Hey it's Neville Medhora here, hope you're having a fun 2022 so far!
I had to do a double-take when planning my January goals and
Today I'm doing a quick 2021 wrap up:
I Bought A House!
I've lived in Downtown Austin for around 12 years and always rented. Bouncing around different areas of Downtown was great, and my prerogative was to be as close to fun stuff as possible and explore new parts of town.
With the pandemic that started in 2020 some things shifted:
- I was ~38 years old and living next to tons of bars and clubs had started to lose most of its luster.
- Inflation looked like it was headed in a REALLY BAD direction, and I wanted to protect myself against inflation as much as possible.
- I for the first time in history WANTED to hold debt. I've never had debt, and still don't like it, but when I could get a loan for 2.68% whilst inflation is at 10%+....the math simply works out.
- I saw with the lack of housing to buy, rapidly rising inflation, and a historically large influx of people/jobs/companies into Austin that rents were about to "San Francisco-ize" very quickly (and it did).
The main thing I wanted with a house was the security of owning a piece of land. For this reason I decided against buying a condo.
The downside of all this happening in 2020 was the absolute monkey wrench it threw into the housing market.
People weren't ready to sell their house because of Covid and social distancing. More and more people were buying up houses from out of state. People just in panic at what was happening.
For these reasons the housing inventory when I bought my house (Jan/Feb 2021) was the lowest inventory, by far, in the history of Austin:
This almost looks like a GOOD GRAPH, but is terrible! This means I was a buyer in the strongest seller market in history 🙄
I knew this was the case, but I also assumed this could possibly get a lot worse.
I figured I was either really smart, or really dumb to be buying right now.
Only history will tell.
Searching for a suitable house during that time suuuccckkeeeeddd.....it was very intense. You would look at a house, decide to go check it out, and it would already be scooped up for far over asking.
So naturally when I found a house I liked there were 30+ offers on it and a bidding war.
Ultimately I got it.
With the purchase of the house and land I officially completed by inflation protection kit:
Furnishing a house in 2021 was bananas:
Another downside of buying a house at that time was just furnishing the thing.
I hired designers to do the whole house (I'm useless at house design), and normally ordering and installing all the stuff is a 3 or 4 week process.
However with the shipping crunch, everything took 6-12 months.
At the time of this writing I'm STILL waiting for a bunch of items, although the house and furnishings are 85% done.
For several months I was living in a guest room and using a sparsely furnished living room. It was fine, but frustrating to have to wait months for stuff to arrive. I rented out my Downtown place to a friend, but took all the furniture I could from it.
In the meantime I:
- Got the house painted inside and out
- Built a deck
- Made an outdoor grilling area with fridge, gas grill, gas burner, and prep station
- Made the entire house Phillips Hue smart lighting
- Got automatic blinds installed
- Wall mounted 3 TV's
- Re-planted a huge bamboo screen that died in the Snowpocalypse
- Turfed two balconies
- Planted a small garden with herbs
- Wired built in and outdoor speakers
- Powerwashed everything including all surrounding public sidewalks
- Added new power outlets
- Installed sound dampening grasscloth wallpaper in the studio
- Setup a 3-camera video podcast interview station inside the office
- Removed full lighting banks that were no longer needed (bc of smart lights)
- Got the entire garage painted in chalkboard paint
- Built a little hangout/workout area in the garage
This stuff takes up tons of time and money! Some of these are small weekend projects, but others involved contractors and lots of time with people roaming around the house constantly.
Also every contractor in the country seems to have more business than ever in this time, so everything generally takes longer and costs more.
While not EVERYTHING is fully arrived yet, the house is 85% or 90% complete, and my time spent on these projects is going down.
Building out our members area:
2021 was focused purely on getting more members inside The Copywriting Course Members Area. Our private forum started humming along, with a focus on helping people re-do their copy.
Inside the members area we added tons of functionality to the software.
- Tracking of monthly goals
- Tracking of yearly goals
- Tracking member wins
- Tracking all sorts of cool statistics
- Building easier browsing
- Built out a video roll to manage 800+ videos
- .....also a billion small micro improvements that aren't worth listing out!
Some of the most exiting stuff for me is being able to track everyone's goals, kinda like this:
We also started tracking wins because there were so many (humble brag) 😏
We started openly sharing stats with members
We want to show that we walk-the-walk in content, so we decided to freely share all the stats that most places keep confidential.
It also forces us to improve! For example here's some weekly YouTube stats. Since we make them public we have to keep improving them.
Public YouTube Channel Stats
We will be sharing all our open analytics soon also (sometime this month).
A year of reframing:
Re-framing something is when you think one way about something, but the times have changes, so you have to re-think it.
For example: The East Side of Austin used to be a crazy bad place to live. It was dangerous and ZERO people went there. Over a decade or so that has rapidly changes. Homes sell for between 1 and 3 million dollars, there's tons of new fancy stuff, and a rapid pace of growth and re-building.
