2011 was a year of growth and reach for Nerd Fitness.
2011 was a year of adventure for Steve Kamb.
Looking back on the past twelve months, I am so incredibly proud of this community and what Nerd Fitness has become. On a personal level, I’m quite proud of what I was able to accomplish as well.
It’s amazing what can happen in such a short amount of time when you know where you want to go and take baby steps every day in that direction.
Seeing as the end of the year is right around the corner, I wanted to take today and look back upon what went right, what went wrong, and what’s in store for Nerd Fitness and the Rebellion in 2012.
Hint: It’s going to be awesome.
What went right?
I am proud to say that I’m very proud of what Nerd Fitness accomplished in 2011. Looking back (here are my goals), this is what I hoped for, and how it turned out:
Continue to develop and build the Nerd Fitness brand. Domination! At the beginning of the year, I had somewhere around 3,000 subscribers. As of today, Nerd Fitness is rapidly approaching 12,000 subscribers and growing at a ridiculous rate each week. On top of that, we now have hoodies and t-shirts for sale with more quality apparel on the way! Back in July, I formed a partnership with The Next Web, one of the world’s most popular websites – now, you’ll find Nerd Fitness articles syndicated on a weekly basis over there.
Back when I started the site in early 2009, it was about a boy and his blog. Since then, it’s developed into something far greater – a full blown community of people who are all working hard to help each other live better lives. I have never been more proud to be part of something than I am right now.
Real world meet ups! I knew I was going to be traveling quite a bit in 2011 (ya think?), so I set a goal to bring as many NF readers together in the REAL world. I was able to do formal meet ups and individual meet ups with rebels in Boston, Washington DC, Atlanta, San Diego, Los Angeles, Australia (Sydney, Surfer’s Paradise), New Zealand (Queenstown), Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, San Francisco, Alaska, Paris, Madrid, and Barcelona.
Another eb0ok – Back at the beginning of the year, I set a goal to write another ebook, following on the success of the Rebel Fitness Guide. Well, despite traveling for 11 months, I actually somehow managed to write TWO ebooks: the Rebel Strength Guide and the Rebel Running Guide. Both guides had incredible launches (far surpassing my expectations), and both guides have continue to sell steadily since their release.
Public speaking – Although I had never done any public speaking related to Nerd Fitness prior to this year, I kicked off my unexpected public speaking career in a BIG way. My first talk EVER was at Google HQ in San Francisco – believe it or not, it went so well that they invited me to talk at their European HQ in Dublin a few months after that! I can honestly say that I’ve never been more nervous about anything in my life…but things worked out and I kicked some serious butt.
From a personal perspective, I was able to succeed in the one BIG goal I had set for myself:
Stay in shape while traveling – I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to do it. However, not only did I manage to stay in shape while traveling, but I actually packed on 10-12 pounds of muscle without the use of a gym and while living out of a backpack. I can’t tell you how many weird looks I got from people while working out in parks, playgrounds, and everywhere in between. It required strict dedication, and some very unusual eating habits (shots of olive oil, anyone?), but I did it.
On top of that, I was able to knock off a good 15-20 things on the Epic Quest of Awesome. Not too shabby!
What didn’t go right?
Yeah, a lot went right. However, I did set my goals a bit too high (or had too many of them), and managed to lose a few things in the shuffle. This is what didn’t go so right:
Focus: I’m not going to lie: I got burned out on writing during my adventure. Oftentimes I’d sit down after a day of exploration or travel to write an article for Nerd Fitness and have a completely empty brain – I used so much energy and effort on finding my next bed to sleep in, or bus to take, or on meeting new people and having fun experiences that I had nothing left in the tank for Nerd Fitness. I feel like this held back how much more helpful Nerd Fitness could have been had I not pulled myself in so many directions.
Nerd Fitness fitness equipment – I wanted to be able to offer Nerd Fitness branded fitness equipment through the site in 2011 – if people wanted to buy a pull up bar or dumbbells, they knew they’d be getting quality stuff because it was a Nerd Fitness product. Unfortunately, with eleven months of travel, I just never had the opportunity to move forward with this. I had some preliminary conversations but never progressed beyond that.
OMFG – A few years back I had this idea for a fitness tracking program (Online Mutliplayer Fitness Game…get it?) that also played out like World of Warcraft/Everquest. I even wrote an article about it in May 2010…but I still had a day job and no money. Well, back in December 2010, we moved forward with actually developing it…unfortunately the project kind of got lost in the chaotic mess that was my 2011 travel schedule. We are still hard at work on it and hope to get a beta out in early 2012, but I really dropped the ball on this one as I know it’s something the Nerd Fitness community would absolutely love.
More public speaking – Other than my two talks at Google, I have yet to do another public speaking engagement! I know I have a tremendous opportunity to spread the word of Nerd Fitness, and due to my lack of planning and talking with the right people, I haven’t taken advantage of this yet! Don’t worry, this will be fixed in 2012 🙂
Personal health – Although I managed to stay in great shape while traveling for the first seven months of the year, I struggled to maintain focus through my months in Europe and have been absolutely abysmal about my personal well-being over the past month and a half or so. I used travel and work as an excuse, which is crap because I had both of those same excuses for the beginning of the year and managed to succeed then. Fail!
