Reflections on 2022 And What I’m Focusing On In 2023
This blog post has taken me way too long to write as I’ve really been struggling to reflect on 2022. Whenever I think about the last year all I come back to is work. While 2022 was easily the most successful year I have had professionally I feel as if it consumed my life and became my personality. Now, I’m not sure if that is a good/bad thing or a necessary thing if you want to become truly great at what you do.
That’s a conversation for another time but let’s look back on 2022 and what I’m proud of and what I’d like to do better.
To do this I had to go to my camera roll on my phone to remind me that yes, I have had some pretty cool experiences and memories happen over the last year.
Something I value more than almost everything is traveling and trying new things. I believe 2022 started off at a huge disadvantage because of our 2 week Africa trip in late 2021. It’s hard to compare anything to that. So thankfully my camera roll reminded me of some of the great adventures we went on.
- Kansas City for my wife’s birthday
- Arkansas for some hiking in Ozark National Forest
- My first rave concert (I absolutely loved it)
- Colorado to conquer another 14’er
- Louisianna/Mississippi to see my best friend and his wife
- Arkansas again for a birthday lake weekend
- Colorado again to elk hunt
- Kansas City for a Sunday night spur-of-the-moment Chiefs game
Just as I type those out it’s hitting me that it was an awesome year and I haven’t even gotten into the more life-changing things that happened.
This year was a transition year from being a mid-20s, still trying to party kid, to attempting to be more of an adult. It’s a weird time and I have friends that are still in party mode and others that are in full-scale dad mode (some act like grandpas to be honest). I didn’t know where I fit in but I can happily say with a baby girl coming in just about a month I know where I’m headed!
Thankfully to because right now I feel like Will Ferrel in Old School.
To be honest, I’m a little scared. I just keep telling myself that no one knows what they are doing, all babies are different, and that we will figure it out. Thankfully I also have a great spouse and I know together we will be great parents. I am sure I’ll write a post or two about it but I couldn’t be more excited to have a little one running around the house. It’s still unknown how Hank (my beagle) will react to having all of his attention taken away by something else but I’m sure he’ll do fine. This post is about 2022 though so let’s talk about some of those happy events.
For one, I gained a nephew. His name is Kolby and he had one of the fattest faces I’ve ever seen on a kid. Thankfully he’s started to fill it in and he’s very cute. He’s been a great little one (from what I’ve seen) and believe it or not I’ve even been trusted to babysit him. I’ve already primed him on how my daughter will bully him and how his first word should be the F-bomb. But don’t tell my sister that.
Kids coming into the world or people getting pregnant was a huge theme for 2022. There are children everywhere now and seeing old friends bring new life into the world will always be exciting. Moreover, watching how they parent and discussing how we can raise our children to not have a complex is a nice shift from the usual of which pitcher of beer you want to order.
2022 did have some negatives. The one that sticks out the most is a friend’s house getting taken by a tornado. That night and the next day are one of those memories that are so distinct in my mind. Thankfully everyone is okay and they are starting to rebuild.
We also lost family and friends in 2022. Yes, death is a part of life and I’m sure every year we are going to come out of it without someone we loved but it doesn’t make it any easier. Something I need to do better in 2023 is making conversations with people a priority when I’m in that moment. My mind easily gets distracted but being present in that moment is important. I don’t want to regret giving a conversation less than adequate effort and have that person be gone.
I can’t leave this reflection without talking somewhat about work. I said in the beginning that this was the most successful year I had professionally and I think 2023 will be even better. For most of the year, I feel like I was just flying around trying to keep up with things and be the boss I would want to work for.
That’s a huge push for me. I view everyone that works for me as an equal and more importantly as a human. At the end of the day, they are working to support their family just as I am. Thankful for them and what they do would be an understatement. Besides giving them the resources and support they need to be great at their work I also want to emphasize on the small things. I’m starting to believe that the small things matter the most. Remembering birthdays, their kid’s names, and other important life events is a big deal. Seeing someone’s face light up when you remember they are getting married, having a kid, etc. brings me a ton of joy.
