2018, Year in Review

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As is fashionable, I’m going to try and review my 2018. I find it hard to believe an entire year has flown by. Let’s see what happened.

Work

ubisend had a fantastic 2018. We’ve closed a couple of major contracts at the start of the year which had a great impact internally.

Though my background is in marketing, I found myself running a couple of big projects from their inception. I never planned to turn into a project manager but there was a gap and it felt right to fill it. I gave managing these projects my whole. It was challenging at times, and I ended up learning so much.

As the year went on, I found myself becoming increasingly confident running meetings, speaking up for my team, and dealing with adversity. All great skills to have.

The downside of all this is I didn’t get to spend as much time ‘marketing’ ubisend as I would have wanted. I got to get back to it towards the end of the year, which felt amazing. The last couple of weeks, I had 0 meetings scheduled in my calendar!

We also grew the team quite a bit. Though I don’t (yet) have anyone directly under me, having a few employees around at all times did change some of the dynamics. It’s been incredible watching the team grow and the impact a varied number of personalities has had on us.

One of my favourite moment of the year, in that regard, has been a job fair at a local university. I got to set up the booth, sit back, and watch as two of our employees talked about their experience working at ubisend with complete strangers. Their excitement was palpable, it was an amazing moment.

Relationship / family

My girlfriend and I have had a great year as well. We’ve now been together for over two years and have just purchased a house.

It’s a small house with lots of character and we’re super happy with it. It has been such an experience going through all the process. It has been stressful at times.

We were lucky enough to have amazing people around us helping us along. We moved into the new house right before Christmas. We’re excited to start our first year here.

Finance

I’ve made some investments at the start of 2018. In January and February, I entered a healthy mix of low/high-risk investments, mostly long-term. I invested in

  • Treasury bonds (long-term)
  • Personal ISA
  • Pension fund
  • Cryptocurrency

Clearly, cryptocurrency has not done so well in 2018 but I’m fine with it. I invested very little, mostly to be in for the ride and because I do see the value in the tech (rather than expecting a big payday).

With the house purchase, I had to focus most of my finances on that (deposit, fees, etc.) which basically took over the 2nd half of 2018.

Personal development

I learned a lot about myself in 2018. I turned 30 and with it came some self-reflecting.

I am, by nature, a fairly pessimistic person and I complain easily. I also tend to handle criticism poorly, shutting myself off and brewing the negativity.

In 2018, I (and with the help of my girlfriend) did a tremendous amount of work fighting negativity, both in my own head or within conflicts. Here are three things that helped me:

  • Consciously observe myself thinking negative thoughts. It’s the whole awareness deal. If I can observe it, I can acknowledge it and try to stop.
  • 3-for-1. Whenever possible, when I observed I just complained about something, I try to think of three positive things related to that negative event. E.g. I’m stuck in this bus for 3hours (-), but it’s comfortable (+), there’s a toilet available (+), and my phone has full battery so I can listen to podcasts (+).
  • Avoid negative people. Seriously life changing. You may have people like that in your circles, friends or family members. If you can’t entirely cut them off, at least try to avoid them.

What about 2019?

2018 was a fun year. I faced interesting challenges both in my personal and work life. I want 2019 to be about growth. Here are some things I’d like to achieve.

  • Grow my team at ubisend.
  • Re-focus on growth (clients, awareness, leads, etc.).
  • Focus on optimising over creating.
  • Share my knowledge and inspire growth in others.
  • Take a strong hold on my finances (investing, budgeting, etc.).
  • Introduce accountability (will write about this).
  • Learn a new digital skill (most likely a coding language)
  • Learn manual skills (mostly being able to fix things around the house)
  • Step out of my cooking comfort zone (would love to cook Asian dishes)

I’ve written down a plan for 2019, which I will keep private. All the above are somewhat vague as I don’t want to get into the details publicly. Suffice to say, I’m ready to give 2019 a run for its money.

Hope you’ll stick around for the ride.

2 comments

  • Hi Alex, I found this a brilliant read and it has given me a little more insight to you as a person. You may want to avoid me in future as I tend to be one of the negative/pessimistic people you are trying to give a wide berth, although outwardly I try not to come across as such. I’m so glad you had a good 2018 and Amy has had a positive influence to your mindset. I wish you and Amy a fantastic New Year and hope all your wishes for the Year are fruitful xx

    • Hi Sue,

      Thank you for your thought and kind words. It has been an epic year, I’m excited to see what 2019 brings us!

      Best wishes to you as well.

ALEX DEBECKER

Digital marketer. Company grower. Bearded internet warrior. I grow projects into profitable businesses.

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