Monthly Goal Check-in #5 – @ 6/1/2016



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Five…Holy crap!

That’s right, we are approaching the half way point rather quickly. May was an absolutely nutty month at work, and the call of duty had me stepping up to the plate to put in many 90+ hour work weeks. We are in the middle of a HUGE deal at work and I have been helping lead the diligence requested by potential investors. In the process I have had the pleasure of working with investment bankers (leading the transaction) and private equity folks (potential investors in our company).

First, do investment bankers ever sleep?

I think not! I am convinced that they have a continuous and never ending supply of cocaine and caffeine and reserve sleep for 1 hour on Sundays. I am on the west coast with our investment bankers in Chicago, it doesn’t matter what time of day it is, they are always responding or requesting (and likely in the office…even if it’s 2am their time).

Although I don’t love working these kinds of hours all the time, it has been a really interesting and educational experience. It also earned me my spot into the C-Suite at the end of the year. Recently I was on the East Coast for a meeting with a potential investor, and our CEO officially announced an new organizational change to take place at the end of the year. In front of me and everyone present he announced that I would be moving into the role of CIO (Chief Information Officer).

This is something that he and I had been planning since late December of 2015, but the original plan was VP this summer and CIO in late 2017. During this time I made a proposal of initiatives that I identified and he concurred would be invaluable to the company. Well, half way through the year and we are way ahead of schedule (always under promise and over deliver). On top of this I got pulled into this very hush hush deal in mid-April and had the opportunity to impress the FUCK (sorry I don’t have a better word than this) out of the investment banks, private equity folks, and our CEO.

I don’t know all the details yet as to what my new compensation will be once the promotion is effective. But I do know it will be another substantial raise in my base, and potentially a doubling to tripling of my bonus potential. On top of this it will come with equity that vests over 5 years. Based on the compensation levels of our VP’s and above, my base could increase by as much as $150,000 and my bonus could increase just as much. Typically from an equity perspective we start with 3,000 shares, but I still don’t really know the details beyond this.

So, things continue to move at light speed.

The bad news is that May didn’t go by any slower than April. The good news is that with 5 months down we still have 7 months ahead of us, that is plenty of time for massive achievements.


Where are we?

As I write this monthly goal check-in we are officially 152 days into 2016 (or ~42% complete). Most people started the year off strong with their New Year’s resolutions for 2016. Well, at least the 45% of people who actually set New Year’s resolutions (US based statistics). The low participation rate isn’t even the worst news, of those 45%, 1 in 3 have already given up by the end of January. This means that 70% of Americans have already failed either by default or giving up.

I don’t want you or I to be a part of that 70% group. If you’re reading this, then you’re probably still on track and fired up to reach your goals, I know I am!

If you’ve hit a bit of a speed bump from coming out of the gate too hard, use this post as a reminder that there are still 7 months left in the year. Don’t give up! Remember that when the going gets tough, the tough keep going.

This is also the perfect time for me to encourage you to check-in on the progress you have already made in your own goals this year. If you set measurable goals, this should be rather easy. And if you set up the right tracking system, it shouldn’t take long to evaluate where you are.

We tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in a day or a week, but you would be surprised at what is possible over the course of a month and a single year.

We have 366 days in 2016. That is 366 opportunities to make forward progress on our goals. Some days are going to be better than others, it’s the nature of the game. The key is to keep it fun and remember life is just one big game. With 152 days behind us, that is 42% complete, which leaves us with 58% of runway left to make our goals a reality.

When you have a bad day, don’t give up, get up and shake it off as you continue moving forward. Remember tomorrow is another day and another opportunity.

Lastly, it is also a perfect opportunity to review the goals on your list to ensure they’re still important to you. Sometimes we put goals on our list that seemed really important at the time, but lose that importance over time. I am not saying you should quit on a goal just because you’re not seeing the progress you wanted to see by now, but to make sure you’re going after things that matter to you. It’s okay to realize that you put down the wrong goals.

Is it time for a pivot? A tweak? Or maybe it’s time to strike one of those goals off your list.

My Personal Accountability & Check-in

Below is where I stand with the 12 goals I set for 2016. You can see that I have added some additional color formatting to visually see the progress made in each passing month.

May 2016 Goal Checkin 5

My initial assessment when looking at this, is that I have made some really solid progress, but am behind pace in a few goals.

Let’s briefly take a look at each one:

Goal #1 [250 CrossFit/Hot Yoga Workouts or More, 32%] – Last month I decided to go back to doing P90X starting in June, and will be doing a public challenge with Mr. 1500 of 1500 days. We will be sharing our results on each of our respective blogs. The readers will have to decide who ends the 90 day challenge with the best results.

