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How I got my blog to 3,893 views last month

Last week I checked my website’s analytics and took a lot at how many views I had compared to the previous months. I was genuinely surprised that I managed to gain over 3,000 views. The jump between the previous month was 1,600 difference.

It’s so big that I thought I’d make a post on how I managed to grow my blog over time. Please also be aware that I have been a blogger on and off for over ten years. The views over time aren’t extraordinary compared to other bloggers, but it is a noteworthy achievement.

How did I build up my views?

Last month, I focused on building my social followers. I updated my Facebook page, Tweet more on Twitter. My blog posts have been imported into my Medium profile and also posted to my Coil profile. Last month was also my first full month of weekly posting to my Substack newsletter. And even though I don’t think Substack affected my website views, it’s helped me grow a tight-knit community. If you’re not sure what any of these social networks are. Or you’re not sure how to utilise them, don’t worry, I’ll explain that now.

I haven’t focused on growing my LinkedIn connections, but I have started converting my blog posts into LinkedIn articles. No one from LinkedIn has been signed up to my newsletter subscribers or viewed my website. Because of this, I don’t think it’s worth writing about today.

How I use my Facebook page

For my Facebook page, I’m not sure how many people are people I don’t know vs friends who have liked my page. However, I decided to go to ham on the invite button and invite everyone on my friend’s list, which has helped me from 138 to 142-page likes. I think a handful of those likes have clicked to view my website at some point.

I’ve mostly been sharing my newsletter posts instead of my blog posts on Facebook. This means most views won’t actually be coming from here unless they click on about section which most users won’t do.

How I use my Twitter profile

Twitter is, by far, my most used social network. It’s incredible how you can find so many amazing people and connect with them. I follow people I find interesting and join in their conversations when I feel if the right moment.

Most of my interaction is liking and retweeting, which I think if you’re just starting. It won’t be the best strategy. I feel the best approach is searching for interesting topics, and join in the conversation.

Every so often I’ll chuck in a hashtag or two, but I don’t focus on hashtags. I’ll mostly focus on following and connecting with new and current people within my network. Be yourself and don’t seek out to be something you’re not. If you try to be fake, people will know, and they will call you out for it.

Medium is excellent as an additional source for your blog posts. If you haven’t signed up, I would recommend you do it now and join the partner platform. Once you’re on the partner platform, you will get revenue based on a reader’s read time. The longer you can keep them interested in your post, the more money you can make from them.

My strategy is importing my posts into a Medium story, which will add a canonical link back to your original blog post, and have a link in the footer which says “Originally published at https://michaelbrooks.co.uk“. I’ve joined a couple of Medium groups and participate in any posts where possible.

How I use Coil

This is where I believe most of my new traffic has come from, and I connected my blog to their payments system so I could receive support from their readers, and linked my latest posts to my profile page. A couple of my posts have been featured on their community-supported section which I’m proud of, and the community on Coil has been very welcoming, and I’ve connected to a few people from here on Twitter.

If you haven’t done so, I recommend you take a look at Coil’s website and sign up. If you’re wondering how much I made from here last month, it was around 10 pence, which isn’t a huge amount, but it’s better than nothing, and it helps keep me going.

How I use Substack

My latest blog posts are also created as a newsletter post. Honestly, I’m not sure how long I’ll carry on doing this for as I’m thinking of changing the format of this. What I might do is create links to my latest articles which will be posted to my blog, and new sections such as what I’m currently reading, what I’m listening to and who I’ve found interesting this week.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, then please leave a comment down below, and I’d love to read it. Alternatively, you can @ or dm me on Twitter, Facebook, wherever takes your fancy.

Bonus: How I use Hacker News

Hacker News or HN as others like to call it is a great community of developers, creators and business owners. They offer a lot of advice and support, and overall they’re a fantastic community. I’ve posted a few milestones and updates on there, and have received comments, views and new followers.

I decided to create a new group called “Creator interviews” which anyone can contribute to, but so only I have added content there. I have also linked to my blog where I deemed it was helpful for the topic at hand, and I think this has helped me gain extra viewers on my blog.

