Goals for 2012: Focus on What You Love

Time to Focus

Last year was the first year that I wrote a goals post here on the blog.

I truly loved the experience as it helped put things in perspective of what I really wanted to accomplish.

Plus, it’s exciting to see how those goals actually played out and what transpired over the past year.

I now realize this will be an annual occurrence here at GFC.

Before I start with this year’s goals, I thought I would reflect back and see how last year’s goals played out (You can see the post here).

Hindsight is 20/20

My goals were broken down into 3 separate categories: Family, Business, Blogging, and the Book (Soldier of Finance). Here’s a quick look:

Family

  1. Upon Arriving Home, Put the Phone Down
  2. Peaceful Dinner with No Phone
  3. Kiss my Wife Every Day

Business

  1. Increase Asset Growth of My firm by 33%
  2. Increase Revenue Growth of firm by 33%

Blogging

  1. Average over 100,000 visitors per month to this blog
  2. Increase Soldier of Finance to 30,000 visitors per month

Book

  1. Have 90% of the Book completed by July 2011.

Okay, let’s see how I did…….

Family

The Fam

Overall, I did very well.  Smartphones help make any business person uber efficient, but; unfortunately, it’s hard to “turn off the switch”.

I was continuously guilty of coming home and still being on my phone – checking email, Twitter, Facebook…whatever.

I finally realized that this needed to change.

Now, upon arriving home, I toss my phone in our key basket and don’t mess with it until later on in the night.  The goal by doing so was to come home and be more connected with my family and thus far: mission accomplished.

The same has transferred over to dinner time.  The truth, though, is that dinner time at our household is a bit hectic.  When you have 3 young  boys, we’re scrambling to get them fed while trying to suck down our own dinner.  So dinner might not be with a phone, but I wouldn’t always characterize it as “peaceful”.

Pucker up.  I wish I could say that this one worked out, too; but it didn’t.  We have got much better at recognizing the fact that affection is important, even if it is just the little things.   I’m thankful to have a wife that loves me just as much as I love her.  Our family truly is blessed!

The Big Goal. The biggest goal for me as a husband and a father is to be a better spiritual leader in our household.  This year was exciting in that my wife and I were baptized together (it was actually my second time as I was baptized when I was a child).  We’ve grown together spiritually more in the past year than the five previous but I know it’s on me to bring it to the next level.

What does that mean?  To be in my bible more and be a better Christian for starters.  As a family, we just started praying together, but I know we need to do it more.  There have been a few times where our oldest son has asked if we can pray together – which I adore!  But why should my 4 year old be the one asking his parents to pray?  That’s my job to be persistent in bringing more of Jesus in our life.   So the big goals are to be in my bible more and to pray, at minimum, as a family once per week.   I’ve even set a “to-do” in my phone to remind me and shared it with my wife.  :)

Business

Wow!  What a year for the business.  First, let me say that I did reach my goals; just in a round-a-bout way.  I had an awesome surge in the first half of the year bringing in several new clients.   The whole time that this was occurring, I was plotting my next move – starting my own registered investment advisory firm.

The motivation for the transition was simple – I needed the freedom to blog and I was willing to do what ever I needed to do so.  Even if it meant giving up $36,ooo a year of income.

In May, I formed Alliance Wealth Management, LLC and the transition began and was finally completed in August.   It was the 2nd biggest transition in my business career (first being when I left A.G. Edwards to go independent) and thus far has been equally as exciting and promising.

Why did I really do it?  People ask me,

“Is that really why you did it?  So you could blog?”

Quite simply, “Yes”.  :)   But it’s just about having the freedom to blog or to shoot impromptu videos like this one below:

It’s about a bigger picture I have.  I want to continue to help as many people as I can and believe that I’ll be able to make a good living doing so.   Without that freedom, it would never be able to come true.

Now it’s my time to make it happen….

Blog

Oh…the blog.  Having started the summer of 2008 and having no clue what I was doing to having over 120,000 people visit my site December of 2010 was surreal.   At least I was humble with my goals and just hoped to maintain 100,000 visitors per month.

