In 2018, I sat down for the annual reflection and planning for the next year.
I had big plans for 2019. Massive ones.
Back then, I had an extensive list of app ideas I wanted to test but never really started taking action and actually doing the work.
The biggest blocker was my coding skills. So at the end of 2018, I decided to finally take serious action and (1) learn to code, (2) build products.
I carefully planned my year, setting pretty stretchy goals.
The plan was to build 10 products in 2019 while I work full-time and do a few hours of consulting a week.
To be able to perform, I made some changes to increase my productivity and stay sane:
- I quit social media
- I stopped reading a large number of books (reading too much prevents me from taking action). Currently, I’m reading 6-7 books a year.
- I quit watching TV 5 years ago, but sometimes I turn on Netflix.
- I scheduled regular exercises, I went to the fencing club twice a week, did yoga once a week, and went to the swimming pool 1-2 times a month.
- I focused more on healthy eating. I ate more vegetables and fruits and decreased my sugar intake. I also said goodbye to my dearest love, Snickers bar.
- I also took regular breaks. I took 2 short trips during the spring, then took 2 weeks off when my son was born, then again a few days off during autumn. Having rest and downtime is essential when you are pushing yourself hard during most of your days. If you don’t rest, then after a few months, you will burn out. No matter how much love what you do.
So how was 2019?
Looking at the goals, I set you would say I failed miserably, and some might say precisely that.
But I think I won big in 2019.
In 2018, I built one product during the whole year.
In 2019, I built 6!
Here is a list of products I built:
None of these generate significant revenue, I get a couple of bucks every month from ad revenues.
This year, one of the most significant milestones was when I sold one of my apps (TvPremiereAlert).
So, am I rich? Not at all.
How did I end up selling my project?
I was actually shutting down the project since I didn’t have time to keep it updated and running. So, I sent out an email to my users telling them my decision.
Surprisingly, 2 users replied and said they would be happy to take over the project.
But instead of giving it to them for free, I thought, why not try and sell it? I had minimal costs and spent a weekend building the product. My goal was to get back the money I spent on the domain and other services.
This is the story of how I got 80 dollars.
But I think I did a terrible job at publishing blog posts. It turned out it’s pretty hard to free up some time for writing, and since it was a lower priority activity than building stuff, I just ignored it. I haven’t shared much about the things I’ve learned. In 2020, I’m planning to publish much more actionable content so you will get a ton of value reading my blog.
In 2020, I keep focusing on building new products. To be able to ship the products, I need to improve my coding skills and also experiment with some no-code tools to speed things up.
2020 gonna be a great year, I’m already excited for my upcoming new products.
Despite not hitting most of the KPIs in 2019, I still achieved much more in this year than in 2018. I shipped 6x more products, had insane progress with coding, and learned a lot along the way.
If you’re doing or planning to do something similar, I recommend you stay focused on the single-most-important thing. Don’t try to change the world within a year. I know it’s hard because there are so many things we want to do, but focus is essential.