As you know I started openly documenting my life and goals at the beginning of this year. (the initial yearly review/2022 goals were posted here, and my 1st quarterly review/goal progress was posted here).
This is my Q2 quarterly review, and Q3 goals.
My review weeks that I take are like ‘clarity crack’ for me.
I spend at least several days just sitting around thinking about the quarter, reviewing journals, what I want more of from the previous quarter, and what I want less of. Makes setting up the following quarter easy and I find my life continues going more in the direction it’s supposed to.
Let’s dive in:
Welp, I didn’t have to sue anyone this quarter, so that was good! Big improvement over Q1.
Here were the Q2 goals I had set for myself:
1. Complete the rough draft of my book and hand it off to my editor
2. Buy 50 properties
3. Be working less than 2 hours per day on any non unique ability activity
I always set 1-3 goals where the majority of my focus goes and I structure my quarter around accomplishing those things.
This was the biggie.
And I’m happy to say:
I officially completed my rough draft.
I’ve been working on this book for a long time – literally more than half a decade by I’m not sure how many years.
I’d get distracted by a new business or starting a real estate investment company, or dealing with health challenges, so it wasn’t straight-through, I’d constantly get pulled off course for a while, but always found myself coming back.
The book is dope and I can’t wait for you to read it.
It will completely shift the way most people think about money and decision making.
Still plenty of work to be done before it’s published- I hear I should expect roughly 9’ish months for all the back and forth revisions with my editor, and everything else involved in the process.
It’s an elephant of a draft, so hopefully my editor helps me turn it into something more digestible.
It’s around 140,000 words right now, which is bonkers for a non-fiction book and I’ll likely need to cut that WAY down.
A ‘normal’ non-fiction book is around 40,000 words.
I’d be very curious to hear about the length of book you’d consider reading. How many pages is ‘too long’ in your opinion for your own personal reading habits?
And while we’re on the subject of writing a book…
I made a big decision recently.
I’d been considering this for a little while but I like to sit on big decisions and let them marinate to make sure I’m feeling called to something for the right reasons, and that it’s not just a shiny object.
I was telling my friend Natalia about my decision a few days ago and she paired my decision with the perfect quote:
“Why do two things half ass when you can do one thing full ass?”
What was the decision I made?
I decided to go ‘all-in’ on being an author.
That sounds kind of ridiculous when you consider I’ve written zero books and besides these quarterly updates published 0 articles in the last 2+ years.
Interesting career choice for a writer that never publishes!
I’m not planning on publishing a book or two and hoping it goes okay.
I’ll approach it much like I did the RE bet.
I decide how I want it to go, then formulate a plan to ensure that happens.
Though I write that understanding that the variables involved with books are more difficult to predict.
With something like real estate you’re essentially taking an extremely similar product that everyone on the planet needs, and just devising a strategy that beats the competition.
It’s relatively straightforward.
With a book, you attempt to create something that doesn’t exist that no one is necessarily asking for, with the idea that people will want/need that more than what currently exists on the market.
So it’s a much tougher prediction to be made over a short time period, though as the time period lengthens it becomes more predictable.
I don’t necessarily have specific numbers and goals set up yet as I’m still letting that kind of stuff marinate.
Though, when I think of becoming an author…
Selling millions of books seems interesting to me.
Not from the perspective of ‘me selling x amount of books’, but to give a significant amount of people a paradigm shift that will positively affect their life.
Want to know how I’d sell millions of books?
I have no idea.
I’ve never sold 1 book.
For reference, the average book sells 2-300 copies.
I feel like these lyrics from one of my favorite artists(NF) fit how I feel around this whole decision:
I get that this would be considered a ‘silly’ decision. I have a real estate bet that has the ability to print money, and I see potential avenues where it could be scaled significantly. So, as an entrepreneur it’s kind of ‘ridiculous’ to say, ‘welp, I think I’ll go write some books now’.
But doing what you’re ‘supposed to’ do is a recipe for a life that’s not your own, no matter how free you believe yourself to be. Our conditioning has a stronger hold on us than we all think.
