Every year, I try to make a review post for myself. The purpose is basically looking back on the last year, and more important – looking ahead.
Unlike every other post on this blog, these review posts are made completely for me. This means I am writing with one reader in mind – myself. So if you stranded on this post, well, good luck, I’m not writing to you with this one 😉 However, I believe in being VERY open about my life and what I do – as you can see in about me or in my goals. You’re *very* welcome to read it, but my angle is not to please others.
But now back to what this post is about: me 😉
2017 Has been very difficult
At my birthday in December, I posted this picture:
I’ve always believed that every year of my life would be better, and better, and better. When I talk about age with people, especially some girls worried about how they get feel their life ends at 30, this brings a very optimistic outlook. I honestly believe that every year, you learn more about yourself, build upon previous years of experience and work and know what you want.
This has been true for me.
In 2013 I got my master degree in one year while working 30 hours a week.
In 2014 I had my first real job and was GOOD at it, sold my student website for a significant sum and started my outsourcing company, earning +90.000 DKK a month with a mix of freelancing and outsourcing.
In 2015 I managed to earn the same but 100% with outsourcing, went digital nomad and traveled A LOT and experienced so much. I also co-founded my first super-duper serious startup.
In 2016 I worked like crazy. I got my first funding, and went into hyper-growth and had a monthly revenue of above 1 million DKK.
To me, this was a very natural progression. Every year, my life became more and more awesome. Having a hyper-growth startup had been one of my biggest goals, not only because it’s SUPER FUN and you learn a lot, but it’s also one of the few ways you can become filthy rich which is the goal of mine (don’t worry, I’m going to cure death and other stuff, so I’ll use it for good – okay?). I experienced this in 2016, and 2017 was the year to scale it. All odds were 2017 would be the best year of my life.
Yeah, maybe my social life, my adventure-dreams, and even health got a bit behind, but my core personal goals are becoming filthy rich, so I was ready for this sacrifice. And everything looked like 2017 would be the year we would conquer the world with Monera.
2017 Turned out very different: bankruptcy
I remember sitting on January 2nd in a pool on top of a 5-star hotel in Bangkok, and our super-star employee Ulrich called: “We have a cash problem“. Ulrich had made some calculations, and in short, we had a serious cash problem. When we sold a product, few payments actually hit the bank.
I remember the first weeks of January was full of crisis meetings. It was clear, ~50% of our invoices hit the bank, and if we didn’t get to 80%, we wouldn’t be able to pay salaries.
In the end of 2016, we had just landed a 4.2 million DKK loan financing. This would be paid out throughout multiple milestones, but even these payments weren’t exactly 100% enough.
So we did what we did best: the took a leap of faith and worked harder than ever before. We hired more and more salespeople, improved the product and started to become ruthless when getting the money from unpaid invoices.
Long story made short, it did not work. Despite selling more than 4 million DKK of contracts most months in 2017, we had to declare bankruptcy in In June because of serious cash issues.
We went from 45 employees, a huge office, lots of dreams and lots of recognition as extremely bold and good founders – to nothing but a not insignificant debt.
If everything else had been awesome, going bankrupt wouldn’t have been that bad. But I was personally at my record high weight and a bit chubby, after ~1.5 years with Monera I had spent close to none time expanding my network and with very few personal experiences for that period, it wasn’t that good.
We had taken a big bet, and we lost.
I had a very funny relation to the bankruptcy. Some would say delusional. Heck, I would say delusional. My dad called it delusional. I think people around me would say, delusional.
It was fucking delusional.
We crashed very hard, but because of our legal setup with our investors, we got an opportunity to continue the company in a new legal startup. We could continue on the old idea, but in a new company without our creditors. This means that in August, after 3 weeks of very-much needed vacation, we just continued like before.
Now, instead of having 45 employees, we were down to 2 people – the founders. And we kept going at the same pace, not stopping up and reflecting.
This lasted for two months, and this was weird. When we talked to people, we barely told them we went bankrupt. My family didn’t know really know WTF was going on, and same with friends.
But as time went, things became clearer.
This realization simply didn’t hit us until after some months after: We did fail.
And I think this was quite shocking. One day, you believe you’re running a company saying no to investment offers at 50 million DKK valuations and having 45 employees. The next day you have nothing and you’re “no one”.
We built a lot of ego around this. We loved the image. We loved seeing ourselves as super-star entrepreneurs building one of the fasting growing companies in Denmark.
This stopped very much. But our self-perception didn’t realize it until much later.
And that was what I call my delusional period.
