A Longer View on Goals

A Longer ViewWhere do you want to be in 3 years? What kind of person will you become in 5 years?

What will you do in the next 3 Months? What are you going to change TODAY?!?

Take a minute to think about these questions in your own life. Is your future a clear vision? A foggy haze? Total darkness? If you want to accomplish something specific, your something will need to be visible.

The holidays are almost here, and 2015 is approaching faster than you think. For me, that means New Year’s Resolutions and a chance to create something totally fresh in my life, but that doesn’t mean that I create a wall between this year and last year.

For the last several weeks, I’ve been making big plans. I’ve been brainstorming. I’ve thought hard about the future and where it might take Kristin and I. Though we’ve made some really great strides and accomplished many awesome things, I feel like there is so much we’d still like to do. And so the list of goals and aspirations keep growing.

We’ve got years of goals piling up, and thinking long term can be daunting. I’m starting to look at the list of resolutions in terms of multiple years and what might actually take several years to accomplish.

What I’ve found in our lives is there is so much we want to do and not enough time to do it all. So we must decide. Have you heard the phrase “you can do anything you want, but you can’t do everything”? Desiring is the easy part, deciding is the hard part.

It is time for us to decide.

Last year I made some pretty well-rounded goals that touched all aspects of our lives, but many of them I noticed were pretty easy to accomplish in hindsight.

It felt great to be checking things off the list, but many of the harder tasks are still left undone.

It turns out that some of the big audacious goals are actually things that will take years to achieve. They can’t be done in just 365 days. (This is a good thing, by the way.)

Last year was really one of the first years of setting structured goals, and overall, it was really great. I had an easy-going list in the first year to have some quick wins and build up my momentum.


This year, however, I want us to get a little more serious. I’ve been toying with the idea of quarterly goals. This will be a way to supercharge my activities.


I’ll be sharing some of those goals in the future. Today, I want you to begin reflecting on your year, and be open to where it may take you.



Righting the Ship

Righting the Ship

It is easy to get off base during a hectic season of life. Increased demands with our time create a bigger strain on what we feel we can accomplish.

Before you know it, you’re living a life that’s far away from what you are intending. Is it time to right the ship?

When things feel off-course, simply return to your original methods of past successes.

Knowing where you’ve succeeded in the past is a quick reminder of what you’ve been able to accomplish and how you got there. It gives you a feeling of satisfaction and it builds trust in yourself at a time when you need it the most.


Personally, October has been a really rough month.

I’ve been thrown off course many times in the last 30 days: by multiple commitments coming together at the same time, new endeavors, and by my own mis-management of time. After all of the tumultuous times of October, I realized that it was vital for me to return to my past methods of success. Referring back to what worked in the past is a great way to see quick success today.

My success begins with a great morning routine. I am grateful that I can return to it any time almost sub-consciously. I also have written success stories that show all of the great things I’ve been able to accomplish. I just search my journal for times when I was able to achieve greatness. It keeps the courses to success fresh in my mind as I figure out how to get back on track.

If you don’t yet have a written set of successes, just start today. It’s simple, really. Comb through your past achievements and build from that. No list is right or wrong, and remember this is a personal and detailed list of success. It is meant to rebuild your confidence and help you press on through difficult times.

There will come a time when you feel defeated like you can’t get out of a rut. Having your success list will help you right your own ship.

What’s your method for righting your own ship?

Why I sold my childhood for $7

I used to collect baseball cards as a child. I had a sizable Ken Griffey Jr. collection, and I loved checking out all of his new card models.


I don’t really know why. I wasn’t a baseball fan. I never understood the stats on the backs of the cards. He was the hottest player at the time and it was something to get excited about. I may as well have been collecting hubcaps and I’d be just as excited for the shiny objects I got to collect.

This past weekend I drove across town to find someone to sell my final cards to, after holding on to them for about 18 years. I had no idea what the worth would be. I was hoping for a fair amount, seeing as how I probably spent hundreds of dollars and hours on the collection. Last I remember they were so rare and expensive.

These were some of the top experts in the local baseball card world, and I ended up haggling with a man over $7 for the whole collection. I still felt good about the transaction.

Why did I sell these cards?

Griffey cards

In truth, they were worth more to me gone and into someone’s hands that cared about them than keeping them around for sentimental reasons and holding on to the culmination of a false passion.

I used to spend all of my time and money collecting baseball cards. I liked the idea of the collection, not the collection itself. I wanted to like baseball and collecting cards, but the passion just wasn’t there.

The only real regret I have today is that I spent so much time and effort on something I did not love. To get closure on a part of my life that I didn’t really enjoy was worth haggling over a couple dollars.

Remember that real passions in life are priceless and would never be traded.

Follow your own dreams, not someone else’s. If you do, you may find the path to be worthless.


Where has your false passion misled you? Have you found your true calling? We’d love to hear about it!

How’s your ROI?

Hows your ROI?

Students go to college for various reasons, but every decision of higher education gets to the same conclusion: The benefits of the education and experiences outweigh the costs of the education itself.

In business, that’s called ROI, or return on investment. It is vital to have a positive ROI in both business and in life.

The keys to success don’t stop at high school or college.

Education is a lifetime affair.

Kristin and I got the chance to attend a really awesome conference recently called Product Camp Cincinnati.

