Does the ends justify the means?

I don’t know. I’m not smart enough to figure out that one. But for me, at this particular moment in time, I can say that it does.

On January 1, 2014, I wrote that my goal was to make 2014 the best year of my life. I laid out my goals for the year in each of the 7 major areas. I was ready to take on the world.

When I look back at my goals for the year, I realize that I failed to complete many of them. And yet, I can still say that with zero uncertainty, 2014 was the best year of my life. Mission accomplished, just as 2013 was the best year of my life before that, and 2012 and 2011.

Am i upset that I didn’t hit all 31 of my goals? Absolutely not. I knew setting out that “this is beyond ambitious.” I used them to fuel me and motivate me to achieve big things. And on that front, they definitely succeeded even in light of the fact that I technically failed so many of them.

What worked / What didn’t

On the health side, it was an interesting year. I made it down to 174 lbs at one point and my mom told me I was too skinny. I ended the year around 183 lbs after some holiday slacking. I woke up at 5am a majority of the week days and hit 6 - 7 hours of sleep probably 75% of the time. Major improvements in the sleep department from where I was in 2013. Still eating mostly paleo and loving it.

On the business side, I clearly didn’t hit my blog goal, but my writing skills definitely improved. My passive revenue was a joke. I think my best month of monthly recurring revenue was $150. (My sister-in-law is crushing it though, but that’s a story for another time). I also didn’t get the @jbp3 twitter handle. Yet…

It was a good year financially. Didn’t sell or refinance my house yet, but I’m brewing something really cool in this department you’ll hear about soon.

In the growth department, I read so much in the 1st half of the year and then my reading fell off a cliff. I need to get back on that. I miss reading. I didn’t make any progress in improving my (very weak) coding abilities). We (Firehawk) decided it was much more valuable to the company for me to focus and double down on product and design. So that’s what I did, and I’m really happy with the continued growth in that department.

Of the seven areas, I would say Contribution was my weakest area. Sure, I did a lot, but it wasn’t nearly enough. Must do more.

Highlights of the Year

The thing I am most proud of this year is definitely completing a goal of mine that was 4 years in the making. On December 2, 2010 I wrote the following post on Facebook:

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This year, I spent almost a full month in Brazil exploring the country, absorbing the greatness of the World Cup and supporting the United States Men’s Nation Team.

I had such a life changing experience. It was the combination of many factors that made the trip so incredible. It was basically my first trip outside of North America. I went to an amazing beautiful country where I didn’t speak the language. I lived and breathed the world cup for whole weeks. I got to explore, try new foods, meet new friends. I surfed on a different continent. I shut down my company for a month. I had an overwhelming and unexpected patriotic pride being surrounded by my fellow USA supporters. And I was able to follow through on a goal that meant so much to me.

Brazil was just one month though. The rest of the year was quite spectacular as well. I fell in love. This is simultaneously truly amazing and a bit scary. Being in an adult relationship means putting someone else ahead of myself. It takes up a lot of my brain capacity. I find myself in situations I never in a million years would have expected. And I like it, I’m ridiculously happy and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

On the business front, David and I have built Firehawk into something really special. We’ve been executing on our vision for over a year now and the results speak for themselves. We have been fortunate to work with some very talented people to build innovative new products. We exceeded our revenue goal for the year even with shutting down for an entire month. Yay us.

I look at 2014 as the foundational year. We established a very solid base with Firehawk. We are in a comfortable position which will allow us to chase down big opportunities and swing for the fences. I’ll write about 2015 in another post, but I’ll just say that while 2014 was an unbelievable year, everything has been setting up for what’s coming. Peace out 2014. It’s been fun.