When I shared how I was setting my goals this year many of you commented or emailed saying you’d like me to share quarterly updates. So, in this post I’ll share with you how I progressed towards my goals, what worked, what didn’t work, how I’m proceeding forward, and why.
It’s important to keep in mind that these are the only things that matter.
There are many people online that share their goals if they achieve them, but without understanding how and why they worked, and sharing what didn’t work along the way you won’t be able to extract the takeaways that would allow you to replicate the results you’d like in your own life. The successes or failures along the way to a goal and the lessons behind them are what to focus on.
Most people focus on the end result. The end result is irrelevant. The end result is just a byproduct of the actions and decisions that lead to it.
To make it easy to know what I’m referencing for each part, I’ll quote parts of that article where I laid out my initial goals/plans. If you have not yet read that article, I would highly suggest it. Not only might it give you a new perspective around how to set your goals, but it will allow you to fully understand what I’m referencing in this post, so that you can follow along with me this quarter, as well as the rest of the year.
“For this year, my priority goal is less focused on just one specific end result, but moreso on certain actions I’ll take. Instead of one yearly priority goal, my priority goals will be set in quarterly intervals, keeping in mind certain things I’d like to achieve for the year, but optimizing the quarterly goal setting for happiness and enjoyment, rather than progress towards one yearly priority goal…
How I normally operate is to set a yearly priority goal and if I want to guarantee its achievement I just reverse engineer it and let all other goals be secondary… nice to hit, but not at the expense of the priority goal. The big difference this year is that in some sense I have several ‘secondary goals’, although since I’ve eliminated most other distractions maybe I’ll have a chance of achieving them all as if they were priority goals. We’ll see. My priority goal adjusting per quarter allows me to dive 100% into something on a sprint basis, and either eliminate if I don’t enjoy, or double down if I do….
What I’m working on(writing) will be a new challenge for me, and so I’ll be tweaking the ways in which I try it, and going down the path I most enjoy.
So, there’s not necessarily a specific yearly path with a plan like this, but all I know is I’ll enjoy it and it will lead to good things.”
Go as far as you can see, and when you get there you will see farther. – W. Clement Stone
First quarter priority goal
My priority in the first quarter will be releasing an average of one article per week to the blog. So, by the end of the first quarter I’ll have 13 new articles posted. However, even though it’s a number goal, the focus is on quality, not quantity.
First quarterly goal: successful
Here are the 13 articles that were published in the first quarter:
Blog post 1: How To Achieve Your Goals (9,605 words)
Blog post 2: Sunk Cost Fallacy (3,739 words)
Blog post 3: The Packed Gym of Failure (1,948 words)
Blog post 4: Dream Life (3,242 words)
Blog post 5: 4 countries in 4 days, with a ‘94% chance of living’ (4,467 words)
Blog post 6: How To Set Goals If You’re Not Sure What You Want (11,638 words)
Blog post 7: Arnold Schwarzenegger Infrastructures of Wealth (2,200 words)
Blog post 8: Learned Helplessness (2,524 words)
Blog post 9: Easy Business To Start: The ForeverJobless Free Business Idea Edition (4,685 words)
Blog post 10: Don’t Cap Flow State: Extreme Hyperfocus (1,991 words)
Blog post 11: Entrepreneurial Quicksand (2,313 words)
Blog post 12: James and the Giant Bamboo (2,710 words)
Blog post 13: The Penny Stakes of Business (1,819 words)
I experimented with a few different types of posts, and really just tried to write content that I thought would help you think in a different way or see something from a new angle. 13 posts may not seem like a lot, but I published over 50,000 words in quarter one.
“My list and traffic is likely to grow as a result of publishing high quality articles, which is something I enjoy, but I’m okay sacrificing significantly bigger numbers for enjoyment”
I overestimated the amount of shares I’d get just from publishing the articles. So, I need to adjust my strategy and spend some time on marketing. I’ll be limiting the time I spend on it so that I make sure I’m still optimizing for enjoyment, but I’ll be pouring some marketing gasoline on ForeverJobless in Q2.
