Progress Review – January 2008

January has gone, marking my 7th month of running my freelance software business. It’s now time to take some time to review how I did with my goals and to set some new ones for February.

January Goals and Actions

After several months of “head-down” work, I took January off to scale up my marketing and get back into Ruby on Rails. I committed to 6 goals in January, but I didn’t reach all of them. Part of setting goals is failing and being happy with the growth you make.

  1. Find an accountant
    After procrastinating for months I got out and found a good accountant. She works from home and has a great sense of humor, just the type of person I need to help me run my business.

  2. Complete 10 “Back to Ruby on Rails” tasks
    I pressed hard but I just didn’t have enough time to complete 10 of the tasks on my list. I ended up finishing 9 of the 10, including reading two Ruby on Rails books (AWDWRv2 and Ajax on Rails). It’s amazing how much an active community can change in a few months and Rails is no exception.

  3. 40 new RSS Subscribers
    In January, I wanted to increase my readership by 40 subscribers and as of January 31st I had 46 new subscribers. I have to say that counting subscribers is really hard, it changes from day to day. I ranged from -4 subscribers all the way up to 57. Thank you to everyone who has subscribed, your support means a lot to me.

  4. Meet 10 new people
    In my best months I was meeting 10 people, so I figured it would be easy to meet 10 in January. Turns out I was right. Between my blog, my network, and Open Sourcing some new programs I was able to meet 16 new people in January.

  5. Open Source 2 projects
    I was able to release two plugins for Redmine. I think I might have some time to even put out a second update of them in February.

  6. Write a guest blog post
    Sadly, I didn’t have any time to complete this goal in January. I have a few offers I am going to follow up on, but I had a hard time do extra writing this past month.

February Goals

Now my favorite part of the reviews, deciding what I will reach for this upcoming month.

February is going to be an adventure for me. I have a few new exciting projects coming up but I want to keep my goals focused on marketing and bringing in new business.

  1. Logo Designed
    Part of my 2008 website redesign includes a new logo for my business. Adding a logo will help me create a business brand, instead of just some text.

  2. 100 new RSS subscriptions
    I reached January’s subscription goal easily so I am taking on a larger challenge. To get 100 new RSS subscribers I’ll have to really step up my online marketing, but it will bring me that much closer to my 2008 goal.

  3. Meet 15 new people
    As my network is expanding, I’m starting to meet more and more people. I’ve been able to consistently meet 10 new people a month but I have a few secrets I have planned where I can easily meet a lot of new people.

  4. Release a large Redmine plugin
    Open Sourcing my code has really helped me refine my process for delivering software. My Redmine plugins have also created a good amount of traffic to this blog, so I want to keep this up by releasing a larger Redmine plugin. I’ll have more details about it when it is ready but it will help to make Redmine the best project management tool for freelancers.

Some lessons I learned from this month:
  • Don’t waste energy dreading work when you can just do it:
    I procrastinated finding an accountant for over 3 months because I was afraid of all the time it would take. Finally when I had no choice but to find one, it took less than 6 hours to finish. I spent more time dreading the work than actually doing it.

  • Share your knowledge:
    I’ve gotten several projects just by offering my knowledge to someone. Something as small as a few emails helping someone understand an idea has materialized into a significant project.

I would like to close out this review with an open invitation. If you are running your own business or thinking about running your own business and want to be held accountable for you goals, send me an email. Joshua did it and now his February goals are public and I’ll make sure he is accountable for them.



  1. Joshua Clanton - Design for th says:

    “I’ll make sure he is accountable for them.”

    That sounds a little threatening! I suppose that threats can be a good motivator, though. :-)

    I agree about wasting time dreading a task. Often, this is the hardest thing for me to deal with, especially around financial issues. But it works out so much better when I just go ahead and do it.

  2. WAH(web)Mommy says:

    Hmmm…. I’m very curious about “I’ll make sure he is accountable for them.” Dare I ask, lol.

    I’m taking the challenge, though. I’m super late on my Goal Progress and Upcoming Goals posts (I usually do them at the beginning of the month, and here we are a week and a half into February).

    Anyway, so to be sure I DON’T slack off, lol, I’m commenting here as well. Hoping to be held accountable… in hopefully a non-threatening way, LOL.

  3. edavis10 says:

    Don’t take being held accountable as a threat. Think of it as a helpful push in the right direction. Baby birds don’t learn how to fly by their mother coaxing them out of the nest, they are pushed out and forced to fly.

    I believe if everyone was pushed more, we would soar in the clouds of our dreams.

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