I originally moved to Austin in 2001, and my frame of mind about the East Side was it's a horrid place you never should step foot in. So when I bought a house here, it was a bit of a re-frame of mind to see what's happened to this side of town.
Re-Framing Social Media:
I used to view social media as a fun way to look at snowboarding videos and cute dogs, but as it's got better and better, it's now a legitimate way to communicate and connect with the top people on the planet, and it's also a legitimate form of learning.
Twitter particularly was a re-frame of mind. I used to use Twitter to just post when I wrote a new blog post, but now Twitter has become where you post the information first, THEN write a blog post about the good stuff that hits.
This is very different than the previous world.
Social Media brings a new problem: Too much distraction.
- Twitter I actually feel like I learn a lot. So I haven't put time caps on my Twitter usage.
- I love Instagram, and it's great to mindlessly scroll, but I have to curb my usage of it because after scrolling through stories for 2-4 minutes they start to become lame.
For this reason I started hiding Instagram on my phone. Just go to delete the app, and right before it deletes it asks if you just want to remove it from the homescreen.
You can "remove" apps from your home screen so you don't always see them and get tempted to click
This way I can still use the Instagram app without seeing it's icon calling my name and tempting me to click.
Now to use Instagram I have manually search "Instagram"
This has been a GREAT little hack that totally works. Now I only go to Instagram when I WANT to, not just because I see it on my homescreen randomly.
Still had a packed social schedule, and did fun stuff like meet Peter Thiel!
I live in Texas, so the whole state has been pretty much 100% open during this time, so this year was still packed with hanging out with people, going places, and seeing family.
I'd say a cool "mic drop" story was having dinner with Peter Thiel:
My #1 observation from that dinner was how he had a spectrum of “theories” for everything. If I asked about his thoughts on inflation, he would respond with something like:
“Ok, here’s the theories…..”
Then he would have 3 different “theories” that could happen:
Generally these “theories” would range from:
➤ Normal and boring scenario 😐
➤ Good & bad mixed scenario 🧐
➤ Crazy worst case scenario 😳
He would then elaborate on each scenario to determine the probability of each.
I personally LOVED this form of thinking, and have been trying to incorporate it in my own thinking.
However meeting Peter Thiel doesn't hold a candle compared to dogsitting tons of dogs like Poe in 2021!
There's really no right or wrong way to make goals (in fact you don't ALWAYS need goals)....but recently I did a little goal setting session with some buddies.
I invited a few friends over (smaller group is better for things like this), setup a little whiteboard easel, and we each went around and re-capped 2021 goals, then went around listing 2022 goals.
I wrote a few prompts down to help spark ideas for goals:
There's a million things you can use like this, but I thought these were kinda helpful.
I wrote down a bunch of random goals on a sheet:
There was no real rhyme or reason to these at first. Then in front of the group I went through each one to see their reaction:
An interesting note: Others people can instantly tell you what’s interesting or boring!
Some of my goals on here the group said were dumb, and others they all really wanted me to focus on.
That was super interesting.
Fortunately I like my current work life, and want more of it. So here are the goals I've come up with for 2022:
- I would like to make SwipeFile.com better.
- I want to write more long form blog posts (like this). In 2021 I got very distracted with social media and videos and abandoned the long form article. I think this was a mistake and want to get back to long form publishing.
- I want to get Copywriting Course traffic up to 1 million views per month. Before our switch to the domain with C's (We used to be called Kopywriting Kourse), we were doing about 400,000 visits per months. After the change we're around 100,000 visits per month. I've done nothing to improve this, and want to focus on this again.
- I would like to do more sponsorships and partnerships on my podcast, YouTube channel, and email list. I'm not really sure why I haven't done much of this before. It's lucrative and potentially fun.
I of course want larger social followings, but if I do my work correctly this should naturally follow.
I've never published much about personal life, and I like it that way.
Personal life was great in 2021.
Obviously with people shuffling around cities in 2020 and 2021 it brought a lot more of my friends to Austin.
We always had a great little crew here in Austin, but now it's even better.
One thing I did when moving into my house was a threw a "neighbors party."
I knocked on all the doors on the block and said hello, got people's phone numbers, and a few weeks later held a little block party.
This helps you know your neighbors for security reasons, and also is just more fun to know who you live next to!
One thing that's been interesting with social life:
I don't use Facebook quite as much to post photos, so for a while I just didn't post many photos of going out and hanging with friends. But thanks to Instagram you can do quick story updates, and doing this over 2021 really helps keep in touch with a lot of friends spread across the world.
While social media gets a bad rap, it definitely has a lot of cool upsides like being able to maintain a large friend network at scale.
I hope you've had a great year, and plan to make 2022 great also!
P.S. Follow me in 2022:
👉🏼 Members Area