I have mixed feelings about how my 2020 went mainly because I feel that 2020 is not the worst year I ever had. It feels more like a roller coaster ride for me and I’m happy that at the end of the year, I, my family, and friends are all still healthy and alive.
Read on if you still want to know how my 2020 went but please bear in mind that this post is like a note to myself rather than the regular blog posts that you see on my blog which are all about tips and actionable items.
From time to time, I allow myself to write blogs that I’d like to read back after a few months or years to reflect on what I have done in the past.
Anyway, going back to the topic, it’s not fair for me to judge my entire year just based on what happened in a few months, so I’m going to divide this post into four parts to talk about each quarter of the year.
January – March 2020
January to March 2020 is the best performing quarter for my online selling business. I have surpassed the gross and net income that I have had in the previous months during this time, most especially around March. I was able to sell a lot of second-hand items which I wasn’t really expecting to happen.
Regarding my personal life, it was good as well because I didn’t encounter any issues or unnecessary drama during this time. I’m just happy and chill and very much focused on my online selling gig.
Regarding this blog, at this time of the year, it’s just collecting dust on the world wide web since I didn’t update this for almost 9 months and only started writing again by April 2020.
April – June 2020
The feeling like you’re on top of the world in the first quarter of 2020 changed to feeling like I fell from the sky and hit the ground covered in cactuses and porcupines.
COVID-19 lockdown was implemented around this time and most businesses were closed for a period of time. Even though I was selling online, I lost access to couriers who will deliver my merchandise. Thus, buyers are also not buying items especially non-essential items.
Sadly, income went instantly to zero in these months. Luckily, my family helped me get by. Since I wasn’t doing anything during these months, I was able to revive this blog last April 2020 and became my sanity buoy for the time being. Writing helped me keep my fears and worries at bay.
And since I was just reading and writing articles during this time. I also learned a lot of new things about blogging and personal finance. I also got the chance to interact with fellow personal finance bloggers on Twitter which I think was the best thing that happened to me during this time.
By being exposed to people who focus more on solutions, I was able to divert my attention to the more important things that I needed to focus on – solutions to the things I perceived as my problems.
July – September 2020
Businesses have been gradually opened during this time. Online orders started appearing again little by little. Even though it’s just a small fraction of what I used to get prior to the pandemic, I was still glad that people were starting to buy from my online store again.
During this time, the queue at the local courier takes hours. I usually go to the local courier’s office around 5 AM even though they open at 8 AM. During this time, online sellers like me wait in line for so many hours just to be able to ship our items.
Waiting for hours at the local courier’s parking lot turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I have met so many online sellers selling a variety of stuff and I have learned a lot of things that I could implement for my own online business. I have also shared the things I do for my business with others who were interested to know about them.
It became an informal learning session that I started looking forward to every time I went to the local courier’s office.
October – December 2020
More businesses are open and it’s easier to ship items now compared to the previous quarters. Sales were also better but it’s still not as good as the previous years probably because of:
- Many people have lost their jobs thus the customer base has become smaller
- People who still have jobs are saving their money for more essential items such as food and hygienic products
- There’re still delays in some areas thus people living in those places are still hesitant to buy
- The competition has suddenly exploded
The last reason is probably the biggest reason why sales turnover is low compared to previous years. Since many people lost their jobs, many people looked for ways on how to augment their family’s income, and one of the easiest ways to earn money nowadays is by selling online.
Suddenly, almost everyone became my competitor, even students who are studying at home became online sellers. And also, even my suppliers – thrift stores became online sellers.
The market suddenly became crowded with online sellers and surprisingly, instead of becoming afraid of the situation, I actually felt more excited because I know I will learn a lot of new things in order to become ahead of my competition.
My 2020 Learnings
Life is How You See It
2020 helped me remember something that I already know before. Life is how you see it. Life can be easy if you choose to see the good things in it. It can be horrible if you always dwell on the negative aspect of our lives. As they always say, there are two sides to a coin. And life is just like that. The good and bad sides both exist in the same situation.
