Time for my annual state of the union address (sometimes it’s even twice a year) as we shut the door on 2018 and move into 2019…
First off, 2018 has simultaneously been one of the best—and worst—years of my adult life.
This has undoubtedly been the most successful year of my life from a financial perspective.
But with everything else, life has not lined up for me this year, and I suspect I am not the only one.
Every human will probably go through this at one point, so learn…
Let’s talk about the good first. Business.
I hit goals that I thought would take me a DECADE to hit when I quit my 9-5 job making nearly $100k in February of 2016.
I had a point where I made more in a weekend than I did in an entire year at my first corporate job.
I also got into a “lifetime” business, which is Selo Oils with my friend Martin. This is something I could see myself working on for decades, passing on to family. I had no idea when that would be on my life timeline, but it ended up being this year because the opportunity was there.
Now let’s talk about the bad. To hit all of these goals, my health has suffered greatly.
I fell apart, quite literally.
I was in good shape at the beginning of the year. Sprained an ankle, and had the misfortune of living on the fifth floor with no elevator. In the middle of a grey, cold winter, I went outside maybe 10 times in the course of 3 weeks, I’d say. That was the beginning of the domino effect.
I started drinking more, sitting in the chair more. Started developing neck/back pains.
Then I sprained the same ankle again.
So the cycle continued for a few more weeks.
Drank more because I was just bummed out. Gut health worsened because of this.
Overall, I just…
Spiraled downhill from a physical standpoint. Felt like I aged 10 years overnight. Then I took a trip to Serbia and ended up coming down with a week-long battle with food poisoning. I finally got better, was stupid and went to a trampoline center, and twisted my OTHER foot up pretty badly, too. Cycle started again. And really, it continued all year. Could never quite get healthy, kept spinning into this cycle with moments of being unable to focus because of pain…
My vision also worsened and I dealt with some headaches/vertigo I suspect from it.
I lost all my flexibility.
I was just a mess.
Yet somehow business kept on chugging along great and had my best month ever in November.
So, who knows, maybe that is a bit of a result from having more time to sit around on the computer and get shit done.
But, I can also tell you:
It’s not sustainable.
I’m glad to say that over about the past month I seem to have gotten much more healthy (other than the vision). I’ve implemented some new routines that have been working well and keeping me healthy. Stretching often, joints feeling good enough to run again. So, the lesson is that sometimes when bad shit happens, good things can come out of it. When I could focus on my business, I got a lot done. I was very one-dimensional this year. I neglected health because of the circumstances and made good money.
But that is not sustainable.
Sometimes life gives you a shitty situation, and you have to make do with what you have.
Overall though, some balance is probably necessary for the majority of us to have lasting successful, fulfillment, and happiness.
So, here’s what’s on the docket for 2019…
1. I’m Going to Start Traveling Again
I’m going to fly to Brussels, take a day trip to Amsterdam, and then head into Germany for about half a week, before then flying direct to HipsterSeattle.
Then on to the ferry to Canada to film a Selo Oils Live Experience (more on this soon).
Then, I’ll head to California, say hi to the family, and then head back here to Ukraine.
Come March I’m tentatively planning on spending a few days in Qatar and then on to Tokyo…
Needless to say, I’m going to try to make up for this year, where I just didn’t travel much besides to Serbia and then Ukraine (before moving back here—that took a huge toll on both my girl and I, as well).
2. I’m Going to Start Longform Blogging Again
I’m going to go against my friend Jake’s post here, just a bit…
But things we’re different back in “my day” – when I started working online. Just a few short years back.
Back then, blogging was the name of the game.
Put out great content and the people shall find + share it. Maybe publish a PDF after enough people have found your site.
These days that shit simply doesn’t work.
There’s far too much content online. Far too much competition. Far better ways to build an audience. Better ways to make moula and guap.
Maybe I was ignorant, but I hadn’t a clue how valuable social media platforms could be for selling.
Don’t get it twisted…I knew Facebook Ads and all that jazz were making people millions. I just didn’t know that a personal brand with a few thousand devoted followers was exceptionally valuable too.
A small following on platforms like Twitter or YouTube can easily equate to a full-time income if the content creator knows what he/she is doing.
Like 3,000+ followers/subscribers on these platforms is more than enough to pay your bills for a year if you know how to monetize.
There’s definitely a shift towards building a persona brand on social media instead of blogging. This is a massive change in the content creation game.
One that shows no signs of slowing down.
If you plan to be a creator for years to come, then finding out how to build organic followings on Twitter and YouTube are absolutely essential.
And you know what?
I’m going to do the OPPOSITE of what everybody else is doing.
