2018 was an interesting and very challenging year in many ways, so I thought it would be a good time to finally bring back the Annual Review post.
Yes, I actually used to write both Annual Reviews and epic quarterly business and lifestyle reviews before, but somehow I haven't written a new one since my 2015 Annual Review.
This is about to change, since I really missed conducting a proper annual review and publishing it publicly on the blog each year (and I may even bring back the quarterly reviews as well moving forward). These were always some of my most popular and well received posts in the past.
A lot happened in 2018... both good and some not so good things, and I'll try to be as transparent as I can in this post so you'll get a full behind the scenes look.
Now that 2019 just kicked off, I wanted to take some time to write an awesome annual review post for 2018 and I will focus on a few simple, but very important questions:
So now, let's look at 2018, the year I took a few steps back to make giant leaps forward.
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Note: This in-depth annual review post is several thousand words long, so you can check the table of contents below to jump to the section you'd like to dive in to more.
Quick Recap Of Previous Years
In case you're new to me, or need a little refresher, here's a recap of previous years (2013-2018).
2013 - My First Year Online
For those of you who don't know this, 2013 was actually the worst year of my entire life but I managed to turn it into a year full of personal growth.
My younger brother suddenly passed away April 4th 2013, and my life has never been the same since then... it pushed me in more ways than I thought possible to do big things in this world.
2014 - Hosted My First Summit, Quit My Job & Moved Abroad
2015 - Crushed It With Affiliate Promos, Traveled The World & Finally Launch Virtual Summit Mastery 1.0
2016 - Launched VSM 2.0, Hosted List Building School Summit and Tripled My Online Business From 2015
The two biggest mistakes I made in 2016 was to hire an affiliate manager and an automation person on retainer... looking back, it was not a very smart decision to pay about $2,000 per month each on retainer.
My business did a lot better when I let both of them go, and I moved away from Infusionsoft and took care of the affiliate management myself in house. You don't always have to hire expensive people to grow your business if you work smarter instead.
That said, I still brought in a very healthy profit in 2016, so it didn't hurt my business that much... just sucks a bit to waste money like that.
2017 - The Year I Moved To London
2017 was overall a great year, but I didn't quite live up to 2016 in terms of growth and revenue... mostly because I traveled so much and I made some not so good decisions along the way that affected everything.
What Went Well In 2018?
Now that I've given you a quick recap of previous years, let's start off this section with what went really well in 2018.
1. Virtual Summit Mastery 3.0
This was a big focus throughout most of 2018, and I'm very proud to say that Virtual Summit Mastery 3.0 finally is ready.
I launched a brand new LMS (learning management system) where we added all my programs and summits, including VSM 3.0, and the feedback has been amazing so far from our students.
Although I didn't do a big launch for VSM 3.0 in 2018, I did launch the VSM Elite+ Coaching program, which is a more premium version of the regular VSM Elite program.
We brought in dozens of new students and I've really been enjoying helping them for the past few months.
We're most likely not going to offer this for much longer, and only focus on the regular VSM 3.0 Elite Implementation Program.
Without much effort (or even an automated webinar in place at the time of writing this review), the current super simple "application funnel" still brings in multiple 5-figures each month organically (both from Google, my own email list and referrals).
2. New NavidMoazzez.com website
I revamped my entire NavidMoazzez.com website design and branding (the site you're on right now) in 2018, and it was well worth it.
I'm very happy with the work my team put in and how it turned out... it became a way bigger project than I first had in mind, but at least we have a very solid base now and we won't need to do a major overhaul for at least a couple of years.
I suggest taking a look around the site if you're new here or if you haven't had a chance to check it out yet 🙂
3. Recorded professional Virtual Summit Mastery case studies
I've always been very big on featuring our successful students, and made it an even bigger focus during 2018 to up the quality of our case studies with in-person videos.
This started in Colorado Springs and Las Vegas towards the end of 2017 when I hired Gary Huff (who also works with Ryan Levesque) to do professional case studies for me.
I kept going with this, and hired him again to come out to San Diego during Traffic & Conversion Summit in February of 2018... and it's safe to say that we got quite a lot done during that time (besides case studies with students, we also shot quite a lot of b-roll I can use for different things in my business).
Of course it's not all the time I can meet in person with a student (and it's quite costly to do that as you can imagine)... then I usually try to record it with the highest possible quality over vMix (the live streaming software I use to record). After the initial recording with a student is done, we can add b-roll and make it look a lot better.
