For the second year, I used the Reflecting Forwards Notion template to do an in-depth personal year in review. Most of it I will again keep private, but for the sake of consistency (and having something to publish) here are a few excerpts and pictures.
My goals at the beginning of the year were to:
- Do more active giving.
- Move in with my girlfriend.
- Spend time outside of screens... in nature and in books.
- Build a second business.
- Make Krit less stressful.
- Spend time with my sister and friends.
- Be active.
Theme for the year: Margin
Ohhhh buddy did I miss on the theme for this year. I wore myself thin at work, and the constant setbacks really ate away at me. I did not take any money out of the business. I did an okay job making time for myself and not working totally crazy hours, but I had a really hard time not thinking about work when it was stressful which was most of the year. I didn’t take on extra projects.
But on the plus side moving to Detroit has been great, even though it has been tough. I think I’m getting a lot better at communicating, although I still have a long way to go. I spent a lot of time with friends, and climbing has been really great. The automatic thoughts have gotten better, and I would say my mental health in general is better although work is a major drain.
- Had a great day with Austin, talked about why doing this, even if we fail building unparalleled skills and network.
- Thinking about woodworking, trying to create more and consume less, made a bench with Dad over the weekend.
- Do I want to invest in your growth, or load the dice? It’s hard to load the dice but people are good at learning.
- Buried Duck, buried him besides Indie, marked it with the stone from Iceland and put the bench Dad and I made beside him. Worried I wasn’t mindful enough, or went along with what others said instead of making the decision for myself. But the timing was right. I hope he understood how much I love him.
- Po Boy ran away and I went to Detroit. Started a podcast with Sean and I’m loving that, haven’t felt super motivated at work otherwise.
- Feeling happier than I have in a long time. Relationship, climbing gym, getting self-care dialed in. Worried about sales.
- “To choose doubt as a philosophy for life is to choose immobility as a vehicle for transportation”
- We lost a big client, Scott’s advice “have some arrogance,” don’t compete on speed and availability.
- Spent a bunch of time reflecting on north star for the team, what am I uniquely good at, what do I most enjoy doing, what am I bad at, what do I dislike?
Looking back on my journal entries from the year I can see the ups and downs. One of the biggest lessons from this year was learning to view anger not as something to be ashamed of but as a warning sign that I need to adjust something in my life.
Core values: Courage, Love, Creativity, Honesty, Beauty
- I think it was a pretty courageous year. It was scary to put Duck down, to move to Detroit, to keep going at work. I don’t think there is anything I didn’t do this year out of fear that I wanted to or should have. Climbing has given me a very real way to exercise my courage on a regular basis.
- Love was definitely present this year. Friends, relationship. I think I could talk to my college friends more, talk to my family more, and continue to get better at how I communicate in my relationship.
- The only bit of honesty I’m struggling with is Krit, is it the right thing for me to continue building Krit? And I think that’s more of a situation where I don’t know.
- I’m not sure beauty is right, maybe this should be balance. It was not a super balanced year. It feels like even with all the time spent with friends, this year was a lot about struggling at work.
- Turnover at Krit was really hard on me. I had to fire people for the first time this year, and we had a number of really talented people leave. It really ate away at me.
- Dealing with the end of Duck's life.
- Dealing with a client who refused to pay a significant amount of money, and with a slowdown in leads.
- I’m proud of my move to Detroit, and how much effort I’ve put into finding friends, hosting people, and getting to know the city.
- I moved in with Maddy, and have put a lot of energy into our relationship.
- I started the podcast with Sean, and we have put out 13 episodes with 580 downloads.
- I moved us into cybersecurity officially, and rebuilt our leadgen. It’s still a work in progress, but we’re in a much better place than we were this summer.
- I raised our rates significantly, raised salaries, and improved benefits. We hired 3 great people.
- I learned about the roles of an agency, and really started to think more about what it means to be a Principal through DCB.
- We have begun the transition to an FTE/flat-fee pricing model
- I learned to climb at a consistent V2 level, and climbed outside for the first time
- I improved the way we set goals
- I learned to recognize when I’m losing my temper frequently as a warning sign that something is wrong
- I got a lot better about communicating my needs instead of reacting passive aggressively with Maddy
- I learned that providing specific direction doesn’t limit people’s creativity. It gives them the bounds to discuss and challenge the way things are done.
- I learned to identify which hat I need to be wearing for a given situation.
- What will it take to make Krit a place where people want to stay?
- Should we focus on making Krit a place where people want to stay?
- How do I show up best in my relationship?
- Do I want to continue being an entrepreneur?
- Is security still the right field for us?
Moments of awe or wonder
- Drummond - seeing the landscape, sailing with Wyatt, going back and forth from the sauna.
- Lake Michigan - seeing the waves and the whole lake for the first time. Watching the sunset with our friends.
- Food - Takoi, Supergeil, Mink, Momofuku.
- Finding Po Boy.
- Burying Duck.
- Seeing the Texas hill country at golden hour.
- Seeing Joe and Laura get married.
- Looking out at the Red River Gorge from the top of that 5.9.
Goals, projects, and thoughts about 2022
- $150k per year in salary
- Learn to lead climb
- Host a dinner party
- Go to London
- Refine marketing process
- Hire and train an account manager
- I want to be content with what I already have - my job, my girlfriend, my home, my life.
- I want to reflect on where in the business I am at my best and my most fulfilled and find ways to lean into that.
- I want to start a project with my sister.
- I want to climb, and have adventures, and make time and space for things that aren’t for social media or for a blog or a business but are just for me and my community.
- At the same time, I can’t shake the desire to start the newsletter back up and create a regular writing habit. No matter how many times I try and fail I keep finding myself daydreaming about writing.