This is my first blog post in English at LarsHoldgaard.com. While my English is not grammatically perfect, I think you will understand. I decided to write it in English for multiple reasons:
- More and more of my friends and connections are native English speakers
- I see myself use Danish less and less: my normal day is English 60-80% of the time
This post is a very personal one. It’s a reflection on the year 2014, and looking ahead at 2015.
I dare to say this: 2014 has been the best year of my life. I say this every year, but it’s comforting to know I can keep saying it.
First, just a couple of milestones of 2014:
- Finished my masters degree with less than 12 months of studying (it’s supposed to be 24 months) and received “10” – the second highest grade in Denmark
- Been to China, Philippines (twice), Singapore, Thailand Cambodia, Vietnam, New York, Berlin and Cannes
- I sold my first company and had an article in Børsen with the headline: “Danish entrepreneur sells student portal for a quarter of a million kr”
- Went from 89kg in April to 78kg in November
- Failed really bad with a startup
- Participated in a 5000 USD conference in New York about a subject I am deeply passionate about
- Got an amazing position at Saxo as a UX/conversion specialist, and did really well
- … Quit that job and started my own company in August. Since then I am up to two full time employees and a freelancer who basically works for me full time
- I biked to Berlin with my Dad from Denmark in 1.5 days
- I moved into the city, living less than ten minutes biking to the center of Copenhagen
- I started a conference company with my roommate and did three conferences with 100+ people (and sold out tickets)
- I did a conference on the other side of the world with 120 participants, without being there or knowing the venue first
It’s interesting when you make a list like this one: you have often done much more than you thought you would.
But more importantly, this year has changed my opinion about what’s possible in one year. If you had asked me if I truly believed I could achieve all this in one year, I would have laughed at you. So thank you, 2014, you have been amazing.
So now is the question: what to do next?
While 2014 was a year with many goals, I am going to have less goals in 2015. In 2014 I sought adventure through travels, health, money, career, network, fun and startups , 2015 is going to be much more focused and simple.
In 2015 I am going to have three goals. Three things I want to achieve.
All my life I have been very bad at focusing on one or two things.
I remember when I was 15 years old playing Runescape while preparing for my exams. In Runescape you could click at something, look away for 5-7 seconds, and then look again.
I did all my exam preparation and assignments this way.
Now, I am not a believer in multitasking. Any research and attempts shows it doesn’t work – even for women. But I never respected it. I’ve always done multiple things at once – even when I had to prepare for exams.
When I worked on my first company GodeKarakterer.dk, I also focused on multiple things. I had a webshop, some minor blogs and my thoughts were about a new company already.
That’s a mistake. If there is anything I’ve learned the last couple of years, especially from working with Nicolai Frisch and Martin Thorborg in Amino, is that focus is essential.
That’s why I am going to dedicate 2015 to three simple goals. That’s also why I have decided to step down as partner in Imus, the conference company I had together with my roommate, despite we did really well.
My three goals in 2015
The three goals are:
- A healthy body
- Jarboo is ready for (international) scaling
- Geographic independence
Goal one: a healthy body
When it comes to health, I have never been good at controlling it. Even though I have lost a lot of weight recently, it’s not very controlled. I gain and lose weight at random, while eating unhealthy and drinking a shocking amount of soda. From time to time I do a lot of biking, but it’s not consistent all year around.
In 2015 that’s going to be different. In 2015 I will:
- Have 1 Hour of movement tracked on Google Fit every 365 days during the year.
- On average, 2x active training a week (racer biking or running)
- Slow carb diet / paleo diet with one cheat meal a week, including a 90 day challenge with no cheat meals or soda)
- Half a liter of soda pr. week is allowed
Goal two: Jarboo is ready for scaling
My new startup (which is going to conquer the world -> please sign up for a monthly update on Jarboo.com), has to be ready for an explosive expansion in 2016. In 2015 the product should be nailed and perfected.
In 2015, a customer should visit the Jarboo.com website, register their company and get quality code delivered – without I personally even knew about the customer existing in the system - and pay one tenth of the price they would pay a western developer
I also target some other milestones, such as 5-10 different paying customers and 250.000 DKK in a single month revenue, but compared to having a customer through the system while I don’t even know about the customer, they’re completely irrelevant.
Goal three: I am geographically independent
Today it would be extremely impractical to move away from Copenhagen. As Jarboo basically is “Lars and a couple of great foreigners”, I rely on meeting my customers physically. I want to provide an even better service to my existing customers, but without being there physically all the time.
Jarboo has to be developed to a point where I can have a steady salary while living everywhere. Luckily the rest of my life is pretty easy to move up. I have 3 months resignation on an apartment I share with a roommate, which is the only thing that could hold me back.
So thats 2015
This will be extremely interesting.
2014 Has been amazing, despite I have had a very broad focus. I have achieved success in many different areas, and had A LOT of fun.
But my assumption is 2015 can be completely off the chart. With a renewed focus and more knowledge and resources than ever, I am sure 2015 only can be a huge success.
Give it up for 2015 Thanks for reading this far.