Check out this playlist below featuring some of our successful Virtual Summit Mastery students.
4. Affiliate marketing
Most people may not know that I've been generating 6 figures in affiliate commissions consistently each year for the past couple of years.
Besides doing really well with virtual summits and product launches in the past, generating consistent affiliate income each and every month is really how I could afford to figure out where I really want to take my business and brand moving forward in 2018.
I basically don't rely on my VSM program and summit revenue at all for my living and business expenses, which is a pretty good position to be in.
Over the years I've changed my approach a bit to affiliate marketing.
And I did extremely well doing it, making multiple 6-figures in commissions from just a few promos.
I will keep doing that from time to time for programs I really believe in. That said, I'm not a super big fan of a one-time affiliate launch where you make a bunch of money during just that one promotion (you kind of "burn" your email list a little bit too, especially if you go all in for a launch like that).
If these programs had awesome evergreen funnels, then it would make a lot more sense for me to promote all the time (as I don't necessarily have to do email promos, and I could even have specific funnels for each one).
The honest truth is, most online entrepreneurs simply don't have that in place and they just limit affiliates to promote 1-2 times a year, which is quite unfortunate (especially for someone like myself who rank very well in Google and YouTube for key terms, and I could drive traffic in other ways than from my email list).
For example, I even managed to finish #16 on the leaderboard for Ryan Levesque's ASK Method Masterclass launch in 2018 without sending a single email or posting anywhere on social media about it during the 3 week launch period. That's because I have an in-depth review that's ranking in Google, and also a video on YouTube, which brought in leads and some of them bought the program via my link.
There's something even better than that...
What I prefer these days are RECURRING affiliate commissions. I put in the work once, and the reap the benefits forever (with some occasional promotions and new content / updates around it of course to keep things relevant).
Tools like ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, ClickFunnels, RightMessage, Deadline Funnel, Teachable, Thinkific and a few other tools, all have awesome affiliate programs, which I make a pretty solid affiliate commission from each month.
I've also generated a multiple 5-figure income just from sharing ThriveCart (my most recommended shopping cart and affiliate management system) with my audience.
Worth mentioning is that I only promote products, tools and resources I use and can stand behind 100%. I've even written in-depth ultimate reviews for some of them.
NOTE: If you're interested in more info how I'm generating a significant income each month from honest affiliate marketing strategies that basically pays for me to travel the world, feel free to let me know. I've considered creating an online course around this for quite some time if there's enough interest for it.... and you don't need a massive audience to make this work (in fact, you could start with pretty much no audience to generate your first few affiliate commissions).
5. Free email newsletter updates
For the first few months of 2018 I actually didn't send a single update to my entire email list, since I was working on some other things behind the scenes. I kind of regret this as I missed out on quite a lot of opportunities and obviously lost revenue.
Early in 2018, I did start sending a weekly VSM Newsletter which went really well. We sent it for 52 weeks straight, before I decided to not keep it a regular newsletter anymore (I will basically send it only when I have an important VSM community update, new training and things like that to share).
6. Free blog posts and ultimate guides
I'm going to be very honest here... for the past few years I haven't focused on putting a lot of free content out there on the blog.
And for most of 2018, I didn't publish any new blog posts or guides on this site.
That said, during the second half of 2018, we started working on brand new ultimate guides and posts. This took a ton of work, but it'll be worth it in the long run when more organic traffic starts to come in from the efforts we put in once.
Blogging is definitely not a quick way to grow your email list and making money online, but if you have the resources, it's definitely worth it.
I plan to continue a semi-regular schedule for the blog throughout 2019... sometimes we may publish more, sometimes less... but the promise to you is that we'll always focus on in-depth, high-quality content on NavidMoazzez.com.
Heres' what I've published so far (at the time of writing this annual review... I've published more epic content for the past 1-2 months than in the past 2-3 years combined on the blog!):
7. Travel, Speaking & Masterminds
Ideally I would have liked to travel more in 2018 (especially to new more new countries), but the first half of the year was still really good in this regard, so I thought I'd include the travel highlights here.
I also hosted a mastermind and spoke at another one, so I'll include some details about this below.
I actually went for a really quick visit to my old hometown Stockholm early 2018 to renew my passport and to visit my family quickly, but I'll start with the more exciting places I traveled to (at least for me personally).
