Goals were met, stories were written, video games were played, puppies were kept happy, houses were purchased, problems were solved, and 2021 was finished as a success. This past year was a very fruitful one for my family.
I’ve been talking with people lately, asking about their year and how things went, and it’s interesting how people respond. After you get past the initial “oh everything is good,” bullshit, you get to the core of someone’s thoughts. Sometimes it’s shocking how many people get fixated on problems that are easy to overcome.
I’m in no way saying that it doesn’t happen to me occasionally, because it does, but I’ve trained myself to catch those moments and find the way that it’s a positive instead. I try to focus on the outcome of something and that really helps me hone in on solving whatever came my way. I rarely see things as problems anymore, only bumps that need to be overcome.
Right now, there’s a couple of bumps that I need to overcome…but we’ll get to that in a bit.
For this one, I just want to recap a few of the things my wife and I accomplished this past year and briefly touch on what we expect out of 2022. Next month, I’ll lay down more of our goals for the year.
At the beginning of the year, we had been optimistic since we had just come out of one of the best years we’d ever had. We could also see that the government had continued to pump money into the masses and could expect it to continue. However, we were also wary considering that we did not know when that would stop.
The performance continued throughout the year.
My brother and I had set a goal to retire from the day-to-day of the company by the middle of 2021. My own goal had been to do it before I hit 30. July 1st came along and both my brother and I managed to do so. We now have people that have taken over our positions and are doing a good job at keeping things in order.
They are not perfect, and neither were we, but they are doing great so far. We are continuing to guide them in whichever way we can whenever they need assistance but, for the most part, they are holding their own.
The end of the year was slower than we expected. We would have thought that with the new change to the child tax credits, we would be seeing more people buying cars. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. What did happen was that the ones that were coming in were bringing higher down payments.
We lost a long-time employee of ours that we truly appreciated having at the company. She had been with us a few years and we enjoyed her presence a lot. Replacing her, along with some salespeople, proved difficult. It’s been interesting to see how few people are looking for a job.
It’s as if being home for the previous year made them complacent. The ones who do want a job are being snatched up quickly.
December is usually never a strong month. There have been a couple of years that we’ve had a solid December, but typically they are excruciatingly slow months. This December was no different.
Sales fell just shy of our goal this year, mostly due to the last quarter.
Expectations for the Dealership
I’d like to say that I’m optimistic about the upcoming year, but I can’t.
I will maintain a positive outlook as I always do, but I believe the assistance of the government has ceased and I expect things to slow down with it. I’m not saying that they will slow down to the point that we will need to worry, only that I’m not expecting too much of an increase like last year.
Demand was really high throughout the year and people had available cash. The supply was low so you had more people fighting to get another car. Supply is still low, even more so, and prices are sky-high.
We do expect a great tax season, even more than in past years, but moving forward will be a challenge. We are excited to meet that challenge and have implemented a few differences over the last few months to help us.
Sales, Service, and Collections all have their own separate goals and each will be watched closely to make sure they don’t affect the other departments. I’ll continue to update you on their performance as the months pass us.
The Real Estate
There’s two areas on this front; Realtor and Investor.
As a Realtor, I have begun working in my spare time to pick things up off the ground. It’s been fun and interesting to see what we can do. Much of what I learned at the dealership carries over completely to this realm as well.
I have three clients that are actively looking for a home, one of which wants to close very quickly so I’m excited to be able to help them and officially say I closed my first transaction.
The YouTube videos have helped me get a few leads and I’m hopeful that it will pick up even more traction in the future. I plan on continuing this as it is very fun for me to do and I hope it even becomes a miniature business of its own that I can hire someone to help me with it too.
As an Investor, we achieved our goal of purchasing the five properties before the end of the year. Unfortunately, we are having a couple of those properties sitting there while we repair the rest. Rehabs are taking a lot longer than expected, mainly due to my own fault.
I need to recognize when I’m working with shitty contractors faster and also get rid of them a lot quicker. I like to give people opportunities when they ask for them, but not being able to see them in person makes it harder to judge whether they deserve it or not.
We have officially moved in a tenant into the one we just finished rehabbing and are actively refinancing it. The refi should be finalized either by the end of this week. That should be nice as it will free up a lot more of our cash to move into the other properties.
Expectations for the Real Estate
As a Realtor, I plan on putting enough effort into this to be able to reach the cap. The cap is only $25,000 as of right now, but I believe it will be going up by a bit. I think it sounds very possible, especially with the amount of time that I’m dedicating to it.
