What I Learned In 2015 And Why 2016 Will Be Even Better

When you get comfortable you lose out, miss opportunities and generally stagnate – that’s the most important thing I learned in 2015.

It’s okay if you don’t read the rest of this post – if you understood the first line you can extrapolate the rest – If you self-educate, apply what you learn, try new things, put your best foot forward,  and work your ass off then great things will happen.

However, if you do want to read on….

2014 was not the year it could have been. Don’t get me wrong, great things happened in 2014, but from a productivity, personal growth and career advancement perspective it was fairly, well… meh. Comfortable with my client base, tied up with some big projects, and with Malcolm ramping up to his 1st birthday in the middle of the year, it’s fair to say that I coasted through a lot of 2014. Sure I gave 100% to my clients, but despite my intentions personal and career development was left by the wayside.

2015 was a completely different beast. I’m not sure where the motivation came from, maybe it was a building sense of frustration coupled with the fact that my family was once again growing (Scarlett was born in April), but 2015 saw an increased focus on personal and career growth.

As always self-educating played a huge part in this. Udemy courses during my free-minutes and lunch breaks, listening to marketing and business podcasts and, of course, reading on my phone and kindle whenever I had energy left. The big kicker though, which set 2015 apart, was actually putting it all into practice and pursuing new ideas and goals.

This past year has seen the launch of Veritas Diagnostic Services (our service that makes MRI & CT scans affordable for people with high deductibles, no insurance, or who simply want peace of mind), the launch of the Drive-By Marketing Podcast, expanding into new consulting roles with my clients, and the kind of hustle that made the unexpected closure of one of my biggest clients not just profitable for me but an entirely new opportunity and challenge as I take on the role as “Business Manager / Everything Guru” at the Neuromuscular, Spine & Joint Center.

As amazing as 2015 was, it hasn’t been perfect. I have failed on some fronts and could have done better on others – most notable of which is my health. I got off to a good start and even lost 18 pounds – most of which I have put back on.  I haven’t spent nearly as much time with friends and family as I would like, and outside of a wonderful weekend in New Orléans with Sara, we haven’t managed the time for a family vacation (we did however bring my mom and grandparents over from Ireland for the birth of baby Scarlett).

Clearly there is room for improvement.

That’s what 2016 will be – an improvement on 2015.  We’re already off to a great start as we’re moving house this month so that we’ll be in a better school district for the little ones. What’s really going to make 2016 better however will be applying everything I did to make 2015 great – the learning, application and work ethic, toward building on the success of 2015 and pushing boundaries further.

This will also be the year that I finally take my health seriously. I’m 37, not getting any younger, and want to be the best I can for my family and hopefully be around for many years to come.

One more challenge that I will face is personal time management – or more accurately, better use of my free time. Time management from a work perspective is the easiest thing in the world for me, but managing my personal time so I can get better quality time with my family, beautiful wife, and friends – yeah, that needs serious work!

Rounding out this post, I need to thank my beautiful wife. Sara has put up with me working almost every hour that comes my way – working late, at weekends, going back into the office after the kids go to bed, and all sorts of other annoyances this year. Without her support 2015 would not have been the success it was.

Finally, I want to wish you all an amazing 2016. Remember that it will be the year that you make it!

Happy New Year from Paul O'Flaherty