In early February I went to Medellin to speak at Ron Reich's mastermind and explore the surroundings (I even went to the deep jungle and white water rafting for 2 days).
If you get the chance, I highly recommend you check out Medellin. There's a great digital nomad community there too you can connect with.... and the weather is very pleasant (which is why they tend to call it the city of "eternal spring").
San Diego, USA
I went to San Diego late February 2018 for three main reasons:
1. To connect with like-minded entrepreneurs and marketers who were there for Traffic & Conversion Summit (I didn't even get the ticket for it, just went for networking).
2. To host an exclusive one-day mastermind for a small group of people.
3. To record awesome case studies with VSM students and shoot some great broll for my own videos. My awesome videographer Gary Huff flew out and did a great job for little over a week.
I actually flew first class from London to LA first, since I got a really good awards flight where I used some of my points (thanks AMEX!). Instead of $15,000 for the first class British Airways flight, I only paid about $500 🙂
Lake Tahoe, USA
Later in March I went to Lake Tahoe, and took my girlfriend skiing for the first time.
We went to the Heavenly resort, and it's absolutely amazing there... what a view!
San Fransisco, USA
After snowboarding and skiing in Lake Tahoe, we took the car and drove all the way to San Fransisco.
I really like San Fransisco and we even had beautiful weather during the short time we spent in the city.
High Way 1 Road Trip, USA
I've taken this trip down High Way 1 with my family over 10 years ago.
This time together with my girlfriend, I decided to rent a super nice Mercedes AMG using the app Turo for a few days. We drove down High Way 1 all the way to 7 Mile Drive and Pebble Beach area.
It's for sure the most incredible road trip I've ever done... I can't wait to go back in the future and document more of it on video than we did this time around.
Puerto Rico, USA
I was asked to speak at Mark Wade's Puerto Rico Masterminds, and gave a talk about how go grow your online business with virtual summits (on the beach... literally). The attendees loved it, and a few of them even signed up for VSM 3.0 later on.
Worth mentioning is that that Pat Flynn was the keynote speaker at the mastermind, and everyone who participated were really awesome people. I highly recommend it to anyone if you get a chance to attend in the future.
I also spent a few days in Miami before I went back to London.
I always feel at home In Miami... love the vibe!
The rest of the year from May was mostly spent in my home in London in order to really focus and get a lot of work done for VSM 3.0, and launch my new website.
Right before Christmas, I went on a little trip to Valencia, and had a good time together with my girlfriend. I didn't take that many photos though as it was mostly a trip for us to unplug for a few days (at least as much as we could).
What Did Not Go Well In 2018?
Now let's talk about what didn't go that well in 2018 and where there's room for improvement.
1. Health & Fitness
Although it was one of my big goals of 2018 to get back in the best shape of my life, I only have myself to blame that I didn't achieve this one.
I've always been a healthy person, and I still consider myself pretty healthy, but I let my workout sessions slip, and didn't do that consistently for quite some time.
I had too many things going on to really get into it, but I realize that's a pretty lame excuse at the end of the day.
So with that being said, this will become a big goal for me in 2019 to get back in the best shape of my life (more on this later in this annual review).
Although we finished most of the bigger projects we had planned for 2018, in some cases we missed the deadlines we set internally.
This needs to get much better in 2019... both from my end, bot also from my team. I actually let one of my team members go (she did great work and I'm very thankful for her help with VSM 3.0 and some other things over the years, but when you miss most of the deadlines you set for yourself, it simply won't work out in the long run, so it was best to part ways).
3. Marketing / Promotion
They say that if you're not "marking" or "promoting" yourself and publishing consistent content online, you pretty much don't exist in this online world we live in.
And that's kind of what happened to me for a big part of 2018.
I wasn't doing any marketing and "live" promotions... I wasn't even posting anywhere for a few months (besides helping our existing students and working on VSM 3.0).
Someone even thought I disappeared completely... which I thought was quite funny...
I consider myself pretty good at marketing and I've made well over $1 million from my virtual summits, online courses, coaching programs and affiliate promotions since I started out online (and my clients and students have generated 100,000's of email subscribers and millions of dollars in revenue in just the past year alone)...
But in 2018 I wasn't at my best when it comes to promoting myself (for a good reason).
What happened is that I reached the point where I wasn't feeling super motivated anymore, and I didn't know what I wanted to do with my business and brand, despite all the success I've had throughout the years.
I think most people who've been doing the same thing year after year reach a point where they feel this way. For me, 2018 was this year.
