2016: The Year in Review

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I refuse to let this be the typical, boring, stock “Year in Review” where I tell you how wonderful we are and which articles were our “biggest hits” hoping you click on them. Hopefully I deliver on that refusal.

This is raw, true, completely written off the cuff and unedited, as in I am writing this in one sitting, working forward and not rereading it (maybe this will be my new style in 2017). Without further ado here is the list of things I have learned in 2017. Warning:this may not even be nutrition related (we don’t know right now since I am writing this unidirectionally).

  1. Writing is hard. Writing a lot shows you how much you suck at writing.

Over the last 12 months we have published 35 blog articles, 8 magazines, written a book, and a few guides just on this website. I am entirely too busy (read: I am too lazy) to count all the words in this content but I think its somewhere around 100,000 words of free content just on this blog. For all the other projects I have worked on that involve writing (included peer-reviewed papers), I estimated my word count to be in the neighborhood of 250,000 words. That makes my fingers hurt just thinking about it.

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Each of those pieces took hours of thinking about and hours of writing, deleting, rewriting, and editing.  I have learned a lot about writing, attention to detail, and how horrid my writing sometimes can be. I went back and read some of the old stuff and man, it needs some serious work. Now instead of going back and polishing it all up I am actually going to leave it so I can go back and laugh at how much I sucked. This is my nature. Don’t cover up the blemishes just learn from them and grow.

2) Success isn’t built overnight. It also shouldn’t be. 

To be completely honest I started this website with the hope it would blow up overnight, that people would love what we do and that they would tell all their friends. Then magically,  money would rain from the sky. With said money I would be able to be totally cliche and post pictures of myself working on a beach with my laptop (do these people not worry about sand in their computers?!) and sell you a course on how to build an online business for a convenient price of 2997. Apparently 7s are magical marketing?????????? Oddly enough, none of these things happened.

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This is not me. My hair has some grey in it (recent development) and I would have a beer in my hand, not a laptop.

Here is what really happened. I worked my face off writing free content and trying to bring value to the world. Growth in readership was slow, about 1/20th of what I hoped, we had about 250,000 visitors this year to the website.  I also haven’t quite figured out how to make any meaningful money from it. So a 40 hour blog post that nets me 0 dollars is probably the worst investment of my time. That being said, that post might benefit the lives of 5-10 people. This is something I need to figure out. I refuse to charge people for crappy products so it may be a bit before I figure this out. I will keep charging ahead.

3) Science is hard, fickle, and teaches you a lot about life. 

Science really is a brutal field, no sugar coating it.

Don’t quit. Experiments fail, a lot. I literally spent 6 months trying to figure out some small detail of an experiment. Tenacity, persistence, and being dumb enough to just keep impaling yourself on the same problem are good traits to have.

Life is about resiliency. This year I spent 6 months writing a grant that was rejected. This rejections mirrors most of my romantic attempts in high school; this is fine, I won the significant other lottery this year. Rejections and failures are inevitable, you just have to bounce back.

Sometimes you just aren’t good enough. In said grant above I finished in the top 10%, but still didn’t get it.  Now I could whine and complain about this and say how it was rigged against me or I could just acknowledge I wasn’t good enough. The cold, hard truth was that I just wasn’t good enough. This is OK. I can handle that. Time to get better. As such, participation trophies are bullshit.

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4) That is all I got

The list is long enough to teach you something and give you some insight into what 2016 was, but short enough to keep your ever dwindling attention span. 2017 shall be quite the show. I hope you bought your tickets

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