Time flies. It’s already Agile Lifestyle’s second birthday!
Let’s review what went well and not so well in Year Two.
3 Successful Outcomes From Year 2
1. I Quit My Job
Read all about how I finally took the full-time plunge into online business here.
2. I Bought a House
We did! But it was probably quite a different buying experience than you’re used to hearing. Check out the details in this article.
3. We Hit New Readership Highs
Agile Lifestyle hit a new high in terms of pageviews in the month of December, almost ten times higher than the previous December. Seeing that was a great feeling, especially since I was quitting my job that same month.
Unfortunately, the new year has not been as kind.
That gets us to …
3 Things That Didn’t Go So Great in Year 2
1. Google Traffic Takes a Hit
The traffic to Agile Lifestyle began to fall after January. It was slow at first, but now the site is at 70% of what it was around December (keep in mind that we were also trending up for the whole of 2013, so the fall-off from where we would have been is even steeper).
I believe the decline is attributable to a Google algorithm update that occurred in early January. I noticed that some of the site’s best articles slipped from their #1 rankings in late 2013. They’re still on page one of Google’s search results, but now they’re sitting in 6th or 7th place.
It’s had an impact. The drop-off from ranking first to ranking sixth is not linear. Most folks click on the first or second search engine result Google returns. And the decline in new readers tracks closely with the decline I’ve seen in folks finding the site with organic search.
But alas, it’s Google’s world and guys like me are merely players in it. As many long-time web entrepreneurs like Glen Allsop will tell you, Google can be arbitrary and capricious at times with their algorithm. I wholeheartedly believe in the quality of work on Agile Lifestyle. The message about living your life with agility will continue to gain strength and spread in 2014. Any fluctuation in Google is momentary compared to that.
2. Goals Changing
Accountability moment: The goals I set out for the site in last year’s post have been slow. I decided mid-year to radically revamp the Kindle offerings and the e-course, so stay tuned for a future post on those projects. Until then, I hope to get back on track with Monday and Thursday posting.
That is, if the next item on this list doesn’t stand in the way …
While skiing at Copper Mountain at the end of March, I took a nasty tumble on the mountain that led to a torn ACL. I was taken to the emergency room and released with crutches, a leg brace, and some powerful painkillers. A bunch of x-rays and an MRI later, and we’re still not sure if I will need ACL reconstruction surgery.
That’s the bad news. The worse news is that the “catastrophic” health insurance policy I took out after I quit my job only barely covers knee injuries of this type. It’s not meant for sports injury coverage. I’ll be looking at a bill in the high thousands for the care I’ve received to this point. I was lucky enough to get injured before March 31, so I signed up for Obamacare just in time for the cut-off, but that won’t kick in until May.
The whole experience underlined an important lesson for me:
Don’t risk life and limb for something you’re not passionate about.
Despite how horrible an ACL injury is, I’m lucky it wasn’t something more serious. Skiing and snowboarding fatalities happen at a pretty consistent rate every year. If you include serious injuries like paralysis, that figure doubles.
As I was writhing around in pain waiting for ski patrol to take me back down the mountain, I realized that skiing as an activity is not worth it to me. My fiancee and her family have been skiing for decades. This was only my third season. I found I didn’t enjoy it enough to persevere through the learning curve. Now with this serious, potentially life-altering injury, I realize the health risks are not worth it for me either.
The full sticker price for ACL reconstruction surgery is in the tens of thousands—and there’s no guarantee full stability will return to my knee. Even if I can avoid surgery, I am looking at months of rehab and thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Health is an incredibly contingent thing. You don’t appreciate it until it has been compromised.
Sitting for long periods of time is hard. Working at my standing desk is impractical. The difficulty level on everything gets ramped up.
If you’re waiting for permission or if you’re putting something off, take it from me: Do it while you still can. There’s no telling what your physical health will look like “someday.”