It took me a while to get back my fire and get motivated again. After the first few months of traveling, I got settled more in London, and focused on finishing up VSM 3.0.
During this time it was hard to do other things, as I have a small team, and we were all focusing on getting this program done to my existing students first and foremost as we've promised. I spent long days in my home studio recording the VSM 3.0 program and creating all the resources.
After we finished this massive project, I finally started writing emails to my main list again, launched my new website, and let people join VSM 3.0 after scheduling a call with me to see if they're a good fit.
So despite not doing as many promos and stuff like that during 2018, the year still ended pretty well (not as great as 2016 or 2017 in terms of revenue, but I still brought in multiple 6-figures between VSM 3.0 and recurring affiliate commissions).
In 2019, I will be doing a lot more marketing. I'm a big fan of evergreen and organic traffic, and that's what I'm going to focus on so it can run 24/7, even while I'm sleeping and not doing any work.
4. Too many unnecessary expenses
I did a big overhaul of my entire business and the tools I'm paying for at the end of 2018, and I noticed that I was spending money on some stuff I barely use (or even worse... don't use at all), so I decided to simply cancel all of that to avoid these unnecessary expenses.
I'm also looking at what value some tools bring to my business, and if it makes sense to justify the expense. Although the cost of a tool matters very little to me, I also don't want to waste money on something that we don't have use for, or something that isn't that valuable or great in the first place.
Another aspect I looked at was my personal expenses.
And as you can imagine living in central London is far from cheap... and besides the rent, there's a ton of other expenses that comes with it like council tax and stuff like that.
So I decided to basically cut all my expenses from London when I decided that I want to be traveling the world more, so I only have a residential/business address in London now, but it's not that expensive since I won't be there all the time.
By looking at both my business and personal expenses, and cutting unnecessary things out, I was easily able to free up $6,000+ a month, which I can use to fund me and my girlfriend's travel around the world.
Big win right there... I just wish I would have realized it a lot sooner. It's very important to be aware of what you're spending, and if it makes sense to do that. If it suits your desired lifestyle, then fine, but in my case it didn't (although I really love London and will still be there from time time for business and pleasure), so that's why I decided to make a change.
My Top 10 Lessons Learned From 2018
Early last year I hosted a training to my VSM students featuring "My Top 10 Lessons Learned From 2018", and it was overall very popular and well received.
I initially planned to host a training like this with "My Top 10 Lessons Learned From 2018" as well early this year, but I don't have the time right now to create a full training on this, so I decided to just include some of the biggest lessons from 2018 in this annual review instead.
I may still do a video version of this annual review if I find the time in between everything I'm doing right now to plan for the next big adventure.
In the meantime, here's my top 10 lessons learned from 2018 (in no particular order of importance)...
Lesson #1: Take a few steps back to make giant leaps forward.
Everyone seem to be talking about just moving forward all the time...
But sometimes it's actually a lot better to take a few steps back, so you can make giant leaps forward in a way that feels right to you.
What I mean by that is that it's ok to actually not be growing your business each and every year, if you're growing in other areas that can take things to the next level later on. It's actually better to sit back, and think if you're really building something sustainable or if you'd like to change something up.
That was super big for me in 2018, and I finally realized what I'd like to be doing more of, and what I absolutely don't want to do anymore.
This realization alone will set me up for massive success so I can make giant leaps forward in 2019 and beyond on things that actually fires me up.
I'm sure you'll see what I mean soon enough if you don't get this lesson yet.
Lesson #2: Follow your own path and stop comparing yourself to others.
If I would have just listened to my own intuition and followed my own path from the very beginning, I would have been much further along than I am right now.
The times I've just followed my own path, I've always done better when I've followed the advice or direction from other influencers and other marketers. Don't always follow advice big name influencers give either... always do your own research and own your decisions (it's your business and life after all, not theirs).
So I encourage you to just stop comparing yourself to other people this year, which I know is easier said than done (but at least try your best).
If you really want to check someone's work out who is very successful, study what they did from the very beginning and what they're doing now (I'm sure you'll see they didn't start out like a total pro... YouTube is one of the best places to see people's work from the very beginning... that's one of the reason I love this platform... it really allows you to grow at your own pace).
Lesson #3: Build your business around your lifestyle, not the other way around.
This one is a really big one for me personally.
Look around you...
You'll see many different influencers that you may look up to (but please see lesson #2, don't compare yourself to them, especially if they're way further along than you are right now)...
