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What 2020 accomplishments are you proud of?

Talking about hardships is important. But celebrating our successes can revitalise us in continuing our indie hacking paths.

What are things you're proud of in 2020? Big or small. I'll start:

  • I've managed to move from Geneva to Malta during a pandemic.
  • I've managed to succesfully launch my first project as a founder during a pandemic.
  • I've learned what makes me happy: building and learning. 2021 will be geared towards these two things.
  • I'm much more stressed and anxious about life generally. Launching a company is hard. But feeling stuck for me is even more anxiety-inducing.

What are yours? :D

  1. 4

    Finished my doctorate thesis 😎💪

    1. 1

      Congrats! I'm also contemplating on going towards the PhD route.

      1. 1

        Thanks, but I‘m just a MD so my doctorate is usually not considered the same as an PhD, although I must say it was hard work the last 3 years...

  2. 3

    ✅ Finally living by ourselves with the wife
    ✅ Started making my own videogame and gathered a team with young talented artists
    ✅ My marriage relationship is getting better and better
    ✅ I'm learning to cook alongside my wife

    1. 2

      Congrats, Daniel! Those are big choices! Congrats on the video game. Hope to see you detail your journey ;).

      1. 1

        Thanks! We are working towards a demo for this first quarter. We are trying to avoid the "struggle" though, as a main theme of the game is how the simplest and best things in life are often forgotten in favor of work.

  3. 3

    ✅ Survived
    ✅ Held down my IH day job
    ✅ No home or child care help since end of Feb, proud that we have just about managed. Life will seem so easy after this.
    ✅ Started a paid newsletter for punishment, got to $20k ARR
    ✅ Made some great virtual friends along the way
    😘 I massively appreciate Indie Hackers, and indie hackers.

    1. 1

      I honestly do not know how you're able to juggle this all 😂. Amazing progress on the newsletter, too, Rosie! I'm so happy that more people are considering community-building more seriously.

  4. 2
    1. I was still able to enjoy life most of the pandemic year since I was in Vietnam until September.
    2. I survived Covid-19 so did my extended family (4 more were infected, not everybody is 100% but I believe we managed).
    3. Although I could not finish Deployment from Scratch this year, I did a lot of work towards finishing.
    4. I did enough contract work to focus more on indie in 2021.
    1. 1

      Congrats, Josef, and good luck toward finishing your project! Hey, at least you're immune now!

  5. 1

    That's awesome, congrats on all! And I agree on the last point, there's nothing I hate more than being stuck and/or bored. :)

    • In 2020 I released my first app, LIFE Intelligence, on iOS. Got on the front page of PH
    • It's been 1.5 yrs into the solo founder journey, and I still feel passionate about the cause
    • I've learned the things I love and the things I don't love... and need to force myself to do the things I don't love but are necessary for growth
    • I've worked with and met some really incredible people who were just as passionate about the project as I
    1. 1

      Yes, meeting passionate people is one of the greatest joys in being a founder!! Happy New Year, Jasmine!

  6. 1

    What a strange and horrible year it's been! You've made some bold changes, Julian. It's awesome to hear they're working out for you and you're loving life in Malta.

    A few things I'm proud of this year include:

    • Clarified thoughts around the type of company I want to run and lifestyle I want to have. I'm definitely shooting for the "calm company" approach.
    • Going from virtually zero revenue to over $5K MRR which is more like $8K/month revenue with new monthly & yearly sign-ups each month and growing!
    • Making the jump and going full-time on my business.
    • Getting a cat 😻

    2021 is going to be a very interesting year workwise. Hopefully, Covid allowing, 2021 will also be a very friends and family orientated year as well. But I've got a feeling I'm being a little over optimistic on the whole Covid situation 😒

    1. 1

      Congrats on 0-5! What strategies have you been using to market? And so jealous, I want a cat!

      1. 1

        Haha, it's been amazing having him about. Definitely a good year to get a cat!

        Acquisition has mostly been down to word of mouth, to be honest! As people complete challenges they share their solutions with their network. That leads to more people finding out about Frontend Mentor and the cycle continues.

        I've also been building relationships with some amazing developers who live stream themselves completing challenges. So that's been another great way for people to discover the platform.

        I haven't dived into any more proactive methods yet, but I'll be exploring this more in 2021!

    2. 1

      Niiiiiiiiice! I genuinely think we're just at the start of our journeys. It's really mad to have some sort of fit with Embarque and still not have my channels sorted out haha.

      I have the feeling that whatever growth/trajectory you're aiming for, FEM will end up being super sustainable in the long run, because the core seems to be really strong, if the amount of reactions from your Slack screenshot in Indie London is any indication haha.

      1. 1

        Haha, yeah that's a great position to be in! Hopefully, once you've experimented and found some channels it will really light a fire under it!

        Yeah, the FEM community are amazing and we've got a really solid foundation. I've got big plans for the next stages of the site and the pro subscription, so hopefully, we'll be able to execute well and keep growing!

  7. 1

    Yep dreadful year, but...

    • I started offering freelance services, and have had a few interesting client projects
    • I started a newsletter, just published the 5th edition!
    • I did a lot of blogging towards the end of the year, 18 posts in the past 2 months!
    • I put together quite a decent Portfolio, surprised myself by all the projects I’ve worked on
    • I wrote a NodeJS static site generator
    • I published links to my linkblog pretty much every single day, it’s now built using the generator I wrote, total links posted so far this year: 1166
    • Increased traffic to markjgsmith.com sites by 5X
    • Almost forgot...I started a weird experimental podcast!

