☯️ 2023 in Review

I don’t know about you, but 2023 absolute flew by for me.

Perhaps it was the mix of trips, illnesses, big business decisions, and lifestyle changes that, upon reflection, makes everything seem like a blur.

Overall, it’s another year to be grateful for, but it did have its challenges. Starting with…

Two big updates in my professional life.

Since selling LearnDash, my professional path has been a little less clear. I’ve experimented with different ideas, but they never panned out.

In August 2022, I decided to give software another push. Things were going great, until they eventually weren’t.

Shutting down GapScout.

I won’t drain this topic, as I’ve written about it before. But on a whole, I’ll just say that my professional life was a bit of a rollercoaster this year.

I spent a year of my life building the brand, but the software kept experiencing so many technical hurdles that it never got off the ground. When legal complexities entered the equation, I decided to just step away from it altogether. It was costing me a lot of money, and in the end I wasn’t happy.

I talked a lot with Lorena during this time, as I was feeling pretty defeated. These conversations and self-reflection eventually led me to what I am doing (and enjoying) today.

Starting up a business coaching practice.

Despite the disappointment with GapScout, I still find entrepreneurship invigorating.

My strengths are creative thinking, marketing & sales, brand positioning, and outcompeting competition. My experiencing starting, growing, and eventually selling LearnDash puts me in a unique position to help other founders.

In August, I was invited to be certified by the Professional Business Coaches Alliance (PBCA) to become a Certified Professional Business Coach. The certification gave me processes that I have since modified to fit my own style. I’ve also met some other great coaches, who I continue to work with today.

In September, I “opened the doors” for my coaching business, BrightGrowth.

I spent the whole of September and October offering free, 60-minute consultations to entrepreneurs all over the world. Things got so busy, that I’ve had to temporarily stop my marketing efforts to catch my breath and to just focus on serving my existing clients.

I’ve been posting on X about my journey with starting up a coaching business, and I plan to write more on this blog about what has worked and what has not. For instance, I’ve been pretty shocked with how useful Medium has been for finding new clients.

I’ll have my free strategy sessions again in January for the last remaining spots. If that’s of interest to you, then sign up here to book some time.

Personal life had some highs, and lows.

I think it’s pretty normal to have ups and downs throughout a year. All things considered, I am grateful for the positives that Lorena and I have experienced in 2023, but I’d be lying if I said 2023 was easy.

We managed more travel in 2023 than last year.

Lorena and I started our relationship right before the pandemic. This was very formative in ways we didn’t realize. For example, we haven’t regularly booked trips for just us.

We have travel to see family, but less frequently do we plan getaways (big and small) with one another. This year we changed that.

We hosted more people at our home this year as well.

This year we had a handful of visitors.

First, Lorena’s friend and fiancé came to visit us in January. It was nice to get to know them more before heading to their wedding in March.

Shortly after, my brother’s family visited us for the first time in California. My nephews loved it, and started working on their plans to move here, ha!

My parents came out for nearly a month in the early Spring, and Lorena’s parents and younger sister for her birthday in July.

In August, we hosted my childhood friends (and their wives) for about a week. We went to the beach, saw dolphins and whales, ate out, and just enjoyed being together (like “the old times”).

Lorena encountered a hurdle with her health.

Earlier in the year, Lorena got a blood test and all was good. However, a few months later, she was experiencing some troubling health symptoms (trembling, rapid heart rate, extreme fatigue, weight loss, and others).

Concerned with what was happening, she had another blood test done, and it showed that she was suffering from a hyperthyroidism, which was later confirmed as Grave’s disease. It’s a scarier name than the reality, but still quite disrupting to normal life.

Thyroid conditions (both hyper and hypo) are fairly common in the population, meaning that there is a well-known path forward — albeit a slow one. Lorena has been on the mend since June, and I’m happy to report that today she is much better (the symptoms aren’t as intense).

We aren’t out of the woods yet, but we are grateful for the positive progress.

Grandpa broke his hip.

My grandpa is 88 years old. As mentioned above, he has moderate to severe Alzheimer’s, but does well in my opinion. For instance, he still recognizes us and knows basics (like that we live in California). He just repeats himself a lot.

Shortly after our visit to him in September, he ended up falling and breaking his hip. He had surgery and the process went well, but it seemed to set him back mentally. His Alzheimer’s has gotten worse, and while it has bounced back a little, it isn’t back to what it was when we last saw him.

The entire situation is a reminder to me to not take life for granted. Embrace the moments of good health, because you never know what is around the corner.

My Spanish fluency is at an all-time high!

At the end of last year, I finally hit fluency, but of course that was just the beginning. I felt like after our trip to Mexico this year, my Spanish again reached a new level. I also continued my private lessons, but admittedly, they haven’t been as frequent as usual this last quarter because of life.

It seems that with each extended stay in Mexico to visit family, I make a leap. We have a few trips already planned to Mexico for 2024, so I think that trend will likely continue. Ultimately, my goal is to be a very solid C1 level of fluency. I’m probably at this level in certain scenarios, but I’d still classify myself as an Advanced B2.

I have some more thoughts on my Spanish goals that probably warrant a separate post in the new year.

I’ve lost about 10 pounds.

This year I was looking at some pictures of myself at the beach and, well, I wasn’t happy. I tried to get back on track with regular exercise, but it just wasn’t sticking.

So, I switched it up. For the first time in my life, I began tracking my macros (calories, protein, fat, and carbs). I am using an app called MacroFactor, and I have to say, it’s freaking working!

At the time of writing this, I’ve lost 9.6lbs (according to my app). I’m pretty close to my goal of 15% body fat, and I’m pretty excited about it! I haven’t weighed this much since college.

While tracking macros certainly works, it’s not sustainable — at least for me. Once I hit my goal, I’ll be going into maintenance mode and will drop the app.

Closing out this year a little tired, but grateful.

It was a big year.

There were ups, but more downs than I am used to.

I suppose that is just the flow of life. I try not to get too consumed by the tough times, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get worn out. All the more reason why I’m committed to resting for the remainder of this year, reflecting, and practicing being grateful for all that I have in life.

I have goals for the upcoming year, which I’ll get to in another post. For now, I’m just focusing on being in the moment, relaxing, and creating some final memories with family to close out 2023.

Have a happy new year, and see you soon in 2024.


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