The end is nigh. Another year is coming to a close.
I like to take a little bit of time at the end of the year to look both backwards and forwards. It’s good to have a plan of attack going in to a clean slate. So let us begin!
This year was a great year.
Going in to 2011, I was living in North Carolina, gainfully employed with a company based out of Chicago. Things were going well for a while there, but I started to hear a narrative of disappointing quarters within the company. They just weren’t doing the business they wanted to be doing, and as is life, began to make some changes. They refocused and trimmed the employee base down to on-siters only. I was left in the cold. No matter! I always try to look at things like this as being opportunities, and was sick of that job anyway.
So I began working as a 100% work-from-home freelancer. I was fortunate enough to still be plugged in to a network of amazing, bright people in Chicago, and they are always involved in several different Internet projects. I started to work with them, literally, the day after my full-time job ended. That was pretty fancy.
Fast-forward to today and my work with these great people continues. I’ve also expanded my network locally, partnering up with businesses around Asheville that need new site or site updates. To make things legit, I converted my little at-home business in to an LLC called Pecknology. I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg as far as the work in town, here. I’m hoping that network continues to grow as I expand my portfolio. I have the unique advantage of being able to handle all aspects of site development and deployment, from the content to the user experience to the design to the development to the deployment. I’m even set up to handle web hosting, domain registration, online payments, and now that my business will be incorporated starting in 2012, I’ll have the ability to bring in contractors to work underneath me if I need extra help.
I’m eternally grateful for my network of friends and colleagues in Chicago. I hope to continue work for them as long as they will have me, but being of sound business mind, I can’t rely on a steady stream of work to be coming out of Chicago forever. It’s important to establish those roots here in my permanent hometown. So that’s where I’m headed.
My music production continues this year in typical rapid fashion. Solo work as dep was fruitful and productive. I released four albums, organized a CD-release party, and was interviewed with the Mountain Xpress. In November I spoke at TEDx Katuah. I put together a presentation called The Anatomy of Electronic Music that included some original music and footage that deconstructed a piece of music and talked about the various elements that make up electronic songs. It was a very satisfying experience.
This spring I met a charming fellow by the name of Kie Cochran and after hearing each others’ music, decided to get together to have a little improvisational jam session. It was delightful. We found that we had an artistic connection from the start and decided to pursue something structured, and The Night Lights was born. We worked together on an EP and released it online. The response was nothing short of amazing.
Within 15 days, the album was Bandcamp’s #1 album in our hometown of Asheville as well as our state of NC. We also were within the top 10 “most popular” electronica and ambient genres as well. Our humble EP popped up on the front page of Lifehacker.com, a DIY and tech enthusiast blog that has really become quite popular over the years. We were featured in their “Work Sounds” series (music you can work to) along-side such notable acts like M83 and Boards of Canada. Very exciting indeed.
This year I also started a music label called Symmetrical Records and hope to continue adding independent musicians to this in 2012.
Oh yeah! There was also the Christmas Album, which received “critical acclaim” (haha).
My personal life is going really well also. Kim and I have really been cultivating some great, healthy habits. I owe a lot of it to the implementation of Standards in our lives. A very simple methodology for living well. Check it out. I’ve also just been working on my own personality flaws. My impatience, my mood swings, my ability to “let things go.” Through mindful breathing and Yoga, I have found a lot of inner peace. I hope this continues. I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life. It feels good to say that.
We’ve been doing a ton of hiking this year. We went to Table Rock, NC with our friends Ben and Monica over Thanksgiving weekend and did some hiking and camping. We had our first experience with bouldering as well. Think low-altitude rock climbing. Really fun, and a full body work-out to boot.
So what’s next? I think my running theme for 2012 will center around focus. More efficient use of idle time. Building on the good things that are already in motion. As a friend once told me: Do more.