In December 2014 I’ve started to say that “2015 will be an amazing year” or “2015 will be my year”. And so it was, my friends, so it was!
Even though I did not make $100,000 how I dreamed of or I can kiss goodbye my goal of making $1 mil. by the time I am 25 – which was just a goal to prove myself, was not a goal that served my highest purpose – I can say that 2015 did not go the way I’ve expected to go, but it went its own way, the best way.
2015 exposed me to the best experiences that I was able to understand and experience, and it had a big impact on my life and it will be one of those years that will be always remembered as a big turning point.
So, what actually happened in 2015?
I wanted to review my year and what better way of doing that than writing an article, which puts everything in a better perspective, right?! While preparing for this article, I’ve started with a brainstorming session in which I wrote everything (that I could remember) that was big enough to mention in 2015. I’ve found so many things to be thankful for that it would take a 20,000-words article to write everything.
Below are just some of the things that I want to share with you from my spectacular 2015.
Maybe one of the biggest accomplishments this year is that I was able to strengthen my relationship with everyone in my life.
My relationship with Roswitha has grown to another level and we’ve never been happier together and more natural with each other than this year and I know it’s going to get better and better from now on. We’ve been together for over seven years now and live together for more than two years.
If there’s one advice I can give to other couples, that would be to not get married before they live together! By living together, you get to fully get to know the other person and see if you can really spend your whole life together.
Better relationships with my parents.
Trust me, being an online entrepreneur is fancy, but it’s not that fancy when only a few people understand what you’re doing and the others are only trying to “wake you up to reality”. 2015 was the year that my parents started to understand what I am doing, what I want and started to also respect that and trust me in my endeavors.
We had a lot of fights over the years and I am happy to say that those are a thing of the past now. My mother told me that she is proud of me and that she supports me in everything that I want to do. She even apologized for all the times she did not support me or tried to make me do something I did not like.
My father is one of those persons that believes (or believed) that you motivate someone by telling them how bad they are. In 24 years, I can’t recall my father telling me that he is proud of me, he probably said “Congrats!” a few times (even though I can’t remember). But this year, he went the extra mile.
It was a wonderful feeling to have my father support and encourage me a few days before my first public speaking engagement ever (more on that below) in the most natural and genuine way possible. After the event, I called him and told him that it was awesome and he told me, a couple of times, “Congrats!” – probably more than in 24 years.
But this did not happen overnight. My relationship with my father was never good, we probably never had a relationship until this year. I kept on believing that it can be better and I have a strength, I believe, to always see the good in people.
I believe that you can only drive out hate through acts of love and that was exactly what I did to strengthen my relationships with everyone in my life. Did they hurt me? Unfortunately, very much, but if I tried to hurt them back, this article would have probably been about how I did not talk to my parents in months. What I did, though, was to respond with love in the best way I knew: telling them how much I appreciate them and constantly remind them that I love them. More on this in my article about how I told my parents that I love them.
Met some amazing people.
It’s official, one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in business so far, was that I did not have the guts to put myself in front of my business, to own it, to tell people what I am doing for a living and connect with people that are doing the same thing as me. I will definitely write more about this in 2016 – subscribe to get updates!
Connecting with other peeps was one of my focus in 2015, which overwhelmed me at one point, but I’ve met some amazing people that played an important role in my life and in my business.
And, in no particular order…
Angela Tabirta is the therapist I’ve seen this year to work on blockages, fears and on getting to know myself better and let go of thoughts and beliefs that do not serve me. She literally changed my life and I am so grateful for the day that I met her. You can find her at angela.tabirta.eu
Kevin Stimpson is my good buddy from B-School – a business and branding coach from San Diego who’s probably the most energetic and motivated person I know. You can find him and his wife Devona at strivengrind.com
Dirk Wilhelm – I’ve only met him less than two months ago, but I already feel like I’ve known him forever and I see him as a good friend. He’s my accountability partner, we meet every week, we talk about our goals and we also coach each other on matters that affect us. He is a life coach with a unique vision about life and you can find him at onelifebaby.com (only in German!)
