2019 was the greatest year in my life. It’s the year where everything turned around. The “overnight success” that has been several years in the making.
It depends on who you ask, and what your definition of success is. I still don’t make as much as the average FAANG engineer, but I make more than double what I made a year ago.
And success isn’t just about the money. I have more time to spend with my family than I ever had. I have better relationships than I’ve ever had. People in my family are doing well.
I’m able to be generous on every occasion, and it feels good.
At the start of the year, Closet Tools was at $3170 MRR. It took close to a year to get to that point.
Around that time is when I decided that this thing was not only big enough to take seriously, but I was going to use it to get out of my job. It would be a launchpad for the businesses I want to create in the future.
My original goal for the product was to make an extra $500 MRR, because I was broke and needed some financial breathing room. Building the Closet Assistant was my last effort before picking up a second job.
As of now, it’s been floating around $16500 MRR for the past week. Even if it stayed there, and never grew again, that’s pretty cool.
Depending on how ambitious I am, I could spend anywhere from a couple of hours a week, to as many hours as I want. There’s no end to the features I can build, content I can write, and customer support.
It’s cool when I need a break. It’s also cool when I feel like crushing out some code. I’ve got a project that monetarily reflects the effort I put into it.
My personal relationships are in a better place than they’ve ever been. I’ve got great wife and our relationship has never been better, great friends, a great church, and my family is all thriving.
I didn’t read as many books this year as I had in the past. Part of that was because I was executing on the side-hustle, but now there’s no excuse. I have more than enough time to read in 2020.
It was a great year, and I only wish I would have documented more of it. I did document as much as I could on the blog, and I’m so glad I did.
Here’s some of my plans for 2020
One of the major things I want to do is keep a day planner. I’m not sure about whether I want it to be physical or digital.
Having a planner isn’t just about planning events in the future, it’s also about keeping track of what you’ve done in the past. By writing down everything I do in a day, I am able to tally up how many times I do something in a week, month, or year.
I want it to be more than just a habit tracker - something that also contains ideas and other writings that I am planning out. I’ve always been a fan of the Bullet Journal and I could probably use a modified version of that.
I plan on writing. A lot. I wrote a post about it. I have lots of content to write for the business, for my guides and teachings, and personal journaling and thoughts.
I plan on keeping a consistent newsletter and blog going this year.
I want to publish content that’s educational, but also content that documents the journey. I want to show people the things I am studying, and how I am drawing out my conclusions.
The newsletter could/should be weekly, and the guides would be monthly. Writing 12 guides next year would be the goal.
This is something that’s still in the works. I want to help my wife get her YouTube and blog going for content in the art, lettering, watercolor, journaling space. There are so many products and a lot of potential for traffic.
Within a year I think we can gain size-able traffic to generate affiliate revenue, and also to be able to launch a product.
Within a few years, I think she can be a leader in the space. Producing digital courses, products, and even doing in-person classes.
I truly want to start a blog similar to Cup & Leaf. A blog that produces large amounts of expert content on a specific field, and carves out traffic in a large space. The niche could be coffee, candles, fragrances, etc. Some commodity product that people need help deciding which one is best, and how to use them properly.
Similar to the Cup & Leaf story, after gaining enough traffic to sustainably build an email list, it would then be converted into an e-commerce engine for custom products in that space. Private labeling would probably be the way I would go, but affiliate revenue works as well (depending on the product).
Lastly, and probably not in 2020, but in the future, I want to build a business that actually hires people and produces jobs. It would be cool to be a true entrepreneur, and not just a hustler. I would love to give other people the opportunity to do great work with me.
Certainly, if Hannah’s blog, the coffee/fragrances blog, or any of my other ventures get big enough, my friends could join along. But I have to get to that point first, and it’s a lot of work to do so.
I’m Just Getting Started
I wanted to document my current stats so that I can revisit them in 2030 (or even next year).
Some people might think I’ve “made it”. I’m just getting started, and it’s only going to get better from here.
So, here’s some current stats on Jan. 1 2020:
- Age 27
- Active Customers: 545
- MRR: $16274.55
- Twitter Followers: 1341
- Email subscribers: 350
- Kids: 2
- Businesses: 1
There’s probably a lot more I could and should track, but there’s a lot in life that will change over the next 10 years.
I expect to have increasing numbers in all of those categories. I’ll be older, have more customers, make more money, have a larger following, have built a bigger audience, have more kids, and will have started more businesses.
That sounds pretty good to me. It’s hard to believe life can get better than it is right now. I’m excited to be able to truly bless people with the finances I have been able to generate. I don’t really need all of it. Just enough to live comfortably.
Right now I am working out of a coffee shop. I was able to spend my time exactly how I wanted to today. I will probably work about 6 hours and not feel like working anymore. Then, I can just go home. I know I will be able to get back to it tomorrow.
I’m really excited about 2020. It’s going to be my best year yet, and it will be the decade that I take off from where I am to where I’m going.