2020 was a failure

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As 2020 is coming to an end, I thought to reflect on what I’ve done this year. All and all, 2020 was a failure as I didn’t reach my goals.
On the personal side, I wanted to go live on my own, live abroad again with my girlfriend, and be at her graduation.
Living abroad has been a challenge due to COVID, but I also wasn’t able to go live on my own. In January 2020 I moved my business from Italy to Estonia, which effectively forced me to move abroad (Italy does not allow you to have a foreign company if you reside in Italy).
After evaluating my options, I ended up choosing Portugal as a place to live. I tried many times to move there, I had many trips there and even looked at apartments. In the end, I’m still stuck in Italy due to personal emergencies and COVID.
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I only achieved the goal of being at my girlfriend’s graduation: she is now a doctor 🎓 and I’m so proud of her.
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My fitness goals were reaching 80kg in weight, run my usual path in less than 20 mins, and being able to do 30 push-ups. While I did do a lot more physical activity in 2020, I also completely failed these goals.
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On the business side, my goals were to make $120k and save $20k. In 2018 and 2019 I made over $60k in revenue, so $120k made sense. This year, I ended up making ~$20k and saving ~$10k.
This is due to many things, but above all to the structural instability that, to this day, is attached to my business. Moving everything to the new Estonian company took a lot of work, moving all the customer’s subscriptions also took a lot of work and I’m sure, I also lost some revenue in the process.
In 2020, I lived off my personal savings because I couldn’t pay myself from the business (to this day, I can’t). I ate rice 🍚 every day I was abroad to save money. I didn’t change my phone until it was completely broken and it didn’t work anymore.
I also took care of about ~€7k of business taxes that I had to pay for 2019 (that also came from savings).
Not paying yourself for what you do is not a great feeling: you are not rewarding yourself, so mentally, you don’t put your foot on the gas.
That’s why I was trying to move abroad. If I was to relocate, I could finally pay myself from the business. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do that as my parents wanted me here, and I also got some family emergencies that I could not ignore. Going back and forth from Italy to Portugal actually made the situation worse.
In 2020, I also worked a lot. Basically, I’m always working. I’m not afraid of working – in fact, I enjoy working – but I’m afraid that the business is too much dependent on me. I do everything in my business: coding, marketing, support, you name it. I do it all.
But, I’m not always at 100%, and that’s a problem. If I’m well, the business does well. If I’m not well, my business does not well.
I can make money pretty much “on command” – but I have to have my mind straight. In fact, I made most of my money in the last 2 months of 2020. Why? Because, as we were in lockdown, I wasn’t thinking about the tax situation or moving. “I’m stuck here so I might as well make some money”.The worst part is that I don’t have any clue if I’ll be able to sort this situation out in 2021 and actually pay myself.
So, my goals for 2021 are pretty much the same as in 2020.
For the love of data,
Mike Rubini