Begin With the End in Mind

Title comes from some advice I heard from Paul Winnas, a business consultant. It was directed toward business owners, but is equally applicable to the rest of us. Rather than focusing on where you need to go today, takes some time and think about where you want your life to go:

  • What do you want to do while you are alive? When do you want to do them? How much will each of these activities cost?
  • What will you need to earn in the coming year simply to keep you and your family housed and fed?
  • How many hours do you want to work?

For me? I want to have a economically and emotionally stable family life, including children in the next ten years. Careerwise, as long as I am able to provide for my family, I have no major ambitions. Long term, I do not even need to continue working in architecture. Family first, career second.

My wife is different. Her life goals involve improving the birth environment of women, which includes being an escort, being a doula, being a Lamaze instructor, being a midwife. For Michelle, immediate client needs take precedent over all other short term goals. This influences her long term planning, to better serve those clients needs going forward.

Being fed in the coming year? I think we’re going to make it. But not by following single career path. Michelle is going back to school to expand the range of birth-related services she offers, while I am going in a different direction from architecture with some web design work. This should enable us to keep us afloat for the year and increase our earning ability into the future.

Amusingly, Michelle and I again have divergent opinions on hours worked. I like a consistent 40 hours, five days a week, 8 to 5 style. Michelle likes a random, work-on-demand style. But both of these enable our actual work schedule goal: we can take time off when we need to to support our end goals.

Asking these questions, and the answers that come from them, help improve our life both in the present and into the future. These questions are applicable when you are twenty and when you are sixty. No matter where you are in life, take a look toward the end and plan accordingly.

-That is all.


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