Epic Business And Lifestyle Review For 2017
As 2017 comes to a close, it’s been another big and busy year with lots of travelling, business and networking. While the year included a lot of new business, it consisted mostly of consolidating last year’s work and identifying new profit centres within existing vehicles.
Highlights Of 2017
- Did a 1 month trip to the USA (visiting over 10 cities and meeting countless people) + events all year
- Joined the digital marketer War Room mastermind
- Moved into a new apartment in Melbourne
- Launched an event business called Digital Marketers Australia
- Developed a new software for our team to use
- Purchased the most expensive domain name I’ve ever owned
- Had the gym improvement thanks to a new PT
- Also had the biggest improvement in tennis thanks to my coach
- Went on my first real “retreat”
- And much more…
The 1 Month Trip To The USA + Other Marketing Events
This year has been full of travel which included visiting the following cities:
- San Francisco
- New York
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
With so much going on throughout the year, it can be a little tough to stay locked down in one place and knock out some solid work. But the one key here is having a good team around you who can support your work with everything you do.
When you’re moving around, working and on the go so much throughout the year, a strong team working towards a common goal is what will allow you to win long term and not blow up internally.
For this reason we hired more and more virtual team members around the world to help sustain our growth.
So knowing I had a strong team behind me, I was able to kick off the year with my partner and do a 1 month trip around the states while hitting up two conferences (T&C + Funnel Hacking Live).
Here’s some photos from my travels on this trip in 2017…
Melbourne > LAX (Probably the 15th time I’ve taken this flight)
Stopped past Facebook HQ in SF
Enjoying the view of NYC at the Top Of The Rock
Trying Top Golf in Phoenix for the first time
First time checking out the Golden Gate bridge
Stumbled upon some murals in Miami
Full house a Funnel Hacking Live in Dallas
Quick pic in time square
Learning nuggets from Jay Abraham himself
Photos with the metric driven marketer Ricky Baldasso
Hanging out with Bret Thomson & Robert Coorey
Getting the inside scoop on my survey funnel with Ryan Levesque
Finally was able to attend an event closer to home run by James Schramko
Getting up close and personal with Tony Robbins at Funnel Hacking Live
Joined A Mastermind
One of the biggest decisions of the year was joining a mastermind full of people who are (mostly) smarter than I am. While it was a significant investment (and you need to be qualified before accepted), it was one of the highest return on investments for the year and made me appreciate how much more there is to learn.
Given it’s a quarterly event in the states, it always turned into an event which motivated me to play at a higher level whenever I came back from each trip.
Here’s some photos below from some of the mastermind events this year…
For the mastermind I went to:
- Beverly Hills, California
- Newport Beach, California
- Austin, Texas
- Then in Jan 2018 I’m off to Punta Mita, Mexico
Being introduced to the rest of the group at my first War Room
Caught up with Noah Kagan in Austin
Learning from the master of influence Dr. Robert Cialdini
Managed to snap a photo with childhood hero Tony Hawk at Newport Beach
Sara Blakely of billion dollar company Spanx
Jesse Itzler (also Sara’s husband)
Quick snap at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach – breathtaking views
Absorbing influence techniques in digital marketing by Robert Cialdini accompanied by perry & Ryan
Launching Digital Marketers Australia
One of the exciting projects of the year I launched was an events company around Melbourne and Sydney.
I really wanted to bring a digital marketing community to Australia and be able to run events monthly with people who want to growth their marketing expertise.
I already knew a bunch of talented marketers here in Melbourne and Sydney and knew that their talents weren’t being utilized at the highest level because there was no platform for them to share what they knew.
Therefore I went out to launch what’s now known as “Digital Marketers Australia” which runs a monthly “no-pitch” events in both cities with free beers and pizza.
While it is a “for profit” business, the goal is still to build the community with free events followed by quarterly paid training days and build up to an annual conference.
We’re also on the look out for sponsors to cover food/drinks + venues and marketing so if you can help with any of that let us know!
Below you’ll be able to see some of the photos from our first six or seven events of 2017.
Our very first DMA event in Melbourne
Friend and growth hacker Jared presenting at DMA #2 in Melbourne
DMA #5 Traffic Panel on how to acquired paid traffic most effectively going into 2018
Just before DMA #1 in Sydney took place
Dropping bombs being dropped at DMA #1 in Sydney
Spent A Lot Of Money On A Domain
So while I can’t go into the specifics of the price I paid on it, it definitely was the most I’ve ever paid for a domain.
Usually I’m used to paying $9.99 on GoDaddy (or less with a coupon) and I’d be on my way.
But given that 2018 I’ll be launching a flagship program on one specific part of marketing/media, I wanted to make sure I put my stake in the ground and made it worthwhile.
I’m sure you’ll see the domain popup in 2018 as I begin to build out the website and promote it, but for me this was a big step in really making sure your foundations are setup the right way.
No point building a beautiful home on sand!
Coaches, Coaches, Coaches…
Towards the end of 2016, I made the pledge to hire coaches in each area of my life.
This was one of the best decisions for 2017 I could’ve made and wish I would have done it sooner.
I ended up getting a personal trainer to help with fitness, a tennis coach to help me with tennis and also joined a business accountability group called “EO” (Entrepreneur Organisation by Verne Harnish who I actually saw speak at T&C a while ago).
You can take a look at the results the PT helped me achieve below from a recent PB I achieved:
This year I’m hoping to crack out a few more PBs and predominantly work on my diet (a massive flaw of 2017 was eating crappy food throughout travelling and after moving into the new apartment).
Learnt About Cryptocurrency
This was one of the big upsides for me of 2017 (both financially and out of pure enjoyment).
