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My 2014 Goals + Objectives part II

01/20/2014

in Exercise, Productivity, Stories

 It’s 2014. A whole new year. I always like to spend a few days reflecting, looking at the past year, and planning the future.

2013, without a doubt, was a revolutionary year. Many of you have been tracking my progress from the beginning — from my first video about my Passive Income from the 4-Hour Workweek Blog. Some readers have been following me since my TV special on TechTV when I was 16!

2013 was a radical shift, moreso than any other year of my life since I first left Stanford and began to start traveling. Why? Because I finally decided to stop traveling, take my own advice, and build a system around me that supported my strengths.

Since 2008, I’ve lived in 15+ countries, taken hundreds of flights, and tried to build a thriving online business. Unfortunately, I continuously held myself back for a couple reasons.

Biggest Takeaways from 2013

1.) Persistent Traveling doesn’t lend itself well to building routine. Instead, it acts as an effective escape.  When you wake up in the morning at home, don’t put on pants, and spend the whole day on Facebook, you’re a failure. When you wake up in the morning in Colombia, and don’t do anything — well, at least you’re in Colombia.

So I had a breakdown in a Regus office in June, and decided it was time to come home. James Swanwick and I decided to launch a course called Get it Done in 30 — and live together for the entire process. Living with James (someone who has a solid routine and forced me to follow him) was mindblowing — instead of just pontificating about what I should be doing, James convinced me to do it. And to do it consistently. He helped me form a routine.

2.) Once I took my own advice and hired a team around me — things began to explode. I’ve known for years that I needed to hire people around me to help me get things done. With the notable exception of my Craigslist slapper, I almost never took my own advice. But starting in August, I did. I went from a one person company to a 12 person company. Hell, five people on my Pavlok team even got tattoos…

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3.) Understanding who you are—more specifically, your personality type—is paramount to figuring out what success means to you. Derek Halpern recommended to me The Art Of Speed Reading People, a book about identifying Meyers Briggs personality types and dealing with others. Discovering, deeply, what that personality type means was a complete pattern-shifting experience.

I spent years considering myself a failure because I was unable to finish the things that I started. But when I read into my own personality, I realized that it wasn’t a personal failing—it was a function of my personality (and indirectly, a function of my success). The fact is, people with my personality type have the potential to do great things and inspire others, but when left to our own devices, we tend to jump from thing to thing, never finishing anything we start.

The solution? To pair my Perceiving type with Judgers. As I mentioned above, I began to hire a team of people around me who were Judgers — able to take my grand ideas and execute upon them. Understanding my personality allowed me to feel comfortable letting go of the things that I’m not designed to do.

4.) Separation of business and personal finances is HUGE. I raised $50,000 from the Bolt incubator for my new startup, Pavlok. In order to accept the money, I had to open a business bank account. Suddenly, purchasing decisions became much easier. In the past, I would hem and haw and spend days deciding if I should buy a particular competitor’s product — now, I tag it as a business expense and just execute. With personal expenses I’m just as bad, but business expenses now operate from a different part of my mind.

5.) Adding some specific productivity tools to my life greatly improved my flow. I’ve talked about productivity apps before. Apps that automate my difficult situations have greatly improved my life. The big winners this year were  Wunderlist, ScheduleOnce, Dropbox connected to IFTTT, Hipchat, and Basecamp. Finding employees and virtual assistants was improved greatly thanks to Staff.com

6.) Anything can be automated. Email can be automated. You just need to systematize it. I no longer handle email alone. I have two people checking and responding and drafting emails on my behalf, and I no longer have to look at my email more than once a day. Most importantly, the mental weight of ‘forgetting to respond’ is GONE.

If there is ANYTHING that you feel internal resistance to, don’t do it. Automate it. There is someone who can do it better than you.

Themes, Plans, And Goals for 2014

My theme of 2013 was Transformation. I underwent a complete and full transformation — both from a business perspective, and from a personal perspective.

2014 is the year of execution. I’ve been planning and traveling and moving and thinking for long enough. This year, things get done. Or else. (bzzzz)

You might know that I started a company called Pavlok — a wearable electronics device designed to help you form better habits. I haven’t released many details yet but know this: this year, the year of Pavlok, will be defined by execution. Success to me is very clear.

