Year in Review 2015

Bryan Harris —  Bryan Harris - January 29th, 2016

You know the overdone preacher story about the plant that grows underneath the soil for a decade without any visible sign of growth and then one day, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, it grows to 10′ tall?

(Trust me. It’s a thing.)

That was Videofruit in 2015.

It was a crazy year.

Every January I take a few minutes to pause and reflect on the previous year. Then I write a review and answer three basic questions (h/t to James Clear for this format):

1. What went well?

2. What didn’t go well?

3. What’s the plan for 2016?

I have a terrible memory, so being able to look back on last year’s review article is really fun and helps me remember how far we’ve come.

You should write your own Year in Review article. (If you do, post it in the comment section so everyone else can read it.)

Alright, onward!

What Went Well

Thing #1: We had a kid.

We had our first kid this year! (Woot!)

His name is Huck. Mom and child are both healthy.

(Except he seems morally opposed to taking family Xmas photos.)

Official first Christmas pic (before we take down the tree)

A photo posted by Bryan Harris (@bryan_harris_) on

He was born 5 weeks early which means he’s in the bottom percentile of all the measurable stuff (head, weight, height etc.).

But, honestly, who cares? He’s perfect. 🙂

Want to see more pictures? Ok, ok!

Dat six month photo

A photo posted by Bryan Harris (@bryan_harris_) on

For more adorable pictures go here.

His full name is Huxton Andrew Harris.

Also, just last week Stacy quit her job to spend more time with the Huck-man. So that’s fun!!

..

Thing #2: Platform growth

There are a lot of different ways to measure the overall growth of a platform, but I’ve broken it into 4 key categories:

1. Traffic

2. List size

3. # of customers

4. Revenue

(Note: There is actually a 5th category that I’ve completely neglected. But we’ll get to that later.)

First, let’s look at traffic.

These were our numbers for 2014:

Pageviews: 606,991

Sessions: 228,763

Users: 86,410

Here are the numbers for 2015: 

graph

Pageview: 1,251,418

Sessions: 439,827

Users: 202,155

I don’t track these numbers on a day-to-day basis, so seeing a 2-3x increase of pretty much every major metric is pretty cool!

The most popular blog posts of the year:

1. How to make $1,000 in the next 14 days without an idea

2. How to launch an online course and make $220,750 in 10 days

3. How I Made $10,000 in 24 hours With My First Product (Case Study)

4. Check out what SumoMe did to get more shares

5. Worry, Doubt and Fear (a video essay)

Next, let’s look at email list size:

These numbers are a little tricky. We started the year right at 10,000 email subscribers. We had actually peaked around 13,000 subscribers but then we cleaned the list towards the end of 2014. That brought the number down to 10,000.

As of December 31, 2015 we had 43,752 email subscribers on the list.

As of this writing, that is up to 47,363 subscribers.

subs

However, we are planning an aggressive list cleaning for the first week of February, which will probably knock the list down to the 30-35,000 range.

Next, let’s look at total customers.

We didn’t track this number last year, so I don’t have anything to compare it against, but the total number of customers for 2015 was 945.

That includes the following products:

Product #1: Get 10,000 Subscribers (course)

Product #2:. Rapid List Building System (course)

Product #3: Various $10 products offered through PPC (e-books and mini-courses)

Product #4: Coaching Program

Finally, let’s look at total revenue.

Total invoiced revenue for 2014: $225,000

Total invoiced revenue for 2015: $900,000 (!!!)

^^^ Both of those numbers have me like…

giphy (6)

Honestly, I don’t even know what more to write about this.

Both of those numbers are crazy.

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Thing #3: Product launches

In January of this year I came up with the idea for the Get 10,000 Subscribers course (by following this methodology).

I spent January validating that my list wanted the course.

Then I spent February, March and half of April building the course. (It shouldn’t have taken that long.)

Then we launched the course twice. Once in late April and then again in November.

You can read the full recap of each of the launches here and here.

A few things about those launches:

1. Building the product is only 1/10th of the process. 

If your goal is to actually make money from what you build, then building your widget is 1/10th of the equation.

Building an audience of people that give a crap about you is 5/10th of the work.