Julia Hook – I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing her this Summer for a project that I’ve currently put on hold. We talked for about an hour and she inspired me in a big way with her view on life, self-acceptance and with the flexibility that she walks through life. She blogs about marketing and branding over at strategicjuju.com
I could write an entire paragraph about each one of them, but this article is long enough already. Here are other amazing people that I met this year or that I want to mention because I admire them in some way (in no particular order):
- Deea Petrica (the happiest social media expert)
- Razvan Laichici (a man with a vision that completely changed his life a few years ago -you will hear more about him in the near future)
- Marietta Cohen (my favorite client so far – she’s currently working on launching her DIY paper blog – designelevated.net)
- John van Vlaardingen (my first business coaching client – find him at jvvhealth.com)
- Florian Suba (a future successful entrepreneur – he got me my first speaking engagement)
- Alexandra Jeitan (thehealthycookiejar.com – the latest addition to my friends’ list, but one of the funniest, kindest & coolest)
- Nicoleta Kadar (a teacher with a big big heart)
- Simina Furdui (she helped me so much with Roswitha’s ring – I will be forever thankful)
- Bogdan Tomoioaga (I purchase my peanut butter from him, even though he tried to steal my wallet – inside joke, don’t bother understanding it – he blogs about fitness at muscleboom.ro)
- Toma Grozavescu (one of the most genuinely enthusiastic person I know. He blogs over at grozav.org and owns a marketing agency smarters.ro)
- Alexandra Marseu (crazy, funny, honest & kind – that’s how I would describe her)
- Karen Ni Dhiomsaigh (the only one from B-School that I met in person and she’s lovely!)
- Malin Anderson (from healthcoachescommunity.com)
- Alexandra Dumitrache (Editor-in-Chief at estilo-tendances.com & an amazing asset to our team)
- Dana Bindea (one of the sweetest moms you’ll ever meet & soon she will be a blogger)
- Florela Blidariu (our awesome accountant that managed to make our business life much easier – contabilitate-timisoara.ro)
- Christian Brugger (we met online and we kinda share the same passion – self-improvement – and I am learning a lot from him about patience)
- Angela Cosma (we did not meet in 2015, but I feel it’s worth mentioning her just because she’s gorgeous – find her at whoisgorgeo.us)
- Floris Buliga (my good hard-working friend that I am sure will have the best year yet in 2016)
- George Mihaila (my best friend who doesn’t stop to inspire me with his positive attitude and passion for life – can’t wait to see him at the wedding this year)
I’ve also met a lot of amazing people in the Facebook groups that I am active like B-Schoolers 2015 and Sensophy Inner Circle that are too many to mention here.
I truly apologize to those that I forgot to mention, it was not on purpose!
Reconnected with other amazing peeps.
It felt good to reconnect this year with some amazing people that we’re “on-hold” in my life. People like Sorin Tataru, my good ol’ friend and neighbor that taught me everything about computers, PC games and programs when we were younger. It felt so good to reconnect with him during our trip to Dublin for WebSummit.
This year, I’ve also connected with Andreea Belean (who I thought was my cousin for such a long time – but she’s not!), who’s an amazing person and I am so happy to have her in my life. And last, but not least, I’ve started talking again and met with Ana Feier, one of my friends from high-school.
Wrote around 110,000 words. Overcame my fear of writing.
2015 was a big turning point for me because I’ve started believing in myself, believing that I have something to share with the world and that I can be taken seriously for my point of view on self-improvement and business.
I always had a problem with expressing myself in all possible ways, but especially in written word. My father always put so much pressure on writing perfectly that I never had the courage to even start writing something. Then, my English teachers never told me or gave me the impression that I would ever be able to write something in English.
But, in spite all of that, I was able to break free this year and start writing my thoughts, ideas and lessons that I’ve learned in my short life, but that could potentially help a lot of other people in their journey. It was not easy because I was fighting tens of negative thoughts, but once I’ve started writing and published my first article, new thoughts and beliefs emerged that helped me continue.
