Why you haven’t heard from us in a while:
The short answer is: we got ourselves so busy reaching for our 2019 goals that we got a little too busy. We have always believed that we should take down deals as they present themselves. We also have believed that this would be a “lifestyle” business for us. When the deals presented themselves in a larger number than normal and then a couple of our existing properties became vacant, we had more work than could be accomplished in a “lifestyle” business. Our lifestyle became business.
A flip project we listed had three offers over asking price in 24 hours. It gets exciting and it can pull you in. But you can also work yourself out of your priorities. You can be on the phone non-stop and constantly dealing with tasks that need attention. You aren’t doing the things that make you happy because business has taken over. We love our business but it is ultimately a means to an end.
I always end these posts with the “Keep the main thing the main thing” of my grandfather. And that is what we are getting back to. This meant a few weeks without a blog post. It meant passing on a couple of pretty good deals. It also meant reminding ourselves of why we are doing this business.
The awesome news is that we met our goals for 2019 and added several properties to our portfolio. We started private lending this year and we did our first owner finance deal. But we camped less than we planned. We fished and rode horses less than we wanted. We’re now planning out our 2020 travel plans and we’re coming back into balance.
When we set our 2019 goals, it was all about business. And we met those. What we failed to do was set goals for our family. This year’s goals will be both business and family goals. They will be things like net worth goals and monthly cashflow goals. They will also be goals for how many nights we eat at home around a table per week; not for the financial gain, but for the gain in connectedness to one another amidst the hustle and bustle of school, work, and extracurriculars. They will be goals for “no phone” time — for parents and kids. There will be dates reserved for camping trips months in advance so that the other obligations don’t fill in the calendar. There will be goals for days spent doing the things we love.
I encourage you to learn from our mistakes and set goals for 2020 that include business goals and family/personal goals. Get a calendar for the year or do it electronically (we do both), and write in activities that you want to do for fun on certain dates so that you won’t let other obligations fill those dates. If not, your time will be spoken for.
Put goals down for business and create measurable inputs. Lead measures are those things you can directly affect. This is a great way to set goals. If you need help with this, I recommend the book The Four Disciplines of Execution by Stephen R. Covey.
In closing, always remember why you are pursuing the goals you set. 2020 will be great. Set goals that represent where you want to go in the future but remember to make time to live the present. Protect your time and find ways to disconnect from the constant pull of everyone else’s needs. Own your calendar! It’s your time and your life. Do what matters to you. And of course, keep the main thing the main thing!