From business perspective, 2017 was the year of change. After 6 years my daily job totally changed. I jumped to the wild water and tried to swim and surf the best I could. It was far from perfect, I hardly kept my head above the water. But I survived and now I’ve got time to take a breath and see what I did and how to do it better. These are my 3 big steps I did in 2017.
That might be the biggest step in my professional life. Actually, it wasn’t a step. It was taking a lift 10 floors higher. From client-related work, my responsibilities have moved to team management. Together with my colleague Islam, we hired 3 new people to the team. We had to develop our own hiring process, figure out how to train those people and how to distribute the work within the team. All this was not perfect, but I’m proud of how great team we have. How did we find it? For me worked most the basic instinct – do I want to work with this person or not? That was the strongest key and I believe it worked.
Since it seems my shift will not stop in 2018, I see how much I need to improve in helping the team to grow, scale and improve. While I don’t need to know about every single detail, I need to dedicate time when the team needs it and deep-dive in their problems. I also need to accept that I won’t know about everything and control each step with every client. That’s impossible and that’s why I have the team to do that.
2) Admin and legal responsibilities
I slept so calmly when I was client partner managing my portfolio of clients. Out of sudden, I had to take care of licensing process, renewals, establishing a new company, visas, insurance, bank accounts and I don’t even know what more. I guess only with a bank I spent 100+ hrs last year. On top of that, we moved our office twice in 2017! Finally, we found our “home” but it was another 100+ hrs and many sleepless nights. That was big learning on one side and a big waste of my energy on the other. Energy which I’d needed somewhere else. Big room to improve here! Not by doing everything myself but by delegating both internally and externally.
3) University of Dubai and other public speakings
When the University of Dubai started a professional diploma in Digital Marketing, I was so happy about that. And I’m still very honored to be part of that as one of the facilitators. I still remember how funny it sounded to my mom when I – who has always hated everything about school – told her that I’m teaching at one of the most prestigious universities in Dubai.
It’s an incredible lesson for me to be 2x a week in front of students who are hungry for new skills. It gives me a chance not only improve my public speaking skills but also to understand how to communicate different aspects of digital marketing to different audiences. It’s pretty easy to speak about Facebook advertising with digital marketers who know how things work. But explain it to newbies from scratch in few hours? That’s a challenge.
Out of UOD I had few more appearances in 2017 – be it at Facebook events, Dubai PPC or STEP conference. It’s sad I couldn’t make it to more events but I believe in 2018 I’ll have way more chances to share the digital love around.
In 2018 I should swim, surf and dive in waters which are more familiar to me. That’s why I believe it can be such a successful year, full of great opportunities. Each of us just needs to catch the right wave. See you in the water!