If I consider myself with the label as ‘entrepreneur’ or ‘investor’, clearly I’m ‘supposed’ to scale up something that’s already working/making a lot of money. It would be ridiculous not to.
But it’s more important to understand when you might be optimizing for the wrong metric.
If I want to write books, how much more am I going to wait to make before I do that?
At some point it gets ridiculous from the other perspective, NOT to do it.
I was on a walk with my buddy Chris last month, and we were chatting about this subject and he shared a great story with me.
He heard it from his mentor’s teacher about a guy who went to sit on a mountain in search of enlightenment. He sat there day after day, year after year. Then one day 25-30 years later, it was like a light came on. He did it! He saw the light/was enlightened.
Then he said,
That’s a good way of how I feel it would be to optimize for the metric of more(money), when any ‘more’ number I get to is just going to produce the ‘now what?’ question once I hit any new number I set.
If I already know what the ‘now what’ would be, and I’m already well past where it’s optimal to be optimizing for a different metric in life, I’m playing a flawed game if I’m continuing to optimize for maximizing green paper.
Maybe I should have made this decision a while ago, but as they say:
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now.
If you’ve read my stuff for a while, you know how analytical I approach things, which simplifies the ability to make decisions under conditions of uncertainty, but…
When we consider life…
Not knowing the exact date of our death doesn’t allow us the same level of simplicity in knowing when to optimize for what, due to the unknown variable with such a vast time frame range.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m having FUN with the real estate bet. It’s like real life monopoly I get to play. So it’s not the all too common situation of being unsatisfied doing something for money.
Quite the opposite.
It’s choosing to leave something extremely fun and extremely profitable, to enter a game I’ve never played just for the chance to experience something that may be more fulfilling and be able to change lives for fun.
I kind of have a habit of doing this. I’ll figure out how to succeed in a specific area, and then go hop into something else.
Exactly the OPPOSITE of what you ‘should’ do. It’s like an anti-growth strategy, at least around the metric of business/money.
Once I figure out how to make something easy, instead of just enjoying the ‘print money’ phase, I say, “welp, let’s go try something else I have completely no idea how to do”.
I find the ‘solving’ fun.
I’ve always taken these kinds of ‘risks’.
I was considering leaving my only job at 23 to attempt to become a professional poker player.
“That’s crazy you shouldn’t take a risk like that!”
It was worth it.
At some point in my poker career I decided I should leave the ‘dream job’ of professional poker player to start businesses.
“Dude, you have the dream life, why would you risk giving that up?”.
Well, to see if there’s a different dream life I might enjoy.
It was worth it.
When business got to the point of feeling very ‘easy’, I enjoyed sharing with others how they could use it to change their lives.
“You can make way more by just starting new businesses, why spend your time helping others?”.
Similar reasons as each of the decisions before.
Because I felt like I might enjoy it more.
Some of my students started having ridiculous results.
My groups kept growing.
I was getting more and more demand to start new Incubators.
I got the urge to write.
“You need to scale this, it could become huge. Why risk giving that up!?”.
But I did.
I was curious what it’d be like to write the book I’d been putting off for years.
That was a few years ago, and insert some health challenges that took me away for a while, followed by deciding to build a quick real estate empire upon starting to recover, I find myself in the similar situation I’ve found myself in time and time again.
“It would be insane for you to not scale this real estate business up and keep making way more money!”
But as you know I have a track record of being a bit ‘insane’ when it comes to making what would be considered ‘normal’ decisions.
I understand what I risk giving up, but…
The incalculable answer of what I have to gain cannot be understood without jumping into and experiencing the unknown.
“Pitiful is the person who is afraid of taking risks. Perhaps this person will never be disappointed or disillusioned; perhaps she won’t suffer the way people do when they have a dream to follow. But when the person looks back-she will hear her heart “
– Paulo Coelho
If I produced certain results that didn’t excite me as a ‘dabbling’ author, I would always wonder what would have happened if I fully committed to it.
If I don’t try, I’ll never know.
It’d be a lot easier to just print money in real estate, especially as this market shake up gets ready to provide incredible opportunities over the next few years.
It just feels right to me to go become a novice author instead.
