Kevin Bell

The Most Epic End Of Year Review You'll Ever Read (2023)

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Kevin Bell

I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions. Not because I don’t like setting and achieving goals, it’s actually the opposite. I like setting and achieving goals SO much that I don’t feel the need for a new year to do those things.

It’s the same way I feel about not needing to wait until Monday to start a diet or workout routine or new habit. If I really want to start it, I’ll start it now.

And while this has always been my approach to accomplishment, I’ll be totally honest with you; that’s allowed me to be in a state of “lazy motivation”. In my heart of hearts, I’m driven. I am deeply passionate about achieving the things that I want to achieve and doing the things that I set out to do, and BECAUSE of that, I’ve coasted year after year running on fumes of my passion. This is not enough.

I can’t pinpoint the exact origin of this mindset shift, but there are a few possible reasons that come to mind.

  1. I’m not satisfied. Don’t take this as “unhappy”. That’s far from the truth. I’m extremely happy. But I know the Bell Family is capable of more. I know that I can do more. Through my role as a provider, husband and father, I am not at my full potential. Far from it. And it’s this realization that is making me look closer at how I stack each year and what I need to do differently to obtain the results that I’m looking for.

To name a few:

The reality is that I cannot guarantee 2025. No one can. I’m planning on it, but without being morbid, things can change in an instant. Especially in the line of work I’m in. It’s a reality that we don’t like to talk about much or really even think about, but it’s the truth.

  1. The second variable that has changed my perspective on planning out the year is that my girls are getting older and much more “with it” and attuned to what we’re doing than they’ve ever been. For as young as they are, they have crazy busy schedules. My oldest has school 5 days a week and a variety of extra curricular activities that my wife shuttles her around to daily. My youngest is in pre school 3 days a week and then goes along for the ride with my wife and oldest most days as well. The point being that before we know it each week is completely planned out, then the month, then the quarter then the year and boom, 2024 is over, on to 2025 and we were in the same exact rut, doing the same exact things, rinse and repeat.

I want more for my kids than that. I want them to experience NEWNESS and excitement and adventures and change as early in their lives as possible and front load these times with family. One of my favorite books is The Family Board Meeting By Jim Sheils. The sub title of that book is

“You have 18 Summers to create a lasting connection with your children”, and that pretty much says it all.

All this to say is that if I’m not planning these things out and truly being proactive about what I want to do for the year with my family and my business, I’ll have to wing it. And as much as I love to just show up and perform, I have too many things I want to accomplish to leave them up to chance. So here we are.

Inspired by Matt Ragland’s WRAP, I’m using the same acronym to to wrap up the year as I embark on the BEST YEAR YET.


What went well? What am I proud of in 2023?


What were the results of my goals and intentions in 2023?


Are my actions and habits aligning with the person I want to be?


Based on my 2023 review, what do I want to pivot—or plan—in 2024?

Furthermore, when I started 2023, I may not have started the year with the same veracity or momentum as I am with 2024, but I did break down my goals into a few different categories. Again, it was fairly haphazard, but it was a something concrete to shoot for. As I write out the 2023 WRAP, I’ll share those with you in the results section. Those categories included HEALTH, WEALTH, RELATIONSHIPS & GROWTH.


While I’m not yet to “where I want to be” on a business level, there are MANY wins that I can’t disregard.

Business Wins Of 2023:

The year started off with a pipe dream of owning a storage facility. My business partner and I had connected in September of 2022 and formed a partnership nearing the end of that year. Starting the year we were in an infancy phase of the process. By the end of the year, we have become resident experts.

We hired and trained a team of virtual assistants to help us scale and work in our business while we worked on it.

We then took that team and founded an agency to hire and train VAs for other investors. This ultimately allowed us to offset the costs of our own team.

While we have almost entirely pivoted from the agency business we built, it served its purpose and fueled the “machine” for months that we wouldn’t have been able to ourselves otherwise.

These first few months were months of massive learning as we fine-tuned our skills for research and acquisition in order to generate as many leads as possible for potential investment opportunities.

