HomeMy JournalAnnual ReviewsMy 2015 Annual Review

Annual Reviews

I review every year — only to learn that things rarely go as planned.

My 2015 Annual Review

Time for my 2015 annual review.

In this post, I’ll do my best to answer these three questions:1

What went well this year?
What didn’t go so well this year?
What am I working toward?

This post is also sparked by my post The epic year approach. The Epic Year Project is my attempt at hitting four major life events (“memorable milestones”) each and every year.

Here we go:

1. What went well this year?

Family life. My son, Jack, was born in September 2014, but 2015 was the year when I got to know him. Everything is turned upside-down, of course, but I’m happy to have spent so much time with him this year. And I’m equally thankful to share this journey with my beloved wifey, Lisah.

Freelance lifestyle. For the last decade, I’ve been working at various agencies, and so the ‘agency lifestyle’ is my default setting. When I started my company in 2013, in the back of my mind, I always thought that I would build an agency. However, in 2015, I embraced the fact that freelancing is a way of life that’s exciting to me.

28 days. It wasn’t planned, but one day I got the idea of putting together a free 28-day email course in which I share 28 PR- and digital marketing “secrets.” I had no expectations whatsoever, but to date, I’ve had close to 2,000 participants. To me, that’s an unexpected success.

Declutter. For 2015, my New year’s resolution was to simplify my life (and for this, I can recommend Essentialism — The Disciplined Pursuit Of Less by Greg McKeown). I tweaked my freelance lifestyle and got rid of lots of material stuff. I’ve also successfully moved all my paperwork into the cloud.

Tracking. In 2015, I took action and started to track various aspects of my life more seriously. First of all, I got serious about biometrics; DNA analysis, sleep analysis, nutritional intakes, heart rate, training load, you name it. I also track my email behavior, invoicing patterns, work hours, and so on. It’s early days yet, but it has helped me to ask myself better questions.

New company name. I changed the name of my business from Mad Science Digital to Spin Factory. A small – but important! – step to commemorate the shift from agency ambitions to a freelance mindset.

2. What didn’t go so well this year?

Unfinished side projects. We all have them, right? Personally, I have several side projects that I am pursuing. However, the only side project I managed to get off the ground was the 28-day email course — and that mini-project wasn’t even planned.

Lack of accountability. This is, I think, the main reason why many of my side projects never got off the ground. Because what happens if I don’t push these side project forward? Nothing, apparently.

3. What am I working toward?

Speaking. For some reason, I feel strangely comfortable up on stage. However, I’ve always thought of myself as a PR professional, but never as a speaker. So, I haven’t pursued speaking opportunities proactively. But in 2016, I’ll strive to take public speaking more seriously.

Survivalism. For years, I’ve been struggling to find a hobby. However, nothing sticks. I envy people who have their passions like surfing, skiing, dancing, fashion, travel, climbing, and so on. I’m currently reading lots of books on survivalism and prepping; maybe that could be an interest to explore further?

Cover photo by Jerry Silfwer (Prints/Instagram)


  1. This format is inspired by James Clear’s annual reviews.
Avatar of Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwerhttps://doctorspin.org/
Jerry Silfwer, aka Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Communication Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.