Goals for Quitting My Job in 2012

foreign-country-EnglandAs some others have said as well, I’m not a big believer of resolutions, either (I refuse to even call them that). But I know I’ve struggled without clear goals. So, with my 2011 accomplishments in mind, here are my goals for 2012.

I hate to bore you with another “goals” post, but note that I’m going to analyze this a little differently than looking at years, quarters, or months. Instead, I’m going set goals for when I leave my job in May.

Income

1. Make $2,500 of side income a month by the end of May. To do this, I’ll aim to increase my income by $300 each month until I hit that goal. That means I need to earn $1,300 in January.

This is a reasonable goal given my income now and that any side work that I do still has to fit around my job schedule. Currently, I’m making $500-$1,000 a month with Money Spruce, but most of that just comes down to which clients approach me. That means I’ll have to make up for the rest with writing and SEO income.

In addition to just being where I want to be once I quit my job, this income is liveable at least temporarily while I make the transition from my job.

Target date: starts in January

2. Find one new client for SEO each month. I haven’t had a steady stream of work yet, but I’ll have to be honest in saying that I haven’t done my best in seeking out SEO work, either.

Target date: end of January

Blogging

1. Decide what to focus on for Money Spruce. One of my pet peeves with blogs is when they don’t have a clear focus. But that’s something I’m completely guilty of, too.

I tried to focus on quitting my job last year, but I think I got a little too narrow and didn’t give myself enough to write about. I’ve a few ideas for how I can better focus this time, and once I decide on how I’ll approach it, I’ll give an update on here.

Target date: End of January

2. Guest post at least once a month. I’ve done a poor job at this, and there’s really no excuse other than not taking the time to make it happen. I’m still confident that this is one of the best ways to attract new readers as well as build better relationships with other bloggers.

Target start date: end of January

3. Set up my email series. I’ve had an Aweber account set up for Money Spruce since the start, and I currently have about 80 subscribers on there. I wrote an ebook called “Money After College” to give away for free to anyone that signs up (Aweber makes it really easy to do that). I’m working now to turn that (along with new material) into an email series. I also plan to do a better job promoting it on the site.

Target date: end of February

4. Hit 200 email subscribers by May. Again, this is my goal for Aweber email subscribers. I’m a big believer that an email list is better for both the readers as well as for me to reach readers and offer them the best content. My main strategy for making this happen is to guest post to build more traffic to the site and then do a better job of capturing readers by making my signup more prominent and alluring.

Target date: end of May

5. Start a second blog. I came really close to doing this in the fall, but I wasn’t 100% sure that the new site that I set up was exactly the focus that I wanted it to be.

I’m still committed to Money Spruce, so the next blog may have to have multiple authors since I simply can’t write enough to be on both sites. I’m considering doing this either through staff writers or by partnering with another blogger.

Target date: end of April

Life and Travel

1. Travel to a foreign country at least once. I don’t have any trips planned yet, and I’m not even sure where I’m headed after I plan to leave New Haven in June, but I’ll put more thought into this in the coming months.At the very least I’ll be in Portland in July for the World Domination Summit and in Denver in September for the Financial Bloggers Conference (can’t wait!)

Target date: Planned by end of May

2. Declutter before I move. I’ve done a good job of this when moving the past. I’ve also joined the Declutter Challenge to help me along the way and get rid of 366 things. Should be easy.

Target date: End of May

3. Work with a mentor. I’ve been in contact with a few people that I think have mentor potential, but I wouldn’t say their mentors of mine yet. Perhaps just a few more emails and projects will make that happen. I think it’s something that I really need to succeed, so this is an important goal for success.

Target date: Start communications by end of January

If I complete these goals, I’ll be in great shape both in terms of finances and happiness in life.

I’m excited for this year, and a little scared of the unknown, too. But I think that’s what keeps life exciting. I’ve been too comfortable the last couple of years, and maybe that’s even more scary than being afraid of uncertainty.

$ $ $ $

Comments

  1. prairieecothrif says:

    Sounds like a great list. Best of luck with your extra income goals. $2500 a month can really add up over time.

    If you want to guest post on my site, send one over. I would love to post something from you.

    Best of luck in 2012.

  2. Do you think this site is topped out to the point where you want to start another site already? I see a lot of people building breadth before (IMHO) they maximize their depth… and I like the site you have now. Just an alternate opinion, heh.

    • Great question! No, I don’t think this site has topped out by any means, and I know there’s a lot I can still do to improve it. However, I have other ideas and topics that I want to focus on that I think would be better suited for a new and different blog.

      In terms of total income (which isn’t the only consideration, but it’s part of it), it’s a question of if I’ll get the most out of concentrating solely on Money Spruce or will it be more beneficial to have two sites to work with. Many of the other PF bloggers have taken to the latter strategy, and they seem to be doing well. @PKamp3

  3. These are fantastic goals; I’ll be following along to support your progress. Best of luck in 2012~

  4. moneycone says:

    Definitely achievable goals Jeffrey! When starting a new blog, don’t lose focus on this! I see so many bloggers fall into that trap.

