As you know I started openly documenting my life and goals at the beginning of this year.
This is my Q3 quarterly review, and Q4 goals.
Q3 was unsuccessful in some ways, and very successful in others.
Here were my Q3 goals:
“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”
Welp, this is why you don’t set goals where you don’t fully control the variables.
Unfortunately I still haven’t received edit suggestions back from the editor, so I haven’t been able to start the revisions.
I completed this article back in August, but I made the decision not to publish it yet.
It turned into an article that was almost 20,000 words long.
After getting some feedback on it, I decided to turn it into a video series and release it closer to the book launch, since so few people would consume/implement it in its current form.
I don’t count this goal as complete, since my goal was specifically to publish.
I don’t like pulling back on a quarterly priority goal out of choice, as that can often be a trap that gives you wiggle room to back out of difficult to hit goals.
So while I justified it to be able to give it a better release/exposure when I’m doing a bit of marketing near the book launch, I still failed at the goal, which I don’t love at all.
The reason I’m pointing out this seemingly simple fail is because it’s not optimal to pull back on priority goals, even if it’s just quarterly instead of yearly. I don’t recommend it at all.
It’s worth mentioning because us humans are always looking for an easy excuse not to do x. It’s a slippery slope.
If quarterly goals have been set with clarity, then it just comes down to executing. So, in changing the path with a quarterly goal I’m basically saying setting this quarterly goal was not optimal with my overall gameplan. So, I need to recognize that to be more careful in future quarterly goal planning.
Anytime you fail with a goal, you want to understand what caused the failure. Was it an execution fail or a strategy fail?
The beauty with failures is they show you where to improve or change your approach.
If you often find yourself failing at the execution of goals, it is often a commitment and/or efficiency issue. This shows you where your work is.
If you often find yourself failing with the planning/strategy aspect of goal setting, it is often a lack of clarity/optimal strategy issue. This shows you where your work is.
If you are never failing, you may be setting goals that are lower than what you are capable of, thus limiting your potential. This shows you where your work might be.
Most people struggle with 2-3 of these at a time and do so without any guidance, attempting to figure it all out on their own, which creates a self-inflicted, insurmountable challenge. The reality is if you constantly evaluate and re-evaluate your approach based on the results generated, or failed to generate, while getting guidance on a more optimal approach, before you know it you will accomplish things beyond possibilities that your current imagination can fathom.
5 chapters for book #2
My 3rd goal for Q3 was to get my 2nd book started and write 5 chapters.
This quarterly goal ended up being the beneficiary of me not having received my edit suggestions on book #1 back yet.
I wasn’t just going to sit around…
So I wrote 93 chapters for book #2.
This book empire ain’t going to write itself!
So, book #1 will be out later than I wanted, but book #2 will likely be out sooner than I planned.
Hope you’re ready to read a lot in 2023!
Other Q3 stuff
A quarter after making my decision to switch from real estate to writing, I feel good about it. It was the right choice for me.
Definitely feels like play. Not that real estate wasn’t. It was. But this just feels like the right time for this type of play.
I’m really excited to focus on helping a lot of others.
In something like real estate, it’s not a zero sum game at all, but in a simplistic view, there’s basically one main winner- me. People doing a deal with me won more than if they’d done a deal with someone else, which is why my play worked so well, but all the asymmetry is on my side of the bet. With books, it’s the type of play where there can be hundreds of thousands, or even millions of winners. And the readers are arguably on the more asymmetric side of the bet.
In September I wanted to test the limits of my output, and wrote 75,000+ words for the month. That’s not necessarily where the limits are, but it was a good test with other things I had on my plate.
As with any new game you play, you’ve got to explore a bit. So right now I’m just trying to test things and learn.
The same week I shared my decision to commit to becoming an author, I obsessively mapped out my entire strategy; 10 months or whatever before I expected my first book to come out. I think I ‘solved’ for what I intend to do, but who knows. That’s the fun part right? Putting the ideas and theories to the test.
