At the end of each year, we set out goals to do even better starting the following year. What I’ve learned from this process is you probably won’t hit every single goal. But the act of putting down everything you want to achieve is a great start towards a vision of who you want to be.
Near the end of 2022, I wrote down a lot of goals. There were 16 in total.
Only 3 were completed.
By the look of it, it seems like a failure. Only competing 18% of my goals.
What didn’t work
Running the business consumed a lot of my time outside of my full-time job. It led to poor time management. I couldn’t hold myself to my commitments.
This realization came early between March and April.
I was always at full capacity, unable to keep up with all of my tasks. Tasks rolled over day after day, week after week, month after month.
The quality of my work started to slip.
Additionally, my focus on health and fitness declined but I picked it up very late in December.
Where did we win
All three completed goals came from the business side. We made 2023 our best revenue year ever.
We closed larger deals. Worked more closely with clients. Helped make a difference in being a strategic partner.
In trying to reach out to the local community, we co-hosted two in-person events with vendors. It was great to get out there and speak to other network engineers and get to know the local community.
In the last quarter, we hired our first employee. And I’m finally starting to feel the benefits as the work load is now being equal. We worked with additional subcontractors and my sanity started to come back.
We were able to buy back our time, learn to create processes, and I started to lead a team. Two things I’ve really learned in a matter of a few months, and that I continue to learn about, is being a leader and creating processes. These two things help to scale the business and I’m able to delegate to free some of my time.
In the beginning of the year, we always have that steam to get going. That led to creating 17 pieces of content. 10 on the blog and 7 on YouTube. My goal has always been to provide value to other network engineers and entrepreneurs in IT.
I pivoted that effort to getting additional sales for the business. That resulted in closing 6 figure deals, with our largest being $576k. It made me think about how I could scale this portion of the business and that’s something I’ll be exploring in 2024.
Outside of the business, I refocused on family goals to help our kids achieve some milestones in their lives which countered the hustle and stress of work.
After June, I disappeared from social media, blogging, and video and put my head down to grow the business. In today’s hyper social world, going away from it all and doing the work really pays off. Especially, being silent about it. I really enjoyed that.
What should we keep doing
Hiring an engineer was really beneficial for us. I’d like to grow the business a little more and hire another employee. That would help me focus more on sales to drive more business.
Having a small team is very rewarding.
Every day, I do short journal prompts that has kept me on my path. That has made a huge difference in 2023. It really matters to write things down, especially in this blogging format.
You clear your mind and cut through the noise. You can reflect on where you’ve been and see where you’re going. I encourage you to pick up this habit. Every morning, the first thing I do is complete a journal entry.
At the end of the week, I do a weekly review, and a monthly, and quarterly. You’ll end up looking at your goals and seeing where you need to pivot or make changes. Goals don’t have to be static for the whole year. Life happens. Things change.
What should change
I want to go back to my roots of writing. I like to share my journey to help others who may be following the same path. When I got started I didn’t have much to follow and some weren’t as transparent.
But where I struggle is finding the consistency in writing or making video. That’s what I want to change for 2024. If my plans hold up, buying back my time and delegating tasks will open up opportunities to write and create other resources.
Maximizing my time and schedule is going to be critical. That’s where batching will come in and I hope I can hold myself accountable to doing it.
Who am I becoming
Reflecting back on this year, I can certainly say I’m changing into a different person. I used to do all the technical work on the business. But I’ve come to realize that I shouldn’t be doing all the work. I’m at an inflection point where I am fortunate to build a team.
Now I am transitioning to becoming a leader and more of a family man. Not that I wasn’t a family man before but I feel like I’m there for my family more than ever.
Priorities are shifting.
I used to blog to teach myself. And then I blogged to help teach others. Now I’m taking that same mentality and applying it to my first employee. It goes back to having more time. We share the workload but now I don’t feel the burden of doing all the work.
I’m becoming more of a strategic thinker, still learning, but learning a whole new set of skills.
What will I focus on next
I’ve minimized the goals I’ve written down for 2024. And some will have a well thought out plan. We’ve made the shift to thinking of them as Objectives and Key Results. Each objective, or goal, we want to achieve has a specific result that needs to be completed.
Other goals aren’t as thorough or specific. I’ve learned that it’s good to have smart goals and to have high level goals. I don’t want to be caught up in the constant planning and tracking of too many goals. For example, instead of going for a “Lose X pounds by August” – I changed it to Exercise 5x a week. Or it can be as simple as move your body every day.
We have technology all around us that can track every single thing. Just don’t get caught up in it.
My focus is making my next step. Get one foot in front of the other.