Thursday 18 December 2014 01.25 PM
Wow, what a year! I think it's fair to say that 2014 has been the hardest year work-wise for me for quite some time - trying to juggle growing the business with managing the rebuild of the entire website, whilst trying to keep kids happy, stay fit and, last but not least, stay married!
I'm pleased to say we've made it through and if the initial positive feedback on the new site is anything to go by, it's all been worthwhile. So what have I learned along the way.
First, get the right people in your team. My main focus in 2015 is to grow our small team to move timeoutdoors to the next level. I recently had a team of technical people working on a problem with the new website - something that was stopping the new site going live. They spent hours looking at it - and told me it couldn't be solved easily. 15 minutes later I was speaking to a guy in Lebanon who sorted it within 5 minutes. That was the starkest example of how important it is to work with the right people.
Second, set realistic goals. This applies to work and play. I was hoping this year to grow the business, rebuild the entire site and take on 3 personal challenges plus a team challenge! Needless to say, something had to give once we realised just how much effort the site rebuild would take. I managed 2 of my personal challenges (my first triathlon and a run) and did the training for the third (Tour of Ripon bike ride), but illness and work scuppered achieving them all. Should I scald myself for failure (my normal approach) or pat myself on the back? All I know is that work will not be getting in the way of my 2015 challenges - and I've already spotted my 2016 challenge!
Third, no matter how busy you are, don't stop running (or cycling or whatever you do). I'm particularly bad with this - I get very engrossed in work and everything else goes on hold. Initially I justify this on the basis that it's only for a few weeks - and then a few months later I'm still not running! The problem is I NEED to run and my life is not complete without running - it keeps me fit, it feeds my soul, it focusses my thoughts and makes me creative (90% of my ideas come when I'm running), it keeps me from having to buy a new wardrobe and most importantly it makes me happy and therefore a better person to be around at home and at work (and my wife will vouch for that!). So not matter how busy you think you are, stopping the one thing that makes you who you are is a really, really bad idea, trust me!
So what does 2015 bring? For us the new site is just a starting point, a baseline from which to build a really great resource - and key to that is a geat team and building that team is my focus for 2015. We're already recruiting for a Head of Content, so if words are your thing and you know your online marketing onions (or you know someone who does), then take a look here. Otherwise have a wonderful Christmas and active New Year and I hope we can help you do something great in 2015!