As 2015 comes to a close I find myself looking back on the year it was. There is so much to think about. I debated on putting something like this together, but I decided that if I am to firmly embrace my intention to blog on a regular basis in 2016, I might as well just start now.
I have successfully completed a full year as a self-employed business owner, continuing to pursue a dream many years in the formulation stages. While the realization of the dream was forced into being by a couple of unpleasant external forces, I now feel that I’m in the right place.
My wife, Carol, and I, are slowly embarking on a journey to a minimalist lifestyle; in part due to a greatly compromised personal financial situation, but also, as a means to find that which truly makes us happy together.
As a solopreneur running a WordPress website development and support business, I have developed and expanded a number of personal skillsets this year. Most of these skillsets can be attributed to getting through day-to-day business operations, but others are aimed at increasing my technical skills and market value.
- Online classes through Codecademy, Treehouse, and Lynda.com to get deeper into PHP, CSS and Genesis themes
- Workshops and multi-session seminar series on Genesis Customizations, SEO Basics, and social media marketing
A related component of skillset development was to push my comfort zone considerably and deliver a number of presentations at some of the technical gatherings I participate in on a regular basis.
- 3 lightning talks at WordPress Meetups -2 at the Philly Burbs Meetup that meets in 4 different locations outside of Philadelphia, and one at the Philadelphia WordPress Meetup.
- Three short presentations for the Social Media Special Interest Group (SIG) at the monthly gathering of the Philadelphia Area Computer Society (pacsnet.org).
- Led one full session of the WordPress SIG for PACS.
One of my goals for 2016 is to try and deliver a talk at a regional WordCamp. Yikes. We’ll see how that goes. Okay, LP, it’s out there!
The WordPress support business has grown nicely this year. Word-of-mouth and customer referrals have enabled this segment of my business to grow each month. We’re not talking ‘hockey-stick’ growth, but growth. I’m good with that.
By far, the most satisfactory area of my business is the WordPress website development. I really like to be in a position to help small businesses get moving online, whether its with a brand new website, or an overhaul of an older site. It is very rewarding to talk with a small business owner and help them to put together their ideas for their website. I try to help them answer the hard questions about their website.
Why do you want a website? What will your visitors do on it? What are you trying to get out of the website? How will you know if the website is helping your business?
Cap Web Solutions’ portfolio is growing. Check it out for yourself. My goal is to double the number of websites shown on it in 2016. eCommerce sites comprised the single largest single segment this past year, while church websites, a stated focal point, not so much. I hope to expand this later segment in 2016 through a marketing program aimed at local denominational dioceses. Nothing like demonstrating success in your own back yard I say.
On a personal note, this new life as an empty-nester is different. Our youngest moved out of the house in early February. Now both sons are about about an hour drive – one to the north and one to the west, with about an hour in between the two of them – a rather nice equilateral triangle I might add, or is that a special case of an isosceles triangle? Grocery bills have dropped considerably, but the house has an almost constant state of quiet about it. This is helpful for meditation, but not so much a feeling of family. Working from home only enhances that. Thank goodness for Wegman’s Market Cafe and free wifi!
So that’s it. An overview of 2015. Never done one of these posts to this degree before. It has been, let’s say, therapeutic. Good for the soul.
Onward and upward into 2016.
Stick with me. Let’s do this.