It’s more uncertain to know if the theory works since in this case we’re not dealing with a specific product or service someone’s seeking out.
There’s a relatively unlimited number of people looking to buy real estate, so having desirable results just equates to having a better strategy and better decision making than your competitors. So it’s very straightforward to win.
But there’s not many people out there looking for unknown books by guys named Billy.
So for a product like that you’ve got to solve not only the strategy/decision making part, but it also has to be paired with a product people actually want, and the success is somewhat determined by the degree in which they want it relative to other options. And a book(especially a subject like the one I’m writing on) isn’t something anyone is even seeking out. I’m creating a product people don’t know they need. So as much as I like my theory/strategy, it still needs to be paired with a product that’s a hit, or the strategy becomes somewhat irrelevant.
Definitely harder to do, but more upside when you do it.
With more variables that are ‘uncertain’, the best you can do is push the odds in your favor as much as you can.
So, it’d be false confidence to think I’ve fully ‘solved’ anything, since the most important variable is the actual product I’m creating, which is based on the degree to which others benefit which can’t be fully known until they use it.
I’m still dealing with at least one variable that is ‘uncertain’ despite whatever % I allocate to that variable. No matter how high I expect that variable to be, it does not mean 100%. Even many good decision makers misunderstand the concept, applying absolutes to variables with at least some degree of uncertainty. This is a giant decision making flaw, and in a room full of intelligent people, helps to easily decipher the intelligent, from the intelligent fools.
It makes me think of the Warren Buffett quote about the danger of overconfidence:
“If you think your IQ is 160 but it’s 150, you’re a disaster. It’s much better to have a 130 IQ and think it’s 120.”
That said, if I was a betting man, which I am…
I’d bet the house…
Which I will.
More fun this way.
For the player, and the spectator.
And the degree to which you can bet the house can be done safely only with the understanding of the uncertainty of specific variables. Longer post for another day, but this is where people get into trouble and/or play too small/safe. They accidentally over or under bet.
It lies in the misunderstanding of the optimal allocations under conditions of uncertainty.
Personal development programs
I’m always reading to improve/find new things to implement or new ways of thinking, but I spent a lot of time participating in personal development programs in Q3.
My purpose was attempting to find any blind spots I might have and not be aware of.
When I coach people, it’s often very easy to quickly find blind spots that are limiting their potential where one or two simple changes have the ability to massively alter everything for them.
Since I hadn’t done it for myself in a while, I figured it’d be good to find outside eyes to look for any blind spots I haven’t discovered yet.
As with any ‘methods’, there’s pros and cons, but I feel like I definitely benefited.
Sometimes when someone is advising you on how to escape a trap, they’re just welcoming you to a new trap. And many times their methods depend on you agreeing that you’re in the trap their program is designed around in the first place.
I think even if you disagree with some of someone’s teachings, you can still learn a lot.
I’d do my best to switch back and forth from the perspective that ‘I know nothing’, to more openly understand what the instructors were trying to teach, to ‘they know nothing’, to not blindly accept answers and fall into a non-optimal solution by someone who’s solved their method for how they look at the game, but not the complete game.
I think this back and forth perspective switching is a very helpful learning method, as you get the benefits of approaching with a beginner’s mind, while limiting the blind acceptance from a perceived authority, which generates answers from questions that wouldn’t have been possible with blind acceptance. So with proper balance between the two extremes of the pendulum, you actually get significantly deeper learning of their methods. Rebuttals lead to amazing answers, or discovery to where the methods flaws are.
I’m probably a very difficult student to have for these poor instructors.
With anything you are trying to learn, or achieve, there are many, many paths that have the potential to get you where you’d like to go.
However, some paths would negate the need to pursue other paths.
Meaning, one method that gets you there, becomes unnecessary and a hindrance if you have a path that gets you there more quickly and/or more optimally.
Whether it’s business, spirituality, money, health, fitness, life, etc… one path that gets you to your desired result doesn’t mean it is THE path.
Sometimes believing it’s the path is what’s keeping you from discovering a much more optimal path.
