Happy New Year (I Need Your Help!)

Happy New Year!

I’ll take this opportunity to thank my readers. I love and appreciate you all!

And I hope you stick with me through 2019 and beyond.

Two days ago, I was cleaning my apartment here in Mexico City. Organizing my belongings; throwing out stuff I don’t use. It’s something I like to do when each year comes to a close. While digging through a packing cube filled with random cables, a computer mouse, earbud headphones, a WiFi extender and various other items, I came across a daily planner. I’d bought it last Christmas intending to use it for 2018, but it didn’t take.

I flipped it open, and on the JANUARY 1 page I saw I’d written something. It said:

“Do Better.”

So.

Did I do better in 2018?

2018: Personal Life in Review

This past year was an interesting one for me.

I spent the first half of it living in Lima, Peru, where I experimented with dropshipping and e-commerce and learned a lot about selling to the Latin American market.

I spent the second in Mexico City, where I found a nice little apartment in the city center. With the e-commerce store out of the picture, I began focusing more on freelance work, as well as this blog.

All in all, it wasn’t a bad year. My finances were OK, I met some cool people (several thanks to this website, as well as Twitter) and made some great memories.

But, it wasn’t perfect.

In 2018, I handled personal relationships very badly. No sense getting into the details here, but there are a few people I should have treated better, but didn’t. And others I should have cut out of my life, but didn’t. I also did quite a piss-poor job keeping in touch with family and old friends.

At least I improved on that front toward the year’s end.

My mental state was also…tumultuous.

Historically, I’ve always been quite mentally stable. Most folks who know me would say the same.

But in 2018?

I was a loose fucking cannon.

I drank far too much, exercised far too little.

My mindset was seriously off.

This prevented me from enjoying Lima to its fullest, which is something I regret.

It also left me unequipped to handle a particularly tragic incident a few months back, where a girl I knew was murdered. I hadn’t known this girl for very long, but it affected me in a strange way. And much more than it should have (or would have, in previous years).

My negative mental state also appeared to seep into my subconscious in the form of nightmares.

Throughout my life, I’ve always had a lot of dreams, but this year many of these dreams were, well…

Fucking terrifying!

All that said, things have improved on this front over the past couple months. I feel settled here in Mexico City, have a daily workout routine going and have taken to reading fiction again, which helps settles my mind.

But yeah, I get a big thumbs down for mental health in 2018.

2018: Blog in Review

How about this website?

Well, I’m proud of the articles I published in 2018. Personally, I think it was my best year for high-quality content. I took a turn away from writing about women, and wrote a bit more about business, learning Spanish, visas and life in general in Latin America.

However, page views and visits were inconsistent.

Low at the start of the year, decent mid-year, low again around September/October, and finally climbing again now.

A few reasons for this, from what I gather.

First, Google’s algorithm. It’s slapped my page rankings down harder this year than ever before (I’ve heard this from other bloggers, as well).

Second, is the fact I’m not writing about women and dating anymore. The most viewed articles (by far) on my blog are all about women and dating. So overwhelmingly more-viewed than my other articles in fact, I’m fairly certain I could double the popularity of this blog if I continued to tow that lie.

But, alas, I don’t feel I have much to say on the subject anymore.

Third, and most unnerving, is that, year over year, less people are reading blogs, opting instead to consume short form Facebook/Twitter content, video content and, to a lesser extent, podcasts.

I may soon have to adapt to this, or die.

Fortunately, in spite of all this, the amount of money the blog pulled in remained consistent (low four figures/month).

I also had an unfinished product that I’d planned to launch this year.

Didn’t happen.

2018: Business in Review

The clothing business I was involved with in Lima paid all the bills for the first half of the year, and I kept busy with freelance work during that time as well.

So it wasn’t bad.

Second half of the year was also decent. Affiliate income and freelance work was steady.

But one thing I did poorly was prioritizing clients.

For instance, in my constant pursuit of trading less time for money (i.e. more freedom) I had two clients I was planning to drop by the end of this year. One had flexible deadlines, but was lower paying, and the other had strict deadlines but paid better.

Foolishly, and out of greed, I dropped the more flexible, lower-paying client first.

Logic being, more money=better.

However, although my workload is lighter, I’m just as beholden to deadlines as before. Less money AND less freedom.

What I should have done is drop the stricter client first: less money, but more freedom to pursue other ventures and/or find another client to replace them.

Lesson learned.

I also built two niche sites. They still haven’t made any money. I’m not sure what I’ll do with them in 2019.

What’s In Store For 2019?

I want to take more trips. I have Guatemala City booked. Will be heading there in a few weeks.

I also FINALLY want to hit Asuncion, Paraguay. Something I’ve been saying I’ll do for years, but never end up doing.

I hope 2019 will be the year it finally works out.

In order to do these trips, as I mentioned above, I’ve been trying to rearrange my work situation.

In addition to flexible freelance work, I’d like $4,000+/month in relatively passive income.

That would be ideal.

Enough freedom to travel 3 months out of the year, and enough money to do it in style, all while keeping my apartment here in Mexico City (or, cheekily subletting it).

I’ve got a plan of how to get there.

As for my personal life?

More exercise!

My relationship with exercise is silly.

I’ll go hard for 4-6 months, feel better, look better.

And then I’ll just stop…

I don’t know why.

In 2019 I’m going to try not to stop.

As for the blog?

Well, I might need your help on this one.

I’m torn.

I know video content is undoubtedly the future, but my personality is not one that relishes being in front of a camera, less so when I’m the one filming selfie style.

Podcasts, I can do.

But I query how many people would actually be interested in that.

Of course I’ll keep up the written content. No worries there. Two or three posts a week.

Products?

As mentioned, one in the works (an informational product), and a couple ideas floating in my mind.

But, to end this post, I default to you.

(this is what the “I Need Your Help” bit in the title is all about).

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE FROM MY LATIN LIFE?

  • Any ideas for an informational product that would help you?

  • Any ideas for new content/forms of content (video, podcast, visual etc)

  • Should I write more about how to make money online? Should I write more about dating again?

You tell me, friends. In the comments below - I appreciate any and all input.

And, with all that said…

Have a great start to the new year!

Thanks,

Vance