Reflecting on 2016; Planning 2017

Note: this post is very flow-of-thought and was composed over several days. The goals derived from it are more structured and can be found at accomplish.cjtrowbridge.com.

 

Looking back, most of my goals for 2016 were learning goals, and went unaccomplished. All but one of my non-learning goals was accomplished. I successfully doubled my income, I learned to sail, I bought a new car, I revisited hobbies like Amateur Radio. Sadly, I did not find time for starting a new business selling food.

I did want to put more emphasis on my learning goals, but I think I struggled this year with defining myself on the spectrum between polymathism and specializing in mastering a smaller skill set as advocated by Peter Thiel in Zero to One.

After reading lots of books on the topic and attending Burning Man, I think I can confidently say that I lean polymath on that spectrum. I would rather dabble in many things than specialize in a few. I might have guessed as much based on the example of my forebearers.

With this aspect of myself finally defined, I feel freer to expand my focus on more skills as I had planned to in 2016.

My main priority for 2017 will be finding independence and security in the many areas I am currently dependent and over-committed, such as:

  • I want to eliminate all debt and start saving and investing.
  • I want to start at least one formal business and several informal side-projects which turn profits.
  • I want to remove or eliminate all recurring costs wherever possible.

I also want to renew my focus on learning.

  • I want to be proficient in more programming languages and frameworks.
    • C++
    • C#
    • Golang
    • NodeJS
    • JS
    • Angular
    • React
  • I want to learn new skills
    • Learn to fly
    • Learn the constellations

I make lots of apps that people use, but none of them are mine. I want to develop web applications that people use which belong exclusively to me. These should not be in languages which I am already familiar with; rather new languages I learn. Likely Golang or C++ would be ideal candidates for this. Perhaps with new implementations of Astria?

I want to again double my income. This will certainly require income diversification as my current job can not double in value again this year.

Revisiting side gigs will be a primary focus. A lot of lucrative projects fell by the wayside as my focus narrowed during 2016, and deserve revival:

  • DJ-CJ This is easy and makes a lot of money. I need to get back into it. I want to expand my previous work to include regular content creation via perhaps a weekly educational podcast on the current top 40(?)
  • Food Carts: This is such a good idea which I have a track record of success with. There is just no reason I am not still doing this.
  • Growing Food: I have been talking about this for years, and I wish I had made more progress. This is so important and it’s only going to become more important. I want to get to at least a prototype this year.
  • RaaS: Referrals are the best form of marketing, and a real problem which has not been cracked yet. There should be a simple way to sign up for a platform which automatically incentivizes your customers to evangelize and then automatically rewards them.
  • Professional Fundraising: Raise money for worthy causes by throwing fundraiser events.
  • FSaaS: My work in field services management has led me to believe that the current field services industry is terrible and needs transformative change. I see huge potential in combining something like Magic with something like Postmates. There is just no reason that there is not a general-purpose field services as a service company. I have been developing this idea since June 2016, and it would be a natural extension of my previous work and highly lucrative.

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