My reflections on what worked well and what didn’t in 2018 and what I would continue to do and do something new in 2019.
I’ve started this practice a few years ago — to retrospect on the last year’s achievements, misses, and learnings and define the goals for the next year at the beginning of the new year. I have written about why I started doing this exercise in my previous post, but if I want to summarize it in one sentence — it would be — to be accountable and answerable.
But before I begin, wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year 2019!
Retrospective for 2018
Overall, it wasn’t a great year for me. Primarily on the family front, but also on personal and professional goals front. While I made satisfactory progress across many areas, there isn’t any particular accomplishment that I’m very proud of.
Let’s look into what went wrong along with why it went wrong in certain situations —
The biggest loss
The biggest loss for me and my family was my dad passed away in May 2018 due to a heart attack. On one hand, it felt like it was a sudden death, on the other hand, it happened over 4 months.
He had the first heart attack and stroke at the beginning of Feb, which resulted in semi-paralysis and speech-loss. With his strong will-power, medication and the support of close family members, he recovered pretty well and was getting back to his normal life, but eventually lost the battle to another attack and passed away at the end of May.
On the health front, I failed on most of my goals.
My key goal was to complete 3 routines of P90X-3 — that is 30 minutes intense exercise for 90 days — and repeating it 3 times in a year. Unfortunately, I didn’t finish the entire routine even once. I started it 3 times but ended up giving up in the middle after 4–5 weeks into it.
So in short, collectively I’ve worked out only for 3 months than the planned 9 months.
Overall, I failed to meditate consistently. I did it only on a need basis — more like 1–2 times a week.
Overall, I have been following good food habits like reduction in sugar consumption, eating less junk food,etc., but since I have failed in a consistent workout, I have also slacked in eating a lot healthier food.
Work (Avoma, Inc.)
On the work front, we have made great progress, but again, we failed to achieve our planned goals.
After raising the pre-seed capital in Oct 2107, the biggest focus for Avoma last year was to build the minimum sellable product and technology. We launched the first version of our product in beta in Sep 2018, launched our partnership with Outreach.io, onboarded some paying customers since then, and built a team of an amazing group of 9 full-time employees.
So overall, we made a lot of progress, but I still feel we could have done a lot more on the customer acquisition front. I think if we could have sped up our product execution to address some of the feature gaps and invested more in our Sales and Marketing initiatives early on, we would have won some more deals that got pushed to the next year and some deals that we lost to competitors.
I did a decent job in reading a book per month. The books I read are (with my ratings) –
- Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike (☆☆☆☆)
- Sam Walton: Made In America (☆☆☆☆)
- The Obstacle is the Way (☆☆☆☆☆)
- Crossing the Chasm (☆☆☆☆)
- The SaaS Sales Method: Sales As a Science (☆☆☆)
- The SaaS Sales Method for Sales Development Representatives (☆☆☆)
- The Art of the Good Life (☆☆☆☆☆)
- SPIN Selling (☆☆☆☆☆)
- The 1-Page Marketing Plan (☆☆☆☆)
Currently still reading:
- Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ
- Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers
- Barking Up the Wrong Tree
Even though I had many thoughts and point of views to share, I ended up not prioritizing blogging over other important tasks at hand.
Learning new skills
This is something I had not planned for 2018, but ended up starting at the tail end of the year. I’m still a beginner (3 months into it), this has been one of the best decisions I have made to invest 2–3 hours every week to learn guitar.
This is another thing that I had not planned for 2018, but also ended up starting at the tail end of the year along with Guitar. In Tennis also I’m still a beginner (2 months into it), this is also one of the best decisions I have made to invest 1–2 hours every week to learn tennis.
Goals for 2019
For 2019, I won’t be changing a lot of things from my 2018 goals — just a couple of minor changes.
- Continue to spend quality time with the kids, wife, mom and rest of the family on a daily basis— these times won’t come back again
- Complete P90X-3 routine at least 3 times
- Meditate for 15–20 mins for 3–4 days/week
- Continue to follow good eating habits — no/less sugar, no/less fried/oily food, more protein, more vegetables and fruits
- Continue to sleep 7-hours a day
Work (Avoma, Inc.)
- Achieve planned revenue goals for every quarter
- Achieve product-market fit by the end of 2019
- Continue to read 1 book/month
- Continue to write 1 blog post/week — including both for personal and Avoma blog
Learning new skills
- Play Guitar and Tennis reasonably well by the end of 2019
If you haven’t already done any retrospective for your 2018, then I would highly encourage you to take a moment and think about it and write down what worked well and what didn’t in 2018 and what are your goals for 2019 — even if you don’t plan to share it publicly, write it for your own benefit.
Once again, wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year to crush your 2019 goals!