2023 was interesting to say the least. It was for me the year I slept the least, burned more money than usual and a year where I was deciding to pull the trigger on making transitions from one industry to another.
But 2023 gave me a lot a of clarity. For personal life and re-defining a path in business. Nearing the end of the year, I know now 100% I am going to go into micro-PE in 2024 in public.
Whilst I have been active in this space for years, I always kept it on the low-key side. But 2023 became a strong turning point where I felt comfortable enough to be more public about it without losing my edge.
I always felt conflicted about sharing a lot in public, because my instinct always tells me to kill what’s in my way. And I prefer to operate frictionless with lesser noise or headaches.
But building enough identity is still needed to fast track certain roads to success and that is one of the reasons why I was finding a solution to make a smooth transition.
And all of that started with the Million Dollar Challenge. But more on that later.
If I had to pick my most notable events in 2023, then these would be them. The good, bad and ugly.
- 17 final tables in live poker events across Asia. But never made it first place. Total cashing out 184K USD.
- It was my worst year in online poker, PLO cash games specifically. Variance is real and I am currently at minus 43K USD in high stakes PLO for 2023. It was the first time I had a huge swing. (but poker players will understand)
- Deployed an “R&D lab” in Hong Kong for ML and AI, specifically crypto related and equities.
- Supported dozens of Indie developers and solos, getting them to their first dollar earned or MRR.
- My wife had a second miscarriage. We had one in 2019, and earlier this year as well.
- My wife had cancer and is now cleared from cancer traces in her body which I rarely spoke about it except a few times in a blog post.
- Launched FocusX, an intimate group of people/entrepreneurs that prefer a more closed environment than public advice.
- Started the MDC – Million Dollar Challenge first of August and sits currently at 104K USD in earnings.
- Started LaunchPad, for people that want to go from Zero to Something. And I bring them within 6 months to market or prepare them on their business.
- Bankrolled 4 startups in Taiwan in a pre-seed round.
- Bought a restaurant in Taiwan as a majority stake holder.
- Invested in another bar/restaurant that went franchise. This restaurant was always my favorite and they needed 50K USD extra seed money.
- Launched a retail brand with my wife for the Taiwanese market
- Had a hard time this year to find my inner self, and balance out my lack of sleep vs goals.
- Prepared my entire investment thesis for going PE. And got a soft commitment of 500K in case I want to tap into external resources.
- Launched a Useless Newsletter. Which is my favorite project, and traction will be picked up from mid December
- Launched Buy a Pixel making it 4th on Product Hunt, as in co-creation but all credits go to Constantin, Konstantin and Kris.
- I neglected my health this year, but I am planning to fix that in 2024. And my wife forced me to hire a personal trainer.
- Started building a SaaS with Kris, an uptime monitoring tool for your websites and domain portfolio management tool.
- Met a ton of great people. Including clients. Where I see the client relationship fade away and becomes less transactional.
- Reached the 10K domain portfolio mark.
- Wrote a draft/book, called Framework where I talk about my experience and perspectives.
- Neglected the media side of things, but I plan to fix my internal framework for niche blogging with the team in 2024.
The list is endless but if I have to pick, those are the most significant ones with a few deep personal sad ones.
However, I look forward for 2024, because I plan to go micro PE and nothing is going to stop me.
I came to the realization that I kept talking about private equity with people and micro-acquisitions. And this was a strong internal signal for me to make that happen in public.
I am also…. tired. Tired of trading traditional capital markets, equities and crypto. After 17 years doing this, I felt I want to leverage it into private equity.
Seeing the traditional HF investments as a vehicle to obtain liquidity to acquire more projects on primary and secondary markets.
I have been obsessed with markets for almost 2 decades, and now my obsessions moves a step up. But it was always the plan.
It took me years of preparation to build a hedge against acquisitions (blogs, media, other owned SaaS, newsletters, boring businesses) that I felt this is the time to pull the trigger.
I can literally acquire a business today, spend zero dollars on marketing and go breakeven within 24 hours. That’s how I built my playbook and Tiger Global is my role model in deal flow and approach.
Whilst I do have lots of other business already running but nobody knows about, 2024 will be a display of power and skill in public through the Million Dollar Challenge and Delta Seven (PE).
Power in the sense that I want to make people aware how I positioned myself to get where I am today and that came with a lot of sacrifices over the years, and 2023 was no different.
2024 will be a year of improving my internal framework, acquire tons of projects and complete the MDC reaching 1 MillionUSD
A year where I will re-balance myself and delegate a lot more than usual and focusing on the buy side primarily.
But nonetheless, it’s theory. Variance can be real and just like 2023, so many unforeseen circumstances popped up that can weigh heavily on someone’s mental space.
And for me, balancing myself will be not just personal life but going back to the live poker scene more actively. Plan lots of bucket list items with my wife and prioritize our plans to work on ‘retirement’.
I would also like to thank plenty of people from FocusX and beyond that.
- Tom, that is currently in Berlin but still looking for purpose.
- Kris, that showed me the light with six bananas.
- Constantin for letting me acquire Keymentions and keep FocusX in check when I am not available.
- Lars, for him hiring me as a client under MDC but seeing his business grow since I work with him and what the future brings is bright.
- Casey, where our client-relationship starts to fade out but we have plans going on a rollercoaster ride in 2024.
- Anton, that’s still in search of his ledger after 3 months to pay back the poker debt
- Liesa, for seeing her grow from the start and knowing she went from zero to a significant revenue in her business.
See you all in 2024 with Delta Seven.