A look back at 2020 and a look ahead to 2021. [sc name="pod_ad"]Thank you for your continued interest in Resourceful Designer. You have no idea how much I appreciate you. There are so many great resources available for learning and growing as a designer, and I'm humbled that you choose to spend a bit of your valuable time with me. I'm continuing the tradition of making the final podcast episode of the year a form of a retrospective where I look back a the year that's coming to an end and look forward to the year ahead. I bring you A Look back, A Look Ahead 2020 Edition. A Look Back at my 2020 goals. At the end of 2018, I set these goals for myself. ACCOMPLISHED: Talk at more conferences in 2020. Surprisingly, although not as many as I expected, the two conferences I talked at in 2020 were more than I did in 2019, so mission accomplished. FAIL: Grow the Resourceful Designer audience. The 2020 pandemic took a big toll on podcast listenership, and Resourceful Designer was not immune. With fewer people commuting to work, I saw my download numbers dip during COVID lockdowns. The end of the year saw a rise in downloads but not enough to view it as a growth from the previous year. ACCOMPLISHED: Grow the Resourceful Designer Community. The Community has quickly become a place where friendships form and help is freely given. It's even more wonderful than I anticipated. ACCOMPLISHED: Grow Podcast Branding. My niche design business focusing on the podcast industry saw huge growth in 2020. With so many people stuck at home, many decided to start a podcast and needed visuals to go with it. Some of my numbers from 2020 Resourceful Designer Released 47 podcast episodes Reached over 550k total episode downloads in 2020 (Over 125k of which were in 2020) Resourceful Designer released on Gaana and Amazon Music. My design business My design business took a huge hit from COVID-19, with many of my clients being affected by lockdowns. Worked on design projects for 9 different clients (down from 29 in 2019) Two of those clients were first-time clients. I sent out only 14 invoices in 2020 (down from 57 in 2019) Lost 7 long-standing clients due to various reasons. Podcast Branding My Podcast Branding business saved me from a horrible year. Worked with 51 different clients (up from 18 in 2019) Launched 16 new websites for clients Mentioned in an article on how to create stunning podcast cover art. A Look Ahead at my 2020 goals. My 2019 goals carry forward. I want the listenership of Resourceful Designer to continue growing. I want to speak at conferences (I'm already booked to speak at one in March). I want to build the Resourceful Designer Community. It's such a fantastic place right now, but I know it can be even better. New Goal for 2020. Keep going the podcast listenership. Keep growing Podcast Branding to become THE place for podcast websites and branding. Keep growing the Resourceful Designer Community What about you? Did you accomplish your goals for 2019, and What are your goals for the new year? Are you a student getting ready to graduate? What are your goals once you’re done school? Are you still relatively new to the design world? What are your goals to hone your skills? Are you a veteran designer like I am? What are your goals for continued growth? Are you a designer working for someone else? Maybe you enjoy your job; maybe you don’t. Either way, what are your future goals? Or perhaps you’re already a home-based designer, a freelancer if that’s the term you use; what are your goals to grow your business? Wherever you are in the world, whatever your level of skill, whatever your situation is, I want you to take some time to look back at 2019 and think about your accomplishments AND your shortcomings. Did you stop after your accomplishments? Or did you plow right through them, happy with yourself but reaching even further? What about your shortcomings? Did they discourage you, or did they create a sense of want even higher than before? Did you reach the goals you set out for yourself and your design business in 2019? If yes, were you happy with the outcome? If no, think about what prevented you from reaching those goals. So long 2020 As 2020 comes to an end (good riddance). I encourage you to reflect on this past year. Think about everything you’ve accomplished and those things you fell short on. And come up with a plan to make 2021 your year of success. To help with your planning, perhaps you should listen to episode 55 of the podcast, Setting Goals For Your Design Business. I’ll be back in 2021 with lots more advice for starting and growing your design business. I’m Mark Des Cotes wishing you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season. And of course, that no matter what goals you set for yourself in the new year, the one thing you have to remember is to Stay Creative. What are your goals for 2021? Let me know by leaving a comment for this episode.