Have you ever been out for hunting? or fishing? or chasing hot babes in clubs? I bet you have tried at least one of those things. There are always two ways to do it. Snipe their ass out or drop a grenade and hope for the best. Unfortunately no universal recipe applies to every situation. It really depends on the exact case every time.
You are going to need a different type of shell to kill a small bird or a big hog. Same goes for fish and guess what…ladies as well. Most of them require you to demonstrate a high value in order to be lured, but sometimes you need to pick them up on your own.
You cannot always perform a high value display, to make her come to you, while you’ re on your grocery store or in the street, so you might need to “snipe her down”.
Today’s post has nothing to do with ladies though (well not entirely true, since all things have to do with the opposite sex at some point), this is a different topic to be discussed.
Today’s article has to do with being proactive, know your end goal game and plan your financial future accordingly. It is like when you go hunting. You know what it is you are after, before you leave home, right?
Same thing applies to economics, health or relationships as well. But let me elaborate a bit more.
It happens for me to have this kind of discussion with a lot of people in my social circle. Worst case scenario (and almost 90% the case) is people, I talk about financial independence, don’t even know what this is, or care about it – remember the magic blue pill I talked to you about? Unfortunately there is not much you can do about that, at this point. I usually try to explain to them about freedom of time, having resources etc.
You want to live forever?
Fortunately there is still a hefty 10% left who are interested to be financially free and want to know how. Well the first step is always to have an original idea that will bring value to the table. Then, get your plan down. In other words don’t go for wild boar hunting with bird shells. You might get yourself killed. Always be prepared. Start by envisioning your future life, while being financially free. Set your goals and start your engines.
Despite what most people think, having a nice idea is a lot less than 50% of a success story. A good idea without proper planning and execution worths nothing. We have all seen examples of start-ups that based their future on a very promising idea, but somehow they failed to deliver due to poor planning and execution. After all, it’s the way you execute the idea, not the idea itself.
All of us have some dreams, whether they are luxury cars or houses, being with Victoria Secret models, drinking cocktails with our friends non stop, hunting down bisons or being with the one woman we really love (aaghh oughh).
Firstly though, we need to set our mind, write down clearly our goals and make a plan to achieve them. This plan should ideally be broken down to 3 phases.
- Short term plan
- Mid term plan
- Long term plan – end game
None can become 100% motivated until he has a clear target. So if you followed this topic from the beginning, you won’t be able to kill any rabbits, until you say you will go for rabbit hunting, right?
Short term plan (1-2 years from now)
This is the first step to success. This is your first plan to ever make. All steps need to be extremely specific, but this one especially needs not only to be specific, but accurate, tangible, realistic and based on correct principles as well.
This is your first goal and it will most probably be achieved through your next venture. This is your first business entity that will help you achieve your first financial goal – hopefully…
Example: Supposedly you like Internet a lot and you have some basic experience on how things work over the digital world. After you have done some thorough market research for that specific niche, all stats show that this is a profitable market segment and you take the bold decision to start your first Internet venture. Let’s say a news blog about gaming. This will include some reviews of the latest video games, news, presentations and some coverage on Blizzcon (World of Warcraft is my favorite video game of all times – unfortunately I had to stop playing if I ever wanted to make some serious money, like the owners of Blizzard do).
So before you actually start spending your money or your time on this, you need to make some business/financial plan about it. You will need to decide on:
- Your monthly budget (amount of money spent on various content, ads, web design etc)
- How many articles, reviews, presentations, interviews per week you are going to have
- Clear job assignment (in case you are more than one working on this)
- Traffic projection (how is the traffic going to be in 3 month cycle periods)
- Earnings projection (how much money you anticipate from this venture (again in 3 month periods)
After you have all this information you will feel more comfortable and more “in place”.
Every decision and corrective action should be according to this plan. For example if you see that after 6 months traffic is still low (respectively to your realistic projections) you might need to:
- Increase the quantity and/or quality of your content
- Spend more money on advertising
- Improve your target audience (so you don’t have to spend so much money)
- Improve your keyword research method etc.
The point here is not to go without a plan. In case you did not have this plan, even after a 6 month period, you would look at your analytics chart and say something like: This traffic doesn’t look good to me, but heck let’s move on. You see my point? No correction/improvement or reallocation of resources can be done in this way. In other words, this is a faulty model to work on, not only in theory but in real life as well.
