2020 – for many the worst year of their lives. Not for me. It might have been the best year of my life instead. At least financially speaking I was crushing it. My annual profits were at an all-time high, my DSL Investment Trust made all-time high gains and I was able to pay off my debt plus started building a cash cushion again.
On the side of the goals, I only achieved half of my goals and it is a bit of a bummer that DSL trading still is unprofitable. So, in a way, there wasn’t too much progress last year when it comes to diversification of my workstreams. Also, we had to shut down one of our ventures, another workstream busted.
All in all, however, 2020 was a really good year. Corona came at exactly the right time for me and I was more than lucky to be able to spend most of 2020 here in beautiful Bali.
So, I do hope you enjoy my entrepreneur recap for 2020 and let me know any questions or comments in the comments section below. If you are an entrepreneur yourself and can relate to any of my stories, why not get in touch with me? I’d love to exchange knowledge, stories and experiences.
Table of contents
- 2020 – The first full year as a full-time entrepreneur
- Phase 1 – Manchester & Munich, preparing for the big journey
- Phase 2 – The journey begins
- Phase 3 – Corona strikes
- My 2020 Goals
- 1. Move to Bali
- 2. Figure out a way to break-even on monthly cashflow (£1500 per month)
- 3. Become profitable in day-trading
- 4. Start a new venture
- Workstream Overview
- Dan Schenk Life
- Profits and Losses
- Overall Portfolio Performance
- DSL Trading
- The Navigate Group
- Profits and Losses
- Consulting with Tritium Growth Partners
- Cash-Flow and Net Worth Update
- Outlook for 2021
- 1. Take a break from E-Commerce and focus 100% on DSL
- 2. Open the entrepreneur house in Bali
- 3. Launch DSL trading academy
- 4. Increase net worth to £80k (+100% YoY)
2020 – The first full year as a full-time entrepreneur
Phase 1 – Manchester & Munich, preparing for the big journey
The year began in Manchester and I was essentially getting ready to get out of there.
My plan was clear, find a way to break-even on expenses and then move to Bali. In early January, I wasn’t quite sure yet how I’m going to achieve that, but later in the month, we signed a new client with Tritium Growth Partners, the first client I was going to manage. This gave me a constant income stream for at least the first 6 months of the year, so I was packing my bags, selling my stuff and booking a flight to Germany, my home base.
Destined to only briefly visit Germany and moving on to Bali rather soon, my plan was to only stay for 2 weeks in Munich. Unfortunately, health issues were plaguing me during that time (Corona?) and I had to delay my flight to Bali for another 2 weeks.
Then in early March, it finally was the time – I was going to leave Europe behind me and embark on a journey into the crazy, wild world of Asia.
Phase 2 – The journey begins
My Bali journey started with humble beginnings.
Initially, I could only afford a small apartment with a balcony in a two-story house. The kitchen was shared with another tenant occupying the bottom floor.
My daily driver was a small Honda Vario 125cc scooter and I essentially worked out in the local gym in the morning, then worked in the local co-working space in the afternoon and did my trading session at 9 pm at night. US market open is at 9.30 pm here in Bali.
Soon thereafter, it was only mid-March, we signed another client with Tritium and another client I was to manage. This boosted my income from March quite significantly and life just began to improve a lot.
I ditched my 125cc scooter and upgraded to a 150cc Honda PCX – the premium model here in South East Asia. Also, I was able to move to a nice 1 bedroom Villa with private pool and had a lush time there. I was even able to join the local premium gym, which came with a large Pool area, Sauna, Co-working space and other extravagances.
Life was good, but it was soon going to be much, much better.
Phase 3 – Corona strikes
From around May, Corona was striking with full force. While Bali never experienced any “lockdown”, like we’ve seen it across Europe and much of the rest of the world, the most drastic measure they applied, was the restriction of any foreign travellers entering the country.
