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Theme Year: Growth and Balance

Theme Year Growth and Balance Light bulb Plant Growing

January New Year’s resolutions are over.  Personally I don’t like them anyways. I prefer to take the month of January and really think about what I want to accomplish in the year ahead.  Last year was The Year of Exploration.  Instead of a new year’s resolution I prefer to do a theme year. 

What’s a Theme Year?

A theme year is an opportunity to focus on the year ahead with a specific word or phrase in mind.  For example the year after paying off my personal debt, my theme year focused on “Freedom”.  This past year was a “Year of Exploration”.  Having a theme year goes beyond simple numbers and goals, but instead it’s a direction of your entire year ahead.

Let’s take a moment to look back at my theme year of 2019.

The Year of Exploration Reflection

The opportunity to shift our lifestyle towards creating our ideal home situation and living happened more and more throughout the year.  Offices in the house became more our own. Barstools  were finally purchased for our breakfast bar.  We even created what we call our “Tropical Paradise” in our enclosed patio while we enjoy the winter months here in Florida.

Most important for me was I developed a routine.  My morning walk with my dog Angel, followed by breakfast and talking with my wife over coffee has been one of the highlights of my day.

Even Steven Money Lake Como

My wife and I with one our new friends from Italy

We definitely spent more time with family which included 2 weeks in Italy with the in-laws and 5 weeks total, weekly grilling parties, and spending more family time both near by and in different locations around Florida.

While I was involved with my local gym, I don’t think I did a good enough job becoming more involved in the community.  While I was able to give a presentation at a local small business I didn’t put myself out there in the community as much as I had planned.

The best part of the year of exploration has been exploring my business as a financial coach right here at Even Steven Money.  Initially I felt like I was getting close to failure but as it turns out I was getting closer to making progress.  December was my best month ever and I was able to help more people than ever.  If anything I certainly learned being an entrepreneur is a roller coaster.

The year of exploration allowed us to visit many new places across the US and Italy.  It also allowed us to explore what we liked and what we would change in the new year. 2019 really was a year of exploration with travel, business, and family.

Theme Year Growth and Balance Light bulb Plant Growing

How I came to my Theme Year: Growth and Balance

I’ve been thinking a lot about my theme year over the last couple weeks.  I’ve officially been in business for a little over a year as a financial coach.  During this time I have also taken on paid projects in Anti-Money Laundering ( My job is to explain why it’s not money laundering, not chasing Pablo Escobar and drug cartels). These paid projects really helped me psychologically get over not making money as a financial coach for 6 months and feeling like a failure. 

The year of exploration led us to realize some of what we were exploring was amazing!  More family time, travel, and creating a routine more around our values.  

We also had times and events that didn’t fit into our lives.  

I loved Italy, but I didn’t love picking up after 3 days and getting on a train.  Slow travel is for me.  Because of the time change my wife was working really late hours during a demanding time in her job.  I don’t think we can do international travel and still work at a W-2 job, lesson learned.

I really enjoy many of the aspects included in traveling.  Yet it also felt amazing to wake up take my dog for a walk, have coffee and talk with my wife, work on different aspects of financial coaching, go to my local Crossfit, and then cook dinner for my wife.  I missed having a routine, I really did.  

This made me realize that this year is more about balance.

Balance

If I was single and not married there’s a chance I would be living in a van down by the river echoing the words of Chris Farley in his famous Saturday Night Live skit.  You could find me exploring new opportunities and places that peaked my interest. That’s not my life today.  I’m happily married and want my partner to join me in my adventures, even if they include trying out an Airstream or Sprinter van.

I want to maintain a balance of exploring new places, opportunities, and keeping my focus on my values. Values Even Steven Money

Sometimes I need to be reminded that we are truly blessed to be in the situation we are in financially.  Also a reminder is needed that these blessings didn’t come without hard work.  

Certainly all of this was done with my wife’s support, the steady, smart, and beautiful person that she is.  

