Wrapping up the Year of Groundwork

2020 has been a hard year for everyone. But I have been very fortunate. I was already working from home, my company does well in good and bad economic times, my D&D group was online already, and my daughter is not in school yet. So I know I have had it a whole lot easier than most people. In all honesty, I feel like 2020 has been one of my better years. If it wasn’t for the stress of building a house during a pandemic and living with my in-laws, I would feel pretty great right now. Not having to go to places like church or work events has reduced my base-level of anxiety quite a bit.

My theme for 2020 was the year of groundwork. I wanted to do things that would help me open doors in the future. A couple things I had in mind were release an iOS app and start freelancing a bit.

I think I did well in both of those areas. Though, at times I did feel like I was overextending myself at times.


My plan had been to release Focuses and then start doing some freelance work. Focuses took more of my energy than I was expecting. But in the late Summer, I set up an LLC as a first step. Right after I did that, a former coworker called me up and asked if I was interested in taking over some side-work of his. I was very lucky.

  • Started some ongoing freelance work in September.
  • Have made enough money to do things like max out my HSA to help pay for a new baby next year.


Focuses is probably my biggest personal success of 2020. It made me stretch and I learned a lot doing it. I’m proud of it. I feel like it was worth the effort I put into it, which was a lot—nearly 200 hours in 2020.

  • Released in March 2020.
  • Released 11 additional updates throughout the year. Only a couple were to fix pretty egregious oversights of a previous release 😃.
  • It made some money. Not much at all, but enough to pay for my developer account and domain name.
  • It was written about on a couple websites.

In addition to freelancing and Focuses, I also did a decent job of waking up early to work on side-projects, I read a lot of books (for me), and I exercised a few times a week. So in 2021, I’d like to keep going on the good habits I developed during 2020. But honestly, I don’t feel like I have much gas left in the tank. I need to be careful in 2021 to not completely burn myself out.

January 4, 2021