I definitely didn’t accomplish anywhere near what I wanted to this month, yet I felt it was a very productive month. I just set way too ambitious goals! I’m going to continue to set ambitious goals and mostly fail at them because I’d rather do that than feel like I don’t have much to do or am not sure what to do next.
In September, I also started keeping a list of everything I worked on or accomplished through the course of the day. I put my goal-related activities on the list as well as meetings, my contract work, EPF-related writing and correspondence, and major household chores. It’s wonderful to be able to look at the list at the end of the day and see all in one place everything I did!
1: Launch Website #1. Grade: D
Hasn’t happened yet! But I am even more excited than I was last month about this site based on some conversations I’ve had about it. I did lay out (on my whiteboard) all the changes I want made to the site and am just waiting on Kyle to implement them.
2: Build Website #2 and send to testers. Grade: 0
What’s worse than an F? Doing no work toward a goal whatsoever. J
3: Make the most I can of FinCon. Grade: A-
I got more than I bargained for at FinCon! I planned my schedule in advance using the conference app, which is what this goal was mostly about. I really pushed myself during the conference to meet a lot of people, not just look for the bloggers I already “knew.” I am not a natural networker and I’m an introvert, so even walking through the vendors area and approaching some was a challenge for me. I didn’t skip any sessions I had planned to attend or turn in early (for me). So in all of those ways FinCon14 was a success for me. The minus I’m giving myself is that I didn’t quite meet all the bloggers I would have liked to.
4: Spruce up EPF. Grade: C-
I made a few changes on EPF in September, though not nearly as many as I would have liked. The big news, really, is the newsletter I started – you can sign up for it at the top of the right sidebar. It’s one of the ways I’m trying to foster more engagement with you all.
5: Write core content of Website #3 and get a rudimentary design up. Grade: C
According to the outline I created on my whiteboard in September, I am well into writing the core content of Website #3, which I have now revealed to be Grad Student Finances. I still have a ways to go until I’m ready to put it online, though. I started brainstorming about the look I want for the site, but haven’t gotten very far in actually picking the design. Lots more work to do here but I’m so excited! If you are a grad student, will you please go over to GSF and sign up for its mailing list? I’ll send you an email to let you know how you can be involved in contributing to the content on GSF.
6: Trick out my LinkedIn profile. Grade: 0
Not only did I not make any changes to my LinkedIn profile, I didn’t even try to learn about it. But the redeeming action I did take in the whole career progression thing was that I went to the career fair at my university, which ultimately led me to interview for an internship (40 hours/week and I’m assuming paid). I also applied for two other full-time jobs this month and was accepted into an internship program at my university (just for experience, about 4 hours/week).
7: Create a career-search reading list and start reading the first book. Grade: C
I attended a workshop this month from my university’s career center for grad students and postdocs titled “Finding the Right Fit.” At the end of the workshop, we were given a list of great resources, including several books. I’d already read a couple of them but that was the start of my reading list! But I still haven’t started reading any of the books. :/
8: Outline and begin making a PF-for-grad students and a taxes-for-grad students seminar. Grade: B
I’m well on my way to having my PF-for-grad students seminar presentation made, but I only made the barest of outlines for the tax one. I’m so pumped about my money management seminar I almost can’t stand it. One of the sessions at FinCon14 got me thinking that maybe I could give this talk elsewhere, not just at my university; perhaps I could give it at the two other major research universities in the Triangle and even at my alma mater since so many of those students go on to grad school. That ambition is pushing me to make it even more awesome.
9: Work on the one-on-one coaching program for my church and meet with my supervisor. Grade: 0
I didn’t think about this goal at all in September except to feel guilty about it. But stay tuned for the October update. 😉
Extra Money Earned in September
My “personal” earnings represent all the money I was paid this month that was not made through our online ventures. (This does not include Kyle’s irregular income from his church job. For a more complete tally of the money we have coming in, see our monthly spending reports.) The online income accounts for our gross income, not net – we’re still in the red due to my FinCon expenses but are gunning to get into the black by the end of the year.
My goal for September was to bring in any amount of ‘personal’ money, which I did not accomplish. My strategy was to pursue doing some clinical trials, but even though I contacted several groups nothing worked out in terms of eligibility and scheduling.
I also wanted to work as much as my contract job as possible, which I’m happy to say I did. Well, I did pass on a few optional jobs that seemed too far out of my areas of expertise. I already know what my October income will be (from my September work), but you’ll have to wait until the next funemployment report for the numbers as I won’t be paid until October 15th.
Goals for October 2014
I want to point out before I lay out my goals for this month that I actually have a lot of activities going on in October and following that are great uses of my time, but they are not included in my goals list because they don’t require self-motivation to follow through on. These activities are: completing assignments for my contract job, serving as a Financial Peace University table leader, participating in an internship program through my university (low time commitment, just for experience), attending a meeting for my university personal finance committee service, and meeting with clients as a peer financial counselor at my university.
1: Finish my PF-for-grad students seminar and practice it for a small audience.
My seminar is scheduled for November 13! I want the presentation to be AWESOME and the best way I know how to do that is to practice practice practice in front of audiences to get critical feedback. I’m sure Kyle will see the presentation multiple times, and my goal is to perform a full rehearsal with a small audience of friends to get their input before the end of the month so I have time to further refine the presentation.
2: Launch Website #1.
Sounds familiar! 😉 This month we will implement the planned edits, send the site to testers, and finally link it here and push it through social media!
3: Plan and code Website #2.
I can plan website #2 (sister site to #1) without Kyle’s help but he’ll have to code it up. I hope once he re-familiarizes himself with website #1 this won’t be too difficult.
4: Launch Grad Student Finances.
To launch GSF, I need to finish writing the core content, pick a template and design, solicit some content from fellow bloggers and readers, and get it online. More details on how you can get involved are on the GSF mailing list. 🙂
5: Meet with my supervisor about my church service.
The concrete result here is that I meet with the person in charge of the financial care ministry at my church. To get to that point I’ll have done a sufficient amount of work on our project to justify the meeting.
6: Finish a slide deck for my taxes-for-grad students presentation.
I don’t think I’ll have a chance to record this presentation this month as my money management seminar is my priority, so I’m going to start by just making a slide deck that I can give to people as a PDF. From there I’ll work up to it being a proper presentation, but that’s for later.
7: Outline my ebook.
I’ve had an ebook in mind for like forever but I haven’t really started working on it yet. This month I’m going to create an outline.
8: Commission a header for EPF.
Three years in, we’re finally getting around to it! Kyle has been playing around with header components forever but we could never settle on something we liked. Kyle’s artistic capabilities are much higher than mine but he’s also too much of a perfectionist about this. I’ll probably purchase one through Fiverr to start – we don’t have the income to justify a more expensive one. 🙂
Realistically, if I end up getting this internship I interviewed for, I won’t be able to accomplish all of these goals on top of my ongoing commitments. In that case, my seminar is my priority, then website #1, my financial care ministry service, and GSF. Wish me luck! I love funemployment!
Do you prefer to set overly ambitious goals or ones you’re sure you’ll accomplish? If you earn any side hustle income, how consistent is it month-to-month?