My End of Year Review 2016

As 2016 comes to an end, I’ve spent some time up in the Shetland Islands reflecting on what has been an incredible year.

December is a special month for me. Things slow down, giving me time to reflect on the year gone, but even more excitingly, plan for the upcoming year.

2016 was a huge year for me. It was my first full year running a business. It was the year I took the jump to going fully self-employed. I’ve met hundreds of incredible people. I’ve spoken at events across the UK and Germany. And to top the year off, we won the New Start Business of the Year award.

Gavin Bell Award Winning Entrepreneur

Reflecting on your wins is so important. It’s not something I’m very good at, or comfortable with. I prefer pushing them to the side and moving forward.

That’s why I love December. It’s a time to look forward into the new year. I’m a planaholic. I love setting goals and then creating a plan to hit them (the important bit).

There are lots of “guru’s” out there that like to talk down new years goal setting, or new years resolutions.

“Why not make life resolution TOMORROW?! NO!!! TODAY!”

In theory, I agree. We don’t need to wait for a certain date to set a goal, make a plan or set a resolution. The 1st January is just like any other day. BUT, there is something nice and fresh about the start of a new year. So, I say, let’s take advantage of that. 7 years ago I gave up eating chocolate for a New Years Resolution. This year I’m going to start eating it again (watch out for the next vlog ;-))

I’m not going to share my goals for 2017, but what I will say is:

2017, you’re mine.

I’m upping my game this year.

One thing you’ll see in the new year is the rebranding of the company. Blue Cliff Media is getting a facelift to better represent what I want the company to stand for. The new branding will be a lot bigger, bolder and brighter. Sneak peak:

Blue Cliff Media Branding

I’ve always felt the branding has been a little cold and corporate – not what we’re about. But in saying that, in the early days, it was all about getting something out there quick. And refining, improving and changing as we move. I didn’t want to paralyse growth by focusing on branding before we had any customers!

A personal Gavin Bell website will be launched in January, where I’ll do most of my writing. That website is being built for two main reasons:

  1. To make the journey from seeing me online (perhaps from my vlog), to working with me more fluid. It’s Gavin Bell branding throughout the whole journey.
  2. To separate myself from the Blue Cliff Media branding. As the business grows, we’re working with more contractors to scale the business. It’s not all about me anymore.

Exciting times! One of the main highlights for me this year is starting the new vlog series. The feedback and support I’ve had has been incredible. The first 5 vlogs have been viewed around 40,000-50,000 times which is a little mind blowing when I take a step back and think about it. Here’s to making that 400,000-500,000.

On that, I want to make a plea to you. Start investing in video. If you’re not marketing with video, 2017 is the year to start. It doesn’t have to be polished. You don’t need a big camera. Use your phone. Get comfortable. Okay?

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that’s made 2016 the best year of my life. Every single person that’s worked with me, supported me, met for a coffee or trusted me with opportunities, you’ve made this wee Shetland boy very happy. I love my life and everyone I surround myself with makes it that bit better.

I thank you.

Here’s to a fun and prosperous 2017.



  • Vicky Gunn

    Gav – what an amazing year you’ve had! And hey you forgot about being a famous dancer ;0)
    No seriously … 2017 is most definitely yours and from a fellow planaholic .. go get them!
    It’s really no surprise your vlogs are so popular…. you’ve raised the game for everyone from day 1 and I’m sure many of us will be picking up a camera more often due to your inspiration! Have a fab New Year!!

  • Thanks so much Vicky! Haha, I should have included the dancing GIF!

  • Geoff Nicholson

    Massive well done on your accomplishments this year Gav, I can’t wait to see how much more you kick butt in 2017.

  • Rachael ChivertonLtd

    Brilliant article Gav, so pleased you have had such a tremendous year. I’m currently taking a break from writing my “Brilliant and Ace things that happened in 2016 list. I love taking the time to do this, however like you it is something I’,m not comfortable with.
    Wishing you exciting times in 2017.

  • Dougie Kemp

    Well done on a great year Gavin,all the best for 2017..

  • Thanks Geoff! Exciting times.

  • As long as you acknowledge them personally that’s all that matters 🙂 Thanks Rachael! Right back at you.

  • Thanks Dougie! 🙂

  • Gavin, thank you for sharing your journey this year. Was a pleasure to meet you in June at TCMA conference. I’ll be following your 2017 journey with interest and look forward to catching up again soon. Congrats on all you’ve achieved so far 🙂

  • Thanks Jonathan! Likewise. Look forward to seeing you soon!