Reflections on 2011

On a personal note, I thought I would take a moment to reflect on 2011. This past year was a bit of a mixed bag. In some ways it was one of the toughest years that I can remember. Business proved to be more challenging than I had expected. I keep hearing that the “good old days” are over. Perhaps I need to go back for an MBA?

On the other hand there were certainly successes along the way. A fortune cookie told me: YOU WILL SOON BE RECOGNIZED BY THOSE YOU RESPECT. Within a week I was a finalist in an AIA sponsored design competition. After more proposals than I would like to admit, I finally secured our firm a short list presentation on a sizable public project. We currently have all fingers crossed and are accepting all prayers.

But those fun times were balanced by some tough lessons. In retrospect, 2011 was perhaps the most educational twelve months I’ve had in a long time…maybe forever. Professional goals began to align with personal beliefs in ways that truly amazed me, and I’ve learned that the “hard way” is always best.

As a point of reference, I began my current professional role only two years ago. 2009 was not an ideal time to begin business development for an architecture firm. I have to admit a few moments of despair when we had two projects put on “indefinite hold” and another canceled altogether. Couple that with the completion of a multi-year project and it became clear that this was not going to be a cakewalk. Why did I agree to this responsibility again? I thought I just wanted to draw pictures??

At the church that my wife and I attend there was a whole series centered on “doing the hard thing”. Without turning this post into my own pulpit, the point was that in life it is often the things that seem the hardest that are actually the most worth doing. I have to say this lesson kept ringing in my mind this past year.

So after many anxious meetings, sleepless nights, and repeated rejections, I have the glorious position of looking back on 2011…and not making plans for it. New partnerships are forming and these are among the more exciting opportunities on the horizon. I’m working on the chance to learn from some of the architects that I admire most. I’m also negotiating projects that, although modest to some, are exciting to us and come complete with clients whose focus is holistic other than all about the bottom line. And to top it all off my wife and are looking forward to welcoming our first son in February! Praise the Lord!

So, dear reader, if you’ve made it this far (17th post for me personally, #130 for the blog) than I thank you and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading as much as I’ve enjoyed writing. 2012 is looking like another challenging year, but I’m not sure I’d have it any other way.

Happy Holidays and here’s to an awesome 2012!

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