5 Failures and Successes in 2014


I’m sitting in a hotel room in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I’m supposed to be on Christmas break but you know me… I’ve been working, doing business deals and setting up new campaigns all week.

It’s been a hell of a year and I’ve been trying to figure out what to do for my last few posts of 2014 and I finally decided to do a quick review of the year.

Life is full of ups and downs and this year was no exception.

Listen, I’d love to tell you that everything went perfectly over the last 12 months (and sometimes it’s tempting for us to twist reality a bit for our online profiles).

But I’m just going to keep it real and let you know that while I had some successes I totally failed at some things as well.

My guess is you probably did too – and you know what? Thats ok. We all f#ck things up from time to time. Here are some things I totally screwed up on this year and a few things I succeeded at as well.

Here are 5 Failures and 5 Successes from 2014.


  1. Didn’t Release any Music. As (most) of you know I’m a musician. I set a goal a few years ago to release at least one set of music in some form or fashion every year for the rest of my life. I did write 10–12 songs on a new Cordoba acoustic I got – but none of them have been recorded (yet), so for 2014, it’s a zero. Update: I just realized this came out in Jan 2014, so win!
  2. Writing Every Day. Earlier this year I made an attempt to write on the blog every day. I think I lasted about two weeks. And I did get a few good posts out of it. But it was too much work, especially for a website isn’t my full time job. So I quit.
  3. Traveling to A Different Country. Earlier this year I set a goal to have two international trips in 2014. Totally failed. I didn’t travel outside the country even once. Mabye next year.
  4. Going Carless. I wanted to sell my car this year and go carless. I did cut back on my driving to almost zero and started using Uber for everything. But the car is still in the garage. It stays parked there, losing value for about 25 days a month. It’s still on my Omnifocus todo list. Maybe next year.
  5. Social Life. Every year I say I’m going to socialize more. And every year I seem to find a way to avoid it. Once again I spent way too much time alone. I’m not a total hermit. I mean, I have a circle of friends – and I spent some time with a few very lovely ladies this year. But I still kept most of my time for myself. More and more I’m beginning to feel that it’s just my natural state. I’ve been telling myself to “get out there more” since I was 18 years old.


  1. Systemized Marketing Campaigns. I’ve been launching campaigns since late 2008. My process has always been pretty chaotic and ultra-aggressive. Luckily for me, that works a lot of the time. But this year I decided to take a different approach and document the things I do that work the best and turn them into a system. I have systems for each traffic source I use now and it’s getting pretty hard to lose money. It also reduduces my stress levels because I always know what my next move is going to be. Big upswing in profits this year using those systems. Total success.
  2. Started Writing Music On An Acoustic Guitar. I bought a Cordoba nylon stringed acoustic guitar. And it’s the greatest guitar I’ve ever owned. I started writing a song as soon as I picked it up in the store – which is why I bought it. It reminded me why I used to write on acoustic guitars in the past – because it’s effortless. When I write on a computer or a keyboard I have to force it a bit. When I pick up an acoustic guitar the Universe sends music through me, into the guitar and into the air (really). And songs flow out like water. Total success.
  3. Best Shape Ever. This year I deepened my focus on the physical body and got into my best shape ever. I did a 4–6 month lean bulk trying to hit 160 lbs lean this year. Then I decided to cut my waist size to see what happened and it was a game changer. Right now I’m 5 lbs heavier than I was last year and I’m just as or more lean. I’m starting to feel like I know what I’m doing now.
  4. Helped A Friend Get In Shape. I’ve been secretly coaching a friend in the art of Intermittent Fasting and Leangains this year. He was dieting but wasn’t working out and asked me for help. He trusted me and followed my instructions exactly. In his latest progress photo he’s totally lean and ripped… probably in the top 10% of all IF / Leangains cut photos I’ve ever seen. It’s crazy how transformational this stuff is. He’s 5’11 and went from 215 lbs of fluff to 148 lbs of lean muscle and ripped up abs. My favorite quote from him is “I never felt like I could be that guy…” (“that guy” being someone who is ripped to shreds and not a total douchebag). I know the feeling bro, same here.
  5. Wrote at Least 1 Post a Week. This year I consistently wrote at least one post per week to the blog. I’ve never been consistent here so that’s a big deal. I normally write for a few months, then delete the whole website and start something new. But now, instead of treating it like a playground I’m consistently putting out content and building a big ass audience. So thank you for coming to the site each week and checking it out.

Now, obviously a lot of other stuff happened as well. But if I went into detail on every success and failure I’ve had this year – this post would be so long you wouldn’t even read it. So I kept it short and sweet and relative to what I think you might identify with the most.

I think it’s important to take a look at your year and see where you won – aaaaand where you lost. You won’t improve if you don’t learn from your past. The goal isn’t to be perfect, or to have a failure-free life. It’s to be able to withstand life’s disasters and failures without breaking down.

You want failures. If you’re not failing you’re not trying. So if you can’t find some things you totally failed at last year you need to step it up in 2015 and take some chances.

Because trying… puts you in a position to win big.

Blast it out in the comments: What is one your failures and one of your successes this year?

  • Westwood

    Just curious why are you going carless?

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      #1. Because I’m a really bad driver
      #2. Because I want fewer possessions

      • Claudio

        #1 is probably one of the rarest things on this earth, as 99%+ think they are above average at driving XD

        • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

          haha Claudio, I admit it. I can get lost with 2 GPS systems. And I just don’t pay attention to where I’m going. It’s so much easier to pay a driver and just hang out in the back seat.

