2016 is almost over, and what a year it has been! Before I get to my 2017 goals, let's look at some of the major highlights from this year:
- Will It Fly? was self-published and became a Wall Street Journal bestseller. [This link leads to Amazon. Full disclosure: I receive affiliate commission if you purchase from this link.]
- The SPI blog was completely redesigned from the ground up.
- The SPI Podcast surpassed 30,000,000 total downloads!
- I launched a beta version of my first course, Smart From Scratch, which sold to 100+ students.
- Gross annual revenue across all of my online businesses surpassed $1 million for the first time ever!
There were also some major personal highlights, including:
- April and I celebrated our seven-year wedding anniversary!
- Our youngest child started preschool, which means three days a week both kids are in school at the same time.
- I finally started working with a nutritionist and began meal prepping.
- We started making moves toward purchasing our first investment rental property.
- We bought a Tesla X! It’s not a Delorean, but it’s pretty close: the back doors are falcon doors that open up like wings 😛
Overall, it’s been an amazing year to look back on and I’m forever thankful for the opportunities that came my way.
2017 is right around the corner, which had me thinking about all that I want to accomplish within the next 365 days. Here are the major milestones that I have planned, along with how I hope to execute and follow through.
Publicly Launch My First Course
As I mentioned earlier, I already have about 100 students going through a brand new course titled Smart From Scratch, which was created to help aspiring business owners who are starting from zero validate a new business idea and earn their first customer.
Since I launched with a set of founding students (to a very specific segment of my list; yay for segmentation!), the course was built along with them and their feedback has been amazingly helpful. They are allowing me to shape exactly what this course needs to be to help someone who is just starting out, and I’ve been learning a lot about the psychology of students going through the course as well. Currently, I’m collecting additional feedback and testimonials from existing students, which will be used for the public launch in early 2017.
What’s significant about this course is that it’s the first one of its kind on SPI, although people have been asking for something like it for years. And it starts a very important transition from mostly affiliate marketing-based income to income that’s more under my own brand and control.
Plus, this answers the number one question that I get from my subscribers: “How do I get started?” I’m excited to keep my audience in my own eco-system as I help them answer that question. If you’d like to get on the waitlist for the next launch, tentatively scheduled for February 2017, just click here and sign up to get notified! I’ve already done most of the work. It’s just a matter of tweaking and changing a few things here and there to make it even better before launch. Woohoo!
Complete the First Draft of My Next Book
Will It Fly? was a huge success this past year. Beyond the Wall Street Journal bestseller list, it continues to gain steam, and it’s even being picked up internationally now! I’m excited to see it published in other languages in 2017 and in bookstores in other countries.
The topic for my second book has been on my mind for a while, and actually it’s what I thought Will It Fly? was going to be about when I first started writing. But Will It Fly? was launched first because it’s so foundational, and it obviously plays a direct role in the launch of my first course for those just starting out.
Will It Fly? was self-published. With my second book, I’m going the traditional route. Why? Simply because I want to see what it’s like. I know I could create a successful book again by self-publishing, but I have no clue what to expect going traditional. The only way for me to know in the future which model works best, and what’s involved with each, is to just do it.
Luckily, it seems like publishers are very interested already. I’ve been getting asked left and right for conversations with editors and publishers, probably because of the proven success of Will It Fly? My agent and I are in the middle of creating a proposal that we’ll shop around. If the deals don’t work out and the numbers don’t add up, then I’m perfectly fine saying no and going the self-published route again, but I definitely want to give traditional publishing a shot to see what happens.
To execute this properly, I’ve already set aside time to tackle the rough outline of this new book by the end of the year, so that’s almost done at this point. And starting next year, I’ll be going back into my daily writing habit, writing in the early hours of the morning before the kids get up, which is how I was able to complete Will It Fly? within a year. There’s going to be a bit more research involved with this topic (I’ll reveal that later), which is why I’m expecting to be done with the first draft later in the year, hopefully by mid- to late-Q3 if possible.
We’ll see what happens though, but I have a lot of momentum coming off of Will It Fly? that I’ll be using for energy moving forward!
Launch My First Physical Product
Speaking of launches, I’m excited because there was definitely one thing that was missing in 2016 here on SPI: a new experiment into something unknown.
In other words, one thing that many people have enjoyed on SPI over the years are my experiments in trying to create new revenue streams and giving people an over-the-shoulder look at the entire process along the way. Back in 2010, I did this with SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com, a niche site that I shared the build of in its entirety, from idea to first in Google to its first dollars. Again, in 2013, I did the same thing with FoodTruckr.com, but it’s been awhile since a brand new experiment was executed.
How can I be the “crash test dummy of online business” if I’m not strapping myself into new experiments and diving head first into them? The truth is, I can’t, which is why I’m excited about 2017 and my planned experiment to create my first physical product!
A lot of research has been done already, and a few very rough prototypes have been made, but starting in 2017 I’m hoping to take things to a whole new level and begin what I hope will become an amazingly successful Kickstarter campaign by the end of the year, and have the product in your hands by 2018.
So, the big question is: What is this product?
Well, I won’t be sharing that at the moment with you (sorry!), but I will be sharing it along the way as I begin to put the pieces together next year. It’s still in its infancy, so I’m not quite ready to share yet. But what I can say is that it’ll have to do with productivity and goal setting, something I’m currently fascinated with.
The major goal of this wouldn’t just be to execute a successful Kickstarter campaign, but rather to be able to document and share the entire process with you so that you can see every detail of the journey and experiment. I have no idea what I’m getting myself into, and that’s part of the fun. Heck, it could totally crash and burn, but either way it’ll become a huge lesson for all those following along.
Beyond those major business goals, I also have a couple of personal goals set for myself.
A lot of you may remember that I had a goal of jumping high enough to touch the rim of a regulation basketball hoop this year. Well, I worked toward that and even hired a coach to help, and guess what? I’m only an inch away!
The last inch is driving me nuts though, because I’ve got the technique down and am doing everything I can, and I’m seeing millimeters in progress at this point, but I’ll get there soon. That goal will move into 2017 and I won’t stop trying until I get there!
Nutrition-wise, it’s going to be a great year now that I’ve had practice with my nutritionist for the past couple of months. Every Sunday, my goal is to prepare my meals for the entire week. Not only will I know I’m eating healthy, I won’t waste time thinking about what to eat anymore, which I’ve found to be a cool byproduct of executing a meal-prepping plan. I never realized how much time I spent just trying to decide what to eat!
Finally, this may sound a bit weird, but I plan on going fishing more often. I still have yet to take my son fishing, but I’d also like to start fishing again on a more regular basis, especially with my dad. He and I used to do that all of the time when I was a kid, and it would be fun to get three generations of Flynns on one or more fishing trips during the year. Plus, I just love fishing. Being out in nature, next to the water, is one of my favorite things in the world. I hope to try to fish on some of my trips when I speak in various places next year as well.
So what’s one of your big goals for 2017? Share it in the comment section below, and I can’t wait to read them! Happy New Year everyone, and here’s to a safe, happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017!