6 Month Goals Update – June 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. 

I’m at the half way point of 2015. This is a great time for all of us to reflect and se if we’re on track to our targets. 

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 2015
I need to earn £4,166 per month, every month, to be on track by the end of the year. I knew that my success in this area would be back-loaded, or in other words, made possible towards the end of 2015. My 6 month goal which I set in December 2014 was to earn £16,700 by the end of June. So far, I’ve earned £12,781.60. I’m miles off, and it’s a back loaded target!

This month I earned £2,531.11 income. Last year I averaged £2,030.95 income between March – December 2014, so this was a high income month for me. 

My average Income in 2015 has taken a much needed step up from last month. It was £2,031.95 and it’s now £2,130.27. Even with the increase, it’s still less than half of the required amount for my target, and I’m half way through the year. 

I won’t write this target off until I’m in November, and I’d say realistically (not pessimistically) that it’s unlikely at this stage. This is an outcome goal, and I just need to focus on the things that influence it – such as Kindle, Dividends, my employment, and new streams, and we’ll see what happens.  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. You’ll see a theme shortly of back-loaded financial goals. My 6 month goal in Kindle was to make £333 in sales in June. I made approximately £376.08 in May, and I made approximately £749.08 in total sales for this June, which is over double my prediction, and almost double what I made last month! 

Here’s an approximate breakdown of how much I earned on each platform:
  • £597 from Kindle sales
  • £131.29 from Createspace
  • £20.45 from ACX 
These numbers haven’t been confirmed, and they’re based on estimates using current exchange rates. 

I had a feeling I was onto something with Kindle earlier this year, and my half way performance just demonstrates it effectiveness as a ‘Side Hustle’. Not only that, I’m looking to make this a full time living fro myself this year, and I’m hoping Kindle will provide me a platform to do internet marketing, more coaching and become FI much earlier. My new goal is to be FI by 35. Does that mean I have to change the name of my Blog?

I’ve recently announced that I’ve extended the Kindle Income goal to make £3,000 a month by December 2015 which will replace my salary at work. I’m likely to hit the goal of £1,000 in July, and if not, almost certainly in August. On Track 

I will have a ‘Freedom Fund’ worth over £50,000 by 31 December 2015
My 6 month goal was to have a Freedom Fund worth £35k at the end of June. At the end of June, my FF is now worth 

This goal has taken a slight back seat. My Freedom fund is important to me long term, but less so over the next 12 months? WHY? I want to focus on the bigger win, which is Kindle sales. When I invest money into generating books I’m making a significantly higher return than having them in shares. June was the first month that I had over £1,000 to invest in shares and I decided to invest in Kindle books instead. That £1,000 could have earned me £50 in a year in dividends, but it could earn me £1,000’s a year in books sales instead. 

I’m on the cusp of earning enough money to cover my expenses and it’s leading me to think “Why don’t I do this Kindle thing full time!”. I might need to reach into my taxable share account once again to cover expenses or fund further Kindle growth this year. I want to clarify, this isn’t my first option, as I’m hoping to cover everything in my current wage and ongoing Kindle earnings, but I don’t want lack of funding to be a reason for halting Kindle progression. 

Once I’m in a position where I’m earning £3,000 a month from Kindle (after tax), I’ll use a chunk of that money to invest in shares once again. It’s still a really important part of my retirement plan? WHY? Dividends are totally passive. Once I’ve invested in them, I can sit back and count the money each month. Kindle is a job, a very well paid job, but one I have to devote time to. It’s a means to an end for me. 

The way I see it, if I stayed in my current employment, I’d hit the £50k FF mark, but I’d be miles off the £50k annual income goal for this year, and I’m guessing it would be very difficult to reach £50k income in 2016. However, full time income from Kindle, might cost me my FF goal for 2015, but there’s a chance I could earn £50,000 to £100,000 in 2016. That excites the crap out of me. If I can earn anything close the figure I’d have a monthly saving rate of 80-90%, and well on my way to FI.  Behind Target

I will receive £2,000 in dividend income by 31 December 2015
I recently made a post on my Dividend Income for June. I received £224.94. My total dividends for 2015 is now at £978.68.
My monthly average has now increased to £163.11 half way through the year. To hit my Goal, I’ll need to bring in £167 per month over 12 months. I’m very close to this amount currently, although my forward dividends don’t cover the £2,000 Goal. I’ll therefore need to invest further into DGI stock, which I’m not dong at the moment, as I’m using the money to invest in my Kindle business.

