2023 Review

Towards the end of each year, I typically take a few hours to reflect on what went well, what didn’t go so well and what I want to improve for next year.

As Ray Dalio says:

Pain + Reflection = Progress

Reflecting on my year is important to me for three main reasons:

  1. Create positive momentum (remind myself of the good things from the year)
  2. Learn lessons so they aren’t repeated
  3. To always be growing a bigger and better future

I usually just keep these reflections in a notebook or somewhere private, but I thought I’d share my review this year in an effort to create more content that could be useful to others and for me to review in the future.

Here’s how 2023 was for me and what’s coming up in 2024.

Theme of 2023: Practice

I usually pick a theme for the year that is a word I can come back to that will gently nudge me in the area of growth that I want to go. Kind of like a little mantra to help me overcome a pattern of behaviour or thinking that I found myself stuck with in previous years.

For 2023, the theme of the year was “Practice”. The idea of this was that instead of trying to get things perfect on the first go, I would overcome procrastination by thinking of everything as practice.

This helped in many areas of my life, from designing websites for clients to going to the gym to learning how to improve my NLP training skills.

I’m really happy with how this went and will continue to keep the mental habit of thinking of things like practice as I go into 2024, with the shift that I want to practice in public, as this is an area of growth for me now.

Wins for 2023

2023 was a really big year. When I look at where I am in life, it is almost unrecognisable now to where it was 12 months ago. I had a few moments throughout 2023 where I said “I’m living my dream life” which I’m incredibly grateful for.

Here are a few big wins from the year:

Merged my digital agency with SGD

After working with SGD since October 2022, we finally merged businesses on July 1st, 2023. We’ve gone from a team of 3 to a team of 15 and doubled our revenue in 12 months. It’s been a big year of growth, and I love working with our team! We have so many smart people on the team and can’t wait to see what we can do in 2024.

Launch digital strategy roadmap

This is a new service as a workshop I learned from Troy Dean with significant contributions from Allan Dibb’s 1 Page Marketing Plan. This workshop positions us as a digital marketing partner and not just a web design agency.

Spoke at MavCon Goldcoast

This event was a mastermind for digital agencies. The event host, Troy Dean, caught COVID and was stuck in his hotel room. I was asked to MC the event with about 60 minutes notice, and was able to get on stage to open the event, interview some of the attendees and facilitate a few of the workshops.

I noticed my mindset during this had shifted significantly to thinking about how I feel on stage to how I can help bring value to the people in the audience. This is a great shift and it was a really good experience.

Launched Leverage Mastermind with Brook McCarthy

Brook has been my marketing coach and I’ve worked closely with Brook on her Hustle and Heart launch. We’ve known each other for some time, have hired each other for various projects, spoken at various events and generally align on how we think about business and digital marketing.

We found that many solo consultants and coaches are stuck trading time for money doing 1:1 services while getting an income that’s barely minimum wage. We wanted to create a group to help them create more leverage by launching their flagship group program, and that’s exactly what we did!

We have a fantastic group of humans in the Leverage Mastermind now and I’m excited to continue to help them grow their audience and launch their programs in 2024.

12 month leadership and NLP trainer training with Amy Bell

This was one of the highlights of the year. It was an incredible program where I grew substantially in my thinking and behaviour as a trainer and leader. I’m so thankful for everyone in the group. This has laid the foundation for 2024 as I move into more of a leadership role where I am putting much skills into practice.

If you get a chance to work with Amy Bell in any capacity, I would highly recommend it. It will change your life.

More consistent workout routine

I’ve been running and skating for many years, but rarely have gone to the gym. This year I started personal training at TEAM Elwood and learned a great routine that I’ve been using regularly. It’s been helpful not just for my physical health but for my mental health as well. I’ve put on more muscle and my running speed is almost back where it was when I last trained for a marathon.

House-sitting full-time

In 2022, we tried a couple of house sits for friends in Victoria and loved it, so in 2023 we decided to go all in! We’ve left our Elwood property and have been living in various house-sits around the East Coast of Australia.

It’s been incredible, and I don’t see us stopping this lifestyle soon.

It’s been a steep learning curve as changing location every month or two is quite disruptive, but it’s a great opportunity to explore different areas. We’ve had some amazing hikes in the Otways, Sydney National Forest, Gold Coast Hinterland, Blue Mountains – all because we’ve been house-sitting close by to these areas and haven’t needed to take holidays to go and see them. Looking forward to more of this in 2024!

Skatemeets and competitions

I help to host a couple of rollerblading skatemeets this year in Bairnsdale, Bendigo and Albury, each with about 30 rollerbladers coming along for a session. I also came 3rd at the Adelaide titles and competed in the Australian Roller Blading titles, but didn’t make it into the top 10 for that one.

Lessons for 2023

As I started writing this post, I was thinking a lot about the lessons I learned, so I turned this into it’s own blog post. You can read about my biggest lessons of 2023 here.

Improvements I’ll make in 2024

Here are a few things I’m going to focus on in 2024 to help me continue to grow and make progress towards my goals:

  • Proactive: everything is due in advance. This is my theme for 2024
  • Practice in public: aggressively ship unfinished work. This is one of the biggest areas of growth for me and where I have the most fear.
  • Consistency: being consistent with key habits for working out, working, publishing content, sales follow ups. Making decisions and sticking to them consistently to simplify life and put results on auto pilot.
  • Create assets: build things that work where I don’t need to be involved. This will be my “body of work” on my website, lead magnets to attract ideal clients, systems so the SGD team can deliver consistently, auto-investing money into long term savings, building products that add value and making it easy for people to buy without talking to me.
  • Decision making: act quickly and decide fast to accelerate your learning. Trust yourself to go with your first thoughts and learn from your mistakes.
  • Courage: you don’t need to feel good to do the thing. Discomfort is the price of your dreams, so act with courage and get to it. You’ll feel better afterwards, not before.
  • Relationships: being there for others, engaging in groups, connecting with people that I enjoy being around. This is a big growth area for me.
  • Building a team around me: have people who can help me with specific things so I can call on them when needed, like a pit crew.
  • Faster recovery time: bounce back quick from injury, hard work, and over people-ing.
  • Principles: simplify learning and memory by identifying principles
  • Constraints: limit options and scope in terms of time and quantity to keep things simple and create boundaries to work within.

Coming up in 2024

To wrap things up, here’s what’s coming up in 2024 that I’m looking forward to.

  • Team coworking in Thailand
  • Launch our digital marketing engine
  • Streamline our digital marketing services. Less, but better. Not sacrificing quality and results as we grow.
  • Marathon at Mt Buffalo
  • Film a rollerblading profile
  • Travel to Europe
  • Help 30 coaches and consultants launch their group program in Leverage Mastermind
  • Launch a program/course on this website

OK that’s it for the 2023 review – let’s go 2024!

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Hi, I’m Simon.

I help fast-growing businesses attract more of their ideal clients through their website.

I also help in-demand coaches and consultants to leverage their time and expertise in groups.

My clients take massive action and are committed to growing their businesses while making an impact.