2017 year review

In 2016 I achieved three out of four goals, Then I set the bar a bit higher: five goals for 2017.

I failed at almost all of them but hey, it’s still alright.

In this article I’ll go over the goals first, and then cheer myself up with 5 things that matter.


Goals Review

1. Run 10km in 42 minutes


This hurts! My goal was to run 10K under 43 minutes, so I trained accordingly. For the first time I regularly mixed steady run, interval training and tempo run. And I became faster, the fastest I have ever been.

I was set for success. I trained in Italy, Netherlands, Bali, Philippines, Singapore, looking forward to the 10K running events in autumn. September arrived, and I felt ready.

I set a new 10K PB at 44:05 thanks to my buddy Dave, that very generously paced my run and didn’t even wanted a beer in return.

I desperately wanted to get to sub-43 minutes, so I signed-up for all the races available before leaving for Asia again.

I did 5 races in 5 weeks:

  • Van Amsterdam Noord: 10K @ 44:05 (on my watch)
  • Dam tot Damloop: 16K @ 1:14:45 (my favorite event, it was fun!)
  • Haarlem Half Marathon: 10K @ 45:26
  • Run for Kika: 10K @ 43:52 (but the length was actually 9.5 km and I wanted to kill the organizers)
  • Sloterplasloop: 10K @ 45:28

It was so disappointing.

Racing every Sunday has the opposite effect I wanted: instead of improving, I was getting slower, tired and frustrated.

One race was 10,2 km. One was 9,5. The length was never correct, there was always something wrong, and my goal seemed impossible to reach.

I left to Singapore and SE Asia so demotivated that I almost didn’t run for the past two months.

But hey, I run a total of 850km and set new PB for 1K, 1mi, 5K and 10K.

Always look at the bright side of life.



2. Dedicate 3 hours/week to Write


I did not dedicate 3 hours/week to write. Actually, I did not even try.

But hey, I created quite some content anyway!

Here is a list of content, mixed Italian/English:

  1. 2016 Wasn’t a Bad Year
  2. Come raggiungere Amsterdam partendo da Roma
  3. Come raggiungere Amsterdam partendo da Milano
  4. Al mio bot piace il business
  5. Intervista a Jasmine, 2 anni in Olanda come Au-Pair
  6. Intervista a Viola, da un anno in Olanda per un Dottorato di Ricerca
  7. Nelle mani dei bot (my interview on Vendere Valore podcast)
  8. Parliamo di chatbot con Claudio Comandini di Assist
  9. Comunicazione Aperta e Competenza nella Delega (my interview on Kryva’s blog)
  10. Interview for Zaininviaggio.com eBook about working and traveling
  11. 5 Lessons from 5 Years of Self-Employment (my most successful article!)
  12. 5 Lezioni dopo 5 Anni da Imprenditore Digitale
  13. SemRush Webinar with Giulio Gaudiano
  14. Come Ho Trovato Clienti con un Chatbot (my presentation at Milano Chatbot)
  15. 3 Lessons Learned Before Turning 38
  16. Backup WordPress: i 5 Errori da Evitare
  17. WP-OK è certificato da Yoast SEO!
  18. Da tecnico informatico in Italia e Olanda a fondatore di WP-OK (my interview on Besourcer)
  19. Viaggiare lavorando e lavorare viaggiando: la storia di Daniele (my interview on Expatclic)
  20. 6 Common WordPress Mistakes You Should Avoid (presentation at Hubud)

Some of them are interviews, some presentations, some are videos.

And video was for me the big discovery of 2017.

I started the WP-OK channel where I published 56 videos about WordPress, tools and business online (in Italian, in case you’re dying to see them).

It has been an enjoyable process: from the first terrible videos with me blabbering on a crappy mic, to the final terrible videos with me talking on a good lavalier mic 🙂

Seriously, I tried to keep my videos genuine, unedited and focused on useful content.

Communicate on camera is a great skill to hone and I’m happy with the results. Now I can record in few minutes a video that used to take hours of attempts with me getting stuck while talking or having the mic off.

So yes, I failed the writing part but I discovered a new way of communicate, more similar to real life, that I enjoy and I want to get better at.

The biggest change is in my mindset, producing content became an habit.
Now, if I don’t record a video for a few days I start felling nervous, exactly as if I haven’t run for a while.

Can feeling nervous be a good sign? Yes, it can be.



3. Read 12 books, at least 4 business-related

This was the only goal I reached, actually over-reached as I read 16 books in 2017 🙂

I use Goodreads, it’s a great service to keep track of the books I read (or want to read).

Here is my Goodreads 2017 summary:

2017 year in books

It’s a mix of very different books in different subjects, I’m not going to elect a favorite.

These are the business-related books:

  • Simple Numbers: excellent to understand the finance figures for a small business!
  • The Death of Retirement: got me determined to build assets.
  • Da Brand a Friend: good read from an Italian digital entrepreneur legend, and my 1st book about branding.
  • The One Sentence Persuasion Course: short but powerful book, good for my marketing.

So the goal is 100% achieved, no but hey here.


4. Reach 17% body fat



I’m still at 20% and I didn’t do anything to reach this goal.

But hey, I eat rather healthy, I run, I even went to the gym in Ubud, and most of all my girlfriend feels unprotected if I’m too skinny.

Once again, I loose weight in Asia where I eat outside two times a day, and I put weight in Europe where I drink one too many.


5. Travel a month with a camper


365 days ago I was super excited about the idea of renting or even buying a camper. But after seeing my friend Lele getting one and spending countless weekends and money improving it, the reality hit me.

Having a camper in Amsterdam while spending 6 months/year abroad isn’t of much use.

Renting one in summer is very expensive.

And when I got news that my beloved parking permit (that took me two years to obtain) expired miserably, it was like a signal from God telling me “forget about it”.

I still like the idea, but a camper is a very impractical vehicle.

But hey, last summer we rented a car and spent three weeks driving down to Austria, Slovenia, Italy. We did some camping, met old friends along the way, and had a great time!


5 things that matter

While I failed 4 out of 5 goals I set for myself, 2017 brought to me at least 5 good reasons to be happy:

  • Mom fully recovered after last year. This is a great news!
  • WP-OK revenues grew by 35%!
  • I visited 3 new countries: Philippines, Iceland and Slovenia!
  • I’m done with the mortgage. I’m debt free!
  • I was wedding witness to two good friends of mine, Laura in Amsterdam and Guillermo in Singapore!


While I’d like to talk more about my year in business or my year in travels, and close down with 2018 goals…. I just don’t have time.

2018 is ON.

2017: a Wonderful Year of Failures
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Written by Daniele
Hi, I’m Daniele! In April 2012 I quit my full-time IT job to pursue entrepreneurship and a location independent lifestyle.