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Roober growth journal

Roober

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The nice thing about writing something down is that it makes it a bit more tangible. One of the best examples is writing goals down with set deadlines. I feel it necessary to log my growth and hopefully share with others maybe as an example of what could potentially be achieved. While I do not represent the absolute model of success, I would like to think that my trajectory is headed North. So, let me backtrack a bit…

If you want the short version, scroll to the last post…

2013

I spent some about 10 months working on a restaurant. While I did invest about 80k, I had to walk away (story for another day). However, I did learn an immense amount. Once I walked away, this was the first time I told my ex-wife that she makes me miserable. She was completely against my restaurant venture and career growth. I was baggage handler (Company A) at a major airline, making about 40k a year. Looking back, one thing I did that was very smart/risky was move 100% of my ex and my own retirement into the airlines stock, which was $8/share at the time

2013-2016

Other than serious marital troubles, multiple counselors, and some "career development" type jobs, it was mostly unsuccessful. In May 2015, I finally left my baggage handler position to become an instructor with company A, training new hires and existing employees. My new salary was 60k/year

Decisions that fueled my success...
-Working two jobs while learning about biotech
-My two young boys. Amazingly, I feel like kids can drive new motivations for men. For me, I would ask myself "how can an unsuccessful father expect excellence from his own child?"

2016

This was a big year for me. In January, I finally asked for a divorce(good), I moved out of the marital house(not so good), and landed a new job (Company B) at 75k per year. Money was extremely tight, and my ex was trying her hardest to get full custody, while constantly telling me I'm a horrible person and father. Emotionally, 2016 was an absolute mess. I dated a girl who my ex-wife harassed all the time, and tried dating others. It was just a carousel of complicated situations. This is the state I was in when I found SS in November 2016. I was burning through cash like crazy, never sleeping well, and constantly in emotional flux. There was hope though, SS had helped me restore confidence and opened my eyes. Coincidentally, the more I learned, the more my political leaning began to slant right. I was liberal before this, but I never really understood why

Steps that fueled my success...
-Getting the courage to shift the power in the marriage and request a divorce
-Embellishing my resume... I only had 9 months in training. Company B wanted 3 years. I added time because I was 100% sure I was capable of the job

CONTINUED...
 

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Roober

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With February coming to a close, this is a good time for an update, likely a monthly update to track my own progress. Ive started tracking my time use each day on a spreadsheet. I track the time I woke up each day and went to sleep. And on average, I am sleeping from 1030pm-6am. I wish I could function like people on 4-5 hours of sleep, but 7-8 is ideal for me. On top of sleep, I am also tracking...

a. Work - actual time spent working (something the four-hour work week talks about), meetings, etc.
b. Waste - on Twitter, SS, mistakes that cost time, etc. I generally round up for this number.
c. Exercise - Time which i start my workout and end my workout
d. Time spent on my business - working on the website and SEO primarily at this point

NOTE: I don't track time spent with kids, driving, activities with family and friends. It may be interesting to see how much time I actually spend on the kids though. Maybe something to consider?

At the end of February, my efficiency numbers look like this...
a. Work = 68 hours. This makes my hourly rate $249 (106/hr * 160 hours billed / 68 hours)
b. Waste = 36 hours. No good. Need to get this number wayyyy down. I also bought a self-driving tesla model 3. Once it is fully self-driving, that is about an extra 10-15 hours a week I will gain!
c. Exercise = 10 hours. With an hour per workout, this tells me I am exercising on average 2 times / week. Definitely not enough
d. Business = 16 hours. When I attempted a restaurant, I calculated about 1000 hours of work in 6 months. I have probably done about 60 hours of work for this business since starting in September 2019. My goal is to replace both work hours and waste with business hours.

WORK
Work is still solid and just keeps pouring in. I wouldn't mind getting hired fulltime as a curriculum design manager (basically what I do now) or something similar. Everything I produce at my company is several notches above everything they currently have. Rolling out a program soon which will hit all 2,000+ employees. For now, I will keep resuming my current tasks.

FINANCES
The funds are largely unchanged, other than the hit to my portfolio from the Coronavirus scare (stupid!). I am in the process of converting my house from a septic system to a sewer, which should help resale immensely. Also, updating the kitchen and cleaning up landscaping. My goal is to keep my total cost for the house, including purchase price, under 1 million. Smaller homes down the street are selling for 1.3 million, so that would net me a nice chunk of change when I decide to sell.

BUSINESS
So I have been working on my site, developing better training, and working on SEO. This is certainly where I could use some business advice on my next steps. My client goal would be to act as the training department for companies, while offering everything included in a training department as a service (facilitation, instructional design, LMS administration, etc.)

Here are my thoughts...
1. Finish my site, portfolio samples, and SEO
2. Pay a web designer to clean it up - I have a good eye for design, but I feel it would be good to hire someone to help make it pop.
3. Develop social media sites concurrently with step 2
4. Market to friends and family
5. Pay for social media marketing

Here are some ideas I am floating around...
a. Offer 5 free safety training on my site that almost every company needs (e.g. general office safety). WIthin each of these modules, embed subtle plugs for my site/business, and advertisements
b. Hire teachers! Would you pay a company to develop training for you if you knew if gave teachers flexibility, benefits, and great pay? There is obviously a mountain of details around this, but what are your thoughts on this?

I could definitely use some insight on the best approach or strategies to get clients. Any insight would be immensely helpful.
 

cola

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Can I ask a personal question? When you were making the 40k a year as a baggage handler how did you save up 80k to invest in the restauraunt?
 

Roober

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Can I ask a personal question? When you were making the 40k a year as a baggage handler how did you save up 80k to invest in the restauraunt?
Sure. When my dad passed in 2011, I inherited 70k from a life insurance policy and I had about 30k cash saved over the years.