The thing is that success can look very, very different to different people.
You may see success as having an 8 or 9 figure business and hustling every day (think Gary Vaynerchuk).
That's totally fine. And I certainly admire people like that and take in some of their advice from time to time if I find it valuable. But that's not the type of business I'm looking to build, and it's definitely not the kind of life I'm looking to live either for that matter.
Or you may see success as running a high 5 or low 6-figure business from your home so you can take care of your family, or you simply want to quit your job so you can make enough money from your business to travel the world.
At the end of the day, you have to define what success looks like for you.
For me, the ultimate success is that I have a business that's designed around my lifestyle, not the other way around. A business that brings in a steady stream of recurring revenue each month (high 5 to 6-figures a month), and where I get opportunities to travel the world for free.
I think for a while I got out of tune with what the ultimate success looks like for me. I focused on doing things that didn't really align with where I wanted to go or take things.
I value amazing experiences and I'd like to not be chained to my computer all day long, because I have too many commitments I need to get done.
I'd rather integrate some of my passions like traveling the world, with new things I really enjoy doing like filmmaking... and that way I can eventually monetize this as well.
Anyway... my approach is to design your business around your lifestyle, not the other way around. You probably won't enjoy this site if you're not aligned with this message or approach.
Lesson #4: Commit to consistency and see what happens.
Consistency is the key to success.
That's nothing new...
But why does so many people struggle with it (myself included)...
In 2018, I decided to start a regular weekly newsletter to both my main list and to our students, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive... and it has brought in more revenue too, especially the weekly newsletter to my entire list. This wouldn't have happened if I slacked a week or two... consistency made our Navid Weekly newsletter a success.
And it's the same with virtual summits, blogging, podcasting, YouTube, Instagram, or anything else you'd like to dive into.
When you're just getting started, you can't do everything at once.
Pick one (or max two if you can keep it up), and focus on being consistent for one year and see what happens... I can almost guarantee you'll see a level of success if you make it a focus.
I suggest starting with a virtual summit of course, because then you'll have so much content you can repurpose into the other platforms (which is something we teach you how to do in Virtual Summit Mastery 3.0).
Lesson #5: Without your health, you're nothing.
This should probably be the most important one on this list.
Because it's absolutely true...
Without your health, you're absolutely nothing.
You can't do your best work and show up in a powerful way if you're not healthy.
I've always had a healthy lifestyle when it comes to my eating habits and all that, but I've definitely been slacking when it comes to my fitness, which is something I will change big time in 2019.
Many people I've talked to say that they're "too busy" and don't have time for going to the gym or working out... or even worse not eating healthy food.
I think I feel into the "too busy' group myself, and used it as an excuse for not working out and going to the gym consistently.
The reality is that everyone got at least 20-30 minutes day to do something active (you even have 90 minutes you probably spend on social media doing nothing).
If you focus on this one, it will transform your business and life for the better... guaranteed!
Lesson #6: Focus on student success.
Although I wasn't really promoting Virtual Summit Mastery 3.0 for most of 2018 to my audience, I still got requests coming in every single week from people who've seen a VSM case study, or been referred by someone who told them good things about the program.
This is not really something new to me, but I thought it was very interesting that the hard work to really focus on student success from the very beginning when I first launched the program back in 2015, leads to a much bigger long term ROI.
Student success is our #1 metric and that's why we feature so many inspiring case studies and stories... I still have 100+ more case study videos I could record with students, but there's just as many hours in a day, and we'll feature new ones from time to time (as we have such a solid base of a few dozen great case studies right now).
Lesson #7: Don't give up just because your first "try" didn't go as planned.
You know what separates people who really SUCCEED and the people who tend to fail?
The people who succeed don't give up or blame a system if it doesn't work out after their first try. When I first started out a few years ago, I would have kept going until something eventually worked out, even if it took me a much longer time than it did.
I see it time and time again...
The Virtual Summit Mastery students who are the most successful are the ones who keep going no matter what. They don't give up just because they didn't hit their goals.
What if you "only" get 1,000 email subscribers or "just" make $1,000 from your first summit or launch? Well, if that's below your goals, then do another one, and another one until you achieve your goals. And you WILL if you keep going... it's almost impossible to fail if you don't give up.
VSM graduate Mitch Asser is a fantastic example of someone who just kept going.
His first summit certainly wasn't a slam dunk success, but he didn't blame VSM for that.
