2011 Challenge List

Last November, I posted up 13 challenges I had set myself to achieve throughout 2011. Some of these challenges, I knew I wouldn’t complete but I wanted to attempt them at least. I wanted to complete at least 9 of these challenges but would have been happy to complete half of them. The deadline is the 31st October which I realise is still a couple of days away yet, but this years challenges are finished.

I managed to complete 7 of these challenges; most of which relates to web design. I attended a web conference / meetups or six (New Adventures, Geek Ninja Battle Night,, Geek Karting, Insites Tour & Points). I would have attended WDC had it not been for a baby-related worry.

I spent the year building a brand. I completed a Project 50 photo project. I redesigned my website. I got (more than) 2 new clients, I upped my work rate by doing more work in 2011 than I did between 2009 & 2010 and I also grabbed the secret achievement, hurrah!

I failed to complete the ‘Get A Track Played’ in a radio or a club achievement, however I put 50% against this because I did do a 20minute DJ mix for DeJaVu FM (A UK Pirate Radio station) which was played on air and also put on a ‘street’ CD handed out at events. It’s halfway there :)

I wanted to learn two new languages. A lingual language and a programming language. I failed on both to varying degrees. I started to learn Italian. I picked up a podcast series to listen to in the car and got through several episodes but soon realised that if I didn’t speak italian regularly, I’d soon forget the language. That negative train of thought soon put me off that challenge altogether. The programming language however, I’ve started to pick up a bit of javascript & jQuery and I’m loving the interactivity I can roll into client sites now.

The next 3 challenges all related to my health, and all ended badly. I set two challenges as targets in weight loss, and failed both. I also wanted to run 5k and again, failed that. It’s no excuse but I struggled to find time to go for a run. I Already get up at 5:45 every morning for work and by the time I’ve done a full days work, spent time with my wife & boy, had dinner etc, it’s nearly 9pm and that’s before I sat down for some client work.

But I did make some other achievements over the last year.

I done my first speaking gig (all be it, a short talk) at Points. I also started organising the – a monthly meet for local web designers & developers. I made some cool stuff, I’ve learnt some seriously cool stuff, I’ve taught some cool stuff and I did actually manage to slow down a bit, prioritise and enjoy spending more time with my family!

As much as I feel disappointed by missing out on completing more of these challenges, I’m happy with actually completing more than half. I have already started concocting the my list of achievements for 2012.

Did you have a list of challenges that you wanted to achieve this year? I know the year’s not over yet so how are you getting on? There’s still 2 months left to finish up :)


  • 29 Feb 2012 12:17:41

    Payment terms are a personal thing, I see nothing wrong with planning on a 30 day turnaround. I’ve worked with a wide range of agencies and clients and it’s a reasonable number to start you off but if you’re clear in your terms and they agree good luck.

    Be very clear and unapologetic about penalty terms and kill fees in your contracts though. If you’ve not thought about them, make sure you have something in place too.

    I enjoyed John’s post, in my experience he’s lucky getting paid by massive corporates in only 7 days, typically they have their own billing payment cycles and some take as long as 60 days to pay. It’s rubbish but from time to time don’t be surprised if your 7 day demands fall on deaf ears – because they will.

    As for the trust thing, don’t be shy about protecting your business with an agreement. It’s for both parties and it’s not something to be ashamed of!

    If you need an invoice template or a contract doc, feel free to hit up :)

    Useful post bud!


  • 20 Mar 2012 17:12:34

    I adopted payment terms from my biggest supplier, which is simply 50% upfront deposit before any work starts, and the final 50% before delivery of work. Both payments have to hit my account or at least shown to be on my side of the fence before I consider it paid.

  • 30 Mar 2012 14:16:23

    Here’s a question regarding payment before delivery.

    What do you actually retain from delivery until the payment is made?

  • 01 Apr 2012 09:35:45

    What do I retain? Hmm, that’s a difficult one because the work has already been completed… So I don’t actually gain anything from keeping the work until the payment has been made, but it’s a leverage tool isn’t it?

    If I pass over content & deliverables to a client before they’ve paid, I’m leaving myself open to being burnt by the client. They could (and have done in the past) just not paid. They’ve got their website, they’ve got what they want – there is no longer a reason to pay.

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