Recently, I’ve found that things have stalled a little since I started my mission for success.
Work’s been crazy busy and now I have so many things on the go. It’s hard to keep up with everything.
However, I am committed to achieving my goals. So, I’ve decided it’s a good time to take stock of how far I’ve come and plan where I want to go next.
When you feel lost and a bit overwhelmed it’s probably the perfect time to take a rest. It’s time to take stock and get back on track by setting more goals.
The Path So Far
It is almost a year since I started my personal mission for success. So, what has happened since I first started?
Here’s what I’ve done in the last year. My first year of actively seeking success.
1. Started to learn and plan
At the start of this mission, I was about to start a good, respectable job. I was nervous but I was confident that I was on a good, safe path.
In my mind, all I wanted was to be normal, safe and happy. I felt blest to be able to go travelling and I was blessed to land here in Ho Chi Minh. However, I had no idea of my potential or what I really wanted to do with my life.
The year started well and then I started to have similar feeling to how I felt about teaching before. I left Perth because I felt like I was trapped. And now I felt myself feeling a little like that again.
Don’t get me wrong, I felt absolutely blessed to be working at such a great job, but there was the problem – I think I wanted more than just a job. Even more than just a career.
I wanted to be free.
Following this feeling and a new desire for self-discovery I began to study all things success.
I started to read articles, watch TV and read books. I learned some amazing great insights from successful people like Tony Robbins, Jack Ma, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and many more.
While I’m nowhere near a book a week, I’ve read some great books so far and have learned so much about how the world really works.
Reading and studying everyday changes you.
Trust me, I’m the worst person in the world for TV addiction, but right now I just forced myself to turn off the TV and write down these words. Now, instead off tuning out to the mindless same-same cop thriller show I was watching, I’m now contemplating how I can level up, go from strength to strength and get the true success that will set me and my family free.
You can read some of my insights in my previous blogs. I started with learning how to invest with purpose. Check it out here.
2. Started investing
So, we started on our mission for success by asking the internet a simple question. How can I make a million dollars? The internet spat back at me: create a passive income by investing, building a business and hustling more, more, more.
It was simple. I knew what I wanted, so my wife and I started to save everything we could and we invested. To begin with, we didn’t know much, but we forged ahead with the knowledge that if you want to get good at something, you have to do it and learn your lessons.
In the beginning our investments started great. We got in at the raging height of a bull market. We bought and everything jumped. Really it seemed too easy. It seemed like, just pick a ticket and collect a prize. We didn’t know what we were doing. I guess we were a bit greedy. Instead of selling when we should have, we waited for more, and then the bear tore us down.
However, we learned our lessons and we studied. We chose to hold on and play long. (Read our insights here.) We took the hit and reassured by the lessons of Tony Robbins and his friends, those he quoted in Unshakeable, we held tight, received some dividends and waited for the value to come back.
And the value did come back.
So, as of this moment we’re pretty much even, but we earned some dividends and we have more coming soon.
If you want to get rich, make your money work for you. But investments aren’t tickets for prizes. If you want to play and win, you need to stay tough and learn your lessons.
We got a whole lot stronger and a whole lot smarter this year.
3. Started to work to learn
Another lesson I learned really early in the mission, was that you shouldn’t work for money, you should work to learn.
Now at this stage, I wasn’t ready to quit my good, safe and rewarding job. I’m still not at the time I’m writing, like right now. However, I wasn’t inspired by work back then, but since I changed to this outlook, I now feel my job is rewarding, important, easy and fun.
I decided to work to learn and not just to trade my time for a paycheck. When I started to look at my time investment in my job, and the investment of the kids I was teaching, I decided it was time to get real. This gave my job more meaning. It was something everyday that enriched my life and the lives of my students.
My time at work helped to strengthen my weaknesses and to learn the things I needed to be a better teacher and mentor. I worked to learn parallel skills. I became more serious and more professional.
Don’t compartmentalize life. When you say, ‘I’m going to shut off the real me and just tick the boxes from 9-5, get payed, and then get onto relaxing’, then you have no life.
Do everything with purpose. Chose a job and be the best you can be at it and learn everything you can.
And if you can’t then quit. If you can’t find any value in a job, then that’s not living, that’s shutting off and dying. Once you start doing that, then you start to do it more and more, until you are a lemming, tuning out and self-medicating to get through a pointless existence.
Find your purpose and continually strive to learn the next thing you need to be able to do more, achieve more and be a more super version of who you were born to be.
3a. As a result, unexpectedly started my novel
As a result of my new approach, I started to take my hobby activities more seriously.
At school every teacher has to do an after school activity to help broaden students talents and abilities. I have always loved creative writing; I hadn’t done it much since Uni, but as an English teacher we always do some. Well, I decided to do creative writing as my after school activity or ASA.