Someone with a 10 year plan to get to X, may have a great 10 year plan to achieve X.
However, if they tunnel vision into the belief that they have the plan, unintentionally dismissing other paths under the illusion that they’ve already discovered what they’re looking for, they miss the opportunity to see a 2 year path to the same result.
The 2 year path would deem the 10 year path unnecessary, but it will never be found if someone is operating under the assumption they’ve already found ‘the plan’.
So to the person who understands a 2 year path to the same desired result, the 10 year path would be a trap.
It’s important to understand that even if you avoid falling into a trap, your optimal path may be considered a trap to someone else, so the more wisdom you can acquire/openness to this you can approach life with, the more likely you’ll play an optimal game.
For a simplistic, easy to understand example, the majority of people go to the doctor with the belief that their doctor has the answers regarding their health. But with the amount of variables with health/body, it is mathematically impossible with the approach of most in the medical field to have more than a very, very tiny piece of the whole puzzle. And often the puzzle pieces they have are combined with a belief that those are the answers. This blocks them from discovering the other pieces, and the realization that there’s a whole different puzzle that would help their patients way more than the very limited puzzle pieces they hold, that go to a completely different puzzle than they’re even considering.
So if you went in with the approach that your doctor knows the answers, that’s a very dangerous approach to your health, especially when you are operating in a sample size of one life, where you really can’t afford to have too many blind spots, in a world full of people wearing blinders.
At the same time, if you go in with a full cup, assuming they do not have any answers, you’ll limit the amount of benefit you receive from understanding the parts of the puzzle that they deeply understand, and applying it to a more whole/complete puzzle that you piece together from more than one different ‘authority’.
Learning plans or strategies to paths that may prove not to be optimal, can still be very beneficial from the perspective of challenging your own beliefs, either strengthening them to understand your path is correct which infuses confidence, which accelerates action, or acquiring new data which sets you down a new path in which to find answers, or finding holes in your plan which you can plug. And sometimes, realizing you need to throw out your whole plan.
If you seek to destroy your plan 100 times and only succeed once, the other 99 times were a success even if it may not seem like it in the moment.
I plan to continue doing a lot of personal development in 2023 but I think I’ll be less likely to do programs, and more likely to do very small groups or individualized coaching, as it takes a very long time to get to the same conclusions/benefits in large groups.
Example, I did close to 100 hours of personal development programs in Q3. At the end of the quarter I did a 1-on-1 call with someone who was an expert at these types of trainings and we probably got to 30% of the root lessons in under an hour.
Saving money often means losing time. A lot of it.
As Eliyahu Goldratt so eloquently pointed out, you can only move as fast as the weakest link, so large attendee programs tend to go verrrrrrry slow.
So they charge less money, but they charge you MASSIVE amounts of time in exchange.
Not often a great trade.
More individualized instruction tends to eliminate all bottlenecks outside of the ones in your own mind, so you can get more straight to the point of things, and make more beneficial, personalized improvements much quicker.
One of the blind spots I’ve looked into is my dating life.
Each time this year that I’ve looked at adding anything related to dating on my calendar, it wasn’t very inspiring.
One of my new years goals was to throw 4 singles dinners.
They’d be a good time and wouldn’t be that much effort to do, but I felt like there were better ways.
And in general, dating hasn’t been top of mind as I’ve been having so much fun with all the other stuff I’m doing.
When I considered removing something I’ve been doing to put dating on my calendar, it felt like work and would be taking away fun stuff.
So, I haven’t added anything.
I wondered if this was a blind spot.
In general, I tend to lock in and focus on things. So it’s not surprising that I was locked in on my real estate play, made the switch to ‘future author’ and immediately locked in to try and ‘solve’ this new game.
I enjoy all-in focus for certain periods of time.
To lose that focus for dating seemed like an annoying distraction.
Not the ‘dating’ part, but the ‘looking for people I’d want to date’.
It seems like a lot of very inefficient work.