My 2023 book of business is about 80% booked out. Between a new jail finishing up, a 150-unit apartment complex getting mostly done, and 20+ other jobs in between it’s going to be a full year. We are hearing all of these talks about a recession and while I do think the economy is going to slow down I think I, and the company, have positioned ourselves in a way to weather that storm as best as we can.
Another thing I believe I started well in 2022 but need to improve on in 2023 is networking. It’s become very apparent to me that I can sit in my office all day and send out bids on work or I can take half of that time and go to lunch with people and the payoff is 5x as much. Having a major company believe in you and your guys and just tell you to “get it done and bill me” brings me a ton of fulfillment. Building out this customer base built on trust is something I’m focusing on in 2022.
Young, Dumb, and NOT Broke?!
Lastly, let’s talk about Young, Dumb, and NOT Broke?! the website, YouTube channel, and the whole brand overall. 2022 was not a great year for any of the previously stated. Work consumed my life and by the time I came home the last thing I wanted to do was talk to a camera or work on a computer. I was burned out from being in front of a screen.
Moreover, I feel like everything that has needed to be said has been said. Sure, I could make catchy videos with cringe thumbnails and titles over the hot topic for that week but does that make me feel good about my work? Hell no. Would it lead to me making a substantial amount of money? Hell yes.
It’s a weird debacle that I haven’t figured out how to answer yet.
I do want to focus on more posts like this. Real, authentic, relatable posts that connect with people and make them think about their own lives. Because at the end of the day, we are all trying to get better. The truth is these posts don’t pay the bills, they actually just cost me money.
Another big reason I haven’t been motivated to make content is that I’ve been focusing on simplifying my finances. When you first start out on your financial independence journey I always tell people to get into the weeds. Just like if you were trying to lose weight. Learn as much as you can, read every point of view, and get into the numbers of your situation. Then after you do that try things, fail a couple of times, and then find a system that works for you and stick to it
Well, I’ve found that system for me. A system that allows me to save ~35% of my income and spend less than an hour on my finances a month. Heck, sometimes I don’t even look at it because I know I’m still following my system. This is not a flex but rather something I wish I could help others get to because managing your finances doesn’t have to be hard.
Do you see where this makes it complicated to make content around YD&NB?
So, I don’t know what I’m going to do. A part of me wants to keep putting out 3-4 videos per month, hire an editor, and see where it goes. It reminds me of that picture where the guy is mining for diamonds and gives up.
The other part of me wants to delete everything and wash my life clean of it all and move on to the next project.
Do I invest more in something that I’m just halfway happy with right now or cut my losses?
Wrapping It Up
I have no idea what 2023 will hold. What I’m sure of is there will be some high highs and some low lows. That’s called life. What I am sure of is I’m going to do the best I can every day and while I’ll still mess up (and get way too stressed) that’s okay.
My main focus is becoming a good dad and a better partner to my wife. Taking care of the family is number one and everything after that is just extra credit.
I don’t plan on setting official goals this year. Rather, I’m going to have a bulleted list at the bottom of this post of things I would like to do. This is going to be a dynamic list because I’m sure as the year goes on there will be things I want to do more of. Yes, having the plan to reach those goals does drastically increase the odds of me succeeding, I know. But with a new child on the way everything could go out the window because that needs to be taken care of first. So let’s jump into some of my random thoughts for things I want to do.
- Learn to play the piano
- Run a marathon
- Keep a savings rate over 25%
- Host a dinner party
- Speak on another podcast
- Hike four 14’ers
- Take my daughter on 3 hikes
- Go on a guided fishing trip
- Make one large investment
- Buy land
Again, this list is going to be dynamic but as things happen I’ll be sure to update this post.
I hope your 2023 is off to a good year so far.
Thanks for reading.