks World Headquarters is also located in this massive space. Oh, and did I mention I have three Basset Hounds and a cat? All of that makes it very difficult for me to get it together to travel.
In March, I was one of the co-organizers of WordCamp Atlanta. We had 450 tickets and sold out in two weeks. After that, I made a commitment to travel and scheduled some trips.
In July, I went to Portland for Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit for the third year running. In August, I went to the beach for a week with my family. I went to the Rhythm and Roots dance festival in Rhode Island over Labor Day and danced Zydeco for a couple of days and visited Newport when I was fifteen. My house is no longer there as it now is the home of the Newport Jazz Festival. A lot can happen in 45 years! And finally, I went to Paris where my niece was working and amused myself during the days and then she and I traveled to Amsterdam together for a few days.
Two months ago, my sister Mary gave me one session with a friend of hers who is a personal trainer in the neighborhood. I guess I was ready to get serious about my health because I went to the session and signed up for 3 sessions a week for life (seriously… it is going to take a while) and joined Weight Watchers. I have lost a total of 18 pounds and can lift a Volkswagen off a small child. And this despite being sick for three weeks with the horrible cold and laryngitis, after bragging I am never sick, and having Thanksgiving and my sixtieth birthday in the same week with family visiting for ten days.
I live more in the moment than most and, therefore, I am a very bad planner and goal setter- so I don’t know what 2014 holds in store. Maybe I’ll think about it over the next two weeks!