Conclusion

That’s pretty much how I use the plethora of social networks, and I’m constantly exploring new avenues and seeing what works, and what doesn’t. As always, you’re more than welcome to comment below and subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t done so already.

How to get started with Fiverr and make your first sale

Affiliate links:

Please be aware that the links in this article are affiliate links. If you click on them, I will gain some sort of commission. All money gained will help future blog posts.

If you’re reading this, then you’re probably thinking to yourself… “I want to get started with Fiverr, but I don’t know how”. Or “I don’t even know what services to offer, what should I do?”.

I, like you, had these exact thoughts in my head. I spent years wanting to get started with Fiverr but wasn’t sure what to offer. A few years ago, I tried “I will create a WordPress landing page”. And had a few inquiries, but they all looked too scary, and I never replied.

This year, I started watching TikTok videos like most other people spending their time in quarantine would. I saw a few videos appear from Alex Fasulo and was inspired by her. It made me rethink my current situation and what I could do with a Fiverr profile. After taking a look at my existing profile. I decided to close it down and start again with a new account. I made it look more professional. Stats were also reset which I could only see as a positive since I had abandoned.

She recommends that whenever you create a gig, you should create all three packages (Basic, Standard, and Premium). I started the basic at $5, Standard at $15 and Premium at $45. After receiving a handful of sales and 5-star reviews. I decided to up my from to $10, $25 and $50 respectfully. Once I’ve received some more clients and 5-star reviews. Then I’ll put up my price again until I’m eventually where the top sellers are pricing their gigs.

The great thing about Fiverr is that anyone can start selling services. And you don’t even have to know how to code. I’m a developer who can code, but the service I offer requires minimal coding skills. My gig is about creating and hosting your landing page, and I don’t use WordPress or any personal hosting.

Figure out what you want to sell

First, you need to figure out what to sell. What services can you offer that requires minimal effort and the most enjoyment? It can be anything from web development services to voice-overs, from Graphic design to video animation.

For my gig, I chose “Creating and Hosting your landing page”. To fulfil my service, I use a landing page website called Carrd. It’s a straightforward drag-and-drop landing page creator, and I’ve made a handful of sites with it, with ease.

If you wanted to transcribe or add subtitles to a video, you could offer that as a service. This service would be as simple as uploading the video to YouTube privately and using the auto transcribe service to add subtitles. Now it won’t be perfect, and you will need to edit the subtitles. However, once you’ve finished, you can download it as a text file and send that back to your client.

You could help create newsletters for clients using whichever service they have chosen. People will often sign up to these services and have no idea what they’re doing. I’ve had one client who asked that I log in to their account to create a simple form. I created it within half-an-hour and completed the gig for $5. It seemed like I was cheating, but the client was pleased and gave me a 5-star rating. This shows that it can be an easy gig for you to earn money.

Register your account

Before creating any gigs, you’ll first want to register an account with Fiverr. The process is simple, and it gives you a chance to describe who you are and what it is you do. I’d suggest taking a look at profiles who are selling similar gigs to you and getting a feel for what their profile looks like. You can take a look at mine if it helps you out.

Add relevant skills

Add all the skills which you find relevant to your profile and make sure they’re relevant to the gigs you’re offering. There’s no point in putting “copyrighting” down if you aren’t offering any gigs which use that as a skill.

Create your gig

Once you have decided what gig(s) you have chosen, it’s time to create them. Alex recommends creating a bunch of them so you can gain more potential buyers, but I decided to stick to just one gig. Of course, this is entirely up to you, and if you want to stick to one like me, then you’re more than welcome. Otherwise, you can go ahead and create as many as your imagination or the Fiverr platform allows.

When creating your gig, it’s important to remember all the details, and you should always create all three packages to maximise potential earnings. Also remember to include extras, if you’re not sure how you should price them, then take a look at someone’s gig and copy theirs. I had the base prices set to $5, $15, and $45, and whacked a higher sale price on extras which you can view here.

