Writing a full year recap is no different from doing an annual performance review. Recency effects kick in and one can barely recall what happened a month ago, let alone things in the first quarter of the year.
So how I usually start is by reviewing the picture taken over the year on my Google Photos
This year’s attempt is much easier and faster since we are all cooped up at home almost all the time due to COVID19.
Fortunately there was a period where it is still possible to meet in groups of 8.
Even though that didn’t lasts long, I managed to squeeze in a couple of fishing trips.
Done on a fishing boat, it brought us around Singapore from Punggol to Tuas and back over 2 days.
I needed my beauty sleep and did not participate in the night hunt but the day one was equally enjoyable.
More importantly, it is a great chillax way to hang out with friends and chat.
Another great recall would be the recent trip to South Korea with my wife.
The original idea was to go to Germany as that is also one of the VTLs approved by the Singapore government. i.e. no quarantine needed on both ends.
But we settled for South Korea as the idea of wearing our masks on for up to 13 hours each way on the flight to Germany isn’t appealing.
Minus the costs and time on 4 PCR tests, the trip was a great getaway after the inability to do so for close to 2 years.
The testing requirements also discouraged many tourists so many attractions were not crowded at all.
I put together a YouTube video to share our experience.
We also have a new inclusion to the family.
No, it isn’t kid number 5 but a new dog.
She is close to 2 years old at the time of writing and is a bundle of energy.
My oldest son did his PSLE this year under the new AL system. His scores did not allow him to get into the school of his choice (St Patrick) but he will be studying nearer to home than making the daily weekday to-and-fro from Siglap.
I wrote a commentary about choosing Secondary school and my personal experience during my time.
And I started a new job (and left). My longest employment has been my first business of 12 years. For the ones that did not involve me working for myself, the longest was not even two years.
I think I gotten enough hints that I’m unemployable and decided to remain so for as long as I can.
Having said that, I do miss my team already. I read somewhere that the people are usually the ones you miss the most, never the processes.
Of course, not every people carry the same weightage. For my team specifically, they are the best I’ve ever had the chance to work with.
I’m finally wrapping up my podcast season 2. It has been one of the longest that I know of and I’m looking forward to taking a break from it after 75 episodes.
Learned a great deal from it and will distil them in my season finale. It is also what got me my latest job so content creation is still the key if you wish to stand out.
Still on content, I finally started my YouTube channel. Initially dragging my feet by going into the rabbit hole on tactics, equipment, etc, nothing beats getting started.
Having said that, production work remains challenging as I am a one-man production house. You can see from the frequency of my videos.
But I will be committing to a schedule from 2022 and hopefully (at the bare minimum), put out one video a week.
I guested on The Financial Coconut podcast in a 2-parters where I share about my experience getting out of a $900,000 debt.
I decided to open up about this as someone who reads a lot about financial literacy recently but realising that I can’t implement many of these because I was still in debt.
And getting in debt is something many people in Singapore are getting themselves into.
I’m hoping my experience can help prevent others from getting into the same shit as I did as serving an endless financial jail term is not fun.
In case you are wondering, I’m less than $15,000 away from being completely debt free from unsecured loan.
I hope to get rid of it in a few months time.
This is a section by itself as I became such a fervent learner. The interesting thing is I never read a single book when I was running my first business. If only I did…
But it’s never too late to catch up.
My reading list for this year so far includes:
- Is this anything? – Jerry Seinfeld
- Too soon old, too late smart – Gordon Livingston
- Slow jogging – Hiroaki Tanaka
- The accidental business nomad – Kyle Hegarty
- Reinventing you – Dorie Clark
- Why we hate cheap things – School of Life
- Factfulness – Hans Rosling
- The SOHO solution – Tom Abbott
- Effortless – Danny Iny
- Own your culture – Bretton Putter
- Hunt, gather, parent – Michaeleen Doucleff
- The innovation stack – Jim McKelvey
- Steal like an artist – Austin Klein
- The lean startup – Eric Ries
- Salt, Sugar, Fat – Michael Moss
- The teenagers brain – Frances E. Jensen
- Bullshit Jobs – David Graeber
- Numbers don’t lie – Vaclav Smil
- Humour, Seriously – Jennifer Aaker, Naomi Bagdons
- Why we aged and why we don’t have to
- Lost connections – Johann Hari
- Limitless – Jim Kwik
- Stress Less, Accomplish More – Emily Fletcher
I bolded the ones that left a stronger impression on me. For 2022, I hope to add fiction to the mix. Always been a John Grisham fan and I barely touched any of his books over the past decade.
Taking online courses also became a routine as I plough through courses such as ThePowerMBA, WhiteboardCrypto, How to Create an Online Course, and many more…
I put in into my calendar so I will not get distracted from other stuffs.
I’m glad you asked!
I started a new business to house my new solopreneur endeavour and I’m calling it Marketing Sumo.
I will be offering CMO-as-a-Service for growth stage, founders-led HR Tech, as well as providing ad hoc content related marketing support such as writing of whitepapers, long form articles and LinkedIn posts.
I already have one CMOaaS committed and another one to come. And about half a dozen writing assignments to fulfil as of today.
In addition, I took up a teaching assignment at ITE (you could see from my calendar above) and will be teaching entrepreneurship for one semester.
For people who are keen to become entrepreneurs but don’t know how, I will also be collaborating with my former business partner as The Resource Group to create an accelerator program for mid-career professionals.
It will be called MadVentures and it is done in collaboration with NTU. More on this soon.
The year passed by so fast and without looking back with intent, it seems to fly by overnight.
As usual, there are ups and downs but the thing is to keep moving forward while remembering the lessons from the past.
I hope your lessons taught you well in 2021 and may you have the best year ever in 2022.