So here we are, a brand new year and a brand new decade and some people are waking up today with a giant headache and others are going to be waking up with a giant goal because the beauty that a new year is, it’s a complete fresh start. All the struggles, the failures of the past, the past year, even the past decade, they’re gone. They’re history, it’s all new. It’s all possible. It’s all right in front of us and I’m already hearing people talk about what are you going to get done in the next 10 years? What will life be like for you 10 years from now? And I love that question because it’s a question that we asked ourselves years ago when we were struggling. I was in a job that I didn’t want to be in. We didn’t have much money and we had little kids and Elizabeth and I sat down and we decided what we wanted life to look like 10 years from now.
But you might be surprised to know that it had nothing to do with how much money we were going to have or what our career would look like. We talked about what we wanted our life to look like and the number one word that we used was freedom, freedom of time, freedom to control our schedule, freedom to travel when and where we wanted and financial freedom. Other goals were more specific than that, but I’m giving you an overlay of what the vision was that we came away with. But I’ll tell you what we didn’t do. We didn’t set specific goals that we wanted to achieve career wise. And I know there’s people that will disagree with this, but I’m so glad we didn’t because our goals weren’t about a certain amount of money and if we made it about a certain amount of money, we have probably done work that we didn’t want to do to achieve that goal.
And we didn’t set the goals specifically about what type of work we were going to do either. I know some people will find that odd. I’m going to explain why in a second. So what I’m seeing now as this new year in this new decade begins is a lot of talk about specific things that people are going to accomplish in the long term. I’m going to talk to you today about why think that’s a mistake, because if you set a goal for your business where you want to look like in 10 years, you’re basing that on the way the world looks today. But I want you to think about the way the world looked 10 years ago. If you look around outside, it almost looks the same, but from a business perspective, it’s completely different. The iPhone only came out 13 years ago and it’s changed and transformed the way we do business.
Can you imagine, right before the iPhone came out or Instagram or Twitter or LinkedIn and even bigger Facebook, can you imagine setting a really big longterm goal before you knew it was going to happen? So by setting such a large, longterm goal, you are quite often setting yourself up for failure and disappointment because it’s going to change. Your business is going to pivot. If you stick by it, you’re going to have to be so inflexible to make it happen and what you’re going to do is you’re going to miss out on so many new opportunities because you need to stay on path to achieve this goal, which is irrelevant. And Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft said it really well and he said most people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what can do in 10 years. So I challenge you to scratch the 10 year goal.
For me, I do that aside for a handful of things. The few goals that I want for the next 10 years, will it be as healthy as I possibly can to continue and grow, to have more time and financial freedom and to keep developing and nurturing my relationship with my wife, our kids, my friends, clients, and all the new friends and clients that are going to come into our life over those 10 years, if those are my goals now, everything that I work on, all the short term and longterm goals that I’ll set would be based around those things. What that does for me. It gives me flexibility. It gives me freedom. It allows me the possibility to pivot because I’m doing something now that I love, but in a year and a half from now, I don’t love it as much anymore, but my goal is to make this bigger and bigger.
There’s going to be a conflict and what that conflict is going to come to disappointment and confusion. So I want to give myself the freedom and the flexibility to pivot when I feel like pivoting. And I also want to give myself the possibility to do things that are not about the money. So if I have financial freedom and I have time freedom, if I so choose, I could spend a year, we’re about only work is writing a book. If I want that, I crave that freedom more than anything. If I wind up speaking onstage to thousands and thousands of people and that’s a result of these other things, then so be it. That’s great. The strive just for that to be on stage in front of all those people is not my goal, at least my longterm goal. But what’s beautiful about this freedom and this flexibility is that it allows you to set a lot of awesome short term goals.
And I had the pleasure to meet Tim Ferriss from the four hour work week a couple of years back and a bunch of us got to ask him some questions and one of the questions was asked was how he sets goals. And his answer inspired me and not only went along with the lines of thinking that I was already going, but it helped me shape it a different way. He said he doesn’t have longterm goals. He sets two week goals and six month goals in an article is published for entrepreneur magazine. He says he was told at one point your goal should be two crappy pages per day to write. And that’s it. If you hit two crappy pages, even if you never use them, you’ve succeeded for the day. So for him, setting the bar low for daily activities is a key part of his goal setting strategy.
What it does, it takes away the fear and the pressure of having to do a massive success. So he takes these short term goals is two week and these six month goals, he breaks them down to very small, almost simple daily goals. He sets the bar very low in terms of what needs to get done each day, but he makes sure that gets done and that momentum and that confidence propels them forward to do more and even more and to the pickup speed. So as we start this new year, I want you to look at what you’re going to achieve in the next two weeks, more than the next 10 years. What is it that you can do daily over the next two weeks? That compounded will lead to that goal that might be achieved in six months that you can repeat consistently, that will allow you that even thinking about it, to have that life in 10 years that you can only dream about today and don’t do it.
So many people will do, which will say at this point in 10 years or a year from now, I’m going to do this and not do the daily steps that will require you to get there. Because most people by mid January or early February will have already given up. They’ve already quit and they’ll go back to just accepting life for whatever it gives to them, and I truly don’t want that for you. So happy new year, happy new decade. I couldn’t be any more excited for this fresh start. I’ll be back with you tomorrow with the second show of the year.