Reach for the Stars and If You Miss, Grab Some Clouds

Rich Habits
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“I’m a dreamer. I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds.” Mike Tyson

It’s not easy to look back on your life and self-assess. But it’s something self-made millionaires do. Most of the self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits Study, habitually do this self-assessment on an annual basis. The most successful self-made millionaires in my study also did it in three, five or ten year installments.

Recently, I decided to take a look at the goals I set ten years ago to see how many I accomplished.

Goals at 1/1/2011:

Goal #1 – Get My Three Kids Through College – Achieved!

This was an achievable goal and it was very hard and very stressful. It cost me just over $405,000. I couldn’t have done it had I not increased the number of Revenue Streams from one to four.

Goal #2 – Buy a House by the Beach, at the Jersey Shore, with an Irish Pub in my Backyard – Achieved!

This was a reach goal. I was very uncertain about achieving this goal, as most homes by the beach in New Jersey are unaffordable for those in the middle-class. You have to be in the upper-middle-class or in the wealthy class to afford a beach house. Thanks to the royalties on my books (Revenue Stream #2), financial planning (Revenue Stream #3) and my paid speaking engagements (Revenue Stream #4), I was able to make enough money to achieve this goal.

Goal #3 – Fit & Healthy at 180 lbs – Failed!

The past two years my weight has been between 187 lbs – 193 lbs. Since October, 2015, I have been running almost every day and I watch what I eat, but I like to drink beer and eat what I want on the weekends. In 2015 – 2017, I weighed between 176 lbs – 183lbs. I achieved this weight loss by running every day and logging in an average of 25 miles a week.

What changed was my feet began to hurt in 2018, when I ran, and my lower back pain increased the more I ran. Sometimes the back pain would be so severe, I had trouble walking. As a result, I reduced how much I ran down to below 20 miles a week – my feet and back needed a day of rest after every three days of consecutive running. I attribute my weight gain to this lost mileage.

Goal #4 – Write Five More Books. Achieved!

I’ve written four books since 2011, not five. However, in 2021 I did create the content for what could be a fifth book, called Wealth Academy. At this writing (June 2021), I plan on offering Wealth Academy as an online course, rather than a book. So, I consider this a goal accomplished.

Goal #5 – Sell 10 Million Books. Failed!

My books in the U.S. are all self-published. My books outside the U.S. are all traditionally published. At this writing (June 2021), I’ve sold about 175,000 self-published books and about 150,000 traditionally published books. This failure I consider my greatest and a biggest disappointment.

My books have won literary awards, so I know quality isn’t the problem.

While I’ve received significant media exposure in the U.S. and around the world, do to my daily efforts pitching the media, major media exposure has unfortunately been a rare occurrence. When I do get major media exposure, I sell tens of thousands of books almost immediately. I’ve had about ten major media exposure events over the past ten years, which is why I’ve sold as many books as I have. But ten is not enough, if I want to sell 10 million books.

This is one variable, getting major media exposure, I have been unable to solve for.

Goal #6 – Travel the World Doing 30 – 40 Well-Paid Speaking Engagements a Year. Failed!

Since 2013, I consistently have been doing between five to ten paid speaking engagements. Some are well-paid speaking engagements, some aren’t. What do I consider well-paid? $15,000 or more per engagement.

I believe, from my experience, that this goal is directly correlated to how many books I sell, which is directly correlated to how much major media exposure I get – when I am able to get major media exposure, I am flooded with requests for well-paid speaking engagements.

That’s not a good business model.

In 2020 I hired a Speaker Coach to help open doors for me. Also, I was recently invited to join SUCCESS Magazine’s elite SUCCESS Speaker’s Bureau, so I am hopeful these two pivots will help me achieve my goal, without having to rely on major media exposure/book sales.

Goal #7 – Debt Free. Failed!

I have significantly reduced my debt over the past ten years but I am not yet debt free.

Goal #8 – Become JC Jobs. Failed!

JC Jobs is the main character in three of my books (Rich Habits, Rich Kids and Effort-Less Wealth). JC is the future, ideal version of me.

Over the past ten years, JC has been both my primary mentor and my ultimate destination. When I achieve all of my goals, I will consider this goal achieved. I am not confident I will ever achieve this goal, but it is, above all of my other goals, something I think about on a daily basis.

Despite the fact I have not achieved all of my goals during the past ten years, I do not consider myself a failure. The way I see it, I accomplished three big goals over the past ten years.

The purpose of this article is to highlight the fact that you cannot control outcomes. What you can control are your efforts. And goals help focus your efforts.

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  1. JT on June 7, 2021 at 3:37 PM

    Thank you so much for sharing so transparently.
    This makes your message and ideas relevant, real world, and truthful. Best of luck on continued success!