Monthly Goal Update – February 2015

I achieved all four of my intended financial goals for 2014, including the Version 2 and 3 Targets. Yes that’s right…… I’m awesome! During my end of year review I found that I’ve become very strong at managing money. Once I have money in my possession, I’m very good at saving/investing it and I choose not to spend it on the normal consumer itemsIt also highlighted that I’m currently very average at making money. My income is above the national average (approx £30,000 per year), but it’s far from strong. My ‘side hustles’ are making an impact, but if I was able to make more money from them, my investments, dividend income and time to become FI would all benefit from the back end. 

I’ve decided to make 2015 The Year Of Making MoneyI might be average at making money at the moment, but I have a lot of confidence in my ability to set Goals and to achieve them. If I set my mind to something, I can usually accomplish it. If I’m unable to achieve it, it’s probably someone else’s fault. Like I said, I’m pretty damn awesome! 😉

My 2015 goals are across all the areas in my life, and some of them are quite ambitious for me. review my progress in each area on a weekly basis (every Sunday). I consider what’s worked, what hasn’t, what do I need to do to keep on track, and then I make any necessary adjustments for the week ahead. I’ll now be posting a ‘Goal Update’ on a Monthly and Quarterly basis on this Blog to show my progress on each area and to keep me on track. 

Without further ado, grab yourself a hot drink and settle in. Here we go……..

2015 Goals
Financial Goals
  • I will earn at least £50,000 in income by 31 December 2015I need to earn £4,166 per month, every month, to be on track by the end of the year. This month I earned £1,793.69 income. Last year I averaged £2,030.95 income between March – December 2014, so this is clearly a low paying month for me. My average Income in 2015 is currently £1,911.90 per month. This would suggest I’ve got some bloody work to do! I’m not too downbeat on this goal as I’ve only just started to earn money selling Kindle books. I feel that my book sales will be the most significant factor to me hitting this goal or not and that’s when I consider my current salary (approx £30k a year) and Dividend Income (Goal £2,000 a year). I don’t see either option significantly increasing above these totals. Therefore, Kindle will need to make me approx £18,000 this year. Gulp! Behind Target

  • I will earn at least £1,000 per month creating and selling Kindle e-books by 31 December 2015. I want to earn £1,000 in a month by the end of December 2015. I now have 7 books in that are actively selling. I made approximately £43.14 in February largely from selling 6 books (the 7th one went on late in February and I didn’t sell a copy). I worked out the exact amount (or as close to it as possible) from the current exchange rate for US dollars and Euros to UK Pounds. As I know a lot of you are investors, I thought you’d be interested to see the Return on Investment (ROI) for the books. The cost of the 6 books stands at £233.72 That’s a ROI of 18.46% in one month. I should pay off my assets in 5 months in that rate, and then everything else on top is a bonus. To receive £1,000 per month, I’d need to invest £5,417 in total which I should be able to accumulate in 6 months. I’m extremely happy with that! That was just the boost I needed too. The vast majority of my February sales were from two books and I still haven’t done any marketing on any of them. I’m completing them, putting them on Amazon, and leaving them to sell. What could I earn when I turn my attention to Marketing them?! My top selling book cost me £82.95 to create and that returned £23.20 in Feb (28% ROI in one month). The second top seller cost me £44.02 to create and it made me £19.03 in Feb (43% ROI in one month). Those numbers are outstanding. It also goes without saying that 4 of my books earned me next to nothing! The book in 3rd place for example earned me 45p for the month. I’m confident that I know why some books have sold and why others haven’t and I’m working on replicating the ‘winning’ formula for the other books I have. I’m still quite a way from the £1,000 per month, but I’m closer than I was last month and that’s important. If I can earn £42.23 from 2 books and I replicate that average ROI across 50 books, I would hypothetically make £1,055.75 a month. There you have it. Can I make £1,000 a month on Kindle books? Do I like to Ramble? Do I like to use different colour fonts?….. Stone Cold Steve Austin would reply “Hell Yeah” On Track (Yes I said On Track)

