Every year I publish a review of what I achieved during the year, regarding my business, investments, and health. I review every major goal that I set for myself during the past year and discuss what happened to that goal. I also write about the good, the bad & the ugly that happened during the year & that I didn't plan at all in any of my goals.
I am writing these reviews to keep myself accountable and to really make a deep review of the past year. I also hope that these reviews can be inspirational for you and help you review your own goals! Or you can also simply read this review to laugh at all my epic failures 🙂
What Happened in 2017
My main business project in 2017 was SiteEngine, which was created from some side projects I was working on in 2016. Back then, I was using some custom-made software that I built to supplement my WordPress websites, for example, to offer a great shopping cart & checkout experience to my customers. I ended up with several pieces of software that were working great, but I had more and more issue making them communicate with WordPress & also with each other.
Therefore, I decided to merge all those applications into one, called SiteEngine, that is now powering all my websites. It is now an all-in-one online business platform, which is perfect if you have any kind of authority website where you are for example selling digital products, or an eCommerce site. Even if it took me a long time to build and to refine, I am really proud about it and happy that I now have this single tool that I can use to run my entire online business. And what I am even happier about is that it is now available for everyone to use, so don't hesitate to watch a free demo if you are interested.
I also traveled to some conferences this year, the first one being the Traffic & Conversion Summit in San Diego. It was the first big marketing conference I attended, and it was definitely worth the investment. I learned a ton in there about Facebook ads, email marketing, and digital marketing in general. I also had a chance to meet many great entrepreneurs there, and even met Patt Flynn at the end of one of his talks!
In summer, I went to the Empire Flippers retreat in Phuket, which was an awesome experience and totally different from all the conferences I went to. It was really focused on networking & masterminds in the authority websites building/buying field, and I had a blast meeting other entrepreneurs there & all the Empire Flippers team.
In 2017, I also used Facebook ads for the first time, especially after learning more about it during the Traffic & Conversion Summit. I know that for some of you it will sound crazy that I never used ads for my business before, but I have to admit I was quite adverse to ads before because personally, I don't like to see them on my Facebook feed. However, I really was diving into that during the year, I learned a lot, and at the end of the year I started to build my first funnels for some of my authority sites and started to have good results. I'll definitely work on scaling that in 2018 as this is what will allow me to take my websites to the next level.
I also released a new online course this year, called Passive Income Investing, dedicated to showing you exactly how I invest the profits of my online business. Inside the course, I teach how I invest my own money in my three favorite asset classes: dividend-paying stocks, real estate crowdfunding, and Peer-to-Peer Lending. That's a course I wanted to launch for a long time, as I know many people visiting my site are interested in investing for passive income.
That was basically what happened in my business in 2017! Now, as usual, I'll go through each of the goals that I had set for this year, and update you on whether I achieved this goal or not, and if not, what can I do to actually succeed on this goal in 2018.
Goal #1: 28,000 Euros/month of Business Income
Fail. As for the previous year, business income was my main goal for this year, as I use income to track how good my business is doing. This year, I set the bar really high, with nearly three times what I wanted to make in 2016.
This year, I have to admit I completely missed this goal, only making it some months just above the 10,000 Euros mark. This can be explained by several factors. First, I mainly focused on building SiteEngine during the past months, which was very exciting but not the most rewarding in terms of income, as I had less time to focus on the rest of my business that therefore didn't grow much.
I also didn't use my team as much as I could have, still doing several tasks I shouldn't do just because of a lack of organization.
Therefore, this will be again a central point of my goals for next year: scaling up especially using ads, creating more sources of income with my existing business, and massively using my team and SiteEngine in order to manage everything.
Goal #2: Net worth of 400,000 Euros and/or 4000 Euros/month of Investment Income
Fail. In 2016, I started to really get serious about investing and consistently invest in my favorite passive income generating assets: dividend-paying stocks, real estate, and peer-to-peer lending. Therefore, I had set myself a much more ambitious goal for this year: reach 400,000 Euros in net worth (including my profitable websites) and/or 4,000 Euros/month of investment income.
I didn't pass that far from this one, with a total net worth of 353,630 Euros, including 207,511 Euros in dividend-paying stocks, real estate, peer-to-peer lending. As I took a more active part in managing the websites that I bought, I will in the future mainly focus on counting this last part, which produces purely passive income that I don't have to spend time looking after. This part of the portfolio is currently producing around 1,100 Euros per month of completely passive income.
Goal #3: Sell My First Physical Product
Pass. This goal was more like an experiment, but I really wanted to get a foot into the eCommerce space and sell my first physical product. As at the end I didn't have so much time this year for this goal, I decided to go with a dropshipping experiment as it will mean no inventory to manage and a quick setup of the website that I will use to sell this product.
I decided to go for a very simple product: a fast wireless charger for the iPhone 8/X models, as those are the first iPhones with wireless charging. I managed to quickly setup a product page, send traffic via Facebook Ads (targeting specifically people with those phones), and then making a few sales in the process. I know it's nothing, but it was definitely an exciting experiment.
I want to continue this experiment in 2018, especially by selling products on my main authority websites, to replace some products I am now selling via the Amazon Affiliate program. With this, I plan to really raise the margins when selling those products directly to my audience.
Goal #4: Travel to at Least 4 Conferences to Meet Like-minded People
Pass. This goal was definitely my nemesis, as I failed on it for two years in a row (in 2015 and 2016), mainly because of procrastination booking the tickets & the flights.
This year, I am happy to announce that I managed to reach this goal, and attended four business conferences during the year. The first three conferences were the Traffic & Conversion Summit, the Empire Flippers Retreat, and the Content & Commerce Summit.
The last was very different, as it was a local conference where I live and where I gave a talk about online entrepreneurship in front of about 50 people. However, I really loved the experience of public speaking and definitely plan to do more of that next year.
Goal #5: Read at Least 24 Business Books
Pass. As I always said during the past years, I wouldn't be where I am at the moment without books. This year, I wanted to read 2 books per month, and I also happy to announce that I reached this goal with exactly 24 books read. I also have to say that I used the help of an app called Blinkist, that proposes detailed summaries of books that you can then read in 15 minutes or less. I basically used it to quickly get ideas from books, and then read the whole book for the books I liked.
Goal #6: Reach a Bodyweight of 82kg While Keeping my Body Fat Below 20%
Fail. I have to admit this is not really something I focused on this year - so I've basically increased my bodyweight a bit (now at 84 kg) while keeping my bodyfat as last year at around 25%. However, I created some new health-related habits that are now making me feel much better: I started running again every weekday, I am eating Paleo again most of the time, and I also completely cut on alcohol during the week.
That's all for 2017 - thanks again for reading this review! I'd be really interested to know what you think about this review, and also how 2017 went for you, so don't hesitate to comment below! As usual, I will soon publish a post about my goals for 2018, so make sure to check that out when it's released!