2019, Year in Review

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Another year, another review. Let’s shine a light on 2019 and see what happened.

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Work

2019 was a weird year.

I managed to move away from managing projects (read my 2018 review) and get back to my marketing roots.

It felt amazing to have a calendar (almost) free of meetings. It also felt great to be able to focus on marketing strategy and execution.

It all also came with challenges. Recruiting hasn’t been easy. We had a first try towards the start of the year that didn’t pan out — which left me lone wolfing for several months.

In Q4, I hired two new marketers. We ran into issues and one of the two had to be let go, unfortunately.

It’s been incredibly challenging to juggle HR issues, managing people, achieving my tasks/goals, steer the marketing/branding wheel, and more.

Q4 was really hard, both physically and mentally. I slept very little, stressed a lot, and felt generally beaten down. It’s easy to let a few tough experiences overshadow the rest of your achievements, so I’m going to try not to let it.

Some of the positive things that happened work-wise:

  • We launched a new brand & website.
  • We generated our largest number of leads to date, tremendously growing (and smashing our target by 20%).
  • We hosted several well-attended webinars.
  • We took our first steps into video creation.
  • We generated some incredible leads that turned into incredible clients and logos.
  • I hired a motivated young gun who’s been helping me a lot.
  • The company more than doubled in size.

Relationship / family

I got engaged!

Popping the question to my wonderful girlfriend in 2019 was always the plan, but she roams this blog so I kept it hush hush.

We got engaged on Koh Lanta, a tiny island off the coast of Thailand. I’m incredibly happy and looking forward to getting married, most likely in 2021. Here are some pictures you didn’t ask for.

koh lanta long beach

Long beach, slightly north of where we were staying.

koh lanta sunset

Cloudy sunset

koh lanta red curry

We took a cooking class. I made this red curry!

We also adopted a little puppy in March. Meet our scruffy little cockapoo, Mila.

mila

Finance

Early in the year, I fired a couple more bullets into cryptocurrencies, and haven’t touched it since.

Aside from that, I did very little. I ‘invested’ in three things this year:

  • Relationship: one far away trip (Thailand) that we desperately needed and a ring.
  • Health: lots of (expensive) dental work
  • Education: expensive, advanced strategic & management-related courses

I’d like to think these are long-term investment 🙂

I wanted to overpay our mortgage in 2019, but didn’t manage to get around to it.

Personal development

Clearly, it’s been a challenging year. I guess this means it has also been a year for growing.

I learned a lot about managing people and running a company.

Hiring people directly under me taught me the value of delegating. It also taught me I cannot have everything in my head, which forced me to create processes.

The exec team at ubisend implemented monthly board & shareholder meetings. These have taught me a lot about budgeting, forecasting, and general business knowledge.

How did I do on my 2019 goals?

Grow my team at ubisend.
Success(ish)! Doubled my team… from one to two 🙂

Re-focus on growth (clients, awareness, leads, etc.).
Success!

Focus on optimising over creating.
Fail(ish). Ended up re-focussing on creating instead.

Share my knowledge and inspire growth in others.
Hopefully succeeded with this blog, though I need to do more this year.

Take a strong hold on my finances (investing, budgeting, etc.).
Fail(ish). I only budgeted for a few months.

Introduce accountability.
Fail.

Learn a coding language
Fail.

Learn manual skills (mostly being able to fix things around the house)
Success! I didn’t know anything, so learning to work the garden and use a screwdriver was pretty much all it took.

Step out of my cooking comfort zone (would love to cook Asian dishes)
Success! See pic above 🙂

What about 2020?

This year, my girlfriend and I spent our new year’s eve reflecting on 2019 and goal setting for the new year.

In 2020, I’d like to:

  • Continue to grow my business knowledge (by doing & by reading).
  • Grow my marketing department (we will need more bodies soon).
  • Spend a lot less money (no big spends coming up this year).
  • Focus on marketing strategy (learning and executing).
  • Start an exciting side project.
  • Blog more on alexdebecker.com
  • Cook more.
  • Meditate more.
  • Put an investment plan together

I hope you had a fantastic year of 2019. I look forward to 2020 being an excellent year of growth and success.

Let’s get this bread.

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ALEX DEBECKER

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

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