5 Things I Learned in 2016 and 5 Goals for 2017

Jan 3, 2017 | Career

Happy New Year, everybody! I spent the past week down in South Florida, almost entirely disengaged from the internet and work (the harder it’s been to do, the important it’s become). I took advantage of the slow work week to reflect upon all that was accomplished this past year, celebrating the wins, and planning for the year ahead.

2016 was another great year for the blog, with all key metrics improving, better reader engagement, and an increased interest from the real estate industry.

The Metrics

  • Total Posts: 34
  • Total Comments: 205
  • Total Unique Site Visitors: 105,174
  • Total Pageviews: 285,643
  • Total Newsletter Subscribers: 3,029

I’m incredibly humbled and appreciative of everyone who’s given me their attention. It makes the effort worthwhile and inspires me to do everything I can to better serve my audience.

The following posts were the 3 most popular of the year based on total visits.

The following posts were my 3 favorite.

Lessons Learned in 2016

1. The importance of play: This past summer I got a dog. He’s a Duck Tolling Retriever named Macaroni. Every morning and evening my wife and I take him to turf soccer field on the far west side to run. Playing soccer with him isn’t just fun, it enables me to forget about work, lose track of time, and be creative, all while getting exercise. On weekends, we take him hiking, to the Poconos, or down the shore, things we’ve always enjoyed doing. If you have a challenging problem, the clues will be found and solved when you mind is playing.

My View as I Write this Post

2. It’s important to reflect on magic moments and celebrate small wins: Working full-time is a grind and it’s easy to lose focus and become uninspired when you’re working towards big goals far out in the future. It’s important to set big goals, but to make progress, you need to fall in love with the everyday grind of pursuing those goals. So it’s critical to celebrate the small wins along the way. With any accomplishment, no matter how small, chemicals are released giving us a feeling of achievement and pride. I use the Five Minute Journal to physically write down my wins each day.

3. There are still great opportunities in real estate: While the real estate business becomes more institutionalized across all facets including capital and information, the common sentiment is that it’s harder to win the real estate game. While it’s true you won’t find mis-priced opportunities just because you have more information, new technology and the connected world has created great opportunities for smart real estate professionals. Real estate crowdfunding, data firms, investor management software, branded B&B’s, niche co-working sites, micro-apartments, co-living spaces, tiny houses, AirBnB management companies, hyper-niche investment firms, …the opportunities today are endless! Be observant, ask questions, and determine where the pain points exist.

4. Real estate makes a great career: A great career is about doing meaningful work with great people and you can do that in real estate. It’s a vast field where there’s a role for nearly anyone. In an interview with Peter Linneman, he said if you can’t find a role in real estate that fits your personality, you need a new personality. The deeper I’ve become entrenched in the real estate community, the more amazed I am by the dynamic people in the field.

5. ASotREG continues to be the best thing I’ve done for my career: I say it all the time, but it’s true. For me, the blog has provided an outlet to flesh out ideas, connect with real estate professionals I admire, and build a side business. Everything I do here is complimentary to my day-to-day work in real estate acquisitions, asset management, and company operations. Entrepreneurs I’ve interviewed have become partners, tools I highlight transformed the way we analyze deals, and becoming an idea machine has made me irreplaceable within my company.

5 Goals for 2017

1. Say No: One of my biggest challenges is the ability to focus on the most important tasks and ignore everything else. In order to successfully focus on the important tasks, I must eliminate the distractions that divert my attention and energy. Derek Siver’s has a saying “No, yes. Either hell yea or no.” In 2017 I’m going to apply that to my decision-making process. If it’s not a “hell yea”, then it’s a no.

2. Improve by 1% everyday: Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make. Habits don’t change in a day, but if you relax and improve a tiny bit each day, then good habits work. If you insist you need to change right now, then it won’t. You’ll only get worse. However, if you work on your financial modeling, negotiation, or networking a tiny bit each day, you’ll make great strides over the course of the year. Improvement compounds. Compounding small improvements is what creates huge improvements. In 2017 I’m going to focus on improving a little bit each day.

3. Continue Journaling: One of my 2016 goals was to journal. As referenced above, I utilized the Five Minute Journal to shift my mind to the positive each morning and evening and celebrate the small wins. By journaling each day, I now have an easy way to look back on the year and see everything I accomplished. I’m planning to journal more consistently in 2017.

4. Schedule Everything: “What gets scheduled gets done.” This is a quote you hear a lot in the solopreneur world, where people are running their own show. The key is to schedule the important things that easily get pushed to the side; schedule daily rituals, time to think, time for personal development, time for your loved ones, time to return phone calls, and even time for play. Think through your priorities then review your schedule and ask yourself; which important things need to be scheduled regularly and which urgent time-wasters need to be scheduled so they don’t control me (think email)? I’ve adopted this method and excited for the impact it could have.

5. Get Serious about Physical Health: Up to this point I’ve been gifted with a fast metabolism and an active lifestyle, however as I get older, just sweating a few times a week isn’t enough to ensure peak physical/mental performance. In 2017, I’m going to focus on my diet, which is going to be tough considering my love for bacon. I’ve signed up for PrepDish, a gluten-free meal-planning service which provides a printable grocery list, prep-day instructions, and recipes each week. All the work is done on Sunday, so you can enjoy the meals all week without thinking what you’re going to cook each night.

Remember, every day matters. Cheers to a great 2017!

How can I help you accomplish your goals 2017?