I do a version of these annual reviews each year:
I treat these reviews and look-backs as reflections and less as setting “New Year” resolutions. I know if I set any expectations, I won’t follow through. Instead, I put goals together and a plan of action. This helps me get the right mindset and know what needs to happen to achieve everything.
Last Year Recap
I set a few goals personally & professionally:
- Spend more time with family
I spent more time with friends and family. We did a lot together, and we got to travel together. I’ve crafted a lifestyle where I can attend everything while working and being involved.
- Travel more
Traveling was in the cards. We went to Michigan, Arizona, Corpus Christi, Galveston, Dallas, and other places. Both Michigan and Arizona were flights, which was different for the young children. I have some new plans for travel in 2024, too!
- Contribute to the local community.
I’ve been working on this more. I started a website with business information, calendars, and exciting news. I’m joining the board for bonds with the school district. I’ve also joined the local Chamber of Commerce.
- $40k MRR Goal
This goal was super close to being completed. I am about $3k from the goal. While it’s not the home run, I’m still happy with the scaling and processes we’ve built.
- Consistent Content Creation
I would call this a failure. At the same time, I started strong and created content. I didn’t know the niche or content I wanted to put out there. I’ve got a better idea. I am working with Digiboost on a video podcast on South Texas Businesses and Startups.
- Buy Digital Businesses
The economy shifted hard in 2023; interest rates went up quickly. While growing the business, I realized loaning out more to buy wouldn’t be a great idea. We focused on growing the business and in-term savings for a purchase in 2024.
Other Milestones in 2023
I picked up a hobby. I wrote about how my collection of keyboards grew in 2023. I ordered my first board, a Keychron Q1, at the start of 2022. At first, I didn’t think I’d fall into the rabbit hole of mechanical keyboards. However, feeling the quality and being able to tailor my typing experience changed that for me. I have 3 keyboards now, but I aim to add 2 or 3 new boards in 2024. The hobby is expensive and slow. I’ve done several group orders for switches and boards, but they could take a while to make and ship.
The keyboard I am looking for is a full-sized board and maybe an ergonomic one. We will see what group orders go up and which makes sense. It’s almost like buying art because they do small group orders. Then, the creator manufacturers that amount from the group buy and may never create another batch.
The other big “hobby” is gaming. I’ve used it as an outlet and a place to hang with friends virtually. You can see my Steam profile and review here.
I’ve tied my online life to my work online. I’ve started thinking about my brand more and more. Before 2023, I primarily use resources ad hoc. I would have something designed and move on. Then, I decided to build out a full brand. I have a team behind me, helping create brand guides and setting the tone of voice. My businesses and sites are now fully managed by writers, developers, and designers.
Some of the key businesses and the milestones I hit:
WP Creative House
The site focuses on “unlimited” design and development services for WordPress. We’ve got a handful of customers now, which is a positive.
However, the real win has been the themes/templates. We produced 1 template a month with 12 sitting on the site. We launched two free ones (one at the time of publishing is pending). These themes are selling a decent pace where we are making a profit now.
This is the first push into ‘niche blogging.’ I figured I could tackle this since I have experience with SEO and a team of content writers.
So far, results have been slower. We are not profitable on the ads or affiliate links yet, but we are starting to pick up on traffic now.
It’s almost another push into ‘niche blogging’ but more focused on the local community.
I have SEO articles written to cover the local area. For example, I have articles on the top restaurants, top parks, and other types of these articles.
WP Metronet Tag Manager is a free WordPress plugin to install Google Tag Manager on websites. I purchased this plugin and, with some backing, was able to do a deal.
I’ve launched a course on the plugin website and am working on a paid version with more advanced features that support WooCommerce.
The other part of the business is consulting/freelancing on marketing. A bulk of my business revenue is generated this way. About 80% of rev is from this. While I am the face of consulting and freelancing, it’s done via the team of marketers, writers, and devs I have. This has given me the freedom to scale the business up further without becoming a bottleneck. There is a bottleneck where I have capped out on how many accounts I can handle. I am now looking at how to add more faces to the flow.
I have set a few goals below. I am taking the last two weeks of the year as a reset—most of the time with family, eating, and gaming.
- Personal Growth
Learning new skills and networking. Looking to grow more in 2024. It’s my last year as a 20-something. I will be 30.
- Pickup sporty hobby
Tied to personal growth. I want to pick up a hobby or skill that’s not keyboards or gaming. I have looked into golf a lot recently. Maybe I will make the jump.
- Contribute to the local community
Keep doing this more. I want to help more and share my skills with the community. Looking at nonprofits and ways to help them. Lots of easy ways to contribute throughout the year.
- $60k MRR Goal
I’m close to $40k MRR. Adding $20k more a month isn’t a hard challenge for the year. I will need some to help talk with customers, though!
- Set Process Goals for Creativity
The video & content creation has been a struggle for over a decade. I start but don’t follow through. I need to create processes and small wins for each step.
- Build a team
Building a team is going to be the push. I have run through so many editors, devs, and marketers. I plan on building a team and visiting them with a team meet-up.