“The hardest thing to do is to be true to yourself, especially when everyone else is watching”
– Dave Chappelle
Playing small/limiting beliefs:
I noticed recently I was falling victim to setting some of my goals smaller than I should in order to achieve them.
This can be poison.
I’m still getting over the sluggishness from the accidental consumption.
Back in January I set a yearly goal to acquire only 50 properties despite being capable of more.
I realized early on in Q1 that was extremely uninspiring, and adjusted accordingly, to where I’ve now acquired almost 2x the yearly goal just halfway through the year.
But if we don’t monitor ourselves it’s easy to put on blinders and just follow the path you’ve set, when you might be capable of much more.
I realize I’ve still been playing too small.
I had some limiting beliefs blocking the way I was playing the game.
I realized I hadn’t attempted to go all-in on becoming an author yet unintentionally due to being unsure about the results I’d produce.
And I don’t mean being afraid of failure. (who knows, maybe that too)
There’s all sorts of traps hiding in different crevices of this game.
As I thought through my decision from many different angles, I realized I was only not pursuing it because I wasn’t inspired by the expected results.
But with more contemplation, I realized that was coming from a flawed perspective, generated from a place where I was operating under the assumptions of ‘reasonable expectations’.
And these reasonable expectations were extremely unmotivating for me.
The thought of writing books and getting even what would be considered ‘great’ results, was not inspiring at all to me.
They say ‘comparison is the thief of all joy’’, but I realized it might also be the thief of all potential.
Robbing the possibility of what could have been by not allowing you to see what the world looks like if everything was limitless.
And it is.
The average author sells 2-300 books. Even if I sold 50-100x that amount, I found that to be very demotivating to consider the pursuit.
When I envisioned producing results that would be viewed as ‘way too optimistic’, it wasn’t inspiring for me to want to dedicate my limited resource of time to have such a limited impact.
Being kept in this prison of comparison, even if you have the best cell, you’re still an inmate trapped under the assumption you’re doing well because it’s more than what’s expected.
When you ask the question, ‘what is possible?’ you must also consider that you are asking ‘what is impossible?’. And if the definition of impossible is dictated by what others feel is an unrealistic result, in reality you are just taking the answers of those in the same ‘realistic’ box and viewing your limits within that box. That is not limitless.
By definition in search of what is possible, you are seeking where the limits are.
But they’re perceived limits, not reality.
And you have the greatest computer in the world right inside your head. So if you’re programming it to max out at achieving X, you won’t accidentally find yourself outside of the limits.
You will find yourself playing a ‘realistic’ game.
For a recently lived example that you’re familiar with, in a previous post I mentioned the only reason I was getting ‘unrealistic’ results in RE was I wasn’t attempting to pursue it in the same way everyone else was.
In operating in that way, I risk not having results that would be easy to replicate by just doing ‘what’s optimal’, but I also risk achieving ‘unrealistic’ results by giving up the ‘this is how you do it’ box.
If I was playing within the realistic box of real estate, shooting for 5-10 properties in year 1 may have been a ‘good’ goal relative to what’s thought to be ‘achievable’.
But as you know I approached it as if I knew ‘nothing’, and therefore created a strategy that was significantly more optimal than just attempting to be on the high end of the ‘here’s what’s realistic’ box.
If I could buy 1 property, why not 2?
If 2, why not 20?
If 20, why not hundreds?
No one could explain to me why that wasn’t realistic other than their equation didn’t allow for it.
I remember a conversation with a coach I was inquiring about hiring, and he said the results I wanted weren’t possible until many years later.
I said, “why wouldn’t I just do whatever it is I’d do years later, now?”
Needless to say, I didn’t hire him.
Eliminate whatever bottleneck(s) causing everyone else to stop at 1, 5, 12 or whatever number and the equation is more likely to spit out what you want it to spit out.
If instead you are aiming for X, X being a realistic result, the equation can rarely spit out MORE than X, and if it does it won’t be by much.
Because you’re structuring your game according to what others say you should be able to do.
Not what YOU are able to do.
This doesn’t mean that can’t be a phenomenal starting place to evaluate opportunity and reverse engineer how others are doing X.
