In two years (aka 730 days), I will be 50 years old. Fifty years is a landmark. By some accounts, it’s the official onset of middle-age. My ex-wife used to consider 40 to be middle-aged. I am holding onto the illusion that 100 isn’t the end of the road. Nor is 80, nor 55 nor April 27th, 2018. I spent too much of my life being chased to be chased by death and fear. Three years ago, I turned around and I started to fight. I started to question what I should be doing. I questioned how I should be acting. In 730 days, I will have spent five years on that journey. I won’t be done, but I have a vision of what April 26th, 2018 will look like.
I want to crystallize my goals. When you stare into an undifferentiated mass, you can’t tell what is important and what you need. When one is in that state, there’s no apparent route to success. I have a mission for the next 730 days and on each of the next 730 days, I will inch towards these goals. Some of these goals will be accomplished well before 2018. Some (like the dream house), will be only beginning to become real by 2018.
Be Bold and Mighty Forces Will Come to Your AidThere is a lot to be said for announcing your goals and embarrassing yourself into fulfilling those goals. If I keep these goals in a secret document and share them only upon my success, then I can quietly hide them should I fail. To Hell with that. I want to succeed and if embarrassment is an incentive, so be it.
The House(s)Later this Summer, we’re buying a serviceable townhouse-- one we will give to the kids in five years. By April 26th, 2018, I will have put the down payment on property for the house that Erin and I will really want: rural, big, scenic views, growing space, a way to generate electricity (micro-hydro, wind, solar). Victoria is an expensive place to consider property. I have a plan in mind for how to pull this one off.
The IncomeAs an employee, I can only earn so much. My skillset, as an employee, is not worth $500k/year. I need variance and scale. Being an employee where I am right now is a different version of the hardest job I’ve ever had: I don’t want to go. I actually like my boss, my co-workers and everyone in the chain of command. If the big goals were still possible, I would never leave. Being an employee serves me now. By 2018, it won’t.
VarianceThis year, I am going to regroup with my consulting. The renovations hit me hard: lots of distraction; lots business interruptions and a hit to my reputation. With the rest of this year, I am going to scale my business. I am doing web design. I am also working on products-- WordPress themes as a part of a partnership, and a software-as-a-service product-- something I have percolating to help guerilla marketers. I am going to work on turning my Rebuild into a plan of action that other people can follow. What I do in the next two years will demonstrate how I have a plan that works. My mission on that front: form up the plan and organize it into digestible and reproducible way. When that plan is ready, I’m going put it out there as a book, a series of videos and a series of learning tools.
ScaleBuilding websites makes money, but it doesn’t make a lot of money. I will always have enough to survive, but not enough to thrive. Building products is my way to scale. The two IT project directions lean on what I do well: tech. The Rebuild project leans on what I am doing to reform my life to bring about a more fruitful life.
WorkflowI want to stop punching a clock. I will change over to a life that is project driven but affords a lifestyle worth living. I want to work full out on a given project and nail it. Then, I want to breathe and reset. No one buys a half down project. I am okay with long hours and focus. As I scale, I want to involve other people who are experts in areas where I am so-so. The goal is to get a whole system in place to support a big operation.
ResultsBy April 2018, I want to be netting over $300,000/year before taxes but after I pay out my assistants. It’s far from impossible. It takes focus, delivery, scaling and some luck.
The Self-ImprovementsOver the next two years, I want to cross the finish line on a number of goals; and I want to start, run and finish a number of new races:
“Finish” The DietThat’s not what you think. “Finish” and “diet” do not go together. I want to get my goal weight of 180 lbs. That’s about 80 lbs. away, but I have already gone 50 lbs. down this road, so I just have to finish. When I “finish,” the diet will continue to keep me in a state of good health.
Take Up Acting (kind of)In doing a video series, I need to build up my mojo. My delivery has to be better. My oratory has to be better. I have to be purposeful in my performance. The way to improve myself on those fronts is two-fold. First, begin acting classes. I don’t intend on performing King Lear. I only want to get a solid footing on how I portray myself. Second, I am going to enroll in one of the local Toastmasters chapters. If acting enhances my body language, Toastmasters will enhance my ability to talk about a topic and engage an audience. My improving my delivery, getting my message out will be more effective.
Get Good At MarketingProducts need sales. Sales need marketing. I am going to delve deeper into how web marketing works and do it. The exercise is such a well tread road that all I need to do is commit to following a plan of action to get my products into the hands of happy customers.
The Possibilities of Joy and ExplorationI am going through an exercise of ontological coaching. One key piece of the puzzle of me is power. I have been equating power with coercion. Who has the upper hand? Who wins? Who can control me? The fixation on the yin-yang of power and powerlessness has to stop. I have come off of a long spell of having the joy wrung out of my life. I ceded the power I needed to be able to determine what I wanted in my life. I participated in a power exchange when I should have focussed on self-determination as a way to make joy possible. I have agoraphobia. In part, that’s an internal drive for control-- to close down the variables and live small on my own terms. My ontological exercises have been about embracing unsafety as a way of being. If I can solidly dismantle agoraphobia, I can take my life on the road. Last year’s trip to Europe was about that exercise: do something that would bring me joy; and put me in a position to explore. My self-improvement will include the possibilities of joy and exploration.
In 730 days, I want to be healthy and prosperous fifty-year old. The next month or two will involve the early stages of execution of my big plan; and the planning for where I am going.
My question to you: can you help me accomplish this?
Announcing goals: yea or nay? https://puttylike.com/to-announce-your-goals-publicly-or-not/
Addendum: Since posting this, I kicked things into high gear. In 2013, I started a process to overhaul my life: The Rebuild
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