2017 Year in Review
2017 was all about gearing up to settle down after 12 years of full-time travel. This has been stressful for me personally for a long time – both with getting ready to settle down mentally after moving around when and where I want for so long, but also sorting out the visa aspects, which to be honest, has been a total nightmare (thanks, Spanish embassy!).
But as of today, I’m 100% ready and dare I say it, I’m now really excited about settling down. We arrive in Barcelona on the 25th January and we’re ready for apartment viewings which we already have lined up. I can’t wait to settle into our first family home – and have a small office nearby.
If you visit BCN anytime soon, be sure to drop me an email.
As for work, I had many ups and downs, but I’m happy with how the year has ended with a clear path of spending next year solely focused on cryptocurrencies (more of that below).
Let’s take a look at what I got accomplished:
I sent out 89 editions of the FoundersGrid newsletter in 2017, grew the subscriber count by 900 subscribers (which is a little disappointing), changed the site design and email format, and sold almost every sponsorship opening.
I changed the GrowthList design way too many times in 2017 which looking back was a total time sink. Not recommended. Sales were down compared to 2016, but GrowthList sales still represented my largest source of income in 2017.
I started the year with a small paid mastermind group, but I ended up liking the guys I was talking with every week so much, I dropped the fee’s and we transition from a weekly Skype call to communicating in a Facebook messenger group. There are now 15 or so of us bouncing ideas around with each other every day. If you don’t have your own mastermind group, I highly recommend setting one up.
A WordPress theme and a WordPress plugin
I launched a premium WordPress theme called Plex and a WordPress plugin called ExiPop, which is an exit-intent plugin that leverages testimonials. Sales with both were not so good – mainly due to a lack of marketing (if you’re interested in taking these over, please reach out to me).
The one new skill I picked up and really honed in on in 2017 was getting heaps and bounds better at setting up and monetizing Facebook Ads (mainly for GrowthList). I’ve since scaled back Facebook Ads but I’m glad I put the hours into learning how Facebook’s ad manager works.
48 hours before Black Friday was due to arrive I mentioned in my mastermind group that someone should create a curated list of the best Black Friday deals in tech. With the help of 2 others from the group, we managed to get the site ready in time and over 8,000 people used the site the following day. Andrew, one of the guys who I built the site with, has a good recap of how the project went down.
In late October I launched CryptoWeekly, a new weekly newsletter focused on decentralized technologies, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The feedback over the past few months has been amazing and new subscriber growth is steady and consistent. If there’s just one project I could take away from this list into 2018, it’s CryptoWeekly.
I spent the majority of December on Crypto100, a curated list of the 100 most influential people in crypto. I plan to launch it next week.
Updating my newsletters have literally changed my life. Both have allowed me to network with so many smart people, make enough money to travel around the world with my family and sending every edition brings a huge sense of achievement over me.
I have advised a few startups on their newsletters in the past privately, and I wanted to extend this to others, hence is why I created NewsletterWorkshop. It’s a 3-week live training program covering everything I know (I plan to be totally candid) about setting up, curating, growing and making money from a newsletter.
While we traveled extensively in 2017, it feels like a lot less than we traveled in 2016. When we were not traveling, we were either based in Bangkok or Ubon Ratchathani.
Here’s what 2017’s travel schedule looked like:
- Tokyo x 3
- London x 3
- Saigon x 2
- Hong Kong x 2
- Barcelona x 2
- Chiang Mai x 1
- San Sabastian x 1
- Paris x 1
- Mallorca x 1
- Copenhagen x 1
Goals for 2018
The goals for 2018 are fairly simple:
- Get a family home, school and a small office set up in Barcelona
- Rein back my current projects so I can solely focus on crypto (both trading and CryptoWeekly)
- Find really smart people to work with and learn from
How did 2017 work out for you? Let me know on Twitter.