One of the more valuable exercises in "The E-Myth Revisited" was answering the series of questions which define one's personal aim. Following are the questions (underlined) and my answers to them.
As a small incentive to try the exercise yourself, I'll edit this post and link to anyone who e-mails me a link to a post on their blog answering the same questions. I think you'll find it valuable, and it's probably a good introduction to potential new readers.
My answers aren't in any sort of order. I was hungry when I wrote this, so food seems to make it to the top of some of the lists.
What do I want my life to look like?
Full of good, healthy food
Eating healthy is a priority for me, initially for the health benefits and now because I derive a deep satisfaction from eating well and treating my body well.
Lots of time spent doing interesting things with my friends
Besides just spending time with my friends, I want to spend time traveling with them, learning with/from them, and building things with them.
A comfortable but exciting relationship with my girlfriend
Parts of the relationship should be comfortable and predictable, but I never want for any relationship to become routine, taken for granted, or boring. Some parts of it should be exciting, unknown, and unpredictable.
Frequent authentic traveling
I want to visit a lot of places, but even as I become wealthier, I never want to cloister myself in five star hotels and remove myself from the grit of daily local life. That doesn't mean that I'll avoid luxury, but it won't be the standard.
I want my life to continue to be marked by constant learning and interest in new subjects. This is easy now that I'm young, but I know that as people age things change.
Spending time with my family (including extended family)
I'm very lucky to have an amazing family, and I want for my life to always include them, including my extended family which sometimes doesn't get enough attention.
Fans who count on me to improve their lives
I always want to have people who follow my work and find it valuable, not just for entertainment, but also because it makes a concrete difference in their lives.
Access to people who are the best in their field
One of the main reasons I want celebrity is to have easier access to high profile people. Anyone with any sort of public life gets more requests for his time than he can accommodate, and I'd like for people who receive my requests to be excited about them.
Constant open mindedness and experimentation with new things.
Like the constant learning, I want to always keep my sense of adventure and willingness to try different things.
What do you want your life to look like on a daily basis?
- I want my location to be at my whim, so that I can decide in a moment where in the world I want to be.
- I want to have access to perfect healthy food that I enjoy eating.
- I want each day to involve quality time with friends, family, or my girlfriend (or more than one, obviously).
- I want each day to be a challenge, whether that's working on a problem, speaking a foreign language, or hiking up a huge hill.
- I want my work to be rewarding because it's truly appreciated by others and because it's a challenge that I'm good at solving.
- I want to create routines that serve me well, but still leave a huge open window for adventure and chaos.
- I want to always have a "home", temporary or permanent, where I have fast internet, hot water, and healthy snacks.
- I want for my interactions with most people to enrich them somehow.
- I want to be 100% honest to anyone who wants 100% honesty.
- I want to spend at least fifteen minutes a day outside in the sun.
- I want some time to myself most days to work, reflect, read, or think.
- I want to be ultimately dependable.
What would I like to be able to say I truly know in my life about my life?
I want to know that my life was lived with conscious thought put into as much of it as possible, that it was lived with integrity, that I always did what I thought was best, and that other people benefited from me being alive.
How would I like to be with other people in my life - friends, family, business associates, customers, employees, community?
I want to be someone who can be counted on to listen, to do a favor, and for motivation. I want my friends to be successful and to know that I am rooting for them. I want to be empathetic and to be able to put myself in their shoes and act accordingly.
I want to express my love and gratitude to my family. I want them to be able to rely on me when they need it.
I want to make deals that are mutually beneficial, over deliver, make my expectations clear and reasonable, and do the right thing whether it's contractual or not.
I want to deliver work of the highest quality to customers, and for my name to be synonymous with excellence. I want to treat customers with respect, not talk down to them, and to treat them like real people with real lives. I don't want to sell things to people that won't be of real value.
I want to give employees jobs that matter to them. I want to have very clear communication, so that employees know what they're responsible for, and know that I appreciate the work they do. I want to motivate employees to pursue excellence.
I don't really care, to be totally honest. It would be nice to be recognized by the community as an asset, but it's not important to me to please everyone.
How would I like people to think about me?
I would like for people to think about me accurately, for better or worse. It's more important to me that people know about me than how they feel about me.
What do I want to be doing 2,10,20 years from now? At the end of my life?
2 (age 30)
I want to be entrenched in a business that I love and believe in. I'd like to have gained more focus. I'd like to be doing some sort of public speaking (a couple times a year at least) that impacts people in such a way that they take action, (like how I am taking action with this book) (maybe more than 2 years, but less than 10).
10 (age 38)
It's probably time to have kids by then. Money should be permanently taken care of. I should be fluent in Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and maybe French. Involvement in my business should be overall strategy and work that I genuinely enjoy. I should probably have my submarine by then.
20 (age 48)
can't really imagine what it's like to be that old, and can't really imagine anything beyond my 38 year goals. The one thing that comes to mind is that it would be nice to have some land and a huge house / compound for friends, family, and future family to enjoy. There should also be enough money in some sort of trust that maintenance is perpetually guaranteed.
End of Life
Who knows? I would like to have written things I've learned which were valuable to me so that I can pass them on to people who are interested.
What would I like to learn in my life?
Everything. I don't think I understand the question.
How much money will I need, and when?
1m by 32. 100m by 38. I hate these questions because I know that I am happy no matter how much money I have. I picked one million by thirty two because by then I will probably be starting to think about a family, and having that amount of money will probably mean that I'm where I want to be, businesswise.
I picked $100m by 38 because I really want to buy the Phoenix 1000 submarine, and that's about how much it will cost including enough reserves to pay for the upkeep perpetually