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2010 in review goals for 2011

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As has become the tradition on this little blog, it’s time to look back on the year that has been and plan a few goals for the one that approaches. For me personally, 2010 has been one of my favourite years in a very long time, full of good times with friends, loads of great web conferences, some very interesting client projects, the launch of 8 Faces, and a few ‘big’ moments, like deciding to move to Bristol (one of the best decisions Sam and I have ever made), buying our first house, and getting engaged. It’s been great, but I must admit that I’m a little exhausted!

A much-needed break

I’ve decided to take all of January off from client work, and with the exception of speaking at New Adventures on the 20th, I’ll be spending the entire month designing and building a new version of this site. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time — a very long time — and, as is the way with these things, it just won’t get done unless I dedicate some proper time to it. Plus, it’s a nice, much-needed break away from everything. It seems quite a few of us have been suffering from burn-out recently.

Creating a new version of this site has been on the cards for bloody ages, and it’s one of the goals I failed to achieve in 2010. On that same shameful list is the second Sourhaze EP: something that has still yet to see the light of day, even though I really thought it would this year. I did actually take time off from work and spent about a week writing and recording new material, but it still needs a lot of love before it’s ready for public consumption. Another failed goal is ‘blog more often’ and this is a problem I’ll be attempting to solve with the new site design. Blogging regularly has been made easier since ditching WordPress in favour of Harmony, but if I’m being honest, I’m so fed up with my site’s design that I think I’ve lacked the will to update. That has to change.

Anyway, enough moaning about my website. That could be a blog post in itself. Here’s a round-up of my goals old and new:

Goals planned this time last year

  • Buy a house. Just about managed to squeeze that one in there before the year end. We’re now living in the beautiful countryside just outside of Bristol, a city we both absolutely love.

  • Do less client work and more product-based projects. Thanks to 8 Faces, I got to do this in spades. About a third of my year is now dedicated to producing the magazine, which is perfect. As well as being an absolute joy to work on, it means I can now afford to be even more picky about which clients I take on.

  • Grow the business. At the time I wrote this, I was aware that it sounded like a horrible businessman kind of term, and it still makes me cringe now, but I only meant it in the sense that I wanted to get better clients, consolidate my network of trusted partners (they’ll feature very prominently on the new site), and get paid well enough that I could work sensible hours without having to worry about taking on projects that didn’t excite me.

  • X Release a new version of this site. This will definitely get rectified in 2011, and if all goes according to plan, it should see the light of day around the end of January.

  • X Blog more often. I failed miserably, averaging a new post about once every two weeks, but I’m confident this will be easier to achieve in 2011 once the new design is live.

  • X Finish writing and recording EP 2 and then release it before summer. I’m so disappointed that I failed to achieve this goal, especially because I’m aching to do some music at the moment. I’m going to try and take some more time off in 2011 to get EP 2 finished, although I sadly I don’t think it’ll be this side of summer.

New goals for 2011

  • Achieve the three failed goals from above. Fingers crossed.
  • Launch a new version of elliotjaystocks.com. Did I mention that?
  • Limit the amount of conferences I speak at. I’ve already got five events planned for 2011 (four of which are on the Speaking page) and I think that’s enough for one year. The main reason I’m trying to limit the amount I travel is that we’re hoping to get a dog in the next month or so. Really excited about that!
  • Do even more product-based work. Related: be even more selective about client work.
  • Work more for friends. I always say that this is one of the key ingredients for happiness when working for yourself. So far it’s looking good for 2011: after my month off in January, I’m designing a site for a friend’s new conference in February, and then working on some very interesting stuff for Decode in March.
  • Extend the 8 Faces brand. I’ve got some really cool stuff planned that’s not specifically related to the magazine, including some very limited edition prints. More on that soon!


As always, I want to thank you guys for your support and encouragement, whether that’s been through comments, tweets, buying the magazine, coming to the web events I’ve spoken at, or just taking the time to read my semi-regular, semi-coherent ramblings. I hope you’re enjoying the holiday period and I wish you a very happy, healthy, and successful 2011!

(Photo by me, taken just after waking up on Christmas morning in Shropshire.)