I was able to start a business doing something I really enjoy because of the hard work we put in together, but also because of the hard work she still does today.

Balance for Me and My Wife

Balance is meant for me to stay level headed as I consider opportunities that excite me, but officially have no direct ties to making money or financial coaching.  Choose wisely and stay balanced Steven. Life is not all about you, it’s about the others you have around you.

Balance for my wife is more important.  Working 60 hour weeks is not balanced. Having your boss tell you to work less is a sign.  Life is not about the money. Come over to my side and become more balanced.  

Don’t get mad or jealous when I don’t focus on making money, join me in a life more balanced.  Our life needs to be balanced.

It’s not that I don’t want to make money through financial coaching because I certainly want to earn money for my time spent.  It’s that my plans are to rely on our investments that will grow slow and steady. 

There are certainly times when I am all in and focusing on a particular project, but it’s not about the money.   It’s painful to hear, but I don’t want Even Steven Money and financial coaching to be about the money.  I’m striving for balance in our life together.  

Theme Year Balance and Growth Plant Growing

A business takes time to grow

Growth

It’s funny to talk about being balanced and looking for opportunities that don’t align with financial coaching or growing my business and then in the next topic talk about growth. Let me clear that up.

When I talk about growth I’m really talking about “Slow and Grow”.  

  • Goal is to double my revenue in 2020.  
  • Grow and become a better financial coach.  
  • Increase the amount of people that read my website and joined my newly created monthly journal entries.
  • Create a financial course based on what I do with my current clients on a one on one basis.  

I want growth.  I’m comfortable however growing at a slow rate and enjoying all of the moments in life.

Personal growth.  As a new entrepreneur it’s important to grow.  This can be as simple as reading a book about project management.  Shout out to my new friend and author Charlie Gilkey who took time out of his day to share insights about his book “Start Finishing”….Game changer for me in 2020.

Theme Year Start Finishing Charlie Gilkey Accelerate South Dade

Joining the CEO book club at Accelerate South Dade with author Charlie Gilkey

Reading a book about Financial Coaching like Kelsa Dickey’s new book coming out is on my list. 

Attending a personal finance conference like FinCon or Financial Financial Summit(If you sign up using my link, they will put me in a money box and turn on the fan allowing me to collect so much money, not true but this an affiliate link).  All of these are about growth and learning more.

Diving in to writing, editing, and creating. Listening to my growing success pack on what I should do with website, marketing, and financial coaching.  It’s all about growth.

My Wife’s Growth

For my wife I know it’s about figuring out what’s best for her.  It’s about detaching herself from the salary and figuring out what she likes about her position.  That’s hard to do, but it’s part of her growth this year.

Questions to Ask About Growth 

  • Would she work for the same company and same position making $0?
  • Does she need money to have a sense of worth? 
  • Is fear driving you to do the same thing as everyone else?

Speakers at CampFI

Amazing opportunity to speak and share my story with these great presenters at CampFI

Theme Year: Balance & Growth

It’s a constant battle for me to stay focused.  Sometimes I want to sit down and work for 10 hours straight and other days much like today I am all too happy to attend an 8 am workout, have breakfast, read or listen to an intriguing book or article, then walk my dog near the ocean in a tank top and sandals.  Yes this happened.

What I worry about is at what cost?  I don’t necessarily worry about the financial costs of taking a chill day and making little to no money.  The cost is the emotional and mental impact on my wife.  

If I don’t work hard enough or make enough money, she is the victim of my cruel scheme to work less hours and enjoy my time.  However if I flip the switch and spend 40+ hours each week on growing my business and earning income I’ve taken away part of the lifestyle I enjoy.

I look forward to a year of growth and balance and every moment in 2020.  We have been blessed and worked to put ourselves in a financial position that some may not achieve in their lifetimes.  Enjoy the moments, the people, and the values that keep us smiling.

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