Validating and perfecting the product hypothesis before you build anything is 3/10th of the work

Developing and executing a proper launch plan is the other 2/10th.

graph

Spend and budget your time accordingly or your results will suffer.

We also put together a pretty exhaustive launch checklist that you can download for free at the bottom of this post.

2. Product launches will completely cripple your team (and you can’t avoid it).

I would have never dreamed we could sell $750,000+ of a course that didn’t even exist this time last year.

For that I am extremely grateful.

However, it’s a lot of work.

Like a lot.

Like the most I have ever worked in my life, a lot.

I personally wrote a little over 35,000 words during the first 10-day launch window last May. For comparison’s sake, that’s about as long as most of Seth Godin’s books.

I was also completely stressed out the entire time.

I also did a pretty sub-par job of leading the team through the launch.

BUT, we learned a ton from the first launch and were able to make the second launch go much more smoothly.

And we have a goal to make the upcoming Spring launch of 10ksubs even more painless.

However, just realize and budget for having no life and no head space and to be completely overwhelmed during your first product launch. It’s normal.

Also realize, it won’t always be like that.

Next time will be better.

3. Product launches work really well.

The last big lesson I learned was that an open/close product launch works extremely well.

There is a 0% chance that we would have gotten 500+ sales and booked over $750,000 in revenue if the course would have simply been emailed out to our list a few times and linked up on a product page.

0%.

Wouldn’t have happened.

The urgency and focus that a 10-day open/close product launch provides is not able to be duplicated in any other format that I’ve seen.

4. We’ll launch 10ksubs twice a year forever-ish.

There are a lot of things I’m unclear on.

But one thing that I’m clear on is this: We’ll be launching the 10ksubs course twice a year (April and October) going forward.

Sure, we could work on evergreen webinars and all that crap. But why mess with something that’s working?

One of the biggest lesson I’ve learned in marketing is that you need to find what works and do more of it.

This works. So we’re going to do more of it.

Side note: I am intrigued by having a product we can sell year-round. And part of our goals for 2016 revolve around that. More on that in a bit.

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Thing #4: Hired smart people

The next thing that went well was hiring smart people.

At the beginning of last year I had no real team to speak of. It consisted of an unreliable assistant, a few disjointed overseas contractors and that was about it. 

That changed in 2015.

Although we are a long way from being perfect, I’m incredibly happy with the team that has developed around Videofruit.

There are 6 primary people I brought in this year:

1. Technical Assistant

2. Admin Assistant

3. Affiliate Manager

4. Coach

5. PPC Manager

6. Dean of 10ksubs

All of these folks are part-time and work between 10-30 hours per week.

Here is a short breakdown of each:

Technical Assistant:  His name is Jeff. He handles everything technical.

For example, right now we’re implementing several new paid advertising funnels. 

What we’ll do is jump on a 15-minute Skype call where I’ll share with Jeff my high-level vision. Then he’ll take that vision and execute it. He’ll set up the landing pages, email sequences, shopping cart pages, and hook all of that up into one cohesive working thing and then send it over for me to review.

Yes, it’s just as awesome as it sounds.

No, you can’t have an intro to Jeff

Find your own Jeff. 🙂

This position is one that I never hear mentioned. But in the early stages it’s probably the most valuable position you can hire for (even before the ever so popular VA). That’s not to discount anybody else’s position; that’s just one of the biggest bangs for your buck, one of the biggest time-savers you can possibly get.

(Note: I hate the job position title I’ve given to everyone here. I just suck at clever names and this is the best I had.)

Administrative Assistant: Her name is Jessica. She does all the dirty work.

I used eaHELP to find Jessica. I’ve used quite a few admins in the past, all by cheap outsourced Upwork-style sites.

This time I  paid good money to find someone and found a rock star. She handles all customer support, pays the  bills, does random stupid stuff for me, handles our Facebook groups, helps me with my personal email, follows up with failed charges, manages the coaching program and a ton of other things.

Jessica is awesome.

Find you a Jessica.

Affiliate Manager: His name is Darrell Vesterfelt.