In order for corrections/adjustments to work, you first need to establish a baseline. Some metrics that will help you make comparisons and evaluations more accurately. Like all things in life, after you gain more experience and confidence, those plans, projections and baselines will be more and more accurate.
You will make fewer mistakes and your calculations will be closer to reality. Don’t get disappointed about it, you didn’t have a good conversion number with your first pick ups right? Same logic applies to business as well. Practice makes perfect.
Mid term plan (3-5 years from now)
OK, this might be a bit more tricky but it still is a useful step we cannot omit. This will be a major stepping stone towards financial security and independence. Even if it’s not 100% clear what this venture will be, nonetheless you should have a valid idea about this.
We cannot say for sure what this is going to be but I will try to elaborate more through another example.
We go on with our very successful gaming blog example from before. Monthly visitors are a couple of millions by now and we have a very good position in this niche on the global market. Money is pouring from various income streams (selling affiliate products, advertising, paid reviews, product promotion, our mailing list etc). A potential next step could be:
- Horizontal expansion (rinse and repeat the exact same successful process for another niche)
- Vertical expansion (hiring a team and develop our own video game software)
There are many options here, but always stick to the plan. Even if you don’t eventually follow it blindly, you will have a guidance along every step you make. This planning will help you design your future actions accordingly. You might be more eager to make acquaintance with big software development companies (in case of vertical expansion), or develop your blogging/Internet platforms and liaisons (in case of horizontal expansion).
In either way this is the mid term game that will help us make the transition from being well paid to financially free. This is the step that tells average and excellent people apart.
Long term plan – end game (10 or more years from now)
This is where things become very juicy. This plan includes all the dreaming and more. Stuff we talked about in the beginning of this article. This is where you need to “put a price” on every dream you ever had.
Make a spreadsheet or download my version here stating:
- The cost of your dream house
- The cost of your dream car
- How much you need to spend for your ideal lifestyle
- How much you want for traveling
- The cost of your various luxuries
After you do this, it will be a hell of a lot easier to calculate your end goal net worth in order to support this kind of lifestyle.
Remember what we said in previous posts. Your end goal should always be to have some automated systems in place that “print money”. Ideal scenario is to have all these ventures, investment etc. that will be profitable enough to support your ideal lifestyle without you having to actively work for it (at least not out of necessity, but as a hobby or something).
In the same spreadsheet, you should also include all of your income streams whether being active or passive. That way, you will know how many years or months you can support your current lifestyle in case you stop working actively, or even better how many years you still need, in order to accumulate all the necessary investable capital for you to live only on the returns out of it.
I need you to be absolutely honest in this step, mainly for two reasons:
- You need to be realistic, so your mind perceives it like this (real)
- It is your dream god damn it, it can be as large as you want
Don’t get me wrong, when I say realistic, I don’t mean humble. The only humble thing we want is our actual/current lifestyle. There is no point in having small dreams. After all having small dreams is easy – and we hate easy here.
It is totally accepted if you want to drive a Lambo, taking trips around the world every month, or party with 20 super models in Vegas. Just make sure you plan this ahead and as accurately as possible. Trust me, it will make a world of a difference later.
To sum up, every success needs a clear, defined goal beforehand and every goal needs planning to achieve. The better your plan, the better your results. Don’t be afraid to dream big or lazy to plan your next venture.
There is no greater moment than the one, when you have achieved a goal you set. Whether small or big, a target is a target and our brain is designed to remember wins and make the most out of it. Every time you make a new victory, your brain records it and tries to imitate the steps you took, to be victorious the next time as well. Moreover, you will produce a whole lot of good hormones that will make you feel good, and full of confidence.
You become primed for victory.
Every time you score, it is a step closer to your ultimate goal. Financial freedom and peace of mind. You will face a lot of difficulties, failures and bad feelings, but no great success ever was easy. Was it?
The more difficult the goal, the greater the reward. The more difficult the goal, the fewer the people that will make it. The more difficult the goal, the more special you are. It is as simple as that. Aim high, aim for excellence, aim to be the best!
And please, do NEVER forget: “Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy or stupid. Those things happen when you don’t have a plan”
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