There were many reasons why things didn't go that well the first time... like picking the wrong speakers, another big summit going on at the same time, wrong topic etc.
So what did he do?
He kept going, and now after hosting 6 summits in the competitive health niche, he has generated 35,000+ email subscribers and multiple 6-figures in revenue.
Check out Mitch case study and story below for some inspiration.
Lesson #8: Change your mindset, change your entire business and life.
Having the right mindset is so important for your long term success. Without it, you won't succeed with anything in business and life.
That said, I don't think you have to have the "perfect" mindset and you can improve certain areas over time to get better.
Different things you'd like to do will require different effort and challenges.... and you need to have the mindset to tackle the different things you'd like to do.
For example, going to the gym every day requires a different mindset shift and thinking than growing a successful business (although I think if you focus on your health, a lot of other things will fall into place too assuming you take massive action).
If you change your mindset, you will be able to change your entire business and life in the process. This has been very true for my own personal entrepreneurial journey... I've gone through different mindset shifts along the way.
Lesson #9: Simplicity wins.
I've tried many different things over the years, and I can say for certain that simplicity wins over complexity... hands down!
Just because something looks cool and fancy, doesn't mean it's the best approach for you.
I've implemented more advanced segmentation funnels, and even hired an expensive automation team to help me before when I used Infusionsoft... and it didn't outperform more simple, straight forward funnels and marketing I could manage myself.
For example, instead of using super complex product launches with segmentation and different tracks, we will now stick to "simple" webinar funnels, or application funnels for high ticket offers. And in Virtual Summit Mastery 3.0 we teach you how to host wildly successful virtual summits of course (which is pretty straight forward if you have the right strategy)
Keeping things simple is also much easier for you to manage and you have more control over your business. This includes tools and other things you may be using in your business... pick something that works for your level and stick to it.
Lesson #10: A life full of amazing experiences is way better than a life full of "stuff" that won't matter.
I value travel, amazing experiences and cool adventures far more than fancy cars and materialistic things.
That's also part of the reason I decided to let go of a ton of things I bought in London, like TVs, furniture and stuff like that. Looking back, buying all these things was probably not the smartest thing I could do, but at the time I enjoyed having a home base like that and all my things in one place.
Although I have a quite a bit of camera gear and things I need for recording videos and doing live streaming at a professional level, the rest of the stuff wasn't really of importance to me at all.
I'll let this video from a mastermind experience I hosted in Cancun a few years ago show you what I mean. And you can still build a very successful online business while traveling the world and having amazing experiences along the way (obviously, only you can define what success means to you).
What Are My Big Plans For 2019?
I have some very big plans for 2019, but they can be summed up in about 5
1. Automate Virtual Summit Mastery 3.0 even more
So far we've only sold VSM 3.0 via application and a phone call, but that's about to change pretty soon.
As I mentioned already in this post, our very simple VSM 3.0 funnel is already bringing in multiple 5-figures a month which is great... but I have to commit my own time to show up on sales calls, follow up etc. (as I don't plan to have a sales team at this point), and it doesn't really work that well with my lifestyle and exploring the world.
So I'm going to launch a brand new automated webinar funnel where we offer a value packed webinar, and then sell VSM 3.0 towards the end. Since the program itself is such a no brainer, I know this will work pretty well.
We may still do occasional launches and other promotions for it, and even some partnerships with other influencers who have an aligned audience to share it with.
2. Travel around the world more (and document it)
I traveled a fair amount during the first part of 2018, but I want to become more of a digital nomad again in 2019. I want to explore the world for the next few years and see where it takes me 🙂
Although it's great to have a permanent home base at times, especially for productivity and getting shit done, I don't think I'm meant to only be at one place all the time.
When I wrote my first about page back in the day, I even wrote that I'm a "citizen of the world", and that's exactly how I feel.
I've traveled to and lived in some incredible places for the past few years... but one thing I didn't really do much of was toe document it on video and photo (yes I took occasional photos and stuff like that, but not much at all)...
That's why I'm going to focus more on doing videos for YouTube and posting more on Instagram in 2019... my awesome camera gear will come in very handy for all this. See more about this below.
Now, I haven't exactly decided on where I'll end up going in 2019 yet, but at the time of writing this post I'm considering to start this new journey in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and then go from there (it's very close to other South East Asian countries like Thailand and Bali).