  • I will have a ‘Freedom Fund’ worth over £50,000 by 31 December 2015I had a great start to this Goal in January. With my regular saver payout and dividends my portfolio value went up to £30,082.66. I didn’t buy any shares in February, but I benefited from a nice increase in share value and an above average amount of dividends to go with it. My freedom fund was valued at £31,265.05 at the end of February (£1,182 increase). That leaves me with £18,734.95 to go in 10 months or £1,874 per month. That amount is very close to my average income for 2014, never mind taking into consideration my expenses. That amount has increased from January and the long and short of it is – I need to make more money to make this one happen! Behind Target

  • I will receive £2,000 in dividend income by 31 December 2015. I recently made a post on my Dividend Income. I received £56.22 in February. My monthly average is now£69.85 after two months. To hit my Goal, I’ll need to bring in £167 per month over 12 months. Thankfully my next month is due to be my biggest ever so it should get me back on track. My forward dividends still don’t cover this amount at the moment, so I’m relying on bringing in additional capital (via Kindle sales) to fund more investments, to get a higher forward dividend income. Behind Target

Business Goals
  • I will create and sell at least 50 Kindle e-books on Amazon by 31 December 2015. My monthly goal was to release at least 10 books by the end of February. I want to publish at least 4 books a month as a minimum standard. I didn’t achieve this during February which was a little disappointing. I’ve managed to publish 7 books in total by the end of February, but as I mentioned last month, I wanted to get ahead of the game early on. What I’ve learned this month is that the writing process is, by far, the longest part of publishing a book. I really enjoy working with my writers and good writers aren’t easy to find. Once you start working with good writers, you want to ensure that they’re happy and they continue to write for you multiple times. I’ve had this juggling act of asking for deadlines to be met and putting ‘some’ pressure on them to complete the work, but I’m trying not to be overbearing and be as flexible and understanding as possible. I have 20 books on the go right now (including the 7 I have published). I have the ideas, the book covers and the work out there, but it isn’t coming in as fast as I initially expected. I’m learning to just accept this. I mentioned above that if I can average a ROI that’s equal to my current two best selling books  – 50 books would result in me earning over £1,055 a month on Kindle. I feel that it’s important to look after the writers I have and ensure the quality is as high as possible in order to maximise the chances of getting £1,000 per month. I’ve created the ideas, and covers for far more than my projected 4 a month, so perhaps I’ll get more books published this month. I’m also thinking that it’s unlikely that I’ll stop at 50 books. There are so many things to write about and why not push on to over 100 books and get more passive income coming in?! I’d like to have at least 12 books published at the end of march, but hopefully closer to 15. Behind Target – Publishing On Track – Creating ideas and covers

  • I will become a money coach in 2015. I will have three separate ‘trial sessions’ with people I know and three separate ‘paid sessions’ with people I don’t know by 31 December 2015. I’ve made some great progress in this area for February. I’ve had my first paying client! I was contacted by someone via this Blog to ask for help on creating a book on Kindle. I agreed to help him get a book out there on Amazon for a one off ‘gift’. I agreed to a fee that was below his suggested price. I wanted this process to be a learning curve for me as much as him, and I want to ensure that I over-deliver on the quality of my time and knowledge etc. I’ve been exceptionally lucky, as the person I’m dealing with is such a nice guy. He’s receptive to advice, he asks great questions, he’s eager to learn and his progress so far has been excellent. I told him over the weekend that I love his book idea, and I think it has the potential to match if not over take my best sellers for income. I’m very excited to see how he gets on with it, and we’ve agreed moving forward to help each other out on the process as much as possible. I’m hoping that results for February will inspire more people to contact me and ask for similar advice. My income from Kindle will hopefully be the biggest bread winner, but I’d like to help others benefit from the same returns I have. Coaching is so much fun, and I usually find myself buzzing after my sessions. If you’re interested please drop me an email and let’s chat. I think as my results increase, the interest in’ how I do what I do’ will go with it. I think it’s completely plausible to suggest two more people will pay me for my time to help them with this process in the next 10 months. I might set up a separate page or contact email for people interested in creating and selling E books, who knows. It’s all very exciting! On Track

