January 5, 2023
2023 is here — Happy new year friend.
Today’s newsletter will be a little different because I’ve taken time to reflect on 2022.
I want to share with you two useful insights and the lessons that came from losing tens of thousands of dollars.
Insight #1: Themes
A few days ago I tweeted:
Now, I don’t want to botch your new year's resolution. Any excuse you can get for self-improvement and optimization is a great excuse and I fully support your endeavor — I much prefer that you have one than no goals at all. In fact, I think themes and resolutions can co-exist and support each other.
But themes are great because they have the ability to impact multiple domains in your life, are easier to maintain, and help you make decisions throughout the year that are aligned with your goals.
Insight #2: Failures
As I thought about my theme for 2022 in retrospect, I didn’t immediately arrive at Clarity… I started with Failure.
If you’ve been following my journey since early 2022, you know that I was on a very different path. I had set on a journey to launch a business every 90 days.
Long story short, I got pretty good at launching brands overnight after repeatedly helping create businesses post-natural disasters (you can read more about this here).
And after working with a team for the entirety of my business career, I had the itch to go out on my own. I was also intrigued by the idea of growing my personal brand and thought, “what better way than to take on a crazy but exciting challenge and share it online?”…
So, I launched an e-commerce business first, and then a local moving business within ~6 months.
Both generated revenue, but only the latter achieved profitability (ever so slightly) — That is, on its very last month before I shut it down.
One of many reasons for doing so was that I was taking on too much… I was juggling:
- A local air quality testing business I co-own
- Content for my personal brand
- The e-commerce business
- The local moving business
- Creating digital products
I’m the systems guy, so I thought I should be able to do all of these things…
While without systems I would not be able to even try to do half these things, everything has its limits.
Because 2/4 of the new things I tried in 2022 were no more, I immediately felt a sense of failure. I had lost tens of thousands of dollars launching and advertising these businesses… Shutting them down wasn’t easy.
But in reality, 2022 was a year of rapid learning. I tried, tested, and experimented. The result was a lot of clarity and experience gained.
What I learned:
- Launching and managing another business is not something I want to currently take on
- Helping busy entrepreneurs and operators optimize their personal systems, and maximize their productivity and impact, excites me A LOT.
Without these tests and failures, I would not have the clarity needed to be where I am today. I’ve acquired my first consulting client, sold my first digital product, and almost finished creating my first digital course, all focused on systems and productivity.
2023’s theme is Focus. Time to grow the least number of things, in the greatest way possible.
- Themes can be more impactful and easier to maintain than new year’s resolutions
- Unless you’re Elon Musk, try to do everything and you will do nothing
- Understand that failures are learning opportunities
- Anything worth celebrating takes time
See you all next Thursday 👋
PS. Whenever you're ready... Here are three ways I can help you maximize productivity:
- Steal my Free Notion Task Manager → Get Access
- Grab my Notion Personal OS to manage your business & personal life → Learn More
- If you need help mapping, creating & optimizing your systems → Work With Me
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