At this point I am behind pace to reach 250 workouts. I should be at 42% complete (so I am about 1 month behind schedule). I need to average 6 workouts per week, but have averaged about 3 per week. P90X is a 6-day a week program, which will help me catch up some lost ground.

Goal #2 [250 Days Eating Primal of nutritional consciousness or More, 26.4%] – I brought this goal back alive by making a pivot that made sense to me. This sounds and is kind of a fluffy goal, as it can be a bit discretionary. It’s really about being sure that my decisions on what I put in my body are pre-meditated and conscious. I have to make the decision on whether I eat the pizza or choose the salad. If I am still hungry to I serve myself the extra serving of pasta or do I load up on extra veggies. I need to measure out my servings (as I tend to under estimate how many calories I consume).

Goal #3 [Earn $270K in Gross Income or More, 56.3%] – I am convinced that we will blow this goal out of the water, even without a promotion to VP CIO. Mrs GYFG keeps killing it every month with her income. We are currently on track to now bring in $303K as of our June Forecast. I was looking at our stats on a trailing 12 month period and realized that over the last 12 months (June-15 to May-16) we have earned a record $321K, which is up from the TTM of $312K last month.

Goal #4 [Publish 52 new Blog Posts or More, 61.5%] – This goal is ahead of schedule. As tempted as I am to raise the bar here, I don’t want the pressure to put out additional content just for the sake of a goal. My hope is that I put out content that motivates, inspires, informs, and moves you to action. Or at the very least gets the ideas flowing.

Goal #5 [Pay Down Mortgage Principle by $25,000 or More, 100%] – As expected our recent refinance had us blow past our goal of $25,000. According to our accelerated plan we don’t need to make another additional payment until April of 2017 to stay on track for the 7 year and 3 month payoff of our mortgage. We are currently on hold with making new payments until then.

Goal #6 [Contribute $24,650 to Pre-Tax Accounts, 48%] – This one is pretty much on auto pilot. Not much to think about here.

Goal #7 [Vacation 21 days or More with My Wife, Friends, and Family, 71.4%] – We just got back from a 10 day trip to Costa Rica, which was amazing. I did work in the wee morning from like 5 am until 8:30 am when Mrs. GYFG was finally getting up. But the good news is I got the company to pay for 30% of our vacation and it didn’t disrupt our vacation plans at all. This all helped contribute to the CIO announcement as well.

In 2017, Mrs. GYFG and I, are going to attempt to take 1 week off per quarter. Regardless of whether we have any sort of vacation planned.

Goal #8 [Save 50% or More of After Tax Income, 100%] – This will be something that moves around each month. I just finished putting together my May 2016 financial report and that still has us forecasted to hit our 50% goal, but the reading for May itself is 49%.

Goal #9 [Write 12 Posts on Other Blogs, 25%] – Three guest posts have been submitted and published. Here they are if you would like to take a read:

1 – The AC Interview Series with Gen Y Finance Guy

2 – Financially Alert Friends – Interview #3 with Dominic @ Gen Y Finance Guy

3 – 10 Guidelines to Financial Independence with Gen Y Finance Guy

I am behind on this goal, and honestly I think I will be lucky to hit 50% before the year is up. But I will do my best and forget the rest…

Goal #10 [250 Entries or More in Wife Gratitude Journal, 13.2%] – Behind pace. I should really be at 42% with this one. But I have tried to keep it very organic and writing things as they naturally come to me.

Goal #11 [Increase Net Worth by $112,000 to $430,000 by 12/31/16 or More, 58%] – We have increased our net worth by $65,000 so far in 2016. We should pick up another $40K over the next 3 months. I currently have us forecasted to actually increase net worth by $125,000 for the year, which would be an increase of 39% over our 2015 ending net worth.

Goal #12 [Earn $12,000 in the Blog, 25%] – This is a lifetime income goal. We have officially hit $3,000 (by rounding up 🙂 ).

Goal 13 – Earn VP Title [Bonus Goal] – Now skipping VP and going strait to the C-Suite as mentioned above.

Some of you may be thinking, I thought you were a finance guy???

I am and I still do plenty of finance, but I also lead the company in our overall data and analytics efforts. In this new role I will be taking these efforts to the next level.

BTW, I was trying to get the title of CDO (Chief Data Officer), but our CEO likes CIO (Chief Information Officer) better. I think a lot of people might confuse CIO with the CTO (Chief Technology Officer). In this new role I will build a team of ninjas that cross pollinate across all functions in the organization. My team will still be very much involved in Finance and Operations.

That is where I am at so far in 2016. I am very pleased with the progress I have made and am very much looking forward to updating everyone in another month. In the meantime keep charging forward with your own goals. Don’t give in or surrender. Take it one day at a time. Measure your progress and I promise you will surprise yourself with what you can accomplish in month, quarter, and year.