I also expect myself to continue taking notes of all the areas where I’m struggling and thriving at. This is so I can create systems that I can use to make the entire journey easier for myself year over year.
As an Investor, Rach and I have yet to talk about what we are expecting for this upcoming year. I know we want to focus on finishing the properties we currently have, however, we also plan on hitting our “long term” goal as well. With only a couple more properties under our belt, we will have fully replaced her income and she can then have the option to cease working or continue on.
I will touch on this more in the upcoming month.
Well, this past year was a lot of work…but also a lot of time to get to enjoy ourselves.
We did some traveling and went to Ecuador together, which was wonderful. We did numerous trips to the beach, went to Disneyland, the Grand Canyon, and got to enjoy some of the closeby areas that our city has to offer as well.
Being the homebodies that we are, we also enjoyed our time within our own walls. We watched multiple shows and movies throughout this year and read tons of books.
Nobody, Fear Street Series, Dune, and the Green Knight are the ones that come to mind that actually came out this year. There are a few from previous years that we watched that were amazing but these were the ones that left an impression on me from this year alone.
As far as shows: The Nevers, Loki, Brand New Cherry Flavor, Succession, Invincible (which I just started watching and it’s great), the Witcher, and I’m sure I’m missing a couple. I definitely plan on watching the Book of Boba Fett and Hawkeye soon, but we are currently on the Witcher and the Expanse right now.
Books…you already know which one took it. Hands down, the Wisdom of Crowds. I loved this book. Go read it, along with all the other ones that came before it. I’m not really sure if I read any other books that came out this year though…but either way, it took it by a landslide. I am currently reading the last book in the Expanse series as well. I’m about 20% in and it is really pulling me in. I’m sad to know that this will be the last, but glad that it had a planned ending.
Now if that old bastard could stop doing so much and focus on getting us the last installments of a Song of Ice and FIre…
As far as video games go…I can’t really say. I’ve only been playing Apex…
As you may know, Clemmy barely just joined us this year. It’s crazy to think about considering she’s made such a massive presence in our household. Rach and I just talked about it yesterday, we are so glad we got her. Nova and Clemmy were meant for each other. They are inseparable and keep each other happy.
Watching them interact when we are not around is very heartwarming. They sleep together, dig together, play together, run together, terrorize their brother together. They are truly sisters in more than just blood.
Spartacus has earned himself yet another nickname. Jack the Asparagus.
I don’t fucking know. Because he’s a pez of da chet.
We love him, but I find him to be a real piece of work sometimes. And annoying, let’s not forget that. But I still look at him and feel like he’s my son. I would protect him from anything, which lately has to be from himself more.
As of this moment, there are no plans of getting another puppy. Maybe when we look for a bigger home to accommodate my mother-in-law there may be another that comes along.
As much as I love all three of them, there’s still not a moment that I don’t wish my big guy was here. I miss Elmer like nothing I can explain.
I pushed a couple of stories out this past year. The False Prophet and the Assassin.
I am still working on The First of Us. I was hoping to get it done by last year but I didn’t put as much importance into it as I know I should. I’ve still made progress, but it’s become a bit more difficult to focus on it.
I want to get it done soon. I feel as if my steam has run dry on it and I want to return to my other world.
I’ve been craving writing more comedic pieces. Still horror-ish, still weird, but I enjoy writing lighthearted things too.
I know the First of Us will require a lot of editing on my part but it may just have to be a task I put off for a bit while I forget the story and see it from an outside perspective. If any of you would like to read what I’ve got so far, let me know. I’d appreciate any feedback on it and help with it!
Expectations for The Writing
I want to focus a little more on short stories this year. I’m not opposed to trying another novel, but I feel like with short stories I am able to get in and out quickly. If there’s a story I’m not enjoying writing as much, I can just finish it and move on. Novels cause me to stay wrapped up in them for longer and since I tend to adopt the personalities of my characters as I write them, it can get a little…you know.
I will finish the novel soon and begin working on a new segment of the post-apocalyptic world.
That’s all I got for you on this one. For all of you that donated to my wife’s classroom fundraiser, I truly thank you. She was very excited when it was funded.
I look forward to another great year. I wish you one as well and always extend a chatting hand to any of you that would like to take me up on it.
Thanks a lot and we’ll see you on the next one. Okay Byeeeeeee!