Simply put, 2014 has been the best year of my entire business life. I say ‘business’ life, as nothing can beat things like marrying your best friend and becoming a Daddy several times!
With everything that we go through as entrepreneurs, I believe it’s important to look back on each year with wide open eyes and celebrate our goals, as well as to evaluate the reasons why they were achieved (or not!).
This year is no different and after the year that I’ve had, it’s actually a hard thing to do! I mean, where do I start? It’s been such an epic year for me in so many different ways, much of it because of you, my community – for which I am so grateful for.
So many milestones. So many memories.
So, here are my biggest, fondest memories of the year – it was tough to pick just a few and they are listed in no particular order of awesomeness, as well as my biggest takeaways and a look into the future, with what I have planned for next year!
Fondest Memories from 2014
Launch of Virtual Freedom – Without a doubt, the biggest memory of 2014 has to be the launch of my first book, Virtual Freedom, which took place in April. It was a goal of mine to become a traditionally published author for many years and to achieve it felt great. But, what felt even better was the reaction it got.
I opened the book tour by doing a keynote at the London Google Campus and held several events around the world to celebrate the launch of the book, where I got to meet hundreds of readers and ChrisDucker.com community members. It was Awesome! At the time of publishing this post, we’ve sold tens of thousands of copies and have over 350 Amazon reviews, 330+ of them garnering a 5-Star rating – which is huge!
If you purchased the book, reviewed it, passed it on, or just plain read through it and took action – thank you. If you haven’t grabbed a copy yet you can do so on Amazon – it makes a great belated Christmas gift, too! #justsaying.
Speaking in front of almost 9,000 people – Speaking in front of a live audience is something I enjoy more than pretty much anything else. The energy I get from a collection of other entrepreneurs all wanting to learn and network is electrifying. In 2014 I traveled to 13 cities around the world, spoke at 17 events and presented in front of thousands of people.
Biggest highlight of the year for me as a speaker..? Doing the moonwalk (as best as I could – don’t get over excited!) in front of the 650+ ProBlogger crowd in Queensland, Australia – video footage coming soon!
Hitting 1,000,000 Downloads on my podcast – I know a lot of podcasters. Many of them have a love/hate relationship with their podcast. It’s easy to get discouraged with analytics like download numbers when you’re working hard to create content and you don’t see the numbers growing the way you want them too. I’m no exception to this.
There were a couple of times at the beginning of 2014 where I was thinking of canceling the New Business Podcast.
The major reasons where that it was time consuming to produce, I had other priorities and if I’m to be really honest, there was a time when I wasn’t really enjoying it. With all that being said, I persevered and fell head over heels in love with podcasting all over again in 2014, and I’ve been rewarded by hitting a major milestone that I’ve been dreaming of doing for over 2-years since I started the show… hitting 1,000,000 downloads!
If you’ve ever downloaded an episode, listened in, left an iTunes review, or even just tweeted out a link to the show – thank you.
Tropical Think Tank 2014 – Holding my first ‘big’ event was another huge memory for me this year. For the longest time, I’ve been wanting to collect a bunch of savvy, hard working entrepreneurs and bring them to the beautiful country I live in, the Philippines, to hang out, talk biz and create a life-long memory.
It all started with cocktails in Portland, with Pat Flynn, John Lee Dumas, Amy Porterfield and Greg Hickman, where I convinced them to fly over… it ended up with even more world class experts, 25 amazing attendees, more mojitos than you can shake a stick at and life-long memories and relationships formed. Not to mention the fact that we totally killed it, when it comes to business masterminding and planning for growth – for everyone there.
I can’t wait to do it all again in 2015 – there are just a few slots left for the second Tropical Think Tank, which is being held in May, 2015. So, if you’d like to attend, hop on board soon!
Biggest Takeaways from 2014
1. Friends Make Everything Easier – throughout the course of the year, I’ve spent a lot of time on the road. I’ve traveled to many different cities and I’ve strengthened relationships with friends probably more so in 2014 than any other year. When Virtual Freedom was launched, I had friends help me spread the news. When I was speaking at event, after event, I had friends supporting me, helping me. And when I came home and just wanted to catch up and brainstorm a little, I had friends (and Skype!) to help out.
You know who you are. Thank you.
2. Time is Money, REALLY – I protect my time more than most people I know. However, going into next year I’ll be doing so even more so. You’ll see me speaking at fewer events (because the travel side of doing so is extremely time consuming for me, being based in the Philippines). You’ll also see me doing way less podcast interviews – in fact, I’m going completely ‘dark’ for the first half of the year, to focus on the businesses I own, and my upcoming projects.
Time is our most valuable commodity… and in 2015 I’ll be investing it more wisely than ever before.
3. Community Matters More than Ever – in the last 12-months I’ve had the chance to meet more of my online community members than ever before (the major upside of travel!). There is nothing I like more than getting the chance to shake hands, give out some hugs (and receive some!) and clink glasses and coffee cups!