I first got into crypto following a friend’s recommendation around Feb 2017 before everyone went “crypto crazy” and just made a small investment and held onto it till I started noticing it growing around May.
Around May onwards I started actively learning, investing more and really getting a better understanding about what blockchain technology can really do, the problems it was solving and everything else.
I looked into what made a good coin work, the research/news in the industry and found my feet so to speak.
This is one part of 2018/19 which I think will reap the biggest rewards for me and allow people who made the decision to get involved (and actually sat down to do research) a lot of money.
Like any new hobby or business, I highly recommend learning from experts, networking and finding out more about what opportunities there are out there for you.
The growth for myself has been exponential since that very first investment and will be devoting a chunk of my time to maintaining/nurturing the portfolio.
Developing New Software/Tech
For one of my businesses we needed to build out custom software to allow us to scale our operations beyond what our manual/staff were doing each day.
While I have experience building software before, this is the first time we’ve gotten serious about what we needed to do.
We spent over $10,000 going through revisions and versions of our MVP which lasted us around 2-3 months and then fell apart because it wasn’t built for scale.
So towards the end of 2017 we hired a developer locally here in Melbourne to re-build the entire project from scratch…the right way.
I’m being quite vague about what this project is, but it’s on the same topic of the domain I purchased that you read about a little further up.
I’ll be releasing details shortly about what it does and how it works.
But my takeaway on when you develop software is, launch dirty, quick and cheap.
Make sure it solves your pain point…scratches your own itch. If it does what you’re looking for it to do, have a good development team build it out for you properly.
This tool will be used internally by my team so we have an edge over all our competition when we build our business and I think building proprietary software is critical when you want to grow your business to position it to be sold down the track.
I Flew In A Tiger Moth
My girlfriend surprised me with a flight in a 1950s Tiger Moth aeroplane which does aerobatics (loops and barrel rolls mid-air!).
Honestly, when I got this gift I was shitting myself…. putting it lightly.
The experience is crazy, you’re sitting in this old plane (the pilot literally has to swing the propeller to start it), which is totally open and all that is holding you is the strap of the seat.
Once it landed I couldn’t wait to do it again, and it has to be one of the most “out of my comfort zone” activities of the year.
Still working up to sky diving though…
Best Purchases Of 2017
I wanted to add this to the review for the year to reflect on some of the cool/useful purchases that were made during the year which I’d recommend to others.
1. Drone – DJI Mavic Pro – $2,000 Aud approx. (Full Drone Package)
This thing is a beast and has been one of my favourite ‘toys’ of the year. It’s definitely an expensive toy by the time you purchase the whole package with the extra batteries, remote and all the other bells and whistles but it’s absolutely worth it. I take it on all my holidays and scenic days out. I’m by no means a photographer or videographer but you can get some amazing footage of wherever you go regardless.
Here’s a video from Queenscliff (a beach spot just outside of Melbourne) I took.
2.Bose QC 35s – $500 Aud approx.
These were my recent upgrade from the QC35s which in themselves were my favourite headphones of 16/17. The only reason I really upgraded was because my new iPhone X didn’t have a headphone jack anymore to support them (how silly).
However these have not dissapointed and they’ll be following me throughout my travels for 2018.
3. 10.5″ iPad Pro + Apple Pencil – $1,100 Aud approx.
This is probably the best tech/productivity purchase for the year.
I’ve always been a “pen and paper” man scared by bad stylus’ and not enjoying the feel of writing on a digital screen.
But after trying this from a colleague, I’ve never looked back.
It’s BY FAR the best tool for note taking, using on the plane when doing work and everything in between. The 10.5″ size is also perfect to use on a tray table when flying and being portable enough to take to business meetings when needed.
It always use to be a pain loading up a laptop in front of someone over coffee or when flying.
The Apple pencil though was the key to the entire purchase, I highly recommend going down to your nearest Apple store and testing it out, you won’t be disappointed.
(Only downside is you need the iPad Pro to use the pencil…)
Going On A Retreat To Bali
At the end of 2016 I joined EO (Entrepreneur Organisation) and within this group you go on a yearly retreat.
We did our very first retreat in sunny Bali. So for a week our group jetted off to Bali to work on planning, growing and scaling our businesses amongst the beachy weather.
I can’t tell you how much of a different it makes to work on your business somewhere completely different from where you usually work with a group of people who look from the outside in.
Ideally you want to do this with a group of people who are not in your industry as well so you really get some feedback from people looking at your problems with a radically different view.
I’d highly recommend looking at EO both for the networking available and strategies you take out of it.
Our driver waiting to picks us up from the airport (at least he tried spelling it right)
Drone photo I took of the group of rooms we had around our own private pool (x1 two storey place each!)
One of my new found favourite places in Bali called “El Kabron” – crazy views…
Quick pic with the crew before dinner
2017 was another big year full of work, travel, fun and excitement.
While there’s been a lot more growth in other specific areas of my business, unfortunately due to the nature of the industry I’ve gotta keep a lot of projects “hush hush” but it’s been an exciting year indeed on the business front 🙂
It will be leading into an even bigger and more exciting time for 2018, kicking off with a trip to Mexico (Punta Mita)/Las Vegas in January followed by the annual trip to Traffic and Conversion Summit in San Diego in February.
If you’d like to connect, reach out to me and let me know!
Here’s a few more photos to finish up with I found in my camera reel…
Met Tai Lopez at T&C
Dinner with friends in San Diego at T&C
Took an “artsy” photo of all the travel essentials
Managed to be in arms length of the magician Roger Federer after he won the Australian Open