My Biggest Achievements (and Failures) of 2020

And the total income I earned from my side hustles. Here’s my recap of my past year before going wild on 2021 prospects and plans.

Gracia Kleijnen
8 min readJan 2, 2021


Person wearing Nike sneakers with raised arms jumping from rock to rock in rocky desert. Sunset in the background.
Photo by Doran Erickson on Unsplash

It’s been an hour that I’ve been staring at this blank, digital sheet, finding it hard to get anything on paper. Did I really do that poorly in 2020? Am I afraid to come clean with my accomplishments? Afraid that they won’t be seen as “good enough” by others, and mostly, by myself? I’ve come across and read quite a few end of the year posts written by indie makers, online entrepreneurs, YouTubers and fellow writers. They’re pretty impressive.

One tweet stood out to me today about how someone made $3 Annual Returning Revenue (or ARR) in 2020. My immediate thought was, $3 what, thousand? Spread out over the entire year? But no. Guess what. There was no typo and there were no digits or commas missing.

That put things back in perspective for me. When I read about business owners having gone from five to six or seven figures per month, I gasp. But we all start at zero. They started at zero once too. Chances are they either got lucky, or they’ve been in the game for months, if not years, and they probably worked hard and smart for it.

When you’re at zero, it can only go up. Not too bad of a prospect either.

At the beginning of the year when Covid paused the world, I was terrified, worried to death about things I had no control over, such as other people’s behaviors, their health, how national governments would handle the pandemic.

I spent three months in total lockdown for the first time. Without any possibility to do leisurely activities outside of the house anymore, my FOMO ebbed away. There was nothing going on anyway, therefore nothing to miss out on in the “real” world.

As I got used to this “new normal”, I started shifting my focus on things I could control. There are some side projects I wished to work on “sometime in the future”. I’m good at postponing things. I’ve practiced it a lifetime. Why not now? Why wait? So off I went, dabbling in projects that I was interested in or that were put on my list to be postponed eternally. Below the results in recap.



Gracia Kleijnen

Sheets maker. Comic illustrator. Words on relationships, mental health, productivity & self-development in 35+ pubs. 📕Book author: