Harsh Truths of 2023
To be honest, I'm not quite as cheerful as I normally am this time of year, but I am definitely looking forward to spending some time with my family in the final two months of the year. In all reality...
I'm just happy that this year is coming to an end.
If you know me, I'm typically the infinite optimist no matter what life throws my way, but I'm starting to reach my limit. Starting to understand why the old guys at work start doing the bare minimum to get the paycheck. Starting to understand why 90% of people end up with the safe salary job in the first place! This year was easily one of the hardest and most exhausting years of my life. I know many may say I don't really have a right to say that - indeed, I am extremely lucky to live in a wealthy country, to have a roof over my head, good health insurance, and enough income to afford proper food. But mentally, this year was extremely challenging.
This year was dominated by my endeavors in the markets, attempting how to learn how to trade futures intraday. And this takes time. A huge amount of time. 1000 trades, 1000 emotional battles, 1000 struggles. I'm still not there after starting the process in full in August. Trading is one of the hardest things anyone can ever try to learn and do, and even more difficult to perform consistently day in and day out. Of course, infinitely optimistic me still believes I can do it - but that's for 2024 Chris to worry about.
I also essentially failed to make it as a solopreneur / indy dev in 2023. The goal with my indy projects combined originally was to get to $2000 MRR. (Probably, with my recent trading successes, I did hit this goal in October 2023 and (almost) in November already, but I don't trust myself enough yet to really do it full-time). I also love building software too much to be a full-time trader. Regardless, because of ultimately failing this challenge by July I was also on a job hunt for the majority of the year. This was a double blow to my ego:
- That I apparently couldn't make it as a freelancer
- That many companies rejected me (or ghosted me altogether) after interviews. This left me confused at what skills I actually had, with a bit of imposter syndrome
So yes, between the markets & trading, multiple SaaS product development, building courses, and the job hunt, I'm left at the end of this year quite toast. I'm looking forward to spending some time with my family and friends, and finally getting some rest.
With all that said, there were of course numerous positives that shined through this year:
- Complete revamp and redesign of The Wheel Screener
- Did a live stream with Newline promoting my course (see lower bullet point)
- Did a 3-day glacier course, learning about avalanche and glacier rescue, and summited the largest mount in Vorarlberg, Austria
- Built an (unfortunately) non-profitable futures trading algo that ran all April and May
- Ran an official marathon (under 4 hours surprisingly!)
- Wrote my first book that can be paired with my latest course Go for Real World Applications
- Launched TWO new SaaS products, AMT JOY and Squawk Market
- Started a new Substack to go along with AMT JOY
- Completed a course on Newline about React Hooks and TypeScript
- Invited (and accepted) to become a host of React Round Up Podcast!
- Finally found & started a new job at Solve, an amazing company with great customers with a team of great engineers & problem solvers
Goals for 2023, Reviewed
- Climb a 4000er
❌ Sadly just didn't find the time (or financial resources) to climb any 4000ers. However, I continued my ski touring outings in the winter, and am looking forward to doing more of that this year.
- Climb the Matterhorn
❌ Following the first goal, it's clear I didn't climb the Matterhorn either.
- No drinking from the new year until April 1st (my birthday!)
❌ This was a big fail - I was invited to a friends ski hut, where the first violation occurred. Then also to a friend's PhD celebration party, where the second violation occurred. From there I felt the streak was broken, which is a pretty lame excuse. I will make a much larger effort to achieve this in 2024.
- Disconnect weeks, where I put away my phone and avoid all social media
✅ Did this only two weeks of 2023, but need to do it more in 2024. More and more I feel like society has just become a reactionary blob to whatever happened in the past 24 hours on the news, and really, how much of endless scrolling actually turns out to be something interesting or productive?
- Publish a new SaaS product
- Publish at least 2 new courses
- Use my Klimaticket to travel and camp more
❌ Also didn't get the chance to do this much at all. With the new job that is 100% remote, I'm looking forward to doing this more next year. Typically I enjoy a winter trip with some winter hikes and ski touring, so maybe I'll do a long weekend retreat somewhere. Also, I think I'm finally going to get my act together and do a winter camp this year.
Goals for 2024
With those goals reviewed, here are my goals for 2024:
- My #1 goal in 2024 is to spend more time with family and friends. My efforts with everything I did in 2023 left me with little time for anything else in my life. This has to stop. I don't want to look back on my life and realize I missed so much time with family and friends. I'm going to make a conscious effort to spend more time with them in 2024.
- Master my mind and emotions and slowly and stably build a futures account. This will be excruciatingly slow against the size I'm used to, but it's what I have to do after a bad loss at the end of 2023. I believe if I can do this next year, I'll be able to be profitable for the rest of my life - but this comes down more to a matter of changing my entire concept of discipline than anything else.
- This one might sound weird, but I really want to make an impact where I'm currently working. It's such a great team, and I want to improve possibilities for innovation, company-wide "hackathon" days, and much more. Every day that passes, more possibilities with technology become possible, and I think it's amazing to be able to talk about these developments with other motivated engineers.
- Finally hire a co-founder (or at the very least, part-time VA) for my company, Full Stack Craft! As I mentioned before, I'm at my limit for the number of SaaS products I can handle, and I'm looking forward to hiring someone to help me with the day-to-day software development of all our products.
- Get back into drawing, photography, and art in general. In October, in a random evening of inspiration, I created two new prints and started taking more pictures again art and photography were yet two more things I threw to the wayside in my trading and product efforts this year.
With a bit of an exhausted heart for 2023, I want to be clear that I truly am looking forward to 2024 - I'm going to try as best I can to take a much more relaxed approach to life, and not be so hard on myself. I'm going to try to be more present with friends and family, enjoy the moment, create more art, and just live life. I know it sounds corny, but after a year like this one, I think I could do with a bit more corn in my life. 🌽 😂