This time it took me a while to do some thinking and reviewing. We’re 7 days in 2016 and I’m still processing all the lessons I’ve learned from 2015. Overall it’s been a pretty stable year for me, but some things didn’t go as planned or were more challenging that I anticipated. Here goes:
My 2015 in a nutshell would be like this:
I’m still a fit triathlete, but didn’t reach my fitness goals, although had lots of fun riding my bike, running and swimming. I gained a few pounds of weight which I need to lose this month to prepare properly for what’s to come in 2016. In business I doubled my team count while maintaining the business revenue at the same level as last year. This means in 2016 I need to do less hiring and more marketing, to make up for all of it.
This is the gist of it. If you want to know more, keep reading:
- Body weight - I maintained my 66-68kg (145-150lbs) body weight throughout 2015 but at the end I slacked off a little (and then Christmas happened with lots of family visits and delicious food…) and today I reached 70kg (155lbs) of weight and I’m not happy with it. I’m a short guy so it’s too much. I’m doing something about it starting today: I decided to go on a slow carb diet again for the month of January to get back to my “normal” levels and have a great 2016. Goal: 66kg by January 31 and then 65-66kg throughout the year.
- Sports - running - in 2014 I did a staggering (for me) 700km total of running. I was planning to run 1000km in 2015 but I hardly even did half of that. I wasn’t consistent… And I did only 461km which I’m not happy about. Goal for this year: 800km - or ~16km a week. Lessons learned: track my running weekly.
- Sports - cycling - in 2014 I did 1500km but I only started to cycle seriously in May of that year. Last year I did 2246km which comes down to similar amount of cycling per month. And in July alone I did particularly well as I did more than 500km of cycling (summer!). Anyway, more consistency needed as well as I want to reach the goal of 2500km in a year, or ~50km per week.
- Sports - swimming - in 2015 I didn’t improve my swimming as much as I had hoped. I hired a trainer in the first months of the year but I didn’t like his training style and I had to stop training with him. Next week I’m signing up for some regular swimming with a Total Immersion trainer to really improve my stroke and speed. The goal for this year is to swim 50km total, or ~1km per week.
- Sports - triathlons - in 2015 I did only 2 triathlon races (Olympic distance: 1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run) and I loved both of them… And I should have done more of those. Goal is to double that and do at least 4 races. Nope, not doing any half-ironman or ironman ones… For me the ~3hour race is enough to have fun, enjoy it while taking my body to my limits.
- Sports - overall - I just want to be more consistent. I don’t have lots of time to train as I’m running a business and I have a family with two kids to take care of… However, I do want to make sure I get around 1 hour of training each work-day. Just that. With some bonus bike ride with friends, or a triathlon competition on a weekend. I do also want to run a couple of 10km races just for kicks and maybe finally do 1 half-marathon because why not.
Writing, blogging and podcasting
- Regular podcasting - as you know I’m now doing a regular podcast with my Nozbe buddy Radek at The Podcast. We love doing it and we love getting your feedback and interacting with the listeners. This year we want to keep doing that and try to take it to a whole new level.
- Blogging - last year I started blogging 5 times a week here in June and kept it up more-less until the end of the year. I loved that consistency. “Shipping” a blog post to you felt great and I want to keep it up this year. I’m starting late as today is the 7th already… But better late than never, right? What I do want to change is re-focus this blog more to NoOffice theme - I don’t want to be just “a productivity guy” - I want to be “that guy who’s productively running a successful business with a team of 20+ people all working from home”. This is what this year will be about for me.
- Book writing - it’s time for me to start preparing to finally publish my NoOffice book. I’ve already started posting longer essays about it and I’ll be doing this regularly from now on. I’m doing an outline of this book now and in 2016 I want to start this process well. The goal is to reach all the milestones necessary to publish the book successfully in 2017.
- Doubled my team to 24 people! - yes, in 2014 there were 12 of us. Now Nozbe team consists of 24 highly-motivated people and I love working with them. Last year I wrote I’m going to “hire the right way” and we did just that. It wasn’t easy. We had some missteps along the way and we had to learn to “hire slow and fire fast” but in the end I love our team as it is right now. Being a CEO with a company of this size is a challenge I had to accept last year but every month I feel better and more confident running an all-remote team this size. This year we’ll hire a few more folks, but not as many.
- 10 languages supported! - we doubled the amount of languages we support at Nozbe - from 5 to 10. We offer all our materials and email customer support in all these languages. So it wasn’t that we just “translated the app”. We also work with 10 dedicated freelance translators to help us with all this. Now my job is to build on that and make sure we’re the no.1 productivity app in these languages! Now that’s a challenge.
- Revenue was flat - now that was a bummer. For the first time we didn’t notice a steady year-over-year revenue growth. We reached really great levels in 2014 so on one hand it’s great we matched them in 2015… But considering how much we invested in our team and the infrastructure, it wasn’t what I was hoping for. This year we’re shooting for the moon and we want to reach a significant growth and my focus is on making sure we grow our business and become one of the leading productivity apps on every market we’re in. I mean, we have a great app that helps so many people get more done… And it’s all our fault that we don’t manage to bring it to more people and help more teams communicate through tasks better. And just like I wrote in my book: “It’s all about Passion!” - money is not a goal, but a benchmark - more revenue means more people are successfully using Nozbe and getting things done. It’s that easy.
- Essentialism - focus and less side-projects - last year we launched Remag which I was really looking forward to. We do the Productive! Magazine on this platform and I wanted to convert this to a business. It didn’t do so well. There was some interest, but not enough to make it worth our while. This year I want to keep it as our technology product and really focus on Nozbe.
2016 for me: family, fitness on personal side… No Office and Nozbe on business side.
That’s what 2016 is going to be like for me:
Personal side: I’m going to focus on spending even more quality time with my family while staying fit and being more consistent with my training. Business side: I’m going to focus on expanding Nozbe’s horizons with amazing marketing and great product enhancements (Nozbe 3.0 coming soon!) while spreading my “no office” message to everyone who is considering working remotely or building a productive remotely-working team
Question: How was your 2015? What are your plans for 2016?