Reflecting On Short Term Business and Personal Goals & Resolutions

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2012-01-0822

At the beginning of each year, it’s typical for everyone to declare their goals and assess how they’ve done in the previous year (or years past). I think I’ll follow suit with this compendium of updates on this subject.

Earlier on, I had set forth some goals that I hoped to achieve at some point. We haven’t yet accomplished all that we’ve set out to do, but a lot of progress has been made and we’ve been fortunate enough to meet some successes along the way. So if I were to give ourselves a grade on these matters, it would be around a “B”.


All the stuff I write about here is something we expect to address in a reasonable amount of time, and as goals, they are considered more short term in nature. And when I describe these as “our” goals, I’m referring to the fact that my spouse and I look upon these matters as a joint effort. I thought to lay it down here in order to have us stay accountable to commitments we’ve made.

Making & Meeting Short Term Goals & Resolutions

Here’s what we’ve aimed to do in recent years:

How Our Business Goals & Plans Have Fared

My spouse and I turned into entrepreneurs quite recently. One major goal we had in August 2006 was to get an online business up and running. This goal was completed in December 2007, but it took the loss of a stable, relatively well-paying full-time corporate job to do it. It also took a good chunk of shared savings (between two households: ours and the business partner’s) to fund and complete.

As any start up adventurer will let you know, the journey takes a while to unfold — sometimes taking half a decade to transpire. And as any such entrepreneur in the Bay Area will tell you, success in a start up can go three ways:

  • being able to launch your start up as profitable in its own right
  • getting lucky enough to be bought out by a bigger company
  • or going public

So what’s happened since? Ultimately, the original project did not pan out as planned, but there have been numerous additional new projects that have since taken its place. We’ve learned about how to cut our losses without necessarily giving up (as they say, if at first you don’t succeed, keep trying. And maybe, think of something else!).

I’m also working on some business ideas of my own but with my limited time, I’m taking a more casual approach to these efforts; I’ve decided to stop sweating it out to keep my sanity. While I had plans to launch a couple more web projects including the development of Cafepress stores and more sites, I decided to throttle it back a little. For now, I have moved these ideas to the back burner as I considered the difference between focusing vs multi-tasking. One area of focus has been The Digerati Life (this site), which has grown well over the years and which I intend to further improve.

So basically, our business goals yielded mixed results. However, even if specific aspirations may not have worked out for us, our major goal of becoming independent full-fledged, full time entrepreneurs has been achieved, certainly by 2011.

mountain climbing

Personal Finance & Investment Goals

1. Cash Flow
Our emphasis has always been to improve our income prospects as business owners. We saw several years of limited cash flow, so it would be natural for us to create cash flow targets every year that we could realistically meet. We’ve managed to make it work by performing a patchwork of jobs, including consulting gigs that yielded reasonable returns along with income from online sites. For a while, we earmarked a certain amount of our savings to help supplement our income and tide us over. These days, we don’t really rely on savings as much as we used to since our business revenue has been covering our needs.

2. Investments
For the next few years, it is our aim to get into the real estate investing business in more earnest, as a way to further diversify our investments. This year, we plan to purchase an undervalued piece of property for rental purposes. We’ll see how this works out!

2007 goals

We’d be happy to grow our investments in line with market returns. A stretch goal is for us to ensure that our investments can comfortably offset any deficits in our business income, since our revenue streams are unpredictable.

3. Budgeting
In the realm of expenses, budgeting and frugal living, we’ve done much better. I’m working on a better budget by training ourselves to live on less given the higher risks afforded by our new ventures. We’re aiming to bring the budget down by 20% from what it normally is. As it stands, we’re much more conscious about our spending and we’re more self-sufficient than we used to be. For example, last year, we relied less on hiring outside help to do some home repair work: we ended up doing certain jobs ourselves. Plus, we deferred as many big ticket expenses into the future as we possibly could, such as:

  • replacing our cars
  • performing home renovations
  • and taking expensive trips

For the year, we plan to keep our expenses along the same lines. I doubt we’ll be able to cut any more fat from our budget so I’d be happy if we kept at similar expense levels.

4. Fiscal Organization
Still to be done because we didn’t make much progress in these areas: IRA and 401K rollovers, account consolidation and estate plan updates (this involves updating our wills, fixing our lists of beneficiaries for accounts and creating a trust for our house). While we’ve been able to get additional life insurance recently, we are still thinking of securing dental insurance. I’m also going to be decluttering our house extensively by selling our stuff through consignment or donating our items, particularly our child specific materials which the kids have outgrown. Lastly, I’m planning to overhaul our money management and bill paying systems. I aim to start using more standard financial software (or work with a financial planner) to run our household finances and investments going forward.

Job/Work Goals

As you may already know, I’ve made it out of the “rat race” and have worked independently since 2008, which was a primary short term goal I had for sometime. So I’ve got this matter checked off! With that accomplished, I now hope to be a more productive worker.

Health & Personal Goals

I’ve done really well here. I’m the slimmest that I’ve been in 10 years! I’m on target towards my goal of losing the final few pounds of extra weight I’ve accumulated over the past decade. Eating better and sticking to an exercise regimen are all it takes!