Sometimes the progress we make doesn’t seem visible or worth the effort. But over time it really starts to add up and compound. Think about it this way…imagine you are trying to improve just 0.3% per day. That is not a visible amount of improvement, but it adds up to almost 1% improvement every 3 days, and by the end of the year you will have improved over 100%.

Onward & Upward!

– Gen Y Finance Guy

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Gen Y Finance Guy

Hey, I’m Dom - the man behind the cartoon. You’ll notice that I sign off as "Gen Y Finance Guy" on all my posts, due to the fact that I write this blog anonymously (at least for now). I like to think of myself as the Chief Freedom Officer here of my little corner of the internet. In the real world, I’m a former 30-something C-Suite executive turned entrepreneur turned capital allocator. I am trying to humanize finance by sharing my own journey to Financial Freedom. I believe in total honesty and transparency. That is why before I ever started blogging, I decided that I would share all of my own financial stats. I do this not to brag, but instead to inspire motivate, and also to hold myself accountable. My goal is to be a beacon of hope, motivation, and inspiration, for you, the reader, by living life by example and sharing it all here on the blog. My sincere hope is that you will be able to learn from me - both from my successes and my failures! Read More



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18 Responses

  1. Congratulations on a very productive 2016 Dom. For you “what gets measured gets managed” might be better phrased as what gets measured gets crushed.

    CIO is a great move up.

  2. Man, the rest of the year is going to have to be pretty stellar to keep up with the roll you’ve been on in 2016 thus far. You are on pace to crush most of your goals.

    Congratulations on the promotion. I hope it doesn’t lead to too many 90+ hour work weeks!

    1. Thanks FinanceSuperHero!

      The 90+ hour weeks ebb and flow just like the seasons. As I write this I have actually had a nice break only putting in 10 hour days over the past 5 work days. When you have worked 90 hours or more in a week, I find that 50-60 seems like a cake walk.


  3. Wow, you are crushing it! With the huge promotion you will be way ahead of pace on your 20 year 10M goal. How does that change your plans? Are you going to keep putting in the long weeks until you hit your goal?

    1. Hey Brian – As I said to FinanceSuperHero, the long weeks ebb and flow. There are usually two 2 month periods that require those kinds of hours, otherwise I typically only work about 50-60 hours a week on average.

      Before the promotion at the end of the year, we are already about 6 years ahead of the income targets outlined in the blueprint to $10M. 2015 was the year 1 of 20 and we ended up about $16K ahead of plan with respect to Net Worth. At the end of 2015 I updated my file with new income and ending net worth to have it flow through the model. What it allowed me to do is take my assumed growth rate from 9% compounded to 7% (which feels more comfortable and doable). From a work standpoint and wealth building standpoint, nothing changes, except we might be hitting targets quicker.

      But a lot can happen over a 20 year period…just got to take it one year at a time.


  4. Wow. That’s all I can say. Another incredible month. I’ve been working 50 – 60 hrs/week at my job and struggling to pump out my blog content and freelance work. I have no clue how you’re pulling 90 hrs AND keeping up with the blog. Congrats GYFG! Just don’t burn out. Keep on killing it man.

    1. Thanks Nick!

      I promise not to burn out; I love everything I do way to much to reach burn out. This stuff only adds to the burning fire within.

      Also, I don’t work 90 hours a week all year round. Usually, it is October through November for annual planning and then some add hoc acquisition or something some time through out the year. Otherwise I work a pretty good schedule of 50-60 hours a week. Really doable.

      1. Good to hear, you’ve got more energy than me! It definitely helps that you’re loving what you do.

        That makes a HUGE difference.

  5. Wow.. That is fantastic on the promotion, congratulations. I’ve read your story from the beginning (in an environment with drugs) to now all the way to CIO, it’s very inspirational.. Congratulations and fantastic progress towards your goals!

  6. Man, you’re really killing it here!
    Here was the spoiler alert you’ve mentioned and congrats, it’s really interesting reading about what you’re doing in the role.. The sort of thing I’m looking to pivot into in my career as well

    Would be good to see how it’s progressed i.e. if the crazy hours continue.. Sounds like most things are working out nicely though

    How was Costa Rica btw? Sounds great 🙂

    1. Thanks Jef! The deal finally closed last month and I have had some nice relief in the hours. The 4th quarter is usually my busy time of year, but after working 90 hours a week for months, 60 feels like a walk in the park.

      Costa Rica was amazing. I did work in the mornings, but was done by the time my wife woke up. The good news is my company picked up 1/3 for the cost of the trip.

      If you have never been, I highly recommend going at least once.

      1. Thanks for the tip on Costa Rica, will be sure to check it out!
        Sure I’ll read about your deal on the VP role in my next few weeks reading 🙂

        1. You will for sure find out more information on the evolution of what the VP role turned into…will let you discover that on your continued reading.

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