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The year Jack came along and changed everything.

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

Time for my annual review.

In this post, I’ll do my best to answer these three questions1:

  1. What went well this year?
  2. What didn’t go so well this year?
  3. What am I working toward?

Here we go:

1. What Went Well this Year?

Jack. On September 14, Jack was born. As a first time father, I’m still not quite sure on how to describe this feeling; it’s more than just love; it’s more than just an immense sense of responsibility and purpose. It’s… pure magic.

New apartment. We needed more space and found an apartment in Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm. It wasn’t perfect to move while my wife was pregnant in her third trimester (it took us longer than expected to find the right place), but I literally shipped her off to her parents while I moved our stuff and cleaned out our old place. Now we both love it here.

Marketing. I write down my thoughts online and that’s basically all the marketing I do for my business. But it works! Really, really well, actually. I get more high-quality leads every week than an average mid-sized agency. If I wanted the business to grow, I sure could, but for now, I’m happy with referring most of those leads to others.

Pontus. I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with my youngest brother, Pontus, for a year. He’s a professional soccer player, but he has helped me out on a semi-regular basis throughout the year. I’ve never worked with family before, but working with Pontus has been a 100% positive experience.

2. What Didn’t Go So Well this Year?

Office space. After having worked out of my apartment most of 2013, I moved into a centrally located office in 2014. But in 2015, I gave up the lease, despite the fact that I loved the office. All things considered, I love working from home and that’s what I did — whenever I had the chance. I don’t even want to think about how much money I spent on rent those 18 months!

The project from hell. Took on a risky project in 2013, and the project just went on and on, well into 2014. After 300+ hours, I still hadn’t made a dime. Once the project finally launched, everything had changed for the worse, and even though we marketed the project well, sales weren’t exactly booming. And when I was finally about to get paid in late 2014, the company told me that they had already spent that money.

Agency plans. I’ve always had some sort of vision that I would grow my business into an agency. But now I’m not so sure — and I don’t know exactly why. I do know that I enjoy being a freelancer, though. Can I run a solo business forever and be happy?

3. What am I Working Toward?

Clearer business focus. Today, I’m taking on projects with no particular selection criteria or filter. But I’ve noticed an interesting trend; the assignments I enjoy the most are all of the same types — and they are also the most profitable. I plan on developing a clearer direction on what projects to take on in the next year.

Paternity leave. Whatever it takes, I’m determined to spend as much time with Jack as I can in the coming year. My boss is great2, so that shouldn’t be a problem!

Notes:

  1. The format is inspired by James Clear’s annual reviews.
  2. I’m the boss.

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Behind the keyboard:

Jerry Silver is the author of Doctor Spin, a PR blog that's been around for 15+ years. Via his agency Spin Factory, Jerry is advising brands on how to adapt to a 'digital first' world. In 2016, Cision Scandinavia named him "PR Influencer of the Year". Jerry lives in Stockholm, Sweden with his wife Lisah, news anchor and television host, and their three-year-old son, Jack.


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