My 2015 Annual Review

The year of turning 36.

Cover photo by Jerry Silfwer (Instagram)

Time for my 2015 annual review.

I’ll do my best to answer three questions in this post: 1This format is inspired by James Clear’s annual reviews.

What went well this year?
What didn’t go so well this year?
What am I working toward?

Here we go:

1. What Went Well This Year?

Family life. My son, Jack, was born in September 2014, but 2015 was when I got to know him. Everything is turned upside-down, of course, but I’m happy to have spent so much time with him this year. And I’m equally thankful to share this journey with my beloved wifey, Lisah.

Freelance lifestyle. For the last decade, I’ve been working at various agencies, so the ‘agency lifestyle’ is my default setting. When I started my company in 2013, I always thought that I would build an agency in the back of my mind. However, in 2015, I embraced the fact that freelancing is a way of life that’s exciting to me.

28 days. It wasn’t planned, but one day I got the idea of putting together a free 28-day email course in which I share 28 PR- and digital marketing “secrets.” I had no expectations whatsoever, but I’ve had close to 2,000 participants to date. To me, that’s an unexpected success.

Declutter. For 2015, I wanted to simplify further my life (and for this, I can recommend Essentialism — The Disciplined Pursuit Of Less by Greg McKeown). I tweaked my freelance lifestyle and got rid of lots of material stuff. I’ve also successfully moved all my paperwork into the cloud.

Tracking. In 2015, I took action and started to track various aspects of my life more seriously. First of all, I got serious about biometrics, DNA analysis, sleep analysis, nutritional intakes, heart rate, training load, you name it. I also track my email behaviour, invoicing patterns, work hours, and so on. It’s early days yet, but it has helped me ask myself better questions.

New company name. I changed my business name from Mad Science Digital to Spin Factory. A small – but important one! – step to commemorate the shift from agency ambitions to a freelance mindset.

2. What Didn’t Go So Well This Year?

Unfinished side projects. We all have them. I have several side projects that I am pursuing. However, the only side project I managed to get off the ground was the 28-day email course — and that mini-project wasn’t even planned.

Lack of accountability. This is, I think, the main reason why many of my side projects never got off the ground. Because what happens if I don’t push these side projects forward? Nothing.

3. What Am I Working Toward?

Speaking. For some reason, I feel strangely comfortable up on stage. However, I’ve always thought of myself as a PR professional, but never as a speaker. So, I haven’t pursued speaking opportunities proactively. But in 2016, I’ll strive to take public speaking more seriously.

Survivalism. For years, I’ve been struggling to find a hobby. However, nothing sticks. I envy people who have their passions like surfing, skiing, dancing, fashion, travel, climbing, etc. I’m currently reading many books on survivalism and prepping; maybe that could be an interest to explore further?

1 This format is inspired by James Clear’s annual reviews.
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.



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