It’s coming to the end of the year and every year I do an end of year stock take. I revisit the personal goals I set out to achieve for myself from the beginning of the year and look at what was achieved, what succeeded and what failed.
It’s a good practice to understand that what may feel like you’ve achieved nothing at all, is in actual fact, incorrect. When you sit down and write down what you’ve done, you see that you have done so much more than you give yourself credit for!
Do you do the same?
At the start of this year, my personal goals for 2016 were:
- To build new connections and networks into fields outside of Learning and Development so that I can then demonstrate, show and provide real-life examples and new innovative and unique ideas of how people are continually learning through social networking and through the course of their everyday work
- To build more content (in particularly courses, videos and downloadable resources) that can be sold as ‘stand alone’ products (this is a love-hate relationship with building stand-alone courses but as I later found out, free downloadable resources are more popular)
- Explore the medium of video and live streaming in the context of storytelling, an education platform and a creative outlet
So Where Am I At?
Admittedly this year for me as an independent consultant has been financially tough and now grappling with the idea of returning to salaried employment in the new year. Someone said to me to consider it less like a failure and more like “changing laboratories” jumping from employee to freelancer to employee and back again – and I like that metaphor.
It’s a daunting realisation when you realise that what you love to do (solving pesky business problems, analysing needs and co-creating custom performance-based solutions) is not aligned to the particular needs and budget of your client market at that point in time because of various factors they may be facing such as time, budget or lack of resources. However, my raison d’etre remains the same…
I want to solve problems together; come up with creative and innovative solutions that we can share our work publicly and in the process, transform, evolve or grow in some way through it and then make a positive impact in business or community some way. In effect, trust and inspiration in work and learning – together….and get paid for it.
What Have I Been Up To?
Although I have worked with various clients this year, I was unable to share this work openly due to non-disclosure agreements that I had to sign – and the projects were too far and in-between. It’s unfortunate that I couldn’t openly write about these projects because there were many lessons learned – from both sides I might add. However, here are some:
- Consulting to senior Learning and Development Managers on Designing Learning Strategy for Digital Literacy for a couple of financial service institutions and a health insurance provider
- Writing an e-Book (included checklists and tools) on Online Community Management and Facilitation for a Learning and Development team for a financial service
- Personal coaching to individuals from client organisations who were designated as Community Managers for guided social learning programs their organisation had designed and developed and who needed coaching around these skills
- Various webinars to vocational and business sectors on working out loud
- Presenting at a couple of conferences to people outside my field and in particularly, graduates and young leaders (I LOVED working with the young people)
- Sub-contracting work with two Associations (medical and engineering) to analyse professional development needs of their members
Actions Achieved This Year
When you work for yourself, there are times during the day when you’re not actively working on client projects so you have to find ways to fill your day with work that will (hopefully) bring in some revenue for you. Here’s what I have done this year:
- Written on average 3 blog posts every week culminating to over 350 blog posts on this site on topics such as working out loud, using social media for networked learning, Snapchat, social learning and personal learning networks
- Created 7 downloadable resources that readers can download on this website (free and paid)
- Reached membership of 410 learning professionals in my social networking meetup group “ThirdPlace” (which I created in 2013)
- Created a YouTube channel with over 50 videos (videos were vlogs or Snapchat videos)
- Created business templates that automate and streamline the process of strategy consulting, design & development of guided social learning programs – plus the proposal, cold call & warm calling, telephone enquiry, sales lead generation and pipeline and evaluation checklists and templates
- Developed a Performance Consulting Strategy Consulting and Workshop
- Developed a Personal Coaching Program that helps people build Personal Learning Networks and teach them to build a brand & reputation online with their expertise
- Created three different social media coaching packages
- Created six different workshops and webinars to sell as products related to how to use social media, working out loud, designing guided social learning and building a personal brand online using social networks
- Won an inaugural Jay Cross Memorial award for Social Learning
- Interviewed by the Learnnovators
- Shot and edited videos of different interviews of Learning and Development people for LearningNowTV
- Continued with my second year of an email newsletter Activate My Learning that sends out monthly tips to people to activate the way they learn for today’s work environment to over 400 people
- Selected for by my local council to be part of an intergenerational film project which I acted in and produced and which was later screened as part of the Seniors Festival at our local cinema
- Created a piquing interest in using Snapchat for Learning by using it as my own education platform and video platform.
- Built my own website from scratch – didn’t outsource it so that I could fully understand how to drive it – with lots of pain I might add
- Made new networks and connections into new fields namely health and medical, small business, internal auditing, engineers and the start-ups here and overseas.
- Currently writing an ebook on How to Share and Show Your Work on Snapchat