Big 3 by 30
With enough experience – through trying, or by observing others, I noticed that most people are only capable of approximately 3 big goals at a time. Instead of spreading myself thin over a gazillion things I want to achieve, there's just 3 big goals I want to achieve professionally.
I call them “Big Goals” because they should be big enough to take years to a at most a decade to achieve them. These 3 Big Goals should also serve as a sort of North Star which I can recalibrate every decade.
Well, the average human life has is almost 8 decades (8 epochs if you count a decade as an epoch). 2.5 decades have passed me. That's basically 5 more epochs to go through. If we also count an epoch as a sort of "lifetime", then we could attempt 5 totally different things in a single human lifetime. You could take it as you lived 5 different lives. Exhilarating.
I have also found that if we work backwards towards an end goal, we don't fall too far from it even if we fail to achieve it. That's how goals work, like what strategy does for long battles. You fail to plan, you plan to fail. It's also another way of saying "do the wrong shit and everything is going to go to shit". I don't want to lead a shitty life.
Let's get to business. The top 3 things I want to do by 30 are...
1. Become a successful bootstrapper with ≥ 200K MRR (≥90% FCF) and investor (if i have already gotten there)
Not sure if a significant amount of this would be in locked in an equity fund or a similar financial instrument.
Tyler Tringas wrote in a post that 25-100K MRR is maximum optionality. 200K MRR is 2-8x of that which would give me more financial flexibility. I don't care a lot for living a fancy life. My goal is to use this optionality to lead the life that I'm comfortable with on my own terms. When I'm free of financial burdens, I'm able to spend more of my time helping others and growing myself at an undisturbed, accelerated rate.
That amount of optionality could also create more luck for myself. That luck would help fund more ambitious goals should I choose to pursue them. Regardless, I'd still be able to have complete control over my lifestyle for the rest of my life.
Money buys you freedom to do what you want to. What I want to do is to maximize meaningful time spent with friends and loved ones.
2. Build a strong network of interesting friends and large audience base
So what if I'm wealthy? So what if I built lots of optionality and luck for myself? They will all cease to exist someday. But moments? When you spend time with people, you create moments. They last in the form of memories and can be passed on from one generation to the other. You will now live for much longer than what your mere fragile existence could be – in the form of memories.
One of the greatest joys of living as a human being is sharing our existence with others. Creating memories in the process is simply sublime. Thinking about this simply gives me fuzzy feelings in my heart.
There is so much love I want to give out to others. They can come in many forms. Genorousity, kindness, love and all other good things. I expect nothing in return except for their appreciation in 3 main ways I identify to resonate with me:
The power of building audiences and monetizing that at full force. My breakdown below 👇 https://t.co/BTXZLQTWYA— Gabriel Chuan 🧠⚡ (@gabrielchuan) February 29, 2020
3. Start a profitable, high impact, high synergy equity fund like Fork Equity, Earnest Capital, etc.
The fund should be inline with my personal thesis and a top 10 thinker's theses about the world – friends that I trust and respect for smarts and contrarian views that are logical.
My personal thesis is to invest in bootstrappers who have a clear vision of what they want to achieve and it has a sustainable, reasonable impact in problems I want to solve.
It would be nice to somehow tie this in with building a global community of friends. I'd like portfolio founders to not only see me as a investor but as a genuine friend who wants them to succeed. Even better, I'd like a global circle of friends that I can count on and connect them to each other. As a larger community, we could do so much more.
Very ambitious, I know. Maybe it won't work. But I will never know until I try.
Now, I'll work backwards and translate the Big 3 Goals into smaller goals which I can achieve in 2020. Then I'll incrementally build them like bricks and steel, on top each other, until I have a skyscraper (my Big 3 Goals). To tie them all together, I'll put them into a framework which is still raw at this time of writing.
Build A Portfolio
Launching Young Makers and growing it to a 10K email subscriber community platform with 10K MRR is my primary goal.
Build An Audience
As I work on my portfolio of products, my goal is to increase my audience base. You must have heard of how successful entrepreneurs usually had some wealth to kickstart their businesses. I suspect they need this wealth to pay for building their product and to market them.
As a software engineer, building products is not a problem for me. Having some wealth to kickstart my business? I don't have it. Now if we were to take the same idea and remove the need for financial capital, how am I to market my products then?
The trick lies in building an audience first. Marketing to them is essentially $0 because they're already social media followers, or email list subscribers. They are invested in my growth and the value I can bring to them through my content and products.
I wrote a tweetstorm about this:
David Perell also wrote an entire essay about it.
My goal is to achieve at least 5000 followers on twitter and 3000 email list subscribers. They should be tied to my personal brand so that it's value compounds in my favor over time. As I launch more products, I'll write about my journey and the lessons I learnt along the way. People will recognize value when they see it:
If you want to see the future of marketing, study YouTubers.— David Perell (@david_perell) November 19, 2019
1) Collaborations are an efficient way to grow your audience.
2) Audiences are drawn to enthusiasm like moths to a flame.
3) The internet rewards people who are prolific. Publish consistently.
Don't be a "Twitter only" writer.— David Perell (@david_perell) February 28, 2020
People over-estimate the benefits of writing on social media because the engagement is public.
But building an email list from your website is a much more effective strategy for long-term audience building.
Email is hidden but very effective.
These is golden advice.— David Perell (@david_perell) February 22, 2020
”An audience can be your secret weapon. Instead of going out to reach people, you want people to come to you. With an audience, you don’t have to buy people’s attention — they give it to you.”
— @JasonFried pic.twitter.com/WaGlyvuZKk
I wish to learn how to become a startup operator and help startups get to their Series A/B/C. This knowledge would come in handy later should I choose to go into Angel investing or Private Equity. I don't want to just invest in companies. I want to be able to offer actionable advice that I have tried and made it work before.
10K MRR from Side Projects
I want to make 10K MRR consistently, from my side projects.
House fully paid for
I want to pay off any debt for the house I live in with my girlfriend/wife. With a house fully paid for, it becomes an asset and allows me more lateral optionality. I no longer have to worry about making ends meet to pay for any loans.