With a new year comes new hope…errr no. Generally, I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions. Typically those are merely dreams and hopes that quickly fall away as reality sets in as a new year goes on. But with that said the holiday break from reality and the start of a new year (and decade) can give some time to reflect on the past and look to the future and where we see ourselves. This post is an attempt to get back into blogging on a more regular basis and also give a thought on where I have come from and hope to head in the year(s) ahead.
The past year, few years, in fact, have been a state of flux and challenge on many levels, be it personally or with trying to grow the new “maker” business. Life is never boring and there can be a lot of challenges that sometimes get the better of us. That said the last half of the year especially has been an upward direction and one I want to keep moving in.
So what can we expect in the year moving forward? Well, these are my “plans”, not grand hopes or wishes, but a realistic list of reachable items….
- Get back into blogging.
Woohoo, this post is step 1 so off to a great start! I want to start sharing more around the projects I do as well as the business side and associated challenges that are part of the “maker life”, whatever that really means. I’ve always openly shared what I do across all my previous work, be it IT, UAVs, or now more maker focused, and I hope to do more of that going forward. It provides not only a means to share but also helps me better stop and reflect and think through the processes and challenges faced. Putting it into words makes you go through the thought process and makes you step back on things that can give you a clearer view; it is often easy to get tunnel vision and run forward head down especially working for yourself, so writing and sharing help break that single-minded view.
- Develop video content.
Doing more (any) videos has always been a desire I’ve had, be it with my UAV work or in sharing products and projects. The plan is to develop videos that showcase the products I make, with the selfish goal of driving more sales, but to also how the behind the scenes process of what I do. Again sharing the hows and whys is something I like to do so this provides another channel to do that. The biggest challenge is always in the time required to shoot and produce decent content. We shall see how this pans out.
- Improve skills.
While I have a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science and 25+ years of work experience in the field, much of what I currently do doesn’t leverage that for the most part in the day to day maker life, beyond the underlying technical skills. This year I want to expand on my skills taking on some new approaches to making as well as getting more proficient at tools such as Adobe Illustrator, which is where most of my laser creations get born. To start that process I recently signed up on CreativeLive and been working my way through the first Illustrator course and already picked up a few time-saving tips. More ahead as time permits…
- Get better at “Business”.
This is probably the biggest challenge and area I need to grow. While I’ve been consulting for decades on the IT side, running and growing a business of selling “things” has its own set of skills and know-how. From how to better market my offerings to be more organized in the day to day running of the business and exciting parts like accounting and taxes, these all need to improve in order to grow and take on new opportunities, although not the most exciting part of being a maker 🙁
- New products.
This is an easier one as it is something that I’ve been doing consistently over the past year or more as the business has evolved. The plan is to continue on this path with a number of new ideas of my own plus feedback from customers. I always love hearing from new and existing customers and developing new items from these requests, that is something that won’t change. So if you have an idea for something let me know as I’m always open to custom orders.
This will primarily be around tabletop gaming, which has been the niche I’ve fallen into and currently love (more to come on that in future blog posts), but there will always be other areas of interest, UAVs will still be a core part of what I do and getting back into sim racing has already started me creating notes on possible new “things” to make, time will tell what are viable new directions and which are dead ends, but the journey keeps things interesting and not down a single path, variety keeps it exciting. Who knows what the year ahead may hold as new tangents pop up, stay tuned!
This is a reference to both physical items and life in general. You collect a lot of “junk” over a span of a half-decade and it piles up (says the guy who couldn’t throw out shrink-wrapped ZIP Disks just last month). This year I hope to unload a lot of the “stuff” that is merely taking up space, and stop wasting time on things that don’t add value and happiness. The focus needs to be on what makes you happy and simplifies daily life without giving up the fun in the process.
At the end of the day, we need to realize life is short, do what you love and make the most of the limited days ahead. Our vision is only as good as the direction we are looking in, and forward may not always be the best or at least the most fun direction. Come along for the ride…