2019 And The Search For Clarity

2019 has come and gone, and its that time of the year again when things wind down and I take stock of all that happened this year.

Career

It was a rough year for GRVTY this year. There were more ups and downs as compared to last year. One thing that went well this year was that our revenue continue to grow. Although revenue grew by almost 30%, our margins dropped. That’s because we took on more lower margins account which contributed to our top line but did not help our bottom line.

Other than money wise, I think we’ve reached a stage where everyone is comfortable at what everyone is doing – taking a safe approach and not taking the risk to try new things. As leaders, I think we’ve been showering everyone with too much comfort. We should perhaps be harsher to everyone.

Another thing which I’ve failed this year was to communicate and care for everyone’s individual well being. I think communication and caring is a very intentional gesture, and because of that, the team feels under-appreciated and there was no proper feedback channels. Morale dropped, some colleagues left – but I hope 2020 will change for the better.

The good thing is, we’ve refined what we vision of the company looks like, and that gives more clarity to everyone when they are executing their day-to-day.

The rough year has also been a wake up call for me to really care more, and to read up more about leadership and management. I think if we are still operating under status quo for a few more years, the company might really really shut down, and I will be out of job very soon. And I wouldn’t want that to happen.

On the side too, have been exploring a new software product, but let’s see where that takes us in the new year.

Personal Finance

On the personal finance front, 2019 has been relatively good for me. Net worth continued to grow to an all time high – by almost 78%, but one thing that I realised is that my expenses is still very high. This is mainly because I have been paying for one off expenses such as house renovation, mortgages, wedding ring, wedding package, Italy travel, dowry et cetera. Hopefully 2020 will be a better year in terms of net cash flow.

In terms of investments, did the same thing this year: bought into more Singapore Stocks, US stocks and just started a regular savings plan into a roboadvisor. Also did voluntary contribution to my CPF and EPF for tax savings purposes as well as retirement savings purposes.

So nothing fancy here – what I’m doing is basically tracking expenses, saving as much as possible and savings are channeled into Singapore stocks for the dividend return. It is still hard to see the results from the investment, but hopefully 5 – 10 years down the road we will be able to enjoy the fruits of all these slow investments.

Personal Life

So this year was the year I proposed to Li Ru and we’ve finally moved into the new place together. Popped the question to her at Cinque Terre during our annual trip and here we are, 1 week away to our wedding day.

I’ve learnt a lot about myself through my relationship with the wife, that I care for myself too much or only care about the things that I care about, hence neglecting how the people around me feels. I am also a very impatient person. Couple that two together, it makes me someone who is lacking in empathy, like a robot. The question is, how do I get back all of these.

Hopefully reading more books and watching more TED videos will help in that. 🙂

2020

As we enter 2020, I feel more refreshed and it feels like there are more clarity, as compared to when the year 2019 started.

I do think that there are going to be a lot of big changes in 2020 – company wise, there will be new colleagues and we’ve set clear vision of what we want to do.

With the wedding almost over, I think the next personal milestone for Li Ru and I will be to have a kid – but before that happen, I think we can continue to enjoy each other’s company, and hopefully travel to more places before the baby arrives. For our house, we will attempt to have more intentional dinner hosting, so that we can build more meaningful relationship with people around us, and also to enjoy the facility of the house since we are paying a fair bit of the mortgage.

Hopefully 2020 will be full of joy for everyone! 🙂

Happy new year in advance!

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