One Year Ago…

One year ago, I left my comfy cozy corporate confines to pursue my own business. Boy, was I naïve – and yet, it has been a wonderful journey that still continues today.

Looking back over this past year, it really has been an amazing ride. And I’ve met some amazingly smart and influential people. Believe it or not, it’s all been because of a blog.

There were several really influential connections and moments that helped me to get where I am today:

Blog Business Summit
Attending the Blog Business Summit was sort of the official launch of “me”. I’m not a big conference attendee and I did not go there to learn about blogs but instead to connect with thought leaders and other bloggers. I was honored to speak with Dave Taylor (who was the first person to ever leave a comment on my blog) and Debbie Weil sat right down next to me at lunch.

I also spoke with Robert Scoble and Dean Hachmovitch in the hallway, the night before their keynote. I gave them some feedback and pointed them to my blog (in particular, this post). The following day, Dean gave a killer address. He told me in the hallway that my ideas were very helpful (and it was evident in his presentation). That put me on cloud nine (although some sort of public props would have been even better).

My First Blogoposium
I ran this thing called a “blogoposium” in September 2005. It was then that I first connected with people like Pete Cashmore (then, a newbie voice like me – now, a superstar), Stowe Boyd, Dion Hinchcliffe, and Emily Chang. And through it, Richard MacManus finally referenced me (I hold him in very high regard and still think he provides some of the best insight on Internet/web trends and analysis).

A particular thanks is owed to Emily Chang, who shortly thereafter mentioned my name as a potential contributor to the Corante Web Hub. It just so happened that they were still looking for an editor and after interviewing me and some others, Hylton and Francois choose me for the job.

It was only some months later that I discovered both Stowe and Dion were local to me. I’ve hung-out with Stowe a handful of times since and have had multiple conference calls with both him and Dion. We created DC 2.0, which currently is assisting a larger DC based event.

Blogging The Ultimate Marketing System
Connecting with John Jantsch by attending (and blogging) his Ulitmate Marketing System, has been one of the smarter things I’ve done. Besides the invaluable advice his course provided, John became comfortable enough with my technical expertise to refer some consultancy work my way.

I’ll be involved with a new project with John shortly – stay tuned.

Getting Involved with Silas Partners
It was way back in November ’05 that I sent some correspondence to the Silas Partners’ HR Department regarding their interest in consultancy work. They had posted an opportunity for a full-time strategy position – but I was hoping they might be flexible.

I began sitting down with the CEO, Duncan Rein and brainstorming on some proposals. In the January timeframe, I began doing subcontracting work. And by February, I committed to dedicating a significant portion of my weekly efforts to help churches and other Christian organizations be more effective on the web.

Silas Partners has given me the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with Duncan – and I’m learning a lot from him. After about 10 months, it also finally put some more stability in the not-so-stable life of the independent consultant.

I’m currently heading up a very exciting open source initiative for existing Silas Partners clients, which I may speak to in greater detail at some point.

The Beyond
Some other highlights include being published twice in the last two months. I hope to see more of that in my second year of business. I have some ideas that I am hoping to test out too and some changes to my blog that I most likely will roll-out in the coming weeks (if you are obvservant, you should have already recognized a handful of them).

Besides that, I’m appreciative to all of you that visit and read my blog frequently and for the many others of you who I have met and spoke with in person and online (there are too many to mention by name). And of course, thanks to my clients, who have made this dream come true. I truly feel blessed by God to see my job not as work but as an expression of passion.

This year has not been easy but it has been rewarding, it’s been a learning experience. I’m wiser than I was a year ago but not as naïve. I now know how hard it is to run a business and I’m continuing to try to learn how to do it better. Thanks for sticking with me.