Darrell handled the affiliate portion of the fall launch of 10ksubs. He recruited affiliates, wrote swipe copy, set up the affiliate portal, managed communication throughout the launch and overall was a baller.

Unfortunately, he took a full-time job elsewhere over the holidays and won’t be with us going forward.

We’ve hired Tom Morkes to work with us for the Spring launch of 10ksubs. I’m excited about that!

Coach: His name is Stu McLaren.

Stu is one of the smartest and most generous people I’ve ever met. Stu has done 8 (or more) 7-figure product launches, he invented and grew WishList’s members to over 50,000 and has been working with Michael Hyatt over the past 3 years to grow Michael’s platform to a juggernaut.

I’m a huge Stu fan. When I found out he offered a regular coaching program, I jumped at the opportunity to get in.

He’s not cheap though.

We paid $10,000 for one day of consulting with him and pay $4,000 per month for ongoing coaching.

However, we saw that coaching produce a 20x ROI in the first 3 months. 

PPC Guys: Their names are Ethan and Tony.

One of our big goals this year is to figure out how to make PPC work for us. (More on that in a bit.)

But after my foray into Facebook ads late last year, I knew that I couldn’t master PPC by myself. It’s way too complex and needs a lot of babysitting to perform at a high level.

So, I went out and hired two of the smartest people I could find.

Tony manages Facebook ads.

Ethan manages Instagram ads.

We’re still early on with these two, but they’ve both surpassed expectations in the first few months we’ve worked together.

I’m excited to see what the rest of 2016 brings.

Dean of 10ksubs: His name is Jeremy

Technically Jeremy didn’t start until 2016, but we started talking last year and solidified his position in late December.

Anyhow, if 10ksubs split out as its own company, Jeremy would be the CEO. His single goal is to make 10ksubs the best course on the planet about list building. His job is to wake up every day thinking about the product and students.

How can we make the curriculum better?

How can we get more students to 100, 1,000 and 10,000 subscribers?

How can we make our support for the product more awesome?

Those three questions are what he spends his days thinking about. To turn 10ksubs into the product it can be, it requires someone’s sole focus, and that person can’t be me.

One big lesson I’ve learned this year is that if I try to do everything, it all just sucks.

So, while 10ksubs takes up a large portion of my bandwidth, I want to dedicate even more time to it. And the best way to do that is by hiring someone to work directly with me on that.

That’s Jeremy.

I’m realllllly excited about where the course is headed this year under his direction.

..

Thing #5: Finding dudes doing the same thing as me (and hanging out regularly)

Most people call this a mastermind, but I hate that word.

However, “Finding dudes doing the same thing as me and hanging out regularly” doesn’t quite have the brevity.

Anyhow, early last year I was finally convinced to join a group with a few guys I kinda sorta knew. It took some arm twisting but I finally submitted to the peer pressure.

And I’m extremely grateful that I did.

Having a group of people who speak your language, who are doing similar things as you and who you can go to for support, advice and just general amusement on Slack during the day is a good thing.

This is how our group works:

1. There are 5 of us in the group.

2. There is a Slack channel where we hang out and chat during the day.

3. We meet once a quarter in person for 2 days.

Four out of the five guys in the group live in Nashville, so we also tend to get together throughout the week occasionally to hang out with the families and such.

That’s nice.

My advice on finding (or forming) a mastermind:

1. Find your people: Not everyone does business or approaches business the same way. Find the people you like hanging out with. Find people you actually enjoy being around. Don’t be sad if you find out those are different people than the folks you’ve always looked up to.

There is a good chance, that the people you look up aren’t “your people.”

2. Do 1:1 first: Before you try to get people to commit to being part of a group, start with a simple Skype call. Jump on, chat and talk about business.

If that goes well and you hit it off, then set a time to chat once a month.

Do that with 4-5 people you know who are at a similar spot as you or slightly ahead of you.

3. Collect your people: Once you’ve gone a few months with a handful of folks doing Skype calls 1:1, then float the idea out there of bringing them all in together in one group.

..

Thing #6: I met people who do cool work.

One cool thing that happened this year was getting to meet a bunch of folks that I look up to.