An unofficial goal from my side would be to visit at least 12 new countries in 2019, but we'll see how it goes with that... it's way more important to have an amazing experience wherever we'll end up (my girlfriend will be joining me too).
3. Focus on YouTube & Instagram
I actually wanted to start focusing on YouTube and Instagram in 2018 already, but I didn't have the time and energy to do it.
So now that VSM 3.0 is ready, I can dedicate more time to doing videos for YouTube and focusing on Instagram.
My YouTube channel will have a mix of business, lifestyle and travel related content. I love watching some great YouTube channels out there (I'll probably have some posts on my favorite business YouTubers and travel YouTubers coming out at some point soon), and it inspired to go all in and make it a bigger focus of mine.
As I will be traveling a lot more, I will definitely record some vlogs and educational videos from the locations I go to and build more of an influencer brand around that, in addition to everything else I have going on.
I will develop some kind of posting schedule for both YouTube and Instagram so I can stay consistent with it. That's going to be the biggest challenge... and of course to be able to edit vlogs and video content myself (I bring someone on board to edit the videos for me of course, but it's a bit challenging to send massive 4K files around the world, so it would be best to find someone who can work with me in person where I'm living/traveling to).
I have a lot more educational and inspirational content coming there in 2019 and beyond... YouTube and Instagram will be two of my main platforms I focus on (other than of course my own email list, and to some extent my Facebook fan page).
4. Host a few new mini-summits
A plan I've had for a while is to host mini-summits on many different topics I'm interested in.
I'd like to experiment a bit more and test new strategies. When I say mini-summits I mean summits with 8-12 speakers or so on each one (not the regular bigger summits with 20-30 speakers over 4-7 days).
I need to keep it interesting for me to keep doing them, so that's why I'm changing things up a bit (if you're a VSM student and reading this, I don't recommend you follow "new strategies" before you've actually hosted at least one summit successful following VSM 3.0).
Unfortunately I can't share much more yet as we're still working out the details. If you're part of my insiders newsletter list, you'll be the first to know about things like this of course.
We actually decided to release most of the List Building School 1.0 masterclasses and expert sessions for free on my YouTube channel.
Although I could keep selling the all-access pass, I'd rather release more free content and repurpose it in this way... this just goes to show how valuable summit content really is in the long run if you have the right strategy behind it.
You can check out the full List Building School playlist below (and more sessions will be added from time to time).
5. Get featured on podcasts, summits and other publicity.
Towards the end of 2018 I started saying yes to more opportunities, like being featured on podcasts and summits.
That's something I plan to continue in 2019, as it's a great way to share some value with another audience, and in return promoting myself. It's also a pretty good link building strategy as it's easy to get links to relevant content I mention during the podcast episode, YouTube video, or summit session.
Here's a few podcasts I've been featured recently:
If you have a podcast, blog or other platform (like a YouTube channel) I'd love to share a ton of value with your audience (as long as it's a good fit of course). Just reach out to me and let me know if you'd be interested to interview or feature me... I'll promise I will bring the good stuff as I always aim to do 😉
6. Big focus on health & fitness
I've had this as a big goal for quite some time, but now I'm finally going to make this a non-negotiable... just like it was back in the day when I played soccer and did a lot of other sports.
I've always been a very healthy person, and the main thing I let go of is that I haven't worked out as much as I should have.
I'm making a big commitment to get in the best shape of my life again, and make sure it stays that way.
I will always find some time to prioritize my healthy and fitness no matter how busy I get with other things. I'll be sure to keep you updated on this throughout the year from time to time too.
7. Personal development
Since I'm going to be traveling quite a lot, I will have a lot of time to listen to audio books on Audible. My goal is to listen to 4 new audio books per month... I did fairly good with this for the past few years already, but hope to be even more consistent with it.
I also want to develop some new skills, mostly around getting a lot better at shooting videos and editing in Final Cut Pro X. I might hire some people for this along the way to speed up the workflow, but I believe it's good to understand how things work yourself (so you don't depend on other people to publish videos on YouTube etc).
I believe you can achieve anything you put your mind to if you work hard for it, and I'm always up for a big challenge.
Now It's Your Turn
What went well for you in 2018? What is one highlight you're super proud of from 2018? What's your goals and plans for 2019?
Feel free to share in the comments – please tell a story and be as specific as you can!
Let’s crush it in 2019 and make it the best year yet! #bestyearever
Stay inspired, take massive action and live your dream… I know I am!
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