2014 Recap

By Erik Reagan

As always, it's hard to imagine that the year is coming to an end. 2014 has been full of newness. New projects; new clients and partners; new team members; new experiences; new lessons.

Lessons

It's easy to write a blog post like this and high-five everyone for everything (including ourselves). But one of our Core Standards is to Keep it Real and I want to honor that standard in this post.

This year has been different from previous ones. It's been loaded with hard lessons we've learned. Some were founded in the natural challenges a team faces during growth. Some were old lessons we had to re-learn. Others were seemingly felt across the industry, regardless of shop size.

I have the privilege of speaking with other shop owners on a regular basis. I've learned over the past few years that many of us are willing to support one another through conversation, advice, and beyond. Through a few dozen conversations this year, I learned that many companies experienced a sharp downturn in business and many ended up laying off one or more employees. That sucks. Big time. We were no exception to this hard challenge this year. I'll write more about that in the future.

But you know—there are some good things that come with challenges like these. We each have the opportunity to make something of these events. I know that we're a stronger team having experienced what we did this year. With that, I offer a few ways we've made ourselves better as a result:

  1. Our revenue streams are diversifying.
  2. We've created and documented more processes so what we produce is more repeatable, reliable, and…
  3. We know how to take care of our team members even better.
  4. I've been reminded that failure is an event—not a person.
  5. We're more ready than ever for 2015.
  6. We fully understand the risk of team lunches at sketchy Mexican restaurants.

All that said, it can be easy to focus on the negative. I'd never be one to diminish the importance of lessons learned in hard times, but that doesn't mean our year was consumed by negative things!

In previous recap posts weâve taken time to list projects, show screenshots, photographs, etc. But this year, weâre changing that up just a bit.

Events

It's probably no surprise to say that we worked hard and played hard this year. We ran two 5Ks as a team, spoke at a collective eight conferences, attended three other conferences, went on our first company retreat, and worked on about 35 projects. My favorite part of that is the fact that we've slowly started to expand our photography and videography documentation of this stuff.

As a result, rather than showing you a long list of projects, graphics, and photos, we've made a video recapping the awesomeness of 2014.

Thank you to our clients, our followers, and our extremely dedicated hard-working team. We hope you, too, had a productive year. See you all in 2015!