People whose books I’ve read, blogs I’ve followed, courses I’ve bought or Twitter accounts I’ve stalked.

Here is a quick list:

1. James Clear

2. Nathan Barry

3. Jeff Goins

4. Michael Hyatt

5. Stu McLaren

6. Whitney English

7. Darrell Vesterfelt

8. Allison Vesterfelt

9. Ray Edwards

10. Bob Lotich

11. Donald Miller

12. Crystal Paine

13. Tim Grahl

14. Jason Zook

15. Caroline Lesko

16. Pamela Wilson

Note: There is a 100% chance I forgot someone here. Sorry if that’s you. 🙂

..

Thing #7: Seth Godin commented on this blog.

I don’t even…

..

.

Thing #8: Trips 

2015 was a solid year for trips. It didn’t have the variety or international flair as 2014 (I’ll blame pregnancy and the new kid on that), but it was still pretty fun.

Trip #1: Went on my first-ever camping trip with my dad.

We’re making it a yearly Harris tradition.

Trip #2: Went to Death Valley to watch LSU vs. Auburn with my buddy Patrick.

It was (seriously) 120 degrees on the field during this game.

If it looks like we are about to die of heat stroke, that’s because we were.

Trip #3: Spent a week at the beach with (a very pregnant) Stacy.

Trip #4: Took the mastermind group to their first-ever SEC football game (Auburn vs. Kentucky).

Trip #5: Spent a weekend in Jasper, GA at a BALLLLLLER AirBnb.

Trip #6: Went to my very first Iron Bowl (Auburn vs. Alabama) football game.

What didn’t go well

Thing #1: Financial tracking and management (for the business)

Alright, now let’s talk about the crap that sucked this year.

I’m a pretty optimistic dude, so coming up with a bunch of things that went wrong is pretty tough for me. Not because I’m perfect (far from it) but because I tend to delete that stuff out of the memory bank ASAP.

So problem #1 this year…business finances.

For the first two years of Videofruit I’ve been in startup mode. Down and dirty. MVP. Scrappy.

But last year we generated just over $900,000 in sales. And I didn’t really have great systems in place to track all of that.

Currently my accounting system looks like this:

  1. Categorize transactions daily-ish.
  2. Talk to the tax guy a few times a year.

That’s about it.

Which is fine when you’re doing $200k and have 2 products and business is super simple.

But business is more complex now. So the financial back-end needs to scale up.

There are many numbers concerning my business that I am completely clueless on. So much so, I don’t even want to name them here.

So…what am I doing about it?

I hired the smartest accountant I could find. Her name is Raquel and she specializes in online teaching-based businesses like Videofruit.

She’ll handle affiliate payouts, cash flow projections, weekly reconciliation with all the accounts (merchant accounts, PayPal, affiliates, main bank account, etc.) and serve as a quasi-CFO role for me.

She’s in the process of getting everything set up for 2016 and beyond right now. I’m very excited to have her on board.

Confidence level in this working: 85%

..

Thing #2: Content planning and continuity

Here is the issue: I don’t really have much of a content plan. Like at all.

My publishing schedule looks like this…

1. “Hmmm…that would be cool to write about!”

2. Write. Write. Write. Write.

3. “Oh crap, it’s Friday!”

4. Kill myself to finish the post.

5. Email everyone with a link.

6. Take a deep breath.

7. Realize it’s Wednesday again.

8. Repeat step 1 thru 6.

That’s become stressful and I think has hurt the consistency and quality of the content overall.

What I need is a plan that allows be to be spontaneous with content when I need to be but also rely on an overall framework and schedule when there isn’t a spontaneous content opportunity.

So here is my plan for that:

I bought a second 2016 calendar, hung it in my office and started writing out topic ideas on it.

The general premise is this: If the calendar is hanging up in my office where I see it all the time, I’ll more easily be able to conceptualize how all the different pieces of content can flow together. I can also do a better job of planning it since it’s so visual and in front of me all the time.

Confidence level in this working: 20%

Thing #3: Tracking customer success

Alright, this is a big one….

I can tell you what my gross revenue for 2015 is.

I can tell you what my list size is.

I can tell you what my opt-in rate is.