By the end of 2014, success will be measured concretely by 1) the amount gained from my Pavlok crowdfunding campaign and 2) actually shipping product.

The goal is to raise $500,000 in my crowd-funding campaign.

The goal is either to have products shipping, or at least 100% final production line in China, by December 31, 2014.

Ancillary Themes

Below is a list of items I’d like to achieve. But the only real barometer of success this year is the above.

Health

  • Get to 9% bodyfat (measured by Omron Bodymeter—current best is 11.4%)
  • Get binge eating under control
  • Continue lifting and improve my numbers. Goals: 225 x 2 bench, 315 x 2 squat, 350 x 2 deadlift.
  • 3 days/week consistent habit of gym or exercise or bootcamp
  • Floss daily
  • Gratitude journal

Business

Pavlok

  • Product complete, ideally shipping by end of this year.
  • App complete. Partnerships begin.
  • Raised at least $1 million from VCs (all of 2015 covered)
  • Product has sold 10,000 units 

Hack the System

  • 2 posts / week,  consistently
  • 2 newsletter blasts / week
  • Improve onboarding funnel
  • Move over from Aweber to Infusionsoft
  • Quarter 2 – build a product to sell? Optional.

This year is NOT about making money or gaining subscribers on Hack the System. It’s about learning the real deep human psychology around habits, and using that to turn Pavlok into an amazing product.

Automation

  • Spend fewer than 1 hour / day on email. Only check it at 10am and 5pm.
  • Automate follow ups perfectly
  • Build the Morning Routine habit, consistenty

Relationships and Happiness

  • I’m completely comfortable with my progress on these two.

*******

So what’s the key here? How do I get all of this done — especially when one of my biggest sticking points in the past has been execution?

Well, the first step is stating my goals, out loud, to you. There’s nothing like holding yourself accountable to 20k+ people.

Lots of good stuff happening this year and lots of material coming your way to help you create better habits and live happier lives.

I love you guys, and as always, thanks for reading.

{ 18 comments… }

otto May 11, 2014 at 12:08 pm

If anyone would like to learn how to dropship please checkout my youtube channel for how to videos. http://youtu.be/Zjq_IcRj5lM

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AlMax January 23, 2014 at 11:28 am

Hey Maneesh great post! we are on the same line on many things. Among others, in the next 6 months I want to deepen philosophies such as utilitarianism and ethical hedonism. By now I have been to some 35 countries and lived in 7 and but a reflection emerged: at a certain point you may want to build something (relations, routines, friendships) in a place to create some stable, solid reference point to which refer as Home. Of course without having to renounce to regular travels. What do you think? Did you ever had such thoughts?

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Priyanka January 21, 2014 at 8:30 am

Hi Maneesh!
Can u pls elaborate on how do u manage to Automate follow ups perfectly ?

Regards,

Priyanka

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Alberto January 26, 2014 at 7:21 am

Maybe you could use Followup.cc, it seems to be a nice tool for that (and it’s free).

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Maneesh Sethi January 27, 2014 at 10:26 am

I’m not a big fan, cause it costs so much—followupthen.com is free, but I highly recommend boomerang

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Gidon January 21, 2014 at 5:34 am

Why move from Aweber to Infusionsoft?

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Rob January 21, 2014 at 1:59 am

I found it interesting that you find travel to be a distraction – because for me, I find that I’m at my most productive in the couple of weeks after I arrive somewhere new. Something about being in a new place makes ideas come more easily, and probably also makes me want to get things done faster so I can go out and explore.

I suppose our differing experiences just show the importance of giving things a try, then honestly assessing what’s working for you and what isn’t.

Anyway, sounds like you’re going to have a huge 2014 – good luck with everything!

