Before thinking through my goals this year for 2015 I had to first re-visit my blog post last year where I listed my goals for 2014 and see how well I did.
As far as I can tell, I accomplished every single one:
- Build a Code School in Atlanta – Done. Not only is Atlanta the largest code school in Atlanta it’s also the largest code school across the 10 campuses that we have at The Iron Yard. Booya.
- Profitable App(s) – Yes. One of those apps was a massive financial failure, as I share here a bit in my yearly retrospective. The “secret” project has since been revealed and it became profitable after only a month after launch. Desk App has since been awarded the very prestigious title of “Best App of 2014” – humbled beyond measure.
- Investing in My Two Girls – Check. The theme of 2014 was “family” and my two girls got a lot of attention and intentional investment. The most that they’ve ever received. I’m proud of this accomplishment and I’m looking forward to another big year here.
- My Best Friend – Yup. Investing in my wife and her creative work has been more than rewarding. We celebrated our 9th anniversary and are looking forward to our 10th one this year. Crazy to think how far we’ve come as a couple and how much grace we’ve given each other as we’ve grown as a team and as individuals.
- My Health – After losing 27 pounds (and then getting to 31 lbs lost!) I wanted to keep my health in check and see if my loss was more than a one-time deal. I wanted to make sure it was a lifestyle change. And, it was. My wife kept me accountable all the way through.
- Friendship – I learned a lot about friendship this year… and how to let go of relationships that were more toxic than healthy. I still find this area of my life in deficit, but, I hope to continue to work on it this year.
After such a stellar year of accomplishment how could I come up with goals that would be just as challenging?
Well, here’s what I came up with:
This one is easy and one of the most exciting things that we’re going to be doing this year as a family. I want to make sure that we get this first year under our belt and that we invest wisely and strategically in our oldest.
Creating a ton of margin to create a variety of experiences and experiments is going to be vital to not only our daughter but us, as her parents and now more direct stewards of her education and growth. It’s a responsibility that I’m excited about the more I think about it. We “officially” start on Monday. I can’t wait.
I have some financial debts that I want to clear up from previous ventures and I’m gunning to have all of these debts and loans paid by the end of the calendar year.
It’s going to be a challenge as the number is not exactly small but I think it is doable. It’ll stretch us but I’m excited for the challenge. We’ve been “under the gun” before as a family so we know what this season feels like. And since we’ve been successful historically it means that we know what we’re doing and how we’re going to get there. There is an end to it, without question.
Travel More with Family
It’s not that I want to travel any more than I did this past year as I traveled way too much for my current obligations. Rather, I want to travel more with my family. It’s as simple as that.
Many people talk about this but very few actually do it. We’ve decided, as a family, that we’re going to actually do it and make every attempt to do it often. There’s a theory that we’re testing and experimenting with this year and we hope to learn more about family dynamic as a result.
We’re starting this month and traveling to DC to visit one of the campuses @ The Iron Yard and instead of just me going on yet-another business trip by himself the entire family is coming along.
Grow & Retain
I want to grow The Iron Yard’s staff to 60 with 15% attrition, which beats the average for a hyper-growth startup. So far I’ve beaten the 30% or so this past year and I aim to keep the percentage high. This means that I’ll continue to hire the very best and the brightest as well as treat them very well with fair compensation and a lifestyle that just makes sense.
I want to work for a company that creates a healthy environment for the staff to grow personally and professionally and I’m responsible to help create that type of environment – a place that serves them incredibly well for a period and season of their professional lives.
Zero New Projects
This goal is incredibly difficult to write down on paper but it is very important that I do so: I want to explicitly avoid starting any new projects this year. I’ve already had to reject a number of opportunities and things that I wanted to explore personally and it’s been tough to let them go.
The reason is simply this: I have already more than enough to do and saying “Yes” to another project means I’m saying “No” to my existing ones, which I really can’t do at this point in time. I’m 100% in on my family, The Iron Yard, and my small side project Desk. I don’t need anything else at the moment.
Every year my relationship with spiritual things changes, evolves, and is challenged in very fundamental ways. In some ways I feel like my personal spirituality has matured to a point where I can say that I have a “stance” that’s all my own and not an amalgamation of different people, history, ideologies, and other random signals of thought.
I want to go deeper with my relationship with Jesus and see where that takes me. There is so much that I don’t know about him and he has become more important to me this past year than any year prior, quite honestly because it’s been such a hard one.
But just like any relationship, it’s evolved into something unique. It has become personal, which I suppose was the goal all along. In the darkest of times I have repeated to myself, for comfort, these words that a mentor gave me that reminded me of my purpose: Know Him, love Him, and make Him known.
I hope your goals for 2015 are big, awesome, and somewhat “dangerous” in nature. I don’t believe mine are but they will be a massive challenge to achieve… just barely within reason but still very possible.
Good luck… we’re all going to need it.