At the end of every year I journal about my lessons from the past year, remember the year’s highlights and experiences, and set goals for the new year. Last year I started the tradition of publishing some of these musings here on my blog.

The post below is organized into my trips/events, news and other happenings, major personal lessons learned, and finally goals for the coming year.

UPDATE: I’ve organized this into two blog posts. Part One below includes Trips, Events, and Milestones of 2013.

Part Two (coming after Christmas) will include my biggest Lessons from 2013 and Goals for 2014. Stay tuned.

Trips, Travel, and Events of 2013

January: Marketer’s Cruise (included Mexico, Jamaica, and the Caymen Islands). We rode on dune buggies in Mexico, climbed the Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica, and relaxed on the beach at the Caymen Islands – all with a bunch of fun Internet marketers.

February/March: Underground Online Seminar 9. This was especially meaningful for me this year as I organized much of the young entrepreneur scholarship experience, made lots of amazing new friends in the process, and even got a little bit of stage time.

March: Two week trip to Malaysia and the Philippines. From visiting MindValley to meeting my whole team and their families, this was a truly transformational experience. You can read about that here.

April: Went to Montreal, Canada to celebrate Larry and Perry Yu’s 21st birthdays! Good times and first time to Canada.

May: Chicago Maverick Multiplier Retreat. Probably the most intimate and impactful Maverick gathering I’d ever been to, and really learned to be open and vulnerable, while also having a lot of fun (Zombie Bar Crawl anyone?) Here’s a quick video recap of the experience:

May/June: Austin, where Ally worked for Sophia at Maverick Events to help coordinate the Amazing Selling Machine event. Hung out with some friends in Austin, and decided definitely on which apartment to stay in, where we signed the lease shortly after, committing to move in September.

July: Charleston – Maverick Family Freedom, teaching kids and teenagers entrepreneurship and values… probably the most rewarding event of the year for me. You can read all about that one here.

July: Baltimore – stayed with Maverick Adam Summers for a week, and in the process made a great new friend. Also attended Russell Brunson’s and Daegan Smith’s Invisible Funnel Mastermind there, where I learned a lot of cool new marketing strategies.

August: Chicago for Eben Pagan’s Accelerate Event. This merits an entire post in itself, but I never got to it. It was another life changing event for me, both in terms of the business content, and the personal and spiritual growth I experienced there. I got a 3 minute stage spot to present what we were doing with NEXT at the time, here’s the clip:

August: Las Vegas for RSD World Summit. RSD is a big web design client of mine, and Nick Kho (“Papa”) is a good personal friend, so I attend a lot of their events (even though I’m in a happy relationship with Ally and not exactly learning ‘pickup’ lol) … I found it to be a really unique form of personal development from which I benefitted greatly, and made some new friends.

September: moved to Austin with Ally! Lots of furniture assembling and setting up a new life while balancing launching NEXT and other business responsibilities.

September/October: went to Southern California for a couple of weeks shortly after moving to Austin. Stayed with Maverick, and good friend, Damien Zamora of GoMobileSolutions for over a week in Orange County, drove to San Diego for a weekend for the Mind Movies mastermind party, and went up to Santa Barbara for several days for Ontropalooza, which was also a blast where we got to catch up with a lot of friends and Mavericks who were there.

Also went to LA for Yanik’s 40th birthday. This was so fulfilling to watch – not only because of Yanik’s impact on me to date, but even more so just seeing how much impact he has had on so many people. About 40 Mavericks showed up in LA to surprise Yanik, and everyone put together this awesome video for him, even those who couldn’t make it (including Tony Hseih, Sir Richard Branson, and some other business icons) talking about how much they appreciate him and their funniest moments together. It was truly inspiring and heart warming to watch.

October: Maverick Multiplier Retreat in Las Vegas. This was really fun and educational. From meeting Steve Pavlina, to visiting Opportunity Village, to running around Vegas in ‘Kings and Queens’ costumes, this definitely marks a fun and unique memory for 2013. Here’s a quick video recap:

November: held the NEXT Think Tank event here in Austin, for 20 successful young entrepreneurs 25 and under. The weekend was transformational for most attendees, but probably even more so for myself, as it really solidified on a deep, deep level what I am doing in the world. More on this later. Speakers/mentors included: Ryan Deiss, Robert Hirsch, Noah Kagan, Paul Kirchoff, Matt Clark, Josh Lee… and of course our very own Yanik Silver.

We also did some indoor skydiving, which was a first for me and almost everyone there.

Here’s a quick video recap. There’s a more complete one coming soon:

November: Las Vegas, again (3rd time this year! And again, not to party). This time, for a mastermind at Tony Hseih’s home in downtown Vegas, after getting the downtown project tour. Kudos to Nick Kho for putting on this awesome event. Along with John Assaraf, Dave Van Hoose, Tony Hseih, and some other really speakers and entrepreneurs, I spoke there for 15 minutes with a focus on web design and conversions.

Dmitriy Kozlov at Zappos Tony Hseih

Presenting on Web Design At Tony Hseih’s place in downtown Vegas

A couple of NEXT Members attended too, such as Matej Bester and Larry Yu.

Larry Yu with Tony Hseih, in the "Jungle Room" at his place.

Larry Yu with Tony Hseih, in the “Jungle Room” at his place.

And finally, now I’m going home for the holidays for a couple of weeks to see friends and family and celebrate the New Year :)

Outside of travel, here are some other updates, news, and happenings of 2013…

These are mostly chronological, though some are throughout the year:

Maverick CORE Solutions: launched and closed this brand in early 2013. It just wasn’t worked the way we planned, so I rebranded my main services company back to Purpose Inspired Marketing and left the rest of the business model (vendor referral network) on hold, hopefully to be relaunched in 2014.