Now, Bali’s income is about 80% based on tourism. And without any new tourists entering, only about a couple of thousand internationals remained on the island. As a consequence, the demand for things like hotel rooms, villas, scooters, motorbikes, restaurants, etc. plummeted by over 90%. Well, what happens when demand plummets, but supply essentially stays the same? Exactly, prices plummeted, in some instances by as much as 90%. On average, what you could before buy with £5,000 per month, you could now afford with only £2,000.
All of that meant for me: I got a brand new motorbike (Yamaha XSR155) in addition to a scooter. I moved into big-ass villas. I enjoyed stays in luxury hotels and resorts for a few days each month. I enjoyed lush dinners in luxury restaurants. And all of that for a fraction of the costs it would’ve cost before the pandemic.
So in a way, Corona did come exactly at the right time for me and it probably was the best thing that has happened in 2020. I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.
On the business side of things, this period was also going really well for me. For a few months, I fully managed the client-side of Tritium Growth Partners myself, which gave me another boost to my income from that workstream. Towards the end of the year, we signed yet another client, albeit stopped working with the previous two ones. At least it kept things steady.
And that was about it. 2020 wrapped up for me. The pandemic is still ongoing and there isn’t any official announcement just yet, when things are going “back to normal”. So as long as they are “abnormal” I enjoy my time here and I’m hoping they’ll keep staying abnormal for a little longer.
My 2020 Goals
Let’s review my 2020 goals, as outlined in last year’s recap.
Two ticked, two missed. 50% success rate. You can’t always win, but don’t be afraid of making decisions. There’s always another day / month / year, where you can try again.
So let’s get into it.
1. Move to Bali
Definitely ticked this one off. I was so desperate to get out of the cold and rainy UK, that this goal was all the way at the top of my list last year. I figured once I’m in Bali everything else will somehow work itself out. Well, it wasn’t entirely true, but nonetheless life here was so much better than if I’d stayed in Europe, especially with Corona going on.
I’ll continue to stay in Bali in 2021 and have some more goals I want to achieve around here, before moving on to a different place.
2. Figure out a way to break-even on monthly cashflow (£1,500 per month)
This was going hand in hand with moving to Bali and I ticked this off early in the year with Tritium Growth Partners. What I didn’t expect was that I was able to far grow this workstream beyond the £1,500 per month threshold. At times I even made over 4 times of that. On average my monthly expenses were coming out at £2,700 in the end, so I definitely realise I’m living a bit of a lush life here. But why wouldn’t I?
3. Become profitable in day-trading
This one was my 3rd priority and I was working on it almost every day. Unfortunately, in the end, it just wasn’t enough to achieve it. As further explained in the DSL Trading section below, I had a couple of successful months during the year, but overall I’ve still not cracked the game. I’m far from giving up on this though. In fact, this will move to my highest priority for next year’s goals.
4. Start a new venture
I wasn’t really focussing on this one in 2020. I guess it would’ve been nice starting a new venture in 2020, but after all, I just didn’t come up with anything feasible. And besides, I was quite busy with Tritium and DSL Trading already. I’m not keeping it on my list for 2021 either as I have other plans.
Here you find a quick overview of my ongoing workstreams, which are Dan Schenk Life, Investing, Day Trading, The Navigate Group and Consulting with Tritium Growth Partners. Under Dan Schenk Life I’m grouping all sorts of income-generating streams and not just developments on this website.
My total profits are at an all-time-high. It is particularly good to see that within 2 years you can beat your old full-time employment salary by being self-employed and following your own gameplan.
Total Profits 2020 (all workstreams, excluding any gains/losses from investments): £46,365
Dan Schenk Life
The Dan Schenk Life workstream, unfortunately, wasn’t doing such a great job in 2021. I would’ve wanted to concentrate on it a lot more and building out this website, building a bigger community around it and posting more regularly about my various workstreams, esp. the DSL Trading workstream.
In June, the only month of the year where I was having a blast with DSL Trading, I actually started the new DSL Trading section. However, I only managed to post 3 weekly recaps, then my trading activity went downhill again and it wasn’t really sensible to keep going with the documentation of it.
I’ll hopefully be able to revive the section next year.
