Wow, 2017 is already over. As cheesy as it sounds, it does feel like 2016 was just yesterday.
2016 was the year I pulled the trigger to quit the 9-5, live in Asia and chase the location independent lifestyle.
2017 was the year of growth, learning about the online marketing industry, and deciding to go all in.
Anyway, it’s always good to reflect back on the year and see if I’m happy with the progress I’m making – it’s what I did for 2016.
Alright, let’s kick off my review for the year.
Here are probably the biggest events that happened in the year:
Live in Vietnam For 9 Months
Never thought I would come to Vietnam to be honest. I don’t have any Vietnamese friends, nor do I know the culture much, so it wasn’t really up on the bucket list. Well, let’s say that it was one hell of an experience. The food, culture, people, girls, pollution, traffic, city life, nightlife, everything…
At first, it was a culture shock, and to be honest, I didn’t enjoy it – I was biased towards Chiang Mai. It was probably because it was the first place I lived.
Lesson 1: Be open-minded when moving to a new culture. Yes, you won’t be used to it at first, and you’d probably think some of the stuff is weird, but give it a go before you make your judgment.
Build a Marketing Agency Startup
I moved to Vietnam to help build a marketing agency for software companies – as biased as it sounds, I know it’s going to a world-leading agency. For six months, it was a team size of 2 people before we got any additional hires. As team size of two, I was a jack of all trades, managing several roles that an average person would not usually do.
Lesson 2: Know your worth.
Lesson 3: Learn to stop and breath when shit is getting crazy.
Travel to Taiwan for the First Time
I needed to go on a visa run, and I’ve never been to Taiwan, so I thought: why not? I have a good friend living over there, so it was a good excuse to see him. Taiwan is a super place. I’m gonna mark this place down as one of the places I want to live in the future.
I actually visited this place twice in 2017, one in April for the Visa run and in September after I left Vietnam – I love it. This is one of the places high on my list for 2018. Food, people, culture, the ease of everything. Plus, I want to learn Chinese, so it’s a good excuse to come.
Make First Earnings Online
I started a little side project at the start of the year. It’s a website that reviews products and is monetized through affiliate earnings. It’s the first money I ever made through the internet. Although it was only $3, man did it feel good. A lot of people are skeptical about this “making money” online stuff, but this shit works.
Lesson 4: The most successful people are the ones that take action. They don’t beat around the bush thinking is it going to work or not.
Slept in Third Biggest Cave in the World
I’ve was stuck in Ho Chi Minh City for so many months, so it was nice to get away from the all the craziness. On a crazy journey from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi via train, bus, and car, we swung by the largest cave in the world – Hang En.
I never knew someone personally that passed away. Well, that changed this year when my grandpa passed away. It was a feeling I was unknown to. I didn’t know how to act. It was just two months ago that I got to see him for the last time ever…
Joining my First Mastermind Group
Collaborating every week, setting weekly goals to be a better person, putting stakes down to make sure I complete my goals and hanging with amazing, inspiring like-minded people – shit is fucking awesome.
It was the first time I felt mentally burnt out. The stress accumulated from work, the hectic city of Saigon, not looking after my health, and lost in life’s direction caused me to make several mistakes in my job and even risked in legal lawsuits – not fun at all
Go All In
The agency was kicking off. We were getting more and more clients, and the team was growing. However, I didn’t feel that it was aligned with where I wanted to go in life. My body subconsciously knew it, but the thought of leaving never occurred to me. I just knew there was this “nagging” feeling in my consciousness. Months of this “nagging” feeling, I finally decided to leave and start anew – read it all here. I wouldn’t have had the balls to leave if it wasn’t for one of the good friends that told me straight up “What is the worst thing that would happen if you quit?”
It’s funny, the second I made the decision was the moment I felt a big weight off my shoulders.
Lesson 5: Listen to what your body is saying – especially your subconsciousness.
Lesson 6: It’s OK to move on.
Moved Back to Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is where it all began for me. It’s the place where people hustle and grind – it’s the perfect place to start something. The support from the entrepreneurial/online community is amazing. Now, I am surrounded by so many like-minded people pushing me to be better every day – it’s fucking great.
This was my second conference ever in my life, and it was incredible. It’s not the speakers that make the conference awesome (though the talks given were helpful), but it was the people that I got to meet. The relationships formed, knowledge shared, and the atmosphere of like-minded people – it’s freaking awesome.
Lesson 7: It’s better to meet very few people and develop a deeper connection than going wide and having surface level connections.
Apprentice under SEO Expert
Have you ever followed some famous person for a long time and one day, you are hired as an apprentice under him and his right-hand man? People would kill for this opportunity, and I somehow stumbled upon it at the right time, at the right place.
Meeting Successful Entrepreneurs
The reason why 2017 was so good was that I surrounded by so many successful online entrepreneurs – in Vietnam and Thailand. Their story, their knowledge, their daily habits, their drive, and their goals, it’s all so inspiring that it pushes me to be better.
Lesson 8: Surround yourself with people that push you and have the same mindset as you – You are the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with –
What went well in 2017:
- Business growth
- Meeting the right people
What didn’t go well:
- Health suffered a bit
- Conflict avoidant
- Not knowing what I want
- Not assertive enough
My ideal life in 1 year looks like:
- More masculine personality
- Earning more income
- Location independent
- Living in another country other than Chiang Mai and New Zealand
- 65 KG body mass
- More analytical in everything I do
Alright, alright. Time to set new goals for the year. Last year I made the mistake of setting too many goals, so I’m gonna reduce it to a few – three to be exact.
This year, I’m gonna theme it as the Growth Year. I want to be able to scale my income faster and to do that; I have to optimise everything to make that happen – outsource my cooking, laundry, cleaning, quick 45-minute gym sessions to get mental clarity, live closer to workstations, etc.
1. More assertive and less conflict avoidant
I’m too much of a nice guy, and sometimes, this is a bad thing. This year, I’m gonna focus on speaking out if there’s something I don’t agree or like. My first steps are to read No More Mr. Nice Guy and 6 Pillars of Self Esteem and create an action plan
2. Track Everything
The best way to improve is to see if you are making progress and to see this; you need statistics. This will include:
- Tracking hours spent per project
- Number of times I hit the gym – trying to average 3 times per week
- Monthly spending
3. $4000/month online business
This is the same goal as last year, but when I set this, I just threw a blind number. With the knowledge I have now, I know I can do it this goal.