Well, we’re on the downhill slope of 2014 and are quickly headed towards 2015. I’m always a big fan of this time of year for slowing down and reflecting on where we’ve been and where we’re going. I’m a big advocate of goal setting and knowing where my life and business are headed.
Chris Guillebeau has always promoted the idea of the Annual Review by asking yourself two simple questions…
1. What went well this year?
2. What did not go well this year?
So today, I want to share a few answers to each question and next week, I’ll share with you a few lessons I learned throughout the year. Let’s start with the good stuff…
WHAT WENT WELL THIS YEAR?
- Best Business Year Yet – It was a very good year for our business in many ways. It was the most speaking engagements I’ve had in a single year and definitely the most travel I’ve done. Just for fun, here are some numbers…
- Speaking engagements = 67
- Presentations given = 169
- States spoke in = 23
- Hotel nights = 73
- People spoke to in person = ~65,000
- Miles traveled = ~87,000
- Flights (not including family trips) = 135
Whew…that makes for a busy year! The travel can be tiring and draining at times, but I’m grateful for the number of people I was able to meet and speak to this year. Our business also grew considerably, and we’ll end up with just under $400,000 in gross revenue for the year.
- Launched a Podcast – Back in May, we launched the How Did You Get Into That? podcast! Any time you start something new, you don’t really know what to expect, but I’ve been really happy with how it’s gone so far. I’ve met some amazing people we’ve had on the show and get emails almost daily from people around the world who tell me how the podcast has helped them. It’s been a lot of fun.
- Lots of Family Travel – If there’s anything our family loves, it’s adventure (and food…we really like food). We enjoy taking trips together and exploring the world outside of our own. Here’s where all we went this year (as a fam or just the Mrs and I)…
- Hawaii (x2)
- New York City (x2)
- Florida (x2)
- Nashville (x2)
- St. Louis
I’m really into travel hacking (traveling for really cheap or free using miles/points), so much of our travel was “paid” for this way. Keep reading for one of my biggest travel hacking highlights of the year 🙂
The world is a really freakin big place outside each of our bubbles. I want to share those journeys with my wife and daughters. Not only do we create lasting memories together, but we also see different ways of life beyond our own.
- Completed Some Bucket List Stuff – I actually keep a bucket list in Evernote of big things I want to accomplish before I die. This year, I was able to cross off three items which was solid.
- Biked a Century Ride – Back in October, I did a 100-mile bike ride. I’ve done marathons, half marathons and triathlons, but biking 100 miles is a long way. It was a great experience though. I also did a triathlon in August, so that was good accomplishment, but it’s already been checked off the list.
- Flew a Plane – I’ve been on hundreds of flights in my life, but I’ve never been able to sit as far to the front as you can go (that would be the cockpit if you’re not following). For Father’s Day, my wife scheduled a flight with a local pilot where we got to take up his small plane and fly around the area for an hour or so. I sat in the pilot’s seat (I tried to reiterate I didn’t know what I was doing but he insisted), but we still managed to make it back to the ground eventually.
- Take Entire Family to Hawaii – As I mentioned above, I’m really into travel hacking with miles and points. My wife and I have been to Hawaii before, but I always wanted to take our entire family. Then the day after Christmas, we got a late present from Delta. Because of this mistake fare, we took our family of 6 (our crew + my mom) to Hawaii in first class round trip for $90 per person. Pretty cool. My wife and I went back to Hawaii in June and flew first class and stayed 7 nights in suites all paid for with miles and points. True story.
So all in all, it was a really solid year. But as good as the year was, there were certainly some things that didn’t go as smooth.
WHAT DID NOT GO WELL?
- Still Haven’t Moved To Nashville – Back in July, we announced our family would be moving to Nashville. We were super pumped about this change of scenery and the opportunities it would bring (and still are). Because I’m self-employed and we homeschool our girls, we could really live anywhere and move at any time. The only factor would be selling our house. So we listed it right away, and unfortunately, we’re still here. We’ve dropped the price a few times, switched realtors, and have tried to remain patient, but still nothing. It’ll sell when it’s supposed to sell, and then we’ll hit the road to Nashville. Until then, we’ll hurry up and wait.
- Too Much Travel – Yes I was busy this year, but it was a little too much at times. I enjoy traveling and speaking, but it’s more important to me to be a good husband and father. Tough to do that when you’re on the road a lot. Thankfully, it comes and goes in waves. I may be gone for 10 out of 14 nights on 6 different trips, but then I might be home for the next two weeks. It varies. But it was still a bit more than I would have preferred.
Those were the big two things that did not go well, and even then, they’re not that big of a deal in the scheme of things. I even asked my wife what she thought didn’t go well and those were the only two significant things she could come up with as well.
It’s not that things never go wrong for us. Generally, there’s just no sense in dwelling on something in the past. Learn any lessons you can from what happened and then move on. Stop crying over spilled milk.
Next week, I’ll share with you a series of lessons I learned this year that I think will be relevant and applicable to your life as well.
YOUR TURN: What went well for you this year? What is one highlight you’re super proud of from 2014?