A few posts ago, I wrote something called Mitch's List Is Coming; this is it. It's a letter that's gone out to all my friends and business associates, with an added twist for the blog of thanking people for good things that came my way in the past year. So, this is a departure from a regular blog post here; it's a personal letter of thanks, as well as a quick accounting of my past year as far as business went. Without further ado, we begin:

For those who haven’t heard from me in a long time, hello. For those who have, I hope you indulge me just a little bit while I connect with everyone else. Let’s see where this takes us.

First, this letter is also going to be posted on my blog, which everyone can access by clicking on the link in my email that says Mitchblog; that’s for folks who aren’t sure what blogs are all about. There will be a reason some folks might want to check it out; I’ll talk about that in a little while.

Previously I posted a link, on my blog, to something that an internet friend of mine, Dean, wrote where he had a list of what had happened in the previous year in his life, as well as reaching out to friends and business contacts, through email, that he doesn’t have the opportunity to contact all that often.

I thought about that and believed it was a wonderful idea. I started out by first posting on my blog, saying I was going to do it, and linking to Dean’s blog so people could read what he had to say. I then posted on my blog pages a copy of the last time I wrote something thanking people, which was back in 2004, and linked to that in the same post, in case anyone wanted to go back and relive it.

Anyway, this is my attempt to do something similar to what Dean has done. We all have our own style, but there are some things I will copy. For instance, in this short letter, I will tell some things that happened in my business life during the past year, but only good things; no sense hashing through anything bad, and, well, if you want to learn about any of that stuff you probably should be on my story list. On my blog, I’ll be adding thanks to some people who made a positive impact on my life throughout this past year. So, if you think you’ll see your name online, and it’s something new to you, well, come check it out.

Some of you are my friends and family; some of you are business contacts that I’m reaching out to, just to stay in touch. I hope this letter doesn’t offend anyone, but to paraphrase Dean, it’s as good a time as any to see how close both my business contacts and my friends are to me.

Let’s get started; this is in no particular order. The best news for the past year is that I survived being in business for myself one more year. That’s pretty significant for any sole proprietor, as I’ve now been in business almost 7 years. My accountant says I did pretty good; I agree, but of course I always want to do better, and plan on being better in 2008.

I’ve already had a nice jump in 2008, working a healthcare project for a hospital system out of the country. How people find me; well, it’s due to either word of mouth or past history in working with someone. The project actually started in December and carried through February; that was nice.

My work life was interesting and diverse. I started my web business in December 2006, and in 2007 I had my first paying clients whom I created websites for. I also created a couple more websites for myself, as well as one for my wife. Yup, this is the technology era, and we’ve both jumped into it without fear of looking back.

I traveled to some new places, and some familiar places this past year. I worked consulting assignments in New York City, then one in a small town in New Jersey. I gave my first presentation for a national organization just outside of Washington D. C., and days later did my first national teleconference; both of these were healthcare related. I also went to Fort Lauderdale for a conference, my second trip there, and man, talk about humid! Of course I went to Turning Stone Casino quite a few times, but Robyn, my wife, and I took one really odd trip to Niagara Falls; it was odd because that’s not where we intended on going, but we missed Buffalo. That’s the problem with back roads sometimes. But it was pretty good because we saw the Falls from a couple of places we’d have never thought about before, and, outside of the casino in Niagara Falls, KC & the Sunshine Band was playing a free concert; those of you who know me really well know I loved that.

I, of course, wrote more newsletters, but I also had more articles in national publications. I was even interviewed for a couple of those, and a few weeks ago, I was interviewed about my book on internet radio. Last year I was interviewed about websites and businesses, and I was also contracted to teach a class at a local university on the same subject. I’m also still on three boards of organizations, but on one of them I’m now the finance committee chairman, and if you don’t think that’s a big deal, well, this is an organization that has an annual budget of close to $9 million. It’s not quite Time Warner, but it’s not bad if you ask me.

And I networked, both online and in person. I’m not the best at pressing the flesh, so to speak, but I make do. This year I met a few more millionaires, a place I want to be in my life one day, just like most people I meet. One has to meet people in high places and get the opportunity to talk to them and, hopefully, learn something from them. The main thing I’ve learned is that no one is ever truly alone; that was important to me.