In terms of profits and losses, there were just two entries. One of them my eBay-store, which I was shutting down earlier in the year. The other one was one donation coming through via dan-schenk-life.com. (Thanks again)
All in all, slightly in profit with this one, but I’m hoping that I can scale this next year, when I’m having more time concentrating on this.
Profits and Losses
Total Revenue: £153
Hosting and Domains: £130
Total Costs: £130
Total Profits: £23
You can read my full investment portfolio review for 2020 here.
2020, what a year it has been.
Initially, everyone thought this is it. The bull market is over and we’re at the beginning of a brutal bear market for many months and years to come.
Funnily enough, the bear market only lasted a couple of weeks and before we knew it, we were already coming out of it. At the end of the year, the FTSE indices are still in the red, but overall the market has seen much enthusiasm. Especially the NASDAQ recovered with immense speed and confidence and already made new all-time highs in June, just 3 months after the devastating lows in March.
My portfolio has been doing great this year, too. I’ve outperformed all my benchmarks and finishing on a solid 25% gain.
Overall Portfolio Performance
DSL Trading didn’t go so well in 2020 yet again, even though I was so close mastering the game, only to lose it all again.
January and February I wasn’t trading in my live acount, but merely practising in a simulator. Back then I was refining a strategy on the US market.
Late in March, I was finally going live with that strategy, and it actually looked very promising indeed.
In March I was profitable, then April I was about at break-even. I recognised I needed to refine some variables, but then in May and June it really took off. In June I was able to bank over £1,200 in profits, which was a big milestone for me. I thought I might have cracked the game.
Unfortunately, in July I had the worst month of my career and essentially blew all the profits I made the 3 months prior again. Puh. What now, I asked myself.
I tried a few more times on the US market afterwards, but it just didn’t work out. So, in November, I went back to the UK market with a new strategy. The first two months so far also don’t seem to work out very well, so I’ll be figuring out in January, what’s the game plan going forward.
2021 will be the year, where I really want to focus on this workstream and finally master the skill after over 3 years of trying.
Total Profits: – £1,422
The Navigate Group
We were actually shutting this business down during the year, as we haven’t been able to scale this. Part of the plan was to find people in Bali who could help us leveraging this business model, but Corona kind of prevented that from happening.
Maybe in some kind of future, we’re trying this again as the business model does seem sound if there was a leverage effect which could be utilised. Just what is that leverage effect going to be?
In terms of profits and losses, we made a bit of revenue, but the hosting and domain costs trumped the incoming revenue by a large margin, so all in all a loss-making venture in 2020, hence we decided to pull the plug for now.
Profits and Losses
Total Revenue: £84
Hosting and Domains: £178
Total Costs: £178
Total Profits: – £95
Consulting with Tritium Growth Partners
Working with Tritium Growth Partners went really well in 2020. Who would’ve thought at the start?
I experienced a nice growth curve on this one. Initially, I was just doing some freelance work on an hourly remuneration model.
Then we signed the first client which I managed, which saw me moving to a monthly retainer model. Steady income for 6 months – it’s been quite some time since I experienced that.
Then we signed a second client which I managed, too and I got a second monthly retainer on top.
A few months later, I took over the client-side operations of Tritium Growth Partners. Now being a partner, I was eligible for a part of the profits of the business, which gave my income a further boost.
After that, things slowed down a bit. We stopped working with two of the clients after the initial 6 months term and signed a new one instead, which is larger than the two previous ones combined. So in a way streamlining our operations for more efficiency.
All in all, a really solid year, however, also a lot of effort was flowing into this. I was essentially working every day on this workstream, always being available for our clients. This obviously had an impact on my other workstreams, which had to step aside a little bit. In 2021, I want to figure out a way, how to invest less time into this workstream and distribute my time more evenly across all of my workstreams. Also, removing the dependency on clients will be a major goal for 2021. But more about that below. First, let’s have a look at cash-flow and Net Worth.