    I’ve really been enjoying the Indie Hackers community, it’s made a real difference to the past few months for me :)

    1. 1

      Sooo good. If I may ask, how did IH make a difference to you? Congrats on freelancing! I somehow managed to juggle a full-time job and freelancing for 40 hours weekly, until I decided to become a founder. Freelancing can be anxiety inducing!

      1. 1

        I have found it’s a great place to ask questions, get inspiration, learn from others, and get feedback and ideas on projects.

  8. 1

    ✅ Started my first newsletter and grew to 800+ subscribers in two months. (https://thedailycoding.com)
    ✅ Released my first info product (https://gumroad.com/l/flashcard)
    ✅ Started my first shopify store (https://thecodingcards.com)

    1. 1

      This is so much fun, haha. Congrats on the 800 subscribers! That's major.

  9. 1

    I left my job when I realized that it wasn't worth it anymore.

    I set out on a journey as an indie hacker.

    I haven't gotten COVID-19 yet.

    My girlfriend moved in back in March "for a few weeks for coronavirus," and we still have a good relationship.

    1. 2

      Congrats. I did the same by leaving my full time job. I don't recommend this to anyone, but I'm at a much healthier place mentally since leaving my job. I didn't realize how positive this was going to be for me though haha.

  10. 1

    Having survived the year with my mood and spirit intact. Had at the beginning of the year 1 full-time employee and had contact with four promising angels. Then came the pandemic and all our appointments fell on deaf ears. In May, I sadly lost my father, as one of the only ones who has believed in my entrepreneurial dreams and supported me. 4 days after leaving, I had to hold job interviews and run the business, as well as looking after my 1 year old daughter and my part-time job.
    Over the summer, I first got a $ 5k soft funding investment and 3 new employees. In July, we got an idea to expand our value proposition and made a muckup of our idea which gave 113 subscribers to our waiting list, including some of northern Europe's largest e-commerce and agencies. In October, we further raised a pre-seed of $ 100k (again soft funding, which means I still have 100% ownership) and in November we had expanded with two new employees. Today we have almost 300 registered on the waiting list and are 2-4 weeks from being able to invite the first users on our platform. We are also looking forward to having two new employees from January who will help us with UX.

    It has been one of the worst and best years of my life and I am just grateful for what I have and had. Looking forward to 2021 and another blessed year with all of you amazing people - Happy holidays everyone :-)

    1. 1

      I'm sorry for your loss. I can't even begin to understand how hard that's been.

      Congratulations on your expansion! Sometimes, a boost of funding leads to a boost in confidence and helps you continue in your pursuit. I almost gave up on Embarque after 1 month, until I got my first client. It gave the boost of confidence I needed to continue.

      After that, I realised that it's so stupid to quite so early. The most important thing now is to be led by your vision, while focusing on your distributions to succeed.

  11. 1

    Managed to get through YC remote in a different time zone and didn't go stir crazy stuck in the back bedroom glued to zoom 8 days a week. I honestly thought we wouldn't make it at some points but pulled through.

    Congratulations on launching your project and company. What is stressing you out specifically?

    1. 1

      Haha, that seems intense. Congrats on everything! Minus the Zoom meetings, haha. Those suck.

      "Congratulations on launching your project and company. What is stressing you out specifically?"

      Good question. It's interesting, because I've realized that building a company, for me, is much less stressful and anxiety-inducing than being employed.

      I don't really lose sleep over losing deals, because I have all the time in the world to grow this company. That said, I got my first, and only, unhappy client 2 months ago, and that knocked me out for a couple of days.

      So unhappy clients stress me out? I'm very fortunate, though, my biggest direct revenue generator consists of customer upsells, and that unhappy client had no idea about SEO.

      1. 1

        OK, actually, I just got what this question was referencing to!

        In a nutshell, I was diagnosed with borderline when I was 18. At age 20, I got admitted for suicidal tendencies and alcohol dependency, while I was at uni. This is a bit graphic, but I've had more black-out moments than I could count and sometimes even worse.

        That said, outside my personal life, things has always been easier for me. I always had an easy time at school, and I had no problems finding clients when I entered the workforce.

        Now that I have my energy toward building a company, my life has become much more aligned. And having coping mechanisms for my self-destructive tendencies, I now truly feel as if everything is significantly easier. Building this company is so much easier than coping with my demons, if that makes sense.

        1. 1

          That makes a lot of sense yes :-) Awesome to have direction and purpose. I can empathise with the darkness surrounding lack of direction through no fault of your own.

          Unhappy clients come and go. Lord knows I've had a few! They fade with time. It's a good reminder to act with integrity and when someone riles up you can greet them with facts and calm.

          Fantastic to have a business that grows on referrals. That's a very authentic sign of quality.

  12. 1

    I kept my newsletter running without missing a single issue despite major family hardships.

    1. 1

      Congrats, Paolo! That's tough. Being sick is one thing. Being sick during a major pandemic is anxiety-inducing.

      1. 1

        Thanks, things are back to normal now. To the point the current quietness feels almost surreal.

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