Another eventful year is in the books, and I’m starting to think more about the coming year and what to expect.
If I’m honest, the past few years have been a whirlwind of activity for me and Lorena, with some huge life events. This coming year feels like an opportunity to slow down slightly and just enjoy life.
I am not one for making hard-set resolutions for a new year, but I do have general goals that I wish to achieve (or continue working towards) from a personal and professional standpoint.
The year of GapScout.
Since August of last year, I have been working on building GapScout. My goal for 2023 is to launch and grow the initial user base, ending the year in profit.
It’s hard to pinpoint a dollar figure for the business because there are still so many factors that I don’t know yet. That said, I think my first goal is making the first $100,000 in revenue for the business.
The beginning of the year will be quite eventful as I anticipate the release of the beta version, and finally getting real-world feedback from people. The one thing I am struggling with currently is pricing, so hopefully that will become more clear during that time.
Oh, and I want to do is stay small for as long as possible. I plan to use contractors to do this, and will likely do this all through 2023. To achieve this, I have been focusing on creating simplified processes that don’t depend on me specifically. Ultimately, I want GapScout to be a useful little tool that isn’t resource heavy.
A little side hobby.
While I am energized by GapScout, I don’t want to burn out from focusing on it every day, all the time. I like to learn new things regarding online business, and so this year I’m giving myself permission to pursue small side projects. For example, I enjoy building websites. Years ago (in my early 20s), I had success selling them too.
What is nice about this kind of hobby is that it’s not so technical. I can enjoy the process without the complications of building and selling software. I love that too, but sometimes my mind needs a break.
Paying it forward.
This is something that I have been thinking about quite a bit lately. When I was running LearnDash, I felt like I didn’t have the headspace to do anything else. I had obligations with employees, customers, and getting more customers. Then, I had to work on the sale of the business (which took about a year).
At the end of it all, I was burnt out – and I still had to help with the transition.
I started to reflect more on what I wanted to do with my time, and something that I have always enjoyed was teaching. I used to give presentations at conferences about areas of entrepreneurship, and I always felt energized by them afterward.
I have travelled a path that many wish to travel, but don’t know how. I have learned so much along my entrepreneurial journey, and I wish to share these lessons learned.
I am looking into ways to teach formally, starting by looking at adjunct professor openings at the local universities in my area. That said, I am open to bringing the world of entrepreneurship to children as well.
I am still working through what any of this will look like, but I do know I am feeling a calling to teaching, and I intend to explore that further.
Finally taking the time to travel just for ourselves.
Lorena and I first met just before the pandemic started. In a way, the lockdown significantly progressed our relationship, as we were isolated with one another without any of the typical distractions.
During the first couple of years, we couldn’t do much travel. Our trips always involved going to see family. I enjoyed the prolonged stays, but now that the worst of the pandemic is behind us, we finally feel that we are in a position to take trips for just us.
It’s not that we haven’t had some vacations. We have, but they have been more local to the U.S. or Mexico. We are excited to explore Europe, specifically Portugal and Italy. We also have an interest in going to Japan, as neither of us have been to Asia.
In addition to some of these longer trips, we intend to travel more around California, and the West Coast in general, such as to Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, and Salt Lake City.
We have the time and the ability to travel this year, and we intend to do so. Of course, we are also looking forward to seeing family as well in Mexico, Michigan, Illinois, and Connecticut this year as well.
My Spanish journey to C1 fluency.
I think last year will always be the year of my biggest progression in Spanish, and I won’t lose sight of that. It was the year that I finally reached fluency!
But fluency is not perfection – and I am far from perfect. I need to learn more vocabulary, get more comfortable and quicker with certain verb conjugations, and improve my general conversational understanding.
The point is, I do well today, but I could get better. I sometimes fall into a habit of saying the easier thing than what I really want to say because the grammatical structure is more complex than what I am used to.
This year, I plan to work with my online tutor four days a week. I started this process in the middle of last year, and it really helped me get to that next level. I reached the B2 level, and now my eyes are set on C1. I think realistically, being a strong C1 is the best I can hope for in the language. I am aiming to reach this level within one to three years. My tutor thinks that by the end I’ll be in the early C1 phases. We’ll see!
I’ll need to know more words (vocab will never stop), practice advanced grammar, and ultimate expose myself more to the language via television, books, and conversation.
Most importantly, I will try to embrace every moment.
As I approach 40, I am starting to better understand that every single moment in my life is a blessing. Nothing is guaranteed, and time is so precious.
I am more patient than I have ever been in my life. I am now taking the time to appreciate the small moments that I have with Lorena, my parents, her parents, and our friends. I want to grow in this outlook. Like many people, I sometimes have trouble keeping the small things small – but I am aware of this, and I am trying to improve.
Overall, I am optimistic and excited to live life in 2023. I anticipate that it will be a year full of memories, laughs, and love.
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