In total, I wrote about 60,000 words in articles, email courses and newsletters for Male Extravaganza & for the online marketing webinars that I’ve hosted on MihaiHerman.com. Besides all that, I am also a top contributor on Mode.com where I wrote 122 articles with an average of 400 words each which accounts for close to 50,000 words.
At the beginning of the year, I never would have thought this was even possible, that’s why you need to be open to changing your path/way along the way and not always stick to the resolutions you made at the start of the year.
Redesigned Estilo Tendances.
Estilo Tendances was our first project which today evolved into a lifestyle, beauty and style blog for women. Roswitha managed to redesign the whole website alone (okay, she did 90% of the work) and we are very happy with the design it has today because it’s more user-friendly and opens up a world of new possibilities thanks to the cool template that we use.
Relaunched and rebranded Male Extravaganza.
Male Extravaganza went through some rebrands over the years – it started as a place to blog and feature all things extravagant and expensive. It then evolved into a style & grooming blog for men and it ended up becoming a self-improvement blog at the beginning of May, 2015 – the design that you see today.
Started coaching people on online business. Hosted first webinar. Got my first clients.
Yet another thing that I never saw myself doing and that was not on my goals list, but it happened in the most amazing way.
What do I do? I use my five years experience to help people launch successful businesses online or to take their active businesses to the next level.
It all started with a collaboration between me & Malin from HealthCoachesCommunity to host exclusive webinars for her community, which got me way out of my comfort zone. After doing the first few webinars, I’ve posted in the groups that I am active in telling them that I am willing to coach for free in return for testimonials.
Right now I have three clients that I coach for free and in January, I am going to start with my first two paying clients.
So far I love it probably more than anything I’ve done and it’s something special about helping people succeed, helping people accomplish their dreams and seeing them happy, probably because I know how it is to struggle and to not know which way should you go. If I were to start all over again, I wouldn’t do it without a coach – it’s just not worth it! If you or any of your friends are interested, take a look at my coaching program!
Visited Dublin. Attended WebSummit. Met Scott Harrison. Selfie with Kickstarter co-founder.
I wanted to attend WebSummit since 2012 when I first heard about them, but I never had the money or there were other, more important, things to do.
In 2015, however, I decided to email them and propose a partnership: we cover the event on all our social media platforms & blogs in exchange for two tickets to attend the event. Two weeks later, I heard from them asking for a phone number in order to call me and discuss the potential partnership.
The next day, I got a call from their PR agency telling me that they want to give us the tickets and we don’t even have to cover the event at all.
It was the perfect example of “ask and it is given” because sometimes that is all you need to do in order to get what you want.
The event was spectacular – 42,000 people || 2,200 startups. During the event, I’ve shaken hands with Scott Harrison from charity:water, took a selfie with Yancey Strickler co-founder Kickstarter and listened to other amazing people like Bill Ford CEO Ford, Mike Krieger co-founder Instagram and other amazing speakers.
We also decided to stay a week in Dublin to be able to fully discover its beauty and I am so glad we did that because it was an amazing experience and, surprisingly, a lot of sun.
Visited Florence. Attended Pitti Uomo. Interviewed Nick Wooster.
2015 was the first time that I’ve traveled to Italy and I loved it! We went to Florence to attend Pitti Uomo 87 and I’ve never seen so many well-dressed men in one place in my entire life.
Besides Florence, we also visited Pistoia where we had a nice Italian dinner in a hobbit-like house, drank red wine and had a wonderful chat with our hosts.
While in Florence, I had the honor of interviewing Nick Wooster (see the interview here), probably one of the best-dressed man in the world, who happens to be a very kind and down-to-earth gentleman.
We had an amazing time in Florence and stayed for one night at a 400-year old residence Palazzo Belfiore.
Overcame my fear of public speaking.
As you already know, the fear of speaking in public is the number one ranked fear in the world. Since I can remember, I was afraid of speaking in public, but the fear was so great that I was afraid to even ask questions in school/university.