At the beginning of the year, my after school creative writing activity, was just simply writing prompts and hoping to help students to write short stories. However, completely unplanned, what started for me as a one page response to a prompt became a thirty page story and before I knew it was working on a novel.
I had always dreamed of writing a novel, but all my big ideas usually died on the vine. But now I find myself with 200 pages of my first novel. I don’t know how great the final product will be, by I do like to think that if I persevere and learn my lessons, then there’s no reason why I can’t one day have a great novel I’m extremely proud of.
Live with the right purpose and never turn it off, because you never know what you can achieve.
I never really believed I could write a novel and so I never did. However, now I just attack every day with a purpose and try to simply improve everything I do and in every way I can.
As a result I was able to find that writing has always been a great passion of mine and now I see it’s actually something I can do, I want to do and something I want to become really good at.
4. Set up my blog
Around the same I started my mission to success, and I started to get right back into writing, I was introduced to the big world of blogging. Now I’m not going to lie to you. To begin with I learned about blogging because I was looking for ways to make extra money and learn how to develop passive income.
As I was turned on to having a go at anything that would give me the opportunity to achieve financial freedom, well I decided to give it a go and told myself if I tried and learned my lessons then I have a shot of making something out of blogging.
As of this stage, I haven’t made any money from blogging. However, I didn’t expect to make any money in a year. I figured I knew nothing and so for the first year the blogging would be more about learning the ropes and a way to learn and to track my progress.
So after a year down, I can say that I’ve been learning to write blogs. In the beginning I didn’t know what I was doing, but I followed the SEO editor. At the start I wrote long boring long tracks. Now I understanding headings, quotes and images. I can now even put in a movie clip.
As you can probably tell, I still haven’t mastered blogging. However, at the very least I’ve improved my structure and along the way I’ve learned a fair bit by recording my studies.
Personally, I think blogging is a great form of study and I recommend it to everyone. I also do hope to use my blog in the future as a marketing tool and perhaps to generate income.
5. Got Fit
Having moved to Vietnam and bouncing from Hanoi to Saigon, my fitness regime fell out and I had started to feel my physical level deteriorate.
However, over the last year I have gotten back to consistent. At the peak of the year I was going to the gym nearly every day, I was eating very healthy, doing basic yoga, and I had almost quit drinking alcohol.
At that stage, I was feeling great. I felt my body tighten up. I felt energy pumping through my body.
Unfortunately, I let things slip a bit. I had the case of a stressful job, meeting my in-laws for the first time and also planning a wedding. As a result things slipped back a little, but still not that far. I’m now not peak but I have my weight under control and I’m drinking at a minimum.
At the moment I’m feeling good and I’m planning another charge to get back to peak health and stay there. I figure if I keep fighting my way back to peak fit, then one day I’ll get stuck there.
6. Relationship Bliss
In regards to relationships, my lovely fiancé and I finally got married. Well, after 2 years together, finally seems a bit rushed, But for us it feels like it should have happened years ago.
I’m not an expert and I’m not going to spout off like a master, especially when I spent many years having no idea. But I will just say I feel lucky. I waited for the right woman to come along and knew she was right because she feels the same way about all my deepest most important values.
Right now life is great and we tell each other how grateful we are each and every day.
7. Just started a business
At the beginning of my mission for success I learned that the secret to financial success was to invest and to start a business. My plan was to do both, but the investing was easier and I really had no idea how to start a business or what business I could start.
I had always religiously looked for the safety of secure employment. However, when I started to feel trapped I knew I could find a better way. I had no idea exactly what that better was and felt like I actually couldn’t do anything. Then I simply typed in ‘How to make a million dollars’, ‘what business should I start’ … and other such obvious questions, that I previously had been trained not to ask.
The main pieces of guidance that really stood out was that you should stick to your strengths. My first ideas of a business were silly half thought out ideas, like start a restaurant , things I knew nothing about. But I have years of training in education and teaching. It’s what I’m good at. Any other field would not be optimal. So I knew education was key for me.
The next idea that stood out was that good ideas make bad businesses, good businesses are made from good customers. You need to put the customer first. Who could I sell to? Who needs what I can provide? Where is there a great problem that I can solve?
I put these questions out there and the universe responded.
Out of the blue my wife’s friend brought up the idea of starting an English teaching center in Saigon. I’ll spare you all the details, but I had personally seen enough of the problems to know that even if there was huge competition, there was still a huge market and a need for a good English solution.
So, now I’m working with my wife’s friend on building something that I dream will one day be very successful. At the moment I can’t actually start a business like this, because it will conflict with my current occupation. SO for now it’s one hour a week volunteer work, building up next month to two hours a week volunteer work. We’re developing things on the side and one day we will have it all together and then we’ll see.
The Path Ahead
So that’s where I am now. Going through all that I’m feeling a bit better about being a bit stalled. It’s been a big year and even though the blog and the novel are stalling a bit, work is flying and the groundwork for our business is being laid. On the worst day I’m still at least making plans, getting closer to my wife and getting a little fitter back in the gym.
