What a crazy year!
For me, it started out amazing. After publishing six marketing/business books, I released my first novel in March of this year. The book launch party (March 9, 2020) for The Will to Die was my last public appearance. The next week nearly everything shut down.
The book did well. Hit a few Amazon best seller categories. It also won a few awards, including Best Suspense book from the National Indie Excellence Awards. Plus (drum roll please) my wife actually liked the book (this was the most important of all).
But to be honest it was a challenge marketing a mystery book about death, funeral homes and racial conspiracies during a worldwide pandemic and nationwide protests. It just didn’t feel right.
On the newsletter front, I’m surprised this little newsletter has done so well. In January of 2020 I started with 1,485 subscribers. As I write this on December 28, 2020, we have 9,560 subscribers. My goal for the year was hitting 10,000 (close enough, right?).
If you are reading this, I’m so happy you find it useful or entertaining or motivating. My only goal is to help you in some way. If this newsletter has assisted you in 2020, just reply to this email with a note. I’d love to hear from you.
…or, if you hate it, let me know that as well (but if you hate it why would you open it at all…but I digress).
As I expressed in my last newsletter, I believe 2021 is going to be amazing. Like my son has said, 2021 is going to be as awesome as 2020 was terrible.
To assist you with that wonderful thought, below is a roundup of what I believe were the most important stories that did not include the election or the pandemic (you can thank me later).
In January, I covered this time-tracking activity that is absolutely perfect for heading into the new year. Try it…you won’t be disappointed.
On the Content Inc. podcast, I talked about how important it is to figure out what you are on this earth to say. You can’t build an audience unless you have something to say. Spend some time this week figuring that out.
When the stock market tanked in March, I actually thought that Apple would finally buy Disney. I’ve been talking about Apple doing this since 2013. With Disney’s market cap being cut in half, I thought Apple would finally pull the trigger (Robert Rose and I talked about this extensively on This Old Marketing episode 231). Well, Apple didn’t do it. Instead, Disney doubled down on Disney Plus and now they have 86 million paid subscribers and a new all-time high for their stock.
I talked a lot about the art of saying no in 2020. I’m going to be working on that for 2021. I’m almost done with my goals for 2021, which includes less social media, more structured time with my boys, more reading and making no small plans.
Speaking of 2021 plans…are you risking enough in 2021? In March I discussed Colin O’Brady who talked about how most people live their lives waiting and simply aren’t proactive enough. He wants more days of 1’s or 10’s and hates 5’s (an average day).
Have you heard that Clubhouse is all the old kids are talking about now? It’s a new social media app built on groups and audio. Social Media Examiner has a good overview of it. I’m checking it out now. That said, 2021 should be the year you kill off some of your social media channels. If I get into Clubhouse, I need to get rid of something else.
New York Times bestselling author Adam Alter talked about the idea of recombination when you are looking for a content hook (something to grab people’s interest). I really love the concept when you are searching for something original to say.
At the beginning of December I talked about the Bitcoin Bonanza and how I felt we were going to see a huge jump in the price of Bitcoin. A few days later Bitcoin passed $20,000. It currently sits at $27,000, up over 300% this year alone. If you’re into predictions, I believe we will see Bitcoin $100,000 by the end of next year (but do your own homework please).
And I’m fascinated by what these young content creators are doing, building multi-million-dollar platforms. Especially MrBeast (read his origin story here). MrBeast, aka Jimmy Donaldson, started creating Minecraft videos in 2012. Today, he has 49 million subscribers and regularly gets over 30 million downloads per episode for things like a contest using 1.7 million Christmas lights and going back to the first grade for a day. Some are predicting he’ll be the first YouTube billionaire.
In addition, The Penny Hoarder, once a small, bootstrapped financial education site, just sold for over $100 million. It took the company 10 years to get to $50 million dollars. Founder Kyle Taylor started the site when he was 24.
You want to know what Gen Z is going to do in the future? They are building audiences. Once they learn how to create business models on top of them, watch out world!
And finally, the post where I received the most comments (and it wasn’t even close) was on how every person needs to create their own exit strategy. Some people loved the idea, while others thought it was impossible. I didn’t even realize the post was controversial.
Thanks again for being a regular reader of The Random newsletter. It warms my heart that you get something out of it. And if you want, tell a friend to subscribe here.
I’m looking forward to hearing about your amazing success in the year 2021 (or should we call it, simply, Year 1). All my best to you and your family.
The following was an excerpt from Joe’s newsletter. Only subscribers receive the full version.