Happy holidays, folks!  I hope the season is finding you will with at least most of your sanity in tact!  I just finished my last order for the year and will get to spend the next couple weeks doing nothing.  Yeah, right.  I can’t leave well enough alone so I’m sure I’ll find myself getting into something.

Anyway, this will be my last blog post of the year.  In addition to going over the highlights from the year and what I hope to achieve next year, I thought it would be fun to go back to my first blog post of the year where I listed my goals to see how much I accomplished.  I’m not going to lie…this year’s goals look eerily like next year’s goals. Ha!

This year’s goals:

  1. Devote more time to the blog and keep it going consistently.
  • I’m happy to report that I blogged regularly the entire year. And it was tough.  For all the bloggers out there who post multiple times a week, I don’t know how you do it.  My preferred posting schedule is once every two weeks and I can’t tell you how many times I scrambled to get something posted.  A couple months I did a series which required a post every week.    Blogging is a lot of work, y’all.
  1. Opening a retail space.
  • This goal did not happen for me. I never really found the time (or made the time) to create items for a retail space which was actually a blessing.  In May, the store I had intended to rent a space from went out of business.  There aren’t really any other similar options for a space in my town so I’ve put this goal on a shelf for a while.
  1. Add more content to my YouTube channel.
  • Well…technically I did add more this year. But by more, I mean three videos.  It’s laughable, really.  I honestly intended to do more but discouragement set in.  In my mind, I have a specific idea of what a video needs to look like but mine just weren’t even coming close.  Plus, I was short on ideas of things to film.  I’ve spent some time watching videos from others to learn what I like and what I don’t and that my videos don’t have to be as grandiose as my ideas.
  1. Changes to the ordering and scheduling system.
  • We can all just let out a big ol’ laugh at this one. I didn’t change a single thing and it overwhelmed me.  In fact, I posted that I was no longer accepting orders in June.  Truth?  I still took on a few orders that came through and stayed quite busy throughout the rest of the year.  I didn’t get near enough time to do the things I wanted to do.

So, what are my goals for 2019?  Like I mentioned earlier, some are still very similar.

  1. Get the shop organized and running more efficiently.
  • I need to do a serious overhaul on the shop and THROW SOME THINGS AWAY. That’s in bold for my benefit.  I have a hard time letting things go and I am constantly working to combat that.  I recently got rid of a large chest freezer in my garage to make room for a new table saw, which I’m beyond excited about.  I’ll also be building some moveable storage and work stations to hopefully corral the mess.  It will all be worked in between orders so hopefully I can get a head start on it in the last remaining days of this year.
  1. Revamp my ordering and scheduling system. For real this time.
  • I bought a planner and have actually started writing stuff in it. Previously my only method was to cross my fingers and hope I remember it because I didn’t write anything down.  I made and posted my new “rules” for an order to be scheduled with me and have limited myself on how many orders a month I’ll be taking.  I’m hopeful!  I’ll let you know how it went this time next year.
  1. YouTube…
  • Yup, YouTube makes an appearance again. While I’ve had my battles with YouTube, I can see the bigger picture and know how it can help my ultimate goals with this business.  I’ve already done some work toward this goal to help make it a reality which was to invest in the needed equipment.  I already had the camera but I bought a wireless microphone, a voiceover microphone, wireless remotes, and video editing software.  While filming videos greatly slows down a build, it can also be a lot of fun and beneficial in trying to show others how to do what you did more than writing it down for them.
  1. Overhaul the website.
  • Y’all, I haven’t updated hardly anything on this site in so long. I need about 100 extra hours a week (preferably on my days off only) to get everything done I have planned.  Now that I know more about all of this stuff, I’d like to freshen things up and make them easier to keep up with.

There you have it.  More of the same but being better at it.  And actually following through with it.

I had some pretty amazing things happen this year.  Let’s look back at all of them fondly.

  • In February I got to be on my first Podcast! I say first because I’m still hopeful others will ask me to be on theirs.  I was pumped when Donny with The Green Woodworker Podcast asked me to be a guest.  It was a ton of fun.  You can listen to the podcast by searching for episode number 49. (I’m right before Jimmy Diresta but no big deal.)

  • I made my first set of build plans and released them to the public. Talk about exciting and scary at the same time!  I’ve since shared several build plans but the plans for my mobile lumber cart will always be special to me.  And I can’t tell you how awesome it was the first time someone shared with me that they built their own cart from my plans.

  • I didn’t get to go to any conferences or maker meet ups this year so I made my own. In June, I took a little trip to Amarillo and knew that one of my internet friends lived there.  I sent him a message about stopping by for a visit and hoped that he wouldn’t think I was a weirdo.  Jake of Northside Custom Crafts welcomed me with open arms and it was a blast.  He made me a gift and I joined him on one of his YouTube videos.

  • I made my first cutting board this year. Which has led to making seven more cutting boards in six months. Ha!  Y’all, I love making cutting boards.  They are fairly quick and easy and it’s so fun to come up with new wood combinations.  Speaking of making cutting boards, it leads to my next accomplishment…

  • I won my first building competition with one of my cutting boards! I was super pumped.  It’s been a goal for a while to win a competition with something I made.  And I’m extremely proud of the cutting board.  Not only was making them new to me altogether, but I use a new technique AND cut it into a shape.  I pulled out all the stops.

  • I was featured in an article about women in woodworking. I sometimes have a different take than most about women being singled out but I think the article came out well and my point was made without stepping on any toes.  Stay tuned for another article coming out in 2019!

  • There were many builds that were first for me this year but I’m most proud of my foray into working with hardwoods in my builds, particularly walnut. Hardwoods are pretty expensive and can be nerve wracking to work with because of the investment in them and the fear of messing up but, oh man, do they produce beautiful products.  This a trend I definitely want to continue into the new year.

2018 has been a good ride for 7MD.  I thank you all for joining me this year and hope you will still be here next year.  I will be taking January off from blogging but I’ll still be building and documenting it all on Facebook and Instagram.  If you have any ideas or requests for future post projects or features you would like to see on the blog, let me know!  I’m open to it all!

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