2017 Year In Review: Business Ups And Downs, Cryptocurrencies, Europe, A Solar Startup And More

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As we head towards the new year, now is a great time to look back over 2017 and review results.

In response to a great suggestion from Mani, a member of our Laptop Lifestyle Academy and Blog Mastermind programs, I decided to put together this year in review podcast.

I used to write year-in-review blog posts every year, but somewhere along the way during the last few years, I ceased the tradition. It’s time to revive the idea, but this time in audio format.

If you like learning what goes on behind the scenes in my business and life, this podcast will definitely interest you.

Here’s a highlight reel of what I cover in the podcast:

  • A look back at how 2017 started, including what I had planned for the year ahead
  • What systems I had in place from previous years, which I planned to rely upon for consistent income in 2017
  • Why one investment in a cryptocurrency (not bitcoin), led to a very different year in terms of income sources for me
  • How we expanded our team, what roles we looked to fill, and why 2017 was all about delegating more than ever before
  • Lots of travels across Europe, including some unexpected events in Ukraine, including purchasing an apartment and starting a new business
  • Launched two new courses using an experimental ‘membership site’ launch method
  • Laid the groundwork for my team to run the business even more in 2018 as I turn my attention to writing a book

There are a lot of little stories and rambling thoughts behind my decisions in this podcast. It was quite an unexpected year in many ways.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment.

Enjoy the episode!


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About Yaro

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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  • Hello Yaro,
    I have been following you (and Gideon) since your very early and successful days of EJ and got lots of help from your ‘cornerstone’ e-books et al. I also witnessed from afar, via your very touching blog posts, the illness and death of your mum. Then lost sight of you and through a Twitter feed this week fell on above podcast which I listened to, to the very end 😉

    Wishing you all the very best with your new ventures here in Europe. After many years in content marketing, I also needed a change, to have a bigger impact locally and move away from online as an only source of income and pleasure. We have a big property in France (since 1991) where – since 2015 – we implement a big permaculture vegetable garden and food forest. I recycled myself to become a Certified Permaculture Designer with Geoff Lawton, a wonderful Australian.

    The reason for my comment is a question. I have found that getting good freelancers needs a skills set of its own. And if you find an excellent person, you want to hang on to him/her because good people are in demand. So, when business is good and you have lots of work for them, the relationship is close. But when you have less work, even if there’s a good relationship, people need to move on, they take other clients. Who would blame them? Now, in your case I understand that the volume of work has been fluctuating. When you talk about sharing responsibility for 2018, how would that actually work?

    I like working with Value Proposition Design (Alex Osterwalder, strategyzer.com) because I like to be customer-centric and view a customer’s needs through the lens of “Jobs to be done”. This could also be applied to your freelancer team which, in a way, you could consider as your ‘clients’ (you want them to commit to you over the longer term even if currently your business is slow). Viewed from that angle, what do you think your freelancers’ ‘Jobs to be done’ are?

    In other words, how do you get your team to stay loyal to you over the longer term? Why would any freelancer want to burden himself with an entrepreneurial mindset above and beyond the one required to get the next gig in the subject matter he excels, and which generates his income?

    So, do you offer profit sharing? partnerships? or other benefits which entices these freelancers to continue working for you AND carry part of the risk of your business?

    Wishing you all the best for 2018. Love Eastern Europe and I think you do well to invest there.

    Kind regards,
    Doris Edwards, Geneva, Switzerland and Bans, Jura – France.

    • Hi Doris – Thanks for your comment and it’s great to hear you have followed me and Gideon for so long!

      To answer your question, I’ve found the simplest way to figure out what to outsource has always been to look at what I do, and what I wish I could do, and then start finding people to do those things. Obviously, there is an order of priority – it started with outsourcing tech and email first a long time ago, and has progressed to the point where this year the final task I used to do entirely by myself – writing and sending emails to our lists – is now also going to be done by my team.

      In terms of how we retain good people on our team, I think because of the nature of the work we offer – completely remote, highly flexible, make your own hours as long as you get the work done, most people don’t want to leave. We have had turnover, but that’s usually due to changes in cash flow or a poor person-to-job fit, not because they left to grow their own business.

      I hope that gives you some insight.


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