But you know the one number that I don’t know? How many students reached their #1 goal last year.

Think about that for a minute. If my job is to help people reach their goal (to grow their email list), yet I’m not even tracking that, how on earth am I supposed to improve or even know if I’m being effective?

Sure, there is anecdotal evidence. People email in with cool stories and whatnot. But shouldn’t we track customer success just as religiously as we track our sales numbers and email list size?

It’s insane that I don’t do that.

We had just over 500 people enroll into 10ksubs and I have no idea how many reached 100 subscribers, 1,000 subscribers or 10,000 subscribers.

That’s insane!

So here is what we’re going to do about it…

What’s coming in 2016?

A few years back I found an incredibly simple goal-setting framework that I’ve fully adopted.

It works like this:

• 1 big goal

• 3 medium goals

• All the other crap

At the beginning of each year I’ll pick out a new ONE big goal and THREE medium goals. Then each quarter I’ll look at my progress towards the yearly goals and set some intermediate goals to work towards.

Then, every Monday, I’ll look at the yearly goals and set one big goal and three medium goals to work towards my quarterly goals.

Make sense?

If achieving your goals was climbing Mt. Everest, I went through the first 30+ years of my life staring at the peak of the mountain the entire time. The problem with starting at the big goal the entire time you hike is you eventually fall into the 100′ crevice right in front of you and you never see it.

test

If instead of not looking at the mountain the entire time, you spent your time worried about the next 500′ in front of you and every so often looked up to make sure you were still on the right mountain, you would make much quicker progress and your chance of death would go down drastically.

That’s how this goal-setting formula works.

One Big Thing. And Three Medium Things. 

Yearly. Quarterly. Weekly.

Focus on the weekly.

Ok, so my goals for the year are this:

One big goal:

#1 Launch 10ksubs twice, have fun doing it and get 100 students to 1,000 subscribers (in documented case studies).

Medium Goals: 

#2: Get 100,000 active subscribers on my list (active = average of 5-10% CTR).

#3: Create one new product per month (8 total minus sabbatical and launch months).

#4: Master PPC advertising.

Here is a quick video walkthrough of each goal and my thoughts on executing each one:

PS: What is your #1 goal for 2016? Leave it in the comments below. And challenge yourself to make one element of that goal be a selfless goal. 

  • Brilliant. Thanks a lot for sharing and creating this, Bryan. Have an awesome 2016 man!

    I actually go through a similar process each year, and I created some templates that help strategically plan out the various goals, across the different categories of life.

    You can check it out here, feel free to share (no opt in, straight download): https://www.armanassadi.com/the-annual-review-setting-yourself-up-for-success

  • Heck of a year buddy. Fun to go on the journey with you

  • Hey Bryan,

    Great work, man. I always enjoy reading your emails and articles. I’ve been reading James’ and Nathan’s year in review posts for a while and they’ve also inspired me to do my own.

    Here’s my 2015 year in review:
    https://excelchief.com/2015-year-in-review/

    Good luck this year with the growth of your family and business. I love the concept of “unselfish goals.”

    Alykhan

  • Awesome post and awesome year dude! Really glad the arm-twisting worked btw 😉

  • thanks for your honesty & always a great read. here’s my 2015 recap of my writing & blogging this year: https://joshspilker.com/2015-my-year-in-writing-and-blogging/

  • Build my list to 10,000 active subscribers while making money in the process by documenting the entire process. (currently at 1,426 subscribers)

    Interesting how I only just now thought about documenting the entire process.

    Isn’t that weird 🙂

    -Isaiah

  • Killer post, Bryan. Not sure how I ended up late to this party… Congrats! Keep crushing it. If you need another finance person, I’m more than happy to help out with cash flow forecasting and financial projections. Worked in IB restructuring for 3 years. Anyway, I look forward to seeing you pass the $1 mil ARR threshold in 2016. 🙂

  • AMAZING dude!

  • ben_noble91

    Great post Bryan! Wishing you the best in 2016.