Scaled and downsized: I hired an operations management team, doubled my design and development team, and doubled my client base and average revenue, and then scaled back down to a leaner, more focused operation all within about 4 months. It’s a long story, but I just felt that I was on a track to successful unhappiness, and putting all my time and energy into something outside of my purpose. This gave me the experience of a larger operation, and then refocused me back on what’s important.

Conceptualized NEXT with Yanik: the couple of months after Underground 9, I was working on a concept for young entrepreneurs. Part of that concept was for higher level, successful young entrepreneurs, which aligned with Yanik’s previous vision for a group called Maverick NEXT. Through some unique synchronisities, we decided to start Maverick NEXT. This was in May, and we spent the next 3 months or so ironing out the concept and getting ready to ‘launch’ it to a small group of select young entrepreneurs.

The big idea behind NEXT: bring together already successful young entrepreneurs 25 and under in an exclusive network where they can lean on each other, Maverick1000 members as mentors, and access a series of transformational events throughout the year and unique entrepreneurial education… all with the overarching goal of helping them each co-create the NEXT, and best, chapter of their entrepreneurial journeys, personal happiness, and impact in the world.

Launched NEXT: In early October, we soft launched NEXT, followed by a unique event for NEXT members and those at their caliber, The NEXT Think Tank in Austin. NEXT has grown to 13 founding members in the past couple of months, and they’re having a great experience so far, with some already seeing significant business growth from the connections and education, and others finally having found a community of people who get them.

Maverick NEXT is really the most exciting thing I’ve worked on in my life, and creating this vision will be the biggest focus of the next 3 years of my life. Not only is it fulfilling for me in a big way, but I also believe it’s the highest impact of anything I could possibly do with my time – because these young entrepreneurs really are the NEXT Generation of Mavericks – poised to transform the world for the better, and have a ripple impact for decades, maybe centuries to come, with what they do.

Personal Development at events: The year of traveling all around the country and the world, experiencing different cultures, learning at all kinds of unique seminars and masterminds, really expanded me intellectual, tactically, and spiritually. From becoming a better leader, better copywriter, better marketer, better manager, to finding my spiritual strength, to raising my cultural awareness, it’s been the most transformational year yet in terms of personal growth. Through all this travel, my personal network has also expanded tremendously, and I’ve cultivated the kind of inner circle that I’ve always wanted – of mentors, peers, friends, and partners.

Despite any current stress of overwhelm, I am probably the happiest I’ve ever been in my life to date. Not just on a surface level, but on a deep, internal spiritual level. And it’s only getting better.

Refocused Purpose Inspired Marketing: I refocused my web design agency as a boutique design firm, working with select clients who are really making a difference in the world with their work. This makes the “service” industry much more meaningful to me, as I feel I am doing a service to the world in serving my clients.

Just this month (December) I hired an awesome operations manager, Amy Derr, to help me run the company, so that we can scale our fulfillment better while I focus on creative direction for our clients, and my other purpose-driven pursuits (mainly NEXT).

Started Revenue Share Partnerships, some successful, some not: While I did some revenue sharing partnerships in 2012 and made a little bit of money, this is the first year I’ve partnered on something that’s actually creating sustainable profits, now and into the future. It’s really exciting and I’ll post more on this later.

At the same time, I had a few partnerships which I thought were going to work out really well, with a lot of profit for all involved, that didn’t do so well. I’ve learned a lot from both experiences, and am better off for it.

Moved to Austin with Ally: This marks the first time Ally and I are living together on our own, and in (my opinion at least) one of the best entrepreneurial cities in the country! Moving was actually very stressful and a bit more expensive than I expected, but the transition really transformed me. The environment here in Austin gives me more energy, clarity, and focus – nothing like what I had living in the northeast. Living together has also really improved my relationship with Ally, and we work well together :)

Our apartment is nice, and perfectly placed with the greenbelt (largest nature reserve in Austin) literally in our backyard, we’re a 10 minute drive to downtown, we have a pool, a gym, a business center, and really everything we could want here. The only thing ‘missing’ is the beach, hence the planned move to San Diego in June.

Austin, while feeling like home, is the first among many living destinations for the next 5+ years. Inspired by 4 Hour Work Week, I intend to move to a new place every 6 – 12 months for the next half a decade, to explore the world through cultural immersion, not touristy travel.

Started a new path of personal development… Mind, Body, Spirit: The last couple of months I’ve been exploring a new side of my personal growth – spiritual development. I’ve also realized just how much neglecting my body affects all other areas of my life, including my mental, financial, and spiritual aspects. As such, I’ve committed to a new path of spiritual growth, along with nurturing my body through exercise, great food (thanks to Ally, this is taken care of!), plenty of time in nature, and adequate restful sleep. This sounds easy – but as an entrepreneur workaholic, it’s actually quite difficult for me.

Fortunately, I’ve found myself an amazing spiritual mentor, and martial arts Sensei, who has agreed to work with me – Tristan Truscott of Satori Method. Also a client, I’m really excited to experience his teachings and to be a part of bringing his work to the world.

Part Two Coming Soon…

Clearly it’s been a really transformational year, personally and ‘professionally’ for me… look out for the next part of this post in the next few days, for a summary of my greatest lessons from the past year, and my major goals for 2014.

Thank you!

Have any big milestones yourself this past year – or any cool trips or experiences? Comment below :)