In this time, we connected with a business mentor that took our storage business to the next level. We entered the mentorship with a couple very specific goals. We left the mentorship having accomplished both. We knew exactly what we needed to do to purchase our first self storage facility and we needed to expand our team with people that filled the holes in our skillset.

Leaving the mentorship, we had founded a private equity group and we're honing in our process as a team of 4.

As momentum continued and we found a rhythm as a team, we had some very big wins.

  1. We found a capital partner that put trust in us enough to invest in our venture.

  2. We built an extremely loyal, hardworking and dedicated team of virtual assistants that works for us.

  3. We made it back to our annual self storage conference and built a strong network of connections over the week.

  4. Our first annual company retreat took place just prior to the conference and allowed us to connect on a personal level.

  5. We purchased our first self storage facility in Kansas and couldn’t be more excited. While it’s a long way from where we want to be, we are on the game.

It almost seems unreal to say out loud that we have a storage facility. And while I want to celebrate that success, I know that it is only the beginning of the journey.

It’s a success, BUT just another brick that we are laying in the cathedral that we’re building here. FULL transparency, the storage facility is cash flowing, but we’re running lean. Even with a capital partner, this has been a labor of love. My personal investment came from a HELOC. And even though the facility is doing well, I still have a HELOC payment that wipes out the profit on my end. I’ve accepted that and know this was a necessary evil to get to the next level. This is a level of risk that not everyone is comfortable with, but rest assured it’s a calculated risk that I am more than willing to take on.

Personal Wins of 2023

I can step into 2024 with confidence that this year has been one of incredible growth. And maybe most of it being on a personal level.

My day job is as a police officer. And even though I don’t wake up in the morning with a passion to police, I’ve started to find my groove in this career.

My purpose for being an officer derives from my desire to:

  1. Take care of my family


  1. To help others

Early on in this career I realized that there was something more out there for me to do. Something that actually fired me up. Truthfully, I wish it was my current career. That’d make things much easier. But I’m called to entrepreneurship and I’ll continue to grind until I can make that transition.

Where I have found some solace, is in a little groove I’ve carved for myself at the department. 3 things aligned this year to really help.

  1. I’ve been doing Jiu Jitsu for about a year now and have had some success.

  2. I’ve been a part of our department running team and ran a few races.

  3. I’ve found a niche in the special detail I’m in, working with the homeless.

It’s an interesting combination of things that have helped me feel like I’m in a groove at work finally, but nonetheless, I’m thankful.

I wish I didn’t have to be away from my girls 40+ hours a week, but that’s just the nature of the beast right now. More than anything it has provided a perspective that I wouldn’t be able to understand from any other place than actually being in the trenches, as I am.

The perspective is that of a side hustle warrior. Those that are in the 9-5 grind, only to get home and work the 5-9 on something else. It’s the juggling act of family, work, business and continuous self improvement, that seems impossible to navigate at times, but the end result is worth it all. When you know that you were meant to do great things, NOTHING, not even a full time W2 will stop you from doing those things.

I wouldn’t know what that feels like without actually being in it. And through this journey and more specifically this year, I’ve leaned into the idea of going from 0-1 and then 1-2 and these beginning stages of an entrepreneur. I’ve started building a platform for other like minded entrepreneurs also trying to “make it”.

Others that are trying to hone take their ideas and businesses to the next level, but don’t know how. This is a passion project but truthfully, I’m building something that I wish I would’ve had myself.

Along with that project, I have a couple other things I’m working on that fires me up. one of them being a privately contracted company specific to homeless outreach, enforcement and clean up. It’s taking the skills and experience from the homeless detail I work for the police department and filling the gaps that I see in the process. Forming it into a contracted company that works for various cities in the county.

The fun thing with this is that I’m getting to learn a lot about contract work. This is a different animal. Instead of building the business and then hoping for customers, the customers already exist and $MILLIONS get allocated to that industry annually.

In this case it’s just a matter of finding who distributes the funds and pitching the business. It feels completely backwards, but it’s been an incredible experience building this proposal and working through this process.

