This is Why I Hustle

“Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.” – Seneca


Hat tip to Les Brown for being my original teacher on setting goals, and to Tim Ferriss for helping me refine goal setting into actionable, meaningful activities.

I’ve ALWAYS set goals. When I was 18, I set the goal that by the time I was 25 I would have:

  • a nice house
  • $100,000 annual income
  • a lovely wife
  • young children
  • the best motorcycle money could buy
  • a really nice daily driver (car)

Now, I didn’t just set a goal and forget about it. I could recite this list to you on demand. I thought about it all the time. But the truth is that when I turned 25, I had none of those things.

I was demoralized and frustrated. It was a big deal. I was angry. This proves goal setting is pointless, right? I say no, largely because of what happened next: Before I turned 26, I achieved ALL of my goals spare one.  For children, I had to wait until 2007, a year when I went from 0 kids to 3 kids in 9 short months.

Now, I actually gave up one goal to achieve another. I chose to sell my dream bike so that I could buy the ring for my dream wife. Not to worry, I kept the car, and then bought this bike a few years later.

The moral of the story is that if you set goals and work towards them, there’s no guarantee you’ll hit them. But if you stay persistent and relentlessly work towards your goals, you’ll achieve them. And if some of your goals never materialize, at least you know that you tried.

“The worst thing one can do is not to try, to be aware of what one wants and not give in to it, to spend years in silent hurt wondering if something could have materialized – never knowing.” – Jim Rohn 

For 2015, I’ve decided to set new goals. For me, they’re big goals. Life changing.

I’m basing the way I’ve set my goals on Tim Ferriss’s advice in the 4 Hour Work Week, which starts by asking yourself:
“What would I do if there was no way I could fail? What if I was 10x smarter than the rest of the world? What would I use my time to accomplish?”

Then you need to:

  • Identify 5 things you’d like to have (material wants)
  • Identify 5 things you’d like to be (fluent in Spanish, etc)
  • Identify 5 things you’d like to do (race motorcycles, etc)

Tim’s next step is to identify your four most exciting or important goals (mine are in bold), and to determine the cost of these dreams.

My 5 Things:

1 Residency in Costa Rica great Father 2 week (0 work) vacation
2 5+ acres in Costa Rica Set Apart Caribbean Boat Trip
3 This House Fit & 160 lbs Ragbrai
4 This Vehicle a life changing Mentor Read a book a week
5 Chocolate Doberman Generous Speak @ Inbound

I actually got my dream dog in late 2013, but thirteen days after coming home she suffered a paralyzing injury that three months of therapy could not repair. RIP Torah. I’m going to wait a while longer before I try to replace her. She was an amazing dog. Okay, back to why I hustle.

I asked myself, “What’s keeping me from these goals? What achievements, if accomplished, would change my life and unlock everything I want?”

I came up with:

  • Become known and highly respected by influencers
  • Accelerate the inbound marketing that’s already working at my agency
  • Become fit, like I was way back in 2007
  • Complete high profile projects that inspire

Now, back to Tim’s book. He asks: “What are the top 3 key activities I can do NOW” to get me what I want?

I identified these for myself:

  • Become known by my mentors
  • Become more generous
  • Write top quality posts for Forbes, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, etc
  • Get fit
  • Deliver inspiring work

Yep, that’s 5, but I can’t bring myself to cut any of them.

As a result of this exercise, I have a clear job in 2015:
Focus entirely on the activities can change everything.

Friends who hear me talking about the 4 Hour Work Week seem to get the impression that it’s about lazily working just four hours a week. Obviously they’ve not read the book! Tim enables people to cut their “overhead work” to 4 hours a week, so they can focus on their dreams. The book lays out the ingredients:

  1. Define your true goals as well as the recipes that the “New Rich” apply to design their ideal life.
  2. Eliminate tasks that keep you from your goals. By delegating, ignoring, and eliminating, you will have the thing you need most to get what you want: time!
  3. Automate your life by delegation, outsourcing, and making decisions. Automation provides the second thing you need to get what you want: income!
  4. Liberate yourself by taking steps to break the shackles that keeps so many from ever living their dreams. I had already moved to Costa Rica before I read Tim’s book, but Tim provides the final thing you need to live the life you want: mobility!

Les Brown provided the mindset that changed my attitude.
Tim Ferriss provided the toolset that changed my actions.
They’ve got MOJO, and I’ve got great respect for each of them.

and this is why I hustle:

“If you want a thing bad enough to go out and fight for it, to work day and night for it, to give up your time, your peace and sleep for it…if all that you dream and scheme is about it, and life seems useless and worthless without it…if you gladly sweat for it and fret for it and plan for it and lose all your terror of the opposition for it…if you simply go after that thing that you want with all your capacity, strength and sagacity, faith hope and confidence and stern pertinacity…if neither cold, poverty, famine, nor gout, sickness nor pain, of body and brain, can keep you away from the thing that you want…if dogged and grim you beseech and beset it, with the help of God, YOU’LL GET IT!” – Les Brown

Founder & Head Entrepreneur @ Lean Labs

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