Well, hot diggity… Time flies. Way back in January (2018) I was inspired by a fellow blogger’s post in which he outlined his goals for the year ahead. I had vague visions of what goals I hoped to accomplish this year, but in early January – these aspirations weren’t documented. So, in essence, they had a worse chance of becoming realized. With the winds of inspiration at my back, I set out to outline and describe my goals for 2018 (the title picture of this post is worth the click…). I even went so far as to create a spreadsheet for these goals, where I would record values, pass/fail marks, and leave notes about experiences had.
For the first 4-5 months of the year, I killed it with the goals, writing on the spreadsheet included. And over the summer, I published my mid-year recap of the 2018 goals with my progress to that point. There was great progress, personal and professional growth, and even a surprise announcement (spoiler – we’re having a baby)!!!
(Are you sensing there is a “but” to follow??)
I’ll be honest. I stopped using the spreadsheet after that mid-year recap… But I didn’t stop in pursuit of my goals. I had some great wins and big losses ???? of 2018. And I’m here today to outline each and every one of those metrics as they relate to the initial goals I set out to achieve at the start of the year.
Simple – so that we can take from the experiences and hopefully improve as a Team… And so that I can hold myself accountable to the goals I hoped to achieve this year (I’m an only child, although I’m working on it – I’m still a bit narcissistic. Please bear with me here).
(Photo courtesy of Randy & Joyce Monfredi)
Here is my 2018 Year End Review – Learning from the past to best move forward
Grow business by 15% (Method – track collections) – Technically a loss… BUT – results in life exist within a spectrum
You know the money nerd that I am has a spreadsheet to track important metrics like this one, (and this is one spreadsheet I didn’t ignore). We also have accountant projections and reports… But, as my lovely wife (and technically boss) says – “Projections don’t mean $___.”
Granted, her statement was regarding fantasy football projections, but I think the sentiment holds true. You can forecast until you’re blue in the face. But if you don’t put systems in place to achieve your goals, those goals are irrelevant.
15% was an aggressive forecast for us, given that we purchased the business on June 30, 2017, and then immediately began construction on our new office, moved, and tried to grow our patient base all at the same time. Most of 2018 had been in a sort of limbo while we prepared for our new office, marketed it, and then opened for our patients on April 10, 2018.
However, excuses don’t add up to paying the bills… So, how did we do?
What we did: 8.7%
Facts are facts – we didn’t hit 15% growth 2017-2018. BUT – damn did we grow. Also, the close of our 2018 has been significantly improved over the previous 3 quarters. And, in spite of all the hurdles (we knowingly put in our own way – mostly), we’ve achieved great marks in our first full year as business owners.
You may be wondering (as I do sometimes) how we were able to achieve some portion of this lofty goal. Honestly, with a ton of hard work, some incredible luck, and the absolute best Team (staff) that you could ever hope for. I’ve outlined our philosophy in my post about increasing business revenue and I’ve written about taking care of your team in a guest post on a different site. For us, empowering our staff and putting our patients first has produced immeasurable results – that we hope to continue seeing moving forward.
Pay off 13.2% of total debt (Method – track all debt payments made on an e-file) –WIN
This was a depressing category to go through… Sheesh. I wrote about the near 7-figure debt we had accrued at our worst, and I’m happy to report that our plan to crawl out from that hole is in place and in progress.
What else could we be doing with this spent cash for these monthly minimums…? Lot’s of things. But that’s a different post for a different day.
The good news is that I automated this goal (partly by requirement and partly by choice) when the minimum monthly payments were set. So we’ve hit that 13.2% mark exactly with a solid high 5-figures of debt paid off this year. Win for team M!
Blog/Personal development goals
Grow blog traffic by 100% – Wow… WINNING (I say this as humbly as possible)
As I wrote in the original piece, “100% Blog growth wouldn’t be setting the world on fire here, but it sure would be exciting for me to see.” Well, I’m getting pretty excited at how we’ve done as a blog this year (yes – that most assuredly includes you Mr./Ms. Reader!)!
My… Looking back on my total numbers for 2017 was eye-opening. I tell people who are trying to lose weight that the most important thing they can do is to take before pictures. That is because you live with you, and you see yourself in the mirror every day. It’s very difficult to see large scale change with a constant adjustment of seeing yourself in the mirror each day. However, if you take before pictures, hide them, then come back to them a month… 2 months… 12 months down the road – normally I’m doing curls trying to pick their jaw up off the floor.
So when I look back at the “before picture” of MikedUp Blog’s metrics for last year – my jaw is effectively on the floor. I forgot what traffic had been for the first 1.5 years of the blog and completely discounted all the progress we’ve made in 2018… Wow.
Do you guys really want to know about behind the scenes blog stuff??