Along with the entrepreneur platform and the homeless outreach company, I also find excitement in writing for my newsletters. My following is small, but I believe what I write is worth reading. Even if it’s just one other person out there that needs to hear it. It wasn’t until this year that I made any of what I wrote public. I was an iPhone notes blogger for years and finally broke through the “resistance” of sharing my work. It first started in Medium then I built out an entrepreneur blog and now I have my main Kevin Bell site and newsletters that stem back. I couldn’t be more proud. I have so much room to grow as a writer, but it feels amazing to have a “flow” of the content that I create.

Often times, it’s my writing that really fills me up. Taking the lessons, experiences, failures, successes that I learn through the weeks and putting them into actionable words is a satisfaction unlike any other. Even writing this now, it’s all I really want to be doing. I’ve started and stopped this over the past few days, but I’m in the home stretch and can’t wait to have a finished 2023 wrap “product”.

It’s the culmination of all these things that I’m doing and have done this year that have built a confidence in me that is ready to take on the world. I’m not at the level of success I want to have, but I’m doing the things that I need to do to get there. I feel confident that I can face head on the obstacles that will inevitably pop up and cause friction on my path. More than anything, I’m looking forward to the “to do’s” on my list and continuing to grow.

Above ALL, my biggest wins this year and EVERY year are my girls. I won when I married my wife. And for some reason, I won two more times when my daughters were born. They are my everything. And I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t deserve them. My wife is on another level of awesome and my girls are just the sweetest, kindest most joyful little girls I’ve ever met. If I lost at everything else this year, I won with them. As I do every year.

Speaking of my awesome wife, a personal win for her is a win to be noted here as well. She’s a bada## at many things. One of them being a bookkeeper. She decided to start her own bookkeeping business. This one is big! She’s so smart and capable, but she’s never wanted to be an entrepreneur like that. It’s so cool to see her stick her neck out there and build something of her own.

The Bell Family has been busy this year. Lots of wins and many more to come in 2024.


Listed are the goals that I set and accomplished this year. Crossed off means it wasn’t complete, check means it was.


1. Compete in two more triathlons

  1. Compete in 1 jiu Jitsu comp ✅
  2. Two 30 day “cuts” ✅
  3. Run Baker to Vegas ✅
  4. Try Persist programming ✅

I originally wanted to compete in two triathlons, but as the year played out, my interest shifted to Jiu Jitsu. I ended up running in two races, but not triathlons. I also competed in one Jiu Jitsu comp and now I’m itching to do more.


  1. 2 storage facilties under contract (1 ✅) 2. Generate an extra NET 5k a month other than police job for at least 2 months in a row

  2. Hire a VA ✅

Major accomplishments here, but still not at the level I’m shooting for. We had some great success, but it was inconsistent and all profit was going right back in to fuel the business. I’ll carry that goal with me into 2024.


  1. Begin family board meeting ✅
  2. Find a mentor ✅
  3. Two Bell ONLY vacations ✅ 4. 12+ date nights a year with Kate ONLY

Great results here but I fell short with date nights. Maybe 12 was too overzealous, or maybe we just have young kids and it’s hard/expensive to have a babysitter all the time… either way, I can do better. I’m working on hitting 6 in 2024 and sprinkling in mini family adventures that we can look forward to every other month.


  1. Read 24+ books (physical books) ✅
  2. Listen to 12+ Audio books ✅
  3. Move the needle forward with writing a book ✅
  4. Become Conversational Spanish ✅
  5. Maintain ASL skills ✅

Checked all of these off. I LOVE learning so this was an easy category to stay on top of. What I’d really like to lean into in 2024 is what it would actually look like to write a book. I’ve gotten the momentum going with my newsletter and blog, but as 2024 rolls by, I want to make more progress towards a first book.


Of course I want to answer yes to this. We all would. But if I’m being honest, I’d say that I fall short. This isn’t an excuse, but I personally think that anyone with a growth mindset will always feel like they fall short. Instead of this being something to feel inadequate about, I’d encourage you embrace the areas that you fall short and let them fuel you to boil those habits up.

Health and fitness for me is always on track. Perhaps obsessively. I wrote an article about this a while back that might provide a little insight to how I am working on finding balance with my health and fitness obsession.

I pride myself on my discipline with several aspects of my life;

All of those habits are very much in alignment with the person I want to become, but there are also several things that I really need to work on actively.

