As the 2013 year comes to a close, I am completing my first Annual Review. In 2013 I started my escape from the rat race, out earned my day job income for 1/2 the year, increased the number of countries I have visited to 66, implemented a morning ritual, purchased my first brand new car and celebrated my successes.
The best advice I received this year came from my coach when he instructed me to find someone that has done what you want to do and mirror them. Why do this? You do it because success leaves clues.
Every December Chris Guillebeau, the New York Times best-selling author of The $100 Startup and The Art of Non Conformity – does an evaluation of the year. For that reason I am doing my first Annual Review because I chose to mirror him.
He breaks his list into 2 sections:
- What went well in 2013
- What did not go well in 2013
Here is my retrospective on 2013.
What Went Well in 2013 (abridged)
- Started this blog in January but did not make my first post until February and my second post in March. Since March it has grown from zero to 150 unique visitors per day in December
- My website was nominated and voted as one of the top 25 Affiliate Marketing blogs of 2013 by Affiliate Summit
- I was able to bring my total number of countries visited to 66 after visiting England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Isle of Man and Northern Island
- Purchased my very first brand new car
- Created a morning ritual where I now get up every morning at 4:45 AM and put in almost 2 hours on my online business before heading out for my day job
What Did Not Go Well In 2013 (abridged)
- Wasted a lot of time following the shinning object syndrome instead of just focusing on one course of action until completion
- Wasted an entire month trying to work with a company that provides programmers for projects and got nothing done. Chose to work with this company because I thought they would be more reliable than taking a chance on eLance or Odesk but after 29 days of nothing done I had to let them go
- Learned first hand not to put all your eggs into one basket when my two largest affiliate marketing programs went south on me
- Failed to produce my own high quality product this year
Why Hard Work Pays Off
There are defining moments in your life when you decide the pain of staying where you are is more painful than the pain of making a change. When you reach that tipping point that is when people make dramatic and radical change in their lives.
Toward the end of 2011 and the start of 2012 I went through some extreme pain points in my life. I was determined to make changes. The first change was to start posting to this my new blog. My very first post in February and it was my January Income Report.
I failed to post any more and my next post did not go out until March. My third post was in March and it was my February Income Report. After 3 months of 2013 I had made exactly 3 posts in my new blog.
In April I decided to dig in and commit to making my new website a success. I started posting on semi-regular basis. Now after almost 11 months this is what I have accomplished with my website:
- 42 posts published
- 516 comments left
- 581 – most visitors in one day on October 19th
- My 3 most popular posts and the number of views were My Results and Lessons Learned From the Solo Ad Business (1,813), Income Reports (1,287) and 3 Mistakes I made with Facebook Ads and 5 Lessons Learned (1,116)
- 3,060 – number of times people clicked on link to external sites that I shared on my website
- 35 – the most number of comments on a single post which was Would you drop a very profitable affiliate program? I Did. This was closely followed with 34 comments on the post My Results and Lessons Learned From the Solo Ad Business.
The image below shows the grown of the the number of daily visitors each month to my website in 2013.
The crowning moment for my website came when it was voted as one of the top 25 Affiliate Marketing Blogs in 2013 by Affiliate Summit.
So yes, hard work does pay off.
Find a coach, mentor or join a Mastermind Group
The best thing that happened to me was getting my coach in 2012. He has completely changed my mindset and how I look at things. This has resulted in the incredible success I have had in 2013.
If you can afford it I would recommend hiring a life coach. They will work with you on your mindset, how you view things and what you can do differently to change. You will be totally amazed at what a difference that makes in your life.
For me one of the biggest changes my coach implemented for me was creating a morning ritual. It started with getting up at 5 AM every morning. And yes that included weekends too. For a person that spent the first 50 years of their life as a 10 AM to 10 PM person, the act of getting up every morning at 5 AM just basically sucked in the beginning.
Fast forward to today and I get out of bed every morning at 5 AM almost without question. I have between 5 AM and 7 AM to work on my online business. Making that one small shift allowed me to easily commit up to 2 hours each work day to my online business before leaving for my day job.
I pay my coach $500 per month. Yes it is expensive but I have never questioned that I have received more value than what I pay him.
If you cannot afford to pay a coach find a mentor. Better yet join a mastermind group. There is going to be a world wide meetup of like minded people on January 7, 2014. This worldwide meetup is sponsored by Scott Dinsmore of Live Your Legend.
Check here to see if there is a meetup in a city near you. If there is then go out on January 7th and attend the meetup near year. Surround yourself with like minded people and start a mastermind group composed of the people that you meet at the meetup.
What about 2014
In the first half of January I will be listing my short term and long term goals for 2014. I built this website on transparency to document My Internet Marketing Journey and invite everyone on the journey with me. I will continue with this transparency in 2014.
My Last Post of 2013
In the next few days I will make my last post of 2013. I will give you and update on where I stand on my current 3 projects – map website, meal plans website and my podcast. I have had quite a few ups and downs on these 3 projects and I will be sharing them in my last post. Be on the lookout for my last post.
As I sit and write this post, it will officially be Christmas here in 1 hour and 27 minutes. I want to wish all of my readers Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.