In Closing

I’d love to end the year in the same way most people do: with a healthier physique, a healthier bank account, a less stressful lifestyle and a happy household. In general though, I’m just hoping we get through the year whole!

How about you: were you able to keep your previous resolutions? Do you have new goals for the upcoming year?

Created January 1, 2007. Updated January 8, 2012. Copyright © 2012 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Debt Fighter January 3, 2007 at 9:25 pm

Best of luck with your businesses…without giving away details, what genre do your businesses belong? I currently work with some internet/intranet applications in the financial arena. I’ve always wanted to break away on my own, but with three mouths to feed (not including my own) it’s tough to take the leap.

I’m interested in following your story.

Silicon Valley Blogger January 3, 2007 at 11:29 pm

Debt Fighter,
Thanks for the encouragement! We’re working on sites and applications in various areas such as “social commerce” and gaming. One we’ve been working on is a consumer oriented Web 2.5(?) application in the area of ecommerce. I’d be interested to hear about your area of work as well! I enjoy learning from others who may be in similar situations.

Nathan C. April 1, 2007 at 4:16 pm

Best of luck!!!! :-D

The Dividend Guy January 6, 2008 at 8:57 pm

Good summary and thanks for the openness and insight into your goals. I look forward to seeing how you do in the months to come.

Patrick January 6, 2008 at 11:11 pm

You’ve got a lot of great goals! I wish you and your family the best of luck in meeting each of them. :)

Silicon Valley Blogger January 7, 2008 at 10:18 am

Definitely, I try to give updates on our progress as things happen. Hope you stay tuned to watch us either float or fizzle!

Muchas Gracias!

thewild1 January 7, 2008 at 10:49 am

I always enjoy reading your articles. Hope everything you plan for the coming year works out well.

calgirlfinance January 7, 2008 at 10:50 am

Great goals! They seem challenging, yet do-able. I wish I were more risk taking or tech oriented, then I could try my hand at a startup and see where it goes! The main problem is that I’m risk adverse. :)

RacerX January 7, 2008 at 11:33 am

You will hit your numbers if you continue to work on your plan. You have come sooo far! Keep up the great posts.

david @ Best Savings Rates January 7, 2008 at 11:56 am

Good luck on your resolutions and goals!

glblguy January 7, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Great read! I’m sure you will meet all of these goals… your blog rocks!

Mrs. Micah January 7, 2008 at 5:02 pm

Very exciting! When one retires, what does one do with oneself? I’d probably become an even more professional blogger and quilter.

Silicon Valley Blogger January 7, 2008 at 6:05 pm

No rest for the wicked! All your goals are going to be very interesting to track throughout the year. :)

We should think about retirement as “retiring from the drudgery of 9-to-5″, and not necessarily of “work”. What’s more exciting than having more time spent with family but also for personal projects? I’ve heard from a lot of online types that they are looking forward to becoming serious bloggers, ebook writers and t-shirt hawkers!

Shauna January 7, 2008 at 8:20 pm

Awesome post. I’ve made my own personal challenges for the year, too – all financial. I’m still a bit young to be considering retirement, but I’d love to prepare as though I were close. Great advice!

Money Blue Book January 8, 2008 at 7:10 am

Best of luck with your personal web business goals! They require a substantial amount of upfront work but you can do it!
-Raymond

The Financial Blogger January 8, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Whoa! The coming year should be a great year for you then! Keep it up and you will succeed :-D Good luck with your goals!

MoneyNing January 8, 2008 at 4:52 pm

Good luck! I’m sure you will reach your goals!!

Crystal Andus July 17, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Yeah, goal setting is important but I’d like to say that plans without actions will leave you nowhere. Tracking your expenses is great advice. I wish you success.

krantcents January 8, 2012 at 2:50 pm

2011 was a tough year for me because I received a RIF notice. As a teacher, this is the new reality! I managed to get a new assignment, but it took its toll on me this past year. My 2011 earnings were the highest, but some of my other goals did not materialize. I incorporated many of those into my 2012 goals.

Silicon Valley Blogger January 8, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Same here — 2011 wasn’t as slam dunk for us as 2010 had been. However, I feel optimistic about 2012 and am eager to get some new ideas off the ground. As mentioned, one big financial move we’re making is to get into the landlording business. I noticed that you wrote about this on your site, Krantcents. I’ve had this in mind for a while, but have been waiting for a better entry point, given the real estate bubble and the aftermath of the subsequent bust. Is the dust clearing? I think there is a bit of that going on.

Jeff Crews January 8, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Goals are great. Some things I have really been trying to act out are that “Details Matter”. Many times, people forget the little details that end up costing them a lot!

Banker, Saver January 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Good set of goals here. I just wanted to share a survey by Cozi.com. They put out a Family Outlook survey that states that 68% of households spent at least as much money as they did in 2010 as they did in 2011 — many spent more. Around 60% want to dial the spending back this year — but the reality is that only a percentage of this group will actually succeed in cutting back (for example, in 2011, only 32% of families spent less than they did in previous years, even if 55% of them vowed to do so).

So what are some of the things that families aim for this year?

  • Go back to basics and hang out with the family and the kids more.
  • Stay more organized and live more simply.
  • Cut back on spending.
  • Eat in more often.
  • Do away with impulse shopping.

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