“That’s the benefit of having these sprint goals. If I was tied to a certain long term goal without knowing exactly how certain parts of things will play out as I progress/achieve quarterly goals, and learn what I’m enjoying most, I may continue for a year doing something I don’t want to do.”…
“if you’re so busy doing whatever takes up all your time, you’re unlikely to realize how little time you spend doing what you should actually be doing.”
In taking a step back and evaluating what worked and didn’t work each quarter, as well as what I enjoyed and didn’t enjoy, it allows me to fix what’s not working, keep doing what is, and proceed accordingly.
I even spent a day doing an in depth expected value breakdown, which takes a lot of work but is extremely clarifying and worth the effort. I’ve considered offering that as a service to larger businesses as it’s surprising how many people are fooled by the wrong metrics, and how significantly your upside changes when the right numbers show you what’s up.
Most people blindly continue with whatever they’re doing.
Huge flaw that limits success and happiness.
“knowing your strengths is a very important variable to knowing what you should be doing, and very few people know their strengths well. It’s easy to think you do, but since what we’re extremely good at often comes natural to us, it’s not easy to realize what you’re incredibly good at isn’t so easy for others. You don’t think of a normal skill of yours as incredible because it’s not difficult for you, which actually makes it incredible.” …
- “Find the best way of expressing your thoughts: writing, one-on-one conversations, group discussions, perhaps lectures or presentations. Put value to your thoughts by communicating them.
- Seek audiences who appreciate your ideas for the future.
- Your futuristic talents could equip you to be a guide or coach for others. Unlike you, they might not be able to see over the horizon. If you catch a vision of what someone could be or do, don’t assume that he or she is aware of that potential. Share what you see as vividly as you can. In doing so, you may inspire someone to move forward.”
The strengths exercises I went through last year made me realize I should spend some time personally working with others. I’ve been spending time each week working with a small group of ForeverJobless subscribers in a mastermind. In some ways it happened by accident. In the calls I did for subscribers last year, one person reached out to thank me, and mentioned he wanted to be part of a mastermind group. I had been considering starting one for serious subscribers, so him and I started doing calls together each week, with the idea that once I decided to officially launch/promote a mastermind, more people would join… but I never publicly launched/promoted it. And… I realized I liked it a lot. It clearly wasn’t about the money I was getting or I would have rushed to fill up a group. I enjoy helping and sharing in his progress.
The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come or not come, whatever they like. – Steven Pressfield
“I decided my goal for the new year was to not focus on making any money, and to put out content that I thought was important, and helpful for people. Money can be a distraction, and lead us to unintentionally do things for that purpose. If money comes as a byproduct, cool, but I’m putting zero focus on making money this year. If I make $0 and release the content I’m planning on releasing, it will be a good year.”
With no focus on profits, I accidently started monetizing as a byproduct of providing value. A number of people started emailing wanting to join the mastermind and I didn’t even promote it. Most people don’t even know I run one. I just casually mentioned it in a post. Provide value, and you don’t have to chase money. Most people have the two reversed and struggle badly.
“I really get excitement out of helping people who will take action. So, it’s somewhat irrelevant to me how many people I reach if I’m not helping them change their lives. I’m less concerned with quantity. If I have a platform of 1 million people and none of them do anything, I’d rather have an audience of just 100 people, who all take action and change their life.”
I never used to spend time coaching. The mastermind group is an awesome group of guys, and they’re killing it. It’s a blast to do. The members of the group are moving towards some big goals, and it’s exciting to hop on calls each week and hear about all the progress they’ve made. It’s fun working with people who are committed to results. They take any ideas they get from the calls, and they go execute. That is fun to be a part of.
“No matter what it is, I learned that no matter how much I want to help, I need to stop getting sucked into investing time if it’s not with action takers.
Non action takers won’t do anything with the time you invest, and normally want it for free, so it’s not helping you or them. Action takers will reap rewards for you and them both now in the future, and I don’t just mean monetarily. It’s fulfilling to share a part in people’s success.”
One of the posts I released in Q1 detailed an easy business to start, and detailed how to think about it in a way that would allow someone to be successful with it if they took action.
I was hoping to get bombarded with emails of people taking action and starting this service. And I did get bombarded with emails…. but mainly from people who wanted me to solve it for them. 🙁
It was really frustrating to see so many people read it who claim to want success so badly, who don’t have an idea to work on yet, not take any action.
