2014: Reflections on a terrible year

If you're among my closest friends, you may have noticed I've been pretty stressed this year. HSBC can take the blame for most of that - when, in January, they offered me a mortgage unprompted over the counter, and then told me being self-employed wouldn't be a problem, I stupidly thought I might end up with a mortgage from them.

Ten months later and with the help of the excellent Contractor Financials, I finally managed to buy my first house, too late to get properly moved in before Christmas, with the result that I've spent the past six weeks basically living on a bed and no other furniture.

I'm not totally miserable, by any means - I'm happy to have a place of my own and all that, it's just unfortunate that it took at least six months longer than it should have done, and all the time spent chasing the bank(s) for a decision left me with a backlog of work that I still haven't quite caught up on (sorry, clients).

So that brings me to 2015 and my promises to myself and to my clients for the new year.

Regular clients get priority - no more delaying regular delivery of work in order to fit in short-notice one-off orders.

No more huge, repetitive orders that eat into my very soul. If more than about 25-30 pages are needed with basically the same long-tail keyword phrase, I'm not going to do it anymore, it physically hurts me every time I take something on like that.

And I think basically, those two things should get me back to working at my best. It's been a tough few months but I'm already making amends, and now I have my new place (and will finally get the last of the furniture I need in January) I'm in a much better position for getting the work done.

Small businesses in particular, I want to help you - whatever your budget is, I'm sure I can help you use it in a way that will have real results.

Get in touch and let's work together to make 2015 a much better year for all concerned.