At the beginning of 2015, I’ve set a goal to host a seminar, a workshop, anything that will put me in front of an audience so that I can finally face this fear and move on with my life. As you can imagine, I kept on postponing organizing that seminar, but something amazing happened: because I’ve set the intention, the Universe delivered. At the beginning of November, someone that I’ve only met about 2 months ago contacted me and asked me if I want to speak at a small event in front of some students.
Even though I was scared, I said immediately YES because I knew it’s for my own good and I knew that if I want to grow (personally and professionally) I needed to take this opportunity.
December 16th, 2015 will be always remembered as the day that I faced my fear of public speaking in a big way. I’ve learned so much and gained so much confidence from just one presentation that I am still amazed. I will definitely do at least two presentations in 2016 to keep the confidence high and even get it higher.
Launched my second business. Tripled our income.
In April 2015, we launched our second business and we met the best accountant ever, Florela Blidariu. There were a lot of ups and downs this year, but in the end, I can look back and thank for all the lessons that I’ve learned and for being able to triple our income/business in 2015.
At the beginning of the year, we dreamed about becoming big, but there was a lot of doubt. The goal for 2016 is to maintain our growth and triple (or more) our business again.
Invested in B-School.
Investing in B-School was probably one of the best decisions we’ve made in 2015. We paid with our savings and with borrowed money, but we knew it will open up a new world of possibilities for us. And it did!
Thanks to B-School I’ve realized what I really wanted to do with Male Extravaganza and, later on, I’ve realized that I want to become a business coach and help people/businesses succeed online.
Besides all the great information, there’s a very active community of over 4,000 people that are willing to help and support each other in the most amazing way.
Got invited to all fashion weeks.
If in 2014 we had to send a ton of emails in order to get invited to New York Fashion Week (which we attended – more details here), this year it was much easier. We got invitations to all major fashion weeks: New York, Milan, Paris and London, along with other smaller ones in Madrid and Toronto.
Unfortunately, we did not attend any of them because we had other, more important, investments to make to grow our business, but it’s nice to know that we could have been there.
Guest posted for the first time. Published on HuffingtonPost.
I wanted to guest post for a long time now and I knew the power it has to grow your business, but I never had the time or guts to do it. In 2015, I managed to break this barrier and I’ve published four guest articles out of which, one on HuffingtonPost. To be honest, I did expect a bigger impact on my business, but maybe I had too big expectations.
Here are the guest posts I did this year:
- 12 Enjoyable Steps to a More Balanced Life on PickTheBrain.com
- 11 Life Lessons Learned From Kung-Fu Panda on PickTheBrain.com
- 15 Life Lessons Learned From Animation Movies on MotivationGrid.com
- 7 Ways to Deal With Down Feelings in Under 10 Minutes on ADaringAdventure.com
- 6 Life Lessons Learned From Animation Movies on HuffingtonPost.com
I love and appreciate myself more.
While this might sound weird to some of you, it’s the stepping stone to a happy and healthy life. I was always in conflict with myself, putting a lot of pressure on me and expecting the impossible. 2015 was the year that I’ve started to make peace with myself, to forgive myself for past mistakes, to love myself for who I am and I’ve started to build a friendship with myself. And I am glad I did it.
Discovered myself. Became authentic. Faced a lot of fears.
Not many people know this, but 2015 was full of tough times, especially the Summer when I got so sick of some of the negative thoughts and patterns that I’ve decided to see a therapist once again. It was, besides deciding to marry my best friend, the best decision I’ve made in 2015.
Yes, you can deal with stuff on your own, but is it worth it? Why exactly would you want to deal with negative thoughts, anxieties and stress on your own? Just to prove that you are good enough? Well, that was the case for me – I thought that if I ask for help I am a weak person and this is a very important lesson that I’ve learned:
“You have to be tough person to know yourself and know when to ask for help and then have the courage to do it.”
The past 6-7 months were a journey that was tough at times, but I’ve grown so much that it probably would have taken me years to reach this point of growth if I wouldn’t have asked for help or guidance.
