The only constant throughout is change (2023 Retro)
Before this year ends, I'm here again with a yearly retrospective.
This time is different. I want to make it a short one.
Short but packed with achievements and lessons learned.
Let's get on with it!
Big small beginnings
I started the year in the same way I spent most of it: working.
I had a backlog (or a notepad) full of ideas, projects, and things I wanted to try.
Since the first few days, I was putting the time into improving my habits, building routines, and putting in the reps to eventually accomplishing some goals.
I remember that my initial idea was to be hard at work for all November and December of the previous year and then January so I could chill and take some time off on February for my birthday.
I kept going with that momentum through many months afterwards. Only took some time off the weekend close to my birthday.
Challenges to take, projects to build
It was a good year in relation to work done for building projects, advancing my personal brand, growing my professional network and such.
Reading through previous retrospectives, I can see that ideas and aspirations I had before are now complete realities now.
That gives me a great sense of joy and pride.
There are lots of things I did, I tried, I completed, I started, and I quit.
(Not everything is worth the time and I'm getting better at discerning what is truly valuable and what is not.)
In no particular order. This is a list of accomplishments of this year:
Went from random frontend developer and newbie writer to pro writer / side builder / content marketing persona.
I grew my Twitter account from a low 200 follower count to, last time I checked, 720. But the important thing is not the number. It's the amount of awesome creators I've met, I've messaged or jumped on calls with.
I had the first booked calls of my "Skill Boosting Sessions". Which I created as a way to help other folks with the 8 years of experience I have through trial and error in accelerated learning.
I created, improved with feedback of some great folks, and launched my first themed online course. Around the topic of improving focus and removing distractions like Agent 007. This was during the Build in Public Mastery cohort of June.
I took the live version of the "Newsletter Launchpad" course by my now friends Louie Bacaj and Chris Wong. With their help, I launched my own newsletter in July called Supercharged Learning HQ. I've been sending a weekly issue every Sunday ever since.
Around August I got accepted in the "Nights & Weekends" program by Buildspace. It was a 6-week program with thousands of other creators all around the world, working on a project of our own choosing. I started to work on an idea that came to me as part of the last BIPM Sprint.
Even if it was very tough to keep up with the demands of the program, I was on the few that made it to N&W S4 Demo Day and graduated from the program.
I also got accepted to Hackernoon's "Blogging Fellowship". Thanks to that program, I've been able to elevate my technical and non-technical writing. Not only learning about the craft but having a personal editor, live sessions with HN's VP of editorial, an Ahref's subscription, and my own profile as a published author!
I used some of my new SEO skills to extend my writing to sites like Tealfeed and put them for sale in places like Marker Content. I also used those skills to help some of my indie friends to do research for ideas worth building.
I've done some great progress and I'm close to finishing the 1st version of my story-based online course. This first one is about memory improvement. And the amount of feedback and ideas I've received to make it better has being awesome.
I did a Python challenge that I was able to complete despite the setbacks.
I started participating in AI hackathons, realized I had lots to learn, got some nice-working prototypes with cutting-edge techs, found a couple Discord communities of people building the future, and made some new friends in that exciting and ever-growing AI space.
And finally, I was able to trade in my old and frequently crashing Asus laptop for a different one that is much more reliable and has a dedicated GPU. You know what that last part means? Yeah. Being able to run LLMs locally without an online connection. 🎉
Not everything was positive
As with everything in life, you get good things and you get not-so-good ones.
Or more like things you wanted to happen and others you did not.
In this case, I had a few setbacks and unpleasant situations.
I lost a writing gig I had about making articles for SEO purposes. Once GPT-4 became a thing and many autowriter tools became available, what I was doing was no longer that valuable.
A contact I had for technical ghostwriting, which I made the previous year, ended up ghosting me. Quite ironic, I know.
I got badly addicted to an online PC game and I don't even know how. Lost a lot of sleep, got sick twice, and lost most of my April because of it.
Made a couple of bets that didn't turn out like I expected and lost quite some money. The worst part is that the money came from my own pocket so my runway shrank more than I expected.
Things in my family have been changing and getting pretty tense. I'm the mediator and the person who gets asked for advice so I've had to spend much more time than I anticipated helping to ease those issues.
Going into 2024
For the new year I'm changing. Again.
Like you can tell by the title of this post.
The only thing that remains constant throughout the year and all these past years is... Change.
I'm switching things up. In a way, I'm fulfilling one of the dreams many senior developers (and other high-level tech profiles) have.
I'm trading the "hustle and bustle" of the city life for a more traditional one in the countryside.
Before it was just a crazy project that we had for later on. But now is more a reality.
Having a couple of cows and other animals that are producing and can help turn a profit.
Plus, the good side of doing online-based work is that I can keep working on my projects as long as I have a reliable internet connection (which is my next step).
I also want to get involved in other communities or groups offline and see where I can help or can build mutually beneficial relationships.
And along with that, I want to try new activities, see what else I can do and potentially turn into new sources of income.
I've been showing that I can do almost anything and everything. And I want to keep going with that theme of "what else can I do?"
And of course, I'll keep working on everything that I've done this year that either started or has been steadily growing.
I'll find a way to increase my runway so I don't get forced into a day job and lose the time I could put into my projects and other ventures.
That's pretty much it for me this year.
There are many other things or details that I missed. But I'm pretty confident that what I listed are the most relevant parts of this past year.
As always, thanks for reading. Thanks for being here. I hope this new year brings us all more opportunities and more good things even among the not-so-good ones.
Cheers for the start of 2024.
See you later...