My favorite thing about the end of the year? Reading the end-of-the-year blog posts from my favorite bloggers. Today, I’m pleased to show you my favorite summaries of what went right and what went wrong in 2011, along with some goals for 2012.
Mars is one of those guys you have to meet to really know. I met him in Berlin, during our 4 Hour Workweek Meetups in Berlin, and I realized how amazingly driven he is—he really wants to be the best artist in the (internet) world. It’s quite inspiring.
From the second you land on his page, you’ll see what I mean. Beautiful designs, cartoons, and art everywhere. He’s interviewed some amazing people, and produced some awesome projects.
What’s awesome about his 2011-summary list? It’s the sincerity you hear in his writing. For example, here is the biggest lesson he took away from this year:
Lesson: Don’t like your customers, luv them so much it makes your partner jealous like hell. Gary Vaynerchuk said the most important thing you can for your biz is giving a fuck – CARING about your customers as much as you can. I agree. Don’t blow your work, BLOW their minds.
Oh hey, I just noticed he mentioned me in this article! I didn’t even realize that before doing this post. Well hot damn, thanks Mars! I wish my name was as cool as yours!
Check out Mars’s End-Of-The-Year post here: MarsDorian.com – Read my blogging lessons of 2011 and avoid sucking as much as I didChris, if you read this—this is a pretty hilarious photo bro.
Chris, Chris, Chris, seriously, when are you going to learn? You can’t keep writing content this awesome—you’re messing it up for the rest of us!
Literally 100% of the conversations I have these days about lifestyle design ends up with Chris G entering the conversation. I love this guy—from his first manifesto about world domination, till his ridiculously awesome Frequent Flyer Challenge, till his perennially awesome Annual Review posts, I can’t get enough of this guy. I was lucky enough to meet him in Portland this year, and it killed me that he is even more honest and softspoken than the friendliest baby ocelot you could imagine.Chris G – Friendlier than the friendliest baby ocelot, no matter how many houses he’s set on fire.
Chris’s yearly Annual Reviews (redundant much?) influenced me to do the same, since 2009. I even keep an Excel Spreadsheet of my Annual Reviews, courtesy of his .xls template. His stuff is awesome, and his annual reviews are awe-inspiring.
Check out all 5 parts of his annual review. Me being the business man that I am, I enjoyed his business lessons the most. The biggest takeaways I got from this year’s business annual review were the following:
Monthly Pricing: A Good Thing – … My first recommendation to anyone creating digital assets would be: offer your products or services in a (limited) range of prices. Your customers will like this, and you’ll like it too—because people will spend more. But now I have a strong second recommendation: find a way to ensure that at least some part of your income arrives every month, regardless of how popular everything else is.
Additionally, I enjoyed this:
Webinars: Quick, Easy, Profitable – …That’s when I had the thought: instead of building a huge program, why not find a way to launch something quickly? Every day, people ask me the same questions over and over. Two very common ones are “How can I get started with traveling?” and “How can I work from the road?” Of course, we answer those questions in considerable detail with the Unconventional Guides products, but not everyone wants a whole product.
Check out Chris’s End-Of-The-Year post here: The Art Of Non Conformity – 2011 Annual Review – Business LessonsThat sexy black-and-white minimalist hue
I got to meet Ryan and Joshua just a few weeks ago, and despite making myself look like an ass by jumping to monetization-speak before even getting to know them, these guys were simply smooth. They went out of their way to come to San Francisco and be interviewed, even though they were heading on a long road trip the day after. The nicest guys you’ll ever meet.
Joshua’s a fiction writer as well, and his new short story collection is a page-turner—the type of book that made me take a bath, pull out the iPad Kindle app, and try not to drop it in the water during a 4 hour reading session. Check out and buy Joshua’s collection, Falling While Sitting Down.
These guys went from ‘not being able to spell HTML’ (they’ve said that to me every single time we’ve met) to having a blog with 100,000 monthly unique visitors. In just 8 months. Color me jealous. (Black and white?)
Anyway, here are some of the takeaways I winnowed from their amazing story.
A year ago we were really inspired by Leo Babauta, Colin Wright, Joshua Becker, Julien Smith, and others like them. And we still are inspired by them. A year later we’ve met these guys, been featured on their amazing websites, and established great relationships with them and dozens of similar people who have helped shaped our lives in meaningful ways.
A year ago we had spreadsheets full of goals, and we would beat ourselves up when we didn’t achieve those goals. Now Ryan lives with one goal at a time, and Joshua has no goals at all.
A year ago there was a considerable amount of discontent in our lives. Now we’re happy, and when we look in the rearview mirror, everything is different.
Brilliant. Check out The Minimalists’ End-Of-The-Year post here: TheMinimalists.com – A Year End Review: How Everything Can Change in a YearSean on a SWEET Golf Course in Bali
Sean and I simply click.
