On 16 August, I wrote, "Why Isn't My Book Done?" I committed to editing it and having it edited by August 25th.
-Able to sell the book without blushing
I set these goals with a friend of mine who is also a writer - it was a pretty ambitious goal, because I finished the rough draft back in February, and not much has happened in the six months since then. Now, I was going to get it to the point where my work is proofable and cohesive in just two weeks?
And yet, it's done. Actually, I'd still blush a little if I went to sell a copy, since I should clean up the formatting, add a title page, things like that. But content wise it's solid enough that I'd take a USD $20 note from someone and hand them a copy bound in hardcover, and I'd feel they got a really good deal.
If I hadn't set this goal and been accountable publicly, to my friend and to everyone who reads here, I wouldn't have done it in two weeks. Honestly - I'm pretty internally motivated, but I've had a lot of stuff going on the last two weeks, it wouldn't have happened. But it did happen, largely because I was publicly accountable.
The same philosophy applies to my financial goals, as I wrote about in "Mark This Down and Watch Me" which has some really ridiculous financial and creative goals on there.
10 years – 10-15 books out, products still selling well, actively investing in companies as an angel or VC, working on big exciting things, $250,000 per month, five properties owned, $10,000,000 in the bank.
How the heck am I going to do that? Jeez, I don't know. But it's down, it's public. Putting it down at first was really, really scary, and I was nervous to do so. But now I'm publicly accountable. Heck, look at my one year goals:
1 year – Critical Thinking [my first book] out. Blog income trickling. Some info products. Some freelancing. Something else, some X-Factor thing bringing in cash. Net monthly income positive. Health insurance. $50,000 in the bank. Expenses = income per month minimum.
I just finished editing my book, I'll probably release it at the end of September. I found a good health insurance plan and signed up. No blog income yet but I figure it'll come, people are starting to visit more. I should record some stuff and sell it - this is an expanding market, people want really entertaining things that help them build their life. I'll do that soon. $50,000 in the bank? Better move my ass, which is why I'm building my new company. Some X-Factor bringing in cash? Already got some ideas on that too.
When I wrote my one year goals they seemed like a bit of a stretch, since I'd been on a down stretch since the year before. It's been a little less than two months since I set those financial goals, one month since I announced them, and I'm already on track for year one. Mind you, I wasn't sure at all how I'd do when I wrote them down, but now I'm in motion.
The same philosophy applies to my writing down "Some General Life Goals" to which I'm now publicly accountable, and even to announcing that "I'm Quitting Spectator Sports" - I was an avid Red Sox fan, but would you believe I haven't even checked the standings since quitting on July 17th? I saw it was sucking up too much time I'd rather spend reading, learning, writing, connecting with people, so I announced publicly I'd quit and I haven't been back.
Public accountability is a joy, it's so wonderful. It's scary though, don't get me wrong. It's definitely scary. Neurosis inducing a little bit, actually, especially right as you're about to post them up. But then, eventually it goes from being something to be afraid about to something to laugh about, and my mind keeps working on how to do what I said I'm going to do. It's so light, so joyful. Why don't you make a public commitment to something you really want to do? I bet you'll follow through, and it'll be a good time. It's hard at first, but joyful later. Are you in?
That was written 5 years ago. Can't imagine how far you've come and how ambitious you are now.
And can't wait to find it out, as I'll be reading many of your posts in the next few weeks.
Keep dreaming big! It's all achievable if we set our minds to it.
I just found this wiki article on technical diving. It indicates the risk is greater below 30 m.
When people go scuba diving for recreation, are they very likely to go below 10 m, or not so likely? Maybe exclusion is less restrictive than I thought.
It’s just not that dangerous for simple dives if you’re trained, paying attention, and abiding safety precautions.
This is true for rock climbing too, which they do cover under the Rider. But one buys health insurance to cover the risk of catastrophic illness, no matter what it was caused by or whether it was likely.
For me it's a hypothetical issue anyway, since I don't do scuba (I'm happy snorkeling). It seems odd that they group scuba under 10 m along with other activities like BASE jumping and bungee jumping.
At least there are solutions; it appears one can purchase cheap scuba insurance. Given how cheap it is, again, I'm surprised that it's not covered by IMG.
Thanks for the info. Their rates are great, though some of the exclusions are unfortunate (no organ or tissue transplants?). Also, too bad about the 24-month max. I'd definitely consider them for travel.
Did you purchase the Adventure Sports Rider? Under exclusions I notice that scuba below 10 m is completely uncovered. You had mentioned you enjoy scuba so I wonder. Personally I'd get the Rider, for piece of mind, if I wanted to go rock climbing or try anything else.
What's your health insurance plan? I'm curious about how much it covers and how much it costs. I have health insurance through my employer right now, but if I leave I'll need something new. I'm also thinking about traveling abroad and health insurance companies tend to place limits on "out-of-network" coverage.
Edit: I gave up on financial goals in late 2011 after some huge financial and artistic wins... money shouldn't be taken too seriously. For the record, they were all basically on track, some were being massively exceeded, others were a bit behind schedule, but were all happening.
I set my next 10 years of financial goals on June 28th. That was exactly a month ago.
1 year - Critical Thinking [my first book] out. Blog income trickling. Some info products. Some freelancing. Something else, some X-Factor thing bringing in cash. Net monthly income positive. Health insurance. $50,000 in the bank. Expenses = income per month minimum.
3 years - 3 to 5 books out, many products out, blog income robust, some working on big exciting deals. $10,000 per month total, $5000 passive at least. First property owned. $300,000 in the bank.
5 years - 7-10 books out, many many products out, many passive income internet properties, working on big exciting things, $50,000 per month total, $40,000 passive at least. $1,000,000 in the bank.
I'm always amazed at just how much happens in a year. At the end of each year, grateful for a gimme topic to write about, I sit down to write this post. And each time my first thought is, "Yeah, but not that much happened this year." Then I go through my archive for the year and look at the titles of my posts, and I realize that the previous year's farewell post seems to have been forever ago, and that tons has happened since then.
Some quick highlights of the year:
1. I bought an island with nine great friends. I've already written about this ad naseum, but it's one of those ridiculous life goals that you hope might actually come true, worry that it might be too farfetched, and then is every bit as good as you had hoped when realized. I'm really grateful to all of the people bought in and trusted me to make it happen, and for the sellers who were great to work with. This upcoming year is going to be an exciting one for the island.
2. We made some huge progress on Sett. We opened it up to the public and now have over 4500 blogs hosted, growing at a steady 10% per week. We're still in our infancy, but I'm really proud of the platform we've built, and I'm humbled every day by the great blog posts people host with us. Even if your only interaction with Sett has been reading my blog, you've been a part of the process, and I'm grateful for that.