Daily goal reading

The other day, Daymond John, the creator of FUBU and a Shark Tank Investor, posted an Instagram photo about his habit of daily goal reading.  This is the second time I’ve heard about this habit in the past week.  I’ve heard a version of it before. In the Pick Four notebook that I’ve been using to create my goals for the past few years, there is a section where you try to list out all of your goals. For the past two weeks, I’ve been listening to Brian Tracy’s, The Psychology of Selling. Brian talks about a successful salesman who also completes this goal reading habit every day and attributes most of his success to this daily habit.

That’s why I’ve decided to start this daily habit.  I tend to write out a lot of goals in my Pick Four notebook and then concentrate on only those four goals for the next twelve weeks.  Then I never go back to reread my list of goals until I revisit them when I start a new Pick Four notebook.  This habit will allow me to see the bigger picture of what I not only want to accomplish in the short term but also what I want to accomplish in the next 10, 20, and 30 years.

Yesterday, I found an old notebook in my nightstand my wife bought me after she graduated from college.  On the first page she wrote me a note about why she bought me this notebook. I reread it today.  The note was about the both of us working together to achieve our goals.  It’s fitting that this notebook will be the place where I do just that thing. I’ll write down everything I hope to achieve for my career, financial, family, and personally. Then I’ll spend some time each night before bed reading each of the goals I want to achieve.


I always wanted to do everything on my own

Group projects, picking a college, internships, job search, career, graduate school, side projects, charity, writing, public speaking, working out, and relationships.

These are some of the things I always wanted to do on my own or on my own terms. I never wanted anyone’s help because I thought it was cheating. Doing things on your own will teach you a lot about yourself. The one thing it will definitely teach you is that this idea, of doing everything on your own, is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in you life.

Luckily, a few years ago I finally figured this out for myself. You can do things on your own. You’ll find them rewarding, but doing those same things with others makes both the upside and downside more enjoyable.

If you’re looking for a new job, your network, or the network you never knew you had, will be a key to finding your next role. If you only plan is to send a resume and cover letter than you’ve already lost. Working with your connections will help you find a better job faster.

Working with other people will help make the progress towards you goal easier and more enjoyable. What would you rather do? Bang your head against a locked door or let someone you know open that door.

Successful people don’t go it alone. They know they can achieve far more by working with other people.

HT themuse

Today’s Five New Words

A few months ago, I took Seth Godin’s advice and committed to learning five new words a day. I’ve been pretty consistent with this goal.  Monday through Friday, I take the next five words from Seth’s, “Million Dollar Words,” PDF, write them on note cards, and then practice memorizing them a few times a day.  Going forward, I’m going to starting publishing a weekly post with my five favorite new words of the week.

Here are the five new words I’m learning today:

deus ex machina: Originally in Classical Greek drama, the god that came down to earth to solve a problem that couldn’t be solved by any logical turn of events. It now refers to any chance event that intervenes and prevents a disaster from occurring. Sort of like a miracle, but not as good. Pronounced DAY-ous EX MA-keen-ah

devil’s tattoo: A bit obscure, but poetic, way of describing a nervous hand or foot tapping. Drumming your fingers while waiting for an important phone call is a way of making the devil’s tattoo.  Sometimes shortened to just “tattoo.”

diacritical: A somewhat scientific way of saying, “distinctive.” One of the diacritical differences between a bird and an octopus is that a bird has two legs and an octopus has eight arms. It’s pronounced dye-a-KRIT-i-kle.

diaphanous: Usually used to describe fabric, the word means sheer, delicate and flowing.  Some sexy nightgowns are diaphanous, as are angel’s wings and nylon curtains. Pronounced d/e-AFF-ah-nuss.

diatribe: A bitter criticism or denunciation; an abusive dispute. Say DIE-uh-trybe.

The Kenyan’s are drinking your beer

While you’re running a marathon you’ll see hundreds of people holding up signs of encouragement, from signs with a Ryan Gosling ‘Hey Girl’ meme to sorioty girls saying they’re waiting for you at the finish line. One of the funniest signs said, “Give up! The Kenyans already won and are drinking all your Iron City.” First thing I thought was that I was glad I didn’t want to drink an Iron City beer after this race. I’m an IPA fan, and I usually have a special post race beer waiting for me at home, like Green Flash West Coast IPA. That was my choice after my first marathon but my beer preferences can be the topic of their own posts.

The second thing I thought was this sign misses the point of running a race like a marathon. I know it was probably just meant to be funny, and it was one of the most memorable signs on the course. The point of running a marathon is not to win, or beat the Kenyans. It’s to simple finish. It’s about all the months of training that got you to the point where you could wake up one day and run over 26 miles.

Recently, I read an article on, The Muse, about the habits happy people quite along time ago. This week, I’ll be writing about some of these habits. One of the tips was how happy people don’t compare themselves to other people. You should only compare yourself to the person you were yesterday and to the person you hope someday to become. 

That’s what you should do when you decide to run a marathon. As a 32 year old man who didn’t grow up training for marathons, I realize I’m not going to beat the Kenyans. It doesn’t matter how much I train. It’s not going to happen. I might run a fast time compared to the average person. One day, I might qualify for the Boston Marathon, but that’s about my ceiling. If I went into the marathon with the goal of winning the whole thing then I would have been severely disappointed.

Don’t compare yourself to others because it’s easy to turn that comparison into an excuse to do nothing. For example:

  • I’ll never beat the Kenyans so why should I even try running a marathon.
  • My company will never be as big as Google or Apple so why should I even start one.
  • I’ll never have as much money as Warren Buffet so why should I start investing.
  • I didn’t go to same level of business school so I probably won’t get that job.
  • I’m not friends with Oprah, like Tony Robbins, so I’ll never be as successful as him.
  • My blog won’t ever have the same amount of views as Seth Godin’s so what’s the point.
  • I’ll never look like her/him so why lose this weight.
  • I can’t out hustle Gary Vaynerchuk so I won’t bother making this YouTube video.

