This is a post that I meant to write towards the end of last month but never actually got around to it. I spent the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 in New Zealand and just couldn’t find the time during our travels to really sit down and flesh out what my goals are going to be. I’ve had a lot of discussion with my wife and with Josh Bartlett (my business partner) about what some of my goals are but, until now, I haven’t committed to them in any form of writing.
Earlier today I decided to take a little stroll down memory lane… I started this blog in July of 2009 and I decided that it would kind of be cool to go back through and read my old posts. Sometimes I really take for granted how far I’ve come. Reading through my old posts literally brought tears to my eyes. Just remembering back to some of my early struggles and putting myself back in to places where I got so excited about things that I’d now probably consider fairly insignificant. Back then it was those small triumphs that kept me driving forward. It was those little wins here and there that kept the belief in my mind that I could be successful in business on my own.
I read one of my early posts where I described how excited I was to have 61 subscribers on a mailing list. Today I have over 20,000 subscribers and it probably grows between 50-100 subscribers every single day. I read a post about the day that I finally knew I was going to make it… I had made $300 over a three week period… In another post I talk about how The WordPress Classroom was such a huge success because I officially had 20 members. A couple of days ago the WordPress Classroom passed 1,200 members.
I hope you enjoy my blog and I hope that reading my posts has helped you in some way or another. What I never realized in the past is how much of a huge impact my blog posts would make on me in the future. Reading back through my blog and imagining the scale at which my business has grown over the past year and half has really hit me like a hammer. I’ve come a long way! I will never take for granted how I started. If I haven’t been keeping this blog over the past 18 months, I don’t even know if I would have really taken this step back to really reflect on my progress.
As a funny little side note, I found this image of what The WordPress Classroom looked like when I first opened it up. I’m actually curious to find out if there’s anyone reading my blog who was actually a member back when this is what the WordPress Classroom looked like… It’s definitely come a long way!
Those were my awesome Photoshop skills back before I learned that I should hire people to do that stuff for me. I always read that I needed to outsource but was always afraid to incur the expense. I know a lot of people are afraid of spending money to get their online business going before they’re actually making money but take my word for it… Learn to leverage other people’s skills and you will reach your goals so much faster than if you attempt to do it all yourself.
So what I want to do in this portion of my blog is look at the goals I set for 2010 and hold myself accountable. I’ll admit right now that I didn’t meet every single one of them but I did come damn close… So here it goes.
2010 Goals Recap and score card
- Launch my new product (6 figures in sales) February Launch – I launched the Autopilot Cash Formula in April of 2010. I was a little behind schedule and the launch fell slightly short of hitting the six figure mark (but not by much).
- Build my list to over 20,000 subscribers – I originally set a goal of passing 10,000 subscribers but a few people told me that I wasn’t shooting high enough. I set my sights on 20,000 instead and managed to pass that number in October.
- Create at least one blog post per week - Failed miserably. I got so caught up in the other aspects of my business that I completely neglected my blog. Towards the end of the year I managed to start to pick up the pace again.
- Promote more product launches – I definitely promoted some great product launches. My philosophies changed a bit over the course of the year. It’s no longer a goal to promote a ton of product launches. It’s now my goal to get the products that I find will be the most beneficial to my followers in front of them. This mindset shift naturally means less promoting other people’s products.
- Rank #1 in at least one launch lead contest - I didn’t hit #1 on any leaderboards. I came in 7th when Josh launched Easy Video Player, 7th when Mike Filsaime launched AffiliateDotCom and 7th when Adeel Chowdry launched Hyper Facebook Traffic. (The later two I promoted with Josh Bartlett) I seem to be stuck at 7… But again, my mindset shifted away from promotions and I didn’t promote as many launches as I actually could have.
- Round up an army of affiliates to promote current and future products – I definitely did this. When I launched Autopilot Cash Formula in April, I had over 500 affiliates on board. I currently have around 300 affiliates actively promoting The WordPress Classroom.
- Launch a monthly membership site to build a recurring income - I switched the model of the WordPress Classroom from a one time fee to a monthly membership. This has been a huge success and everyone seems to agree that I still over-deliver for the price! I also partnered with Josh Bartlett to launch the Elite Marketing Foundation. This is another monthly membership site that is growing rapidly.
- Set up a coaching program with a partner – The Elite Marketing Foundation with Josh is the beginning phase of the coaching. We are working together to help as many people through mastermind calls and webinars as possible.
- Attend at least 4 internet marketing related seminars – Done and Done. I attended Affiliate Appreciation in Vegas in January, List Control in San Diego in May, the Info-Summit in Baltimore in November and AffiliateDotCom Live in Vegas in November. I made a ton of new contacts and have built some strong relationships. I also joined the local San Diego chapter of the Glazer-Kennedy Inner Circle which meets once per month.
- Finish remodel of master bathroom - Finished this project January of 2010.
- Remodel guest bathroom - Finished this project January of 2010.
- Cut back on the sweets and the junk food - I basically created a whole new diet for myself that limits carbs and almost completely cuts out sugary foods. I’m still sticking with it. (Although I’ll admit I’ve fallen off the wagon a few times during periods of travel)
- Exercise at least 4 times per week - I managed to maintain a 5 day per week exercise schedule for a good part of the year. Once again, constant travel really interfered. (I was away from my home for a grand total of 10 weeks in 2010)
- Purchase a netbook - Bought a netbook, outgrew it, bought a MacBook and can’t live without it.
- Purchase a Jacuzzi – Still working on this one. Decided to spend money on travel and this was something I’ve sacrificed.
- Make enough income that wife is comfortable leaving her job - We’re still working on this one as well. Although my income has probably gotten to a point where she can safely quit, it’s still a scary leap. We just haven’t felt comfortable enough to take that next step.
Goals for 2011
- Triple my current monthly income
- Build my list past 100,000 subscribers (Shooting for the stars)
- Launch a new membership site (More broad than just WordPress)
- Develop and launch a piece of software that makes life easier
- Introduce direct mail marketing in to my business
- Create one new piece of content every day / 5 days per week (This will be hard!)
- Speak live at at least one live event
- Attend a minimum of 4 more marketing events
- Write a book on my journey so far
- Stick with my low-carb / low-sugar diet
- 6 pack abs by June (Never had them in my life. This is the year)
- Leave the country at least twice
- Attend the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in November
- Begin taking Improv Comedy classes in March
- Become a regular ToastMasters attendee (Starting tonight)
- Alana finally quits her job
- Buy a new house (Minimum 4 bedrooms)
As you can see, I’m setting my goals quite high. I’ve learned that when it comes to goal setting I need to set my goals for a notch past what I conceive myself capable of. I’d rather set a goal of a 100,000 mailing list and fail because I only hit 98,000 than set a goal of 30,000 and hit it and stop trying. I don’t think any of my goals are completely out of reach if I do everything that I know that I need to do. If I stick with the plan that I’m laying out for myself, every single item on my list should be a definitive success this time next year.
What are your 2011 goals? Is there any advice you’d give me in achieving my goals? I want to hear from you! Your feedback is what keeps me going.
Thanks so much and I can’t wait to hear what everyone else is striving to accomplish this year.