If I were able to build my income with Kindle to a point that’s equal to my current salary, and not hit the dividend goal, I would take that right now! Dividends will take a back seat for now, until I get to that position, once I’m earning more than my current salary working for myself (gulp!), I’ll continue to reinvest in dividends.  Behind Target

Business Goals

I will create and sell at least 50 Kindle e-books on Amazon by 31 December 2015  
My 6 month goal was to release 25 books by the end of June. On 30th June, I had 30 books selling on Kindle, 8 Books on Createspace, and 3 audio books on ACX. It’s worth pointing out that at the end of May, prior to my 1-to-1 coaching, I had released 16 books.  

My new regime and knowledge has helped me streamline the process and up-scale my business. I have a new goal in this area now and it’s to achieve twice the amount I had previously hoped for – 100 books! I would like at least 75 books on Createspace as well. I’m yet to decide how successful ACX is, and how much time and energy to apply to it. 

I should hit the initial target of 50 Kindle books in August. I’ll be very happy with this result. At the start of the year I was excited by what Kindle could produce. It continues to demonstrate huge potential for making money, but I felt 50 books would be a good marker as to it’s effectiveness. I’m just over half way, and I’m already convinced that this system works, so I’ll be sticking to it for the foreseeable future whilst I build my retirement fund.  On Track 

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
The money coach idea has also taken a back seat for now. I’ve very much interested in coaching but my time and energy has been on Kindle – I’m guessing you already know that!

In my current role I’m a line manager in a sales dept, and I coach my team on a regular basis. I also help coach a colleague of mine in the gym with me. He’s new to strength training, so I’m showing him the ropes. I love coaching, and I’m hoping to coach people on how to save money, invest, and make money on Kindle on a more regular basis when I finish employment this year. 

Releasing 50 books on Kindle will also meet another indicator for me. It’s the amount I wanted to reach before I start actively advertising and coaching people on Kindle. I’m hoping that by the year end, I’ll easily have at least 2 kindle clients, although I’m hoping to take on many more than that on a regular basis. I haven’t spend too much time organising what slots or how many people I’ll coach just yet, but as I approach 50 books I’ll be sure to spend some time going over the options.   On Track
Employment Goals

I will hit 100% of my Bonuses (three in total) for 2015
Part one – Half Way Target – done! 
Part two – End of Year Target – done!
My team hit the anticipated annual target in the final week of June. My forecasting turned out to be spot on. There’s a first time for everything! I’ll be receiving my bonus in Augusts paycheck. It’ll be the biggest one of the year, and my life to date!
The final hurdle is the subjective management bonus. My Line manager and I will review how much of the bonus I ‘deserve’. My gut feel is that I won’t get 100%, as I always feel there are things to improve on, and I’ll struggle not to highlight my flaws in our meeting. It’ll be interesting to see what my manager thinks. I’d like to think it’ll be over 90% of the amount, but we’ll see.  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. 
Still early days on this Goal as most are performance based, and I’ll have a better idea in a few months or in some cases in December. I might be leaving my current role so that would result in me abandoning this goal. I don’t like the thought of that but it’s inevitable. I’d like to think that I’d set up new goals to help other people in coaching etc. UNSURE
Physical Goals

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

I will squat 175kg, I will Bench 120kg, and Deadlift 200kg 
My groin injury is no longer there, and I’m delighted to be squatting again finally. I realistically have too much to do on this, unless I drastically change my routine. I recently squatted 105kg for 3 sets of 5 reps and 1 set of 10 reps this week, suggesting that I have plenty of room to go up in weight, but I want to progress steadily to avoid another injury. 

I’ve actually struggle more with my deadlift, as my back has been playing up. I also have a long spine and short arms which is a crappy combination for deadlifts. I managed 105kg for 5 reps without my back pulling too much. I have a lot more to give in this area, but I have to be mindful of my back too. 

Bloody hell I’m getting old!

I’d need to put on significant bodyweight and reduce my cardiovascular training, which I’m unwilling to do now. My deadlift is in a similar position. My aim is to get them close to what I could do at the end of last year prior to the injury, but for now, I’m just thankful for doing it. My Bench Press is increasing nice and slowly, and I think that target is looking good. I’m benching 97.5kg for 5 sets of 5 reps. This would suggest that my 1 rep max is around the 110kg mark. I see no reason why I can’t hit my goal with continued linear progression. 
Behind Target – Squat/ DL 
On Track – Bench Press

I will perform a one arm pull up, 25 full range pulls and a one-motion bar muscle up by 31st December 2015

With my lack of lower body training, I’ve been trying new things with my upper body – specifically gymnastics and calisthenics. My pull ups are increasing nicely, and I’d like to achieve something only a few humans can – a one arm pull up. In order to get to that level, I need to be able to do approx 25 full range pull ups. 
I did 18 full range pull ups recently, and I’ve worked up to do 3 sets of 3 reps with 30kg strapped to me, and 22.5kg for 3 sets of 6 reps. The one arm pull up goal, is going to be so tough, and I’m not sure how I’m going to get on with it. On the plus side I have another 6 months of training to develop it further. 

