A year ago, I mentioned my love-hate relationship with goals. I had set three for 2014. Let’s see how it went.
- Unity of my marriage.
When you have been married for 13 years, you can be deluded into thinking that you know everything about the other person and you are the “master” of marriage. Luckily, I wasn’t so blind to think that a year ago and the past year proved me right.
I still don’t think I put enough energy and attention into our relationship. However, there were a few events that transformed our marriage a bit.
-I started to earn money from my books. When I admitted to my wife, on March 1, 2014, that I earned half of my salary in royalties, she was shocked. She treated my writing not just as a hobby, but a “stupid” hobby. She thought I “wasted” my time instead of doing household chores.
-We bought a house. It was a dream of hers for years. It ruined us financially, but she is more happy and a bit less stressed. BTW, if not for my royalties, we couldn’t have afforded this purchase.
-We appreciate each other more. My wife started a new job this year. I see how demanding it is and I recognize how much juggling she has to do to simultaneously perform the tasks of a wife, mommy, and employee. Also, she sees how hard it is for me to take care of the family, work full time, and drag my publishing business forward.
-She started to support me. She helped me with organizing a promo of Master Your Time in April, which was my best free promo so far. When I organized my first Buck Book event, she left a note for me (she went to work) saying how proud she is of me. That note was much better than the event itself. When I experienced a short period of discouragement and helplessness in December, she listened to my concerns and put me back on the right course.
- Quit my 9 to 5 job.
I still work. I still can’t even imagine a time I can afford going full time with my writing.
However, I’m definitely closer to that goal than a year ago. In the “goal post,” I said I needed 130, 000 sales to quit my job. I based this calculation on $1 price point because, at that time, all my books were priced at that level. But in 2014, I published a couple of books priced higher and received 70% of royalties instead of 35%. Nominally, I sold about 7600 copies in 2014, but in $1 units, it is closer to 26k. Remember, in December 2013, I sold just 145 copies. The progress is slower than desired, nonetheless it’s obvious.
I realized 20% of my “goal.” I didn’t believe I would even realize 5%.
A year ago, I mentioned I needed 7123% growth. I experienced 1631% growth. Not too shabby.
And I found additional sources of income. I earned $14.11 as an Amazon affiliate and $69.5 as a Buck Books affiliate. I published Master Your Time in German and I got about 5.5% of overall royalties from that source.
This expands my horizons a bit and gives me hope to achieve my goal faster. I’m going to organize several Buck Books events this year. I published a second book, From Shy to Hi, in German and I’ll soon publish Master Your Time in Spanish.
- Growing my mailing list.
I set the goal of having 1000 subscribers. I had 342 on December 31, 2014. Only 34.2% of the plan was realized. But at the beginning of 2014, I had just 47 subscribers. This is a 727% increase.
There are a couple of bright points about getting my subscribers:
-I started to really care about this aspect of my business. IT is my business. The sales are just a function of the mailing list size. So I started to actively pursue ways to capture more subscribers. I played with a the HelloBar on this blog and I can proudly say that I got a couple of subscribers because of it. I set myself responsible for inventing new ways to attract more subscribers and increase their engagement.
As you can see, my skepticism for setting goals was justified. I am only really satisfied with the results of my intangible first goal. The other two goals are clearly failures. But there are failures forward. 20% and 34.2% of the plans realized is better than nothing.
And the agile way I approach goal setting materialized a few things I couldn’t have envision.
We bought a house! I’m a homeowner. I’m writing these words in my home office. It’s just mind blowing.
I got a publisher! This is surreal. I just can’t wrap my mind around this. I wrote the first words with the intention of publishing on Amazon in April 2013. English is not my mother tongue. I had no writing experience. I had just a vague idea about online marketing (I watched my first webinar in November or December 2012).
My books are published in German.
I earn an affiliate income.
I launched (and failed to keep alive) an online group. That was a learning experience.
I wrote a few Lift plans and a couple hundred people joined them.
I didn’t consciously set my mind to achieve those things. It just happened because I was persistent in realizing the vision I have for my life.
But still, Jim Rohn quite explicitly insisted on setting goals. So I think I’ll repeat the goal setting exercise for 2015.
And you? How your goals went in the past year? Please share in comments.