What went well this year?
Overall, 2022 was another great year for me and a lot went right!
Audience/community building. Last year was the first time I actively focused on building up an audience on social media, though I prefer to think of it more like a community. That continued into 2022 in ways I couldn't have imagined. I basically had more than 10x growth in most of the areas I focused on.
My primary channels of focus online this year were Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and my weekly newsletter. Here's how those numbers changed in 2022:
- Twitter: 11,000 to 113,000
- Instagram: 12,000 to 120,000
- YouTube: 500 to 28,000
- Newsletter: 5,000 to 43,000
Believe me, I'm as shocked (probably more so) at these numbers as you are. What a wild ride it's been.
Newsletter. I've somehow remained consistent on writing the newsletter for nearly 2 years now. The audience grew a lot this year, and I've maintained an open rate of around 55%. I love this way of directly connecting with the community and giving advice on ADHD. I also started doing a bit more "ask the community" type of stuff where I ask for and share advice from others. Hoping to do more of that in 2023!
YouTube. While I was away on a summer vacation, I started getting notifications that were related to a video I posted on Yoube in late 2021. A talk I gave on Toxic Productivity had suddenly gotten popular with YouTube's recommendation algorithm, 8 months after I posted it. I started getting thousands of new followers, and was invited to the YouTube Partner program. I ended up amassing over 500,000 views on that video and earned enough through the Partner Program to start taking YouTube more seriously going forward.
ADHD Courses. I launched 2 ADHD cohort courses. The first one I ran solo for two and a half weeks in the summer, and the second one I ran with my friend, Trina Haynes (My Lady ADHD) as more of a weekend workshop. These both were awesome and well attended - people really seemed to get a lot out of them and I really enjoyed teaching! I also learned a ton about the process of running a course, and I learned that I FAR prefer co-hosting with another person, rather than running the whole thing myself.
Podcasts. I ended up launching two podcasts, ADHD Nerds in April, and then The Weekly Build in August. ADHD Nerds is a bi-weekly interview podcast and had over 65,000 downloads. The Weekly Build is weekly and I co-host that with my friend Marie Ng. It has a smaller audience, but it has been a joy to connect with Marie every week and help keep each other accountable with the progress we're making. Speaking of...
Launched an app. A few months ago, I saw some early work on a habit app by my friend Merott, and I was instantly intrigued. We connected and decided to partner on working on the app we eventually, after consider soooo many other names, called Polar Habits. We kicked off 2023 with a launch on Product Hunt and got #2 product of the day!
Meeting ADHD Content Creators. I got to meet a lot of really awesome people from the ADHD community in person this year! Mostly at the ADHD Conference in Dallas. There's something incredible about being around a bunch of people that just get the struggles of ADHD, the weird way our brain works. I quickly felt like I didn't have to apologize for who I was anymore, and could just be me, fully. An experience I'll never forget.
What didn't go so well this year?
Health. I started the year getting Covid, and used up almost all of my sick time to start the year. Not a great start. And then I ended the year getting sick again (not Covid), both during Thanksgiving and Christmas which really put a damper on those holidays.
Book writing. Okay, I should mark this as a positive as the book is in a really good place (mostly done, just needs a lot of editing), but I was hoping to release it in 2022 and that clearly didn't happen. I'm stressed that I'm going to take too long to finish it and I'm going to enter a crowded market with other ADHD books. And I'm worried my book isn't going to be good enough and it's going to be a black mark in the midst of the other stuff that's going great. A book feels so permanent, so I don't want to screw it up. A lot of worry and a lot of fear adds up to not wanting to write and the book writing process stagnating.
What am I working toward?
My theme for 2023 is Launch. As in, stop worrying about everything, stop holding back, and just launch stuff—get it out there.
I started off 2023 strong by launching Polar Habits on day one!
I would love to be able to do the work I do full-time some day. Many don't know, but I actually have a full-time job and do all of my ADHD advocacy and other content creation work on the side. Some of the things I'm hoping to launch this year are ways that could potentially finance me doing this work full-time. I love my job, so I'm not looking to get out or anything, but I love the work I'm doing for the ADHD community and would love to be able to do it full time. I don't expect it to happen in the next year or so, but I'd love to move in that direction.
Some of the specific things I'm looking to launch this year:
- Polar Habits. Obviously, I launched already to start the year, but there's so much more work to be done here and Merott and I have a ton of ideas on where we want to take this.
- The Refocus Book. I need to just focus and get this done and get it out there! Right now it's in limbo and I need to just keep pushing it to each next step. Hoping this will be one of my early Launch success stories.
- YouTube Videos. I got excited when my YouTube channel started taking off. I did a second video and it didn't do that well, so I started doubting myself and didn't work on any other videos until late in the year, and that video ended up being my second largest ever! My hope is to have launched a minimum of 12 original videos (not including video podcasts) in 2023, one for each month.
- Another app. I have some other app ideas that I would love to launch in 2023. I really love the intersection of working on software and building tools that help fellow ADHDers, so watch this space for another exciting app launch this year.
- Cohort Course. I would love to do another ADHD course this year and run it as more of an extended cohort, something 4-8 weeks long. Nothing to announce yet, but it's coming.
That's it - time to do some prep work for some of my planned launches this year. Excited to see what's next!
Based on James Clear's annual review template