2017 Year In Review
2015 and 2016 were about transformation. We finally scaled a business to thousands of customers and I started being location-independent. 2017 was more about finding the right balance and better defining my goals.
The recurring revenue of Hunter almost doubled in 2017 despite the shutting down of one the most popular feature, the LinkedIn integration. We expect a slower growth next year but have a few very exciting projects in our mission to connect more professionals together.
Because of Hunter’s growth, I spent less time on personal side projects. The new products I worked on were linked to Hunter: MailTracker and TechLookup. The only project I worked on my side is a browser extension that generates colored wireframes. I’m stuck on some technical issues and don’t have much time to spend on it for now.
My other personal SEO-related businesses play exactly the role I want them to play—be passive sources of income that require at most one hour per month.
2017 was the year I found the balance that suits me. I’m now renting an apartment in Chiang Mai and stay there by default. I travel 3-4 times per year to Europe for the company retreats we organize and to come back to France. I also continue to visit new countries in Asia, but at a slower pace than I used to.
This year, I stayed in:
- Chiang Mai ×3
- Bangkok ×3
- Phuket ×1
- Paris ×2
- Tokyo ×1
- Kyoto ×1
- Saigon ×1
- Cebu city ×1
- Athens ×1
- Madrid ×1
- Rome ×1
- Marbella ×1
I found that traveling full-time could be very stressful in the long run, especially when I have a lot of work (I used to move to a new city almost every month in 2016). I always had to wonder where to go next, find new hotels and Airbnbs, prepare the visas and book the flights.
Now, having a fixed apartment in Asia spares me all this stress. Each time I’m tired or need focus, I just come back to Chiang Mai as long as I need to. I also acquired a 5-years Thailand Elite visa to no longer have immigration constraints in Thailand.
French Digital Nomads
Mid-2016, I started a community of French-speaking digital nomads on Facebook. I made sure to promote a positive culture to have people share their experience and help each other. I’m very happy with the result. We are already 1,100+ members, the discussions are very helpful and many members met for real thanks to the group.
I didn’t spend much time on it this year, mostly moderating the content and welcoming new members. I intend to launch more discussions and meet more members in 2018. I might recruit someone to help me animating the community.
I have to admit, this is something I neglected this year, by focusing on work and traveling. I want to be more proactive next year. I’ll meet more people I can learn from, connect them together and basically spend more time with my friends.
This year I’ve started learning Thai by myself with books, mobile apps, and videos on YouTube. I’m not learning as fast as I would like to, so I decided to take a teacher to move forward.
I’ve read a lot about investing and will continue to do so next year. I’ve only made small investments for now. I’m waiting to be more educated on the subject and have a more mature strategy to get started.
Psychology and marketing
I’m still learning about psychology and marketing (especially linked together). Current readings: the famous Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini and How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Canergie.
I dived for the first time this year in the Philippines and loved it. I can’t finish 2018 without diving again in Thailand or the Philippines!
About the good resolutions
The end of the year is a great moment to look back at what’s been accomplished. But don’t forget: good resolutions should be a continuous process you can work on every day!