Obviously if approaching from that perspective, it’s not going to seem thrilling to participate.
I’m very selective which means way more work/time on stuff that I don’t love doing.
Most people’s response is that’s just how it is/you have to do it to date, and that the payoff is worth it, etc…
The payoff might be worth it, but I don’t agree you have to do things the way other people do them if the results and/or efficiency is horrendous.
If you want to create the life you desire and likely results are not aspirational, it is often better to change your approach/strategy. Not your expectations.
Why choose to enter a game where playing is likely to produce less than desired results, just because mediocrity is viewed as the normal cost of entry.
- Don’t enter the arena.
- Accept the prizes under the current layout of the game.
- Change the game/create a new arena for yourself.
It’s a mistake to just wait for someone else to figure out a good solution, or to have my life line up where I have nothing going on for a period of time so that I don’t mind a re-entrance into such an inefficient world.
I was putting it off due to there not being a more efficient solution yet.
As with anything, YOU are usually the person who can solve it.
I’m sure there’s some people reading saying, “just hire a matchmaker.”
I interviewed several matchmakers last year, and to say I was unimpressed would be an understatement.
It seems like a very profitable business for them, but the value they offer is relatively poor.
It’s an obvious example of a business model ripe for disruption. Value provided is low, but demand is high.
But I just want to disrupt MY dating life, not the industry.
And while my idea to organize singles dinners was fine, it didn’t move the needle enough for me to be excited about it.
So I decided, what if I started a matchmaking company… where I’m the only client.
It sounds ridiculous, but it makes complete logical sense to me.
Many matchmakers spend the bulk of their time trying to get clients for themselves, and a minority of their time looking for matches for their clients, and within that minority of time they’re spending a minority of THAT time looking for you.
So I figured, what if I had a matchmaker who only looked for very targeted matches exclusively AND wasn’t dealing with all the other aspects of a matchmaking business?
You should end up with a significantly more valuable solution.
That’s the theory anyways.
As with anything new that I try, I have no idea if it’ll actually work until I do it.
Whether it be real estate, books, dating, etc…
What I try is often more difficult because I’m attempting solutions that don’t exist, but the payoffs are absurdly more rewarding when successful.
The expected results are small failures or enormous wins.
So, if you know anyone in the Austin area(preferably female) who’s great at chatting with strangers and would love doing some matchmaking even if they have no experience, send them my way.
This should be a fun experiment.
I’m hoping to take about a month off in Q4.
We had a family trip planned to CO the 1st week of October, but my Dad’s been having some health issues so we canceled our CO trip to hit the east coast and help get him on the mend.
So I’ll spend a couple weeks back east with the family early Q4, and take a couple weeks off at the end of Q4 to reset and think about how I want 2023 to go.
Another thing I’m planning on doing is finally taking on some new students in Q4.
I mentioned in the beginning of the year I would take on at least four, and I haven’t put any focus there yet. So, I’m going to set some time aside to review applications to work with some new folks before 2023 starts.
If you’re looking to accomplish some epic goals in 2023, leave me a comment and I can get you an application before I open them up on ForeverJobless.
- Book revisions complete
I expect to block off half of October and all of November to complete this. This obviously depends on getting the revisions back. No way we’d have a Q3 repeat right? First time, shame on them, second time… oh boy. Fingers crossed.
- Commit to coaching at least 4 people
- 16 half day sessions on my pre, pre-launch book tasks
There’s so many little things needed to be done around the book, so despite it likely not being out until late Q2 at this point, if I don’t knock some of these dominoes down now, it would likely further delay the book.
Finding a marketer for book/FJ
I’m likely going to be hiring a marketer to work on both my book and ForeverJobless.
Do you know an absolutely amazing marketer who might want to work on a very unique project?
The goals will be very aggressive, and the person I’m looking for should already have significant results as a marketer.
If you know someone who would be obsessed with a project like this, who wants to head up marketing on what will hopefully become one of the most successful non-fiction, self published books in history, and work on ForeverJobless, please have them get in touch with me.