And that’s that; a very short letter, as I said. Of course, some may not read this at all, and some may only read this and that will be that. But I hope you've come to visit the blog. And, please, if I haven’t heard from you in a long while, please think about writing, or stopping by the blog and saying a word or two. In any case, know that you’re in my thoughts, and obviously in my email address book.

And now, for the blog, some more direct thanks from the past year. Of course I have to start with my immediate family. My wife Robyn, mother Betty, and grandmother Hazel, who just celebrated another monumental birthday. Without their support and love, nothing else I do would have any meaning.

I thank my friend Kelvin, the one person I actually talk to more than anyone else other than my wife. We not only communicate through email on a consistent basis, but we go out to breakfast often, sometimes lunch, a very occasional dinner, and even went to a seminar on a subject that we both knew very well, but had to make sure.

I thank my friend Jody, my best friend I have to say, because she’s the person I talk to most often after Robyn and Kelvin. We go to dinner often, and she visits me whenever she gets a chance. Jody’s been there for me in my past more than any other person alive, and for that, she will always have my eternal gratitude and protection if she needs it.

I thank Jim Yarsinsky, a business associate and friend, and the first person I highlighted for my interview series, because he has found me more contracts than anyone else over the years, including last year. Jim also contracted with me for my first assignment out of New York state back in 2001, which helped me get my business off the ground.

I thank Keith, another business associate and friend, for allowing me to work with him on a project last year, and for giving me business advice and guidance. This is a guy whose life I really want to emulate; well, except for the bout of malaria. His business will be highlighted in one of my interviews.

I thank my friend Scott, one of those folks I’ve known for over 30 years (yeah, we’re all getting older), for some fun times in the past year, including our annual run to Oswego for calzones.

I thank my web clients in my first year of business: George, Danny, Kathryn, Michael and Terri, who’s also my accountant. There are some others who I did some minor work for, and I thank them also.

I thank the members of both the Professional Consultants Association and Mid York Medical Management Association, both groups I’ve been a member and board member of for a long time. I also thank the board members of Arise, all the directors, and the executive director, Tom McKeown, for making me feel a valuable part of a very unique community (course, this year I'm also Finance committee chairman, so I should probably find a way to blame you for that). And I want to thank my writer’s group, the Night Writers, and this year’s leader Sue T, and our past leader Jill Y.

I thank other friends I’ve kept in pretty good contact with, both in person and on the phone, for the past year. Some of those people, because I know I’m going to miss someone, are Chris M, Debbie K, Sue T (yeah, another Sue T), Candace, Karen J, Sue P, Jan, and Merrie.

I thank my cousin Gail, who took good care of me while I was in New York City, though she cost me the most money when it came to meals while I was down there. She also taught me the nuances of hailing a taxi; it’s not as easy as you might think it is.

I thank Karen, my contact out of the country who contracted with me for those projects, because it brought a unique perspective to some of what I do in healthcare that I never would have thought about before.

I thank Jill, someone else I go to breakfast with on occasion, who’s been a long time support system, and is instrumental in helping us to start our own mastermind group, of sorts, which will help us all try to stay on track towards our long term business and life goals.

I thank my friend Chuck, someone I’ve known even longer than Scott, who I reached out to this year to talk more about the web, as he’s firmly entrenched in many web business ventures himself.

I thank Pete, whose organization gives me sales training, which motivates me whenever I really need it.

I thank John and Don and Richard, the people I play email chess against the most. I thank Josh for reintroducing me to the game of Scrabble, though, online, it’s called Scrabulous. I wish he’d stop beating me so often, though.

I thank Krystal, Allison, and Niecy for allowing me to be “uncle” something, which is special to me as someone with neither siblings nor children of my own.

I want to thank all the people who have published things I’ve written, as well as those who have interviewed me, both online and off. I hope you appreciated it as much as I did; I had a lot of fun.

I thank Rocky for not only taking care of my lawn and driveway on a regular basis, but for clearing out all the brush in my back yard last year, which has increased my land by almost 20%.

And last, but certainly not least, I want to thank Larry and Fran, our neighbors across the street, for watching the house, especially when I’ve been out of town and Robyn’s been here by herself.

I hope I haven’t missed anyone, and if I have, I truly apologize. This is going to be some blog entry, that’s for sure, but think of it this way; you won’t have to see another one like this for at least another year. And I’m sure that as some of the names will stay the same, some new ones will be added. Thanks Dean, for the idea; take care everyone.

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