“Dream small dreams. If you make them too big, you get overwhelmed and you don't do anything. If you make small goals and accomplish them, it gives you the confidence to go on to higher goals.”
John H. Johnson
By now, if you've been a reader of my blog, you know that I LOVE to set goals. This is a byproduct of joining The Strategic Coaching program 4 years ago. You can read how much I love that program here.
Setting and reviewing my goals consistently has yielded wild and crazy results. My revenue has almost tripled (hopefully soon quadruple!) and I've taken more time off than I ever have. #winning
Before I share my goals, it's important to reflect back and celebrate the wins of the past quarter. Too often we get so focused on achieving goals we never take time to truly enjoy what you've accomplished.
I promise you that it's SUPER important.
It's so easy to forget about your accomplishments and jump to the next thing. And trust me – I'm a jumper!
After you do this for a long stretch, you start to feel like you haven't accomplished anything because there's always something else to do.
It feels good to review all the amazing things (even the little things) that have happen in your life.
In fact, try it with me. What are 3 things that you are proud of that you've accomplished in the past 3 months? It can be personal or business related. Please share in the comments! 🙂
Okay, on to my positive focus for last quarter…..
Jamaica trip equals kidless vacation.
For the second year in a row, my wife and I were able to get away for a much needed kidless vacation. Last year, we went to Cozumel, Mexico. That was the first time that we had taken a vacation just her and I since our youngest was born. Our hope is that we can make this an annual thing, but we also know it would be much tougher next year, if our pending adoption goes through. Our initial destination was going to be Turks and Cacaos, but when we started doing a price analysis, we found out that we can go to Jamaica for almost half as much. Remember, I am a financial planner. 😉
Plus, earlier last year when we started becoming more aware about travel hacking, we were able to qualify for the Southwest companion pass. That means for all of 2015, anywhere that I fly, my wife can fly for free. Southwest does not fly into Turks and Cacao, but they do fly to Jamaica. We also had accumulated enough points where we could get two roundtrip tickets for basically free (we did have to pay a couple hundred dollars for a transaction costs).
Jamaica was amazing.
While we liked the food better in Cozumel, there is no denying the weather. It was literally 82 degrees and sunny every single day. I think there was only one day where there were a few clouds for about 45 minutes one morning and that was it.
Last year we went to Cozumel, half the time we were there, it was raining, so this was definitely a major plus. We had so much fun that we went ahead and booked a family vacation and we’re bringing all three boys back to the Beaches Resort in Ocho Rios.
Rebrand Dollars and Roses
Three years ago, my wife and I started our Dollars and Roses blog. The initial intent was to show others how we both make money online; me with my personal finance blog, and my wife with her lifestyle and mommy blog. We did it for three years and had a lot of fun with it, but eventually, we started to lose the desire that we once had. We both recognized that it was becoming more of a chore than something that we actually looked forward to working on. Last fall, we made a pivot.
Instead of focusing on making money online, we would focus on marriage. It was an idea that my wife rallied around and I was excited, because I thought that we had a lot to share having been married for over 10 years and plenty of ups and downs along the way. We decided to keep the name Dollars and Roses, because I thought it still had some good branding in it. After connecting with a few others in the Christian marriage blogging niche, we recognized that for anyone that didn’t know us, the name could be somewhat confusing.
There was a name that we absolutely loved, but unfortunately the domain was already taken and after inquiring if it was for sale, the price tag was more than a brand new car. Seriously, who pays $20,000 for a domain name that has nothing on it?
Upon further research, we also found that a recent trademark had been filed on that name, so unfortunately, that name was out. We went through many different possibilities before finally settling on Marriage More. It made logical sense since our tag line was already Helping You Make Your Marriage More.
Almost immediately upon deciding on the names change, my wife went to 99designs.com. She began the process of finding a new logo. We were able to find one through a designer that we absolutely loved and have already rebranded the site and our podcast. Feel free to check out our blog at MarriageMore.com or you can follow us on Instagram.
Rebrand Alliance Wealth Management
Last year, I had rebranded this blog and several other of my websites. One thing that I hadn’t rebranded in a long time was my financial planning firm. I still had the same maroon logo that I had when I first started my business almost six years ago.
My first website lacked the pizazz that I felt that my other site had. I knew it was time for a fresh new look. I love the new logo and the website and all the branding material that I now have that I use for clients and also potential clients. If you’re interested in a free social security guide, you can download it free at my firm’s site, AllianceWealthMgmt.com.
For over two years now, I’ve been building up a life insurance specific site at LifeInsuranceByJeff.com. I want to create a portal for anyone that was looking for life insurance specific information. They would have a one-stop resource to get everything they needed.
