My Year in Review: 2019

Vanessa Ramos
Dec 17, 2019 · 4 min read

It’s that time of the year again when people reflect on their goals for the past 12 months and on what they have accomplished. And this year, I feel like writing about it.

Last Christmas I set myself with two goals for 2019:

  • Swimming from Alcatraz to San Francisco
  • Writing a book

How did I do? Let’s get it out of the way: One more year, I did not write a book.

On the bright side, after 8 years living in the Bay Area and wanting to do this, I finally did it, I swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco. That’s me in the tiny green swim cap:

Every time I think about it I feel so fulfilled and accomplished that I don’t even know how to describe it. 2019 is not over yet and I’ve already committed to do it again in 2020. Yay!

This achievement made me reconnect with my inner self. Not with my being-a-mom self or my being-a-partner self, but with my-real-me self. It made me feel amazing about me again. Looking back, I think that was exactly what I needed to gain enough confidence and jump into a new professional adventure.

So I did not write a book but I did something better, I gained back my confidence.

A new professional adventure

Ignacio and I started Tesletter just one week before our second daughter was born, so about a year before I swam the Alcatraz race and started thinking about making a professional change. In 12 months, the newsletter had grown up to almost a thousand subscribers without us investing a tone of time on it. It was good, but it wasn’t great.

On the other hand, you could argue the amount of time we were investing in Tesletter was quite a bit, taking into account we both had full time jobs and a house of four to manage. At some point, we started talking about either stop sending the newsletter- the reward wasn’t worth the effort- or investing more on it to make it better: better in terms of content, in terms of growth, and in terms of it becoming a new revenue stream for our family.

The idea started growing on me. If you know me, you’ll know I’m a very practical and efficient person. Because of that, one thing that was driving me crazy at my previous job was spending so much time in meetings when I had lots of other things I wanted to do both at work and outside work. I also dreamt with being able to see more immediate results coming from my and my teams work, something that really makes me thrive and that I was missing from my startup days. After a few months, I made the decision.

At the end of August, I quit my job of 7 years to start working full time on Tesletter.com.

First few months working full time on Tesletter

I couldn’t be happier with the change. Since I’ve started working full time on Tesletter:

  • The letter has more than doubled its number of subscribers, with an average of 1,000 new subscribers per month
  • The website’s traffic has increased by 20x
  • We have started generating revenue

Of course, I haven’t achieved all of these by myself, Ignacio and I make a great team! I just now have the time to execute on things we previously weren’t able to. There are a bunch of things I could be working on, but I only have two hands. A good friend of mine always says that what defines you is what you don’t do more than what you actually do. I’ve made the mistake of trying to do too many things and losing the perspective before, so this time I’m at least not repeating that mistake: it’s all about the newsletter. I’m planning on working on whatever is necessary to make the letter great and successful, but without losing focus.

And on top of all of this, I got to attend a Tesla vehicle unveiling event. What else can you ask for?

Oh yes, I feel less anxiety about not spending enough time with my daughters, with my partner, or not having time for chores. I am super motivated and almost never feel the urge to disconnect from work, because I am really excited about what I’m working on at Tesletter. And I get to feel like that, all-the-time.

Thanks for reading and cheers to a great 2020!

Vanessa Ramos

Written by

Product @ 3scale. Dream big. Never say no to your dreams.

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