2016 Year in Review

2016 Year in Review

Since 2014 I have written these yearly reviews, and they’ve been helpful. The goal of the annual review is to help me time travel. The only way I’m going to remember my train of thought, my goals my successes and failures is to Read a blog post from my previous self.

I want to keep these reviews public so others can learn key takeaways from my year and also use them to implement in their own business. They say experience is the best teacher, but you can save massive amounts of time for reading someone else’s story and learning to avoid their mistakes and failures.

My goals for 2016 were very ambitious, but I felt that I could reach them. Even though I did not reach all of my goals, I’m still Satisfied by how the year went because I have Clarity on what I’m going to do moving forward with my business.

You can read my 2015 yearly review but here were some of the goals that I had for 2016:
Relaunch of Business website, inPhocus Media
Create videos on a consistent basis
Complete the Freelance Jumpstart course
Launch Road to Launch Podcast


VenturePOP! Year 2 Review (2016)

I waited an entire year for this moment.

Last year I took a chance and drove 380 miles to a conference I knew nothing about with no expectations of it being a worthy investment.

Luckily for me, this turned out to be one of the best investments of 2015 I made for my business and was the launchpad for many new projects.

In all honesty, I felt like the 2016 Venture Pop Conference had big shoes to fill. How were they going to top what they did last year? For 2016, they put more time, effort and thought into promoting the conference and building upon what happened last year.
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The Price is Wrong (Wordcamp Keynote)

Why is it that some Freelancers get to work with clients who are willing to pay them five figures for their work and other freelancers get paid $300 or so for the same type of work. Running your own business as a creative entrepreneur is not the same as working for an employer at a company.

When you are an employee, the thought is if you work hard someone will recognize your work and give you a raise. However, when you’re working for yourself, you have to be the person to give yourself a raise.
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What I Learned in 2014

2014 was a great year and 2015 is going to be a great one as well. As I reflect back on the year there are 14 things that come to the forefront of my mind that were lessons to take to heart.

1) Set a few goals then map out steps

In 2014 I admit I set too many goals for myself. When the last part of the year arrived I was in a rush finish my goals and I ended up not completing everything I planned. It is better to have a few goals and then smaller goals which are subsets of the larger ones. The less goals you have the more you can focus on completing those goals and moving on to the next one. Trust me by the time you have completed all of your goals you will come up with new ones in 2015.
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Stop Being Arrogant, Your Website Sucks

I sat at my desk staring at my business website and I thought about everything I wanted to change. As a marketing and web design consultant I redesign client websites to increase their sales, conversions and brand image. When working with these clients I consider color theory, typography, photography, mobile strategies and business to evaluate websites. I finally realized my very own business website needed to be remodeled but for some reason I felt like it was not a big deal. In 2013, after completely overhauling inphocusmedia.com I thought it was at least near perfect and for the other fixes I wrote them down and said to myself “I will get to it eventually”.

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Choosing a Business Structure

If you are thinking of starting your own business you probably are wondering what business structure you should choose to classify your business. There are a few business levels to note but we will focus on the 5 main levels to consider. Based on what business structure you choose, there are different tax rules, risks, protections and fees that must be paid.

This article is an exert from the book entitled Freelance Jumpstart. There is also a free video course that explains this article which can be found by going to the Freelance Jumpstart Video Crash Course Website.

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Anatomy of a Contract

During my time working with clients I had to learn the hard way contracts are the most important piece of information in the client-consultant relationship. Of course it is important to build a rapport and choose the right client but when it comes to a contract both parties should be in agreement about what goes in the contract and what each part of a contract means.

I would like to cover the areas of a contract that I have found essential. If you are considering revising your current contract or do not know where to start then this article was written just for you. I recommend at the very least to include the following items. Continue Reading


Anatomy of an Invoice

When I first started out with my business I knew creating invoices would be key to show to my clients if I wanted to collect payment for the services I provide. This lead me to research on what other businesses were including on their invoices. Most of them were straight forward and had items such as the date, amount due and the invoice number. I also found that many companies were not consistent with their invoices and left out some crucial information such as the payment due date.

If you are looking to create your own invoices there are many resources online that can help you with this but it is vitally important to know the must haves for submitting an invoice. If you are in the process of drafting an invoice template or you are considering revising a template that already exists, I recommend including the following items on the invoice. Continue Reading


Coming soon: Free Video Course

Why is the course free, what’s the catch?

Honestly, there is no catch. I’ve learned from others for free, therefore, I want to teach others free. As I continue to work on my book Freelance Jumpstart, I spent time researching on the topics I wanted to discuss and setting up interviews for the book. This also involved looking up the best ways to market the book and choose the proper target audience. Continue Reading


New Book In the Works

There are two books I recently read which inspired me and those books are Logo Design Love and Work for Money, Design for Love both by David Airey. When I read the down to earth tone of the book I really enjoyed it. It felt like I was speaking with someone in the same room and they were just sharing their thoughts with me. The book is minimal but also graphically sound, which is expected because David is a graphic designer. Another thing I noticed about the books is David used storytelling from his 10 years of experience as a designer. Here I was thinking to write a book my writing skills needed to be on the same level as Seth Godin, John Maxwell or Tom Clancy but all I really needed was to organize my thoughts around a central subject.
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Best FREE Places to Learn HTML & CSS

Technology has gotten to the point to where many people are using computers for their everyday tasks and a web presence is an absolute necessity to have for your business.

I remember taking a computer science class in high school and college, we looked into C++, Visual Basic and other languages and skipped right over HTML, but with success stories like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook learning to code is well worth it. If nothing else even if you do not become a web designer you may land a position with the useful skills you learn.
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