It has been a long time since I have written any post.
Well, let’s start with the year-end review that is pending for a month. I should have written this article in the starting of January, but I did not get time because I was on a month long road trip. We drove car from Chandigarh to Karnataka via Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa.
The annual review exercise is inspired from James Clear. I feel that everyone should write an annual review. I will surely continue to write the annual review every year because it helps me to reflect back to the previous year and plan ahead accordingly.
Select Your Favorite Section
- What went well this year?
- What didn’t go well this year?
- What am I working on and my annual goals?
What went well this year?
#1. Monetization from my hobby blog
I started my personal finance blog in 2015 but never thought of making money from it. I was getting consistent traffic throughout the year without showing any Ads to my readers.
In September, I started experimenting with monetization and clocked 60,000 revenue in the very first month.
The income from my blog is sufficient to pay my business and personal expenses. I no longer need a support of job. I am the sole owner of my time now.
#2. Built conscious eating habit
This year I became more conscious about my eating habits. I’m neither following any diet plan nor I’m cutting down the carbs to reduce my weight. I’m free to eat anything that I feel suitable for my body.
The first step of conscious eating is to become aware of the needs of one’s body. Earlier, my diet was pretty much fixed. Now I wonder, how anyone can have hunger of 4 chapatis and 1 plate of rice everyday at 1:00PM. Of course, we are not at all aware of the needs of our body.
We feed our body as per the temptations of our mind and tongue. We have been trained to consume same quantity of food at the fixed time of the day.
Now I eat less food. Not because I wanted to reduce the quantity but because I feel that my body needs less food. I spent most of the daytime on chair, so it’s obvious that I need more quality-food than the fix quantity.
#3. Inner Journey
This year, I attended two retreats those helped me to look inwards. The first one was Jeevan Vidya in Udaipur in March. The workshop talks about the essential aspects of life (Self, Family, Society and Environment). There is no yoga practice or spiritual talk, but it sets the foundation for deep inner work. It happens three times a year at different places in India.
The facilitator does not accept any charges for the workshop. The whole program works on gift economy. You can contribute whatever you wish for the accommodation and food to hosting organisation.
I attended second retreat in September, Conscious Leadership, which happened in Gnostic Center Delhi. The workshop was focused on revealing secrets of karma yoga and it’s application in business and life.
#4. Two month long family vacation in Thailand
One of the top priorities of my life is travelling the world. I am no longer interested in short vacations because 4-day vacations are hectic. We spent 50 days in Thailand without burning our pockets. The effective cost of our entire trip was less than Rs. 1,50,000.
#5. Read more than 24 books
Last year I set the goal of reading 2 books per month. I am glad that I read more than 24 books in 2016. Most of the books were related to marketing, human psychology, behaviour and history.
The one that I loved the most is – Sapiens, a brief history of humankind. I will write a separate post on my best books in 2016.
What didn’t go well this year?
#1. Quitting my startup job
I joined child healthcare startup as the content marketing head in January 2016. We worked hard and achieved excellent results in a short period. One of our video went viral on Facebook that skyrocketed our FB likes from 16,000 to 25,000 in just three days, brought organic growth in app installs and strengthened our brand.
Then the startup got a good digital marketing team. I wanted to stay at the startup for a much longer time, but I started losing interest in the work. I was not enjoying the work despite the good results. It was a difficult decision to quit the work after building the base of organic marketing with so much of hard work. Well, it would have been equally difficult to stay there without any excitement for the work. So, I quit the startup job in September.
We had very limited savings but sufficient to run our own online business. I had an intuition that I will survive. And, some good things happened in my bad times – few of my stocks gave fantastic returns in a few weeks of putting my resignation. Here is the post if you are interested to read in detail.
#2. Missing the target of blog traffic
My goal was to achieve the organic traffic of 2,00,000 page views per month on my blog by the end of the year, but I achieved only half of that.
