Year End Review — 2020

20th Jan 2021

Hello! I want to begin the year with a year-end review again. I like doing these because it gives me a solid sense of where I am today versus where I was last year.

What worked

Website Growth

There’s a 30% increase in users (1.04mil to 1.36 mil) from Jan 2020 to Jan 2021. It’s nice to know that my website is attracting more people and it’s doing well in terms of traffic.

What’s funny to me is I didn’t know what I was doing.

I didn’t have a content plan. I was mostly writing tutorials about stuff that I worked on and found it helpful to share with others. Many of my top posts came from Node/Express/Backend related articles — which I spent a considerable amount of time playing with this year.

This confirms a pain point I have experienced while researching on Node — there are not enough guides to help people build a solid backend in a step-by-step manner. Maybe I should do a Node course or a MongoDB course? 🤔.

Investments

I jumped into investing via Copy-Trading on EToro in January 2020. I’m happy to announce that I earned about 30% from my investments this year. (I invested $8,600 total and earned ~ $2,500 from it).

What helped me was sticking to a plan I created — adding $400 per month into the account. I continued doing so even when I was making losses through the Covid period.

Because of this success, I decided to start putting some money into Bitcoins this year. I know I’m late to the game, but better late than never!

I’ll report the results again next year to see what came out of these investments.

By the way, I’m happy to share who I copied and what I did to get this 30% increase over this year. Are you interested to know? Let me know!

Vitality and introspection

Live Your Mark — the company I seek most of my personal growth in — decided to launch programs with daily activities dedicated to improving physical and mental well-being.

Taking part in these programs helped me a ton.

For example, I learned how to relax my muscles on my own without going for a massage session. This helped me save money while putting me in charge of my physical relaxation and recharge. It feels good to know I can take care of myself anytime I want to.

I also managed to reduce a huge amount of anxiety and panic from the programs I took with them last year. My communication capabilities and patience with myself also increased tremendously.

A new house

I spent a huge amount of time designing my new house. My partner and I did many things ourselves — choosing paint colours, measuring cupboard sizes, selecting vinyl and tiles, selecting laminates, etc — without relying on our designer.

We’re both happy with how the house turned out. It’s pleasant, functional, and holds the correct energies for the space I wanted to create.

Here’s a picture of my workspace :)

What didn’t work

Goal Setting

My goals always tend to miss the point because I can’t foresee what’s going to change this year. For example, Covid derailed my renovation plans and I spent much more time than I expected on the renovations, and this caused delays in other areas of my life.

I also tend to bite off more than I can chew. When I do this, I get paralyzed and I stop myself from working.

When I fall short of my goals, I feel bad about it as well.

These negative emotion doesn’t forward me in the direction I want to move, so I’m not going to set goals anymore. Instead, I’m going to work on a theme this year. This helps me by creating fewer expectations for myself and gives me more room to manouvre.

Subscriber growth

I haven’t been focusing on subscriber growth this year to be completely honest. My number of subscribers dropped this year.

  • January 2019: 19,000 subscribers
  • January 2020: 22,491 subscribers
  • January 2021: 20,530 subscribers

I’m a little annoyed by this fact because I expected things to improve. But this tells me that perhaps I’m not providing value the best I can.

I’d like to look deeper into growing the newsletter while providing more value to each person. This means I’m probably going to dig deeper into email automation and get more personal, which ties in with my theme for the year. (More on the theme later).

Panicking about Revenue

I set an audacious goal of earning $150k in revenue in 2020. Because I wanted to match this goal, I panicked when my revenue numbers from Learn JavaScript didn’t increase. From this panic, I took up business coaching with Growth University by Bryan Harris.

The coaching program didn’t end up well though. My revenue numbers stayed constant throughout the year.

  • 2018: $93k
  • 2019: $78k
  • 2020: $85k

This experience taught me not to panic when it comes to money. There are things that I can do, but I won’t be able to do anything when I’m panicking and spreading myself too thin.

What can be improved

Hopes and Expectations

Most of my frustrations came from hoping that something will happen. It’s a force of habit to hope for things — but hope itself is an expectation. When expectations don’t materialize, I get disappointed and frustrated.

So I’m going to stop saying “let’s hope” and begin saying “let’s see how this unfolds”. I’m doing this to prevent myself from putting expectations onto myself or others unconsciously.

Energy management

I get distracted easily when my energies are low. I often find myself scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Mangas for hours. This is not productive and I intend to stop.

I know better ways to recover my energies. For me, it’s about being willing to take care of myself and set aside time to recharge — even though I “should” be doing something.

Teams and relationships

Both Max and Michiko were great. But they were busy and we couldn’t work together closer in various areas. This eventually meant I started to put hours back into admin related stuff, which left less time for the creation of things.

This year, I intend to work closely with a new assistant. I’m excited to see what magic unfolds from this new relationship.

For many years, I’ve been paying close attention to experts in the industry. But I’m starting to get jaded about the conversations that happen. It’s always about one of the following:

  • X is better than Y
  • X is NOT better than Y
  • X is important so we all should do it
  • You need to know this list of Xs

The underlying agenda in these statements is a simple one. They’re trying to defend what they believe in.

All these agendas don’t match what I’m here for — learning things well and crafting things that work — so I’m going to discard all “best practices” and focus on honing my craft.

Theme for 2021

My theme for 2021 is Connection and Creation.

Connection here refers to a connection with myself. Also connection my family, the people around me, and you, the kind person who is reading this blog. I’d like to know more about you and connect with you.

Creation here refers to two things:

  • Creation and manifestation of a truer version of myself — having the courage to be who I am, say what I believe, live my values. I’m also going to work on discarding unhelpful personas that don’t forward me.
  • Creation of new stuff. I’ve been itching to create some Saas apps for a while. I don’t know if they’re going to work or make money, but money is not the point here. I want to scratch the itch of making something useful for myself.

Plans? Who knows. I do have some directions for the year, but I have nothing concrete planned out yet. I don’t want to give myself any expectations in the form of hopes by declaring my plans at this point.

If you enjoyed this article, please tell a friend about it! Share it on Twitter. If you spot a typo, I’d appreciate if you can correct it on GitHub. Thank you!

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