12 Cornerstones of Investing – Cornerstone 9: “Cause” Focused Goal Setting
By Paul Martinez
Albert Einstein said, “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”
Set Goals That “Cause” What We Want to Accomplish
It may sound simple, but make sure that your goals “cause” what you want to achieve. For example, if one of your goals is to make $10,000 a month in passive income, do not choose a goal that makes you a slave to your business venture. If you have 10 apartment complexes that have a property management company and you manage the management company, you are on the right track. If you have one apartment complex and you manage it yourself, live in it and do all the repairs on your own, you have just created a job for yourself and you are off the passive income creation track. The first example is a goal that “causes” what you want to happen, which is $10,000 in income a month and a passive business, which the second example does not.
Figure Out Your Goals By Knowing What You Don’t Want
How can we make the right decisions if we don’t know what we want to achieve in economic terms and lifestyle design? Even if we don’t know exactly what we want, we usually know what we don’t want. So, you can narrow down what you want by knowing what you want to avoid. For instance, if you don’t want to be tied down to a physical location and you don’t want to get into a venture that will demand 60+ hours of your time, you have just narrowed the acceptable ventures that you would enter into.
What Are We Trying to Accomplish?
To determine your “cause” focused goals, start with questions first. Questions are the most important part of this process. You want to ask important questions that will identify what you really want, such as:
- What is the end result that I want to achieve?
- How do I get that?
- What will cause the end result to happen?
- What activities and time wasters do I want to avoid?
- What are the most critical factors in the process?
- What is the most important of the critical factors that can prevent me from achieving the next step?
- Do I have all the resources that I need to achieve the goal? If not, where can I get them?
- What limiting beliefs do I have about this particular goal? Are they real limitations or ones that society, family, or friends have created for me?
- Do I know or have I heard about other people that have achieved this result?
- Am I sure this is the correct goal for what I want to achieve?
- What are the long-term consequences of this goal on my time, finances, and family?
How Much Do You Need? – Now Work Backwards
This will obviously vary by the individual. Some need more, some need less, but everyone should be conservative when running these numbers. If you need $10,000 of passive income a month to live comfortably, then this is your baseline. Whatever business or real estate is purchased, it must have the scalability to at least hit this number. If not, you are wasting time. So each goal that you choose to spend your time on should eventually “cause” this dollar amount and passivity to happen.
The key to being happy isn’t choosing just any goal, but choosing the correct “cause”-focused goals for you, both economically and in terms of lifestyle. Remember, the goal isn’t just about making money; it’s about creating the lifestyle that you want. If your goal is to spend more time with your family, then what is the point of making $20M a year if you work 80+ hours a week? Take Einstein’s advice and tie your life to goals that “cause” what you truly want to achieve.
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