Still, I witness 200% growth in 4 months.
Although I missed out on the traffic goal, but was able to meet my revenue goal of INR 1,00,000 per month.
I will write a detailed post on my income report.
#3. Built a team, but now walking alone
I built a team of 4 people in September including myself. My team had one designer, one SEO expert and one writer intern. I realised that I don’t need a lot of design work so I let go my designer. My SEO guy joined another startup team because he got better match as per his priorities. My writer intern was confused about his work so he walked on exploring his path.
I am happy that all my ex-team members are exploring their paths and growing in their true self, which was our primary purpose when we built our team. The purpose to know our inner selves and make sufficient money to survive.
Now, I am the only one who is running my blog as a business.
#4. Missed writing schedule
I was not able to keep up my writing consistent. The year was turbulent with many changes. I had to switch multiple gears while working in startup job and then monetizing my own blog.
September was a fantastic month, when I was able to publish more than 15 guest articles on big publications like YourStory, Inc42, Entrepreneur, LifeHacker and HuffingtonPost.
I will commit myself for writing this year.
What am I working on and my annual goals?
I was thinking hard, mostly about the kind of life I want to live and the work I want to do.
I am again in the state of confusion. I think it’s good to get confused few times during a year. This gives me an opportunity to change the path of my work and life.
I asked myself – What do I want to become professionally?
The answer was – an excellent storyteller to create content in form of
- Text Story
- Visual Story
- Video Story
And an entrepreneur
- To generate value for the world
- To run a conscious business
- To produce more with less efforts
At the same time, it’s important to know – What I don’t want to pursue/become at present?
- A consultant
- Because the consulting work does not excite me.
- An affiliate marketer
- I am generating decent money from affiliate marketing but I don’t want to limit myself with affiliate marketing. (If you don’t know the difference then – An affiliate marketer finds profitable keywords, gets ranking and promotes products.)
- I don’t want to promote products that I don’t use personally
- I am not excited to have multiple websites that generate affiliate income. Rather I would like to nourish one website where I can write from my heart without worrying about affiliate income.
- A business coach/mentor
- I feel that I don’t have in-depth experience in business building yet.
- Freelance content marketer/strategist
- A couple of assignments are good, but not focused on building my business on freelance marketing gigs.
- Digital Marketing Agency
- Now, it’s time to apply the learning in my own business than providing services. I am afraid that I will not be able to deliver quality work until I have a strong in-depth experience myself.
This gave me sufficient understanding to set my annual goals.
#1. Personal Goal
Travelling India by Road.I already completed this goal in the first month of this year.
- Travelling to Europe for two months.
- Start running and hiking on regular basis.
- Attending at least two retreats for inner journey.
- Reading 24 books for personal development.
#2. Business Goals
Focus on one thing
Last year my focus was diverted to many projects. This year, I will eliminate most of my projects and focus on one thing – that is – cashoverflow. I will work on making cashoverflow the most trusted platform for managing personal finance and making a passive source of income.
My biggest goal would be to help 1000 people personally to achieve the success through online business. Not sure how I would be able to do, what I will figure out something.
In numbers, my goal would be
- 1,000,000 monthly traffic by the end of 2017
- 2,00,000 email subscribers
- 100 new articles to be published on internet
Write stories in depth
I accept that last year I published some shallow articles. That happened because I was focusing on multiple things. My writer (intern) wrote articles and I did not spend sufficient time in editing. I will not repeat that mistake now. The first thing I would do is that I will update the old articles, which are not up to my expectations.
Build Social Media for CashOverflow
I did not pay attention in building social media assets for cashoverflow. I would spend time this year to build Facebook page and community for cashoverflow. For Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, I will keep using my personal account to promote cash overflow.
Goal in numbers
- 2,00,000 likes on CashOverflow Facebook page
- 25,000 community members
Let’s see how much I could achieve this year. Write in comments if you have something to share with me.