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A look back at 2021 and a look ahead to 2022.Thank you for your continued interest in Resourceful Designer. You have no idea how much I appreciate you. There are so many great resources available for learning and growing as a designer, and I’m humbled that you chose to spend a bit of your valuable time with me.
I am continuing my annual tradition. This last podcast episode of 2021 is my Look Back, Look Ahead edition. It’s where I reflect, and of course, share, what my year was like as a design business owner. Then I’ll look ahead at what I want to accomplish in 2022.
A Look Back at my 2021 goals.
At the end of 2020, I set these goals for myself.
FAIL: Talk at more conferences. For obvious reasons (hint, there was a pandemic), I failed at this one. I talked at two virtual conferences at the beginning of the year, but I didn’t enjoy the experience and opted not to apply anymore.
FAIL: Grow the Resourceful Designer podcast audience. When the pandemic hit in 2020, my podcast listenership took a big hit like many other podcasts. A lot of people listen to podcasts on their commute. And with the elimination commutes, people didn’t have time to listen as much.
I was hoping that the numbers would tick back up this year. But I’m still way below what I used to get before the pandemic hit.
ACCOMPLISHED: Grow the Resourceful Designer Community. The Community is my pride and joy. One day, when I’m no longer doing the podcast, I’ll look back at everything I did with Resourceful Designer, and I’m sure the Community will be my proudest accomplishment. The friendships formed and all the freely given help is more than I could have ever hoped.
If you’re not a member of the Community and you’re looking for camaraderie with fellow designers, I highly suggest you check it out. Registration will open up again in February 2022.
ACCOMPLISHED: Grow Podcast Branding. I think I made the pivot this year from Podcast Branding being a side business to my main business. I know financially, it’s much more lucrative than my long-standing design business.
Some of my numbers from 2021
- I released 41 podcast episodes. The lowest in a calendar year since I launched the podcast. The number is down because I took several weeks off this summer after my father passed away.
- Reached over 630k total episode downloads in 2021 (Over 63k of which were in 2021)
- Resourceful Designer released on Samsung devices.
My design business
COVID-19 continued to affect my business in 2021. I lost several clients due to closure. And many who remained were affected financially and didn’t ask me for anything.
- Worked on design projects for 23 different clients (up from 9 in 2020)
- No new clients in 2021.
- I sent out 41 invoices in 2020 (up from 14 in 2020)
- Lost five long-standing clients due to various reasons but mostly COVID-19 related.
- Started consulting work with our local Business Enterprise Centre.
NOTE: I didn’t actively promote my design business in 2021. Instead, I concentrated on growing my other business, Podcast Branding.
My Podcast Branding business was my moneymaker this year.
- Worked with 64 different clients (up from 51 in 2020)
- Launched nine new websites for clients. (down from 16 in 2020. However, revenue from those nine websites was more significant than the 16 last year.)
- It was featured as a guest on two podcasts that brought in new business.
A Look Ahead at my 2020 goals.
My previous goals will continue to carry over in the new year. Continue to grow the Resourceful Designer Community. Concentrate more on Podcast Branding and so forth.
New Goal for 2020.
- Create new partnerships to grow what I offer at Podcast Branding.
- Expand the Resourceful Designer Community to include even more offerings than now.
- Do more consulting work.
What about you?
Did you accomplish your goals for 2021, and What are your goals for the new year?
- Are you a student getting ready to graduate? What are your goals once school is over?
- Are you still relatively new to the design world? What are your goals to hone your skills?
- Are you a veteran designer like I am? What are your goals for continued growth?
- Are you a designer working for someone else? Maybe you enjoy your job; perhaps you don’t. Either way, what are your future goals?
- Or perhaps you’re already a home-based designer, a freelancer if that’s the term you use; what goals do you have to grow your business?
Wherever you are in the world, whatever your level of skill, whatever your situation is, I want you to take some time to look back at 2021 and think about your accomplishments AND your shortcomings.
Did you stop after your accomplishments? Or did you plow right through them, happy with yourself but reaching even further? What about your shortcomings? Did they discourage you or create a sense of want even higher than before? Think about what prevented you from reaching those goals.
So long 2021.
As 2021 comes to an end. I encourage you to reflect. Think about everything you’ve learned. Your struggles, the things you fell short on (be it your fault or just the state of the world) and your accomplishments. And come up with a plan to make 2022 your year of success. To help with your planning, perhaps you should listen to episode 55 of the podcast, Setting Goals For Your Design Business.
These past two years have been tough on all of us. I hope that we never have to endure something like this ever again. But you know that old saying, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. Remember the lessons from these past two years, and use everything you’ve learned to make 2022 and future years even better.
I’ll be back in 2022 with more advice for starting and growing your design business. Until then I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season. And of course, no matter what goals you set for yourself in the new year, always remember to Stay Creative.
What are your goals for 2022?
Let me know by leaving a comment for this episode.
I would love to hear from you. You can send me questions and feedback using my feedback form.
I want to help you.
Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business, please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at email@example.com