Wow. What a year it was! I lost close to 10kg, did my first triathlon (and two more afterwards!), wrote my first solo book, launched Nozbe 2.0, radically changed our business model, created a new project (to be launched in 2015) and started growing my team the right way… and I still feel like I’ve yet so many things to accomplish! If you’re curious what I learned from all this, read on:
I was going to run more, lose some weight and develop my business…
In January of this year I wrote: “2013 was great and for 2014 I intend to keep running in biz & life - well, I must say I delivered more than promised. It started when I came back from my family Christmas vacation with additional 2 kg… I decided to finally do something more radical about my weight and just went with the slow carb diet all the way for 2 months straight… this triggered all the changes in my life this year:
- I “changed” my body…
- I wrote my first solo book..
- And I re-set my business goals
Part 1 - total body makeover - from an overweight runner to a lean triathlete!
- Body weight - in the beginning of the year I started with the slow carb diet and this fundamentally changed my eating habits. I lost 6kg in the 2 months with the diet… and learned two things: eat less carbs and eat regularly (every 3 hours). Thanks to these principles I managed to lose 3 more kg in the following months. Now my body weight is between 65-66 kg and I intend to keep it there. I feel 10 years younger!
- Sports - running - In 2013 I had a knee injury so I didn’t run as much as I wanted, but still, 387km total, which is a little over 30km per month. This year I’m only 14km away from crossing 700km mark (and I intend to have my longer run after Christmas), which is close to 60km per month. I doubled my running distance. My plan for 2015 is to cross 1000km in a year - around 80km per month.
- Sports - cycling - I did my first triathlon in May and I loved it. So I bought myself a bike. Two bikes actually - a road bike and a mountain bike. I did 1500km of cycling this year. My plan is to cycle a lot more next year. I actually want to double that: 3000km. I love cycling on both bikes. Love taking my daughter to school, going out to the mountains, going 30+km/h average on my road bike… it’s a fantastic sport. Although I should be more careful, too.
- Sports - swimming - I did my first “Total Immersion” training this Summer. The result? I enjoy swimming now! Seriously, I love swimming in the sea even in the Autumn - and I can do 1km crawl no problem! In 2015 I have to work on my technique and speed. I’m still very slow… but I really love swimming now, so I think it’s a good start.
Yes, you can change your body in a year! At 35!
I’m really amazed I made it all happen. I totally changed my body this year, started new sport disciplines and had a great time in the process. And I did it all at 35, while working full time and being a father of 2 and a husband full time, too. It’s all possible.
In 2015 I’m planning to just keep going and keep improving:
- keep my weight at 66kg while increasing my muscles
- run more regularly, do 2-3 10km races and maybe 1 or 2 half-marathons
- cycle more, do around 5 triathlon races, most of them the short “sprint” distance, maybe 2 olympic ones.
- swim more, and faster, do 2-3 1km swim races apart from triathlons.
- do a total of: 3000km cycling, 1000km running and 100km swimming.
Part 2 - best-selling author… giving a #passionbook for free
This year I turned 35 and gave away a book I wrote on 7 types of passions I discovered while running Nozbe.
It was a great project. I loved the idea of giving away a book as a gift… and I’m happy to report that more than 6000 people read my book. Sweet.
For 2015 I have a new book idea and I want to give a shorter version of the book away for my birthday and actually publish a very cool productivity-focused book next Fall. Stay tuned. I’m going to blog big parts of it next year as well, so keep following me here :-)
Part 3 - launching Nozbe 2.0 and expanding my business the right way…
- Nozbe 2.0 was a big deal - we finally have a mobile-first application and it’s great. And it’s not just me saying this… we’re receiving rave reviews from all over the world. It took us a year and a half to ship it but we did it. I’m very proud of my team here.
- New Nozbe PRO account is even a bigger deal - now when you sign up for Nozbe you’re getting a fully-featured 30-day trial - you get the whole Nozbe experience which helps you decide to upgrade or not. You can still choose a free account after your trial. The best part is that the basic account is for two people. Yes, you get 2 accounts for the price of 1. This way, when you pay for your Nozbe account you can invite your partner and get things done together. Short term it was a revenue hit for our company, as many people downgraded from old Family plan to the new PRO plan… but long term we know it was a good decision. It’s good for our customers so it must be good for business :-)
- Expanding my team… the right way - this year I had a tough lesson as it comes to hiring people for my team. I realized we needed a longer process to be able “hire slow and fire fast”… and get the right people on board. The best part, I’m not hiring anymore myself. My team is hiring and I’m just the last interview in the hiring process. This way it’s my team who’s choosing people they want to work with. I just enable them to do so. We’ve just hired a new developer, we’re in the process of hiring another one and a second graphic designer. And significantly expanding our customer support and marketing teams… and 2015 will be really important for me and my team as we’re going to expand and we want to do it the right way.
- Seeing my team do a great job - as with hiring, the same way with setting up processes - I love seeing my team work together. I know my job is not this of manager… but of an enabler - I need to enable my team to get amazing things done… and when I do, they are doing great. All across the board I’m happy how our COO works together with VP of Support, how our new VP of Software works with VP of Product and CTO… I just see teams doing things together and I really see synergies all across the board. It’s an amazing experience to see how my team works. I love witnessing it and enabling them to shine.
In 2015 I’m planning to double down on marketing activities for Nozbe, expand my team more, keep everyone motivated and connected (more company-wide meetings!). I think we have a fighting chance to reach 1M users next year (we’re at close to 300K now) so let’s make this happen!
Bonus - a side project inspired by the Productive! Magazine
I’m passionate about productivity and about digital publishing. Our Productive! Magazine family has just grown a lot more this year and inspired by this success and what we’ve done to make it happen, early next year we’re launching a second business. We’re very close to having an MVP - Minimum Viable Product - which we want to launch soon and see how the reception is going to be. We believe it’s going to revolutionize the digital publishing industry… but only time will tell. Stay tuned.
2014 was a great learning experience, 2015 is going to be even better :-)
Overall 2014 was a steep learning curve. It sounds from my post as if everything went smoothly. Far from it. It was a big learning experience for me. To learn about my body, nutrition, sports, running my business, working with my team, leading it the right way, my role in all this… I’ve had lots of ups and downs this past year but I think I’ve grown a lot more as a person. I’m a learner by nature and it was my best year thus far when it comes to learning and advancing in my roles.
Question: How was your 2014? What did you learn this year?