Fiverr gives you tools to make your description stand out, and you can make text bold, underline text, and even highlighted. I recommend you use the highlight function to add focus to the essential points in your description. Take a look at other gigs to see how they’ve done this, and again, you can see how mine is formatted. It’s best to be concise, but try to bring in some character and be friendly. Don’t just go with the corporate dribble, add a little bit of your personality to it, and it will attract more sales.

Share your newly created gigs to the world!

Don’t be scared to share your gigs on Facebook, Twitter, a personal newsletter. Share anywhere that makes sense. Your friends or family might even see your gig and think “Oh, I totally need that right now”. If that happens, make sure they buy through Fiverr, otherwise, you won’t get boost up their search, and they won’t be able to leave a review for you.

I know it seems counterintuitive since Fiverr takes a cut, but it will help you out in the long run for attracting new clients.

Download the app

This is important! Make sure you download the app so you can respond to messages. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the app and a lot of hours went by before I replied to my first client, which has affected my response rate negatively and may have hurt me a little (it’s currently sat at 86% and should be 90% or above to stay in the green). I didn’t want the app at first because I was worried it would be “just another app sat on my phone”, but it has been very very helpful in responding to customers and potential customers alike.

Bonus: Complete Fiverr Tests

If you want to help boost your profile and gigs up the search, then it’s recommended you take, and complete a few of their tests. So far, I have completed one test, but I believe it has helped boost me up. If you’d like to know, it was the English test which I completed. And as a native English speaker, I found it relatively straightforward and received a 9.2 out of 10 which is in the top 20% of users.

I’m going to take some more technical based tests to help boost my profile even further, and I recommend you take as many as you feel comfortable doing.

Closing thoughts

If you enjoyed this post and got something out of it, then please feel to share with your network. I create a lot of informational posts, and it would mean a lot if you subscribed to my newsletter. You can also leave me feedback on my Twitter profile or in the comments. I’ve also been on the app for 45 days and earned $52 so far.

Creator Interview with Ravi Kikan

I’ve been following Ravi on Twitter for a while, he’s a great supportive person, and constantly helps those around him. He has created groups to help support entrepreneurs and start-ups and is a constant conversation-started. Please enjoy this interview.

Hi Ravi, thank you so much for answering some questions. How are you?

Fantastic and thanks for asking. I am doing as good as New Zealand as we talk 🙂

I ❤️ startups and work with awesome startups & entrepreneurs in setting up their businesses, scaling up and building growth. I am currently leading the marketing and growth for ZingHR which is an HR Tech venture with over a million users globally.

You have quite a big following on Twitter. For those that aren’t aware of what you do, could you please tell them a little bit of your background?

My experience in Startups and Enterprise sectors like Media & PR, Fintech, Education, Digital, Retail, Mobile, Healthcare, AI, IoT, Tech, e-Commerce, Real Estate has helped me to launch & grow ventures. I love working with entrepreneurs, enterprises, community builders and investors who are focussed at growth.

I am the author of one of the best-loved books for startups and entrepreneurs. How To Validate Your Startup Business Idea. Anyone planning or thinking about starting up a new venture or business should ideally read this book:

Amazon India: https://amzn.to/2A7KwDn Amazon Global: https://amzn.to/2q629O3

I have published my second book Bounce Back Now (which was trending as the number 1 new release on Amazon) for all the aspiring entrepreneurs, startups, students, professionals, small business owners, who are thinking about launching their business or have already launched their business despite tough times. It is also my endeavour to support individuals who might be in a closed state of mind, pessimistic, depressed or might have failed in their previous efforts

Amazon India https://www.amazon.in/dp/B08C5ML12G Amazon Global https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08C5ML12G

I am also the group owner & moderator for many large global online communities on LinkedIn & Facebook. One of them is > Startup Specialists https://www.linkedin.com/groups/56766 is one of the largest groups for startups amid the 2 mill+ groups on LinkedIn which has around 380,000+ global members.

I see you’re always trying to inspire and encourage lateral thinking. What made you decide to go down this route?

My own failures and failures that I see around me.

Now imagine a group of great tech guys with a great product which has a market fit and paying customers but bomb down their venture because they can’t market the product. They just go unnoticed.

