2016. Man, it’s been quite the year. And I think it’s safe to say, a difficult one for many, for a plethora of reasons. May it be political, or in terms of people we cared about. If I’m being honest though, it’s been a year that’s been incredibly kind to me, so for me, it’s been a blessing.
It all started 2 days in. Adam Johnson was around my house visiting from Swanley, and we had a conversation. I had become ridiculously demotivated in continuing to make videos based on racing games. While at the same time, the Podcast that I had been doing, Motorsport101, with Ryan King, Crekkan and others, was slowly growing from strength to strength. So, we made the decision to leave the Harrison101 YouTube channel behind, and to focus on a plan to make M101 our full-time project.
Turns out it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.
YouTube was a soul-destroying experience for me. At the time, I was still working a shitty job at my local Matalan, opening boxes for eight hours a week, and the co-workers I had discovered my hobby and I was mocked at relentlessly. It was hell. Having a cute manager you fancied didn’t help either, but hey ho.
I still find it amazing we had a set plan, a Soundcloud, a YouTube and a repackaged website sorted in mere days. We’ve done 45 episodes since, and in our first year, amassed nearly 25,000 plays, and over 1,000 subs on YouTube. That’s pretty gnarly. And the show is totally funded by fans of the show. That’s so cool, and something I never thought would be possible. You believe in us and love what we do, and that’s inspiring.
I managed to get a new job, working for William Hill, and that’s been pretty awesome too. A business where sports and betting knowledge actually helps out from day-to-day. Being born as Aspy’s and being obsessed with numbers too, it suits me down to the ground. I’ve been able to start giving my Mother board, who’s had to fight hard since becoming a single mum a few years back to keep a roof over my head, as well as my siblings. That alone fills me with pride that I can give a little something back. With a little luck, I’ll be a shop manager early next year, and I’m excited for the challenge. I’m also on their “Team Talk” team, so I got to flex my sports writing muscles and support all 2,400 shops nationwide. That’s pretty crazy.
Any regrets? Just within myself, I think my own lack of confidence held me back this year. Often I didn’t take projects on enough because I was afraid it wouldn’t turn out right, or that I wasn’t good enough. I often thought a little too much about that, or trying to please everyone by trying to specialise myself when in reality… I’m so fortunate to have an audience that will support anything I do and I need to embrace that, and do what makes me happy in 2017. And that is something that I promise to do next year. I also regret not writing enough on this site, as a lot of my resources went into the Drebrief video series – Which is a shame, because I was super happy with the pieces I did write this year. “1,974” a personal favourite of mine.
Speaking of which, M101 will go from strength to strength in 2017. The addition of #BikeLive will be incredible. I’ve worked with Louis Suddaby and Rebecca James, and they were the glowing stars of Downforce Radio, and to have them together in a project that we love doing is an honour and a privilege. It feels like a genuine Motorsport media network is slowly blossoming, and I’m super excited to see how far we can take it. And I promise I will bust my ass to make it the best place it can be next year.
So, for 2016, a thanks to Adam Johnson and Ryan King for all their help and hard work in 2016, and for Adam for being the driving force behind the reboot. Thanks to the amazing guest hosts we’ve had – Sarah Connors, RJ O’Connell, Katy Fairman, Louis Suddaby, Chris Cook and Matheus Carneiro, and to Zara Daniela for her artwork. You’ve all been such a joy to work with and who I’m proud to call friends.
Special thanks to all our Patreon backers – You believe in us so much and enable us to make the show how we want it to be, and for that, you’re amazing.
Special thanks as always to Steph Hunter, who manages the website and did such an amazing job with the design of the place. Check her out at Silvercode and tell her I sent you, she’s incredible.
And of course, thank you as always for your continued support during one of the busiest, and scariest projects of my life. You reassured me, told me I wasn’t crazy, and have been incredible supporters. I’ve never been more excited for a new year and I can’t wait to see what it brings. Thank you guys. Much love to you, happy holidays, and all the best for you in 2017.