Looking back at my 2008 Goals

It’s hard to believe 2008 is over. It feels like just last week I started Little Stream Software but I’ve been in business for over 18 months now. I’ve decided to do a short review of my 2008 goals:

  1. Grow my business to make $100,000 in revenue in 2008

Yea, that goal was a bit extreme for my first full year in business. I adjusted it down to a level that was 50% more than what I was making a full time employee and almost reached it. The problem was I had a few slow months where I was figuring out the feast vs famine cycle of freelancing.

  1. Finish my personal and business emergency savings

I completed these goals but around August Ilana and I purchased our first home. That took a chunk out of our personal savings but it should be replaced in the next couple of months. Having the cushion of savings for my business has helped my Little Stream Software be more flexible, from floating late payments from customers to being able to work on a few side projects.

  1. Get 3 paid Ruby on Rails projects

By summer I reached this goal. By the end of 2008, I’d completed about half a dozen Ruby projects. A few of them ended up being plugins for Redmine and some enhancements for other Open Source projects.

  1. Grow my RSS and newsletter subscribers to 500 people

I wasn’t about to keep up my posting frequency in 2008 so my subscriber count had only a slight growth in 2008. I have since started using Twitter throughout the day and am starting to get a nice sized following there. If you want some shorter, more frequent updates follow me on Twitter.

  1. Redesign my core websites

I’m working currently working with someone to do the redesigns. The designs are almost done and I should have them launched to Little Stream Software and theAdmin by the end of January.

  1. Participate on 10 Open Source projects

I was able to meet this goal by creating and Open Sourcing several Redmine plugins in 2008. I still have a few I’m getting ready to release, but you can see the complete list on my GitHub page.

  1. Incorporate my business

As of Monday, I’ve created a LLC for Little Stream Software. My accountant advised me to wait until 2009 because it would be less tax paperwork to fill out. If you are operating a full time business as a sole proprietor, you should take a look at a corporation or LLC. All said and done, my LCC required me to fill out one form online for Oregon and to fax a single document to the state capital.

  1. Write a short ebook ( 30 to 100 pages )

This goal fell by the wayside for 2008. I ended up focusing on other things and didn’t even try to work towards this one. I’m still interested in writing one, maybe in 2009 I’ll be more motivated.

  1. Contribute a patch to Ruby on Rails

I started to create a patch for Ruby on Rails, I just lost track of it after summer. I don’t consider a total loss though, I was able to figure out how the contribution process works so it should be easier now. Mike Gunderloy wrote up a great process for contributing a patch to Rails, it’s worth a look if you are working with Rails.

  1. Meet 100 new people (I forgot to include this in my 2008 goals blog post.)

Since my business works on relationships, I needed to meet more people in order to grow and 100 people a year sounded like a good amount. Turns out, I was able to meet 147 new people in 2008. For the mathematically inclined, that’s over 12 new people every month. I think the main cause for such a smashing victory is from my participation in the Open Source community. It doesn’t take a lot of time and I’m able to meet people from all over the world. Plus it’s fun talking to new people.

I ended up with a few goals completed in 2008 and a few of them unfinished. Considering everything that happened in 2008, I’m very happy with the results. I’ll be posting my 2009 goals soon. I’m taking a different focus with 2009, with a lot of concentration on improving my core development skills.