In just a couple months, it will be yet another year. This year has been extremely exciting for me. It’s had it’s hills & valleys but generally was a huge year of growth. This year, instead of setting clear goals, I went with a visualization exercise at the beginning of 2021 to help me picture the results:
I grew substantially on YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, and email list upwards of 1k+ on each platform. I sold & made my first sustainable income this way.
What didn’t happen?
I didn’t visit family much outside of a single week trip after COVID started to ease up(if it will). I did however focus more on my family & the addition of our new one.
What went really well?
The welcoming of a new family member & the start of passion income streams starting to reap the reward. I started to gain traction with a following & grow my family at the same time.
What didn’t go so well?
I had some projects that weren’t that successful because I rushed through them rather than building an audience & hope around them.
What are you most proud of?
Family of 4 and focusing on building a great legacy for them. Starting to invest money wisely, build products, and overall do what I’m passionate for.
What was your hardest challenge?
Getting past the red tape at work to make meaningful change that’s long overdue. Showing people what is right for the users/community. Enduring the amount of hate on social media & making valuable content for people.
What was your favorite moment?
Meeting plenty of new entrepreneurs online & in the Austin area. Vacation with family on visiting.
What are you most grateful for?
Family, opportunity, education, passion, and much more.
What did you learn?
How to build a course or product from the ground up & market it to some sort of success.
How would you describe your year in 3 words?
Best one yet.
What about goals?
How did I do?
Run a Marathon
This last year I ended up running a Spartan Race instead of a Marathon. It was an absolute blast with some old friends from Xamarin days. If you don’t know what a Spartan Race is, it’s basically a half marathon with obstacles that you have to get through along the way. 10/10 would recommend & do again.
On the actual running front, I logged 349.59 miles this year. I continually get better everyday and have quite the endurance to casually run half-marathons now. The next chance I can get to sign up for a marathon, I’m sure I can do it!
Launch a Podia Course
What was originally an innocent idea as a compliment to the book I wrote this year, turned into a huge overcommitment by myself. I even had a good number of pre-orders for the course (20 @ $197), but my heart wasn’t in it. I ended up refunding everyone their money because I couldn’t give myself entirely to recording, editing, and publishing the course online. I felt like I was cheating people out of their money although I know for sure it would have provided them value. I failed here & wanted to cut my losses short instead of having to wake up knowing I have multiple months of filming & editing ahead of me. I learned a lot about course creation, how to market courses, and also how to get pre-orders before shipping anything. It was a very valuable experience.
TikTok & YouTube
I have had fun playing around with TikTok & YouTube over the last year. I didn’t post much to TikTok because I was quite burned out on creating content in the way TikTok rewards creators (p.s. it’s like a slot machine when you first start). Instead, I chose to focus on YouTube and building a channel out of nothing just to see how I’d do.
Write a Book
This year I finally wrote a book. I even self-published it & you can get a copy of it on Amazon if you’re interested. It all started with an idea after I had posted some for-fun videos on TikTok about software engineering, learning to code, and the likes. I thought to myself…I have about 10 years of experience and I started when I was 19 years old, what kind of book would I write to help the person in high school or college be successful at this stuff? Well I did just that, and over 200 pages later, my book came to life. I was able to sell a decent amount of copies on launch which was huge for my first book ever. I’m excited to write even more in the future.
Diversify Assets & Investing
I’ve been investing my entire life. I never really took the stock market too seriously other than putting money away into some low cost index fund matching the S&P 500. When my kids were born, I wanted to ensure that they would have enough money to go to college or pursue a business venture when they come of age. So I started to save regularly to build up a nest egg of $10,000 for each kid (aged 3 years & 4 months). This year I chose to get smart about my financial future & learn everything I can about the stock market, asset allocations, budgeting, wills, and even planning estates. Although I won’t use half of this stuff until I’m way older, it has opened my eyes to the power of compounding wealth & the importance of understanding your assets & where they are invested. The defaults are usually not in your best interest. *Intentional dad humor*.
Read 52 Books
I always set a goal of 52 books to read each year. It’s easily one of the best investments on my growth and continues to be. Some of my favorite books this year have been:
- High Output Management by Andy Grove
- The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
- Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
- Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks
- Junior: Writing Your Way Ahead In Advertising by Thomas Kemeny
- Secrets For Profiting in Bull and Bear Markets by Stan Weinstein
This year I’m likely to hit over 80 books, which was something I didn’t think I’d hit this year as I’m heavily involved in other interests. I guess you just get better at reading & comprehend faster with practice!
You can find my list of reads here on GoodReads.
Learn Game Development
I love game development & continue to learn more about it every year. This year I took a few tutorials on https://www.gamedev.tv/ which have been wonderful for building the fundamentals. I also got the chance to pickup a cool asset pack on the Unity Game Store to start building fantasy/medieval themed games with. Game development continues to get easier & better every single year and I’m impressed with tools like Unity allowing me, a washed-up C# developer the experience to build experiences out of nothing.
I recently fell in love with this idea of micro SaaS. It’s basically creating a profitable product from nothing in a short amount of time with very little investment/resources. Some people have whole businesses running a few hundred lines of php code served by a single file. I think the opportunity in this area is just beginning. With .NET 6 now released & being heavily involved in it, I’m excited to start using .NET this holiday season & in my spare time to try my hand at a few micro saas ideas I have laying around. Who knows, maybe I’ll get lucky this year on one of them?
- The passion economy is real. If you have a passion & share it with the world, good things follow.
- There are always optimal stopping/starting points in life, but the best approach is to start today & finish while you’re ahead.
- Building a community is the key to success in just about everything. How are you building community today?
- Personal development gets a bad rap, but it is the single most important thing that has contributed to my growth.
- Learning how to breathe properly can save your life or reduce your stress/anxiety overnight.
- Meetings suck. Nobody does them right & half the time they aren’t A) informational or B) where a decision is made. Email can be just as bad too.
- When the world changes overnight, don’t get comfortable with what you’re doing or how you’re doing it. Move with the change & figure it out on the way.
- Don’t spend longer than a month on a concept/prototype. Build in the public & keep validating you’re on the right path instead.
- Leadership is much more than modeling & coaching. Having a strong philosophy of the type of leader you are is a good thing. Now you need to continuously get feedback to get better.
- You can say more with less, but sometimes you need to be as specific as possible.
- If you empower yourself, you can empower others to do the same. Focus on you first.
- The stoics definitely lived the good life. Be more like them.
- Copywriting is important and often makes the difference. This is a skill to master in 2022.
- If you think of everything as a system, you often find your bottlenecks, synergies, and how you optimize them overtime. This is especially important for your physical, mental, and emotional health.
- Getting older means reflecting on what you wish your parents did, but more importantly what you’re grateful that they didn’t do.
- Take time out of your day to tell somebody you care about them. It takes maybe 5 seconds and can fix many problems in your life.
- Reflecting upon anything will give you the knowledge you actually seek. Reflect upon the books you read, the things you work on, and your behaviors as often as you can.
Till Next Time!