Total Profits: £47,577
Cash-Flow and Net Worth Update
Cash-Flow management was always one of my major concerns in 2020. Two reasons why that was the case. First, I still had some debt to pay off, which came due in mid-2020. Also, I haven’t built any cash cushion yet (after depleting the previous one in 2019 when becoming self-employed), which I could fall back on when payments got delayed or sudden expenses appeared, which exceeded my monthly income.
So, I always had to be tight on budget and ensuring positive cash-flow every month and putting enough aside to pay off my outstanding debts.
In the end, everything worked out well. I was able to clear my debt and am in the process of building up my cash cushion again.
On the outgoing cash, the largest post by far was my living expenses. I guess I was enjoying myself here in Bali, after all.
The second largest position was rent, which is quite little comparing to the places I actually lived in. Then travel, leisure, gifts and funding my trading account to round things up.
On the incoming side, the only significant post is Tritium, which is a bit of a dangerous dependency, which I’ll be working on removing next year.
Health Insurance + Health Expenses: £790
Living Expenses: £14,703
Travel / Leisure / Gifts: £2,654
Trading Account: £2,050
Business Expenses: £935
Total Outgoing: £33,357
Tritium Growth Partners: £40,069
Sold Assets: £299
Dan Schenk Life: £15
Total Incoming: £45,512
Net Cash Flow: £12,155
My overall net worth had a steep rise in 2020. I started out with only about £16k and finished the year at over £40k. That’s a 152% increase YoY, which far exceeded my expectations. The strongest increase was seen in Q4, when some long outstanding Tritium invoices finally got cleared as well as my investments seen a huge increase in their value.
At the end of the year, I’m having 62% in investments, 38% in Cash and the rest in Assets. Against that standing 3.2% short-term liabilities, which isn’t much compared to my cash position.
At the end of 2021, I would want to see my investments increase further, but want to especially increase my high-risk assets, to where I count my trading account and some crypto assets. In the goals below, I line out where I would like to see my net worth going in 2021.
Assets: £228 (0.6%)
Cash: £15,361 (38.4%)
Investments: £24,739 (61.8%)
High Risk Assets: £976 (2.4%)
Liabilities: – £1,265 (3.2%)
Total Net Worth: £40,040 (+152% YoY)
Outlook for 2021
2021, let’s bring it on. I couldn’t be more excited about it.
I have done some mind busting brainstorming sessions, meditation and reflection of what I want to achieve in 2021. Here it comes:
- Take a break from E-Commerce and focus 100% on DSL
- Open the entrepreneur house in Bali
- Launch the DSL trading academy
- Increase net worth to £80k (+100% YoY)
For each goal, I’m breaking down the benefits, prerequisites, status-quo and steps to achive it.
1. Take a break from E-Commerce and focus 100% on DSL
So, in 2020 I was obviously concentrating a lot on e-commerce. And while it definitely has its positive sides, it is also vastly time-consuming and has limited scalability. After all, there are only so many clients I can manage at a time. So, in 2021 I want to focus on removing the dependency on this workstream and focus more on Dan Schenk Life, particularly the DSL trading workstream.
The benefits of achieving this goal are more upside potential (greater scalability), more freedom and independence as well as more interesting and fun to work on. After all, I have been doing e-commerce for over 5 years now and it is getting kind of repetitive.
In order to achieve this goal, I have set the following financial prerequisites: Overall net worth: £50k, split across into 6 months cash reserves and the rest in investments. Also from a DSL Trading point of view, I want to achieve 3 months of net profitable trading, before I jump full time into it.
Status Quo is a net worth of £40k, so I’m £10k short at the moment. Also, I don’t have a single month of net profitable trading right now, so that’s something to work on in 2021.
The steps, to achieve this goal are the following: First, I need to earn on average £6k per month with Tritium for the first 3 months of the year. Also, I need to limit my expenses to £2.5k per month. That leaves me with savings of £3.5k per month or £10.5k over 3 months. Enough to close the gap. All the while, my portfolio value needs to be kept stable at its current value.
On the trading side, I will be practising every day, refining strategies, testing out new strategies and reading more books in the space to educate me further.