    Good luck and wish you the best!

    • Yeah, I see what you’re saying, MC. I hope to have at least a little more time for blogging once I quit my job, so hopefully I don’t fall into that trap. @moneycone

  5. Hey Jeff,

    It’s great to see you lay out some clear goals here, and I’ll be cheering you all the way to your resignation in May!

    Cheers,

    Tom

  6. Great goals! You can guest post at Retire By 40 if you’d like. 🙂

    I’ll try to make the world domination gathering too. I’m local so it shouldn’t be that hard.

    Good luck!

    • I’ll definitely get you a get post at some point! Thanks for the offer. And yeah, definitely come hang out at the WDS, too. I’m sure there will bet lots of awesome people and bloggers around. @retirebyforty

  7. I have yet to do my goals post, but I know what they are. Putting them on the internet locks me in, I guess.

    I too am planning an international trip and not sure where we are going. Probably Europe, though not my first time there. Let us know where you decide to go, or do a post and let us vote! (John at MW/Debt)

    • Committing to them is the main reason why I posted them here. I bet a lot of people are tired of reading them by now 🙂

      Haha I like the voting idea! Maybe I’ll limit the choices so you don’t all send me to Siberia!

  8. I didn’t even realize you had a newsletter…. you are one more subscriber closer to your goal. 🙂

  9. I subscribed to your newsletter a long time ago, but I don’t get anything, is that by design? Should I have opted in somewhere?

    Great goals all around. Most of these goals are in my list too, including the SEO…weird. But I won’t be able to concentrate on that until mid year and I am planning to target mostly local business instead of bloggers for various reasons. I would gladly help bloggers, but I find not many are willing to pay 🙂 May be I didn’t ask the right people or taking a wrong approach. Is that something you are facing too?

    • Thanks, Suba. No, it shouldn’t be you. I simply haven’t broadcast anything on there for some time now, which is not a good move on my part. My goal is to start sending weekly emails and also to add an autoresponder series, so look out for those things soon.

      I think targeting local businesses is a great strategy for SEO. The projects I’ve worked on so far have mostly not been blogs, although I have helped a few bloggers, too. In general, I think there’s less needed on small-ish blogs (as in, not Mashable or TechCrunch) like ours where a good SEO plugin will do. However, there seems to still be a lot of questions in the Yakezie forum, so I have something in the works to help those people, too. @Suba

    • Thanks, Suba. No, it shouldn’t be you. I simply haven’t broadcast anything on there for some time now, which is not a good move on my part. My goal is to start sending weekly emails and also to add an autoresponder series, so look out for those things soon.

      I think targeting local businesses is a great strategy for SEO. The projects I’ve worked on so far have mostly not been blogs, although I have helped a few bloggers, too. In general, I think there’s less needed on small-ish blogs (as in, not Mashable or TechCrunch) like ours where a good SEO plugin will do. However, there seems to still be a lot of questions in the Yakezie forum, so I have something in the works to help those people, too (and I’m always open to answering questions if I can help anyone)

      @Suba

  10. financialsamura says:

    Having a mentor is one of the best things you can do. They pull you up when you are down, and push you farther than you think.

    I’m excited to follow your journey Jeff!

  11. Hey these are pretty awesome goals! I am also looking forward to following your journey!

  12. Thirtysixmonths says:

    These are wicked goals. ill start sending people your way in terms of SEO. And I love guest posts so if you feel like doing post swap- let me know!

    • Thanks so much, I would really appreciate SEO referrals!

      And yes, would should do a post swap! I’ve promised a few other people first but I’ll work on getting something to you soon.@Thirtysixmonths

  13. tschwenkler says:

    Great goals, Jeffrey! I’d be especially interested to hear about #1 for “blogging,” about deciding what to focus on for Money Spruce. I sometimes struggle with whether my topics span too many areas… maybe this could be the starting point for a conversation 🙂

    • Thanks, Therese! I noticed many others have the same problem with this (although I don’t think you’re the worst offender by any means). I always just want to write whatever I feel like, but I know that’s not the best for standing out and being interesting. I’m hoping to at least narrow it down a little!@tschwenkler

  14. Good luck! Did you see my Go It Alone post? 
    http://retireby40.org/2012/02/go-it-alone/
    Seems like many of us Yakezie are cutting the cord this year.
    I was too late for the WDS, but let me know when you’re in Portland and we can have a drink or something. Suba is coming for WDS too. 

    •  @retirebyforty Yes, I did see your post! (I even commented back when you first posted) I agree, lots of Yakezies doing out on their own. It’s excited, and I hope it’s rewarding for us all! Maybe we could even have our own little sub-group haha
       
      I definitely let you know when I’m in Portland! I’m hoping to spend some extra time there aside from just attending WDS. I’m glad Suba is going as well.

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