Dec 30, 2020

Do a retro

How to build an annual plan

Step 2: Do a retro

Think about and learn from your past year using three columns:

What worked? | What didn’t work? | What improvements do you want to make for next time?

Creators have to take a lot of swings and inevitably miss on many. But if you commit to learning after every swing, then 5 years from now you will be unstoppable. Retros ensure that you learn after every swing.

Use problem statements for the middle column. “I need ____” is not a problem. It’s a solution. What is the underlying problem? A need statement is not a problem statement. Why do you need it? Get behind the symptom. Find the problem.

Here’s my retro for 2020:

What worked?

  • Went from 183 pounds to 167 pounds in weight.
  • Quit drinking.
  • Ate more fruits and vegetables.
  • Did physical rehab for my shoulder.
  • Got an annual physical and bloodwork done for the first time in many years.
  • Doubled savings in a year.
  • String Theory was launched.
  • We had over 10 customers and 2 repeat customers.
  • We partnered with GLE to teach kids how to string at a lacrosse camp.
  • Learned about e-commerce and using Shopify now to reduce our workload.
  • We have over 170 followers on Instagram.
  • Listened to/read at least 10 books.
  • Spending quiet time free of distractions with myself daily.
  • Learned about film editing.
  • Built a pergola for my family.
  • Setup a home gym.
  • Bought a car.
  • Bitcoin and Tesla were great investments.

What didn’t work?

  • Not sleeping well. Falling asleep late and not getting enough sleep.
  • Never got into a physical hobby like yoga or martial arts which are more functional forms of moving the body.
  • Bad money management in the stock market by selling stocks in March when they were getting crushed and buying too much into SPY put options.
  • Helmet shields were an unnecessary investment for String Theory.
  • String Theory is not meeting its promises of transparency and trust.
  • String Theory can be marketed better.
  • String Theory needs to support and attract more stringers on the platform if we want to make more money.
  • Living at home is stressful.

What improvements do you want to make for next time?

  • Focus on getting to sleep earlier and at least 7 hours per night.
  • Get a membership for yoga or martial arts classes so that I’m losing money if I don’t go.
  • Only sell stock for liquidity. Don’t trust your assumptions about what the market is going to do in the near future.
  • Find more living situations outside of home this year even if it costs you more money than you’d like to spend.
  • Develop stringer pages and better support stringers on the platform to have their own brands and product offerings.
  • Do giveaways on Instagram to grow String Theory awareness.
  • Don’t worry about making profit in String Theory yet. Focus on getting more revenue.