The Unbreakable Year in Review

January 1, 2024

I love this time of year. While New Year’s resolutions have become cliche (and most people don’t stick with them anyway), I find value in taking stock of the past year and setting intentions for the year to come.

As with most things, I try to focus on the Pareto Principle, better known as the 80/20 Rule. Simply put, 80% of our results come from 20% of our efforts.

In that spirit, here are my favorite learnings from this year, (as well as a few of my other favorite things) distilled into quick lists so you can get your 80/20 goodness.

3 Things I learned:

1. Move fast and break things.

Maybe because it was drilled into me during my fighter squadron days, I’ve always tended to want things to be perfect before putting them out into the world. This year has been an exercise in discomfort. As they say, perfection is the enemy of good. I’ve launched a lot of new endeavors this year, including this newsletter, and my biggest lesson is that speed is your friend. While attention to detail is important, the best results often come from just starting.

2. A lot can change in a year.

2022 was one of my most difficult years to date. I faced one of the toughest decisions of my professional career: whether to double down on a failing business or cut my losses and pivot. I sold that business for a loss on December 31st. A year later, I am happier, more fulfilled, and feel more aligned than perhaps any other period of my life. When I was in it, it was hard to imagine how fast the tide could turn.

3. Ikigai is real.

I used to believe that the concept of Ikigai was too elusive for most people actually to find, and that 3 out of 4 was the best we could hope for. If you aren’t familiar with the concept, Ikigai is a Japanese framework for finding alignment in our work. It embodies balance in four critical areas: what you love, what you are good at, what you can be paid for, and what the world needs. I’ve often said that one of my favorite feelings is having my mind changed. With my work at Unbreakable Wealth, I truly feel that I have found my Ikigai, and I am living proof of this possibility.

1. Consistency.

While certainly not the first to coin the concept, there is a lot of power in Jocko Willink’s tagline “Discipline equals freedom.” From growing my audience on social media to finding gains in health and fitness, consistency has been my biggest driver of success in 2023. Building systems to ensure the completion of daily habits may sound obvious, but there is no better way to build momentum.

2. Vulnerability.

If you’ve been following along, you know that I openly share lessons learned from my biggest failures. This is not an accident, and it is definitely not easy. We would all rather paint a rosy picture of success, especially on social media, but the fact is, people resonate with what is real. If I can help others shortcut the pain, it’s worth it.

3. Focus.

This year, my biggest shift was to ruthlessly eliminate distractions. From investing to my business, I relentlessly strive to cut that which is not serving me and only focus on activities that have a clear outcome. Some of the best things I eliminated were random meetings without a clear business goal, any illiquid investments, and drinking alcohol. (This was a biggie. I don’t feel called to elaborate on my process, and I’m not interested in convincing anyone else to do the same, but it’s been a game changer.)

Now that the heavy lifting is out of the way, here are a few things that I found insanely valuable this year, and maybe you will too:

3 Products I love:

1. Suavs Shoes

One shoe to rule them all.

I hate socks. For years, I’ve been on a quest to find shoes that both look good and are super comfortable when worn barefoot. My search is over. I wear these shoes nearly every day, and they can easily be dressed up or down.

2. Status Between 3ANC Earbuds

They got me with their slick Instagram ads, but these are the best earbuds I’ve ever owned. The sound quality is unmatched, and they are more comfortable for long use than AirPods or Beats Fit Pro (at least for my delicate ears). Bonus: they are significantly cheaper than the competition.

3. Vuori Coronado Hoodie

For Colorado’s mild winters, there is no more versatile article of clothing than the venerable hoodie. For whatever reason, it seems like there has been a trend toward half zip instead of full zip, which I despise because I can’t take it on and off as fast. I had an older variant of this one, and Vuori nixed it from the lineup a couple of years ago. To my surprise and delight, they reintroduced it and I immediately ordered four colors, and I wear it daily. Call me Steve Jobs, but with style.

3 Books I love:

1. Thinking In Bets 

I love mental models. I’m obsessed with finding frameworks that help us make better decisions, and this book is simply full of them. Annie Duke even helped me name the small group of friends who help keep me accountable and point out blindspots: Truthseekers. While not technically an investment book, the things I learned in this book will guide my investment strategies for years to come.

2. Buy Back Your Time

My bromance with Dan Martell is no secret, as he is one of my best friends and has been for years. So naturally when he finally released a book this year, I was cheering him on. But man, when I read this book I was completely blown away. This is the best business book I’ve read in at least the last 5 years. It’s jam-packed with mental models and actionable frameworks, and if you haven’t read it yet, drop whatever you are doing and pick up a copy.

3. 10x is Easier Than 2x

I always say that most business books should be short stories rather than 200-page full-on books, but unfortunately, there’s not much of a market for pamphlets. I’ve read a few others from this duo, and most fall squarely into this category. As such, I didn’t expect much when picking this one up, but to my surprise, I found a lot of deep value here. If you want to cut through the noise and align your decisions to 10x outcomes, this book will help.

So there you have it, folks: a few things I learned and some fun (and affiliate-free!) recommendations to help make 2024 your best yet.

See you next year (dad joke achievement unlocked),


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