This is a big one. I don’t even want to share with you the amount of screen time that I’m notified about every Sunday. It’s not from mindless scrolling on social media, it’s all business related. Whether through writing articles, emailing, talking with my team, doing research, or something else related to a project I’m working on, it ALL feels necessary in that moment. But each and every time that I finish and come out of my phone cave, it hits me that I wasn’t one bit present with my family during that time. I know my kids see it and my wife sees it and it is not fair to them.

I justify it with the fact that all I’m doing is FOR them, but at the same time, they didn’t ask me to do these things. They didn’t say “dad, I want more things. I want a better life. I want a bigger house. I want to go to the best colleges. I want to be taken care of forever…”

They’ve never once said that to me. I’m doing this for them, but I’m also doing this for myself. Which means that it’s also a selfish act and I have to remember that.

Nothing that I’m doing should trump the need for me to be present with. My family. Kids spell “love” T I M E. The song Cats In The Cradle hits harder and harder each year as I get busier and busier with all that I’m doing. Another reference that I think of often is the movie Click with Adam Sandler. If you haven’t seen it, you should. It hits hard. Needless to say, I have a lot of work to do and in this area, I am not in alignment with the husband and father I want to be.

Specifically related to my wife. It’s funny, we’ve been married just about 10 years now and have been together for 13 and we are still learning about each other and growing with each other every day, and I love it. I pray that continues forever!

Just the other month we had some growing pains as we learned some new things about each other. It’s almost embarrassing to admit this with how long we have been together, but things like this change over time and as we’ve grown up together, aspects of us like this have grown as well. The realization was that I was giving words of affirmation to her because that is what I like to receive. I feel appreciated and loved through THAT love language, so I give it. But as you know if you’re familiar with the Five Love Languages, not all of us are the same. My wife is all about the acts of service. She gives them and feels loved to receive them. Not big on the words of affirmation. While she appreciates me telling her how much and why I love her, she’d rather come home to dishes being done and the house cleaned up. It was a huge awakening for me (and her) and something that I was not in alignment with, and need to intentionally work on more.


As I look back on the year and bring this review to an end, I thought it would be fun to copy and paste this article into Chat GPT and see what it had to say on where I should pivot in 2024. The following are the headers from GPT but the verbiage beneath is from me.

Side note on AI:

The world is changing around us by the second. The time that we are in right now is possibly the equivalent of when the internet first was accessible to the world. I use AI in various forms weekly not to replace the human touch, but to enhance it. As a writer (amateur at the most) and avid reader, I believe that there will always be more value in human written word. In fact as time goes on, I believe that will only INCREASE. I don’t make enough to talk about with my writing at them moment as you can see from this pic 👇

Kevin Bell

But I love doing it. Theres something incredibly therapeutic about expressing, teaching, processing and sharing, through the written word. That’s why I don’t write with AI. Instead, AI is just another tool in my tool belt. Seth Godin wrote a great article about this as well.

Off my soap box and on to my 2024 Pivot:

Family Life Enhancement:

Business Growth:

Personal Development:

Stepping into 2024, I now have a plan. Inspired by so many to put this together (Matt Ragland, Jesse Itzler and Jim Sheils to name a few), I have also come up with a blueprint of what I want to go after this year. I give this blueprint to you to do with it what you wish. Maybe you already have yours and if so, awesome. Maybe you need to but one together and this can be YOUR inspiration.








Things to note:

It has taken me almost a week to fully flesh this out. I started it at the very beginning of 2024 and have been writing this in small windows of time while on vacation with the family for the first week of the year. In hindsight, I should have started this in December, but better late than never. I’ll learn from this and be more on top of it the next time around.

I’m sharing all this to you, but more than anything, this was exercise for me. A way to summarize the year and process through the good, bad and ugly. I want to be better in all aspects of my life and the only way to truly experience that growth is to accept my shortcomings and work towards filling those gaps. I am thankful for each and everyone of you that stuck with this article to the very end. Time is the most valuable commodity and the fact that you lent me your time does not go unnoticed.

Until next week, continue to stay in the fight.


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