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The Next, Episode #39
My 2022 review, 2023 goals, and health trend predictions
Hi there, and welcome to The Next - my take on health, wellness, and company building.
In the last few years I’ve founded 3 health brands (Kettle & Fire, Perfect Keto, Surely Wines), which each do millions in revenue. I’m now working on TrueMed, which allows health and wellness brands to tap into the $140B in consumer HSA/FSA accounts. Previously, I worked in tech and had no experience in CPG, DTC, or any other 3-letter industries.
If you missed past episodes, I recommend checking out Episode 37 on the bonkers Tuft’s Food Compass: the one that reveals how Lucky Charms are healthier than steak.
Otherwise, let’s dive in!
🆕 What’s new
Like a good Tim Ferriss acolyte, for the last decade I’d followed a modified version of this annual review process. At the end of each year, I’d carved out 3-5 days to review my year, chunk my goals into categories, and plan out exactly how to achieve my goals in the coming 12 months.
For me, goals have always been about achievement. It’s implicit in the process of goal setting: I want to go from here – a state I’m not fully, 100% fulfilled – to there, a state where I will be MORE of something. More fit, more wealth, more acclaim, more friends, more whatever.
As I’ve matured and worked on myself, I’ve realized the things I want are more “freedom from” than “freedom to”, as Naval has said. I’d previously worked and strived to have the freedom to do various things – to travel, to work for myself, to be financially free, etc. Now, I find I want freedom from things. Freedom from negative emotions, freedom from a wildly stretched calendar, freedom from sickness, freedom from drudgery.
As part of this shift, I’ve moved on from setting a million goals I had to hit each year (and the stress that comes with missing them) to setting just a few. And I use them as a signpost to show me what to say no to, and as a reflection tool to ensure I’m not sucked into the Scylla pull of more-more-more.
If you’re interested in my process, you can read more about it here. Otherwise, here’s a review of my 2022 and a look at what’s on my plate for 2023.
2022 was a great year in many ways. Janine and I had some amazing adventures last year: South Africa, Turkey, spent a month in Chamonix (and are going back this year), biked from Telluride to Moab… just a lot of fun that we’ll remember for years to come. We also made major strides building rituals and fun times with our community, culminating in Janine throwing a 150 person adult summer camp that was a blast.
Enjoying an 8pm dinner on our terrace in Chamonix
Adult summer camp with 150 friends
Professionally, I hired a coach to help me work on what I wanted from life and my career, which went exceptionally well and has given me a lot of clarity. That clarity led to founding TrueMed with Calley, which I am super excited about. I also joined Long Journey as a venture partner, and was fortunate to have both Kettle & Fire and Surely grow through a challenging economic climate. And lastly, we sold Fomo at the beginning of the year.
2022 was not all fun and games though. We had 3 friends tragically pass away last year (including one who was murdered), which was tough. Perfect Keto also struggled at times, and raising for Surely late last year was more challenging than anticipated. Personally, I spent much of the first half of ‘22 filling my calendar with busywork, and did a poor job saying no to things and managing both my time and my energy.
Each year I set specific goals in 4 areas (based partially on Naval’s tweet that’s always resonated with me):
House full of love
Business / financial
For each of these categories, I set goals (for a full review of my 2021 goals, check out my post from last year). Overall, I did pretty well!
✅Lift 3x/week, 300+ workouts
❌Stretch 300 days of the year
Did 212 days of intentional movement, but not quite 300.
✅Hire and work with a longevity-focused doctor, and get labs done
✅Complete Dry January
✅Complete my first multi-day bike trip
❌Find a meditation practice I enjoy, do it 150x
I still struggle to find a practice I really enjoy, though I did pick up journaling last year and found that enjoyable. But still, it feels like there’s a gap in my mindfulness/spiritual practice that I’m not sure how to address.
✅Read 6 spiritual books
✅Have my EA help me with my email inbox and track time
House full of love:
✅See family 4x in 2021
✅Do 3 sessions of intentional couple’s therapy
✅Plan an epic 30th for Janine
❌Plan a wedding
We are getting married in March this year, but planning has not been ideal. And I bear a lot of the responsibility for that.
Business + financial:
I share less here, but I’d give 2022 a 7/10 from a business and financial standpoint. Some wins, some losses, and some things that remain to be seen. But I’m overall grateful for where things stand in this area.
