I’m a big fan of Pat Flynn of the Smart Passive Income Blog. What I love about Pat is that he is a family guy, like me, and he is a genuinely nice person. He is legitimately interested in how he can help other people, which has built him a huge following of passionate, loyal fans.
I met him in February of 2016 at the pre-party for the Traffic and Conversion Summit in San Diego. He was just literally standing in a corner, by himself, enjoying a drink. I walked up and introduced myself and we talked for maybe 10-15 minutes about life, kids, entrepreneurship, etc. It was somewhat surreal.
At the time, Pat was in the process of launching his second book, Will It Fly (Amazon Affiliate Link). Will It Fly is a practical book that will help you determine whether your business idea has what it takes to succeed in the real world. I just started reading it for the second time, and I’m learning so much more from it this time around than I did the first time I read it.
What I like about this book is that it contains lots of little exercises that will help you determine whether your business idea has “wings”. And one of the first exercises Pat walks you through he calls the “Four Quadrants of You”. The basic idea is that you will write out, on a single sheet of paper, what you want your life to look like five years from now.
These aren’t necessarily 5-year goals, but it is a vision of what you hope to achieve and become in the next 5 years.
As I grow older, (I’m just a few months shy of turning 42 as I write this), I’m starting to realize that we only have so many years left on this planet, and “we can either get busy living, or get busy dying,” as Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) said so eloquently in The Shawshank Redemption.
Before I know it, I’m going to be 50 years old and my kids will be headed off to college. It seems like yesterday that I graduated college and started my first job. But next year is my 20-year college reunion, and time has gone by like a flash.
So today I’ve decided to undertake the first exercise in Pat’s book and map out my 5-year vision for where I want to be personally, professionally, physically and financially in the next several years.
My 5 Year Goals
Before I get to my 5-year goals, it is important to define the four most important categories of my life. According to Pat, each of these categories represents an area of your life that is important to you and that you would like to work on.
As I start this exercise, my four most important categories are:
- My Family
- My Business
- My Body
- My Money
As I lay out these categories, the goal of this exercise is to list out what my personal reality will look like 5 years from now. This is not meant to be a wish list of accomplishments or dreams that I’m looking to obtain. Rather, it is a list of things that will have happened in my life 5 years from now that will make my life amazing.
So here we go…
- In five years, my wife and I will have been married for 15 fabulous years and we love each other just as much in 5 years as we did when we first met in 2003.
- We have purchased a new home with a home-office that I can work from on a daily basis to be closer to my family.
- My Wife and I are able to drive together to school to drop off and pick up the kids each day.
- My kids have grown into amazing pre-teens who are social, physically active, healthy and have a love and passion for learning.
- We eat dinner together as a family every night.
- I coach my kid’s sports teams.
- We enjoy traveling together as a family and taking road trips to see different parts of the country. Every summer we rent an RV for a month to travel to various national parks and cities around the country.
- We have fostered a bond between our children that is unbreakable. They hug each other before they go their separate ways at school. (My son and daughter do this now, and this will continue!)
- We unplug from our electronic devices when we are together so that we can be 100% present and in the moment with each other.
- I’ve taught my kids a bit about entrepreneurship and starting their own businesses, even at a young age. Along those lines, they don’t think I’m completely crazy.
- I no longer practice law on a day-to-day basis as I have shut the doors to my law firm. However, I may still take a select number of clients on a case by case basis.
- My role as a lawyer has transitioned to that of consultant for various online ventures and start-ups.
- I’m 100% reliant on income from my online businesses, which is passive and runs on autopilot even if I’m not working on them each day. Any income I earn from consulting is either saved or donated because we don’t need it to live on.
- I travel the country to speak at seminars and teach other lawyers how to build legal businesses online.
- I continue to write and have written several books as well as a New York Times bestseller.
- I blog, podcast, and create videos on a daily basis.
- My schedule is flexible and permits me to take time off whenever I want to be with family, travel, or work from anywhere I want.
- Our home is 100% paid for, as are our student loans. We have no consumer debt other than recurring purchases that are paid off each month.
- I have 5 investment properties that throw off positive cash flow each month and are completely passive. Included in these is a house in the mountains and at the beach. We are able to spend time as a family at these properties when they aren’t rented.
- I max out our retirement accounts each year and continue to save at least 50% of our pre-tax income into various investments.
- We have reached the ultimate goal of financial independence. In other words, I could stop working if I wanted to, but I love it too much so I don’t.
- My Wife and I make smart financial decisions and continue to hold regular family budget meetings even though we no longer have to.
- We have a liquid emergency fund that covers 2 years of living expenses.
- We have attained a level of financial independence that allows us to travel both in the United States and abroad and enjoy ourselves without worrying about the financial ramifications.
- I have attained my target, healthy weight and have “six-pack” abs.
- I run 2-3 times per week, often with one of my children.
- I’ve started playing competitive tennis in our community on a regular basis.
- I follow strict whole food, plant-based diet.
- My cholesterol is at an all time low, as is my stress level.
- I get sufficient sleep each night to wake up energized and ready to tackle the day.
- I follow a morning routine that includes waking up early, meditating, working out, and eating a healthy breakfast.
What about you? What are your 5-year goals?
Feel free to comment below and let me know!