There has to be a bunch of people who have to speak their heart out, no matter what. They also need to handhold or advise people in the right direction. You might not always have a recipe for success but you can always save people from not sinking in failure.

I see you’re always trying to inspire and encourage lateral thinking. What made you decide to go down this route?

I think the willingness to learn and relearn and help people especially aspiring entrepreneurs and growth bound startups to scale up around the world. This is also a step towards looking and learning from the real ground level where people operate & work and build their products or businesses.

I think my own failures have also taught me to see failures as a matter of just falling down. They are not permanent roadblocks, they need to be just tossed away.

How do you gain and organise your thoughts to create them?

I think I write wherever I can, whenever I can….

The best way is to share and collaborate on experiences. People generally have a fear of being judged and do not share what they will be judged on.

I see you’re always trying to inspire and encourage lateral thinking. What made you decide to go down this route?

Keep in mind that your learning and unlearning should never stop and always remember and never forget that “Falling down is NOT Failure, Failure is Never Final”

Finally, where can my audience find you?

They can find me on social media and connect with me. I would love to hear stories of how people have bounced back now and grown in life beyond their challenges.

Creator Interview With David Thorpe

David has been a good friend and I’ve always enjoyed the content he’s published. He’s a man of many talents and now has a focus on taking control over digital anxiety. He has also started a podcast called “The Average Dev” with very insightful information, I recommend you give it a listen to after reading this great interview.

Hello Dave, for those that don’t know, please introduce yourself. Who are you, and what do you do?

Hey Michael,

I’m a software engineer, and I’ve been in the game for over 10 years now. I primarily work with startups and other companies wanting to build internal products. Recently I’ve moved to more leadership roles, and I want to communicate great career advice and confidence in other developers.

You recently decided to teach others digital wellness. What made you decide this change in direction?

I used to find myself overusing my iPhone. I’d browse and browse, refresh all the feeds and it was horrible. It made my head feel spaced out all the time. I had to make a change and get away from screens when I wasn’t working since I was also spending 8+ hours a day on them coding. I’m militant about how I use technology now. It’s the most important thing to me with regards to tech that I control how I use it and not the other way around.

This has allowed me the focus to work on the things that matter to me, and that is communicating my story and learnt lessons from 8 years of self-employment to other people who are looking to start out. This has been hugely rewarding.

You also have a podcast called “The Average Dev”. What are your thoughts behind the name, and what made you decide to create it?

The name clicked for me because we, as developers, are always exposed to people in our industry doing incredible things. Releasing the next CSS framework, launching a video course, making millions from it etc. It’s the Instagram of the dev world. It’s really easy to believe that this is what we’re all expected to do, but I fundamentally reject that idea since it is unhealthy and isn’t actually a realistic goal for everyone.

The Average Dev name just communicates that. I am just an average dev, but I’m one who wants to talk about my experiences.

Where can my audience find you?

I tweet about tips I’ve found and updates to my content output at @davzie, and you can sign up for email alerts or view my content at davidthorpe.dev

Thanks for having me, Michael!!

Woman eating popcorn with remote - Writing and selling an ebook

Writing and selling an ebook during COVID-19 lockdown

Coming up with the idea

Two years ago, I decided I wanted to write my first ebook and sell it to the public. That ebook was all about writing your first ebook (very meta).

I started writing and got so far, then suddenly stopped. I’m not sure what happened, it could have been a decline in confidence or an overwhelming sensation of anxiety and depression, but I didn’t go back to the idea until this year during the lockdown.

Fits-and-starts

During the beginning of quarantine, I didn’t have any thought or motivation in writing a book. However, I did have a lot of inspiration for reading books, and this year is the most I’ve ever read.

It then got to a point where I felt motivated to work on personal projects again, and I started getting social on my Twitter, invited all my friends to my Facebook page, and, most importantly, began where I left off with my ebook.

I went from worrying about what people might think about my work, to not giving a flying f*ck what people might think.

It wasn’t exactly a straight and narrow road, some days, I would spend an hour or two writing and other days, it would be 5 or 10 minutes. I did whatever I could to muster up the motivation and courage to keep on writing. The most important thing that changed is my mindset. I went from worrying about what people might think about my work, to not giving a flying f*ck what people might think.