PCamp Cincy

It was an inaugural session for the Cincinnati area. What a great and inspiring day! We learned a lot, met some great entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and other top minds in our area.

We’re already looking forward to next year’s session! (Learn more about bringing Product Camp to your area here)

This week, we are also going to attend a TEDx event which we are very excited about!

If you’ve heard of TED talks, TEDx talks are independently organized, and this year the focus is on Health and Wellness, something we want to learn more about. If you’re in the Cincinnati area, be sure to check out some of the speakers and information here.

TEDx Cincinnati


For me, conferences are like little mental vacations: a chance to go visit an interesting place for a couple of days, and come back rested and refreshed with new ideas and perspectives. – Erin McKean

Here are just a few easy ways to start investing in yourself:

  • Feed your Mind – Feeding our brains with books has never been easier. Most public libraries offer free e-book downloads you can read on almost any screen. This is how I get almost all of my books. I make it a point to read and learn something new every day.
  • Feed your Body – When investing in yourself, good food and exercise are an important part of that mix as well. Treating your body well will give you a lifetime of health and happiness. Our body is our temple, and we only get one.
  • Find a Community – Not only do we have unprecedented access to information today, we also have no barriers to entry with community. Search meetup.com for information sessions in your area that interest you, and get out there and meet your community!
  • Fund your Investment – if you are in a position to spend real money on investing in yourself, start setting aside some money out of the budget. Again, we’re talking positive ROI’s here. Most times, the money spent on education far outweighs the cost, so always be thinking in terms of a positive return on your investment.

What are you doing in your own life to better invest in yourself? Are you reading, taking classes, or going to conferences?


75% Complete

75% Complete

It’s a little bit overdue, but I wanted to share with you the progress made as we near the end of 2014.

2014 has been a powerful year for Kristin and I. I feel like we’ve taken charge with so many things in life and are now moving the needle in ways we never tried in the past.

A lot of this has to do with you, the community of readers and supporters!

Twitter Peeps!

Developing this community has been both humbling and rewarding for us. When we started the blog, I would have never thought we’d be reaching the people & the places we are.

From our hearts to yours, we thank you! We want our successes to inspire greatness in your own life.

Here are just a few areas where life got better this year:


I’m rounding out the year of a marathon and an ultra with a half marathon coming up in a matter of weeks. I’ve been lucky to train with online training group Educated Running. It has helped bring focus to my training in areas where I’m lacking, specifically in speed work and dynamic exercise.

I also look forward to the possibility of going to Japan again this year for Ekiden, I hope to know more about that as we get closer to November.


I set a goal at the beginning of the year to read 30 books, up from 25 last year, and one recommendation from Kristin. After checking out my Goodreads page, it looks like I’m on track to do so with 20 books so far.

This goal was a little bit lofty for me. Adding an extra 5 books doesn’t seem like much, but it is over the span of time. I feel as though I’m flying through some books without understanding all of the content.

“Much reading is like much eating – wholly useless without digestion” – Robert South

In the future, I will be more selective with my books and focus on quality rather than quantity.

I also was able to start reading some fiction, with the help of Kristin.

I’ve been reading Hunger Games at the end of most days, and I find that it does give me that chance to settle down from the day’s stresses. It reminds me that reading can be worry-free & not so focused on learning.


So often we get caught up in our own lives that we don’t make enough time for friends. Life sort of gets in the way as the years pass, and it gets harder to be together with those you care about.

This year I decided to make a conscious effort to call a friend a month on the phone. While I didn’t succeed at this every month, this was the most fun goal of the year so far.

It was great to talk to some friends I hadn’t heard from in a while, and just hearing their voices made my day as well as theirs!

I feel like men are worse at doing this than women. Men don’t always have the gift of gab. Guys, that doesn’t mean you can’t “check-in” every now and then. It’ll do wonders for your friendships, especially across long distances.


We’ve made some great strides in our finances this year, and most recently, we paid off the first of three student loans! Those of you who have struggled to pay big debts know that it can be really tough, and we must admit that we lost some steam early on in the year.

Now we are back to focusing on getting debt out of our lives.

It’s a tough road plowing through debt, but it’s such a rewarding feeling being free from obligations that are a decade old like this one.

Now we have an extra $175 a month, and a great feeling that we are one step closer to debt freedom.

Personal Growth

I had intended to join a mastermind group or an investor club of some kind this year to further my development and be around like-minded individuals.

Though I struggled a little bit in the beginning with this one, I was able to find an awesome mastermind group through the Dreamers & Builders community.

This is what has jump-started my productivity and success. I have others willing to hold me accountable and provide feedback when I’m stuck on something.

It’s such a great resource to be able to tap into, I’m really thankful to be a part of such a great group.

(To the Hustler Mastermind-ers reading this, thank you so much for keeping me honest and providing accountability all the times when it was so easy to just give up!)


As we round home on this year, there’s still plenty to do, and I’m excited to see what the next 3 months have in store.

I’m also going to be shifting my goal mindset in 2015.

In 2015, I will be planning quarterly goals instead of yearly goals. Yearly goals are hard to remember, let alone accomplish. This will give me a chance to adjust goals more frequently and adjust goals based on the seasons of life we all go through.

I am excited to finish 2014 strong and I look forward to an amazing 2015.

Let’s hear from you! What are some wins you’ve had in 2014 so far? What do you plan to accomplish in the rest of 2014?

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