    Inspired by some others I follow like Jason Zook, Carline Kelso, and Paul Jarvis, I wrote one of these recently on my own blog and it was super helpful to take that birds eye view on my las year. You can check it out here! https://immakingallthisup.com/personal-growth/the-state-of-the-union/

  • Your writing style is awesome. Your posts read like you’re just speaking to us, which makes it super easy follow along. $900k in sales!? Congrats dude!

    I have a few big goals for 2016, but one of them is 30,000 email subscribers (currently have 14,000). I’ll certainly be stealing your strategies to make this happen.

    Cheers!
    Brad

  • Nagina Sethi Abdullah

    Wow Bryan! This is so impressive and so inspirational. Your list growth is incredible, and your launches are world-class. I am learning so much from you and you’re showing me what’s absolutely possible. Thank you!

    Here is my 2015 Year in Review for my Weight-Loss for Busy Women website, MasalaBody.com. I completely got amazing publicity and created a system to sell my 10-week weight-loss program after spending the ENTIRE year testing what works and doesn’t. Would love for you to check it out here: https://masalabody.com/from-cooking-parties-to-fox-news-wow-what-a-year/

  • Riz Raza

    Excellent Post! Here’s my year in review post. https://www.30daypact.com/my-year-in-review-2015/

    My # 1 Goal is to launch my 30daypact system course which helps people crush thier goals in 30 days in November 2016

  • Banner year Bryan! Check out my annual review inspired by your Starting 2016 in A Cabin email:
    https://socialworkersuccess.com/blogtumblingnewyear/

  • My one goal for 2016 has a name: Goal 660. That’s 10x my subscriber list when I launched in 2015. Stretch goal os to reach 1,000 subscribes and be a case study for videofruit.

  • Awesome post. Here’s some data for you. I purchased 10k Subs, hit my first 100 within a week, and am 1/4 of the way to 1000. Working on a giveaway and a first product. Thanks for the awesome course!

  • Thanks for the inspiration, Bryan! This is a fab idea. I just went through all my pics from the past year and realized just how many amazing things I did and should be thankful for! :))

    Cheers to more in ’16.

    Here’s my year in review: https://bigsmallbiztips.com/year-in-review-2015-a-la-bryan-harriss

  • Love it. Why the focus on ppc?

  • Chris

    only 20% confidence??? Doubt you must not Bryan!

  • Thanks for the write up, Bryan. The level of transparency and integrity and great writing is so valuable.

  • dumspirospero

    Bryan,

    Thank you for sharing this. It was super insightful to read, and helpful in the sense that it confirms something that was not working for me before (standing in the valley and looking up at Everest). I’d decided that this year I was going to be more present by taking weekly measurements and setting goals in that respect. I created a Google spreadsheet calendar to list out these objectives, but a picture of your weekly physical calendar is confirmation that it’d probably be useful to get one of those.

    Also, your focus on finding your people has been right on. I think sometimes we spend so much time in awe of the awesome things that others are accomplishing that we don’t necessarily focus enough on creating a support network where we can receive even more value than the people’s blogs we follow.

    The launch graphic on time disbursement is also very handy to keep in mind for future reference. And thank you for sharing links to those other helpful posts that you wrote!

    P.S. Your trips were also inspirational–the fact that you were able to spend time with loved ones in places you treasure, not the part about the SEC obviously–j/k–ACC girl here–Clemson ’06. GO Tigers!

    Thanks again for sharing!

    Dekera

  • Love the breakdown. Learning a ton watching you build your business, getting inspired as I look at my own.

    If all else stayed the same, #1 goal would be to launch my product. I’ve built a framework (in OneNote), I have an email list of 1,400+, and even have 300 survey responses telling me their #1 challenge IN DETAIL!

    Next step is validation, but I am gun shy at the moment. Reading your product launch posts is pushing me toward reaching out the to 300 survey respondents to use your validation sequence. My question would be….how do I get people to buy something that won’t be out for (possibly) 3 months? Do I give them backstage access to the creation process and allow their feedback to help guide what I build?

    And I love the idea of documenting the progress so I have something to look back on and remind myself that I am making progress, especially during those times I feel stuck.

    Looking forward to your April launch of 10k subs, as I’ve broken 1,000, and am looking toward that 5,000 subs goal this year (or more!).