A couple years ago when I had rebranded Good Financial Cents, I had made the conscious choice to rebrand towards the younger demographic, but still knowing that many of my readers are retirees or close to retirement, I wanted to also have an outlet that they could go to get specific retirement information. In addition to LifeInsuranceByJeff.com, I also launched RetirementByJeff.com. If you fit in that demographic where you’re 10 years out from retirement or five years into retirement, you definitely want to check out that site.
You also sign up to get The Confident Retirement Toolkit that I made specifically for those needing retirement tools.
As most of you know, I love doing cross fit. I’ve been doing it since I was deployed to Iraq back in 2005 and I actually love it. The one problem with cross fit is two things; one, I have to find time in my busy day to get to my cross fit gym; two, as I just turned 37 (oh my gosh, I’m old), I’ve recognized that my body doesn’t recover from the cross fit workout like it used to.
One thing that I always love to do, when I used to work out at a regular gym, was cardio on an elliptical, and not just any elliptical, a Precor elliptical. Precor elliptical, in my opinion, are the best ellipticals out there, and there’s something about being on an elliptical for 30 or 45 minutes jamming out to your favorite tunes on Pandora or digesting a good podcast or audio book.
Wanting to regain the six pack that I once had, I knew that morning cardio was a must. I’ve been decent in the past at getting to cross fit at 6:00 in the morning, but I’m definitely not consistent. I knew I needed something else and I knew that something was a Precor elliptical
More from GFC, Below
We were able to find a refurbished one online and got an extra savings if we waited and purchased it on Black Friday. Can I say that I love it? In the past three weeks, I’ve been on the elliptical 90% of those days with the shortest stint being 20 minutes.
On average, I’ll do 30 to 40 minutes of cardio first thing in the morning, and I absolutely love it. I never used to be a morning person and probably technically I’m still not, but ever since I started reading the book, Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod, in conjunction with the sleep cycle app on my iPhone, I’ve been routinely getting up at 5:30 every morning, and let me tell you, it has been amazing.
90 Day Goals
Okay, now for my goals for the first quarter.
1. New advisor for Alliance Wealth Management.
I’m excited to announce that I’m bringing on a new financial advisor to help grow my practice. This is something that I’ve needed for a while, I could never just find the right fit. I think that time has come. The guy I’m hiring does not have experience in the investment service industry, but he does have work experience in the banking industry and is also very plugged in to the local community.
He’s also a very high Quick Start on the Kolbe Index, just like me. He’ll be taking his series 65 exam soon and coming on board right after. I can’t wait.
Note: Him coming on board is also a major contributor to my one-year goal of growing the practice – see below.
2. Conduct my first seminar and webinar.
Okay, technically I’ve done a seminar in the past, actually that’s how I grew my business when I first started as a financial advisor. I haven’t done a seminar since before my oldest son was born, maybe even longer.
As far as a webinar goes, I recognize that many businesses have mastered delivering webinars and have led to significant growth in their businesses. I know this is something that I’ve needed to do for quite some time; I could never wrap my head around what I would actually give a webinar on. I still have to hash out the final details, but for the most part I think I’ve got it.
3. Introduce AssetLock™ to my clients and readers
Why I'm excited to start doing seminars again and webinars, is because I'm now an AssetLock approved advisor. It's not too often that I get excited about something in the financial services industry, but AssetLock has me suer jazzed. The clients that I've introduced it to absolutely love it and new prospects are definitely excited about what it offers.
You can learn more about AssetLock here or watch the short video below.
4. Have an awesome spring break with the family.
At the time of me writing this it is currently 10 degrees where I live in Southern Illinois – 10 flippin’ degrees. In case you forgot, I’m Filipino and Filipino’s don’t like cold weather. I know that the wife and I just got back from Jamaica, but it’s amazing how sickening to the snow and chilly temperatures will make you forget that warm climate super quick. Wanting to get the heck out of Dodge and do something different, we settled on driving down to Orlando, Florida. No, we’re not going to do the Disney World thing, not yet. We are hoping to hit up Lego Land and Universal Studios while we are down there.
I’m also excited that Bob, from ChristianPF.com, and his wife (they are both from St. Louis and have been friends of ours for quite some time) will be making the trip with us. We are renting a house Caribbean B Style; please pray for them as I don’t think they have any idea in what they are getting themselves in to by sharing a house with the three crazy Rose boys.
5. Deliver my third teaching at our church.
I’ve been helping out in a junior high program for several years now. Just this past year I felt that God gave me the nudge to step up and start actually teaching on Sunday’s ever so often. The youth pastor was thrilled to give me a shot, and at this point I’ve already given two teachings and I love it.
Even though I’ve considered myself to be a Christian for quite some time, I’m still not as versed in Bible scripture as much as I would like. Add that to the fact that I want to stay connected with our youth, so I can understand what my kids will be going through when they get older. I love the chance to be more involved with today’s youth. Do you know how tough it is to be a hip 37-year-old teaching junior high kids? It ain’t easy, but I’m loving the challenge.