When I started my blogging journey, I knew I’d enjoy interacting with people through the medium, and I’m working on ways to get closer than ever to my community in 2015, and I couldn’t be more excited. You guys are sincerely the greatest bunch of people on the planet. You make everything I do so, so worthwhile and I appreciate you all more than you’ll ever know.
4. Being YOU is More Important than Anything – I’m fortunate to receive many emails, tweets and even hand-written (my fave!) thank you messages from my online community. One of the recurring points people have made this year to me, in both person and via these messages, is that they appreciate me being ME. Being the real Chris… all the time.
When I made the decision to build my businesses around my personal brand, I promised I wouldn’t hide behind an online persona of sorts. There was going to be no BS, and it was gonna be me, all the time. Very much a ‘what you see is what you get!’, kinda thing. To hear this popping up over and over again from my ‘tribe’ means the world to me, as it’s something I feel very strongly about.
I believe that 2015 is going to be a renewed year of personal brand building for a lot of people, and I’m happy to be one of those leading the way when it comes to this important asset of business today – both online and off.
With all that’s been achieved this year, you might think that I’d be slowing down a little going into 2015, perhaps taking it a little easier in the next 12-months… hell nooooooo!!!
In fact, I’m going to be working even harder, smarter and with more focus than ever! However, I will be changing the way I work on projects, focusing on just ONE major activity at a time. I say ‘major’ because, as we all know, there are always those recurring, or revolving tasks and projects that we work on or pop up throughout the course of any business year – however, you’ll see less quantity from me, in regards to ‘new stuff’, but the quality is going to be through the roof, I assure you!
Here are my major focuses and goals for the next 12-months.
Goals and Plans for 2015
I’ve taken my goal setting for 2015 more seriously than I’ve ever done so before.
To get ready, I sat through the entire 5-Days to your Best Year Ever course from Michael Hyatt. It helped get me laser focused. Couple that together with re-reading of Essentialism by Greg McKeown and The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and I am ready to totally OWN next year!!!
Here are the major projects I have planned.
New Look ChrisDucker.com Coming Soon
The current (as of publishing this post – December 27th, 2014) design of my site has been live since mid-September 2012. It’s served me well. It’s been copied and ripped off more times than I care to remember, and my wife thinks I’m crazy for even considering a revamp as she loves it just the way it is. However, it’s a little dated for my likes now.
Although it is almost entirely responsive, there are some pages that don’t display as well as they should, and the overall ‘look’ of the site is a little old by today’s standards – just shows you how fast things move in the online space! So, I’m excited to announce that design concepts are already being worked on and they look fantastic! So, stay tuned for a new-look ChrisDucker.com – something I hope to unveil by the end of January.
1-Day Business Breakthrough (with Pat Flynn)
Some of you already know about this new project that I’m partnering on with Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income. Pat and I are very close friends, and support each other across the board. However, over the last couple of years we’ve taken the support and offered it to small groups of entrepreneurs in an in-person environment at our 1DayBB events in San Diego.
In 2015 we’ll be taking this entire brand to a completely new level. We’ll be making an officially announcement on everything in mid-January. So, if you’d like to be kept in the know, please hop on the VIP list, and we’ll update you soon – I should note, this is not a ‘quickie’ project we’re teaming up on together. It’s a long-term business partnership that is going to offer something that’s never been done before – and it’s gonna rock!
Tropical Think Tank 2015
We’re doing it again!!! March 2014 was epic (as you’ll read above) and I simply cannot wait to do Tropical Think Tank (affectionately known as TTT) all over again in May 2015. Why?! Check out this video for a few reasons:
The chance to get even more attendees together (we’ve increased the number from 25, to 50 – with just a handful of slots remaining at the time of publishing this post) with some of the worlds leading online business minds, gets me seriously pumped!
If you’ve already purchased your ticket, thank you and I can’t wait to learn, plan and mastermind all week long with you here in the Philippines. If you’re thinking of coming along, but are on the fence – jump off soon… those last few tickets won’t be around much longer!
Wait for it… The ‘Big One’ is Finally Coming!!!
For the last 2-years I’ve been planning something on and off. I’ve procrastinated out of everything from just being busy, right down to good old-fashioned entrepreneurial fear – “Will they want it? Will they buy it?” – I know you KNOW what I’m talking about.
However, with all the hard work of 2014 behind me, and the procrastination / fear well and truly buried, I’m extremely excited to announce that my mastermind membership community is finally in the works.
This will not be your usual run-of-the-mill online membership. Lots of extremely special inclusions are planned, exclusive stuff. I’m not saying anymore than that for now, but I will say that this will be my focus going forward as an online business owner once it’s launched in the middle of this year. So, please stay tuned for more info!
What Do YOU Have Planned..? Let me HELP YOU Achieve it!
So, that’s been my 2014, and now you know what’s planned for 2015.
I’d love to hear about YOUR goals. Your plans. Seriously – take a moment to comment below. I’ll personally hold you accountable and follow-up with you via email to see how you’re going. If you deserve a high-five, you’ll get it. If you need a kick up the butt, I’ll handle that for you, too!
Comment below, and don’t hold back – be as specific as you can, to make the chances of you hitting your goals in 2015 more of a reality.
See you all in January.