2021 Year in Review & 2022 Focus

2021 Year in Review & 2022 Focus

Dustin Lien
January 1, 2022

This is my 8th consecutive year doing an annual review, and I always start with this disclaimer:

Just so you know, these reviews are really for my own introspection and reflection on what went well during the year, what didn’t, and what I want to accomplish the next year. I’m making it public because I think people might enjoy reading it, and possibly learn from some mistakes or successes. That being said, some of it won’t make sense to you why I’m sharing it, but that’s because it’s mostly for me.

If you’d like to read previous reviews, here are links to those:

2014 Year in Review

2015 Year in Review

2016 Year in Review

2017 Year in Review

2018 Year in Review

2019 Year in Review

2020 Year in Review

Table of Contents

  1. 2021 Theme Recap
  2. 2021 Looking Back
  3. 2022 Theme
  4. 2022 Looking Ahead

2021 Theme Recap

My Theme for 2021 was: Do less, better

Here’s what I said in last year’s review about choosing this theme:

“More can be a trap. Not always, but often. I want to focus on important things that are working well, and improve on them, rather than stretching myself thin and running in maintenance mode.”

This theme protected my time this year. I have a tendency to bite off more projects than I can chew, which usually leads to being spread thin and not making meaningful progress toward any one project in particular. I am an optimist, and sometimes optimism turns into delusion when I’m not careful. So this year, when I had the strong urge to start a new product brand, or write a book, or start another podcast, I ran it through the filter of the theme: “Do less, better”.

I did a much better job this year compared to previous years focusing on the areas of my existing businesses and trying to improve them rather than running to something new and shiny when I got bored.

I’m proud of that.

2021 Looking Back

Here were the things I said in last year’s review that I wanted to focus on in 2021, and how they went:

• Growing Ecommerce Marketer and JumpX Marketing

Between Ecommerce Marketer (now rebranded to Jump) and JumpX Marketing, we saw 12.5% YOY revenue growth, and saw good organic audience growth.

• Creating more friendships in Austin

At the beginning of 2021, my wife and I still planned on moving back to Los Angeles after she’s done with grad school in 2022, but then we decided we wanted to stay, and ended up buying our first house! We moved into the house in September, and have made a few friends already.

• Significantly improving my health and energy. Currently following the Bulletproof diet

This is one of those areas where I go in and out of focusing on it, but I wouldn’t say I “significantly” improved my health or my energy.

• DNA Austin

In 2020, I started an online church gathering call DNA Austin, and partway through the 2021, I decided to start the prep work of moving it in person in our new neighborhood. It’s also re-named now to reflect the neighborhood we live in, and it’s now called Easton Park Church.

• I've been spending a lot less time on social media the past few months, and it's been liberating

I got a little addicted to Twitter and closely following / investing in cryptocurrency and the NFT space.

A few other highlights from 2021:

• I did a couple of local solitude retreats and enjoyed the recharge time

• And like so many others, I ended 2021 with Covid

2022 Theme

My theme for 2022 is: Blade to bark.

The sharpest saw never wielded is less useful than a dull saw with blade to bark.

Learning skills and researching methods is incredibly useful—when it’s used. In 2022, I want to focus as much as possible on taking action, putting the saw blade to the tree bark and sawing.

2022 Looking Ahead

Here are the things I'm working toward:

• Executing at a high level

• Increasing Jump revenue and margin

• Tangible forward movement with Easton Park Church and the overseeing non-profit I Heart Communities

I hope 2022 is a year full of joy, peace, and progress for you!