Then, once I’m fully on DSL with my head free from other distractions, I hope to be able to truly leverage this workstream.
2. Open the entrepreneur house in Bali
This goal was already kind of planned for 2020, but the pandemic crossed this off the list rather quickly.
The plan is to open an entrepreneur house in Bali, where likeminded individuals live, work and play.
This would come with the benefits of having a community of likeminded individuals that fuels growth within each other. It opens the possibility of potential partnerships. Also, living and working together sounds a lot more fun, than doing everything on my own. Lastly, the more people chip in for a combined cause, there’s a likely reduction in the cost of living as more assets can be shared amongst the group.
Prerequisite for this venture is that Bali re-opens its international borders again so that people from across the world can join in. Unfortunately, there’s not much I can do about this. I’m afraid I’m entirely in the hands of the government on this one for now as the borders are still closed as of the status quo.
The steps to achieve this goal are, first finding potential candidates, like in the co-working space, gym and my personal network. A few people already raised interest, however being out of the country right now with now way to get in. Once enough potential candidates are on the list, reaching out to them, discussing plans, budgets, locations and further details. Then searching for suitable properties and essentially getting started once one is found where everyone can agree on.
If you are interested in joining the entrepreneur house in 2021, please do let me know.
3. Launch the DSL trading academy
This goal depends largely on my first goal. Only, when having a track record of profitable trading, will I be able to launch the DSL trading academy. But this always has been one of the main inspirations for me of getting into trading in the first place. As it is only logical to build some sort of course, chat-room, mentoring, academy workstream, once you have unlocked a monetisable skill to teach others about it, so that they can unlock their personal freedom and independence, too.
The benefits of this goal are the further diversification of income streams. Also, there’s large upside potential in this workstream as it can be easily automated and scaled. Another benefit is, that this workstream actually involves having expenses via running ads, which greatly accelerates the collection of points on my credit card, which in turn reduces travel expenses.
Prerequisite for this goal is the achievement of goal 1 and on top extending my trading success to 6 months of profitability. As per status quo, I obviously haven’t achieved the first goal yet, neither do I have 6 months of profitable trading experience. So this goal will be something to focus on in the second half of the year, if everything goes according to plan.
The steps to unlock this goal are first to achieve goal 1, then start documenting my trading journey again here on Dan Schenk Life. After that, I’ll be getting a mentee to teach my trading strategy and will eventually move on to start with my Youtube channel, something I had on the cards for a while and one of the reasons I’m residing in Bali. Once I’ve gained some experience on Youtube, I’ll start building the trading academy.
4. Increase net worth to £80k (+100% YoY)
Lastly, a financial goal, to give my other goals some financial targets to fulfil and a framework for growth.
The benefit of this goal is purely getting closer to financial freedom level 4, which is having investments accounting for 20 years of expenses. At that moment, your investment returns are carrying your expenses and you won’t ever run out of money again, even without having any other income streams.
There are no prerequisites to this goal and my status quo is a net worth of £40k.
The steps in order to achieve this goal are the following. At the end of goal 1, my net worth is £50k. I’m planning to achieve this at the end of Q1 2021. My expenses are limited to £2.5k per month, that’s £22.5k for the 3 remaining quarters of the year, which puts my target income to £48k for the period Q2 to Q4. Also, I’m expecting gains on my portfolio of £4.5k to close in on that £80k overall net worth by the end of this year. (£50k net worth end of Q1 – £22.5k expenses + £48k income + £4.5k portfolio gains = £80k)
And that is the breakdown of my 4 goals for 2021. Other than that, my goal is to be happy in 2021 and beyond. What is yours?
I hope you enjoyed reading this Entrepreneur Recap. If you did, you can read other recaps and more content in my entrepreneur lifestyle section.
If you are an entrepreneur out there and you are reading this, please contact me over social or drop me a comment in the comments section below, because I would love to catch-up. I’m also planning to interview other entrepreneurs on this channel, so let me know if you would be interested in that.
And as always, if you have any questions, drop me a comment in the comments section below.
Take it easy!