Employment Goals
  • I will hit 100% of my Bonuses (three in total) for 2015. Part one done! My team are awesome. They got our Region over the line to trigger my Bonus – Thanks team! My end of year target is set for August. We hit it in May last year, and I’d like to hit it in April for 2015. The final bonus is based on how I perform as a manager and there are many factors that fit within it. This one is subjective, and ultimately it’s my managers decision. I asked my manager, once again, during our monthly 1-to-1 how I was performing to this target, and she said she was impressed with the progress I made in the areas she highlighted last month. She actually laughed when I asked her this time. I don’t think I could make it more obvious that I’m hungry for 100% this year. I just need to keep showing consistency i these areas now until August to eliminate any doubt. On Track

  • I will help all 7 people in my team develop by supporting them achieve at least one personal goal – Attend a course / get a promotion / hit a personal target etc by 31 December 2015. I now have all the goals from my team, now I just have to help them! Most of them are performance related, and will take most of the year to complete so I don’t think I’ll be in a position to update you further on this for at least a few months. On Track

Physical Goals
  • I will enter and compete in a Bodybuilding event in 2015. I mentioned last week that I’m scrapping this goal. I said I was going to spend some time considering what my physical goal will be in during February. On that front, I failed. I haven’t given it any consideration in honesty. This hasn’t stopped my training. My strength is coming along for my upper body, but lower body strength is still held back by a nagging injury. I will continue training for strength and hypertrophy for the foreseeable and I’ll get back to you all on my new goal in this area when I know. Behind Target

  • I will record my daily macro-nutrients in a nutrition diary for at least one month. As I reported last month. I managed to achieve this goal in January. COMPLETED!!

  • I will squat 175kg, I will Bench 120kg, and Deadlift 200kg. As I mentioned above, my upper body strength iis increasing with my physique, so my bench is on track. My lower body is still hampered by a groin strain, so I haven’t squatted or deadlifted this month. I happy with the progress I’ve made post surgery and this is not a priority goal for me at this stage of my life. I’d to remain at least as strong as I was at the end of last year, but have a better physique for it. Behind Target

Emotional Goals
  • I will perform a morning ritual, which lasts at least 10 mins, every weekday morning for the whole of 2015. (260 morning rituals) I wanted to complete 20 morning rituals this month, and I competed 17 in the end. So far I’m 37/40.  I’m relatively happy with that The three example where I didn’t do them were due to me sleeping in until 7.00-7.30 instead of 5.50am. I woke up to the alarm every time, but I could feel that my bosy needed more rest, so I just dozed off again. There were times when I really didn’t have the motivation to do it, but I made myself start I managed to complete each one I started. I never regret doing them and it sets the tone for the rest of the day for me. The FIREstarter asked me what my routine involved. There are lot of things that go into them, and I tend to vary them depending on what I need and how much time I have etc. I committed to him that I’ll do a post on it and I’ll go into much more detail for him and everyone everyone else. Behind Target

  • I will perform a weekly review, on the weekend, for the whole of 2015. (52 weekly reviews). I love these sessions. I haven’t missed any of them, nor would I like to. I’m currently 9/9. I’m even doubling them up with my Mastermind sessions on a Sunday evening. I’ve been surprised with how much I’ve enjoyed looking back at my week and evaluating my performance. Like the morning rituals, I’ll go into a little more detail on an actual blog post for those of you that are interested. I would highly recommended everyone doing these weekly reviews, no matter what you do in life. On Track

Relationship Goals
  • I will have at least a date and location organised for our wedding by 31 December 2015. This is a lower priority Goal of mine at the moment. Sorry Miss FFBF. I still love you! In all honesty, I’ll probably look at this goal after July/August time. Behind Target

  • I will go on two holidays with Miss FFBF for at least two nights each by 31 December 2015. Not a lot has changed on this one. I still haven’t taken any action on this goal. We’re likely to go away in the Easter break and the summer holidays. I’ll book the Easter holiday some time this month. The summer Holiday will probably wait until June/July. (We like to book these late!) Behind Target

  • I will visit three long distant friends – JB, RF and JD by 31 December 2015. OK, I’m getting into a bad cycle now, bu tI haven’t taken any action on this goal either. This is one of those goals I could complete in a couple of weekends, perhaps the same weekend. It’s lower down on my list of priorities, because I know that I can achieve this at any time. I want to continue using my free weekends to develop my publishing business for now. Behind Target

