Why I Set Goals — and How I Kicked My Own Ass (and NOT in a good way)…

I began writing goals back in 2002. After years of selling something that is legal in my state today (but not then) and paying the price for it, I spent 1994-2000 broke, mostly jobless, and completely useless. I even went though a short period of homelessness. In fact, if not for the kindness of a good woman, I would’ve probably been homeless a lot longer.

Most of the jobs I had were throwing drunks out of bars. The gigs were part-time and typically a buck or two over minimum wage. I usually didn’t stay very long.

At age 30 I threw a gorilla-sized monkey off my back that had been pushing me down for 15 years and moved in with my mother (bless her heart.)

I started with a minimum wage job at a print shop and then began building my own personal training biz. I wrote down my goals, reviewed them, visualized myself attaining them, believed I could and worked my ass off.

Within a year I was making six figures. The most I’d ever LEGALLY made in my life. A year after that, multiple six figures. A few years later I started putting out info products ( ebooks, Video courses, membership content programs) teaching other trainers how to market and grow their businesses. I learned a TON about marketing. And marketing is a GREAT skill to have.

I was soon bringing in a RIDICULOUS amount of money. I’d made a good income in my personal training biz, but info marketing trumped that.

I upgraded my lifestyle, moved into a McMansion, bought a fancy new sports car, a new Harley Davidson Cross Bones, all sorts of toys, had a fat savings, and felt I had “made it.”

And with the help of science (pharmaceuticals) I got ripped: at 6’6″ I was 265, shredded and strong. I even sported a Mohawk (Today I think the damn thing looked ridiculous for a 40-year old man. Not that it wouldn’t look great on someone else, though. See silly picture of me to the right.)

Problem was…

I bought into my own PR. I let my success go to my head. I got cocky.

And…

I was empty inside. I no longer thanked my creator every day for what I had. I was no longer grateful. I was selfish, egotistical, and more miserable than I had ever been in my life. More miserable than during my period of homelessness and kicking my ass (with the help of that big ass monkey I mentioned) a decade earlier.

I’m fact, I was so empty inside I invited that monkey back into my life and onto my back once again (after having shook him off back in 2000.)

You see, I thought the money and material objects would fill a hole that today, for me at least, I believe can only be filled spiritually. But I ain’t here to preach about my spiritual beliefs. I hate when people preach to me, so don’t worry, I will say no more about that.

My (now) wife pulled me back to my feet a little over five years ago.

Climbing out of that seemingly bottomless pit led to a transformation. Funny how that works. Sometimes we gotta go through the darkest of nights to get to the brightest of days.

I took a long hard look at my life and realized that …

A) Money will not make me happy

B.) I’d be much more fulfilled and enjoy life so much more doing something I’d love than chasing money.

So I began writing full-time. Fortunately, for some reason, people are willing to pay me damn good money to write for them. I work on my own fiction in my off hours. Now I love the stuff I’m paid to write. A lot of it is GANGSTER. And I’m big into gangster.

But while the money IS great, it ain’t like it was back when I was living in the McMansion, selling my own info products.

With my daughter Seersha. Today—as I write this—is actually her first birthday (=

Thing is…

I’m way happier today. Way more fulfilled. I enjoy what I do all day much more than I’ve enjoyed any other kind of work I’ve ever done. And I get paid to hone my craft. All. Day. Long. How cool is that? (Plus, the clients are work for are close friends and some of the coolest people you could ever meet.)

I would never have accomplished any of this stuff had I not set goals, believed I would achieve ’em, and then worked my ass off to hit ’em.

Today my goal is to earn enough money writing my own crime fiction that I don’t have to do anything else for money and never have to worry about money—that I make enough of my own fiction to be financially free and get to spend my days doing what I love: writing crime fiction. Because that IS what I want to do all day.

This goal is a bit more challenging than previous ones like “make six figures as a trainer” or “make millions as a info marketer.” I know a lot of damn good novelists who still work day jobs. I know a few others who bring in seven to multiple-seven figures per novel, and for the most part, they’re even better. But often times not by much.

Photo by David Oliva

What I have going for me is:

1. An obsession with hitting my goals

2. Fairly kickass marketing skills (it’s what i did for years)

3. The fact that I write 6 to 10 hours a day and get better every single day

4. My determination. When I set my sights on something, I am relentless. Dogged as a mofo.

5. Even though I’m an introvert I’m pretty damn good at making connections.

6. An awesome, supportive wife.

All that said, I am so grateful to get paid the money I do to write the kind of content I am for my clients. Their stuff is very similar to my own crime fiction, which is a giant blessing.

