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2019 Year In Review

Initial goals

When January 2019 came along, I had some vague goals. The only clear one being, I wanted to see at least 5 countries this year. Other than that I felt like it would be nice to launch some kind of software product, something that was my own. I started building a few things but never got around to finishing them, I think a lot of developers struggle with this. Also, my business partner and I already had paying customers for printmijnstad.nl and didn’t need something on the side. A lot has happened, a lot has changed, my priorities shifted and my year was amazing!

Nomading πŸŽ’

In February I decided to quit my job, pack my stuff, and go to Canggu, Bali. At that time the no. 1 spot on NomadList. Per the first of April I was unemployed and was able to work on my first freelance gig, off we go!

You can follow my travels on nomadlist.com/@dennisvdalen

People πŸ§‘β€πŸ€β€πŸ§‘

I feel like it’s important to mention the people who made my 2019 amazing and who pushed me to be the best version of myself!

Vasco
My friend Vasco helped me realize what I really wanted to do. It’s because of him that I felt confident enough to quit my job and fly to the other side of the world!

Linda
Without my girlfriend Linda I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the freedom I’m enjoying now. She taught me everything I know about marketing, made me realize I don’t need much stuff, and should appreciate the small things.

Mark
The Printmijnstad cofounder, without him I wouldn’t be able to live off of Printmijnstad!

Goals 🎯

Let’s look back at the initial goals for the year;

Travel 🌍

βœ… Visit 5 countries

βœ… Wintersports in Germany
βœ… Roadtrip Iceland
βœ… Stopover in China (Xiamen)
βœ… Indonesia (Bali)
βœ… Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)
βœ… Russia (Moscow)
βœ… Thailand (Chiang Mai)
βœ… Malaysia (Georgetown)
βœ… Indonesia (Bali)

Business πŸ‘”

❌ Launch something on ProductHunt

I started working on visarun.flights but the same thing happened, I didn’t finish. This is still on my list of things to finish πŸ™‚

❌ Start working on a SaaS product

Printmijnstad was growing like crazy, so it got all my attention. Meaning, no SaaS for me in 2019.

New goals along the way

Personal

βœ… Get enough income from own business to not have to do freelance work
This went pretty well! Soon after going to Bali I learned more about Facebook ads and was able to sustain myself with Printmijnstad!

βœ… Put all my investment money in ETF’s πŸ’°
My investments were scattered around at multiple brokers, after reading a little book called ‘The simple path to wealth‘ I decided it was time to make everything a bit easier!

🟠Write more – ongoing!
I started writing a bit, this blog is the product of that. Also, I published a post about JavaScript on dev.to, pretty fun and good for reflecting/learning.

Professional

⏺️ Learn VueJs – ongoing!
I want to do more frontend stuff, therefore, I’m learning more about Vue JS.

⏺️ Learn ES6 – ongoing!
Part of my learning more front end stuff πŸ™‚

Printmijnstad (printmijnstad.nl)

βœ… €10k revenue in one month
October 2019 was the first month we passed the €10k in revenue!

❌ €25k revenue in the Black Friday week
We set a goal to reach €25k in revenue in the Black Friday week. We reached just above €15k. But hey, aim for the stars! It was still by far our best week.

βœ… Get 10 sales internationally (printmycity.com)
Meanwhile, we decided, what we can do in the Netherlands, we can probably do abroad as well, shouldn’t be so hard, right?

❌ Get 100 sales internationally
Turned out, we underestimated this. Will continue working on growing internationally in 2020 πŸ™‚

Unplanned new skills acquired in 2019

βœ… Facebook Marketing
When in Canggu I met this awesome girl who taught me all about Facebook marketing, this really got the ball rolling for printmijnstad.nl!

Unplanned good stuff happening in 2019

βœ… Marketing gig
Via one of my friends, I came in contact with two guys selling shirts online. They needed someone to work on their website and marketing, That turned into a side gig as their marketing/tech guy for https://comodoshirts.com/. I now get profit share. Pretty awesome!

βœ… Published my first blog about JS on dev.to
I’ve always wanted to write some more, but never really came to do it. I finally started while learning more about JavaScript. Yay, my first blog post! I should really write more often. New goal for 2020 πŸ™‚

Highlights for 2019

βœ… Quit my job
βœ… Cancelled my rent
βœ… Started nomadding
βœ… Live off of side project income

Goals for 2020

  • Get recurring income
    I want to achieve this by building a SaaS product
  • Don’t depend on one source of income
    I can reach this in multiple ways, the easiest being grow comodoshirts.com
  • Focus on building good habits – not sure yet, which habits?
    I’m sure I’ll figure something out along the way!
  • Build in the open
    I want to challenge myself to build & launch 12 projects in 2020. Also I want to build an audience, building stuff in the open seems like a good way to do this.

Main 2020 challenge;
Launch 12 mvp’s in 12 months, I’ll keep you posted!

Let’s go 2020!