Reading through my past year end reviews here on Medium, it felt like every year I was going through something major and extreme. I was this time way more excited to analyze my mental health throughout the years than my professional journey. Maybe that's partially because of the headspace I'm in right now. This series started as a form of documentation of my professional progress, and now it's way more thorough than that. I used to write that I would leave personal stuff out of this. But you know what? Screw that. Let's get personal.
2019 was just flat-out terrible, by now you've seen me mention that ad-nauseam. 2020 was my redemption. I started the year wishing I was dead, and finished on a high point. Very interesting.
Let's get the financial / professional stuff out of the way first. One my goals was to sell a project overseas, and we did it. We have a client now in the US. The owner is Brazilian though. But you know what? That might be the way to go in order to build a global portfolio. I'll count that as a win. The project was pretty profitable too.
Phurshell didn't grow that much on 2021 compared to 2020. We grew about 20% in terms of revenue I would say. But we've been restructuring a lot of important stuff. We realized our current business model is not sustainable. We are working on way too many projects at the same time. We need fewer projects, but larger and more impactful at the same time. We need partnerships with promising upcoming products.
We want to focus on acquiring recurring revenue, as much as we can. That's maybe even more important than growing our gross revenue. We also need to hire some people. The company needs to run thoroughly without the owners. That's a challenge. It's hard because hiring people increases cashflow risk. So we end up not hiring as much as we can. That makes the company more profitable with the revenue we have but also hinders growth. I need to be free to think, strategize, and do owner stuff, instead of employee stuff. Maybe 2022 will be the year that we do that. We need to hire! We need to take a leap of faith. If we, as owners, don't believe in our growth. Who will?!
I can't emphasize enough on how important it is to acquire more impactful projects. Sometimes we have some projects that are easy money for us. But we know they won't take off. We need to look for projects that maybe aren't that profitable in the short-term but offers an upside in the long-run through partnerships, revenue sharing, even through equity as well.
Long story short, fewer projects, larger projects, larger team, and recurring revenue.
That's it for my professional life. Now onto the juicy personal stuff. I said at my last review that I was finally focusing on my health. That went to shit again in 2021. I gained all the weight back. Stopped exercising. It sucked. My mental health, which I thought was all fine and dandy, also took a hit. Some of the good stuff I kept doing, like music for instance. I've been playing the guitar, piano, and singing way more now. I've even been recording some stuff and posting on social media, which is unprecedented.
Mentally I was still feeling bad, but this time there was this feeling of a loop of sadness. Let me explain. By Q1/Q2 2021 I had been feeling extremely depressed for almost 2 years. Still recovering from the bad shit that happened in 2019. But I felt like it was taking too long for me to get better. That made me sadder, which made me feel even more guilty that I hadn't recovered yet. Therefore, the aforementioned loop. I kept on going to my biweekly therapy sessions. I think now I see the actual light at the end of tunnel.
Then I decided I was in peace with my sadness. I decided that however long it would take for me to get better was fine with me. I started accepting that I was feeling sad. That gave me peace.
Q3 and Q4 were very introspective. With the help from my therapist I started to look at a lot of my behavior and trying to adjust a few things. These things are as follows:
- I'm too agreeable. Too passive. I accept too many things. I focus way too much on everyone else's happiness and comfort. I'm very negligent with my own wishes and desires. I'm trying to change that. The most important person for me needs to be me.
- It's ok to acknowledge your achievements. That has nothing to do with not being humble, or being a show-off, or bragging. I've done some pretty amazing things with my life. I accomplished a lot. Way more than 99.9% of the people I know. By the time I was 16 I already spoke English fluently which allowed me to do so many things. By the time I was 25 I had two master's degrees from 3 of the best universities in the world, I had 9 years of professional experience. I co-founded a startup and was about to start a business that would pay my bills for the years to come. I've always been good with my parents. I help my brother as much as I can. I traveled to several countries all over the world. I've stood on top on volcanoes in New Zeland. I've lived in Australia. I've lived in Canada. Everything that I mentioned I achieved by myself. No one gave it to me. I don't come from a wealthy family. I worked my ass off and achieved a lot of stuff.
- By realizing all the stuff I mentioned on the previous bullet point I realized that I was an awesome guy, deserving of awesome people around me. I know that sometimes I feel lonely as fuck. I really do. But I won't settle for less. Romantically and friendship-wise. I want to be surrounded by like-minded people. Smart people. People with purpose. In order for other people to see me like that, I need to start seeing myself like that. I'm tired of feeling and portraying myself as a loser. I've always considered myself a stinky pile of shit. No more.
- I am smart. I've always been smart. In school, although hard for a lot of people, was very easy for me. College, the same. While everyone was struggling, studying their asses off, I was barely using 5% of my capacity passing with flying colors. At my masters, at first it was a little hard to adjust because I was surrounded by some the best students from some of the best universities on Earth, but a couple of months in, I was already used to being surrounded by smart people, and it became easy as well. I'm not gonna portray myself as being not as smart as I am anymore. Fuck it.
- I need to get out of my comfort zone. I need to do riskier things. I moved from my parents house now. I've been investing a lot into creating alternative sources of income. I need to stop being afraid of meeting new people too.
I know the past couple of paragraphs felt like a rant. It's just that it's the first time in my life I'm saying good things about myself. I admit it's a bit overwhelming. I've treated myself as an unworthy piece of shit for too long. I've accepted a lot of bad stuff from people I loved. I've allowed people to treat me like shit because I personally thought I was shit to begin with.
For 2022 I hope to continue on this path of self-improvement. In the past couple of months I've been exercising a lot. I've been getting up very early and going to bed early. I've been productive. I've been active. I think that's part of realizing all of the stuff I mentioned before about myself. Let's hope this trend continues. I want to consult with a nutritionist regularly and seek help for improving my weight issue. I need to change the way I look at food. I'm way too short-term oriented with food. I need to treat food like I treat my money. Short term sacrifices seeking long term sustainable results.
Another goal I have is to create passive income. I want to double my earnings from 2021 solely on passive income. Through crypto games, dividend paying investments, or whatever appears in front of me. I don't want to have only one source of income. I want invest way more than I do now. Percentage wise I invest 60-70% of what I make. I want to make way more money so I can invest 80%-85%. I want to be financially free by 2025. That means accumulating a lot of capital, so my returns from those investments pay for my cost of living. I can achieve that by increasing my earnings without increasing my cost that much. That's exciting! I feel more pleasure from increasing my passive income than I feel from material purchases. I'm weird like that. Hence, I'll try not to spend money on useless things, and focus on my early retirement (I'm joking. I love working).
To wrap things up, let's hope for a crazy 2022. I'm not afraid of you 2022. I'm ready.