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Improving My Reach: Goals for 2015

In order to teach you all something new and interesting about personal finance each week, I often find myself scouring the library shelves for something that that will heighten my financial learning and lift me to new levels not often visited by the average human being. With the mission of improving my reach in 2015, I picked out three books last week:

  1. America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money – by Annette and Steve Economides
  2. The Saved – by ??
  3. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind – by T. Harv Eker

The America’s Cheapest Family book was interesting. In the grocery section of the book I learned that if I find bread for 10 cents I should probably buy 15 loaves and simply freeze the unused loaves in plastic bags for later use. Beyond this, most of the information provided in this book I already knew. Not a bad read though.

20150102 - secrets of a millionaire mindThe Saved grabbed my attention immediately as the story followed a man who lived on only $6,000 a year and was perfectly happy with life. However, after reading almost 100 pages I realized that the book could have been condensed into about 40 pages total. All the wordy paragraphs simply lost my interest and after a while I just couldn’t wait to put it down, never to pick it up again. I tried to find the link for you, but apparently this book was forgettable for everyone else too because I can’t find it anywhere on the web.

Finally, I started reading “Secrets of a Millionaire Mind”. I have picked up many books like this in the past so I didn’t expect much, but for whatever reason this book really spoke to me. Within the first few pages I learned that millionaires are not all that different from you and me. Many of them didn’t have a superior education or upbringing, but somehow they have developed wealth while the rest of us had not. If all aspects of our lives are very similar, then where is the difference? It sounds a little hokey, but the difference between us and the millionaires rests in our own perception of ourselves. Our successes and failures are not a result of the government, the economy, or our dysfunctional family upbringing. Our results in life are merely dependent on our own belief in ourselves!

I Became Comfortable Living Small

When I started, I was earning $40,000 at my day job and was hoping to earn a little bit more on the side with this new website venture. I was active in improving the site, added content almost every day, and constantly offered giveaways to attract a new audience. About a year later my site really took off, and so did my total income. Within just one year my total income increased from $41,000 to about $75,000 ($50k from my day job and $25k from the site). I was suddenly earning more than anyone in my family (as far as I knew) and my actions just went on cruise control. It was the strangest thing – I was still writing articles, but they were not as inspirational as they used to be. My drive had grown stale.

About a year and a half later, my website earnings cooled off (not surprisingly). My $25,000 side income was eventually reduced to about $10,000 and that is where it has remained for some time. More important than the money though, my readership numbers (by any metric) have not improved in the past two years. My mission for this site was to reach out and help others with their personal finances. Since very few individuals are joining this community today, my mission is not currently being fulfilled.

Something has to change, and it has to start with me.

My Big Goals for 2015

So why did I scale back on my site activity a few years back? There were other things going on in my life, sure. But deep down, I think it ultimately was a lack of belief in myself. This is this reason that I have not finished my book, have not spoke at any local conferences, and have not worked tirelessly to make this site what I know it can be! Frankly, I didn’t believe in me. Thanks to T. Harv Eker, I realize that now, and for some crazy reason this realization is inspiring me to do more and to be better than I ever thought I could be in years past!

So what now? It’s time to increase my site reach considerably. I have a passion for people and their finances, so the more people I can help, the better.

So how will I know that my site is growing? By seeing an increase in these current metrics:

Over the course of 2015, I aspire to increase each one of these metrics by:

  1. Keeping my content interesting (generating at least 10 Tweets per article)
  2. Reducing advertisements on the site
  3. Offering free giveaways
  4. Paying to increase my site reach
  5. Comment on other well-known sites
  6. Reaching out to local media sources to tell my story of debt-freedom
  7. Reducing page load times
  8. Finishing my book, “The Debt-Free Degree”

By the end of 2015, I hope to increase my current metrics to:

This transformation won’t be easy, but I am excited to take on this new challenge. To hold myself accountable to these new goals I will be writing one post per week on my progress. I hope that you’ll enjoy these posts and start to create challenges of your own as well.

Are You Living Small? Is It Time For a Change?

Have you been capped out in your life for some time now? Is your belief holding you back like mine was for me? If so, then it’s time to throw off your tentative self and to finally strive for greatness! I know you can do it, so how about we just run this race together?

What is your ambition this year? Maybe I should make a new page to post all of our goals! What do you think?

Battle of the Mind


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. I like the goals for the new year. You have a very interesting website so with a little work, I think you’ll hit your goals no problem.

    • Thanks Joshua! I sure hope so. I really need to start acting on these goals now so that there is sufficient time for the progress to take place. You’ll be reading another article about my actions soon! 🙂

  2. I think it’s very important to set out specific and measurable goals. I do the exact same thing although my focus is on increasing income through sponsorship, advertising and affiliate. Some months I did well I am going to focus on to increase 3 fold this year. I would look into Facebook advertising that requires liking your page and providing you their email address. That’s worked for me in the past when I had a ton of free credits I was using up.

  3. Best of luck with thinking big. I’m not sure I do that enough but changing the way we think has allowed us to do more with real estate and investing than I would have thought possible a few years ago. I would think you could get some publicity from being so young and mortgage free. I would contact big publications and ask to tell your story!

    • That is my thought as well Kim. I have reached out to a few news stations to pitch my story. I haven’t heard anything yet, but I’m sure something will come my way. Thanks for the comment, Kim!

  4. Great book suggestions. I’m kinda interested with the “Secrets of a Millionaire Mind” book, sounds interesting to read. Btw, good luck to achieving all your goals this 2015.

    • I’m not totally done with it yet, but it has definitely been a good read so far!

  5. Hope you achieve more than the target values for your blog. Contact me for any help I can do for the book promotion, once it’s out

    • Awesome. Thanks SB – I will definitely contact you once the book is ready!

  6. Derek, it looks like you and I have similar goals in 2015. I’m excited to see your progress and hope that your success drives me to follow in your foot steps. Let’s see if we can get back to that $25,000 figure!

    • Can’t wait AB. Let’s push each other to a fantastic 2015!

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