2015 was a big year for Byrdseed. Here are some of the highlights and my personal takeaways.
I spoke at 33 events this year, which took me to 13 states (5 of which were new!). I keynoted 3 state conferences, and was a featured speaker at several more. 2016 looks to be even busier, with 30 events already on the schedule! Get in touch if you’d like me to be involved this year.
Articles at Byrdseed.com
Last year, I wrote 60 new articles here at Byrdseed.com and began organizing around monthly topics. The five most read articles were:
- I Thought You Were Smart
- Being A Healthier Teacher: 3 Ways To Set Limits
- 7 Ways To Add Complexity
- Success Isn’t A Straight Line
- Quick Strategy Game: Domineering
Not on the list, but three I’m particularly proud of are:
- Expectations Influence Student Performance
- Bad Behavior or Lack of Complexity?
- Small Groups: Not Just For Struggling Students
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Over at Byrdseed.TV, I created 51 new videos (many of which include teacher and student versions). The most popular were:
- A Visual Guide To Dividing Fractions
- Finding Pi
- A Curiosity Based Research Project
- Analyze A Character’s Changes with Depth and Complexity
- Depth And Complexity: Trends
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Looking back at 2015, I learned three big ideas (all of which would be valuable lessons for your students):
1) It’s important to get out there.
This year, I traveled to new conferences as an attendee, paying out of pocket. The result: I met countless people, some of whom invited me back for events in 2016. My business has primarily been online, but I’ve learned that nothing beats making connections in person.
In 2016, I’ll be pursuing this further by attending new conferences, and purposefully meeting new people (even though it drains my introvert batteries!)
2) Take Thoughtful Risks
In addition to traveling, I added some new elements to Byrdseed. Each involved a risk, but these risks were thoughtful. Small downsides, but large potential upsides.
- I paid to be an exhibitor at conferences. Aside from being expensive, this was risky because I had to stand and talk about my business to hundreds of people for hours! Yikes. But this risk was worth it because it gave me the chance to chat with so many teachers. I’ll definitely do this again in 2016.
- I planned an event for summer, had trouble getting the word out, and ended up canceling. A small failure, but I learned much and have used that knowledge to set up this year’s Hatch.
- I quit some consulting work that was unrelated to Byrdseed. This was scary, since I gave up guaranteed income. But freeing up my time and brain power has been essential to expanding Byrdseed. Very glad I did this.
None of these risks involved betting the house. When they’ve failed, they haven’t ruined me. And the successes add up. They build momentum. Twelve months later, Byrdseed is quite different than it was last January. A good book on this topic is Little Bets
3) Be open, but be smart.
I’ve said yes to many new opportunities, but I’ve also learned to say no. Not everything is a good fit for my skills and the limits my one-man business. I’m willing to try most anything, but if something doesn’t take, I’m fine with ditching it. I wrote about this in my Setting Limits article.
It’s been a huge honor to be able to “do Byrdseed” full time. I have you to thank!
Any time you share an article, recommend me for an event, buy a product, or simply use a lesson idea, you’re empowering me to do what I feel is my life’s work! Thanks so much.
Here’s to 2016!
Photo by Laqos
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