How did that pan out?  <insert noise of very large balloon deflating here>

Well, it didn’t.   If I recall correctly, everything was going fine right up until April 14th which I named “P-Day”.   “P” standing for Panda.

Panda was the name Google had given to its latest, and most intense, algorithm update supposedly only affecting a small number of sites.   The intent was to make the search experience better for “Googler’s” all across the globe.

Unlucky for me, my site took a drastic hit, as you can see below:

Boo on Panda!!!

I literally saw between a 60-70% drop in traffic overnight.  That did not settle well.

I was seriously bummed.  I had spent almost three years building my site and felt that I had finally arrived all to be whacked by something that I couldn’t explain and, even worse, control.

I felt helpless.

I remember I spent about a week or two and just didn’t want to blog at all.   It wasn’t until attending the first annual Financial Bloggers Conference that I finally had a new purpose:

Write Epic Shit.

I realized that I got so focused on writing for SEO – 401k limits this, Roth IRA rules that, -that I let the most valuable aspect of my blog slip away – my voice.

I got so used to writing “between the lines’ because of previously being heavily scrutinized by my compliance department that I forgot that I was allowed to have an opinion.

I’m so glad I finally came to my senses.

So what’s my blogging goals for 2012?  I don’t really care about traffic as I used to.  I care more about two things:

  1. Building a community
  2. Helping more people

That’s it.

Yeah, I want to make some money in the process.   But i know if I focus on the two points above, the money will follow.

What about video?

Well, I’m so glad you asked.   :)   Video has been my new baby.  For Christmas, Santa treated me to a brand new Canon T3i and I’m loving it! Plus, my wife has officially quit her job (more on that in a bit) and has become my full time video editor (among other things).

What does that mean? That means that we’ll be cranking videos out at record numbers.   What has been a big help is I signed up for Jason Wedmore’s YouTube Video Traffic Academy.  You can’t beat it for the price.  If you are serious about making videos for YouTube, this course is a must have!!

My wife has gone through every module, learning how to get more views and engagement on our videos.   We’re a dangerous duo – watch out!  Here’s a recent video that we did to see the whole package in action:

Want to know the best part about that video?  No compliance approval needed.  :)

The Book (Soldier of Finance)

What was that goal again?  90% by July?   Ha!   Not even close.

Now for some really good excuses:

  1. I formed a new investment firm and had to transition all my clients
  2. Our third son arrived in May
  3. I changed my outline for the zillionth time

Is that good enough?

The reality is the book didn’t start getting attention again until October this year.   What I’m happy to report is that Chapter 5 has just been completed.  Finally some progress!

My goals for 2012 is to have the first draft of the book done by April.   As I’m finishing the book, I want to also create a video course series that coincides with the book.  Yes, this is a tall order.  But I’m hopeful with my new videographer that it can be done.

 Other Goals

As mentioned previously, we were in a financial position that allowed my wife to quit her job.  But don’t think she’s slacking.  Oh no!  I’ve got her hard at work.

She has officially became my Social Media Manager (she preferred that title over Executive Assistant) to assist in my online business.   This includes editing videos for our YouTube channels and working on building up our sites.

Yes, I have more sites that just this one :)

I don’t get too much into her on this blog, but plan on sharing more about my online ventures on a new blog that my wife and I are starting up named Dollars and Roses.   (Note: the site is still in it’s infancy stages so don’t judge yet)

That site’s main purpose is to show people how we make money online and each month we’ll provide an income report of how much we make and where we make it.   Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income has been doing this for years and we’re excited to follow in his footsteps.

30k ChallengeRight along starting this new site, some other bloggers came up with a clever challenge named the 30k challenge.

The name of the challenge pretty much sums it up.  Our goal is to make $30k more than we make last year from our online.

Is that ambitious?  Maybe.  But to be honest, my goal is more.  Much more.

In the past few months I’ve been implementing a few new businesses that I feel can really boost income.   Only time will tell.

If you want to keep track of our progress, be sure to stop by Dollars and Roses and follow our journey.

Are you ready to kick some butt in 2012 and achieve your goals?  Let’s do it!

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