2011: The Year for Wildly Ambitious Goals
I read a statistic that showed a relatively high percentage of people give up on their New Year’s resolutions within the first few weeks of January (sorry, no reference link for that), so I thought to myself, “why not wait until a few weeks into January to even create my New Year’s resolutions and goals?”
In all seriousness, I just haven’t had the time to sit down and think about them, and I really believe this isn’t something a person should take lightly. If you’re committed to reaching your goals throughout the year, you need to be willing to put in the initial time to create high quality goals – that is, goals that actually motivate you to act and achieve them.
Let’s Talk About Other People First…
This probably happens every year (and I’m just more in touch with it now because I now read a million different blogs), but it seems like everyone within the circle of blogs I follow is touting 2011 as “the year” for big things.
Before I go into my goals, I thought I’d link to some other bloggers’ 2011 goals that I found particularly interesting and inspiring (mainly because of how crazy/awesome they are):
- Andrew from Renegade Writer plans to make $1 million, among other ambitious goals.
- Murray from Murlu.com plans to do a ton of things, including the creation of 5 or more premium guides, launching of a new business, creation of an e-commerce website, and earning $3,000+ per month online.
- Ian from PPCIan.com wants to become the VP of marketing at his corporate job, grow his affiliate revenue by 500%, and narrow his focus on niche websites.
- Pat from Smart Passive Income has a great list of goals (as you would expect), including the launch of a coaching program, new WordPress plugin, and a new business.
My Primary Goals for 2011
When it comes to setting goals, I’m somewhat of a pessimist (or maybe just a realist). As much as I’d love to think “I am absolutely going to accomplish all of these goals!” I know that it’s not always possible. I’d much rather set the bar high and fall short of my goals, than set my goals in a way that allows me to easily reach them. To me, if I’m easily crushing my goals, it means I didn’t put enough thought into creating them.
Don’t get me wrong – the goals still need to be attainable. Let’s jump into them, shall we?
#1 Dominate and enjoy my new “9 to 5” job
I briefly mentioned this on Twitter before, but haven’t talked about it on the blog yet. About a week ago, I quit my job as a tax consultant at the public accounting firm I was working at. I’m still a CPA, but my new job is in an entirely new field. Now, I’m an executive recruiter, helping companies find top talent with respect to accounting and finance professionals (and conversely, helping experienced accounting/finance professionals find good opportunities).
I’ve only been doing the job for a week, but it’s already significantly more exciting than my previous job. It’s a completely different work environment (I now work with 4 other people instead of 20-30 other people). Maybe I’ll eventually get sick of it (like I did with tax consulting), but for right now, I’m digging it. It’s a weird feeling to actually enjoy my day job.
Enjoying my “9 to 5” job is only half of the goal, however. I also want to dominate it. Executive recruiting is kind of like sales when it comes to how we’re compensated – there is a base salary, but then we’re also paid based on the job placements we make. The reason why I love this is because now, hard work = more money. I’m responsible for how much I make and how I go about scheduling my day, so the job does have a certain entrepreneurial feel to it.
Furthermore, I feel good about what I’m doing. I’m finding people amazing jobs. I’m solving a huge problem for clients. I feel the direct impact of my work more than I ever have before (note: I haven’t made any deals yet – I’ve only been in the profession for a week, which has mostly consisted of training).
In my previous job, I could work my ass off (we’re talking 80-90 hour weeks during February, March, and part of April), and I wouldn’t see any additional money in my paycheck. Granted, we were compensated in other ways (we were given way more paid time off compared to other professions), but I still never felt rewarded for my hard work. Eventually, that can kill your motivation, especially if you’re not interested in what you’re doing to begin with. Even during time when I felt the compensation was fair, I never could see how my hard work was directly helping someone’s life, even though it was (in a more indirect way).
The big problem with this goal (and the reason I’m talking about this goal first) is that it directly conflicts with most of my other goals. The more dedicated I am to my day job, the less dedicated I can be to my online passive income goals. Not to worry – I’ll strike some sort of balance over the next few months.
The “make money online” blogosphere paints such a negative picture of the “9 to 5 grind” that it’s hard for me (and probably many of you) to imagine a life where we actually want it to be part of our overall plan.
#2 Start a new authority site that will eventually earn $2,000+ per month
You’re probably thinking: “Wait a minute, Eric. You’re going to take on another significant project? Don’t you have enough on your plate, especially with your new job?”
For this site, I’m actually going to partner with my sister, who is going to take the lead on content creation. My work will primarily revolve around the site’s structure, implementing various monetization strategies, and ensuring that the site becomes wildly popular, both through SEO and interaction with the niche’s community. Unfortunately, I can’t reveal the niche quite yet – we haven’t even started working on the site.
The one thing I will say – this niche is highly competitive and lucrative. By the end of the year, I’d like for this site to be earning at least $500 per month.
#3 Lay the foundation for my own “real” business
While a lot of people strive to get away from “real work” in favor of being able to live off of passive income, I’m actually looking forward to actively working – for myself, that is. I can’t say much about the business right now, but the goal of the business will be to help small/local businesses with their growth, via the internet.
In 2011, I don’t necessarily want or need the business to be fully functional, but I’d like the foundation in place. I plan on forming an LLC, writing a killer business plan, formulating my marketing plan, and in general, taking the time to set the business up for a successful launch.
#4 Continue delivering high quality content on My 4-Hour Workweek at least 1-2 times per week
This goal is important to me because my blog is essentially the hub of everything else I do. This is going to be the spot where I continue giving status updates on my projects and explaining what’s working and what isn’t working.
I’m not trying to become the next big internet marketing guru blogger. If you follow the progress of most of the mainstream bloggers in this niche, you’ll find that ultimately, the bulk of their online income is earned through telling other people how to make money online. Even the most reputable bloggers, where this was never their intention, have shifted toward making most of their money by telling people how to make money online.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it – I’m simply saying, that’s not where I envision this blog going in the future. Yes, I make money from affiliate links on this blog, but I want that income to be completely insignificant compared to everything else I’m doing.
#5 Finish my Amazon niche site challenge by the end of 2011
The great thing about goals is that you own them, and you can tweak them when it’s reasonable to do so. Originally, my goal was to create 4 new niche sites per month, which I’m finding to be doable, but it’s not effective when you don’t have the time to properly develop each site.
Therefore, I’m going to try to work more at a pace of two new sites per month. I may still create 4 new sites in a month (I believe in the efficiency gained by batching certain tasks), however I may then take the following month to further develop those sites instead of creating new sites.
My ultimate goal is still the same: I want the collection of Amazon niche sites to generate at least $20,000 per year as part of my passive income portfolio.
#6 In 2011, earn $100,000 between my online income and offline day job income
I don’t care what the split is – I could earn $90,000 in my day job and $10,000 online, or I could fail at my day job (and earn $50,000 there), yet earn $50,000 online.
To some people, this isn’t a lot of money, but I would feel like I’ve achieved a great accomplishment if I could crack the six figure mark in 2011.
What are your 2011 goals?
I’ve shared mine – now I want to hear yours. Feel free to either link to a goals post you’ve written on your own blog, or simply write your goals in the comments.