2017 State of Paris

It’s time to “review the tapes” of the past year.
The last time I did a year review post was in 2014 I believe. Let’s see how this year goes. Maybe this time it will become a regular thing.

I present to you my 2017 State of Paris (the person; not to be confused with the place). You’ll find the following sections below:
What went well?
What didn’t go well?
What did I learn?
What’s ahead for 2018?

What went well in 2017

Digital Products. This year I stretched beyond my digital product silo. Rather than only publishing on my own WordPress sites or teachable, I moved a few courses to Udemy and Skillshare. I did this because Udemy and Skillshare have an audience that can search and find the courses that I publish.

This year I tried putting my LinkedIN Summary course on Udemy and Skillshare. Both had some interesting results. Udemy had over 1,000 students enroll when I offered the course for free.

Skillshare has over 500 people enrolled. That more than 1500 people that I probably would not have reached without paid advertising. So far, skillshare is showing returns in terms of passive income each month.

Additionally, I made a jump into the white label content market. This is also known as PLR (private label rights) content. I created a new brand under AmazingPLR.com for publishing content related PLR products. The first product launch generated over $500 USD within 7 days.

Fitness. My roommate, Rob, helped kick this into gear. Both of us had been talking about getting back in shape. The excuses lasted longer than in takes to pour out a bottle of cold molasses. But this year, something changed. We made the investment in a gym membership.

I’ve tracked and completed 140 workouts between April and December.  This is about 15 workouts per month. The results are starting to show. I went from 94.7kg down to 85.7kg. My resting heart rate has gone down from 76-80 to 50-60.

Work. This year I made a big decision to re-enter the working world, meaning I would work under another company rather than continue to be independent. I think this was an important decision to make considering I needed to rebuild my savings after a few costly mistakes were made in 2016.

I chose to work on my own terms. I wanted to make sure I was doing something I loved, so I chose to go into teaching. I love it. Of course, the salary is not as high as being in the Fortune 500 corporate role. However, I feel great, have less stress, more time to pursue things other than work. It was a smart choice.

Passive Income. This year I am fortunate enough to say that I made some stable passive income. This is income that doesn’t require me to serve for a specified amount of time and comes in even if I do nothing. There have been three primary sources of income this year:

Amazon (affiliates program)
Skillshare ( online course platform)
SimpleWP.co (website maintenance product)
Jvzoo (PLR Product)

Savings. I challenged myself to live on at most 70% of the money that I brought in. I was able to do this, even with a low salary. I heard this number while listening to a Jim Rohn audio series. I heard it many times, but had never put it into practice. This year I believe I did a good job putting this into practice.

What didn’t go so well?

Relationships. I didn’t call and check-in on my family enough this year. Living abroad does have some downsides. I don’t get to see my Mom, Dad, Sister and Brother for most holidays. I intended to call more, but somehow that didn’t happen as often as I would like.

I chose to end a romantic relationship this year. I’ve had mixed feelings about this, but overall feel it was the best decision to make for both of us.

Blogging. I didn’t do much blogging this year. I wanted to post once per week, but that didn’t happen. I filled my time with other things and found ways to procrastinate. I did a lot of “thinking” and “planning” for the blog rather than actual writing and publishing.

This is something I’d like to shift for 2018 and get out some quality posts.

Website Building. I offered a Website in a Weekend product to potential customers. The concept didn’t sell as well as I had expected. I think the price point didn’t fit with my target market. For next year, I will be going back to the simple, 3-step model that worked well.

Focus. I found myself running into many mental blocks this year. I would focus for about a week. After that, there would be about two weeks of “feeling” like I was unable to generate enough ideas. This may have been due to the shift back to full time working hours again. Revising my routine around creation time will be essential next year.

Travel. I didn’t travel outside of Shanghai at all this year. I big reason was that I wanted to focus on chipping away at credit card debt and increase my savings. Nevertheless, I think this might be the first time in 10 years I have gone a full year with out traveling internationally.

Well, I do live abroad anyway. Does that count?

What I learned this year?

Broke to Banking. It is possible to live on margin even when you’re not on a high income. It does mean strategically saying no to some things. Another way to think about it is that you are saying yes to financial responsibility.

Low Impact Workouts Work. As a kid my sports workouts were filled with high impact exercises. I never really learned how to do an intense workout that was also low impact. Due to knee and shoulder injuries, I had to find a solution that would also me to lose fat, build muscle and increase my cardio capacity. I learned that this is possible.

Can’t build business in a silo. My most successful digital product came when I tapped the affiliate sales market. Getting other people on board to help promote and sell your product is critical. This is especially true if you don’t have a large customer database to promote to.

This lesson goes for all of business. Connecting with people and having others help you along the way is important. Even solo business owners have partners and vendors that help get things done.

I really enjoy teaching. My passion for teaching has gone on fire this year. I enjoy spending time with students and watching them grow.

What’s ahead for 2018?

Grow Slow

I’m borrowing from Erin Loechner’s “Chasing Slow” and going to say it’s time to grow slow.

When I focus on doing one thing at a time, I tend to get more done with better results. My focus for 2018 is getting back to the view of focusing on one thing at a time. Like getting this post done was one thing I want to get done before moving to other content creation projects.

Growth can happen physically, mentally, spiritually and in business. Why rush it?

What’s to come?

1. This Blog. I would like to write one quality blog post per month. I’m not doing it for the traffic or promotion. I want to share some quality stuff that challenges your thinking and provides resources that equip you to take action.

2. White Label Content. I have a new content pack on the topic of Morning Mastery. My plan is to finish one small step each day until it is launched. If you’re interested in grabbing some white label content and learning more about it, check out amazingplr.com

3. Teaching. I’m currently teaching literacy skills to children. There are many topics that I am filtering through and prioritizing for 2018. I’ll share more about this when I’m clear.

The bottom line

All in all, many things shifted for me this past year. I’ve seen friends go through many changes as well. I’m not a big fan of setting resolutions. Most of these are forgotten by spring festival. What do have is a list of things that I’d like to pursue and a focus on one thing at a time.

I am excited about where I am now and look forward to seeing how things unfold over the next year. I hope you are too.
God Bless,


For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father! ~ Romans 8:14-15