That change in mindset ultimately helped me get to the finish line and release my work to the public. Once it was complete, I uploaded a PDF version to PayHip and a docx version to Draft2Digital. So far, I have made four sales totaling £7.96, and my ebook is still being published to the Amazon marketplace. Once it hits the Amazon marketplace, I think I can make a couple more sales, but I won’t be taking much of an income from that, so I’ll try and persuade people to buy with PayHip instead.

Marketing my ebook

What did I do to market my book? Well, I’m glad you asked because I haven’t done anything special.

I went to Twitter, where I have ~3,000 followers. This is a handful, but nowhere near the amount of the greats. I started off writing a thread on how to make and sell an ebook, and then posted that thread to Hacker News for more exposure. Which I’m not sure even worked. I then waited until the evening and posted an update to that thread announcing the release of my book.

Also, posting to my Facebook business and personal pages but didn’t receive any sales from there. I had a few likes and comments, but nothing too exciting. The same also goes for LinkedIn; actually, many people have had quite a bit of luck with LinkedIn, but I’m yet to see any positives from there just yet.

Once I received my first sale, which I believe was sent from Twitter, I took a screenshot of the graph and posted it to Twitter underneath my sale announcement. This announcement prompted another sale from a close follower, which I was super happy about; she’s always been a very supportive Twitter follower and friend.

This all gave me even more confidence to post on Indie Hackers. Now, I’ve never been very active over there, and that’s definitely on me, but everyone there is super supportive. From now on, I will be far more active on IH and hope to build closer relationships over there. I say this because I had two more sales from posting updates to IH, and there have been so many great, supportive comments which make me want to push further.

Moral of the story

The moral of this story, you need to find your circle of online friends. Be supportive to those you are personally attracted to, and they will support you back. That support will then grow further to new people where the reach and positivity can grow. Nurture and love your followers, friends, and family, and you will reap the rewards.

Gain confidence early and gain confidence now, because the longer you wait, the worse your fears will grow. There are plenty of books to help with this, and I recommend “How to stop worrying and start living,” “Feel the Fear and do it anyway,” “The Chimp Paradox” and “Thinking, Fast and Slow.”

My initial thoughts on Apple’s IOS14

Initial Thoughts

Last week I installed the IOS14 beta, and overall, I’m impressed with the experience. Android fans will scoff at the idea that Apple has implemented widgets, screaming, “WE’VE HAD THIS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF ANDROID PHONES!”. Or they’ll laugh at the idea that iPhones finally have an app draw (called App Library) and has picture in picture mode (PiP).

The thing is, we all know that Apple takes their time, and when they deliver these improvements, they usually offer it better than most Android implementations.

App Library

The App Library is a smart AI-driven app drawer that cleverly bundles apps together and will bring the apps you use most near the top. You don’t have to think about customising it yourself, and I’ve found myself removing most apps from the main screen in favour of the App library. Also, if you can’t find the app you’re looking for, then the search at the top of the screen is super helpful and lightning-fast. Overall, my impressions of the App library has been very positive. Once in a while, I stare at my screen and wonder where the app I’m looking for is. However, this happens a lot less than when I used Android.

./images/20200623

Picture in Picture

It’s nice being able to watch videos while using other apps. I also like the fact you can swipe the video to the side, and the video will still play while showing an arrow to bring the video back.

To be honest, they’re the only two apps I’ve tested for PiP. I’m pretty sure the experience will be very similar to Apple video and other video apps. It’s a fantastic feature which they have implemented well, and I don’t think much can be improved. The only negative is more towards Google and forcing us to subscribe to premium for silly basic features.

./images/20200623

Widgets

Widgets have always been great on Android phones and I used to love having a weather and search widget. When moving over to the iPhone, I was a little sad that it wasn’t a feature. Now the feature is here, and I’m happy with their implementation. Especially with the Stack widget that allows you to group widgets together and scroll between them. Apple will also intelligently move across the widgets during your day depending on what it thinks you need at that moment.

