Like so many people around the world, I decided to set goals and plan my year. Everybody’s doing it right? The only problem is I hate doing what everyone else does. At least, I only want to do things because I want to do them, not because “I’m supposed to.”
So, like any good old rebellious person, I tried to reinvent the wheel only to discover I just needed to find a process I resonated with. That’s when I saw John Dennis’ post.
3 years ago, legendary copywriter John Carlton told me, “screw a New Year resolution — wait until the 15th after all the hype and temporary motivation in the air wanes, and then get to writing yourself a 12 month letter.”
“Write it to yourself” he continued, “and make sure you write it as though you are 12 months in the future and writing back to the current you.”
I did exactly as he instructed me to do.
And this simple exercise that I would have referred to as “cheesy” in my youth absolutely changed the game for me.
It created a shift in my mind that I had been trying (read: trying) to make for years.
A simple copywriting and NLP trick is to “future pace” your prospects into their desired after state – where they ultimately want to be, how they ultimately want to feel, who they want to become and how they want others to refer to them as.
And I didn’t know it at the time, but John Carlton was literally teaching me to future pace my own damn self.
It worked like gangbusters.
And I highly recommend you write yourself a 12 month letter, too.
It could change the game for you.
John’s mentor is a smart dude and the concept just made sense. So, I decided to let go of my ego and do it.
Below is my unadulterated, unapologetic letter to myself from the future. I warn you though, it is vulgar if you have virgin eyes. I’m letting you in on my inner dialogue, which is rare for anyone to see. My hope is that you will be encouraged to give yourself the talk that you know you need. That’s what I did here:
It’s January 2018, and I’m writing this to guide you to a purposeful growth in 2017.
The question is always, what do you want?
If you want the $100k like you claim, you will have to stop bitching and complaining. Start doing. You will get what you focus on right? And right now you are focusing on all the obstacles that are in your way.
I get it. I know it looks hard. You’re $50k in the hole and you feel like you are failing. I know that you are struggling to see the path. Fuck that! You are a child of the King! You are an ENTJ. You are a good man who is transparent with his struggles. Your family loves you. They believe in you. You don’t believe in yourself, so YOU are the problem! Get out of your own damn way.
Damn the torpedoes! Full steam ahead!
Remember where you were a year ago. You were an alcoholic, heavy smoker, the fattest you’ve ever been, your wife was scared of you, you were angry and depressed.
That’s all the gap. You need to focus on the gain. You never gave up, so here is something positive to remind you of how far you’ve come:
- You wrote the book you’ve been wanting to write for more than 5 years and it has changed lives.
- You traveled to 4 conferences and met some really cool people (Andrew Warner, Dan Miller, Ellory Wells, Alan Hannah, Lane Ethridge, Jon Fuller, Jody Holland, Heather Myklegard, Frank Shankwitz, Kennon Fort, Chase Bowers, Jon Mac, Nicholas Kusmich, Nicholas and Amanda Bayerlee, John Lee Dumas, Kate Erickson, John Smart, Wes Wescott and many more to count.
- You’ve changed 17 lives by connecting people to their purpose.
- You are closer to your wife and kids than ever.
- You’ve helped 4 people from your previous command heal from their experiences.
- You deepened your understanding of cognitive types, personality, personal clarity and passion.
- You led a small group again.
- You created your first webinar.
- You started your first real website.
- You have an email list approaching 1,000 subscribers.
- You know more about identity, personality, and purpose than any person you’ve met so far.
- People feel like they can come to you with ANY question and you can help them. Don’t discount that. Do you realize that when any of your friends are lost, they come to you as a last resort precisely because they know you can help? That is powerful.
- You’ve realized that being a jack-of-all-trades is not bad. It is what makes you special. You are a maven, an expert influencer in whatever you decide to pursue.
If you want to repeat 2016’s disappointments, then wallow in your fear and uncertainty. If you want to fail and make it a reality, then don’t do the hard thing. If you want to grow as a man and see the success you can easily achieve, then grab your nuts and remember that you are a man.
Remember that you have responsibilities and people that depend on you. Remember that people around you don’t believe it is possible to be in the military and make $100k. PROVE THEM WRONG! Prove it is possible so they can have hope. They don’t believe it is possible because, really, they don’t think it is possible for them. It has nothing to do with you. So, go make it happen so they can believe as well.
