My 2011 year in review: Focusing on myself before helping others

Towards the end of 2009, I began writing a personal manifesto and making it public on my blog. A manifesto is, for me, a set of rules and guidelines for me to live by. To this day, almost 6 years after starting, I still use this blog as my own personal canvass, the journal where I chronicle my life.

Earlier this year I wrote:

Even though my blog has evolved to a smorgasbord that blends my personal journey and a storytelling process whereby I share my life in Vancouver, the restaurants I eat at, the performing arts shows I see, the places I travel too, and bits and pieces of different events in Vancouver and all over the province, it is still my own personal canvas. It’s mine, and mine only, no one else’s. My 2010 focused on my own personal growth. And grow I did. And in what way! My 2011 saw me make myself a priority

Raul speaking

In my 6-months report, I indicated that I had done, for the most part, exactly that. I indicated that in the fall of 2011, I would do only things for myself, things that made me grow. Of the goals I set myself with, I am quite pleased to report that at least, I did 2 out of 3, and 1 more or less. I only took really 2 weeks off, not three, but I kept focusing on my academic development, and I did come back to competitive volleyball. My knees are still hurting, but I have done exactly what I promised myself I would do.

In the fall of 2011, I hired 2 interns (as I mentioned I would have to do), Anabelle Bernard Fournier and Jessica Brodeur. The experience of having interns was a really positive one on many aspects. Anabelle and Jessica worked really hard and really shared my philosophy of covering events to help people and increase the exposure of worthy causes. The only relatively negative one is that the demand for my blog grew instead of staying stable, and of course, once the internship ended, I was left with a lot more work than I had ever planned to do.

Meet my Team

My goal in 2012 is to share the wealth, as I have started doing in 2011. I will not attend as many events as I get invited, and I will not promote as many projects as I am pitched. But given my position as one of Vancouver’s most well-read and connected bloggers and social media specialists, I think I can safely redirect some of those pitches and requests for promotion to other bloggers (including my own former interns, something I’ve already done – redirect projects to them). Their traffic may not be as big as mine, and the exposure may not be as large, but at least, there will be promotional mechanisms for worthy causes. And the collective combined traffic and exposure of those who promote the projects I can’t will definitely account for a lot.

Gibsons BC

Photo credit: Robyn Hanson for 604 Pulse.

My view in the past few years is that some people in the social media community in Vancouver hog the opportunities. They want to be invited everywhere, and be part of every event and every party. Why not redistribute the wealth? Why not ensure that we have a variety of voices writing about the amazing things that are happening in our beautiful city?

At least, that’s going to be my objective moving forward: I will be doing a lot less projects, but I will do the projects I find interesting and I find I have the energy to go through. It will be a challenge, but it won’t be impossible. And I think, at the end of the day, emerging bloggers will feel better that more opportunities are coming their way, instead of resenting the success I (or any other large-scale blogger) have had.

2012 for me will be a year of delegating and redistributing. Hopefully I will continue to have an army of collaborators who will be able to tackle promotional projects along the way, and walk the walk with me.

Related posts:

  1. 2011 in review: A year of personal loss
  2. My 2011 Manifesto: Status Update at Mid-Year
  3. 2011: The year of the budget
  4. On giving, helping people and protecting oneself
  5. 2008 – A year in review – social media

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