    Thanks again for all that you do!

  • Great blab today. Love reading other people’s successes and learning from their experiences.
    Created mine with a slightly different format – top influencers, products, resources, mistakes, wins and a gift. https://bit.ly/2015TopInfluencers

  • Caty Winyard

    My 2015 Review
    1. What went well?
    I
    launched my business in November 2015! I took a leap of fear/faith and
    told the Facebook world about my business to motivate and inspire women
    to take the time to focus on their own health and emotional needs! I
    also started my business blog, focusing on topics related to healthy
    living and habits.

    2. What didn’t go well?
    I didn’t make a single sale.
    I launched before I was really focused on how I could best serve.
    I had no email list.

    3. What’s the plan for 2016?
    Continue to focus on how to be remarkable in the field of healthy living.

    Really
    grapple with how I can best serve my target audience (via FB page
    posts, blog post topics, and email newsletters) – and how to find them!

    Build my email list to 1,000 (currently at 15 after sending out my first request to 100 FB friends and family members).
    Have Baby #3 (due April 1)!

    Loved reading how y’all are doing! Can’t wait to see what 2016 holds for you!

  • Hi Bryan,

    My 2016 in review! It’s been fun to get inspired by everyone else’s comment’s. Thanks everyone for sharing.

    This is perfect timing. About a month ago I was reviewing my year as I prepare to set my SMART goals for 2016 this evening. 2015 was easily my most productive and challenging year to date.

    Education (8/10)
    I graduated from college this year with my degree in Industrial design and proceeded to get a job doing something else the day before graduation. I finally have my expensive piece of paper that will get my my first job.

    Job (7/10)
    I started working my first full time job as a User Experience Designer for a large fortune 100 company. I love the work but wish I was working towards my own goals and not someone else’s. I am learning what I want and who I want to be

    Work (7/10)
    I have help my father revitalize his business by getting his work into online sales (he’s and artist). Rebuilt his website, grew a mailing list of about 1,900 using some of your techniques and a few tricks of my own. Grew his facebook follow to about 2,000+ followers and have seen a slow but steady growth in online sales. Not bad for working on it in my free time.

    Relationship (9/10)
    Met a girl who motivates me everyday to work towards what I love. All is going well there but always striving to be the best boyfriend I can be!

    Exploring (9/10)
    Talked my boss into pushing my start day back by a month so I could hop in a car with 3 of my best friends and travel from Iowa>The Tetons/Yellowstone>Seattle>Portland>The Redwoods>San Francisco>San Luis Obispo>Yosemite>Colorado Springs>Home (5,600miles). We did this without booking a single nights stay and just figured it out as we went. Hiking outside of Seattle to the top of Mt Washington helped show me what I really want in life.
    ———————————————
    2016 Outlook (10/10)
    Keeping my expectations high as I start 2016.

    Physical Health (Wanting to put on 30lbs of muscle).

    Mental health goals include, reading at least 1 book a month, Meditation at least once a week, reaching out to my inspirational mentors on a regular basis and hopefully establishing a relationship with them (starting with this email), and getting into a better sleep routine.

    Work goals include doubling my fathers online business following and better leveraging that for improved business. Most importantly I am wanting to form alternative forms of income for myself this year. My goal is $10k extra. I already made $1,200 in January and am well on my way to meet my goal but am always hustling to meet this faster but smarter.

    Thanks for sharing, this is a great way to keep your goals in focus.

    Best,
    Ryan Bush

  • Phenomenal, honest, and inspiring annual review, Bryan. Here’s mine: My Annual Review (2015): The Year We Birthed a Business and a Baby

  • Clare Fitzgerald

    Great post as always Brian. What I love about your posts is that as I read through them I think of things I love to know about next and I get to the next section and boom! You answer my question. Getting some good people to help me with technical stuff this year is crucial and I loved the section on that. Oh and btw your baby boy is very cute (I’ve got twin boys). Thanks again for the great read.

  • R.J. Vickers

    Thank you so much for the post! I’ve always enjoyed reading your highly informative, engaging posts.

