As the final chapters of 2023 are being written, I press the pause button on the hustle and bustle to reflect on a year that’s been an extraordinary blend of professional milestones, personal victories, and deepening connections. It’s a year that saw me stretch beyond my comfort zone, celebrate achievements I hardly saw coming, and embrace a journey of continuous growth. This moment of reflection is especially meaningful to me, as I often struggle to recognize the magnitude of the good scattered throughout the year.

Join me as I walk you through this tapestry of achievements and learnings, a narrative that weaves together career highlights and personal triumphs.

Professional Highlights

Building RicketyRoo’s Content Team

This year marked a significant milestone in my career at RicketyRoo. I took on the challenge of building and evolving our content team. It’s been a transformation journey, not just in terms of streamlining our processes and product offerings but also in how we present our successes to our diverse clientele. There’s been a learning curve – managing people and products isn’t always a walk in the park – but the lessons I’ve learned have been invaluable in shaping my professional trajectory.

First Solo Client Trip

Taking off on my first solo out-of-state client trip was a highlight of the year. It was more than just a business trip; it was a leap in self-confidence and independence. Navigating client relations on a larger stage, without the safety net of my team, was both daunting and exhilarating, broadening not just my professional network but also my view of what I’m capable of.

Salary Milestones

2024 was also a year of financial highs. I achieved not one but two salary increases – and that too without the back-and-forth of negotiation. It’s a testament to my hard work and the value I bring to the table, marking my highest earnings.

Finding My Tribe

Melissa Popp BrightonSEO San Diego 2023-min

Attending WTSFest and BrightonSEO USA was another defining moment. Something about being surrounded by like-minded professionals is both affirming and energizing. These events helped me realize I’m part of a community that supports and celebrates each other’s successes.

Thought Leadership and Media Presence

Venturing into thought leadership was a leap into the unknown. Publishing several blog posts, including a feature at Moz, was both a challenge and a thrill. It’s been a journey of sharing knowledge and insights and stepping out as a voice in the industry.

Podcasting Adventures

Diving into the world of podcasting and contributing to shows like WTSPodcast was a new and exciting frontier. It’s been a platform for sharing stories and insights and connecting with a broader audience more intimately, conversationally.

Mentoring and Giving Back

Being a mentor for Women in Tech SEO and The Freelance Coalition for Developing Countries allowed me to give back, sharing my experiences and insights to guide and inspire others. It’s been rewarding to see mentees grow and find their path, reflecting on the journey I’ve been on myself.

Pitching and Aspiring Toward Speaking Opportunities

Ambitiously pitching to three conferences was a step outside my comfort zone. While I wasn’t selected this year, it’s set the groundwork for future speaking opportunities. Every pitch was a learning experience, refining my approach and building my confidence.

Onward to 2024

As the sun sets in 2023, I am enveloped in profound gratitude and accomplishment. This year has been a mosaic of experiences – a blend of professional victories that exceeded expectations and personal journeys that reshaped my perspective. Whether a leap forward in my career or a stride toward personal well-being, each step has been a building block in my ongoing journey of growth and self-discovery.

In retrospect, 2023 was more than a collection of calendar days; it was a period of transformative learning and meaningful progress. It taught me the value of embracing challenges as opportunities, the importance of nurturing relationships, and the power of persistent self-improvement.

As I look towards the horizon of 2024, I carry with me the accomplishments of the past year and the lessons and experiences that have enriched my life. Here’s to stepping into the future with optimism, ready to face new challenges, seize fresh opportunities, and continue on this rewarding path of personal and professional evolution.