Consuming is the opposite of producing – Noah Kagan
Don’t let reading articles alone confuse you into thinking progress is being made. If you’re reading but not taking action you’re missing the most important piece of the puzzle.
Someone who read that article that wants to make more money or start a business, didn’t have an idea to work on, and didn’t take action needs to take an honest look at themselves and ask if they’re fooling themselves.
It’s not me trying to be negative for those of you that didn’t take action, it’s me genuinely wanting to help you.
I won’t lie to you and give you the ‘rah rah, “you can do it” like all the other blogs do because they want you to buy their courses. You CAN’T do it if you don’t take action.
You need knowledge, yes.
But then you need to execute on that knowledge.
One comment that stuck in my mind was from the post about how to set goals:
This really made me stop to think. It’s a huge problem, and one that honestly stumps me. There’s so many people who want their life to change, but aren’t planning to take the action needed to change it. I’d like to think the content is helpful in turning non-action takers into action takers. Based on some emails I’ve gotten, I know it’s working for some, I just wish it was happening with more people.
It’s an interesting problem to solve, but not one I’ll be dedicating a significant amount of time to at the moment.
I know that to achieve what I’d like to achieve this year I need to stay focused on my own goals, and dedicate any additional time to helping those who are taking action.
“What I put out is only successful if it positively impacts your life in ways that others could not produce. I want to help those who are taking the action to help themselves.”
“ForeverJobless has likely been the most undermonetized site in the space, and it’s not really accidental… money and ego don’t really act as the drivers for me.”
I know at some point I’ll need to monetize to grow and have the impact I want to have with ForeverJobless. I want to have a bigger effect on the world by teaching people how to think more optimally not just in business, but in life.
My friends and I joke that right now I spend money to work for free 🙂
When you monetize in some ways the money you make is calculating how much value you’re providing. Obviously that’s not an entirely accurate statement, as it’s easy to pour marketing on something people don’t need and spend your energies convincing them to buy it like many do. But if you’re actually offering something for money and people pay you for it, they’re saying that they believe it’s valuable to them. People vote with their money. If they wouldn’t pay for something, they’re saying it’s not valuable enough to them.
I haven’t 100% decided how yet, but at some point I’ll need to monetize to help grow ForeverJobless, to be able to help more people. My goal still isn’t profits this year. My goals remain the same. I actually plan on putting 100% of any proceeds back into ForeverJobless this year. Creating revenue streams would enable me to hire extra team members if needed, as well as produce a project I’m considering that would take a sizeable investment to make happen.
I think you’ll like what’s in store the next few quarters.
The artist must operate territorially. He must do his work for its own sake. To labor in the arts for any reason other than love is prostitution…
When the hack sits down to work, he doesn’t ask himself what’s in his own heart.He asks what the market is looking for…
The hack condescends to his audience. He thinks he’s superior to them. The truth is, he’s scared to death of them or, more accurately, scared of writing what he really feels or believes, what he and himself thinks is interesting. He’s afraid it won’t sell. So he tries to anticipate what the market (a telling word) wants, then gives it to them….
In other words, the hack writes hierarchically. He writes what he imagines will play well in the eyes of others. He does not ask himself, What do I myself want to write? What do I think is important? Instead he asks, What’s hot, what can I make a deal for? The hack is like the politician who consults the polls before he takes a position. He’s a demagogue. He panders…
It can pay off being a hack. Given the depraved state of American culture, a slick dude can make millions being a hack. But even if you succeed, you lose, because you’ve sold out your muse, and your muse is you, the best part of yourself, where your finest and only true work comes from. – Steven Pressfield
Whatever I do I know I have to have this mindset.
Despite being an entrepreneur and understanding the obvious, that you make more money if you give the market what it wants, there’s a big part of me that doesn’t care what the market wants. If I learned and started offering snapchat classes right now I’d make a killing, because it’s “hot” at the moment. But I’d hate it.
Teaching you how to think is most important to me, and what no one is doing. That’s obviously significantly more difficult to monetize, but it’s where my focus is at the moment.
Here’s a few questions I ask myself when I’m considering doing something:
Is this valuable for people?