I’m honestly not sure, so I’ll do a quick overview and just let me know via email or in the comments if you care/would like more or less of this stuff.
As far as “blog things” I’m proud of in 2018, there are a few big ones that come to mind:
I set out to achieve 25,000 unique sessions in the month of August and made the mark – here is that story.
My writing was featured on some big publications like Business Insider and MarketWatch! – here is the full list of sites that have published my writing.
Not measured or linked to: I have made A METRIC TON of great friends via this site. Other bloggers, writers, and readers who I’ve connected with at one time or another. The site wouldn’t be where it is today without them and my life wouldn’t be quite as enriched as it is today without many of them. To you, my friends:
What’s the point of growing MikedUp Blog?
I’m not out here writing just for the sake of getting people to read it, then to have them simply go on about their lives. I want to impact your life in a positive way. When I write about fitness/finance/business/family my goal is to give you some value that can be applied to your life.
Every post isn’t designed to help everyone but if you stick with me, it’s my goal that there is at least 1 post each month that speaks directly to YOU. Together with readers and past clients, I know for a fact that we’ve collectively paid off over $200k in debt and lost hundreds of pounds in the last 2 years. We’ve also started businesses and improved aspects of our family lives – that’s big stuff!! And I want to keep that momentum going as we move forward!
The point of growing this site is to grow the positive impact we have on the people and world around us.
Crazy talk? Getting ahead of myself? Egotistical? … Negative. We’re here to improve as a Team and we’ll have more of an impact as our Team grows.
Read a book each quarter – FAILURE (AND I’M NOT COOL WITH IT – get your $h_t together, Mike)
I’ve read 2 books this year… Which is exactly what I had done at the mid-year mark. One book I could’ve done without (Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill) and another that may be the best book I’ve read in the last few years – 100% worth the read:
It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy, 10th Anniversary Edition
Here’s another book I’d like to highlight. Up to this point, we’ve given one book to each of our staff members which was required reading upon hire
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win (New Edition)
We have read and discussed Extreme Ownership as a group and ultimately we’ve used to help define our culture and process. Reading this book has been invaluable.
Fast one day each month – FAIL
I fasted one day each from January – March and then did not fast April – … That’s a 25% F for this one…
Rather than list a paragraph of excuses, let’s just save us the trouble and admit that fasting isn’t easy. My mental psyche had a chink in the armor and I failed for 3 months in a row, and then I proceeded to remove this goal from my mental space and I simply didn’t get it done.
I’m going to consider this goal for my 2019 list… But I’m not sure I want to commit to making this a priority, given the 2018 results.
Take my wife on a date at least once a month – Well – This one’s complicated
I’m seeing a trend here… Much like the fasting above, the months of January – March were solid. Babysitters, scheduled date nights, and actually deepening the connection as two young kids in love. It was glorious.
Then something happened in April. Well, a few things happened in April:
We moved our business and opened the doors at the new office on April 10. (This is kind of a big one and deserves two bullet points, don’t you think?)
(This bullet point is reserved for the announcement below… Which is also kind of a big deal… This was announced in my mid-year review)
Just as we were ready to get back to date night in earnest during May, something else happened…
Something that causes some women to be nauseous during the mornings. And the afternoons and the nights… This mysterious condition also comes with exhaustion quite commonly. You’re still not with me???
We’re having Baby #2!!! (update: who is arriving in early January!!!)
Let me answer your questions: Yes, I’m excited. Monica is ready to be done with pregnancy but also excited. We’re not finding out the sex and won’t announce the name(s) until after the big day. Due date is right around the turn of the year. !!!!!!! Stoked !!!!!! OK – back to the post.
We’ve been slacking on our dates to close out 2018, but have already started arranging babysitters and scheduled nights out for the two of us – and we’re damn glad to have them.
Teaser: We’ll have another big announcement coming in a few weeks or a month that should help in this category!
Take my daughter on a ‘date’ at least once a month – PASS (And I’m crushing this category like a grape)
With the news above, my daughter and I have had a few opportunities for splash pads, swim trips, hikes, cooking dates, dinner dates, etc. It has been great to spend some quality time together, that’s for sure – but we’re both rooting for mom to feel better soon!
Pray with my family each day – PASS
This is what I wrote in January and it holds still today:
Non-negotiable and something that we do a pretty good job at as is, but I will list this goal here to make sure the importance is stated. We pray before meals and at bedtime, and the process has helped bring our family closer together. No listing required on this one, as the relevant party doesn’t need my record to know if this has been done or not.
Did you set goals for 2018 and if so how have you done? I’m all ears if you have any suggestions/tips that I should consider as well, as I’m currently writing out my 2019 goals for your viewing pleasure. Let us know in the comments section and we’ll keep this conversation going!
Thanks for reading!
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I’m glad you’re here. Thanks again and talk soon!