The stack widget is so clever that I think it’s the only widget you or I will ever need. It’s currently the only one I have on my screen and I love flicking through my stack.

Siri

Siri no longer takes up your whole screen, and instead, it’s a little icon near the bottom of your screen. Results also appear at the time in a little card that looks a lot cleaner than previous versions. I haven’t used Siri enough to gather whether it’s more or less clever, but the way it works is definitely cleaner and more simple.

Receiving Phone Calls

Receiving phone calls has also had an upgrade. Rather than taking up the screen, it will come in from the top when you’re using your phone, and you can swipe up to dismiss. It’s clean and simple to use.

Bonus: Accessibility

Accessibility may not seem interesting, but there’s one feature that I love. If you go to “Settings > Accessibility > Touch”, you can turn on “Back Tap” which allows you to open apps by tapping the back of your phone. There are two options, one for “Double Tap” and another for “Triple Tap”. Currently, I have my double tap set to open Siri and nothing on my triple tap. However, I would like to be able to open my camera with the triple tap which isn’t currently possible.

Features I’m excited for

There are many features that I haven’t yet tried but really excited for. These include, but are not limited to; CarPlay unlock, App Clips, and IOS Smart Home controls. CarPlay unlock could be very handy and would mean I don’t have to carry my car keys with me any more. App clips is also another one I’m excited to try out since I can use club cards and not have to install standalone apps in order to do so.

Should you install IOS14 beta?

The OS itself is very stable. So far, I’ve had very little issues with the OS itself. However, if you rely on your banking apps, then I would stay away. Currently, all banking apps will either crash and exit or notify you that you’re using a jailbroken device.

If you have another phone where you can use your banking apps, then go ahead, otherwise, I would just wait for the official release.

Closing thoughts

IOS14 has some very welcomed features which I hope they can continue to innovate on. Android users may laugh at the fact they’ve had these features since the dawn of time, but Apple manages to go a step further each time.

Have you got the IOS14 beta? If so, what are your thoughts?

If not, what are you looking forward to the most?

If you’re an Android user, what do you think about these features?

Join the discussion here

Redesigning my website

My initial thoughts

Over the past week, I migrated my website from VuePress to Gridsome. This migration has now given me more freedom of design and development.

Inspired by Jack McDade’s awesome website and I wanted to create something that was more personable to me.

Also, I like funky designs, but I’m always less motivated to design websites for myself. I never know what I want and I’m not sure if what I’m doing is overboard to a point where my viewers will dislike it.

Determined to move past my anxieties

This is in part due to my anxieties and lack of self-confidence, but speaking to other’s about their experiences and gaining inspiration has given me the confidence to push past my own anxieties. I went ahead and created my design using Figma. Once I was happy with my creation, I decided to share it with a Slack group. Those that gave me feedback were very positive which gave me more confidence to share it to a larger audience.

I took a deep breath and posted it on Twitter who generally have more negative thoughts, but the responses were still very positive. It was time to transform my graphic into my actual website.

Designing my website

After about a day, I had most of the design complete and I was super impressed with my work. This is something I’ve never felt confident about. I love developing websites, but designing a website was something I constantly struggled with.

As you can see from the image above (and from looking at my website), I used black as my background colour with yellow as the main colour. The dark blue adds some sort of separation between blocks and my social icons follow the lines like they’re walking along a field at night.

My blog content is still the same white background with black text since it’s easier to read. My “Latest Post” has been moved further to the right and has an angle which follows the angle of the yellow square. This gives my website a little more character and breaks it up quite nicely.

The search is also using a yellow border to help make it stand out, and the results also do the same thing. Hopefully, my results can be read clearly, but if you struggle and have suggestions, then I’m open to feedback.

Closing thoughts

Please explore my newly created website and send me plenty of feedback if you have any. I’m always open to suggestions and would love to hear what works and what doesn’t. You can add your own comments to this post here, or you can @ me on Twitter.

Website migrated from VuePress to Gridsome posting from Forestry

Yesterday, I published my new website which has been created with Gridsome. I had to reformat my blog posts and add tags to each of them. I have 156 posts, so this was not an easy task, to say the least.

