I have always been a big believer in setting goals. Jim Summers, my favorite high school teacher and a dear friend as an adult, always referred to me as his Number One Son. When I was a teenager eager to get my driver’s license and my own car, he told me that I needed to figure out what kind of car I wanted, how much it was going to cost, and how I was going to earn the money to buy it. He said, “Son, there are a million people dreaming about cars as they stand on the sidewalk. If you want be driving by them, decide what you want and how you’re going to get it, and then make it happen.” I shoveled a lot of snow, mowed a lot of grass, and pumped a lot of gas, but by the time I was old enough to get my license, I not only had a car, I had a motorcycle, too!
Later on, a self-made millionaire several times over who advertised in my very first newspaper told me that the key to making money was to spend it on yourself. Then he cautioned me that that didn’t mean going out and blowing every dollar that came in the door. Just as my old high school teacher said, set a goal and then decide what you have to do to achieve that goal. He said it didn’t have to be a big goal, it could be something small, or it could be something big. The secret was to focus on that goal. Not just say, “I want a car” or “I want a boat,” or whatever, but to decide the kind of car or the kind of boat, or whatever it was. Then make a plan for what I had to do more than what I was already doing to be able to make that happen. And then once I achieved that goal, keep doing what I did to get there, and my bottom line would grow every year. And it works!
When we first moved here, I decided I wanted a Bennington pontoon boat, but to be able to afford it, I decided I needed to put out four new books in one year. I made it happen, and I sure like my boat.
I told myself that the first time my book royalties got to $100,000 a year, I was going to buy a new Mustang fastback. I even knew the color I wanted. In 2018 I reached that goal, and that Mustang is sitting in my garage.
Those are pretty big goals, no question about that. But an even bigger goal was set when we bought our house in October of 2016. Even though we had a 12-year loan, I told Terry that we would put away extra money in a bank account every month so we could pay it off in six years. Yesterday Terry wrote a check for the balance we owe on it. You can tell by the smile on her face she’s just as happy about that as I am.
Another very big goal of mine that I set a few years back was to hit one million dollars in accumulated royalties for my books by the time I turned 70. I actually hit that goal ten months ago, last December, and I turned 70 a couple of weeks ago.
I’m not sure what my next goal will be, but I’ll come up with one, big or small.
In other news, a lot of friends and family members are asking us if we are going to stay or evacuate with tropical storm Nicole headed for Florida and predicted to turn into a category one hurricane sometime tomorrow. You may remember the weather map I showed in yesterday’s blog, but one thing about the weather in Florida is you can never predict what’s going to happen, only what it was like after the fact. Last night’s weather map shows a different path, coming in further south of us before it makes its turn, taking the cone further away from us.
Of course, it can change paths again and go further away or come closer. No matter what happens, we’re going to get a lot of wind and rain, but I don’t think it is going to be anywhere near as severe as Hurricane Ian. We plan to ride it out here at home, but if things get ugly, we will head inland 30 or 40 miles, which should be more than sufficient to get us away from any kind of storm surge.
Because I don’t know what’s going to happen, and I don’t know if we are going to lose power or not, and if we do, how long it will be out, I won’t be running a free drawing this week since I won’t be able to monitor and approve entries. But once the sky clears, I’ll be back with a new one next week.
And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.
Thought For The Day – 99% of the battle is getting yourself into the right state of mind.