Wow what a year 2017 has been – this is going to be my final blog of the year.
Coming into it – I had just been promoted, turned 30 and had returned from a surprise trip to Lapland. After a difficult 2016 where I had to take time out of work. I was hopeful about 2017. Fortunately, it didn’t disappoint.
I’ve travelled, spoke publicly and achieved more of my personal goals than ever before. This post is not to gloat but as it time for personal reflection – I wanted to capture my experiences on paper. Those of you that have followed me this year may enjoy this post but if your expecting the usual sales confidence insights etc this is not that so feel free to click away now….and pop back in 2018 :)
Those that stay on reading. Thank you and thank you for reading, liking and commenting on my posts this year.
January started with our Linkedin regional kick off in Malaga and included an awesome ski trip with some Linkedin colleagues to Sierra Nevada for probably the best boys trip I’ve had in a long time. Since raising 3 kids I’ve had little time away to indulge in this type of adventure and it’s something I had missed.
In March I attended my first Minds@Work event where I meet Geoff Mcdonald, Jonny Benjamin MBE and Neil Laybourn. This was a profound event for me. To see professional people discussing and sharing openly the challenges and the triumphs of managing mental health in the workplace was inspiring. This event more than anything inspired me to open up further about my own story in 2017.
April I brought a Kayak for me and the kids to use on our long weekends away and it proved a popular purchase. Aside from Amazon the only other place I tend to shop is at Decathlon with aisles of fun it is a cheaper alternative than most theme parks!
In May we launched Windsorprenuers and Linkedin achieved over 500 million members on Linkedin.
In June we organised a TWBS Alumni networking group which attracted Old Windsorians from multiple generations. In was great to bring people back to the school and hear from the likes of Peter Rawlings.
Also in June I was fortunate to be invited to my friends wedding in Santorini which is a beautiful place and somewhere I highly recommend.
I then went over to Lisbon in Portugal for LinkedIn high achievers club. A very special occasion as I opted to take my dad so he could share in my achievements; those of which would not have been possible without his support in 2016.
I shared the stage with Time to Change director Sue Baker and OCD champion Colin Minto sharing my experiences with my own mental health. I felt incredibly comforted by the sense of belonging and understanding from my Linkedin colleagues. It is a real privilege to work for such a progressive and leading company.
July 2nd was a school boy dream come true when I was witness to The Windsor Boys’ School Boatclub winning Henley regatta for the first time in 20 years. I had seen many crews try and fail but for the boys to do it this year was a hugely proud moment!
Come July I decided it was time to ramp up my blog posting and so started aiming for 2 or 3 a week. Amazingly I have been able to maintain this for the last 6 months.
It was around August that the concept for Sales Confidence was conceived. I had been working on the idea and tried various experiments since joining Huddle 6 years ago. This year with the support of Notion Capital and a stronger network I launched Sales Confidence – a series of events to inspire B2B SaaS Sales Leaders and Founders. I’m very happy to say that with two events under our belt in 2017 and 6 planned for 2018 I’m ecstatic about what has been achieved.
Some of my content has received over 100,000 views. After writing 80 + blogs I still don’t know exactly what delivers a viral post but I do know that consistency, frequency and relevancy matters most in growing a following. Relationships I have developed this year have benefited from sharing my thoughts, opinions and experiences.
After a year of swinging a golf club I manged to hit 200 yards on a driving range! Golf is something I have come to very late but I have found it a very useful tool for stress relief and fun with the kids.
In October I achieved another boy hood dream of visiting New York climbing the Empire State building thanks to a Linkedin VIP access and spoke alongside Mental Health Champions Jonny Benjamin and Neil Laybourn about an incredible campaign called areyoualrightmate.org
November was all about Jeff Weiner – well not quite but it was a privilege to spend time with him while he visited in us. I think many in the HR and recruitment space enjoyed Talent intelligence event this year.
As well as attending the BISMA awards thanks to Daniel Disney. I also raised £1000 for Movember and spoke at Thriveinthecity was a great initiative set up by Stacy and co and something I was proud to be a part of in December.
The momentum since launching Sales Confidence has been much more than expected. The culmination of hard work from my partners Marylebone marketing, Rock Mission and Mike the Writer resulted in a top 50 sales list that got huge amount of traction and cemented our place as the Number 1 community in the UK for SaaS Sales Leaders and Founders.
Speaking with Deputy Lord Mayor of Business at City Hall was the best way to celebrate my 31st birthday and end the year in style. It was a great experience.
As well as writing this. I’m investing significant time over the holiday to think about 2018 and what my future looks like. I’m a great advocate of dreaming and although things you aspire to achieve may not happen as planned your get much closer by creating a plan, setting goals and having a well-developed vision for yourself. Surrounding yourself with those share similar goals is also very important.
A final thought goes to all the great customers and colleagues I have worked with this year as well as the great experiences shared with friends and my wonderful family.
Please share your achievements of 2017 and I look forward to seeing you in 2018.
About the Author
James Ski works for Linkedin and advises companies on recruitment, employer branding and how to achieve scalable, predictable sales growth.
He is the founder of Sales Confidence and speaks openly about mental health in the workplace.
If you would like to be first to read his published posts focused on sales confidence sign up to his blog here. If you want to follow him personally go to his personal blog here.