Dreaming Big – My Goals
Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth.
—Niccolo Machiavelli, as quoted by Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek (2007), p. 220.
I thought it would be appropriate to kick of f the “new” blog with a post about my goals and where I’d like to be in the short and long-term. I like to think that the quote above is what will drive me in the future and really get me motivated to take action. People in general are often concerned with trying something new and ambitious, in fear of making mistakes. What so many people fail to consider is that not doing anything might be the biggest mistake of all. My current procrastination in my professional life is probably the biggest mistake I’m making right now.
In light of that, I want to publicly state my goals to have more accountability for them. I encourage you to do the same, wherever you have the outlet to do so (blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
Short-term Goals (within the next year)
1) Ramp up my focus on blogging and providing value – Right now, I do think I post often enough and I’d like to think that several of my posts have some kind of value-added element to those who read this blog. With that said, I think there’s a lot more I can do and I plan to do it. On my ride to success, I want you in the passenger seat with me. As I grow and discover great new things, why shouldn’t you? Look for this blog to really explode with new features and really become more of a resource than just another diary of a guy who is trying to improve his lifestyle.
2) Build a community – I’ll be honest – I’m jealous of people like Tim Ferriss, who not only lead an awesomely successful life, but have so many people who want to read his words and learn from him. I would never claim to be as wise as he and can barely dream of reaching his success level, but I really want to expand my subscriber base and get the word out that I’m writing about things that are worth reading. Success like this on the internet is incredibly difficult to come by. I’m not inclined to pour hundreds of dollars into advertising, or anything like that. What I plan to do at some point is to hold a contest and reward those who help spread the word about My 4-Hour Workweek. For those of you reading right now, hopefully you can look back a few years from now and be able to proudly say that you were one of the first members of the My4HWW Community.
3) Learn more about web design and web programming – This may stretch into a longer term goal, but it’s something I’ve always been intrigued by. As I recently converted my blog to WordPress and have been toying with the different things you do, I really wish I knew more about it. I sort of knew HTML when I was 14, but that knowledge is long gone.
4) Complete my “30-Day” Batching & Automation Challenge – Some of you may already view this challenge as a failure, especially because it will take far longer than 30 days to complete, but I fully intend to complete it.
Long-term Goals (1-3 years)
I don’t really want to look past three years for my longer term goals. So much can change in a few years, that I think it’s best to narrow my focus on long-term goals. To many people, 1-3 years is short-term.
1) Travel more – I’ve been out of the country a few times, but would never even begin to consider myself a world traveler. In the next few years, I’d love to travel and explore Europe and Asia (I’ll get more specific about which countries I’d like to see, later). This goal will be made possible by my other long term goals.
2) Double my income and cut my workload in half – Full disclosure: as a full-time CPA with two years of experience, I currently make about $57,000 per year. I should be promoted in the next couple of months, where I’ll expect to be making about $60,000 per year. I’m happy with this income right now, but my sights are set higher.
By the end of the next three years, I want to be making $120,000 per year. The catch is, I want at least half of that to be “passive” income, i.e. requiring no more than 5-10 hours per week to maintain. Just to keep this goal very specific – I don’t need to have already made $120k in a year by the end of the next three years. I simply need to be on a $120k/year pace ($10,000/month before taxes).
3) Quit my current job – It remains to be seen whether this is a short-term or long-term goal, but I’ll put it here for right now. I would say that this is currently the greatest barrier that I need to overcome in order to really start achieving all the goals listed here. No offense to my current job, but I have 100% come to the conclusion that it just isn’t a good fit for me. Why don’t I just quit already if it’s such an obstacle for me? Good question.
4) Find a passion (or two) to monetize – Blogging is slowly becoming a passion of mine, but it’s not yet something I want to monetize. All my life, I’ve taken a backwards approach. In college, rather than take something I enjoy and try to find a major or career for it, I took the major with the best chance of finding a job (accounting – within the business college) and went that route. Instead of taking what I liked about accounting (I’m not sure what that was) and finding a job that fit my likes, I took the job that I thought would give me the highest ladder to climb. I’ve learned through trial and error now that this isn’t a sustainable approach. I won’t say it hasn’t benefited me though. One way to discover what you like is to experience things you don’t like, and rule them out. I’ll likely make the same mistake again, but as long as I’m aware of it, I’ll benefit from making mistakes (“mistakes of ambition”).
5) Help others – I’ve never been big on charity or volunteering my time. Before you condemn me to hell, keep reading. I’ve realized recently that this is such a huge mistake. Over the past couple of months, I’ve volunteered my time to help less fortunate people by giving them free tax preparation. It wasn’t life-changing charity work, but it still helped. It also gives you a good feeling to leverage your skills and abilities to help those who are less fortunate, and I’d like to find other ways to do that.
To accomplish all of the above goals, I’ll need to break them down into smaller goals and tasks that can be tackled on a day-to-day basis. I have no problem setting goals that are extremely difficult to reach for, but I think it’s absolutely crucial to break them down into more manageable pieces.
Here’s to your success and mine.