Long story short, before we bought our house, my ex wife and I rented my dad's place for 1200/month, and rented a room for 600, so our expenses were very low. If I was more responsible, I probably would have saved much more. People often asked us why have a renter when we have such a low payment (for the bay area), it was a minor inconvenience to give more financial freedom.

I kicked myself for a long time on the amount I wasted... But I can look back and say it was a valuable lesson.
 

Terminus

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Hey, very inspirational post, I didn't quite grasp what your job is now and what your company is doing.
 

Roober

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Hey, very inspirational post, I didn't quite grasp what your job is now and what your company is doing.
I do instructional design and develop training programs for corporations. It's mostly compliance topics like safety and HR, but also technical training on software, apprenticeships, and maintenance training.
 

Roober

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Well, It has been a while with COVID, and it sort of just put things on hold. I don't really have excuses as I have whittled my time down at work to ridiculously low and efficient levels. Twitter has certainly become a new addiction of mine, and I really need to just stop. I suppose it is that addiction which has hindered a bit of my progress and my constant search for truth in this time of crises. Regardless though, no matter how much knowledge and details I learn, it has little to zero impact on my day to day life, work, or family.

One thing I have done well is maintain my time management tracking. I tend to round up on "Wasted time" (e.g. 10 minutes doing nonsense will result in 30 minutes of tracked time). Here are my rough averages from March until the end of July...

1. Work - I always bill for the hours I am expected to work each week (e.g. 40 hours a week). I have averaged $160-180/hr for actual time worked. In July, I forecasted a project horribly and made $135/hr. This takes into consideration my actual hourly rate, and how long it actually takes me to complete tasks. Often times, this results in my remote days are completely free, and I work only on my days in the office. If I am in the office (because they require it) and I have completed everything, I would spend time on my business or, more than likely... waste it...

2. Waste - I have wasted about 5% of my hours from waking up until hitting the bed at night. I think my goal should be around 1%, which would give me a gain of about 30hrs/month

3. Exercise and Business - these hours are way down the past couple months. If anything, I could spend more time here when not being productive

4. Boys - I have added this because I think it is important to spend quality time with my boys. With 50% custody, I spend on average about 50 hrs/month with them playing, reading, doing activities, etc... I am not sure what the magic number is here... But I imagine any number is never sufficient...

5. Home - I averaged about 100 hrs/month from March to June, but have dropped off recently. This number will likely go back up as I have a barn to build and a garage to convert into a rental unit. With the heat and travel, July had a low for this number at 25 hours.

6. Not tracked - I don't track time spent driving, time with the GF or her girls, and all the meaningless crap like finances, interviews, home chores, etc.

In total, I use about 50% of my time (total hours between waking up and going to bed) for things I value (business, work, boys, exercise, and home improvement). To me, that seems way too low. Of 370 hours each month, I only use about 185 on useful and productive activities. I feel like a good goal should be around 70%. I have also considered that these categories should be more about making money (work), investing (business, exercise, home), and spending time with family (boys).

WORK
Work has slowed a bit, but I have two monster projects, each which would take 6-12 months. Unfortunately, they are both on hold due to holdups with COVID. I thought this week would be slow, but I managed to find some work. If this continues for another week, I will certainly begin looking for remote instructional designer positions elsewhere. I did horribly at forecasting project duration this last project and my hourly rate suffered as a result. My goal is $200/hr... for now..

FINANCES
My assets have increased to about 1.75 million, but so has my debt. I have the Tesla loan now, and my conversion from septic tank to sewer lines cost way more than I anticipated. Additionally, I purchased a timeshare with Hilton Grand Vacations. Annually, I spend about 4k on hotels for traveling (I take about 20 trips a year), and the cost for 5 years will come to about that much. On year 6, $1000 maintenance will get me about $4,000 in hotel costs plus additional travel benefits. I understand how bad of an idea this was, but after running the numbers, it seems good for the long game... And while it's considered a timeshare, Hilton Grand Vacations functions a bit differently. As a result of all of this, my net worth is about 1.07 million. I am 10% of my goal.. sigh...

BUSINESS
In the past 5 months, I have spent a whopping 70 hours on my business. That is certainly not a recipe for success. I keep having to remind myself of the work that is required, often 1000+ hours just to get started. I think there is tons of opportunity out there, and I have a marketing video, FB, and others. I honestly have no idea where to go next, or how to market my business. Getting in touch with decision makers is not such an easy task... I am going to start a podcast later this month, so maybe that will turn into something. Either way, my goal in August is to begin marketing. Additionally, with all of my house projects, and since I have the gear, I am going to try recording some DIY videos and put on Youtube. This could potentially generate a revenue stream as well... I've read something recently from Scott Adams about "skill stacking", and I really think it has helped me be moderately successful thus far. If I can add YT, podcasts, Java, and graphic design to my toolbelt, that will help me even more with my main business... hopefully...

Well, that was a long update, but it has been a mostly uneventful lockdown for me. Lot's of extra time with the kids, and lots of wasted time finding misinformation on COVID, BLM, etc. My goal is to finish the year strong and aim for 70% efficiency rate.

Good luck to all!
 

BeExcellent

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Congrats @Roober you are kicking ass!!! Keep the focus and take time to relax & enjoy the boys & the lady.

You are making incredible strides and fulfilling your dreams and goals. I’m SUPER proud of you. Your trajectory is awesome...and you are a great example of how getting your mindset right creates opportunities that some people only dream of.

Pick one of your passion projects and focus intensely there. As you get one thing rolling your time frees up to do the next thing or things. Work smart (as you are) not hard.

Cheers to you! You deserve the fruits of your efforts and I’m thrilled for you.

Chat soon! BE
 
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