As a human, the only specie on the planet that is known to have the power to change everything with the power of our mind and our will, we have the power to steer our lives. We can either go left or right. We can speed up or slow down. We can indulge in drama or focus on building solutions.
Situations happen all the time. It’s up to us whether to judge the situation as good or bad for ourselves.
Emergency Fund is Important
I’m new to personal finance and I’m just starting to save up when the pandemic started. I was even planning to expand my business when everything went to a standstill because of COVID-19. I don’t have an ample emergency fund but luckily, my March 2020 income was good and I was able to use it to help pay for my bills in the next couple of months.
However, I realized, that if I have bigger emergency funds, then I would have been able to cover my bills for a longer period of time. Thus I’m making this one of my priorities for 2021.
Sure, it will not be able to cover everything, but at least it can buy us some time to recover from the unexpected financial issues.
I’m an online seller and the competition has become tougher than ever. However, instead of being worried, I actually got excited. I can push myself further because this game has just become tougher. I’m excited to learn and implement new things for my business.
Regardless of what we do in life, continuous improvement is the key to staying ahead of the competition. It doesn’t matter if it’s about a career or if it’s about entrepreneurship, the fundamentals of the game are the same.
We have to continuously improve and provide value to our stakeholders or else, they’ll go to the next person that can do that for them. And before you know it, it will be the end of your career or your business.
Life is Short
Life is short to dwell on things that do not bring joy and value to your life. This is one thing that I already know of since the death of two people close to me before they reach the age of 30. This is also one of the reasons why I am pursuing the things I like because I know that tomorrow is not guaranteed.
This pandemic just reminded me that again. I don’t know if I still have a tomorrow to wake up to. I have to enjoy and celebrate the present moment because it’s all that I have.
Always Celebrate Life
We have a saying in the Philippines, “Habang may buhay may pag-asa.” If translated in English it means that there’s always hope while you’re still alive. Maybe this is one of the guiding forces behind my determination to go for what I want in my life.
I know and I truly believe that there’s always hope as long as I’m alive. There’s always a chance to improve my well-being as long as I’m alive. There’s always time to recuperate from all the material losses as long as you’re alive.
That’s why I’d like to live my life as a celebration. There’s a reason why I’m an able-bodied person. There’s a reason why I can read and write. There’s a reason why I can create. There’s a reason why I can adapt and learn quickly.
And I’d like to celebrate having all of those things in my life by trying my best to always become the better version of myself. The universe for some weird raffle draw or coincidence gave me the faculty and the tools to live a good life and I will not waste this chance by living a mediocre life.
Surprises in 2020
Despite the income losses, the debts that I have incurred, and some minor anxiety attacks I had in the early part of the year, I was surprised to realize that I was able to grow my inventory.
When the pandemic was just starting, I got caught up in a mini-drama with myself and thought that it would be the end of what I had worked for.
But now that the year is about to end, I just realized that I was able to grow my business without even realizing it. I had built a couple more online stores and I’m slowly filling it up with its own set of stocks.
If you really focus more on the solutions instead of the drama, a lot of great things tend to happen.
Aside from my online gig, I was also surprised to learn that this blog has grown so much when it comes to readership. If you have read my first blog anniversary post and my Q2 2020 Blog Update, you will see that the traffic was hovering only around less than 20 users per day in April 2020 when I revived this blog.
And now, it’s at almost 400 users per day in just 8 months even if I stalled again for a few months and failed to write new articles.
This is probably the biggest surprise I have for 2020. I didn’t expect that the readership will grow and I’m really thankful for that. If you’re one of the readers of this blog,
I’d like to thank you for taking some time to read my posts and I hope that you find value in what I write.
I can’t wait for 2020 to be over and I’m excited about what 2021 will bring. I personally don’t have any grand plans or whatsoever for 2021 but I’m hoping that it will be less stressful than 2020.2020 Year End Blog Post - Learnings and Surprises Click To Tweet
How about you? How are you? What’s your 2020 like? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.