Happy New Year 2024!

Another year has passed and it’s time to look at what happened in 2023 and plan for 2024. I have mentioned in previous New Year’s posts that one of my inspirations for this end of the year ritual is Chris Guillebeau’s writings including The Art of Non-Conformity blog and book. Chris uses the turning of the year as inspiration for reflection and planning, I think this is as good a time as any for doing this, after all I seem to always have this day off!

What worked in 2023: It was a reasonably profitable year for my company, I managed to publish another book and teach lots of classes for Automation Training, one of my favorite activities. Among other places, I visited Miami, Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Raleigh, Chicago, Detroit and Boston (twice!) Traveling is an enjoyable part of my job.

I also worked 10 days every month for Automation NTH, where I create content for NTH University and teach classes. I did several Beckhoff classes (NTH212) and two PLC simulation intern trainings (NTH115). I enjoy working there and hanging out with all the creative brilliant engineers.

I was only at American Beverage Depot once, for two weeks in August, but I am impressed with the changes and modernization that has occurred there since I started working with them in 2014.

What didn’t work so much: despite a great family trip to Florida last April, I took very little time off for myself. I didn’t attend any conferences or trade shows for networking, and had almost no extracurricular activities for fun.

My marketing activities truly sucked. Other than my webinars every 2-3 weeks and a few random ads thrown out on Linked In, I did almost nothing. One, I am not very good at writing ad copy, two, I don’t have a lot of consistent extra time, three, I HATE it. I really need help, but I don’t think the answer is throwing money at marketing companies or ad agencies. I need a plan and a partner.

Overall though, I can’t complain. I don’t exercise enough, but I also don’t overeat or drink (much), and all my family relationships are good. At 63 years of age I don’t have many health problems. There is certainly room for improvement in 2024 though.

Plans for 2024: I have totally remodeled and improved my office space in preparation for my Mastering the Machine workshops January 8-19. For more on this, check out my last couple of webinars on YouTube:

I hope to do a lot more of these courses in 2024 and beyond. Of course I will be teaching PLC and HMI programming at these classes, but I have also added pneumatics, CAD, Machine Safety, design and hope to include more hands-on labs for servos and motor control. Panel fab and wiring are also part of the curriculum, though I am not sure what form it will take yet.

Anyway, Happy New Year and hit me up if you need any training!


Electrical Engineer and business owner from the Nashville, Tennessee area. I also play music, Chess and Go.