The bar muscle up is when you can do a pull up to your waist (not chin or chest….waist!), and then transfer into pressing yourself over the bar. See it like someone pulling themselves out of a pool. You do a pull up followed by a press. A one-motion muscle up is doing it without slowing or stopping, from dead hang to full lock out on top of the bar. I’m practising muscle ups on a lower bar by giving myself a little jump at the start. With this help I can do 4 muscle ups, but I’m stopping in between reps and assisting myself. I can do a dead hang muscle up for a couple of reps without the help, but it’s not in one motion. I feel much more confident of achieving this goal this year. The only way I won’t do it is by injuring myself and that’s bound not to happen! 🙂 On track

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) 
This is a complete fail for me currently. I’m totally aware that getting up and doing them makes me feel better and I’ve done them a couple of time on the weekend, but not during the week. 
I’ve just been continuing to get up at 4.55am, get downstairs, boil the kettle, take a pee, and get to work! Is that a morning a routine? 🙂

I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t even been recording them, and this might sound worse, but I don’t even care. I’ve changed!

Ultimately, I feel very happy. I know that if I do them I feel good, but I don’t feel bad for not doing them. I don’t want to write and commit to improving it in future months, as I haven’t so far and I’m fine with that. 

For what it’s worth, when I do leave my job this year, I can totally see myself doing them again. Why? because I won’t have the manic rush feeling like I currently do to do as much work as possible before 7.30am when I have to get ready for work. I will cherish my mornings moving forward, and I’ll also look forward to ditching the 4.55am alarm calls.   Behind Target

I will perform a weekly review, on the weekend, for the whole of 2015. (52 weekly reviews)

I love these sessions, but unfortunately they’ve dropped off too. I haven’t done one since 29th March. 

I have missed them and I plan on re-implementing them. . 
What happened here? My Mastermind sessions on a Sunday evening were replacing them, and initially I was working on both. Since I starting writing the book, I’ve prioritised work over myself and I haven’t been doubling up. The mastermind group has also had a few breaks on the Sunday and now that I’ve been out of the habit of the weekly summary, I’ve just not even thought about them. 

My Kindle coach from the US was looking for a new accountability partner and he kindly asked me if I would be interested. I was honoured he asked me to be honest. My weekly goals are a bit of a joke compared to his, but we keep each other accountable, and push each other which is the most important thing. These are now taking place on Skype Friday evenings, and they’re working well.   Behind Target
Relationship Goals

I will have at least a date and location organised for our wedding by 31 December 2015 
No change! This is a lower priority Goal of mine at the moment. Sorry Lou. I still love you! In all honesty, I’ll probably look at this goal in the autumn now. Don’t worry, she’s not in a rush either I promise you! Behind Target

I will go on two holidays with Miss FFBF for at least two nights each by 31 December 2015
We have lift off. Strap in folks, we have some news.  We’re going to use one holiday for the UK Gathering in York in the summer – Lucky Lou! We also decided to take a week somewhere else too:

“Where’s that Huw? Anywhere hot, exotic and exciting?”

Yes, as a matter of fact. Cambridge.

“What? Isn’t that the place where Lou owns a house.”

Yes and we’re stopping in it for a week. We both totally deserves this treat.

“So you’re spending a holiday in a house with Lou’s family, for a week, and you don’t have to pay a penny for it, apart from food? Isn’t that like going on holiday to your parents house?”

That’s exactly what it’s like. 

“At least you can relax, get out of your house and relax for a week.”

Absolutely. I intend on working full time publishing Kindle for vast majority of the week. 

“You’re weird.”   On track

I will visit three long distant friends – JB, RF and JD by 31 December 2015
No progress made here. Lower priority goal and easy to achieve. Behind Target

I will have at least one ‘guy only’ night a month for the whole of 2015. (12 ‘Guy Only’ nights)
Night 5 was back to the traditional ‘pub talk in town’. You can’t go wrong with nights like that if you ask me. Night 6 didn’t happen in June, as we had to rearrange Night 5 to accommodate people that couldn’t make the original date. As our office has now hit the Team Target, we’re going to be setting up a night of celebration, and we might not make up the ‘Guy Night’ this month. This continues to be a thoroughly enjoyable goal for me, and one that has numerous underlying benefits, excluding my liver and wallet.   Behind Target

Contribution Goals

I will contribute at least £250 towards charity for by 31 December 2015
One of the London Marathon runners from my company announced that he was competing in a 100km race this month. Anyone willing to run 60 miles for charity gets my vote. He was running for St Michaels Hospice, and I was more than happy to contribute my monthly givings to his fund raising cause. In May, I contributed £20 to Cancer Research UK for a lady in our finance office who’s currently fighting cancer, and training for a 10km race. Truly inspirational! 

