What I Learned This Year


Each December, I write a review of the year. This typically includes an outline of the achievements I made throughout that year and a mention of goals for the year ahead. But this year requires a review that’s a little different than previous years. This year, I want to focus on a more broad review of the year; to discuss not only achievements from my personal ventures but to examine a broader social context that impacts my work and life.

Achievements in 2018

A highlight of 2018 for me was the launch of Acme Design LLC, a website design firm. Having done this work as a freelancer off and on for two decades, I am happy to put this work into a formal business.

The other achievements from this year were facing down challenges and fighting to move forward in the face of adversity. Despite these challenges, I was able to make some real progress that includes learning more about my work style and abilities and accepting my weaknesses.

I spent decades attempting to work in a manner that was inconsistent with my talents, so realizing and accepting my work style will allow me to move forward in a more positive way.

Areas of progress moving forward

On the wave of this year’s achievements, I now have a more clear picture of some areas of progress moving forward. This includes a broader focus on my work and a greater ability to help those in need, specifically for me, my clients and future clients.

As an entrepreneur it’s difficult — somewhat impossible even — to do your best work and have your greatest impact when you’re standing in the midst of challenges. While we can’t easily eliminate all of our difficulties, we can create a better position for ourselves that allows more focus on efficiency and greater achievements.

There’s always work to be done and moving into the next year is no different. It requires focus and dedication.

I believe that this is true not only for my work but for entrepreneurs and businesses everywhere. The world has changed vastly over the past decade. The internet has driven much of the changes and successes, and has even allowed for the creation of many jobs, my own included. It has also opened many doors for helping others. It’s now easier than ever for nonprofits to raise funds for causes through websites and online campaigns; we can work more efficiently and from anywhere; we’re all connected with each other and with services that improve our lives and make them better.

I’m a huge fan of the internet, which is why I have built a business on top of it. And looking into the new year, I plan to use my expertise and skills to help other businesses solve problems and reach their goals.

I love seeing my clients thrive and I believe we as entrepreneurs have a responsibility to ourselves, our businesses and those we help.

While the internet has improved our lives and made our work more efficient, it’s now easier than ever to become distracted. With smartphones in our pockets and more information than we could ever consume at our fingertips, distraction has become a problem.

In the year ahead, one of my goals is to set aside the items that distract me so I can better focus on my work and my abilities to help others achieve their goals.


Part of my growth in 2018 was learning more about who I am and the person I want to be. In a nutshell, this means focusing on my work and helping others, being less distracted while reading more often and participating more in activities that cater to personal growth.

I’m excited for the upcoming year and I hope you’ll join me by setting forth similar goals and working towards greater achievements. I’d love to hear what you’re working on and what your plans are.

At Acme Design, we don’t look for opportunities. We look for problems and we solve those problems for our clients. What problem are you working to solve? 

Ash Blankenship