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Taavi January 20, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Hey, Maneesh, I want to say thank you for sharing the manliness guide. I’m not a fan of GS either, but that list was quite amusing and surprisingly thoughtful. I’m gonna make some new rules for my life this year inspired by it. I will always go for the kiss from now on; tip more generously for the waitress at the bar I visit regularly; and try to always be the provider of wine bottles and fun, rather than the needy one. Hopefully this way I can do my part to help reduce the lack of love in our society, which manifests itself in people who become so lost in their anger that they feel the need to rant about things they haven’t even read. Because, after all, staying angry is such a waste of energy. Keep the positivity coming, Maneesh :)

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Annika S January 20, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Wow Maneesh, 2014 looks like it’s going to be a freaking amazing year for you! I love how you can look back at a year and sum it up in a nutshell – me, I can barely remember what I DID last year…
I have many goals this year and, like you, they are all nowhere near as important as number one: 2014 is the Year of Self-Employment. Come hell or high water, this year I will make a living working for myself, and not go back to a j-o-b.
I have been taking a leaf out of your, Ramits, and Daniel DiPiazza’s books for a while now, and am consciously creating systems that will enable me to achieve this & all the other things on my list.
Good luck to you (not that you really need it), may this be a successful year for us all!

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Belinda January 20, 2014 at 12:35 pm

I would like to suggest that you add something to your to-do list for this year, and that is to learn about sexism and entitlement. When you said in a recent email that you were a big fan of the Unofficial Goldman Sachs Guide to Being a Man, it really made me want to throw up. I didn’t detect any note of sarcasm, just a genuine belief that something like that actually had some real value to you. Seriously? That is one of the most sexist, entitled, alcoholic rantings I have ever seen! Just a couple of points – When in doubt, NEVER kiss the girl! If you do, you think you are entitled to, and you are not. If you are in doubt, you do’t know her well enough. If you think there is no doubt, you are probably wasted and you are about to get yourself into trouble. ALWAYS do your own laundry. If you are a regular at any bar, you must be an alcoholic. Hang out at a hackerspace instead. Alcohol use and abuse is self-medicating a social anxiety disorder. Get help instead of being macho. Live sober. And before I go unsubscribe to this site’s list because of how many naive, macho posts there are, I would like to give you your next required reading (maybe this will lead you to learn some more and finally realize how you contribute to this “Mad Men” culture of sexism and entitlement): http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/psysociety/2013/04/02/benevolent-sexism/

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Maneesh Sethi January 20, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Thanks for your thoughts, Belinda. As with everything, you have to take the goods with the bads. I understand if you don’t approve of the article (although do note that 198,000 people recommended it on Facebook). I don’t like investment banks, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the article, which really did add value to my life.

When I was an awkward boy in college, I was always afraid to kiss the girl, but it took until much later to realize she wanted me to kiss her and if I tried and she said no, the world didn’t end. It’s not entitlement. It’s becoming comfortable with embarrassment.

Nothing has grown my business more than learning to meet people over drinks. That’s a fact. That said, if you believe my site is macho and naive, feel free to unsubscribe — i provide content and a viewpoint that i really feel helps people.

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Howard Wolowitz January 20, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Belinda, that attitude is why you haven’t been laid in the last 25 years.

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Nathan January 20, 2014 at 6:23 pm

I’m currently a regular at 6 bars. So yeah. I must really be an alcoholic. Haha.

On another note, Belinda, here is a quote from the article that I think applies here: “No-one cares if you are offended, so stop it. 
”

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Asanas January 20, 2014 at 7:12 pm

I fill a lot of negativity in your Post. You must be more positive and evrything will to its right place Maneesh is inspiring the people and that is why he got so much success, hep others and you help yourself. Always try to be positive and the rewards will come. Wish you the best:-)

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Chris Reynolds January 23, 2014 at 5:51 am

Yo, I loved that article….especially the ALWAYS KISS THE GIRL quote….I actually posted that one on my FB….same as you Maneesh…once I was scared to kiss the girl when many times they wanted me to…..keep on keeping on bro

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Alexandra January 20, 2014 at 12:15 pm

You’re awesome Maneesh! Thanks for sharing your 2014 plans to dominate. Best of luck with Pavlok too :-)

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Raj January 20, 2014 at 10:51 am

Go for it Maneesh!!!!!!!!!!!!! ))))))))))

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Kimanzi January 20, 2014 at 10:41 am

These are some great takeaways Manessh, I’m looking forward to see you rock it in 2014 and reading all about it. Congrats on the realizations!

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