Archive for December, 2011

2011 Annual Review…

As 2011 ends, it is time to look both back and ahead.

For the past few years, Chris Gullibeau has ended each year with an annual review on his popular blog, The Art of Non-Conformity. This year he challenged others to do the same.

What a great idea! So, challenge accepted.  Thanks to Chris!

Following Chris’s example, I’ll address both high-lights and low-lights for 2011, as well as a brief look forward to 2012. I’ve identified three categories to review:

But first, a little background…

The Jump-to-Consulting project began just over a year ago. The catalysts were questions by my older son, questions by other colleagues, and a fat file for a prospective book. With today’s economy, many people are considering options such as consulting.

I was also intrigued by blogging, and simply wanted to learn more about this Internet phenomena. What better way that to just start a blog. Incidentally, that was the same attitude that got me into consulting. Curiosity, and a desire to learn.

The EMI-GURU project began 30+ years ago,
and led to full time consulting in 1987. It has been great fun, and quite successful. I’ve traveled the world, and made a lot of friends along the way.  It allowed me to practice my profession as an Electrical Engineer in a ways I didn’t even imagine as a student or young engineer.

EMI-GURU also provides the grist for Jump-to-Consulting. Much of what is discussed here is based EMI-GURU experiences. The stuff I talk about is not theory — rather, this is real world and is based on 30+ years in the consulting business.

HIGH-LIGHTS in 2011…

Jump-to-Consulting -  Initiated the blog, and published almost 50 posts. Presented So You Want to be a Consultant at a technical conference, the IEEE International EMC Symposium.  Provided start up advice to several new consultants on an informal basis. Not too bad for the first year of a “helping-hobby” project.

EMI-GURU – Finished remodeling the web site, including adding a blog. The blog was picked up as a monthly column for EE Times, an on-line publication for electrical engineers. So I guess I’m now a multi-blogger, although in two rather narrow niches.

Published a detailed article for In-Compliance magazine on Military EMC, along with newsletters for our clients (Kimmel Gerke Bullets, or the KGBs.)  Developed and conducted a webinar, along with several multi-day pubic and in-house training sessions. Also had some interesting design and troubleshooting consultations.

Personal – Stuck with the workout routine, making it to the gym about 80 times. This is the third year, and not being a jock, I’m proud to say I’m still at it. Feel a lot better, too.

LOW-LIGHTS in 2011

Jump-to-Consulting – No progress on the book. Need to set aside specific time to “Git ‘er Done” as they say in my old home state of Nebraska. Not as many blog posts as hoped, but given the work load, have kept a fairly steady pace.

EMI-GURU – Class attendance at our public seminars a bit down. Training represents discretionary spending, so many companies are still holding back. Would more aggressive marketing help? Not sure — we’ve been pretty aggressive all along. The good news is that feedback on the classes continues to rate very high, which keeps us going.

Personal – Still haven’t lost much weight. Had hoped the regular workouts would help, but guess I simply need to focus more on the calories in.

LOOKING FORWARD to 2012…

Jump-to-Consulting - Invited to do a session in February on Consulting for Geeks at Design Con, a major engineering show in Santa Clara, CA. Curious to see where this might lead.  Got to get started on the book!

EMI-GURU -  Hope to ramp up attendance at the technical classes, an area I really enjoy. As an old codger, there is nothing like seeing a younger engineer (and even an old timer) suddenly “get it.” And it is very satisfying to hear later how our classes helped improved products and designs.

Personal – Spend more time with the grandchildren, along with reading, writing, and just “goofing off.” Social Security kicks in this year which will help with the cash flow, but I still plan to stay reasonably active with both Jump-to-Consulting and EMI-GURU.

Wishing you all the best in 2012! And thanks for reading my blog this past year.

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