For Part 1, click this linky link.
Got some positive feedback for Part 1. Might mean I do a Part 3 for Friday…or I could finally get around to reviewing Django Unchained. Guess we will see. As mentioned previously, this part will revolve primarily around professional-type goals. On with the show!!!
1) Become a (More) Successful Writer
Don’t get me wrong. The fact that I can write about things I like and get paid for it (not here — HERE) is pretty cool. I just kind of sucked at it this year. I had all these visions of becoming this super great writer that got called up to go on CNBC Asia at 4 am to talk about some random bank and why it did something…but alas, that did not happen this year. There is always 2013, right?
I’m defining success two ways: 1) I dramatically improve my output for the Fool; or 2) I find supplemental writing that boost my overall income as a writer. I didn’t necessarily get into this writing thing to sell books and make millions — I am way too ADD sometimes to even comprehend writing a book — but I lied to myself that I needed to go work to make enough money this year. I really should have buckled down and focused on the writing. Lesson learned, universe.
Though I am hoping to get into grad school this year, if I can figure out how to write effectively, there is no reason why I can’t write and do school, especially with the GI Bill paying for a place to live and (hopefully) most of my tuition. It’s win-win.
2) Get Accepted to Grad School
This might seem like an odd “professional” goal, as what I ultimately want to do doesn’t necessarily require further education, but it is a goal nonetheless. With my not crappy GMAT score of around 650, I think I have a semi-decent chance of actually going to one of the schools that I want.* And with my Uncle Sam footing most of the bill, I might as well, right?
*In current order of preference: University of Illinois, Purdue University, University of Maryland, University of Colorado-Denver, University of Utah, and Portland State.
Returning to school will hopefully help me on various non-academic fronts as well. With what I want to do in life — we’ll get to that in a moment — it will probably be a good idea to get some finance-y contacts that I can keep in my social network. I have a handful from my work with the Fool, but they might not be as useful for my end game. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
3) Get Cracking on the Book About My Parents
I really have no excuse for failing to put “pen-to-paper” on my parents’ memoirs. I have lived with them for nearly a year, and most weekends, I resign myself to the basement to play XBox. With a renewed focus on writing, I think it might be time to actually start doing it. Sadly, they aren’t getting any younger, and September 2014 is getting closer, so there is no time like the present to begin. If anything, I should really just start dumping all the ideas from my head to see if I can develop a theme, though I’m sure something like that will come as I actually start to build the narrative. Any suggestions?
Unless I someday become a major political party’s candidate for president, I probably won’t make any money on this passion project, but it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. If anything, it will give me something to get started with should I ever decide to write another book down the road. But I can’t start thinking about Book Number Two until Book Number One is out of the way, so it’s time to get started.
4) Write a Business Plan for Whatever My Business Will Be
Assuming all goes to plan, by the end of 2013, I will be halfway to a masters in finance with a better developed plan for how to use it. I’ve previously stated that my intention was to become a financial planner, and that is still the direction I will be taking going forward. However, there are a lot of other things that I want to do around this general idea, and the ideas have been swarming in my head for quite some time. All I know is that it will involve investing in some way, and that I will try to involve my family in a meaningful way. If I somehow end up with an attractive assistant along the way, so be it.
I’ve tried to write a business plan before, and I know that they take some work. But if I can get it done by the end of the year, I’ll be able to focus on my studies, as well as begin to lay the groundwork for what I think the business will become. I’ve tossed around some names to begin with — the most important part — and for now I’m going with
Entertainment 720 Prestige Worldwide RonStel, which was the name of my father’s computer repair business* from when I was a kid. Hopefully, he won’t sue me if I use the name. The various pieces of the business will go along with this general theme, i.e. RonStel Financial, RonStel Investments, etc., but I really like my vision for it. Hopefully, I can make it happen.
*Technically, it was RonStel Data Terminal Services, but close enough.
I feel like I am forgetting something, so if I am, I’ll just bring it up in Part 3 on Friday. I think this down and dirty list is a bit less specific than Part 1, but these goals will have the same type of impact going forward.
Until next time…