It’s that time of year when everyone is either looking back at the year gone by and/or contemplating what the year ahead holds for them. Some folk will no doubt be glad to wish 2013 good riddance, whilst others will sit back and smile with happy memories.
For me, 2013 was certainly a year to remember with some major items ticked off my bucket list!
The biggest ‘tick in the box’ came in April when I gave up a (well paid) 20 year career in local government to setup Majestic Media Ltd, a web design and development company with my wife.
It wasn’t a decision either of us took lightly but with some careful planning – both financially and logistically – over an 8 month period, I was able to hand my notice in and duly embark upon a new chapter in my life.
During this time, I received a huge amount of support and encouragement from online entrepreneur Frank Paul, whom has since become someone I’m proud to call a close friend.
Being my own boss was a lifelong ambition come true for me as I’d always wanted to have my own company – even to the extent of highlighting this ambition in every CV I wrote after leaving University way back in 1992!
The first nine months of self-employment have (thankfully) been a great success with us well ahead of the initial targets we set ourselves. It hasn’t been without its challenges though – the biggest of which are the school holidays!
Trying to run a business from home with two kids marauding about isn’t ideal but it’s a very small price to pay in the grand scheme of things. One of the biggest benefits of being self-employed is the amount of flexibility it gives you and none better than when the kids are home.
Sadly it only makes me realise how much I missed out on quality time with them when I was working for someone else. C’est la vie.
On the subject of the kids, they made me proud (as they always do) with their achievements during the year.
From my son captaining his Gaelic football team to victory in a local tournament to my daughter winning an award in the Swansea Libraries 2013 Summer Reading Challenge.
Travel was another area that featured prominently in the year and I found myself in the bizarre position of going from not having travelled abroad since 2004 to going three times in 2013!!
Two of these expeditions were thanks to the Swans playing in Europe after a 26 year break and in going to Malmö (Sweden) and St. Gallen (Switzerland), I ticked off another item on my bucket list and one which I thought I might have to wait a heck of a long time (maybe never!) for.
I didn’t see them win or score a goal on European soil though… so that’s two new items added to the bucket list instead now 🙂
The third European adventure and the most enjoyable was a family holiday to Santa Susannah in Catalonia, Spain. It was the first time the kids had been on an aeroplane and much to my surprise there were no tears – well only ones of excitement anyway.
We had a wonderful family holiday and a visit to Barcelona was the icing on an already exquisite cake. Plans for a return visit to this wonderful city are already afoot.
For those of you who know me or if you hadn’t already guessed, I spend a lot of time (and money!) watching Swansea City and having supported them for over 30 odd years , watching them win their first piece of silverware in their centenary season was a very special moment.
Lifting the Capital One Cup (or league cup to us oldies!) after a record breaking 5-0 win over Bradford City at Wembley meant European football for the Swans and as you’ve already read gave me a great excuse to get my passport renewed!
Thinking back over the year, I think the only negative I can recall was the fact that my running and cycling went out of the window as I focussed on building up the business with my wife. Not a bad sacrifice to have to make to be honest!
With 2014 now upon us, it’ll be interesting to see what the year ahead has in store, but one thing I know for sure, if it’s half as good as 2013 then I’ll be more than a happy chappy!
Happy New Year everyone 🙂