What the hell happened in 2020?!

Mar 28, 2021

2020 was quite the year. It’s impossible to recap 2020 without mentioning the global pandemic. It changed the world almost overnight. Every single person was affected in some way.

I find it quite difficult to share my experience in 2020 because if I’m being honest, in many ways it was one of the best years of my life.

2020 - the good 🔗

My wife and I were fortunate enough to get married just days before the pandemic hit California and everything shut down.

My lifelong dream of running my own business became reality when my SaaS business, Jetboost, started gaining traction to the point where I was able to quit consulting and work on it full time.

This led to an investment from Earnest Capital, which has been tremendous for both the growth of the business and my growth as an entrepreneur and business owner.

My friend Corey and I started a weekly “bootstrapper journey” podcast, Default Alive. Each week we share the successes, failures, challenges, and progress made with our businesses.

Lastly, just a few days into 2021, my life changed again, as I became a father when my wife gave birth to our son.

So yeah, 2020 was a life changing year for me. And while all these good things happened, it was also the most challenging year of my life.

2020 - the bad 🔗

I’ve never worked more than I did in 2020. Jetboost completely took over my life. Between emails, chat support, product development, bug fixes, marketing, twitter, podcasts, and learning how to run a SaaS business, it took everything I had to make it work.

I’ve never spent less time with friends and family than I did in 2020.

I’ve never felt such crushing anxiety and panic as I have the few times the service has briefly gone down.

I’ve never felt such a burden as I have supporting a complex, technical product for hundreds of customers, by myself.

The business ran my life in 2020. Now, I’m working to change that, so that I run it.

Why I stopped writing in 2020 🔗

Once Jetboost started to take off, I stopped writing. Why? My writing was aimed at other entrepreneurs/indie hackers/makers, in an attempt to “build an audience” or gain a following. As soon as I had a business with actual customers, I realized none of that matters.

Most customers don’t care about your entrepreneurial journey. What they care about is how does your service or product helps them. That is what I focused on relentlessly in the early days, while trying to find product-market fit.

I also, quite frankly, didn’t have the time to continue my personal writing. For most of last year I was hanging on for dear life as the business grew. I do look back with a bit of regret, wishing I had shared more as Jetboost went from a tiny Javascript snippet to an actual product and brand that is known in the Webflow ecosystem.

Why I’m starting again in 2021 🔗

There are a few reasons why I’m focused on writing publicly again in 2021.

I want to share my perspective on evolving from a software developer into a business owner. I plan to write a lot more about this in the future, but suffice it to say, I have struggled to view myself as an entrepreneur and business owner. I often still see myself just as a software developer, and this has held the business back. I need to step up and become the owner of the business, otherwise the ship is sailing without a captain.

As part of that, I’m working to gain some of my time back. I’m learning how to delegate, outsource, and hire. My goal this year is to be able to take the entire month of December off. Right now, I can’t even take a single Friday off without falling behind. Focusing on my personal writing, something that is totally outside of the business, will be good motivation for me to free up that time.

Lastly, I want to believe that blogging still matters.

I’m tired of reading fortune cookie crap on Twitter. I’m tired of seeing Tweet threads doled out one Tweet at a time, like we’re mice, gobbling up one pellet after another as we mindlessly scroll through the never ending maze. I’m tired of consuming the all sugar diet of outrage, bad faith arguing, YOLO get-rich-quick boasting, and all of the other noise.

I recently read The Shallows by Nicholas Carr. It was written in 2011 about how the internet is affecting our ability to focus and think critically and creatively. Now, 10 years later, things have only gotten worse.

I hope that this blog can grow to be a tiny part of the antidote.