Is this more valuable for them than what exists on the market?
Am I happy doing this?
Does this help me reach my goals?
- I will write a book that changes the way people think.
- My fitness goal is getting to 2.9% bodyfat(calipers) while weighing 150+ pounds.
- I’ll create a high quality singles event, or something similar that makes meeting high quality people more efficient.”
The priority goal will always be what the quarterly goal is. So, there’s a chance I double down on a specific goal and a victim could be one of the yearly goals, but that’s okay. As long as I ensure accomplishment of my priority goal(which at this point will be re-set each quarter for me), I’m happy.
The book is being slowly written alongside of the articles. After thinking about it and getting feedback from Jay Papasan, it’s not something I want to rush to get done. I still plan to achieve the year end goal, but blocking off 2-3 months and doing nothing but the book to complete it asap isn’t the way I’ll be going after it.
Fitness was a surprising fail for me this quarter. Little injuries and other excuses kept me from going more than I should, and my eating was okay, but could have been better. I used the minor injuries more of an excuse for days off than I should have. Q2 I’m going to heavily ramp up. Despite being okay with letting secondary goals be a victim to accomplish quarterly priority goals, this is one that with relatively small effort can have a significant impact on your life, so I’m disappointed in efforts here in Q1. In the next three months I expect a pretty drastic body change from myself.
Reached out to a few people about it, but no real focus here. If it was to become a reality this year I’d have to dedicate some real time to it, as it’s not something I’d just want to throw together, and unless I wanted to just pile money into hiring people to create the event, it’s not priority enough for me to focus on at the moment.
Q2 priority goal:
As mentioned I spent pretty zero time marketing in Q1. I sprinkled a little marketing on in March, but Q2 I will dedicate enough time to at least double traffic.
For the amount of time I put into content, it’s silly not to get it in front of more people. Since it didn’t snowball into more eyeballs on it’s own like it sometimes will, I need to create the outcome I want. If you’ve read both of my goal posts (How To Achieve Your Goals and How To Set Goals If You’re Not Sure What You Want), you understand that traffic doubling this quarter will not be something I hope happens. The result will happen because I’ll structure the actions I take this quarter to insure that it does. Reverse engineering your goal simplifies the process. The goal is all but achieved already, the actions just need to be checked off.
The traffic was really small this quarter due to purposely not focusing on marketing.
Month before I started(when I was not really doing anything):
January was when I decided to give a priority effort to writing/ForeverJobless. Here’s how the quarter looked:
I don’t necessarily want to spend my time marketing, but it’s something that needs to be done. At the moment, it makes the most sense for me to do it. In the future, I may have someone else handling that focus.
Despite the priority goal this quarter being to double traffic, I plan to publish an additional 13 articles.
My focus will continue to be on writing, while pouring enough marketing gasoline on ForeverJobless so that traffic at least doubles.
I’m going to try what I’m calling ‘Elon days’ in Q2. Elon Musk is known to split his days between his several different companies. A few days dedicated 100% to Tesla, a few 100% to SpaceX, as well as a little bit to SolarCity. Now, I’m obviously not launching rockets and changing the automobile industry with tens of thousands of employees, but the model still makes sense to try. I’ll just be doing it within ForeverJobless. Here’s an tentative test schedule I’ll be trying:
Monday: Marketing Day
Tuesday: Writing Day
Wednesday: Buffer Day
Thursday: Marketing Day
Friday: Writing Day
Saturday: Free Day
Sunday: (you’ll find out soon) day 😉
I’m still living in Cape Town at the moment.
In a few weeks I plan to head somewhere new, possibly back to Austin for a bit, or to Barcelona. Also considering Vancouver as an option.
To sum it up, here’s what to expect in Q2:
- Follow along as I double traffic this quarter
- 13 new articles
- New projects being released for you
In closing, if you or someone you know would benefit from being a part of the ForeverJobless mastermind, email me for details.(note: it’s not for beginners, mainly consists of 6 figure business owners).
If there’s anything else you’d like to see in these quarterly reports, comment below and let me know. I plan to release another next quarter.
Thank you for all of your comments on my posts, they help motivate me to write more for you.
What are your goals for quarter two?
Let’s do it!