Just something to consider when you are unintentionally placing limits on yourself.
I was doing this to myself with becoming an author.
It’s why I hadn’t gone all-in yet and I had no idea.
If you asked me what my favorite parts of writing are, it’s two things:
1. If I find out something I wrote gave someone a shift in their life. Or even just getting a message from someone telling me they loved something I wrote.
2. Finding the way to say something during a writing session that I know is about to find a home in the mind of someone that needed the shift.
Those are why I play the writing game.
So when I viewed the game through the lens of realistic results, it was an uninspiring game to consider playing (full-time) due to the limits of the people I could expect to affect.
I had to change the angle I was approaching the question with.
What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?
It’s an extremely clarifying question. You’ve probably heard it before.
It was overdue for me to consider it again.
Let’s say I knew I was going to sell hundreds of thousands, or millions of books, which would allow me to help a lot of people…
I would already be doing it.
So in essence, I was only not doing it because I wasn’t sure I would produce a result that appealed to me.
I obviously didn’t realize that’s what I was doing.
But I was.
So despite how unrealistic what I’ll attempt will be, it’s only chance of becoming a reality is to attempt the unrealistic.
If it’s ‘unrealistic’ to sell 10,000 books, it’s clearly unrealistic to attempt to sell 100,000, or a million, or multi-millions or whatever number I decide is the desired number I’ll edit my life to attempt to produce.
The very power you use to convince yourself of your limitations is the same power you could use to achieve everything you ever wanted.
People would be AMAZED at what they would accomplish if they just believed it was possible for them.
If you dedicate just a few years to something you can COMPLETELY change your life.
Realistic pursuits might be sucking the soul out of you.
Do you feel bored, unfulfilled, and like your life is uninteresting? It might be because you’re only pursuing things others have labeled as ‘realistic’, instead of what you actually want.
I’m not just talking about the box of career or money.
What is it you might be putting off due to it being considered ‘unrealistic’ or ‘impossible’?
You might find yourself a lot more excited and fulfilled to wake up and go after that.
There’s little to no downside in beginning to attempt this previously ‘unrealistic’ pursuit in your own life.
We can all find ‘reasons’ as to why we ‘can’t’, but any one of us could edit our lives to get what we really wanted if we fully decided to.
The thought that you have to be realistic is a poisonous lie. It wants to reinforce your limitations.
On to real estate…
As you know the quarterly RE goal was to acquire 50 properties…
I acquired 50 on the dot.
It was on track to be a lot higher, but with the changing market I wanted a higher margin of safety on deals, so my offers changed significantly as the quarter progressed.
Q2 wasn’t all work.
One of my yearly goals was to make sure I got 6 weeks of vacation in.
I took a trip out to Boulder for a week in April with my niece.
I found an AMAZING mountain home while I was there and put an offer in to buy it.
Unfortunately the sellers had just accepted an offer the night before, and I put in a backup offer.
They didn’t fall through, so no mountain home for me.
I took vacation #2 the last week of June, and just did a staycation and spent a bunch of time catching up with friends, reading, reviewing the 1st half of the year, and spending a lot of time with my animal friends out here in the forest.
So for the Q2 results:
1. Complete the rough draft of my book and hand it off to my editor: SUCCESS
2. Buy 50 properties: SUCCESS
3. Be working less than 2 hours per day on any non unique ability activity: FAIL
I failed on #3 to get under 2 hours.
In a sense that may have helped me because I realized why am I aiming to do sub 2 hours of stuff I don’t want to do vs. sub 2 minutes 🙂
So I’ll expect to easily accomplish this in Q3 despite no direct focus on it, just an edit of life.
1. Finish round 1 of book revisions (this is a little tough to set as a goal because I don’t know exactly when the editor will get me back revisions. I expect them about halfway through the quarter, which would give me about 6 weeks of focus to revise based on their suggestions. Being the author of 0 books, it’s a bit tough to know how much work to expect. I don’t usually set goals lacking so much control on variables, but that’s how I’m rolling on this one)
2. Publish the most comprehensive post I’ve ever published on ForeverJobless
3. Write 5 chapters for book #2