Goals for 2023
Going into this year, I have a few high-level goals. I’m sure these will change, but as of today I think a successful year will look like:
Launching and growing TrueMed - I’m committed to making this a big win and building an A+ team this year. I have some aggressive personal goals as far as revenue goes, and am really excited about the early response we’ve gotten.
Wedding - Janine and I are getting married in just under 2 months (!!). It’s been a lot of work (and not always fun), but I’m excited for the wedding and taking a trip to South Africa with friends and family.
Grow the existing companies - I want the existing portfolio of companies to grow and hit their targets, and I’m going to help that happen however I can.
Invest in 3-4 startups - through my role at Long Journey, I’m also planning to invest in 3-4 more startups this year. I’ll probably do 1-2 other investments personally, but for the most part, have really tried to slow down my angel investing.
I also have some smaller goals for the year. Ones that don’t really matter if I don’t hit them, but that as a list-oriented neurotic person make me feel better when I write them down 😅. These are:
Grow my audience - Though I don’t put a lot (read: any 😬) time into growing this newsletter, it seems to grow like my pile of unread books: slowly and haphazardly. My goal this year is to build systems to promote stuff I’m already writing, and to get more comfortable putting my thoughts out there. Even today, whenever I put out a dud tweet that gets zero engagement, a small, ego-riddled part of me dies in screaming agony. I need to get over that and be comfortable publishing more.
Hire a Chief of Staff - Not only do I need to build systems to grow my audience, but I need to build more systems in general to have my life operate more smoothly. I suspect that hiring a Chief of Staff to give me more leverage in my personal and business life would be hugely helpful, and have begun to explore it.
Hire coaches to help me improve - Man, there are just so many ways I could improve. After reading this I was super inspired, and am thinking about ways I can invest in professionals and peer accountability groups to help me improve various areas of my life. Probably I’ll end up hiring someone to help me become a better startup operator, and I want to hire a sex or tantra coach to help me explore that facet of my life.
Those are some high-level goals and areas I’m thinking about for the upcoming year. Hopefully the above is helpful as you think about what the next 11 months have in store for you. Good luck!
😌 Dope stuff on the internet
Some of my favorite things since the last newsletter (note: I don’t get paid to recommend anything here):
📰 Article – If you’re into federal food policy and the FDA (and the gigantic, almost unbelievable cluster that it is), I’ve really been enjoying Helena’s newsletter Food Fix. For a taste for the newsletter, she was kind enough to feature some of the work my co-founder and I did around the Tuft’s Food Compass in her piece here.
📚 Book rec - It’s been a while since a book taught me as much as What Your Food Ate. Our food today is less nutritious than in years past, and the health of our soils and the way food is grown has a huge role to play in that. I’ll have a lot more to say about the book in 1-2 months as I work on a longer post about it, but if you’re interested in food systems, health and nutrient density, there’s not a book I can recommend more highly.
⌚ Cool product - I’ve recently been evolving my thinking on diet and nutrition, away from more dogmatic macro-driven approaches (like keto or low-carb) and more towards philosophies that account for the way food has been grown, harvested, and processed.
With that in mind, I was excited to find One Mighty Mill: a bakery and mill in Massachusetts that’s bringing back the art of stone milling. I love seeing the rise of food craftsmen like this, and want to see and support more of them.
🎵 Music - This Blondish set from Burning Man is killer. A bit more up-tempo than most of the stuff I play, but good vibes and very fun. Though I’m still searching for something to usurp the 2022 king, the Fred Agan.. Boiler Room set.
🏀 Random - I’ve been thinking about health trends that will define the next decade, and think I have a few:
PFAS and other toxin exposure
Treating gut health for mental health issues
Psychedelic therapy for multiple conditions
Treating the house as a source of illness
What else? What am I missing?
🙋♂️ Ask - We’re starting to chat with health and wellness brands that sell on Shopify for TrueMed. If there are any brands you like that we should talk to about accepting HSA/FSA funds for their healthy products, send them my way! Just reply to this email.
That’s all I got this month! We just got back from an amazing time in Sun Valley, ID, learned how to cross-country skate ski (easily the most exhausting sport I’ve ever done), and have some big stuff coming down the pike.
Hope your ‘23 is off to a fantastic start, and I’ll see you all in a month!