          • Matthew Geer

            “And I just don’t pay attention to where I’m going.”

            I said something similar to mom today.

            I had to do some driving this weekend, which I rarely do since I work from home.

            I forgot how much you really have to pay attention and how (mentally) exhausting it is.

            Funny thing, too, because driving itself (in a straight) line is simple and boring. And I find it too easy for my mind to start wandering to other (more important) things.

            I’d much rather let someone else drive so I can be distracted without being dangerous to others around me.

  • Kirill Sofronov

    Thanks for this, its much more authentic than “5 achievements this year” and people can relate to the fact that we all are just human beings! Hope to buy you a drink @ ASW in case you are going!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Kirill, I’ll be at ASW but am normally pretty elusive.

      • Kirill Sofronov

        haha, challenge accepted 🙂

  • Nikola Cvrtnjak

    Hey Malan. Just stopped by to say thank you for all the great info you posted this year. Anyway.. Merry Christmas and happy new year! I hope you’ll achieve all your goals in 2015!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      Thanks Nikola and thanks for regularly reading.

  • Petre Veluda

    Thank you for writing this year Malan, it really helped all of us a lot. See you in 2015. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      You too Petre. Always great seeing you around here and on the Q&As.

  • http://www.reidmoto.com Reid Yamamoto

    I learn as much from your posts about what’s not working for you as I do from your posts on successes. I can relate to the social hermit thing as I get so wrapped up in what I’m doing on the computer. But it’s fun being around people and I need to work on this too.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      that’s why I like conferences Reid, you can socialize with people that actually know what you mean when you say “my CTR just bombed on some new Italian banners. Gonna have to have some more translated and load them back up”

  • Ken L

    Many thanks for a great year of posts Malan!

    You and Dr.Ngo are the guys I always find time to read without missing a post. Actually right now, you have a slight edge (nothing of yours has gone in the “Read Later” folder for a long time…)

    Merry Xmas and look forward to reading more from you! (currently going through all your old posts and hoping to learn your fitness method in the new year!)

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      Thanks Ken – always good to see ya

  • Ken L

    Sorry did not see the request at the bottom of the post until now. Here goes…

    One Failure – Did not hit my fitness goals this time around (next time for sure!).
    One Success – Finally got around to building my targeted email lists up to a sufficient size.

  • jp ramire

    Please post a pic of your friend who lost the weight using IF/LG. Are you open to coaching?

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      I will if he’s cool with it. He’s not really a publicity hound

  • Stan Oleynik

    Have a great 2015 Malan, and thanks for doing what you’re doing! I’ve learned a lot from you during the past year and will never forget all your help!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Stan, glad to help. thanks for reading

  • George Taylor

    Hey Malan, great share as always.

    I can relate more to one of your failures than the others; Social life.

    I kinda feel the same as you in this way, I’ve been trying to be more and more social since I can remember, but I’m just naturally introverted. One thing I’ve done to improve this year is read the classic book, How to make friends and influence people. The book itself is kind of Cliché nowadays, but it really has helped me in the social life department.

    Since reading, I’ve seemed to have gone from just the guy who knows quite a few people, to having real, genuine friends. It’s also helped when meeting new people, as the book gives you techniques and strategies you can implement to make amazing first impressions, gain likeability, and develop relationships.

    I suggest you check it out if you haven’t already 🙂 Looking forward to your posts in 2015.
    P.s. will you be in london for the STM meetup?

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      i’ve read it George. and listened to the audio book just a few months ago. You’re right it’s solid.

      The meetup is going to be epic so I’m considering it. but I really don’t feel great about 15 hour plane trips – each way. I’ll lose my mind.

  • Nikola Sarac

    Hey Malan, I just wanted to say a few words…
    Your blog was a true revelation and inspiration for me. You helped me a lot and I can’t thank you enough. I wish you marry Christmas and happy New year. All the best buddy

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      great to hear Nikola. Stay tuned, there’s more on the way 😉 Happy New Year

  • hackventure

    Hey Malan, Merry Christmas man! You, together with Charles, stand up there as two of the biggest motivators in inspiring me to revive my blog for 2015, and I’m really excited about having as much fun as you guys seem to be having. Keep inspiring buddy, and I look forward to catching up with you at one of the ASW’s or STM meetups; aiming for the one in 2016!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      sounds good hackventure. get that blog running, it’s a good time. i’ll be at ASW, not sure on STM London

      • George Taylor

        He IS coming, we want you there Malan!

  • Joe Z

    I think you should use your blog as a success as well. Your following appears to be growing and that’s for a reason. Your production of useful information appears to be pretty fluid. It’s been awhile since I’ve followed different blogs/people but right now you’re a main person I do follow. I like what you’re doing and you seem pretty legit with a no BS mentality which I like. Keep it going man, you’re doing a good job with everything. I’m also going to start up on your lean gains. I’ve been reading up on your posts as well as the recommended blogs and sources for some of the other stuff involved with the lean gains. It sounds pretty legit and for 2015 I’m hoping to drops some waist lines and gain some nice muscle :).

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Joe. Leangains / IF is a game changer if it fits your lifestyle. Good luck with everything.

  • Yussef Gilkey

    I will sleep so much better at night when I develop proven processes for my campaigns. When you can say “it’s hard to lose money” that’s a huge accomplishment. Thanks this is one of my new goals.