  • I will have at least one ‘guy only’ night a month for the whole of 2015. (12 ‘Guy Only’ nights) I love this Goal. Sorry Miss FFBF! It’s one of those Goals that’s a pleasure to meet. The second Guy night was brilliant. A night on the town, plenty of drinking, talking rubbish and a bit of pool. The downside was that it took place on a ‘school night’, so we ALL had to go to work the next day. Everyone knew, including my boss, that we were out for the night and thankfully most of us were OK the next day. One of the lads had a little too much to drink and was suffering the consequences the following day. He came in 10 mins late, came up to my desk, looking like his skin had taken the ‘Daz Doorstep Challenge’. He apologised for being late and went on to explain that he had been sick in his car on the journey in, and he had to pull over several times. He managed to catch one of the ‘episodes’ in handy packet of Haribo that was perched on the passenger seat. He ended up taking his hour lunch break at 10.30am after he had been to the toilet 12 times from 8.40am! (I kid you not!) I was actually worried about him, although my constant ribbing and sweet references wouldn’t have told the same story. Long story short, we’ve decided not to go out on a school night again. ‘Haribo’ is alive and well, and won’t be drinking Carling for a long time! Guy night three is currently in discussion. On Track

Contribution Goals
  • I will contribute at least £250 towards charity for by 31 December 2015. I made my second donation online for February. I contributed £20 towards Macmillan Cancer Support. I’m now up to £43.80, which is slightly ahead of where I need to be. On Track

Blogging Goals


  • I will have 150,000 all time page views on my Blog by 31 December 2015. At the end of February, this Blog had 60,146 all time views. In order to reach the 150,000 milestone by the end of December, I need to average 8,770 page views a month between Feb-Dec. As you’re about to find out, that seems achievable. On Track
  • I will consistently average over 10,000 page views a month by 31 December 2015. In February I had 8,174 page views. This is a drop on last month, and one I’m not too surprised with. I did 12 posts in January and a measly 5 posts in February. If I’m putting in less than half the work, I can’t expect the viewing numbers to go up. The 10,000 views a month is still well within reach and I’m confident that if I can keep closer to 10 posts a month I’ll be hitting that number in a few months. On Track

  • I will publish 120 posts by 31 December 2015. (10 per month) I managed to publish 5 posts in February. Not that great TBH! Blogging is important to me, so is the kindle publishing business and money coaching. I set this goal to ensure I don’t forget about the Blogging altogether with everything else I have going on. I think I have forgotten about the Blogging this month, and I’d like to be closer to the 10 posts in March than I was last month. I’m now on 8.5 posts a month on average over two months. Behind Target

  • I will organise two UK Gathering for FI/PF Bloggers and readers by 31 December 2015. I’ve pencilled in the first date and location for the Spring Gathering. I’m really looking forward to it now. It’s just 2 weeks away! Details here if you’re interested. I’ll work on setting up the Summer Gathering after we’ve wrapped up the first one. I’d like to look at another location to give other people the opportunity to come along. On Track

  • I will happily start and build Email list for Blog by 31 December 2015. This is yet another Goal I have on the back burner for now. I don’t think will take a long time to set up when I get around to it. Behind Target


So there you have it. Two months down. Plenty of progress and success in some areas, and next to nothing done in others. Overall I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made so far in 2015, especially on my Priority Goals – Kindle, Coaching, & Investing. 

Here’s to hoping for more success in March. I hope you all have a cracking month too!


How did you get on with your goals this month? Have you surprised yourself this month? Can you look at Haribo’s the same way?

0 Comments

  • The Big Monkey

    Reply Reply 6th March 2015

    Morning Huw,

    Another very detailed update. You've made fantastic progress on a very demanding set of goals. WRT the Physical Goals and body building, you're not behind target. The target has been adjusted. I think it is important that you are able to review your targets, as you do, but it's also important that you are able to make adjustments and alterations.

    You put the rest of us to shame with your drive and ambition. I feel like a bit of a sloth in comparison. I hope that LM doesn't read your latest post, as I'll be in for a kick in the backside.