Try tellin’ this guy he’ll never make any money as a writer.

(By the way, any struggling writers who want to shoot me down for having financial goals tied to my writing or for believing that I can earn a damn good living as a novelist can go get fucked. Just cuz YOU ain’t made it yet doesn’t mean that I can’t. In fact, people telling me I can’t do something propels me forward. That shit’s like fuel to me. So bring it on.)

Moral of the story…

I never would have accomplished any of the cool stuff that I have had I not set goals in the first place. In fact, I’d probably still be making minimum wage.

So yeah, I guess you could say I’m big on goals and have benefited a ton from setting them.

Talk soon,

Big Chris

Written by Chris McCombs

Just put your primary email in here and I’ll be sure to hook you up ( I hate spam too so I promise to keep it private and never share it with anyone) … I’ll see you on the other side

Comments

  1. George Wright says:

    Man sakes alive, glad your back bro.

  2. super inspirational as always Chris. your words are always exactly what i need to light a fire under my ass and understand just what it takes to make it. really glad to see you’re doing well buddy, and i look forward to more posts!

  3. Justin Pierpoint says:

    Many people who achieve success succumb to hubris. I did.

    Not everyone has the grit to to really understand what went wrong. And then fix it. And then climb the ladder all over again.

    I think you have.

    And that grit – the journey it will take you on – inspires me and all your other readers.

    I have faith that you’ll get to where you want to be.

    Get after it. And, respectfully, keep updating your blog.

    Best wishes.

    Justin.

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Hey, Justin, I appreciate it. And that hubris…it can sure be a monster. At least it was in my case. I carried a lot of shame about it afterward. Sharing on my blog and on FB helped dimish most of the shame. Huge releif to get it out there and out of the back alleys of my heart. So releiving once I began opening up about it. It’s a big part of the reason I started this blog back in 2012 or so.

  4. Hey Chris, been spending to long climbing mountains over here in Scotland. Glad I came came across your amazing words. Gave me the shoulder shake that I needed and made my teeth rattle. Cheers Alex

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Nice! Congrats on doing something (long climbing mountains in Scotland) that most people think is awesome but would never attempt. What an adventure. Godspeed.

  5. LOVE your words. Like you, I pulled myself up many times over the years using goal setting. Have had some hard knocks, but each time came back stronger.
    I’ve signed up for your newsletter!

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Awe, hey, Isabella, that means a lot to me, especially coming from a fellow writer like yourself And thank you for signing up for the newsletter. Four years back or so I was pumping out a lot of posts. These days not so much since I’m working on the books. What I’m saying is, you may not receive many letters since posts are rare these days (I think I’ve done two in the past year) But I appreciate you subscribing nonetheless. I have a hard time looking at the old posts. They make me cringe. I like the message, but I feel I’m such a stronger writer these days that those old posts embarrass me in a way. That’s my ego thinking though. People seem to enjoy them and benefit from them, so I keep them up.

      Thanks again!

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      actually. Make that two posts in the last TWO years it looks like. Not one year. Wow. It sure has been a long time since I was able to keep up with this blog. It’s for the best though. I’m writing books which is what I enjoy most.

  6. dude, your words saved my life three years ago, they gave me strength, and now I feel better than ever, in fact, I strated a blog too, to put my thoughts, and lessons I learn from life, thank you

  7. I HAVE BEEN CHECKING YOUR BLOG SO OFTEN TO SEE YOUR NEXT POST AND IT IS AWESOME AS ALWAYS. Happy late birthday to your daughter, by the way! 🙂 As of late, I’ve been doing the goal-setting thing as well. I’m trying to kick my sugar addiction, prep for all the work I’ll have to do for the school year including working, academics, extracurricular activities after a rather depressing and hostile time period where I could not for the life of me get my stuff done. I was on rather bad terms with my immediate family and myself. I did not enjoy it. Now I’m picking myself up and genuinely trying to fix things. Your blog helps me immensely, Chris, thank you for being who you are and sharing it with people. Thank you.

  8. Dude! I just found you and your blog. Looking forward to what you write next. Thanks for laying it all out there – and using my vocabulary to do it. I hate the drugs I love too. Been sober a while now – and I am one of the ones who still thinks about it – and has to make a conscience decision – regularly. My sober addict husband is one of the never depressed – never struggles people. We stay clean and together. Dude – hope you are lifting and eating right….and I’ll look for your books. Will check back in soon – tell us what’s up.

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Thanks for your comment Kim. Your energy shines through your words. Congrats on the two of you being sober, too many people never achieve that. You’re a warrior, Kim.

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