10 years is a mark that you think will change something but it's not like that as it's just your ego making mental challenges. I never thought that I will one day reach this point but I started The Life's Way only to carry on till the end of my life. I don't know if anyone will take it afterwards but it's a one-person effort, time, money and investment. I could never grow the same and it still is where it is as a one-person blog.
In 2022, I changed my pivot to not waste time on brands that are not valuing me but rather than expectations in my mind and heart for them to recognise and send me their products or services. But this kind of mentality needs to be corrected so it's always better to set your expectations at the start of your services for the other brand. I think I have done enough in the last 10 years for hundreds of brands that made full use of me without any benefits in return. I don't blame them but it was me who never told me what I expect in return at the start of the partnership. It was rather a one-sided affair as I kept promoting them.
During 2022, I deleted all the posts that don't serve my readers so the count has come down from 2500 posts that were for 9 years of The Life's Way to this one which is going to be 2050 or near that. I also spent more time reading and listening to books. I walked more than 1000 kilometres in 2022 instead of sitting in front of my laptop and the internet to post press releases for free or any trade exchanges or any kinds of benefits whatsoever. It's better to invest in your attitude, mental peace and learning.
The Life's Way achieved 3.85 Million pageviews in 2022 despite spending very less time and reducing the number of posts and press releases. I am not so sure how much I will cross but based on the run rate I think I will be around 4.25 Million pageviews by 27-Dec-2023 the target that I have set for myself is around 5 Million. It's not going to be an easy task to get more than 1 Million pageviews in a single year and also I am thinking of migrating from Blogger to WordPress if possible.
Coming back to the achievements during the course of the 10th year of The Life's Way - I did some of the paid assignments with theSalt influencer marketing company that really helped me earn some money along with some free products as well. I did a campaign for Webfluential as well along with one for the Vodacom Pay contest from YouTube Shorts and also for the Evetech Creator contest. The Salt ones fetched me some cash which really helped me buy all the stuff I bought in 2022. I spent much more than I earned in 2022 as I am thinking about it now.
The best thing that happened in 2022 was the coming together of my brother's family and my parents all coming together to South Africa and we went to Kruger National Park for a 4 nights trip which was amazing. Then I went again to Hermanus to see the whales that were also on my wish list for many years. Then to end the year, I went to Mauritius which was my first international trip for more than 15 days on an island. All these trips were self-paid and not sponsored as some influencers thought and were jealous about. There is nothing to be jealous of as I paid for all these trips myself only the cameras to take pictures with were given for review and taken back after the completion of the trip.
I focused mainly on YouTube channels creating long-form videos and Shorts and both took me in different directions. Long-form videos got me into the YouTube Partner programme after completing 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time in a single year. The YouTube Shorts took me into the Shorts Community by virtue of which I attended my first ever YouTube live events in person and virtually and received a lot of YouTube swag to enjoy as well. I also received my first YouTube payment too and which was USD 121 in the month of Nov-22.
I did a lot of unboxing videos along with stationery videos and 100s of shorts. In total, I did around 159 long-form videos and 323 Shorts in 2022. My biggest dream came true was meeting Cycle Baba that I dreamed of in 2021 when I came to know that he is going to come to Africa. I met him on April 22 and shot a small interview video with him as well.
I also completed 42 years of Hanuman Chalisa which was a dream work I wanted to do for many many years now and I could complete it before my birthday on July 22. I could finish the same in May or Jun-22 which was a month before the target time I allocated. It left me to focus on the walks and audiobooks.
The products that were on my dream list that I shared were not fulfilled at all. I didn't get an Apple Macbook or DJI Gimbal or Canon EOSM 22mm lens. My father though gifted me Apple Earpods with wireless charging (2nd edition) that my brother gifted him. My brother also gave me his 7th generation Kindle Paperwhite I am enjoying it a lot and spent a lot of time reading books. I did buy certain products that I always wanted to own like RGB Headset stand, Monitor Arm. After buying them I felt good but not using them any longer as it hurts your eyes when you are sitting right on top of them. So all the RGB lighting that looks great on videos and images is just torture and stressful for your eyes for sure especially for me as I wear glasses so it gets a lot of reflections.
This year I focused more on buying my own stuff rather than winning the same as I have been doing over the years. This is the year where my expenses rose more than my income from The Life's Way. I bought a lot of Pilot and Lamy Fountain Pens along with a lot of online courses from Skillshare, Udemy and other platforms like getAbstract. I did get some new kinds of opportunities this year where I went to a lot of conferences and in-person sessions. It did fetch me some special gifts that I never expected and showcased to you on my YouTube channel as well.
I have not moved to another smartphone and still using the same ones (Note 20 and Z Flip3) as I was at the end of 2021 so nothing has changed much this time around. I did review some of the smartphones from Huawei, Honor, Nokia, Vivo, TCL and Samsung including some tablets as well. Those all were great phones but they went back as they came for a review period of 14 days or so. TCL phone people got really interested when I posted the unboxing video on my YouTube channel.
The main focus remained on getting more and more Youtube videos and shorts and the blog took a little bit of beating due to the same. I kept making a lot of blog posts in my mind but the actual typing of those words never happened. It's still happening and I do think about all the posts in terms of storytelling but the words never get typed and directly go into videos if that happens.
I am not sure what 2023 will bring for me but I hopefully want to change my mindset towards wealth and growth. I want to take risks in my job, career and money. I want to grow my channel to reach 100k subscribers on Youtube and the blog to cross 5 Million pageviews as told earlier. I will do my own thing and if I can align with some brands I will do it else just live my life on my own terms.
Aum Namah Shivay!
Till next time...Aashish