Time to get uncomfortable: set a goal you dread (mine is about 💰)







January 16, 2023

I set a bold and uncomfortable goal for this year: double my income. Here's the process I followed so you can create an ambitious objective and push yourself to grow, too.

I have one goal this year: double my annual income to US$200,000. Such a blunt target forces me to:

  • Keep money top of mind.
  • Experiment with Saent's business model, and fast.
  • Stretch my imagination about how I make money.
  • Rally others to help me.

In this post, I'll explain my thought process for arriving at this objective. Hopefully, my story will inspire you to set a bold, surprising, and uncharacteristic goal for yourself too. (Let me know if you do!)

💰 Why I set a money goal

I'm careless about money. I don't waste it (not anymore), but finances play a side role at best when I make decisions.

Saent, established in 2014, is a good example—we aren't profitable and never have been.

I have worked on Saent in my spare time since 2017 and pay the business costs with the money I make from my daytime job.

The total bill to date?

I think my average monthly loss is US$900 since 2018.
12 months x five years x $900 = $54,000.
That's roughly half a yearly salary for me.

I believe in Saent's mission and enjoy working on it. But I don't have a clear plan for how or when we will make money.

Most of my life is like this: money is an afterthought and often never a thought at all. I want to change that.

💡 How I arrived at my $$$ goal

I had several insights about my strengths, weaknesses, and values while doing exercises from the book Principles: Your Guided Journal by Ray Dalio, an American investor:

  • I'm organized and focused in my day-to-day work but don't plan well for long-term projects or goals.
  • Personal finance is the one life area I rate as mediocre.
  • Achieving financial independence is a wish I've never pursued with a plan.
  • My One Big Challenge is to turn a good idea into a good business.

I know it's a privilege to have these "problems" as I have no financial hardship or serious worries. But I lack assets and significant savings, despite a good income and investing in Saent for years. Most importantly, the situation is not improving.

My dream is to have a company that makes something people enjoy and find useful, and that I and a group of other folks can make a living from. To do that, I must make a business idea or project profitable.

I wanted one goal for the year that forces me to face my flaws and move toward my dream.

I considered "Make Saent profitable." But that objective excludes other possibilities, like starting new projects or doing more freelance writing work. It also doesn't force me out of Saent's money-churning status quo.

"Do a different side-project every month to find a winner that makes money" is too vague, and "Save $100k" emphasizes cutting instead of creating, which isn't motivating.

Then another option struck me during a run: "Double my annual income to $200k." It's simple and hits my weak spot: a lack of focus on money.

Aiming to earn twice as much should stop my financial carelessness and lead to a more balanced approach.


🎯 How I'm going to hit my goal

Here's how I plan to reach my objective:

  • Share progress publicly to create accountability and serendipity.
  • Plan, decide, and act more systematically, especially regarding this goal.
  • Involve other people who are strong where I'm weak (like my wife).
  • Run faster experiments, especially for Saent's offerings and business model.
  • Consider new ways to increase income from the hours I work, for example, by taking on more freelance writing projects.

I'll occasionally use our newsletter to update you on my progress and what I'm learning throughout the year.

💪 How to set your own uncomfortable goal

Are you motivated to set a goal for yourself? Follow these steps:

  1. Think about your strengths, weaknesses, values, and desires.
  1. Reflect on them to find your One Big Challenge, something you're postponing, ignoring, or struggling with but that changes your life when resolved or achieved.
  1. Turn that challenge into a goal that feels uncomfortable or against your nature. The simpler the objective, the better.
  1. Create a plan for how you're going to achieve your goal.
  1. Involve others who are strong in areas you're weak for feedback, support, and accountability.

You don't need to double your income. Anything that pushes you outside your comfort zone and forces you to grow is good.

If you have a goal in mind or are working towards one, please please please get in touch! I’d love to hear your story and see how we can cheer each other on and push through difficulties together.

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