It’s rare to meet someone who is absolutely on the same page as you about everything. It’s happened only a few times before with me—with Tynan, and Rachman, and maybe just a few other people. But Sean and I just understood each other.
His blog always restates exactly what I’m feeling. His posts come from the same place as my posts—everything makes sense. It also helps that he bought me a delicious happy hour burger in Portland after getting me drunk at an ale festival.
So when I read his End-Of-The-Year Summary, it felt like the exact summary I was about to write. So instead of writing it, I let him do it for me.
3) I established my position as a relative expert. After talking with my buddy Nick about this concept a lot this year, I’ve worked to establish myself as a relative expert when it comes to location independence and running a real business from anywhere. You don’t have to know everything, you just have to know more than the dude hiring you. Once you make this mental shift, a legitimate business suddenly becomes much more attainable.
How you can rock it: Chances are you already are. What do you know more about than 95% of the population? It can be anything. Use that as a jumping off point for any new business ideas. Don’t discount your experience, as you’d be amazed what viable business opportunities you can find in very small niches.
Check out Sean’s End-Of-The-Year post here: Location 180 – 10 Things I Rocked in 2011 (And How You Can Rock Them Too) . Check out his other summary posts as well: 10 Things I’ve Sucked At With My Business in 2011 and My 10 Coolest Offices Of 2011.As Zen As Leo Can Get
Leo is the king (monk? Shaolin master?) of the minimalist movement. His blog is hugely popular, and through his ability to find zen in the midst of a busy world (San Francisco) and a busy family (6 kids!!!), Leo has inspired tons of people to find peace and relax.
So, the style of Leo’s end of the year post should come as no surprise: simple, easy, and clear. There isn’t much analysis, but just a solid list of accomplishment’s, successes, and favorite posts.
Some of the accomplishments that impressed me the most:
Zen Habits grew from 200,000 to more than 230,000 subscribers, had more than 12 million unique visitors, and was named by TIME magazine as one of the Top 50 websites in the world.
Leo mentions some of his favorite posts of the year, including:
- How I Changed My Life, In Four Lines
- Best Procrastination Tip Ever
- 38 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 38 Years
Great stuff from a great man. Check out Leo’s End-Of-The-Year post here: ZenHabits.com – The Essential Zen Habits of 2011
6) LeoDimilo.com – 2011 and Goals for 2012I don’t know how you ended up in my RSS feed, but your most recent post was great!
I don’t know much about Leo Dimilo, but I do follow his blog through my RSS reader. He’s an Internet Marketer, so much of what he experienced this year resonated with me.
So when I read the summary of his year, I found that many of the Things He Did Well are things that I want to do well. For example:
I started networking with other SEO professionals– 3 years ago, I did SEO but didn’t really know anyone. Fast forward to today and I have fostered some good relationships with online marketing professionals like myself. This year has been a great year for networking with others in the marketing world for me. Along the way, I have made friends with what I would consider some heavy hitters in the SEO world.
What about the things he learned? Well, they are clearly things that I have been learning as well.
Helping People is way cooler than making a pile of cash
You will make far more money with brand than with SEO
If you’re running a blog, and trying to learn SEO or Marketing, check out Leo’s post: it’s chock full of great advice. [1/2014 – Unfortunately, Leo’s site is down now, so the link doesn’t work :(]
Lis and I got into passive income strategies at the same time, when Hubpages were king and everything we learned, we learned from The Keyword Academy (still an awesome resource, btw). Lis has been continuing her passive income journey ever since, while I’ve moved into a different world.
I respect the work she’s put in, and her end of the year post is pure truth–you can see that she isn’t hiding anything. She really respects what she has done in the past year, but totally wants to improve. Some of the best parts of her post are as follows:
Well having just read The 10X Rule I had to cross out my $5000/month income goal- and ended up with a $50,000/month income goal! OK let’s revise that a bit – what I am able to make (on a good month) is $2500/month – so lets aim for $25,000/month!
My issue is that I’m a dilettante – I’m an amateur, I’m doing the right thing, but not enough, I still keep on chasing after shiny stuff. I’m over it. I feel great when I focus and actually achieve something. So that’s what I’m going to be doing!
2012 is gonna rock!
And its all gonna start here – because I have finally decided that if I’m getting serious about this business, this girl needs a business plan! So keep an eye out – because if any of you are struggling with the same stuff as I am – you probably need one too (and you can steal mine for free!) .
Lis, I wish you the best in achieving all of your goals: Personal, Business, or otherwise! Check out Lis’s End-Of-The-Year post here: LisSowerbutts.com – 2012 Goals – Introduction.
So—what about you, Maneesh?
Well, my End-Of-The-Year post is coming my friend. Just don’t expect it before, well, the end of the year 😉 Instead, I have a very special 90 Days Episode coming this Friday.
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