    Only two weeks to go until the gathering. It's going to be an interesting couple of days and I'm looking forward to it.

    TBM

  • weenie

    Reply Reply 6th March 2015

    Hey Huw

    Great update – good to see that you are on track for so many of them, although there's a little work to be done on others.

    Very impressed with your kindle book writing/selling, although I was exhausted just reading about what you have to do with regards to the writers etc. It's something I'm interested in but not something that I want to get into myself but it sounds like already that it will be a fantastic earner for you! Well done on your efforts so far and can't wait to see what you will achieve when you start marketing your books properly!

    Great news on the coaching goal too and interesting to see that you have tied in your Kindle book publishing with this – excellent idea!

    Gosh, you're right, it's not long til we all meet up – really looking forward to it!

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 7th March 2015

    Hi TBM,

    Thank you for the kind words! I see where you're coming from on the Physical/Bodybuilding goal front. I planned at the end of January to have a new goal established by March and haven't got there yet, so I failed my monthly goal, but I'm fine with that. I am still making progress towards improving my strength and physique and I'm happy with that.

    I'm not sure I put you to shame at all. Your achievements have been quite remarkable. We're all driven in many different ways and I'm sure you're making much more progress than you give yourself credit for. You're within reach of FI!

    I can't wait for the gathering. I had such a great time at the last one, and that was with having an illness, with it raining, and being without Miss FFBF. SoA Here we come!

    Thank you for your continued support. It means a lot!

    Huw

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 7th March 2015

    Hi Weenie,

    It feels like it's been ages! I hope everything's good your end!

    I've had a lot on this month, but I must do some catch up Blog reading, as I have missed finding out how everyone is doing.

    I'm been pleasantly surprised with the whole Kindle thing so far. I had a coaching session last night, and he said "This Kindle thing has been really easy so far". I have to agree. The process is simple once you know what to do. I don't enjoy the editing process, but I have the option to outsource that work if I choose. I simply choose not to, to save money. I think when it comes to scaling up the business, I will need to consider doing that at some stage.

    The monetary returns have been great, much higher than I was expecting and it's still early days, so I'll see how it goes over the next few months. My client asked why I hadn't marketed the books yet, and I hadn't really thought about it until then. I haven't done it because the books are selling at a higher level than I expected without it. If none of them were selling, I think I'd be forced into it. It'll be interesting to compare the results with and without marketing anyway!

    The coaching has been a real bonus and the chap is great to work with too. I feel very lucky.

    I'm gong to pop over to your Blog and see what's been going on in 'Weenie's World'. Really looking forward to finally meeting you in person. 2 weeks to go!

    All the best
    Huw

  • No More Waffles

    Reply Reply 8th March 2015

    Huw,

    I don't know how you keep track of all these goals, but well done!

    The Amazon Kindle business is something I really can't seem to wrap my head around, but I'm glad that it's working out for you. Over 40% ROI in just one month for your second top-selling book is outstanding. I don't think I've seen many investments that have done as well.

    Looking forward to your next update and I hope to see even more green then!

    Best of luck,
    NMW

  • Theres Value

    Reply Reply 8th March 2015

    Hey Huw, Seems like you're having a super productive time, and I think you're doing pretty well overall by the looks of things. Just remember to rest and relax adequately for the upped pace of productivity.

    Check out Joel from Buffer, his blog has much on morning and night time rituals and that sort of thing

    Cheers

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 9th March 2015

    Hi NMW,

    Spreadsheets! I love a good spreadsheet.

    The ROI on the Kindle books are outstanding so far, and the exciting thing is I haven't pushed the marketing yet. I want to keep working on getting my books out there before setting my mind on marketing.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the results throughout this year. Thanks for stopping by and offering support!

    Cheers
    Huw

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 9th March 2015

    Hey M,

    I'm very busy I have to say. I'm not sure if all of it is productive, but I try my best. I'm happy with how my year is panning out so far though.

    Ha ha. I find it hard to relax! I spent this past weekend relaxing, catching up with friends, and I felt lazy. I've been busily catching up with the work I would have done had they not stopped over for the weekend. I'm spending time to relax, exercise and look after myself as I feel it's more important than making money. I am planning on working hard this year to get ahead on the income front, and hope to relax more as I bring in more money. I appreciate you checking in on me though! 🙂 When you see me i a few weeks, please let me know if I look tired!

