2013 Year in Review

 Photo by Ashley Kelemen

Photo by Ashley Kelemen

January is one of my favorite months because I love looking back and planning forward.

And I'm not sure why most people spend December doing this. I like to work right up till the ball drops and really close out the year strong.

I don't do traditional "resolutions" (read my latest thoughts on why just showing up matters more), but I do try to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to what I fill my time with, hence the need for planning or mapping out what you want the new year will bring.

Before you look forward though, you should spend time looking back too.

Here are my highs, lows, and lessons learned this year.

Things that went well

  • Spent 5 weeks living in Italy with my wife. We're behind on blogging about our trip, but you can see a lot of our pictures from the first two weeks.
  • Publicly Launched and Grew Fizzle to 1,100+ members.
  • Launched The Fizzle Show as a #1 business podcast in iTunes. We've been blown away by the support and over 250,000 downloads in the first 7 months.
  • Re-branded the Think Traffic blog as The Sparkline at Fizzle.co.
  • Published 19 episodes of my own podcast.
  • Re-branded this site from PocketChanged.com to CalebWojcik.com.
  • Created videos for best selling book launches, weddings, and more.
  • Earned around 20k doing freelance video work.
  • Had my first speaking gig at Financial Bloggers Conference (video to come soon).
  • Landed two more speaking gigs for 2014 so far (including New Media Expo, which I just got back from and will post the video of too).
  • Moved my wife's wedding photography website to Squarespace and completely redesigned it.
  • Got a puppy.
  • Built a consistent weight lifting routine.
  • Ran my second half marathon.

Things that didn't go well

  • Once again, my early and mid-year momentum of creating content for this site (writing, podcasts, videos) was put on the backburner for the last third of the year while I was travelling, putting in more time to launch The Sparkline, and taking care of my wife (more on that in a minute) and new dog.
  • I spent too much money. Earning more doing side work led to me buying more gear and investing more money into my video work and my wife's photography business. I think how we spent the additional money will mostly pay off, but earning more and not actually having more at the end of the day is rough.
  • I procrastinated on transferring my site over to Squarespace (which I finally did recently, hence the new design).
  • I knew about mid-year that I wanted this site to be about DIY video production, but I kept dragging my feet on making any content related to that because I took so long doing the rebranding and Wordpress to Squarespace changeover.
  • A couple of my wedding videography clients have had to wait a long time for the finished products from me.
  • Sales of Make It Rain have declined since I don't actively promote it or write about personal finance anymore.
  • Didn't pick up any new hobbies. And actually neglected a couple of the ones I've enjoyed in the past (like playing sports).

(Plus there were a couple things out of my control that happened to people very close to me this past year.)

  • My wife was diagnosed with cancer (squamous cell carcinoma), right before the holidays. After two surgeries, she was deemed cancer-free (about 4 weeks after initally finding out).
  • My co-founder, Chase Reeves, lost his son, full-term, during delivery. Chase and his wife are two of the strongest people I've ever met.

As you can see, there were a lot of ups and downs in 2013 and I think I'm better, stronger, and more focused now because of them.

Fizzle.co in 2014

As one of the three co-founders of Fizzle.co I'm more stoked to be working with Corbett Barr and Chase Reeves than ever before.

We're continually working to make the best community and training library we know of for makers, crafters, and starters that are trying to build their biz online. Our battle is against all the sleeze and douchebaggery that "internet business gurus" are slinging out on the daily.

We'll have some amazing guest courses, continue to build out the foundational courses, and nourish the members that are already putting their ass on the line. I can't be much more specific than that (yet), but we're really excited for what's next.

(Hint: Last year was a big year for our audio podcast. Perhaps a video show would be another good thing for us to have??)

If you're trying to get your thing off the ground this year, I hope you come check out Fizzle (honestly, it is just a $1 to try it out) and see if the 1,100+ Fizzlers in there are your kind of people. And if you've been a listener to the Cubicle Renegade podcast over the past couple years, at the very least, check out our Fizzle podcast.

CalebWojcik.com in 2014

Now that this site is (finally) unbranded and (finally) changed over to Squarespace, I'll no longer be talking here about entrepreneurship. For the past 3 years of blogging I've either talked about money or work. Two topics I really care deeply about, but I got burnt out blogging about the former and the latter is exactly what we're doing over at Fizzle.

So, now what am I going to talk about here?

Well, over the past few years I've dove in head first into creating more and more videos. Through that time I've had to scour the Internet for tutorials, training, workshops, and more to get to the point I am today with creating videos.

Honestly, it is too hard to figure out where to learn everything you need to know about video production, not to mention actually learning it.

Also, a lot of the resources out there are geared toward amateur filmmakers, not entrepreneurs, bloggers, or podcasters with a presence online that need to just shoot better videos of themselves.

All that to say I was extremely encouraged by the DIY Video talk I just gave at New Media Expo, to a nearly full room of about a 100 people all trying to learn how to shoot better videos. So much so that I'm ready to finally start putting all my thoughts, ideas, and tricks about making videos out onto this site.

This means:

  • The Cubicle Renegade Podcast is on hold until further notice.
  • Any of my upcoming thoughts about entrepreneurship can be found at The Sparkline. (See a listing of all the essays I've written there or subscribe to updates.)
  • Going forward this site will be almost entirely about making better videos.
  • I'm going to do less freelance video work and reach more people trying to make their own.

What I've made in 2013 I'm most proud of

Looking back I'm actually amazed at how many things I made or had a hand in making. Here are a handful of my favorites. (Not to brag, just so I can quickly see some of the major things I shipped. I encourage you to make a list like this too.)


Phew.

That was a lot of looking back at the good and bad things that happened last year as well as some announcements and directions that I've been waiting to share for a long time.

Thanks for being along with me on this journey over the past three year. I can't wait to see where we all are in another three.

Caleb Wojciknews