updating my financial goals, July 2008

Back in December, while participating in the Carnival of Financial Goals started by Patrick of CashMoneyLife.com, I gave my 2008 financial resolution. I’m pretty happy about where I’m at with it now.


Creative Commons License photo credit: Tigr

Here was my resolution and how I intended to accomplish it:
I will average $1000 per month in alternative income in 2008.

More specifically, these were the SMART measurements I came up with to measure this.

  • Specific – I’m going to expand my alternative income through this blog, through writing freelance articles, through my investments (although those will be reinvested) and through my other blogs.
  • Measurable – In December I will look back, take the total of my non-wage income for 2008, and divide by 12. That number will be higher than $1000.
  • Actionable – I’m already started on this goal – this blog is earning nearly $0.03 per day, I have some dividend-and-interest-producing investments, and I have started submitting a few freelance articles here and there. I just need to increase the intensity of all of these actions!
  • Realistic – If you’ve read this blog for a while you know I believe that just setting a goal down to (figurative) paper means that you can achieve it, but even without that belief I’m sure that if I work hard enough at 10 different income streams I can manage to generate that much, or more, if I make it a resolution.
  • Timely – I will have a good idea if I’m headed in the right direction by February 1, but even if I earn $10 in January it just means I have to average $1090 for the next 11 months. I’ll have a moving target each month, and I’ll know on December 31 if I hit my goal or not.

I followed it up a couple of months later, pointing out that I had come up far short of that goal. I interviewed myself (yes, I actually did – it’s a slightly disturbing one-person two-sided conversation). At that point, I had made far, far less than my original goal.

Well, as Jack Nicholson said in Wolf, “The worm has turned and it is now packing an Uzi, Mary.” I spent some time focusing on this goal and a surprising thing has happened. I am now close to halfway to my goal of earning $1000 a month on average. Considering how badly I did for the first month of the year you can imagine that things have really started picking up. I’m not even counting dividend or investment income at this point.

So how did this happen? I’ll attribute it to three specific actions:

  • My network, The Money Writers, has provided some help with obtaining revenue (namely advertisers) but far more importantly they’ve helped with ideas, tips and support. This is a perfect example of the mastermind concept in action.  I wouldn’t be where I am without these guys (and gals).
  • I reengineered the blog and its advertising. Instead of my previous throw-everything-at-the-wall approach, I stuck to about four categories of ads and studied what worked. I tried to eliminate some of my in-your-face ads but put more ads on older posts. I deemphasized or removed ads that didn’t work, rather than hoping they would generate trickles of income; the purpose was to keep the overall experience of reading fun.
  • And I am sure this final point appeals to half of you and disgusts the other half, but I really concentrated on attracting success; not just for this alternative income but in my overall financial life. I decided that from being positive and writing more about what I feel needs to be said – from my gut – success would follow. I hope it has, in the sense that I hope what you read continues to deliver more value to you (in terms of ideas and maybe even just some fun reading it) than it takes from you (in terms of time). Only you would know that! Otherwise, you’d go read CNN Money.

So I’m halfway there, after an awfully slow start. Later in the year I’ll also pull in other alternative income: totally independent (rather than contracting) consulting in a slightly different field, my work-in-progress book, dividends, referral fees that I mentioned before (I have “headhunted” some former colleagues into positions this year – one 60-minute phone call netted me a $2000 fee for one of them, for example). I have a lot of plans, and the only constraint I have is time. Scratch that… I watched 45 minutes of Star Wars II: Attack of The Clowns, er, Clones last night, so I have time. The only constraint I have is myself, and I’m working hard on not constraining myself in anything!

And to quote again from my interview article update: “Well, the playoffs WERE good. 17-14, baby.” Anything is possible, even beating “The Greatest Team in History.” Nothing is impossible. Nothing.

David Tyree New York Giants Super Bowl XLII

  • http://cashmoneylife.com Patrick

    Very encouraging update, Steve. It’s good to hear that things are looking up, and it looks like you should hit your goal, and possibly surpass it! It’s all about innovation and flexibility. ;)

  • http://www.guinness416.com guinness416

    So what you’re telling us here is that you’re the Eli Manning of the blogosphere. (But who’s Tom Brady?)

  • http://www.guinness416.com guinness416

    Sorry! I meant to also say congrats on the continued success of bripblap.

  • http://www.3princessesmomma.com/ Momma

    This is a pretty encouraging post. I suppose it’s all about being accountable to #1. Congradulations on continuing to work on achieving your goals.

  • http://www.moneysmartsblog.com/ Four Pillars

    Way 2 go! Glad you are getting your blog income happening – it’s been a tough go for us in that field.

  • http://paradigmshifted.org/ deepali

    This sentence made me laugh out loud:
    “And I am sure this final point appeals to half of you and disgusts the other half”

    I fall in the 3rd half! Congrats!

  • http://reallifespirituality.com/ Akemi – Yes to Me

    I’m glad that my article on the Law of Attraction inspired you. Starting from within may seem like a slow unreliable process, but it really is the opposite.

    I also agree with the power of the mastermind. I get lots of help from my friends too.

    Thank you for being my great friend, Steve.

  • http://www.dividendgrowthinvestor.com/ Dividend Growth Investor

    Steve, I wasn’t sure if that was true when you first wrote your goals, or whether this is really your daily income from blogging:

    “Actionable – I’m already started on this goal – this blog is earning nearly $0.03 per day, “

  • http://www.bripblap.com Steve

    Thanks all – Guinness416, Lazy Man of Lazy Man and Money is clearly the Tom Brady of the Interspheres. And yes, DGI, $0.03 was pretty close to accurate. The first 6 months of brip blap were essentially income-less…

  • http://hopetoprosper.com Bret @ Hope to Prosper

    Steve, ironically I set the same $1,000 per month goal for my blog this year, although I did it in private. I’m a long ways off, but the growth is encouraging. Keep up the good work.

  • http://www.moneyboxer.com/ Ron the Money Boxer

    I always enjoy reading about other peoples financial goals, and accomplishments. Especially, with regards to income from blogging or websites. I myself am beginning a new site that I have great hopes for. If my writing progresses as well as my determination, then I think my own goals might be met. They are not modest, yet I believe achievable.

  • http://www.fsyaonline.com Financial Success for Young Adults

    It’s always good to create SMART goals. I actually just wrote down some of my one year goals yesterday. It definitely pushes you to break down what daily committment is needed to achieve those goals. Een if you do not make it there, at least you tried on the way and learned how much more effort is required to get there.

  • http://www.ideas-to-save-money.com/personal-finances.php Personal Finance

    After reading this perhaps it is time that I looked at my own goals and started to action them out into much more manageable objectives. Thanks for the push, because I’ve sort of been putting this off for a while now.