Now I’m writing my first blog post using Forestry, and with any luck, it will post to my repository and deploy to my site with no issues. That’s if I’ve set up the formatting correctly and everything else that comes with it.

I now have a newsletter which you can subscribe to using the form at the bottom of this post. Signing up is easy and it will make sure you never miss an update. However, if you’re more of an RSS person, then I have that too.

There are a few more things I would like to add to my website such as comments that aren’t by Disqus, social card metadata and an auto-generated sitemap. I should probably create a roadmap on my GH repository for you to keep an eye on.

That’s pretty much it for this one, and if you like the new update please let me know on my Twitter page.

Join the discussion here.

2020 – New Year – New Decade – New Goals

Looking back at 2019

Last year has been yet another big rollercoaster. I wanted to stay working at Lightfoot for another year, but it didn’t quite turn out as well as I had hoped. I started my own business to become a contractor, and my wife is still using pet-sitting as a side hustle.

Lightfoot, unfortunately, had money issues after missing out on sales targets. This left them with the horrible misfortune of letting employees go. I was one of them, but I managed to bounce back almost straight away. I started my own limited company and began contracting with the University of Exeter.

It’s been a scary, but eye-opening jump and I’m glad to be finally giving it a go after all my indecision over the years. I seem to be very much in profit and able to pay my taxes which is definitely a great step in the right direction.

My goals from last year

There were two goals I managed to meet last year and that was Be happier and have 0 panic attacks and Post more on my blog. Despite being made redundant last year, I managed to stay calm and not panic about my impending job loss. I did, however, have a feeling it was going to happen, and I think this is what helped me overcome any anxieties I may have had.

In January of last year, I decided to post every day for the month. I ended up surpassing this and posted for a good 3 – 4 months before slowing down. If I posted just every day in January, then I would have beaten my goal to post more. I won’t be doing the same again this year, but I will try to post as much as I can.

Here’s my list from last year…

  • Clear my £10k credit card debt
  • Go abroad for the first time ever
  • Raise more money for cancer and mental health
  • Stop being last in Crossfit competitions
  • Be happier and have 0 panic attacks
  • Help create an incredible business for my wife
  • Save for a house
  • Post more on my blog

Something unexpected happened

Partway through January, I decided I wanted to try and go vegan for economical reasons. I told my wife and she said she didn’t want to do it which was fine with me. After creating a few vegan meals and sharing some of them with her, she decided that it wasn’t all that bad and she wanted to join me on this journey.

We now cook vegan-based meals and we only ever eat meat/dairy if we go to a place that doesn’t offer any alternatives. I would like to be 100% vegan by the end of this year and that means cutting out all restaurants that don’t offer vegan alternatives.

Goals for this year

This year, I’ve chosen to have more actionable goals by putting a number on everything I do. That way I’ll know when I have achieved and even surpassed my goal. Last year, I wanted to pay off my £10k debt and due to things breaking and losing my job, I didn’t manage to get close. I now have just less than £7k left to clear which down by a decent 30%. I have also set aside £1,000 as an emergency fund in case anything breaks or I need something for work. This way, I won’t be dipping back into my credit cards.

  • Clear £7k debt
  • Save at least £1,000 for a house
  • Gain 100 subs on YouTube
  • Have at least 1 “date night” a month
  • Create at least 12 videos for my YouTube channels
  • Finish my course on Laravel

A year review 2018

After reading Tim Ferriss’ year review, I decided to do something similar. I couldn’t go through my calendar as I never use one for events (maybe I should start next year).

You can see below my results below.

It’s shows both positive and negative events for the year. Hopefully I can learn from this for next year.

Positive

  • Created WODemocracy
  • New car
  • Helped Tiff start pet sitting business
  • 2 years at work
  • Met Dmitry and Valery
  • Cut down debt by half
  • More consistent at CrossFit and entered three competitions
  • Twitter/blogging is more consistent
  • Made new connections
  • Got my first passport

Negative

  • Worry about job loss
  • Yogi Bear (cat) passing away
  • 3 panic attacks

Overall, I’ve had more positive events than negative ones, hopefully this carries on for next year.