Annual Review 2022

Last year, I wrote that 2021 had been a year of small steps for me.

Which is funny, because I feel like my 2022 could be summarized in the same way. Yet where 2021 was mostly exploratory, the steps I took in 2022 were all working in the same direction, my efforts slowly compounding.

I’ve hit on a trajectory with my consulting that should mean I can make a living off of it within the next year. I’m getting clearer and clearer on what, exactly, I want my contribution to the games industry to be, and how I can shape that contribution through my services and products.

At the same time, I’ve got my work cut out for me:

I never did crack the code on sharing my work on social media, which will be crucial in reaching a larger audience. I also haven’t really been able to get my family life to the level of stability I wanted to. This one especially stings, but through this review I have at least landed on some ideas for improvement moving forward.

Below, I reflect on the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year, and the lessons I learned along the way. Then, I’ll outline how I plan to take my learnings of this year and chart a new course for 2023.

Reflecting on 2022 Goals

✅ Read 30 books

This year I landed on 32 books. It’s become a pretty strong habit to just, always be reading something. I probably don’t really need to set an explicit goal anymore at this point, but I like the accountability.

✅ Build newsletter to 200 subs

Thanks to the way newsletters are set up on Linkedin, I blew right past 200 subscribers and ended up around the 350 mark. I have noticed though that focusing on a number and whether it’s going up fast enough isn’t really what I want to be doing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to work on promoting myself, my services and the newsletter a bit better in the coming year. I’ll just be focusing more on the output, and less on the immediate results.

✅ Do 5 consulting projects

I worked with 7 clients this year, and I’m very happy with that. Each of these clients has placed significant trust in me to help them improve as a team and as a company.

I’m so proud of the work we have done together, and of the glowing testimonials they were willing to write to indicate that they feel the same.

✅ Publish a digital product

I published a small digital product this year, called Better Book Notes. It’s a collection of curated book notes on all the books I read that are relevant to running a company in the videogame industry.

I’ve sold about 10 of these, but then I haven’t really promoted it much outside of a small initial push on Linkedin and Twitter. I have a backlog of notes to update in the coming months, and after that I’ll review what I want to do with this. My gut says it is more work than it warrants as a standalone product, so I might also package it into a bigger offering in a simpler form. We’ll see.

❌ Get better at Twitter

Yeah… no. If anything, I’ve re-learned the personal truth that social media is not a very natural environment for me. I’m not a natural sharer, and I also don’t want to become a “daily tweet, weekly thread” type of guy.

If anyone has tips for how to build a healthy presence on social media in a way that doesn’t require you to design your life around the motto of Always Be Posting, hit me up.

❌ Get better at SEO

I didn’t really end up doing much in the way of SEO this year.

I’m doing the basics, but I’ve also decided that I don’t want to run my business as a numbers game. I’d rather build a reputation through word-of-mouth, with my website and newsletter playing a supporting role.

? Invest in family

Yes, but no?

I feel like I devote a lot of time to my family – I’m home with my daughter two afternoons a week, and working from home means I can easily hop down a flight of stairs to join a quick board game or read a book together when my schedule allows it.

My flexible schedule also lets me catch a lot of the unforeseen things life with a 4-year-old throws at you, so my girlfriend doesn’t have to take time out of her perennially overbooked schedule.

That said, life with a 4-year-old feels considerably harder than it was when Maya was 3. Between work and child care, time to connect as partners is rare, and we’re starting to really feel the strain. I had hoped to make a meaningful change in this in the past year, but we didn’t quite get there. On the list for the coming year: find a babysitter.

Things I loved in 2022

Previously, I published a list of my favorite books, games, movies, shows and songs of 2022. I’ve included the list below, and you can read an explanation for each item in my essay My Favorite Things of 2022.

Goals for 2023

? Read 24 books

What it says on the box. I read considerably more in the last two years, but I don’t want it to feel like a chore. The most important thing is that I’m getting some input to spark my thinking on business practices that I can use for my clients.

If I “only” read 24 books a year, I’m happy.

?‍? Help 10 clients improve their company

Signing seven clients in my first year was great, but this year I want to help even more leaders and leadership teams to get better at running and growing their company.

Ten clients feels like a number that is both achievable as well as a meaningful step up.

If you’re reading this and feel like I might be a good fit for the challenges you are facing with your company, please do reach out!

? Fully update Better Book Notes

This is probably the one thing that really feels like a chore. I still need to summarize a bunch of the existing notes to comply with copyright law. After that I can start adding the dozens of books I’ve read in the interim.

I’ll probably increase the price at that point, as well as revisit its place in my portfolio of products and services.

? Launch EOS video course

I’ve now helped three clients implement an adapted version of the EOS business management system, and they all love it. Following the adage of “if you say it twice, write it down”, I want to condense the whole system and its implementation down to a self-paced video course.

This should make it possible for companies with smaller budgets to also get the benefits of the system, with little to no input or feedback from my end.

Step one will be to create a comprehensive Notion template for the whole thing, so keep an eye on my newsletter for more info on that.

?️ Work out 80 times

I was doing really well with my workouts last year, right up until the point that I wasn’t. After a busy period in September, I probably didn’t work out for the rest of the year more than a handful of times.

This year, I’m holding myself accountable. Working out twice a week was working well for me, and I’m committing to hitting at least 80% of that.

?‍♂️ Meditate 200 times

Next to my physical health, I also want to pay more attention to my mental health. I’ve dabbled in meditation for the past two years, but never really managed to turn it into a habit. I want to see if I can change that.

Like the workouts, I figure some form of meditation each (work)day is probably ideal, and taking into account that shit happens, I’m aiming for ~80% of that.

?‍?‍? Invest in family

This one is staying on the list. I think the mistake I made last year was to put it on here, without translating it to smaller, actionable items. I’m not making that mistake again.

As weird as it feels to break down interactions with my partner into quarterly to-do’s, I feel certain that it will help both of us to keep this goal top of mind, and to make sure we actually plan those kid-less nights out.

Taken together, I want 2023 to be a year of consistency and accountability. Doubling down on the things that work, improving on the things that don’t, and holding myself accountable to improving my life in the ways that really matter.

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Photo by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images