2016 Year in Review

Apparently I never wrote one of these last year. I’m not sure why. A year ago seems so long ago that I can’t even remember what frame of mind I was in. Perhaps that’s why writing these can be such an important exercise. Even if no one reads them, they are something that you can look back on and evaluate how you’ve changed or not changed as may be the case.

I also didn’t write out my goals for 2016.

Now this one has it’s advantages. I certainly don’t have to feel bad at all the goals I made for the year that didn’t get accomplished. That being said, I also can’t celebrate those goals that would have.

2016 brought some struggles

I’m not gong to lie, 2016 kinda sucked in a lot of ways. My brother had a two major strokes. My accountant discovered a $13k+ tax debt owed due to a previous bookkeeper’s error. Our heath insurance jumped 30% and will increase another 37% in the coming year. My son turned two. All you parents know what I’m talking about.

2016 brought some great things too

I know it’s popular right now to talk about how much 2016 sucked. I get it. Some bad stuff happened to a lot of people, my brother and I included. But I still believe that this year was not without redemption. From the debris that laid in the wake of the 2016 storm some awesome things happened too.

My brother and I are closer than ever

Leading up to my brother’s stroke we didn’t talk much. We weren’t upset with each other, we just both kind of suck at long distance relationships and both don’t much like talking on the phone.

While the stroke has had a huge impact on my brother and what he can and cannot do, we are now in constant communication. While he may never be 100% he still has his exceptional sense of humor and a stellar positive attitude. I would give almost anything to reverse the effects the stroke has had on him, but I cherish that something so tragic has brought good about in our relationship.

Financial Success is happening

While I did have a huge tax burden to settle, I was able to pay it. A few years ago a debt like that would have crippled my family financially. Now it’s just a speed bump. Pay, replenish, and move on.

More than my own financial success I’m overjoyed by the success of the people I work with every day. We have two first time homeowners this year at and specifically because of the WP Ninjas. More than climbing revenue and business profits, I’m interested in our team being able to create the lives they have dreamed to have one day.

I also have a renewed interest in the financial health of my family, business, and team. Not just watching the books, but deeply understanding the economics, laws, and psychology of finances. I’m excited about the financial future of my company and those who work for it.

My son is super adorable

5ce3bb31-1dfd-4cea-aa19-b9e2cc2c8396He has to be because he’s also a royal pain in the behind sometimes. Moods change on a dime and temper tantrums to rival a rabid badger. But he’s also silly, smart, and the absolute best little boy I could have ever hoped for.

If you add that my wife is a rock star, I have very little to not be proud of at home. This is not the life I imagined when I was younger. It’s better.

Honorable Mentions of a year well lived

While I’ve been able to find the silver lining in some of the bad events of the year, I have also had some things that didn’t come with a cloud of darkness looming over.

Business (WP Ninjas, LLC)

Our company has grown in revenue every year since we started. We hired two new team members at our Cleveland, TN office and we have another developer starting a month trial in January.

While 2016 was quiet on releases of new products and promotion we did finally launch version 3.0 of our flagship product, Ninja Forms. The launch has not been without its challenges, but this new version of Ninja Forms is absolutely the best thing in the forms space for WordPress and in 2017 we’re going to show everyone why.

Professional & Professional

I had some great trips where I got to connect with some really awesome people in Miami, Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Nashville, and Mexico.

I had a fairly successful year of co-hosting the Mastermind.fm podcast with Jean Galea. We had a total of 45 episodes under our belt this year which is not bad at all.

I think I’ve fallen in love with podcasting. I’m not a great writer which is why this blog languishes for weeks or even months without new content. I feel more at home behind the microphone. I wouldn’t have discovered this if it weren’t for recording week after week with Jean.

Speaking of Jean, due to some unfortunate circumstances he and his wife Alyona were able to visit the WP Ninjas dojo for a few days. It was really fun getting to show them some of our ninja hospitality and let them meet the whole team.

Is any year irredeemable?

I certainly can’t answer that question for anyone else, but I would like to challenge you with something. Bad things happen every year, but are those bad things all that define you and your entire year? Or are they just part of a bigger story?

I challenge you to tell the whole story. Look deeper if you have to. Not just for a blog post, but for your inner narrative. We tend to become what we emphasize.