    I was just inspired to write my own “year in review” post for my book marketing blog–the link is here! https://extremebookmarketing.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/2015-year-in-review/

  • Hey Bryan, awesome post thanks so much for sharing. Looking forward to following along and seeing what you achieve in 2016!

    We launched a productised service bookkeeping business in July 2015, so I’ve done a review of our first 6 months, as we don’t have 12. We launched in 7 days and after 7 months of hard slog we’re at $5k MRR.

    In 2016 our focus is on building our list. Ours is embarrassingly small, so need to put some effort in here. You can check out the post at https://beanninjas.com/blog/review-of-our-first-6-months/

  • #1 goal for 2016 – Generate $25,000 / month recurring revenue through the successful creation, launch and promotion of my new Twitter audience growing service.

  • Tyrone Williams

    Thanks bryan, this pushed me to write!… My 2015 Year in Review https://docs.google.com/document/d/1X4QxIvuHJjIJSfG3Xm5LsIaxseB8zaQmZuPhsEtaajY/edit?usp=sharing

  • Aaron Loring Davis

    Simply awesome!! I’m so grateful you are sharing this course, as I am paying attention. I spent an inordinate amount of time planning and acting on the advice you as giving and look forward to the results this year.

    This is my personal annual report from last year – https://www.aaronloringdavis.com/annual-report-2015/

    I’m crafting my report for my primary business now and it should be out in a few days.

    My goals for 2016:

    Continue the growth of https://exploration.io with the same or better metrics from 2015.

    and –

    Grow my list for https://platformbackup.com to 1,000 subscribers and launch a product.

    Thanks again. I’ll see you on the other side.

  • Great post, love the pics, which reminded me I should put more in my review. I did this a few days ago on my blog https://achieveyourbestlife.com/2016/01/31/wrapping-up-2015/ and will be posting my 2016 goals in a few days.
    My number 1 goal is to grow my blog/coaching into my business so that I can give up the day job. My ‘selfless’ goal is to volunteer for the Princes Trust (I’m in the UK) as a Coach-Mentor to the young people they support. I can’t wait to get going on that one!

  • Howard Hermes Jr
  • A-maze! Has been such a fantastic ride watching, chatting, (and being kicked up the butt) with (and from) you Bryan. You’re killing it.
    I’ll admit I wasn’t even thinking about doing this until I got about 1000 words into your post and was sparked into writing mode: 2100 words later –
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AKFXe73KLqNK1TBemCg7qHbYRsS224kJFd7Lpcl7kB4/edit?usp=sharing

  • Dominik All-in Harman

    Bryan you are very generous and brave guy. thumbs up

    As for my goals:

    #1 goal: 1k subs (305right now) + launching product using your validation process

    3 medium goals:

    1. write and sell 2 books (1st finished by March 30. 2nd ready for Christmas sale(15November max))
    2. write 50 blog posts (currently 1 T_T)
    3. dive into conversion optimization (a.k.a. I am able to mmake others to pay me for teaching and implementing it)

    All the best to all of VF

  • Killin’ it keep it up buddy.

  • katherine

    Hi Bryan,

    A great post and congratulations on an amazing year. I loved reading it and think it’s great that you mix business and personal goals.

    It’s been a challenging but transformational year for me so more personal growth than business growth but here it is https://bit.ly/1XdUiHe

    Katherine

  • #1 goal is to get to 1,000 subscribers for my first year of the http://www.itwillcomeshow.com! Currently at 85. Started Jan 1st.

  • SNJ Associates

    Great post – really inspiring. We are at the newborn stage by comparison in our area of research & analysis and in the midst of a lot of work. Your post was both encouragement and motivation to keep going. Thanks!

  • alanfendrich

    Really good, Bryan.

    One thing I noticed, which I’d been frustrating over, is low YouTube channel subscriber counts. Yours has less than 500 subscribers. However the quality of your work its obvious that’s an unimportant metric.

  • Kris

    Have you looked into Xero as an accounting software that you can use? You could always hire a tax advisor or a Xero advisor, but you can also learn how to use their platform with online resources. Right now there aren’t many sites that offer free courses. You should check out Fit Small Business and their Xero Course: https://fitsmallbusiness.com/free-xero-courses/