My biggest mistakes of 2022 so far

I’ve no real plan for this post. The only aim is to acknowledge my mistakes so far this year. Then hopefully start on the way to correcting them.

I haven’t written anything in so long

Five and a half months. It’s been five and a half months since I wrote anything here. The same pretty much goes for my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. I’m regretting it now, but I know I’ll likely regret it even more towards the end of the year. I’ve never been the best at marketing myself, but I know continuing to put myself out there and reminding people I still exist is the way towards new and repeat work.

Yet so far in 2022 I have failed to write any meaningful words about sustainable web development, WordPress, or anything else for that matter. The stagnation has been frustrating. Each time I open my drafts to continue with any of my articles, I fail to make progress, then just save and close them. I tell myself I’ll finish them the next time I have some free time time, but it never happens. So at this point, I’ve lost all momentum and I’m struggling to get back on track.

Having just sifted through the draft list I’ve decided to knock several of them on the head. Instead I’m going focus on just a couple. Having too many potential articles on the go was becoming daunting, and truthfully some of them were a bit weak. I think I may also reduce my ambitions when it comes to the scale of the articles I want to write, and just focus on building my momentum up again.

So goal number one is to try and post something every fortnight.

I deviated from the plan

From early 2021 I made the decision to work 4 days a week on client projects, and then 1 day a week on learning and marketing. Twenty percent of my time to work on my business seemed both fair and sensible. For a good long while it worked well. I skilled up, enjoyed the time to write, design, and explore where I wanted my business to grow. I made notes relentlessly about business goals and best practices, all the things I wanted to do. All was good.

Yet somewhere along the way, towards the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 I lost my way. Realistically I think it was a combination of large and long term project commitments, clashing with snowballing projects that were delayed starting due to external factors. Rather than stand strong on my ideals, I relented, and 4 days a week became, 5, then 6, and some times 7. This carried on for a little too long, and definitely took it’s toll. Whilst I have mostly gotten things back under control I’m still a little way short of my 80/20 split.

So that is goal number two. To reinstate the 80/20 split of time by the end of May.

Still trying to be a jack of all trades

I’d say it’s an almost monthly/sometimes weekly occurrence that I question whether I should be choosing a niche and committing to it. Currently my projects and work overall are very general in nature. This makes me flexible to clients, but it also means spinning a lot of plates, and trying to keep up to date in a lot of different tech stacks and frameworks. Think monolithic WordPress sites, CS-Cart based marketplaces, Jamstack sites built with Eleventy and more. Truthfully it all becomes a little exhausting after a while, and the idea of having a single very strict focus sounds very appealing.

Finding the correct niche to focus on might be easier said than done though.

Goal number 3 is deciding whether to stay as a generalist, or commit to a niche.

Final thoughts

I hope by openly acknowledging these issues I’ll hold myself more accountable to correcting them, and just by writing these words I’ve put myself on the path towards my first goal.

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