Wednesday, January 16, 2013

2013 Goals: Focus!

As promised, here are my 2013 goals for the year. I actually started writing this post 3 times earlier and just couldn't focus my thoughts.  If this is any indicator, focusing this year is going to be a challenge. It's going to involve a lot of no's, but I said "no" today to something, am feeling good about it, and so I'm riding that success. 4th time's the charm!

1. Read all Bible reading plan Assignments
Told you this one would be back. I made it a 3rd of the way last year and want to make it another 3rd this year. I have a strategy I know works and I'm going to keep at it.

By the way, I'm using the Bible iPhone app by YouVersion (iTunes). In addition to a bunch of translations it also has a bunch of reading plans to choose from.

2. Increase my income this year
Last year I focused on the expenses side of our budget. This year I want to focus on the income side. This is a lot tougher of a goal and the reason why I'm choosing to focus only on this. In previous years, I've wanted this, but did a shot gun approach with a little bit of everything. I grew a lot, learned a lot, added a little bit of value, and now it's time to focus and add a lot more value.

Jessi informed me recently that I need to clarify what I mean when I say, "I want to increase my income." It's not a "I want more money" statement. Instead, it's the external measurement of something much more important: Value being provided by either making or doing something people want. How do you measure "value provided"? In the business world it's often by the amount people are willing to pay you. So if you provide more value, you will get paid more for it. It may not be instant, but it will happen over time.

So when I say, "I want to increase my income". I'm saying, "I want to add more value to the world, and my measurement of success is the amount of income I earn." I don't want to coast through 2013. Instead, I want to purposefully challenge my personal status quo and make a big impact on the lives around me. With that in mind, here are a my areas of focus (Yes, 3 is "focusing" for me):

  • I want to double down on my contributions for HP by looking for places to contribute even more. This is the place I believe I can make the biggest impact for the world. That might mean expanding my current role or finding a new one. I've come to a point in the last few months that I'm ready to take on more and contribute at a higher level for HP. Thankfully, the people within HP are awesome at helping someone like me grow.
  • Monetize the Furlo Bros Tech Podcast. I've thought a lot about this, and I think I finally have a way to monetize that I, and our listeners, would like. I don't have any details to share now, especially since I only recently suggested it to my brother, but I think it'll be good if we can pull it off. We're also addressing the feedback we get most: "I like listening, but it's too long". Starting the beginning of this year we're breaking the full show into shorter clips. I've finally automated the post processing to a point that adding additional clips is reasonable on my time. Hopefully this will help the podcast appeal to a lot more people. The point of monetizing isn't really to increase my income, but rather to further justify spending a few hours hanging out with my brother and buy a couple gadgets to review. :)
  • Jessi and I spend a lot of time working with tenants, church members, and friends on their finances, and we believe there is a broader opportunity to help people improve their financial situation. I'm not talking about complex investment strategies (though that is fun to talk about), but rather foundational strategies like spending less than you earn, and getting out of credit card debt. Lots of blogs and programs already exist, but for many reasons people aren't taking advantage of them. We think we have a way to effectively reach part of that "unreached" segment of the population. It's still in the very early stages, but we definitely think there's something of value we can provide. This is totally a spare-time project that might be a significant contributor to our income in the future. Right now we're focused on making a valuable product.

So that's it. Hopefully you can see I'm trying to be more focused, and also a lot more in-depth than compared to previous years. There are smaller goals, like paying off another student loan and flossing daily, but those goals will take care of themselves since it's all automated or part of my normal routine.

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