I contributed £20 to both causes, and my grand total is now up to £137.88. I’m ahead of my half way goal of £125 by the end of June and it looks like I’m on track to achieve this one. On Track

Blogging Goals

I will have 150,000 all time page views on my Blog by 31 December 2015
At the end of June, this Blog had 105,801 all time views. I’m just ahead of where I need to be now. On Track

I will consistently average over 10,000 page views a month by 31 December 2015
In June I had 11,173 page views. This is one of my highest monthly visits, and I wasn’t expecting it due to my lack of Blogging. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for staying with me! I remain positive that I can achieve this one, even with reduced posts. On Track

I will publish 120 posts by 31 December 2015. (10 per month) 
I managed to publish 6 posts in May and 5 posts in June. I have 46 posts out this year in 6 months, which puts me behind my target. 

I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions that my Kindle publishing is taking over my time, and my Blogging is one of the things that has suffered as a result. However, looking at the bigger picture, my kindle income is enabling me to leave my job and work for myself. In the autumn, I’ll be able to assign more time to Blogging, and there’s a possibility that I might bring it back on track. Alternatively, I may take the step to use that time to set up this Blog on a separate server away from Blogger so I own the rights and I can have more flexibility in my options. I’m more likely to do the latter, but this I think it might be better for my Blog/readership long term.  Behind Target

I will organise two UK Gathering for FI/PF Bloggers and readers by 31 December 2015
1 down and 1 to go. SoA Gathering was outstanding and I can’t wait until the next one – York! 
I’ve released the date, and I need to spend some time in June reviewing potential locations. 
I’ll do another one in Autumn for the London and South East folk, and look to continue doing them next year. On Track

I will happily start and build Email list for Blog by 31 December 2015 

I’m delighted with the progress I’ve made in Kindle and online income. My investments have suffered due to the lack of funding and drops in the market, but I’m really pleased with where I am overall. If you told me in January that I’d be in position I would have been very pleased and slightly surprised. Onwards and upwards!

How are your Goals going now you’re half way through the year? What actions have you taken in 2015? What are you hoping to get out of the second half of the year?


  • weenie

    Reply Reply 13th July 2015

    Hi Huw

    Thanks for the great updates.

    Your progress on the Kindle front has been nothing short of breathtaking, as have the decisions you have made regarding your job and the impressively ambitious (yet I believe achievable by you) goal of earning £3k per month to replace your current salary via ebook sales by the end of the year – wow!

    It will be interesting to see if this alteration to your FI plans will change your blog, from predominantly being about DGI to being about achieving optimum income from ebook sales? I can't wait to see what you will do once you move from Blogger and set up your own website.

    Even if you do end up being FI way before 40 (and with your projected Kindle sales, this is highly likely), your website name of "FFB40" is still valid, you've just achieved it earlier! It's certainly something that is likely to continue to inspire people on their path to FI and above all, it's a valuable brand you have created, which you could perhaps ultmately link to your Kindle sales at some point, marketing and all that.

    I can see why your Freedom Fund goal will take a back seat while you lay the foundations of your kindle sales but once that income starts rolling in, you will once again start investing in stocks to produce your future income.

    I applaud your endeavours and the decisions you have made – they're not ones I would be able to make easily, if at all!

    It's incredible what has changed in just 6 months – I continue to look forward to reading your updates and about your achievements!

    See you next month in York!

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 13th July 2015

    Wow. What a lovely comment to come home too. Thank you weenie. That means a lot to hear!

    I'm midway through writing the latest update. I want to keep everyone in the loop with what's happening. It's a huge milestone for me in life, and I want to share it with others. I can remember when Jason at Dividend Mantra took the leap to leave his life in Florida and move back home to try life there. It was inspirational and compelling reading. Perhaps one other person out there can take some motivation from reading about my steps and do the same thing themselves.

    I'm so excited about how my life's going to turn out. It starts tomorrow when me and my manager break the news to the team. I'm quite nervous about the reaction, but looking forward to getting the news out there and moving onto the next phase of my life.

    Thank you again for the kind words. It makes the world of difference to hear support like this!

    See you in York!

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