Yes, Jake’s right—there’s a LOT of content out there these days. Everybody and their mommas trying to be one. But here’s the thing. What do I (and Jake, too…) have going for us that 99% of these folks don’t?
We actually have bodies of work to stand on.
We have more than a Twitter profile or an Instagram page.
This site, for example, has some 1,200 articles on it. Podcast episodes in the 100s.
That’s something that the majority of people don’t have.
Why am I going to play in the rookie leagues of social media when I’ve already done the work for 5+ years to reach the majors?
I’m probably addicted to social media, and spend too much time there to justify the ROI on it. Reality is, I should be using social media (where I’m just one of millions) to push people to this platform (where I’m in the top 1%).
Anybody with a true body of work (Jake included) should be doing the same.
And yes, as my relationship/political views have mellowed out over the years, I’m not at a huge risk of being de-platformed. I’m talking about business these days, not culture/gender war. I don’t see this changing anytime soon. Business is where my passion lies for the foreseeable future. In addition, I don’t think saving the West by trying to fix Western women is the solution. I think the real solution is to get masculine, confident dudes who have their life together to greener pastures full of beautiful women.
Social media will continue to evolve. Technology is not going to stop. We talk about being fragile on these platforms, but these platforms are fragile themselves.
Yeah, didn’t think so.
Eventually, Twitter will be replaced by something better—it just doesn’t exist yet. Facebook has such a market share they’ll be hard to topple, but Zuck is a cuck and may run the place into the ground. Instagram will likely be replaced by some virtual reality/privacy nightmare.
As the generation that is my parents passes away, we will lose the last generation that is not hugely involved in social media (neither of my parents actually “use” it). To serve all of the new people in the world, there will be more platforms coming up, others dying, etc.
But, the written word?
People are going to keep reading…for now.
That may change by the next generation, but not in my lifetime. I suspect books and the written word may disappear in the not-too-distant future. But, me, personally, I think I’m safe.
Here’s how I’m doing this: I’m going to be overhauling this entire site. The front page is nearly done and looks beautiful. I’m going to make This Is Trouble a premier resource in both the make money online sphere as well as dating. Everything will become easier to navigate and find. The result is going to be ‘the place’ to send people to from social media.
2A. There’s Also The “Mood” of Social Media
I don’t know about you, but I can feel my mood drop after scrolling on Twitter or Instagram for just a few mere minutes. Constant ads, up and down dopamine hits from likes and comments—trust me, those platforms are designed to do that to you…
The truth is:
I feel infinitely better crafting a longform post like this as opposed to sending out some tweets.
As humans in general get more and more plugged into social media, it’s going to become a massive battle of “Use Social Media, Don’t Let It Use You”. This means that a vast majority are going to be so caught up in the highlight reels, scrolling, always feeling like they aren’t quite good enough in life…the result is going to be a bunch of obese, depressed people. You see the beginnings of this already.
Actively working to combat this is also going to move you towards the top of the food chain…
One final thought about social media:
If someone, for example, doesn’t have the patience to sit down and read this entire article, which is not even 2,000 words yet—they aren’t the people I want as a customer, anyway. I’m in the business of building lifetime customers. That’s where the real value is delivered (to them), and the real money and satisfaction is made (to me).
Customers who are dopamine junkies always jumping to the next Instagram post isn’t my target market.
View this post on Instagram
3. But…I’m Going to Post Everywhere
Different strokes for different folks. Some people like reading. Some like listening to podcasts. Some just scroll on social media (see above).
I’m going to be actively working on putting my content on as many mediums as possible. You see this already—my daily emails are expanded on and put on the blog, the podcast topics often are based off of emails. Podcasts also go to my YouTube channel. I use long-form posts as Twitter threads, Tweets as Instagram descriptions—you get my point. Rather than creating things for each platform, I’ll be re-purposing as much as possible.
My personal favorites?
I like podcasting the most.
Anyways, follow me across all my places:
4. I’m Going to Be Selling a Lotta Olive Oil and a Lotta Courses
We’ve got big plans for Selo.
We’ll be making an “evergreen” cooking webinar which will allow us to run paid traffic (theoretically) forever to it, and sell the oil. Martin and I are going to put together a sort of “how to bring your first physical product to market” course, as well. I’ve also got some other things in the pipeline that I’m pretty excited about.
And that’s just the beginning…
Anyways, it’s time to wrap this baby up.
Thanks, as always, for being a part of this site and community. It’s pretty amazing where it’s ended up.
I would love your feedback as we head into the new year, so I’ve put together a survey for readers of the blog to give me your raw, anonymous thoughts.
It’ll take less than 60 seconds.
Keep causing trouble,