Learn a 3rd language – Benny is going to make fun of me, but I sucked at this one. To be honest with you, I don’t even know what language I want to learn next, which is why I never put any effort toward this one. In my defense, I did learn the basics of each language when I went to a new country (Thailand, China, Japan, France), but I never got beyond that point. To this day, I still don’t feel an overwhelming desire to learn one particular language, which is why I’m dragging my feet.
Help out rebels in need – Here’s a goal I only managed to follow through with part of the way. Although I made donations throughout the year to various charities and organizations, it wasn’t consistent and had no structure to it. I want Nerd Fitness to help people level up their lives, but I also want to help out those that are in need. I certainly plan on remedying this in 2012.
So, although I had a few failures, most of them can be fixed in the upcoming year.
What’s up for 2012?
It’s going to be a big year.
Looking forward, I want to make sure Nerd Fitness’s focus is on helping people out and living better lives. Although I enjoyed traveling and writing about my adventures during 2011, I don’t want the focus of this site to be on me or those travels. Jumping from place to place sure was fun, but it really took a toll on my creativity and focus when it came to writing articles relating to health and wellness.
I’m excited to have that focus and energy back; I can’t wait to get back in the groove and crank out useful articles full of actionable steps so that people can start changing their lives IMMEDIATELY. With 100% of my effort focused on this community, I really think Nerd Fitness…sigh…can reach the next level (pun unfortunately intended).
Long story short: I want Nerd Fitness to change the world…one nerd at a time.
This is what I have in store for 2012:
More public speaking. In a few weeks, I’ll be flying out to San Francisco for my third official speaking gig. The first talk was at Google, the second one was at Google Dublin, where do I go from there?
In late January, I’ll be giving a talk to the folks at Facebook on how to not suck at getting in shape. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do any sort of NF meet up in San Fran while I’m out there, as I’m not sure how many days I’ll be staying…keep an eye on the site in case I can put something together. On top of that, I’ll be speaking at the Killer Tribes Conference in Nashville (on of my favorite cities) at the end of March! I have a few other talks lined up as well, but I can’t announce those quite yet…I want to be doing at least one or two talks per month at conferences, businesses, universities, and/or high schools.
Speaking of which: I’m looking for a speaking/booking agent – if you happen to BE one or happen to KNOW one, please email me at Steve@NerdFitness.com and let’s get the conversation started! Or, if you happen to be in the speaking department of your company and want me to come speak, let’s talk!
Bring the awesomeness of Nerd Fitness online, OFFline. One of the best thing that came out of 2011 for me was the realization that Nerd Fitness meetups in real life are freaking awesome. This community composed of such a unique group of people that it’s no surprise that new friendships (and even a relationship or two, yes I’m serious) resulted from these meet ups around the country during the past year.
For that reason, I want to expand the scope of Nerd Fitness meet ups in 2012 – I’ll be looking for rebel leaders and volunteers in cities and towns around the country/world who are interested helping coordinate regular NF meet ups! Although I obviously can’t be at all of them, I want rebels in each city to meet others in the community who live close, as I’ve seen how quickly awesome partnerships can form. If enough people get together I’ll have to start a Nerd Fitness dating service, ha!
The Level Up Club. I’ve been tossing this idea around for the past six months and can now finally devote some brain power to it. I want to be able to offer a premium monthly service to members of the NF community who are looking for more direction and interaction – new workouts monthly, bi-weekly Q&A sessions and webcasts with me and other fitness Yodas, and more. Expect a limited launch of this in early 2012 with a full launch a month or two after that…my pledge to you is that it’ll be reasonably priced and packed full of great stuff.
Grow the Nerd Fitness team. Although I love writing articles for Nerd Fitness, I know that what I write is just one man’s perspective. I like to eat paleo, and I like to lift heavy things. However, there are a million ways to get in shape, from running to yoga to parkour to karate. I want to track down experts in other fields that can contribute different opinions to Nerd Fitness so you’re not always hearing my side of the story.
Make it even easier to get started. Getting in shape and eating right can be very intimidating. When people show up to Nerd Fitness for the first time, I want them to know exactly where to go, what articles to read, and what steps to take to get started with a healthier lifestyle THAT day. Expect a site redesign in early 2012 with an added emphasis on helping out first timers, as I know how scary and confusing getting started can be.
How did you do?
Be honest. How did 2011 go for you?
Did you accomplish your goals?
Do you even remember your goals?
I’d love to hear what went right and what went wrong for you. And as you look forward to 2012, make sure you don’t suck at goal setting.
Last but not least, thank you. Nerd Fitness continues to grow and inspire, and none of this would have happened without the awesomeness that is the Nerd Fitness community. This site is only going to get better and more helpful…thank you for being a part of it.
Thanks for an epic 2011, and get ready for an even better 2012.