Year in Review (2017)

After being on the internet for almost 15 years I’ve finally created a blog to share my business journey. For the last 5 years, I’ve been telling myself I would and today is that day with my very first post.

A little backstory in 2015 I quit my job and decided I was going on my own and build an online business with no plan cause I was just talented enough to figure it out.

Let’s just say that was a bad bad idea which put me on the path of wasting a bunch of time.

In 2016, I spent most of my time trying to figure out which was really difficult without a plan, go-figure.

In January of 2017, I decided to put one of my websites I purchased back on Flippa to resell at a loss. What I was doing just wasn’t working so I figure I cut my losses.

To my surprise, the site ended up selling for a little over $3000(300% Return) without making any improvements to the site.

After that first sale, I started to really hit a stride selling on Flippa and managed to do $120,000 in transactions for 2017.  I still can’t believe that its only been 9 months since I started doing that.

Most of the transaction was either buy & hold or buy to resell.

My biggest Sale: $25000
My biggest Loss: $5000

While this business model was profitable for me it was also time-consuming and difficult to scale due to the limited amount of deal flow.

Based on where website multiples are today and what I’ve learned I probably would just build my own site from scratch rather than try to buy and sell for profit.

2017

Positives:

Pivoting:
At one point in the business, I was carrying over about 14k in debt and only generating $200 a month in overall revenue, not even profit.

Somehow, I managed to restructure my strategy and was able to turn the whole business around.

In a matter of 2-3 months, I increased cash flow to $1200 and was able to acquire a few long-term assets at the same time in which I could resell in the future to fund future growth.

While this is impressive to many I did it with a budget of almost zero.

10x Revenue:
I was able to 10x my revenue compared to 2016 which was a big win for the company, however, I overinvested way too much and took on more risk than I should have so the company didn’t end up making a profit in the end.

Negatives:

Lack of Focus/Vision:
Not having a clear 3-year plan from day 1 of what type of company I wanted to build and how I was going to actually build it without a huge amount of startup cash was a big mistake.

Premature Scaling:
Personally, I thought I had the right ideas and mindset just the company couldn’t afford to scale.  I was a little naive thinking I could execute like I do for bigger companies I’ve worked for in the past and it was going to be a walk in the park.

Scaling a startup and scaling a business is so much different.

Each time I would make a pivot it would set me back months even when the change was positive at the time.  It would take resources away from the current projects or tie up cash limiting my options on what I could do.

For example in March, I bought a site for $5000 which I ended up writing off and taking a full loss which made me miss out on buying a different site the very next week which was a much safer and better acquisition.

In the process, I’ve learned when you’re a startup and trying to find a business model it’s important to stay lean and agile because there will be a ton of pivots.

My Overall  Grade:
C-

2018 Plans

Going forward, I’ve decided I’ll be focusing on building a media company rather than flipping websites for a profit.

I would like to be able to take on client work one day as well but it won’t be until the company can sustain itself in its current form.

Areas of Focus:

1. Infrastructure / Data Collection

  • Dashboard / Forecasting
  • Team Building
  • Restructuring lines of businesses

2. Cashflow/ Revenue

  • Cutting expenses
  • Increasing line of credit

3. Project Management

I’ve tried to use a few project management systems out there but none of them really ever did it for me.  They were all overly complicated or just didn’t fit with how my brain works.

I needed a place to be able to do brain dump being I have ADHD as well as a place for me to take notes, outline tasks/project, list ideas as well as project plan of how to get all this shit done.

I somehow stumbled upon these 3 tools in the end:

Creately: Wireframing, chart creation, process mapping.
Google Sheets: Spreadsheet/document storage
Dynalist: Project planning / todo’s / outlining / notes

The fact I’m writing this post is proof how good this new system is working for me.

All 3 tools combined is only $15.00 a month which is almost half of what I would pay for a SAAS project management product.

The next priority for 2018 is putting in the work.

100 Hour Work Week Plan

  • 05:00 – 6:30 (1.5)
  • 06:30 – 7:30 (1)
  • 7:30 – 9:00 (Gym)
  • 09:00 – 12:00 (3 Hours)
  • 12:00 – 12:30
    • Lunch
  • 12:30 – 3:00 (2.5 hours)
  • 3:00 – 4:00 (1)
  • 4:00 – 5:00 (1)
  • 5:00 – 530
    • Dinner
  • Evening
  • 530: 7:00 (1.5 hours)
  • 7:00 – 8:00 (1)
  • 8:00 – 9:00 (1)
  • 9:00 – 10:00 (1)

Personal Challenge:

For the next 6 months, I’m challenging myself to work 100 hours a week. A little more than the infamous 4 hour work week by Tim Ferriss.

My goal is to put myself in position to be able to buy my very first house within the next 2-3 years while still growing the company to where I like it to be.

Until next time, Onward and Upward.