Sitting at a dark walnut table facing the window and staring out into my neighborhood, I had my red Moleskine notebook open to a blank page with my black pen tapping in a rhythmic pattern. I was in deep thought about the goals to reach for in 2023, grand or small.
2023 is going to be different. I sat back in my chair pondering how to challenge myself personally and professionally. I’m battling between being happy with where I am today and where I want to be tomorrow.
I was struck by a social media post my wife shared with me. It was white text on a black background with four sentences:
2020 changed me.
2021 humbled me.
2022 opened my eyes.
2023 I’m coming back.
The last few years have been quite challenging. There’s no arguing that. I straighten up and put pen to paper and begin writing out Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) with the mindset of nothing is too big or too small if I can execute with consistency.
- Prioritize Health and Fitness
- Clear To Send
Prioritize Health and Fitness
My number one objective is to work on my own health by focusing on eating healthier and exercising regularly. I need to get my body moving for a minimum of 30 minutes each day.
🫀Move 7 Days a Week
I initially intended to exercise 3 days a week. My wife challenged me to do 30 minutes of activity every day. Whether that is walking, running, weight training, playing baseball, basketball, etc. I groaned at the recommendation. But after a couple of doctors visits and getting my blood drawn, it was indicative I move my body much more and start doing it now.
⚾️ Join a Baseball League
One evening during dinner, my wife and I were talking about how I should join a baseball league to get my fitness and activity through sports. I was hesitant but since I like to participate as an assistant coach for my son’s baseball team, it made sense. An oddly enough, the next day I received a phone call from a friend asking if I’d want to participate in his baseball team. I’ll take that as a sign.
⚖️ Lose 30 lbs by August
Have you looked at the scale day after day and not see that needle move up or down? Maybe it was a few lost pounds one week only to gain a couple more the next? I’ve been hovering at the same weight for years now, maintaining my blubber. Ideally, I should be around 160 lbs.
📖 Read a Book on Eating Well
Just as I read business and technical books to help improve my career and technical skills, the same should be applied to health. What kind of foods should I be eating and fueling my body with? What’s the science behind it? I need to know.
The side business has been growing steadily along with the amount of work. I really had to take a step back and think about what path this business should take. It can either propel us or help maintain our current lifestyle. These are the OKRs we settled on.
👏 Prioritize Delegation
The biggest realization I had was how much help I needed. There were times the work from the business came very close to compromising my commitment to my full-time employer. On a few occasions, I’ve leveraged subcontractors. But it is time to really focus on bringing on help, whether it is subcontractors, part-time, or full-time employees.
Part of that includes building out processes that can be repeatable by anyone on the team, getting them trained to work on Wi-Fi and network engineering projects.
I need to work on the business instead of in the business so my efforts can be focused on business development and marketing.
🏦 Increase Operating Income
If we are to support this business we need to be able to reinvest in it. Operating income is the amount of profit after operating expenses and cost of goods sold.
We can grow the business further if we’re profitable quarter-after-quarter. A couple of things come to mind such as pricing our services and profit margin.
But our biggest focus is on reducing expenses and following a budget.
🎗Build Brand Awareness
Packet6 has received business organically or from referrals. This objective refers to the former, building up the amount of blog posts, thought leadership, and resources for our target audiences.
Blog posts have helped us tremendously in the past but in 2022 it was lackluster.
Fun fact, Packet6 originally started as a blog. We’re going back to our roots and writing more content.
I’ve carried over this objective from 2022. This objective usually contains target numbers we aim to achieve. Numbers such as revenue and net income targets.
We didn’t meet our revenue target of $800k in 2022. And in 2023, I’m lowering that target to $700k. We also have a brand new key result of targeting $80k in net income.
⚖️ Have Solid Accounting Principles
We’re not accounting professionals. But when you run a business it is imperative you know accounting to understand how you receive income and where your expenses are. With accurate bookkeeping, you can make data-driven decisions.
In 2023, we’re going to brush up our skills in accounting and be 100% confident in our books. I’d also like to learn how to forecast and develop a budget we can absolutely follow.
Clear To Send
The podcast was created in 2015 and has grown to be a fulfilling labor of love. François Vergès has been a co-host for the majority of that time and it’s amazing how well we work together, especially when we’re on different coasts.
Our goal has always been to provide immense value to our listeners. We’ve gone from being an audio-only podcast to now providing video. When production became a challenge for us we brought in some help to do the audio and video post-production and content delivery.
Now we look to what’s next.
💗 Grow Community
We’re extremely lucky to grow a small community of IT professionals. It’s been wonderfully rewarding. In 2023, I’d like us to be intentional with the episodes we publish. To give back to our loyal listeners, we will have exclusive resources and content.
Building on that last statement, we’re diving into something new. Our community has largely been using Slack. We’re adding another platform to build upon this and add feature-rich engagement where all conversations can be seen and heard.
🗣 Grow Engagement
Slowly, over time, there are people in our community who have really shined. They’ve helped bring value to others, helped people with their Wi-Fi problems, and shared resources to further our skills.
I’d like to help bring out some of the lurkers who may be hesitant to speak up or share their knowledge. I know it can be intimidating to speak up in a room filled with smart people. But my guarantee to our community is that we welcome everyone with open arms. We love to help and see others be successful. We’d love to hear what you have to say.
One aspect of growing engagement is to add another Clear To Send course. François and I launched one course a few years ago. We have committed to publishing another but it is long overdue.
🎧 Grow Listener Base
Wi-Fi is the most used medium to access network resources. More IT professionals need to develop their Wi-Fi skills. Our goal is to get the podcast out to more IT people and increase our listenership.
We don’t look at our stats often. I had to look at it just now to talk about this objective. We’ve had some steady growth but we also have our slow times. It goes back to the beginning when I wrote about consistency.
If you’ve read down to this point then you can see there’s quite a bit of goals. Below are my own set of goals around personal branding and building out another part of entrepreneurship through online business.
📝 Create More Content
I forgot how much I like to write. When I look back to some of my blog posts in 2022, on this website you’re reading, I published 20 blog posts.
And on YouTube I published 8 videos. My goal is to create much more content, make them valuable with the intent in teaching others about Wi-Fi, network engineering and my journey through entrepreneurship.
🎯 Follow a Content Strategy
Referring back to what I said in the beginning, execution will be key for me this year. Committing and executing on a plan will yield results. This involves planning specific content for the month or quarter and using a batch process to completion. Afterwards there’s a whole other process to content distribution, which I haven’t figured out yet.
This will all tie back to Packet6 and Clear To Send in how I’m building my own strategy circling specific topics.
📚 Earn Certifications
Earning 3 certifications in 2022 was already a big achievement for me. Going into the new year, I’m aiming to earn the PCNSE and and JNCIA-DevOps. Two areas of focus I’m really interested in. During the study path, I’ll be writing about the various topics within these two certifications.
🇫🇷 Learn a New Language
3-4 years ago, I went to Paris with my wife. It was life changing. But I wish I knew more than Bonjour. What’s different this time around is my young daughter wants to learn French. So we’re tackling this goal together using Duolingo. What an experience that will be, learning French with my daughter 🥰