A few days ago, I turned 28.

For some reason, 28 feels significantly closer to 30 (aka being old) than 27 did. So, perhaps inevitably, I’ve spent much of the past week thinking about my plans and goals for the future, and what would make me happy.

To that end, I’ve decided to change the way I plan for the future.

You might remember I set goals for 2019 back in January. And I still plan to do a year in review post early in 2020.

But going forward I’m going to stop setting New Year’s goals and start publishing an annual lookback/-ahead on my birthday instead.

This is partly because October/November seems to be a more natural state of flux for me – when I’m thinking about these things anyway. And partly because I’ve decided – on reflection – that I don’t want to set myself “goals” anymore…

Instead, I’ll set out what I’m looking forward to and plan on doing for the year in advance, and – as I try out new things and better understand myself over the course of the year – I’ll write a recap of what changed and why.

I hope and believe this shift in focus from “did I achieve what I thought I wanted last year?” to “am I happier now than I was last year?” will be healthier for me long term.

I’m sharing this publicly so people know what I’m up to and what’s important to me right now. If it inspires you to move away from setting inflexible goals too, that’s great.

Let’s dive in…

📅 November ’19

My biggest priority in November is the Sales for Founders course.

There’s still a small bit of content to create, a lot of improvements to make, and I plan on launching the ‘final version’ in late November. That means a lot more marketing work, on top of the weekly podcast.

I’m also working on a side project, SparkLoop, with my friend Manuel Frigerio. I’ll talk more about what exactly SparkLoop is soon, but my plan is to spend 2-3 days per week in November working on sales and marketing for it.

In particular, making sure current customers are happy and working out how to turn their success into a viable acquisition strategy.

Finally, I’m looking ahead to my next project, the Social Proof Handbook, early in 2020.

For the handbook I want to be able to include real life case studies from 2-5 companies – how following my social proof framework made them significantly more money over the course of 2-3 months.

To have achieved those results by early 2020, I need to start working with these companies in December/Jan, which means finding them now.

If you know of a company (doing $10-250k in MRR) that you think would be a good fit for this, please let me know via email or Twitter!

📅 December ’19

In December, my main goal will be to spend time growing SparkLoop and seeing if it’s something I want to spend a serious amount of time on in the future.

My second priority will be in doing marketing for the Sales for Founders course (after the launch).

I’m a big fan of Christmas, and my favourite place in the World is London in the run up to Christmas, so I’ll spend December living and working there.

If you’re in London and fancy grabbing a drink or a coffee, it’s on me!

📅 January to March ’20

As we move into the New Year, my plans are less concrete.

The only thing I know for sure is that I want to take the first 3 months of 2020 to finally create, produce and launch the Social Proof Handbook.

On and off, I’ve been working on the handbook for two years now, and I’m really excited to finally get it out there.

Assuming Manuel and I are still enjoying working together (and both agree that SparkLoop shows promise), I’ll continue to spend a majority of my time growing that product too. Otherwise, I’ll probably sink all of my available time into launching the SP Handbook sooner.

These plans may change, but right now I plan on spending Jan-March in Tel Aviv, Israel. It’s the perfect place to escape the cold European Winter and I look forward to finally spending more than a few days there and experiencing the city as a local.

If you have tips on places to stay/eat/work in Tel Aviv (or just want to meet up for a drink on me) please let me know!

📅 April to October ’20

I have absolutely no idea what I’ll be working on for the second half of the year. And it’s nice to have that flexibility.

The only firm commitment I have is to attend my first MicroConf in late April – I’m looking forward to IRL meeting many of the friends I’ve made online over the past year or two.

If things are going well with SparkLoop, I’ll probably spend most of my time growing that.

Otherwise, I’ll continue creating content for the Social Proof Handbook and Sales for Founders course, and start thinking about new projects.

I already have a long list of opportunities I’d like to work on given the time, and I’m sure there’ll be many new ones that pop up over the next few months.

Ideally, I’ll find some time to redo my personal website (and this blog) – to make it less hideous so I feel more comfortable writing and sharing my thoughts here. Instead of a blog, I hope to collect a few of my more popular pieces of content and display them as articles here. I’ll continue to write updates like this, just perhaps in a different place.

Location-wise, I’m not sure where I’ll be. It would be nice to spend more time in London or Berlin, and I really enjoyed the few days I spent in Copenhagen a few years ago.

That pretty much takes me through to turning 29 on October the 18th, ’20.

🎁 Other things I’d like to try before I turn 29…

  • I’d like to appear as a guest on a few more podcasts for marketers and bootstrappers. More importantly, I’d like to do at least two serious talks/public speaking engagements about my social proof framework.
  • As far as sport and health goes, I’m currently in pretty good shape but could do with losing a few kilos. Recently I feel like I’ve reached the peak of how strong I can get in the gym without doing long term damage to my body, so I’d like to maybe take up a more social, outdoorsy sport to replace one or two gym sessions each week.
  • A big thing I’ve realised I need to work on is feeling less guilty about just hanging out with friends instead of working or being in the gym. Visiting new places should hopefully make this easier, as will spending some time in London where I have a lot of close friends from school/university.
  • Later in the year I’d like to take a look at outsourcing or automating a lot of my work. Laura Lopuch inspired me to look into this and I think a lot of my regular tasks (answering emails, producing podcast episodes, creating content) could be outsourced or automated in some way. Perhaps with a virtual assistant of some kind. I doubt I’ll get to this before summer ’20 though.
  • Finally, I’d like to read more fiction. There are a few books I’ve wanted to read for a while now, and I plan on starting with ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ by Thomas Hardy (one of my favourite authors).

That’s all – I’ll try and give updates at least every 2-3 months throughout the year on my progress, and I’ll do a full retrospective in early November ’20.

As always, if you have suggestions, questions or just want to chat, my inbox is always open 🙂