You should always take on way too much. So even when you feel lazy and you want to procrastinate, you still have something productive to do.
There’s so many options. Right now I feel lazy and I’ve had enough of thinking about business, so I can procrastinate by writing this blog. If I get tired of that then I’ll be productive writing the novel, or building my relationship, or burning energy in the gym, or reading my latest book.
Going forward into year 2, I’m feeling a lot of pressure to build on what I feel was a great year. I feel I’ve stalled a bit, but here I am, still pushing on and having a go.
1. Continue learning – the blog stage 2
At this stage, I don’t have the time to dedicate to become an all star blogger. I also don’t have the knowledge in my areas yet. But I’m in no rush. I will continue to churn out content, learning as I read and study and write about the topics that will transform my life.
However, to have a real tangible goal for my blogging, one that I could realistically pursue, I have started to learn the following:
- Firstly, I want to continue to learn how to write better and make more attractive blogs.
- Secondly, I want to learn how to set up affiliate marketing links.
- And then I want to work on building an audience.
By the end of the year my goal is to be viewed and to have earned enough to cover the expenses of my blog. I’m open to making more and one day I am hoping to be able to live off my writing.
2. Continue Investing – build the cash machine
Going forward we plan to develop a cash savings fund, so we are in a position to swoop when opportunities come along. And we are going to continue to look for some good high return opportunities.
We plan to continue to buy good investments and build a steady, safe portfolio of dividend paying stocks to develop a steady stream of income.
We also need to continue to ‘Learn, learn, learn’. Our financial literacy is still limited. We know the basics but we perhaps want to look to get into property or more alternative asset classes.
Also, along the way we need to keep developing content and building our rule/play book.
3. Continue to work better, smarter and learn more and more.
At work and in all my pursuits I plan to continue to work to learn and to always strive to seek the next skill level in everything.
In pursuit of this, I am determined to broaden my range of influence and look to develop more mentors and do more personal and professional development.
In the spirit of working to learn, at work I will broaden my after school activities and will start to tandem teach a unit on business. This I will do with one of my colleagues. We will start this week and the idea is that by teaching students about business we will have to learn all about business as we go.
Last, but not least, I am also driven to develop better programs and materials for classes and for myself as a teacher of valuable information.
4. The unexpected novel
My novel started unexpectedly, and with everything else going on at the moment, the novel has been put on hold. However, this week creative writing starts again at school and I will be once again working on my first novel.
My goal is to finish the draft in the next few months and then have it edited and ready for my colleague to edit by mid way through next year. So by the end of next year I will have a fully edited, revised, polished and publishable novel. (It still feels unbelievable.)
After that, I need to learn about agents, publishing and/or self publishing.
5. The business
Given I’m working full time, and at this stage the opportunity cost of leaving my full time job is way too huge, so we are adopting a step by step approach.
First step is to continue to build up part time experience – doing the work and building up from 1 hour to two and then maybe to 5 or 6 by the end of the year.
The second goal is to build the infrastructure. We just put together a working business plan. After that we need to establish roles and billing and payroll, step by step towards future official launch.
We also need to develop our programs and materials for courses to a professional level.
After that, we need to develop a plan to one day scale the business to owner operator level.
- This year I need to consolidate and get back to a peak state.
- Also, I want to get smarter. Less running and better diet. More weights and flexibility training.
- This year I want to feel fit and strong. Less worn out than the last year.
7. Relationships – the family
- This year, I want to develop better relationships with colleagues and develop a better network at school.
- I also want to be able to spend more time with family back home.
- I need to develop a better relationship with my new business partner.
- And my wife and I need to continue to do what works and hopefully one day we’ll be inviting a new member into our happy little world.
Now that I’ve tracked my progress so far, I feel amazed at how far I have come in a year. I never imagined so much was possible. And I’m so proud of my efforts so far. I’m inspired to keep going and do what needs to be done to keep striving for success.
Also, now that I can see how much I did when I came from a position of knowing nothing and doing very little, I feel less overwhelmed than I did before. If I just keep going along the way I have been; doing what I can and pushing myself to do my best, I know this time next year I will be in a truly amazing position.
All we need to do is to set goals, break them down and go one step after another, becoming a better, stronger and more capable version of who we are.
And step by step we will one day find that we are truly great. The other results won’t matter so much. But I have no doubt if I continue to move forward with great purpose and continue to develop into a more capable person, the financial and emotional and physical results will all be positive.
Whatever your position, whatever your progress and whatever your goals are, I wish you the best and urge you to never stop striving. Strive to be your best, to bring great value to people and to find happiness. Work hard for freedom, and wealth and wisdom.
Whatever you want, never stop trying for it.
Thanks for letting me share these thoughts and remember to never stop striving for success.