Sunday, July 19, 2015

Becoming Savvy at 53

Tomorrow is my 53rd birthday.  I like setting goals on my birthday; my New Year's resolutions are usually long forgotten, so my birthday is a good time to reassess and come up with new goals for the remainder of the year.

While brainstorming goals for this year, I reread my birthday post from last year. I had a little chuckle over the title, “Career Reinvention at 52,” thinking that didn’t work out so well. But as I read the post, I realized every word still applies to my life today except my retirement goal has been pushed out another year.  I still work too much – probably more this year than last as I struggled to find at adequate replacement after my employee resigned.  My workouts became fewer and fewer until I dropped my gym membership altogether and my diet has gotten worse. The good news is my company has approved an additional hire for my department, so hopefully my work load will improve in the future.

I would still like to retire early from my job and spend my time doing something more rewarding.  My plan last year was to follow James Altucher's The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For Reinventing Yourself. He says it takes five years to reinvent yourself.  Here is his recommended five-year plan:
  • Year One: you’re flailing and reading everything and just starting to DO.
  • Year Two: you know who you need to talk to and network with. You’re Doing every day. You finally know what the monopoly board looks like in your new endeavors.
  • Year Three: you’re good enough to start making money. It might not be a living yet.
  • Year Four: you’re making a good living
  • Year Five: you’re making wealth
In my 52nd year, I planned to read everything and start to Do.  Altucher claims reading 200-500 books are equal to one good mentor.  I finished 19 books last year and have to admit many of them were largely forgettable, so as I begin my 53rd year I am still at step one of the reinvention cycle.    I’ve always been a late bloomer, so for my 53rd year my goal is to

Become “savvier.”  I plan to do this by continuing my goal to read 200-500 books.  Only I hope to pick better books.

I am also adding Altucher’s suggestion to get your idea muscle in shape.  To do this he recommends coming up with 10 ideas a day.  As you do this the muscle will grow, you will be able to come up with more ideas and the ideas will get better.

What books have helped you become savvier?