2021 was a mixed bag for me - I would probably rate it a 7/10.
Some notable events:
Shut down a startup after 6+ months of work on the idea
I was diagnosed with epilepsy (I'm all good now, though!)
Founded two new startups
Focused on building a personal brand and grew my LinkedIn following
I committed to writing and started this blog
Started meditating regularly
I keep track of several things every day for the year, such as:
I also have a daily journaling process in Roam Research where I write about what I've done for the day, how I'm feeling, what I've learned:
I spent the last few days reviewing the data and reading my journals and have the following observations:
I've failed a lot of times in my life:
Dropped out of university
Failed my driving test 7 times in a row
I had 4 startups fail
Failed multiple accountancy exams - one single exam took me over two years to pass!
I finally got my driving license on the 8th attempt, became a chartered accountant, built and sold an accounting firm etc., basically because I refused to give up and kept going until I got there in the end.
One thing always bothered me, though:
“How come other people don't fail as much as me? What am I doing wrong?”
I've finally come to the (somewhat obvious in retrospect) conclusion that comparison to others is pointless. If it were not for all my failures, I wouldn't have fully developed the trait of relentless determination, which may be the exact thing that gives me a huge win in future.
The data points from my life show I'll always get there in the end as long as I keep trying. This gives me a certain sense of confidence as we begin 2022.
Operator to Salesperson
In my previous business, I focused on providing amazing customer service & experience, and as a result, around 90%+ of all new clients were via referrals.
I was in full "operator" mode and didn't focus on sales & marketing due to market uncertainty with IR35 legislation being potentially introduced to the private sector. After many years in operator mode, I now had to switch back into sales mode.
In 2021 I spent a lot of time growing my social presence and improving my digital footprint by setting up this blog and my personal website.
LinkedIn has been a big success for me (feel free to connect!). I've won some new business through the platform and had intro chats with some cool people. I did this by committing to post content at least 4 times per week and commenting on other people's posts and my following has grown as a result.
I've learned over the years that any time I feel sluggish or going through a rough patch - it's usually because I've been skipping workouts for whatever reason.
Once I reached age 30, I decided to treat workouts as non-negotiable. Unless I was injured or on holiday, I would commit to having a workout every Mon/Tue/Thu/Fri.
This has been one of the best decisions I've made in my life; if anyone reading this doesn't work out, then please start. As contrived as this sounds, you're missing out on a whole world of increased energy and happiness.
Reading books is a workout for the mind - you can use your expanded knowledge to synthesise new ideas, find the solution to problems and get smarter in general.
If we review the data for 2021:
Physical workouts: Target: 208 days | Achieved: 200 days | Success % = 96%
Reading books: Target: 260 days | Achieved: 42 days | Success % = 16%
I know logically (and have for a long time) that reading books is just as important as working out - so why is the success % so low?
I've identified two main reasons:
I consume 60-90 minutes of business & psychology podcasts most days, and I have a limiting belief that reading books is no big deal since I'm learning stuff anyway
After working for 10hrs and having a workout, I kinda just want to chill and watch Stargate SG-1 and read crap on Reddit
Podcasts give a broad overview of concepts while reading books help you understand the framework and ideas in depth. It's a different thing.
The question I needed to ask myself is:
"Am I willing to trade 30 minutes of my chill time for all the benefits that reading books bring?"
The answer is yes, and I've been really dumb not treating reading as a "non-negotiable". I'm committing to achieving 95%+ consistently on reading 30mins of a book every weekday for 2022.
2022 - Consistent Execution
2022 will be a year of building for me.
I plan to go all-in to meet my personal and professional KPIs & targets, embrace failure and not be too attached to specific outcomes. Therefore, my phrase for the year is going to be “Consistent Execution”.
To mentally reinforce this, I've printed the phrase using 72pt font and stuck it to my wall behind my PC. It also appears in my daily Roam Research journal template, and when I turn off my alarm each morning, Alexa will say:
"Good Morning Kevin. Consistently Execute for 2022"
So here's to 2022 - the year of consistent execution! 🍾🎯
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