    Thanks for the recommendation. I'll be sure to check it out.

    All the best
    Huw

  • theFIREstarter

    Reply Reply 12th March 2015

    Just a short comment this time (sorry!) just to say keep up the good work!

    I've just posted my 2015 goals but think I need to make an addition which is to add a weekly "ritual" inspired by yourself. Mine will just be to make a To Do list for the week. I find when I do that I get so much more done (well… duh!). I have To do apps on my phone but I just ignore them, I like the physical list I can see and tick off and rip up when it's all done, much more satisfying than ticking a button on my phone!

    Anyway enjoyed the "Haribo" story, I haven't done that for a good few years but it used to be a weekly occurence back in the heyday of the young TFS… haha.

    Quick note regarding the relaxing thing… it is clearly necessary to have a bit of time to relax but to me you sound like the sort of person that is most happy when you are busy. If you are that way inclined then being busy equals being happy equals being relaxed. I say if you are on a roll then keep it up, when your body needs to relax it will let you know about it and then you can get some downtime! I am very similar to yourself although maybe one level down on the productivity front, I am happiest when I have a little project to work on, be that the blog, a physical challenge, etc… Although my body is telling me more and more often nowadays that I need a bit of relaxing time! 🙂

    Oh that turned out to be not that short in the end… hah!

    Cheers!

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 12th March 2015

    Hi TFS,

    Thanks for stopping by. I enjoy your lengthy comments, even when they're 'short' like this.

    My Blog reading has really fallen down a hole at the moment. Thank you for letting me know about your post. I'll be sure to check it out. I get extra excited to read posts on goals. I don't know what it is about them, they just get me motivated.

    The weekly review is excellent, and I would highly recommend it. One key learning point for me was making sure I was checking in on my progress regularly during the week. Funny enough, the more regular I do (ie. daily) the more likely I am to achieve what I set out to do. Good luck with your process.

    The Haribo story will life on for a while at work. Poor guy!

    I would tend to agree with you on the relaxing front. I've had a couple of nights off over the course of the last couple of months and I get agitated. I find it tough to relax due to the potential work that's just sitting there. I have 40+ books to finialise. I have Blog posts to write. Coaching to do. Training etc. But I wouldn't have it any other way. I love being busy, and as long as I feel fit and healthy, why not continue it. 'M' does make a good point though. It's important to find the right balance and not to ignore your body/mind. Relaxation is important. If I didn't meditate, do breathing exercises or workout in general, I would be a ball of stress and be pretty unhelthy overall.

    Like you, I'm happiest when I'm busy, especially when I'm getting things done. Even if I don't feel in the mood to work. I make myself start it, or commit to doing just 30 mins, and I always end up doing more and feeling great.

    Thanks again for stopping by. I'm looking forward to seeing what goals you've set for yourself.

    All the best!
    Huw

  • Theres Value

    Reply Reply 13th March 2015

    It's all about balance – doesn't mean you can't be crazily busy, as long as you have adequate recovery time. Just think about yourselves in terms of an athlete – you're wanting to operate at peak performance, but you need to fuel your body with the right nutrition, as well as sleep and do cross-training type stuff as well. These principles can be applied to work – you take a break every 90 mintues, eat properly at lunchtime, and get out of work at a decent hour.

    I like to use my (very short) commute as an opportunity for downtime e.g. thinking about non-work things whilst on my bike, and reading a non-work related book on the train.

    This allows your brain and body a relaxing and positive change from work, which actually fuels you and re-energises you for the next work task.

    A book that really sets this out clearly is 'the power of full engagement' by Loehr and Schwartz – I couldn't recommend it enough

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 13th March 2015

    Once again a very astute recommendation. Thanks M!

    Relaxation is very important. You can't be on the go all the time and be healthy. Exercise, meditation and breathing exercises play a big part in keeping my stress at bay. We need to be 'emptying the tank' or it'll all get too much.

    Thank you for the book recommendation. I'll keep an eye out for it. See you next weekend!

    Huw

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