Here’s what you need to do to get your $100k:
- Create a plan for everything – Identify the goal, why you need to achieve it, and reverse engineer the path.
- Raise your coaching fees to $10k. Time is your most precious commodity, and you don’t have much of it with the Navy and family. If someone wants to take your time directly, they need to pay for it. Instead, focus on passive forms of income that don’t require your time to scale. Create affiliate income through your email list and FB ads. Find ways to make money that you don’t have to do the work directly. Create systems and automate it. When someone says they’ll pay you for the service, create a system. If one person will pay for it, then someone else will too.
- You need a platform, so do this:
- Free FB membership group/1,000 members called Purposeful L.I.F.E.
- Start a paid membership group @$10 per month/100 members = $1,000 called Entrepurpose: Connection. The purpose of group is to create a community to share ideas and relationships. Scale the price to $100 once you get the reputation for creating a tight, unique community experience.
- Podcast 1/week – batch the interviews for a month in a single day. Entrepurpose: Insights for the Intentional Life
- Blog 3+/week (your personal thoughts, affiliate promotion, teach something valuable). Dedicate one day to blogging: plan, write, schedule
- Go speak at every event you can. It’s fun for you and it will expand your brand. You are a talker and always have been. The only way to get good is to practice, so take every speaking engagement you can.
Outside of the money, here’s what you need to do to have a happier 2017:
- Have an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.
- Stop the smoking habit man! You don’t need it. Go do some pushups or something. Go and smoke your pipe once a month if you want, but don’t make it a habit. In fact, go indulge in alcohol on that day as well. But make a plan. You know how you are when you are drunk. Be isolated in a safe place so there is no fallout. And make it celebratory in nature. The reason you became an alcoholic is because you went to it to escape. Don’t do that. Enjoy the wine or scotch, but do it intentionally and never when under stress. Ultimately, things like this are meant to enhance experience, not become one. But if you have a hangover…GOOD! I hope you feel the pain and are reminded how stupid you have the potential to be.
- Make your wife happy. Find one thing that makes her really happy and energized. She needs to know that you care about her and consider her in everything.
- Spend quality time with your kids. Janelle loves to see that and they love you for it. It will pay dividends for decades when your children grow up knowing that they were a priority.
- Lectio Divina bro! Every day man. The first thing. Spend time with the Lord in this way. It’s your lifeblood.
- Stop being a lazy fat tard. Workout 3x/week at a minimum. Do the crossfit/Billion Dollar Body/self-created whatever program. It’s important to be in good physical health. You tire too easily and you don’t move enough. Trust me. You’re happier when you’ve worked out and you are more present with others.
Listen buddy, it’s always a combination of work ethic and timing. You can’t the opportunities that grace your life but you can control how prepared you are to capitalize on them. Trust the Lord, He loves you. Work harder than you ever have before. And when you are ready to give up, get back up and work some more.
If it hasn’t killed you, than you can try again. It doesn’t matter how you start 2017. All that matters is how you finish. If you buy into the limiting beliefs, you will won’t hit your goals of $100k. You will not be debt free. You will feel like a failure. You will disappoint your family. More importantly, you will disappoint yourself. Is this what you want? Go ahead and be half-hearted about it and see what happens. You might as well give up and save yourself the stress you double-minded fool. You talk a big game, but what are you going to do? Stop talking and start doing.
I know you are posting this on your blog. I’m you, so I know that you want people to see your transparency. I know that you are doing this to try and hold yourself accountable via another person. STOP IT! Love and accept people but hold yourself accountable. Take ownership of it all.
If you want $100k to get that freedom, then you need to operate with this phrase: Do, don’t discuss or delay. Do.
If you follow my advice, you’ll become me, a guy who proved it was possible and set his family free.
Sincerely your better, smarter, more handsome future self,
After reading it again, it didn’t seem as intense or offensive as I originally thought. Maybe I just think I’m more in your face than I actually am. I hope that’s true. It would mean that I’ve grown.
Anyhow, if you’ve gotten this far in the blog than that means the content resonated with you. If you want to live intentionally in 2017, come join the free Facebook group I made for this purpose, A Purposeful LIFE (Living Intentionally for Excellence). I want to surround myself with a community that cares like I do. If that’s you, come join the conversation.