Over a longer than usual lunch, I met with two team members for a year-end review.

One of my colleagues said, “This has been a really good year.”

It has been, for so many reasons. 

We don’t call the year good because it’s been easy, without challenges. 

We faced several challenges this year, including a crazy couple of weeks mid-year where two team members moved on to new opportunities and one other team member reduced her hourly commitment from full-time to half-time. It’s always hard to lose people, and onboarding new team members is a demand on time and attention.

We don’t call the year good only because we’ve experienced unprecedented financial success.

We’ve exceeded our basic financial goals this year: to operate without accessing our line of credit and to maintain a consistent paycheck for me. In addition to achieving those basic goals, we also:

  • created more profitability this year than in our company’s history
  • generated the highest revenue since the company began

Some of our financial success this year came from cost reductions implemented in 2018 — responsible stewardship of our resources. We also achieved additional success by choosing to take on more comprehensive contracts that increased demands on our team’s time and attention.  

We don’t call the year good only because of the ways we’ve increased benefits for our employees.

My first few years in business, providing insurance seemed like something way beyond me. This spring, when a departing team member mentioned lack of health care benefits as a key factor in her decision, we decided to explore the feasibility of adding insurance. I happily discovered that Gusto, the company we’ve partnered with on payroll, also connects us to affordable options for healthcare. We began offering benefits in July 2019, and in doing so we’ve created a more stable and sustainable workforce for our company into the future. 

We don’t call the year good only because of the new relationships we’ve formed this year.

We’ve begun several new collaborations with clients this year that are a source of joy and delight to our team. I am constantly grateful for the opportunities we have to serve wonderful people as they seek to share powerful and world-changing ideas. 

We don’t call the year good only because of the memorable moments we’ve shared as a team.

One of my favorite moments happened in San Diego, at sunset, during the Berrett-Koehler book marketing event. Driving back to our hotel after a gathering, I happened upon Mission Beach, minutes before sunset. As I neared the beach, I found a parking spot open along the crowded block of trendy restaurants and shops. My daughter, team member, and clients poured out of the car and we made it to the beach just in time to take off our shoes and socks, wade into the Pacific, and watch the sunset. 

There are a thousand reasons we call this year good, but the one my colleague mentioned that means the most to me is this: our team is more cohesive than ever before. 

We enjoy being together. At our team gathering this fall, many met others in person for the first time — yet the experience was not of strangers gathering, but of old friends reuniting. Though many of our team members work remotely, our company culture is one of collaboration and connectedness. 

It’s been a really good year!