Berlin and the good things
We decided to move to Berlin. There were no rational arguments. It didn’t make any sense, besides we wanted to. I think we deep down wanted to get away from everyone we failed, including the image we had built up towards friends and family.
So me, my co-founder Max and his girlfriend and my good friend Martin took a plane to Berlin, to stay for 3 months.
This turned out to be a really smart thing to do. Yes, I had a serious period of what I call “travel depression”, but this was the perfect of reflection.
Moving to Berlin, forced us to zoom out and consider what we really wanted. It took a while, but we took the time to ask ourselves – what do we truly want?
And this also brings me to the good parts about 2017.
I hate being a fucking fatty, so I decided to sign up for a marathon. I did it and lost a lot of weight. This was a huge goal of mine, which makes me very proud to finish.
I hate being a boring ass loser not experiencing shit, so I’ve taken the opportunity to visit Costa Rica, Budapest, Pisa and finally Berlin for 3 months. Next year starts out with 6 weeks in Asia, going places I’ve never been.
I’ve started blogging again, getting more views than ever before but on very few posts.
I’ve been lucky on cryptocurrency, which I followed a lot back in 2013. I’ve not made serious money as some of my friends has, but I’ve made enough to be able to pay my own salary for some years in case startup-life isn’t turning out as planned.
But, being completely honest: 2017 has been hard.
2017 Did not bring me closer to success with startups or being filthy rich, except maybe some very important lessons.
2017 Did not bring me many new good friends or a bigger network.
2017 Was the year of my biggest success in sports with my marathon, but I’m still relatively fat which is a big struggle of mine.
It’s important to look at things you’ve influence over, and things you don’t. And this is where 2017 is the most disappointing. I am not happy with my own actions. I have not worked the way I want – and I’ve not done the things I want to. The only thing of 2017 I’m proud of is my marathon and rigid exercise schedule – but that’s it.
I’m very optimistic for 2018. And when 2018 is done, I want to say: 2018 was the best year of my life.
Luckily, I also feel I have many of the prerequisites for making it happen.
In addition, 2018 is actually quite simple for me. I have three overall goals:
- Get my new startup into the rapidly accelerating growth phase with a high potential product market fix
- Get ripped (15% body fat). Do exercise 5 days a week on average all 2018, from Q2 to Q4, 3 of those days has to be a type of bodybuilding
- Grow my network and get more friends. Honestly a bit unsure what metric to use here. One part is meeting new people every month, but the more important part is meeting those people again and again so they become friends instead of just a Linkedin Connection
If I manage to get those three done in 2018, I’ll be happy. By doing this I will be back on the path of startup-success, I’ll be sexier & healthier than ever and I’ll have more good friends to enjoy my life with.
These are the overall goals of 2018, but to achieve this, there are a couple of tactics. This is a couple of things I plan to do:
- Meditate daily. It’s clear to me that when I meditate, I am happier and perform better. I never got into the daily routine, but I want this in 2018. It’s also clear to me that when you read books about successful people with much more experience than me, they do this
- Drop sodas. I’m heavily addicted to soda, drinking at least 0.5L a day – often more. This got to stop – no excuses. I am not good at doing something in moderation, so this has to stop 100%
- Blogging monthly. In Monera, I barely blogged. This resulted in very few reflections, which wasn’t healthy. I want to blog – and yeah, parts of it are for you – the reader – but this is honestly just as much about me. I get a lot from it, so, I want to blog at least monthly.
- Posting on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook at least bi-weekly. I don’t plan to build a strong personal brand in 2018, but I want to learn the mechanics better so when I do this, I will be able to.
- See at least 6 new countries. To me, seeing new countries are my favorite experiences. After 3 months in Berlin and 6 weeks in Asia, I will say I’ve had plenty of experiences for the whole year… But I still want to up my country visited count to 42
- Masturbation weekly. This is a weird one for the casual reader. I’m single and is casually dating, but looking for something serious. By masturbating too often, which I find very easy, I don’t have the aggressive energy I want. I’m sharper when I haven’t done this for a while, so I want to change this from daily to weekly
- New wardrobe and plenty of photos. I’ve many-doubled my own style the last couple of years, but I still have a while to go. I will allow myself to spend significant money on clothes and personal hygiene to look better than ever
- Read at least 26 new non-fiction books. I love becoming smarter, and I believe in reading at least one book and listening to an audiobook every month – resulting in at least 26 read books in 2018.
None of these are “required” for me. The 3 goals in the top, however, are. I believe the points above will help with my overall goals.
So yeah, 2018 will be simple.
It will also be the best year of my life.
Thanks for following!