Halfway Out of the Dark

Post written by Matthew Egan. Follow Matthew on Twitter.

When a year comes to a close, many of us typically take time to reflect on the past twelve months and look ahead with enthusiasm to the brand new year with all of its possibilities for personal or professional improvement.

We indulge in the New Year’s Eve revelry and partying. We embrace our regenerated hope of future possibilities.

We have decided that each January 1st is somehow magical. We strive to forgive all past failings and all past weaknesses. Because it is “new” it is different. It means the possibility of becoming a new “you” — a different you. You won’t make the same mistakes. The struggles and mistakes that held back the outmoded “2010 version” of you won’t defeat this new and improved 2011 model of yourself.


But there is one obvious and uncomfortable pitfall in this “new year, new me” logic: January 1st 2011 is no different from December 31st 2010. A person’s capacity for self-deception is amazing. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sometimes believing in something that is too good to be true is the only way to truly make the impossible possible.

While flying back to Texas over the holidays, I got the chance to watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special – “A Christmas Carol.” In this year’s Yuletide installment, the doctor talks about Christmas, or Winter Solstace, or the Crystal Feast — whatever you choose to call it — and how it’s a holiday placed in the middle of winter as a sort of reminder that we’re halfway out of the dark.

Spring will come. A new season will begin.

January 1st marked a new season for Image Freedom, what we’re calling “Season Two.” I founded Image Freedom in September of 2009 and have gone from a one-man operation to now managing our team of three and more freelancers and partners than I can seem to keep track of.

To say I am proud of 2010 would be an understatement. But there is still so much to accomplish. I wanted to write this to thank everyone who we’ve ever worked with, to thank every client, and to thank every reader of this blog.

I run an honest business. Five years ago, I would have laughed if you told me that, someday, I could run an honest, successful business. The niche we’ve carved here at Image Freedom, the thing that makes us the “purple cow,” is that very honesty.

What our clients have responded to, what has lead to our growth and the word-of-mouth energy that has brought new opportunities to our door, is that honesty. When you sit down with us, we give you the full picture. We tell you the whole story. We start with education and myth busting and only afterwards do we talk strategy, deliverables and price.

Maybe I shouldn’t be thanking my clients, my friends, or you the reader. Maybe I should thank our competitors. I should raise a glass to the snake oil salesmen whose dishonesty in the SEO industry has allowed basic integrity and honesty – values that all of us should embrace – to seem extraordinary.

Yes, thank you, Mr. Snake Oil. Thank you for over-promising and under-delivering. Thank you for spinning SEO fairy tales and failing to deliver results to the clients that trusted you.

It’s a brand new year, a brand new day and, for Image Freedom, the start of Season Two.

What can you expect from us in 2011?

1) The same over-share honesty that brought us success in Season 1.
2) A hand-picked team of people I’ve found who share the same core values – the values my grandfather raised me on.
3) Our continued commitment to our own ongoing education and the sharing of what we learn here on this blog.

The days of the snake oil salesmen are numbered.

Welcome to Season Two.

Matthew Egan is the President of San Antonio SEO consulting firm Image Freedom. When not dancing to the blues, Matthew helps web pages like yours get more traffic through content driven Search Engine Optimization.