Thursday, April 9, 2015

Moving the Target

By Leviathan.Leviathan1983 at de.wikipedia [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons
When I was younger, I wanted to be a rock star. I played in bands throughout college, and I got to really enjoy being on stage playing songs for people, particularly when we would get a few dedicated fans that would know every word to every lyric and sing along. My dream of being a rock star, however, never quite materialized. If you did not know, there are a few barriers to making it in the music business. Still, I managed to learn a little about building a fan base and maintaining relationships with individuals who appreciate your product.

Anyway, I moved on to get a job and work in the corporate world, meanwhile starting (and eventually shutting) several small businesses on the side, with the idea that I was going to be a dot-com millionaire. Again, the dream fizzled, but I gained a lot of good experience about online marketing and analytics. The window closed on the crazy internet venture capitalists paying millions for ideas and proven business models began to win out.

At some point I stumbled across NaNoWriMo and started writing novels every fall. Over time I got better, but never quite got motivated to become the next Michael Connelly or Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. Again, the dream of multi-millionaire fiction author did not quite materialize the way I wanted, but I again learned a ton about book structure, the writing industry, and more. I also learned that I really enjoy writing, perhaps leading to another goal or dream for me.

Now, I am planning out ideas on writing non-fiction, part of which includes pushing out my opinions here. New goals, new plans, and new activities.

Sometimes your target may move. In fact, you might find you are aiming at a wholly different target or different game than before. But, as I have learned, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, motion is key. I am not in favor of abandoning goals or dreams, but there is value in resetting your own expectations and altering your focus based on experience gained. The important thing is to keep moving. Second, it's OK to fail. Just fail forward, as they say. From every experience I have had that didn't quite work out the way I hoped, I still learned something that I could carry forward to the next goal. Currently? I've got a goal that takes lessons learned from all of the above examples and more to create a comprehensive target. And for now, I am aiming at it.