Ask your self why this goal is important to you. Focus on the things you can control. Complete the steps that need to be taken. Review your process. Think about how you could improve. Repeat again and again.

Be the best YOU.

HT themuse

Thinking about fear

Thinking about fear

I’ve been thinking about fear. A number of my goals deal with me overcoming a type of fear.  They range from public speaking, learning something new, meeting new people, working out, meditating, expressing gratitude, finances, and getting what needs to get done in my work and home. Most of these deal with the fear of rejection.  It’s a type of fear that severely impacted my life at one time.

Many people, myself included, try not to look stupid but that’s exactly what I want to not worry about in the coming year.  It’s okay to look stupid.  Actually, it’s important.  Whether I’m giving a speech, learning an instrument, trying a new workout, writing a blog post, drawing a picture, or dancing with my kids, I’m sure it looks comical sometimes.  Some of it probably looks stupid.

That’s the fear. The fear of worrying about what others think.  Everyday we live with fear.  It’s worse for some of us than for others. Usually these fears are overblown.  They were in my case. I’ve found that most people will either ignore you or offer positive encouragement.  There might be some people out there that disagree with you but why should you care.  You shouldn’t.  The important people in your life will support you.

Most of the fears in our life aren’t going to do us bodily harm.  Some do, so you should definitely stay away from those types.  Some fear is good, but you can’t let it dictate your life.

Each day face your fears.  Seek out what makes you uncomfortable.  That’s probably exactly what you need to start doing today.



BIG Goal: Learn to play an instrument

BIG Goal: Learn to play an instrument

My wife bought me a guitar over a decade ago because I wanted to learn. I haven’t  strummed more than a few notes on it. I’ve always regretted never learning an instrument as a child.

The other day when I was cleaning out our basement. I saw my guitar sitting in it’s case in the corner. I took it out and strummed a few cords. It felt like something I needed to add to my life. 

I’m like most people I love music. I love singing. I’m probably an awful singer but I don’t care. I’m always singing around the house. I’ve never been in a band. I’ve never had any training but it doesn’t matter. It makes me feel good.

As a child, my grandmother was always singing. She’d sing all day long. She’d sing so much that everyone called her,  birdie or Shirley Bird. It’s were I get it from. 

My wife used to, probably still, gets a little annoyed because I’m so cheerful and singing in the morning. On the weekends, I’ll usually wake up, turn on some music to a way to happy channel, and start singing and dancing while I make breakfast.

Before we had kids, most people would probably think this is weird but now that we have children it’s called being a good father.

All this is to say that music is a big part of my life and I don’t even know how to make any. It’s the same reason I learned to code. I wanted to know how to create the technology that runs out life.

This is going to be a difficult goal to complete. I have young kids and the only time to practice is after they go to be but then I’m trying to practice and not waking them up. In our house it’s not that easy. Maybe I’ll need to have to try to soundproof part of my house.

If I can get into the daily habit or weekly habit of practicing than maybe later in the year I’ll try to take some lessons.

This is the I’m finally going to be able to play my decade old guitar.

BIG Goal: Create a side hustle

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Almost every year, it seems like I have a goal about creating a side hustle or extra descretionary income.  Every year, it gets put on the backburner because something else takes precedence or I act like the new goal is more important.  That’s because it was probably easier, not more important.  This goal isn’t easy.  Sitting her thinking about it seeems like a lot more work than giving a speech every day, sticking to a budget, or writing this blog post because those things can be accomplished, atleast poorly by simple completing certain tasks I’ve done before.

I’ve never started a side hustle which makes it scary.  It’s a bridge I’ve been reluctant to cross because of all the hard questions you need to answer.

What should I do?

Who are my customers?

Will they pay me?

What should I charge?

Trying to answer the first question is why this question is difficult for me.

In my career I’ve mostly focused on completing analysis, quantitative and fundamental analysis, for investments, products, or business units. I feel like a freelancer most of the time.  I love doing the work like writing this blog, creating an analysis, working with code, and then either writing or talking about what I’ve achieved or trying to achieve.

Then there is also the matter or money. I’m one of those people who wants to do everything on their own.  

Whenever I tell people about my goal of publishing a blog post everyday.  The first thing most people ask me about is money: adwords, comments, and things like that.  This blog isn’t about making me an income.  I do it because I felt like I needed to write.  Hopefully, someone finds these posts helpful or interesting but it’s also for me.  I’ve found that writing this blog is a great way for me to think about what I’m working on.  Not all those thoughts get published but a lot of them make it on this blog.  

Eventually, though I hope this blog leads to money. Not from sponsorship or adword  revenue but from being the place where my trail is located.  I hope people come here to see what I’m working on and realize that we should work together.

The questions about money and this blog are similar to this goal.  Do I choose a side hustle I could start earning money today or something that may take some time to grow? It’s an important question and it depends on your current goals.  

For me, I think I know the answer.  The main reason I want to start a side hustle is to earn some extra income and diversify my earnings.  For better or for worse, that’s what I want out of this goal and it’s how I’ll focus my efforts this year.

By the end of this year, I want to have a profitable side hustle up and running at least sometime during the year.  I’m not saying this is going to be a long term business but I want to finally cross this bridge and achieve this goal.  I want to create the habit of starting projects that evenutally make money.

This is the year, I quit worrying about planning and preparing.  I’ve done plenty of that. There is always a reason not to do something. This is the year I start what I want to achieve. 

Similar to the quote above, this is the year I decide to be the person I want to be.