6. Complete the #21day fix with my wife.
I feel like every time that I do a goal update post, I always have something to do with my weight; more specifically, losing it. Last summer after our epic RV trip and eating more food than most men do in their lifetime, I ballooned up to the highest I’ve ever weighed – 214 pounds #largeandincharge.
I was able to get my diet in check, first by doing a 30 day Paleo challenge and then also doing a no alcohol challenge. Doing that helped me lose 11 pounds. Despite the weight loss, I was still missing out on the six-pack that I desperately craved.
My wife and I are currently doing the SpouseFit Challenge on our Marriagemore.com blog. Part of the challenge is eating healthy and then doing the #21day fix which is 21 days straight of doing a Beachbody workout program. We’ve been waking up at 5:30 a.m. every day, including Saturdays and Sundays, to get our workouts in. I can’t tell you how great it is having my wife onboard as an accountability partner.
There are definitely days when each of us doesn’t want to wake up to workout, but we’re there to pick each other up when needed. It’s also super helpful that she’s all about eating healthy now. She’s made some amazingly delicious healthy dinners, most notably this chicken spinach strawberry salad #loveit.
1 Year Goals
1. Grow assets under management by $30 million.
At the time that I write this, my current financial planning practice has only $30 million under management. I say only $30 million because in our industry that’s much lower than a lot of the heavy hitters. Typically if you reach $100 million of assets under management then you are definitely in the top 1%.
For the past three years, growing my practice hasn’t been my main priority. I have a good client base that I’m totally content with, at least have been. I’ve been building up my blog and other online businesses, promoting my book, recording podcasts and shooting videos for YouTube. While I have definitely have received a fair amount of business from having this blog, there hasn’t been a focus, that is until now.
I just hired a new advisor from our practice and one of our goals this year is to do a lot more seminars and educational training. I believe with AssetLock as I mentioned about we will be able to offer something to the local community that no other can. As a registered investment advisor and the only one that I know of within a 45 mile radius of my location it definitely gives me a clear advantage on my competition. Needless to say we are going to hit it and we are going to hit it hard.
2. Grow online revenue by 150%.
I have several online properties but my main revenue generators at this time are GoodFinancialCents.com, Retirementbyjeff.com and Lifeinsurancebyjeff.com. Collectively, they yield me just over $200,000 a year of revenue. Why that is definitely something I should be proud of and I am, I recognize that I have left a lot of money on the table and could have made a whole lot more if I knew what I was doing.
I recently formed a strategic partner that is a lot more knowledgeable on SEO and link building than I will ever be. I recognize that if I ever want to grow my site to be a seven figure business I need to lean on someone else’s expertise versus trying to do it all myself. I stumbled upon this partner and thus far I am enjoying what we have done immensely. It is exciting that I found someone that is even more excited about my site than I am myself. Stay tuned for more updates.
So with both of those two above, my 12 month goal is finally crack the $1 million mark in revenue. Remember, dare to dream big!
3. Take five vacations this year.
I might be kind of cheating on this one because we just got back from Jamaica which is our second kidless vacation we have in the last few years. I’m counting that one as the first one we still have spring break left with our family, a family vacation, back to Jamaica in May, a couple’s getaway with my wife and some other friends in July and then also planning another mini vacation sometime either late summer or in the fall.
My goal previously was to take a three week vacation back to back to back but unfortunately our schedules did not allow for that. Since I can’t take it three weeks in a row I just thought I would take more and spread it out over the course of the year.
Time away and unplugged from my business is essential to keep me motivated and prevent me from burning out and also to remind me why I do all this in the process is for my family. If I’m working 24/7, I will never be able to appreciate and spend the quality time that I need to with them. I’m thankful that we can have this time together and I will cherish it especially when my kids are young.
4. Get and keep a six pack.
I’m bound and determined to get a six pack that I’ve lusted over (did I really say that?, oh well) since my days of being deployed to Iraq, sure I was 28-29-year-old then had the ability to work out two days, two times per day and drink protein shakes like they were water. It’s a lot more difficult now to get the six pack having young boys that are running me ragged. At the time of this writing I am currently weighing less now than I ever had even whenever I was in college. I don’t have a six pack yet but I can definitely see some improvement.
My wife and I have been doing the spouse fit challenge on our joint blog Marriagemore.com. We are currently going through beach bodies 21 day fix and love it. We are waking up at 5:30 a.m. where we will then do a 30 minute workout together. After the 30 minute workout I have been able to find a little extra time and I will do 20 to 30 minutes on our elliptical down in the basement. So far so good and I hope to keep this momentum.
I also do 3 year goals and lifetime goals which I shared on previous posts. But right now I'm over 3,000 words on this post and need to get to work on accomplishing these goals. 🙂
If you want to use the same goal setting worksheet, you can download it here for free.
To your success!