I’ve conquered a ton of fears this year and on some I am still working because, if there’s another thing I was forced to learn this year, was that change takes time! You cannot expect to change a thought pattern that you’ve used for 20 years in a matter of days or weeks.
I’ve also learned to be more patient with me, to allow myself to make mistakes and to release the pressure of succeeding in business as soon as possible. In the end, I am only 24 years old and I have all the time in the world to make millions, to help millions and inspire the world in the most unique way.
Letting go of constantly comparing myself with others was another thing that played an important role in the overall level of happiness in my life. You know how they say, “Comparison is the thief of joy” and, trust me, it does not help you in any way. Compare yourself with your past you and see if you’ve grown or not, that is the only healthy comparison you can possibly make.
Since I’ve started studying B-School, I became much more authentic which was another big jump out of the comfort zone for me because my entire life I was used to play a role, to be someone else, to be someone that I believed people would like. But that role put so much pressure and stress on me.
Thank God I’ve managed to let go of that in 2015 and to reveal how I really am to the world and it feels amazing. I am much happier and, funny enough, people tend to like me more now for how I really am.
Decided to get married.
Yes, it’s official that we’ve decided to get married and it will happen in 2016. The truth is that I couldn’t be happier about this.
Even though she knew, we discussed this, I managed to surprise her at Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna where I propose to her with the ring that she knew it will not come for another 7-10 days. This actually happened on the first day of 2016, but I’ve planned and thought about this half of 2015.
Watched Friends again. Watched Seinfeld for the first time. Became interested in documentaries.
Friends is my favorite all-time tv show, although I did not watch that many. I kind of made a habit of watching Friends every year in the last 4-5 years and, although I know most of the lines, it still cracks me up.
In 2015, I’ve also watched Seinfeld which ended up being a very funny tv show and it might even go on my regular yearly schedule because I love Kramer.
My philosophy is to watch tv shows that make me feel good, that give me energy, that make me laugh.
This year, I’ve also started being very interested in documentaries about nature, animals and travel.
Pay it forward campaign.
In October 2015, together with Roswitha and Andreea, I’ve organized a pay it forward/charitable event to feed some families from our county. It went better than expected and we’ve managed to feed 12 families, but I wrote an entire article about it here.
Healed my acne.
Everyone that knows me, knows that I had an acne problem and I’ve tried a lot of treatments – creams, antibiotics, vaccines and homeopathy – but nothing cured it. Some helped, some made it much worse. At one point, I had very bad acne on my back, chest, face and even on my legs (but only in some areas) – it was bad and I suffered a lot because of it and the worst part was that it got so bad because of bad medication.
Even though I am not completely healed, I’ve come a long way because I don’t have the very big and nasty ones on my body, I only get some pimples every now and then – depends on what I eat – and my skin is getting clearer and clearer.
What happened? Well, it’s because of Roswitha who became a health coach and put me on probiotics. Besides that, I was also gluten, dairy and sugar-free for about six months.
My skin was never better than right now and I finally know that I am headed in the right direction.
Started doing yoga. Ran almost 250km.
I don’t always run, but when I do, I usually run 50km that week. In 2015, I had some moments when I felt like running – a lot – and I’ve totaled close to 250 km and my longest run was 11km. It’s fun, but I always listen to good music to give me energy. It’s not something I do constantly or that I want to be consistent with because it kinda hurts my knees, but I enjoy a good run every now and then, especially if it’s raining or snowing, or if it’s at sunrise.
My playlist consists of anything from AC/DC to Sean Paul and Adam Levine.
In 2015, I’ve also started doing yoga. First, with the sun salutations and then added more positions into my practice from watching Youtube videos. Honestly, I love it even though I don’t always find time for it or I am not 100% consistent, but I believe the key to being disciplined is to know when you can allow yourself to not be disciplined and just start all over when you feel like it.
My goal is to not let any day pass without doing any physical exercise, be it running, yoga, walking or hitting the gym.
These were some of the most important things that happened in my life in 2015. I truly hope I’ve managed to teach you something through the lessons I’ve learned and to inspire you to dream bigger through my accomplishments.
Remember that you only fail when you stop trying!