Theme for 2018: Money

My new year tradition is to choose a theme for the coming year. As the year progresses I try to keep my theme in mind and let it inform my decision making. Decisions not in keeping with the theme are viewed warily while those that fit are given extra weight.

Looking Back at 2017

2017 was designated as the “Year of Opportunity.”  The idea was both to look for opportunities and to take advantage of them. This led me to develop the rule of “Yes” and the rule of “No.” I wrote about this for Outdoorsy.  Writing for them was one of the more impactful opportunities I took advantage of and it’s worked out nicely for me so far. Debating on the site was another case where an opportunity knocked and I took pains to answer it with good success. I also tried National Novel Writing Month this year, though ultimately I didn’t succeed at that, I at least jumped in and gave it a go rather than watching on the sidelines. Most of the opportunities of note came late in 2017. While I wouldn’t call it a roaring success, it did lead to some great moments and some relationships that will continue to bear fruit going forward.

Looking Ahead to 2018

“Opportunity” was intended to encompass some aspects of making money, and it did lead to new sources of revenue for me. But ultimately, like 2016 it involved a lot more spending of money than making of money. This year, that isn’t really an option. By the end of 2018, we need to have a positive cash flow. That necessity drives me to make earning Money an explicit theme for the coming year. I’ve had the great luxury to downplay it for two years, but it’s time to pay the piper. The piper being me.

I am not a materialistic person. The older I’ve gotten, the truer that has become. I once dreamed of a large home, cool cars, and other trappings of material wealth. Now, that sounds like more of a hassle than a luxury. Which is not to say I’m any kind of minimalist or aesthetic, it’s just that I find my passion is in the experience and in creativity, and they actually benefit from quality over quantity of material trappings. Yet, I very much enjoy being wealthy in the sense that I am not indebted to anyone, and have no worries about where my meals or shelter will come from. If I don’t act and act effectively, I could lose that.

Playing the Game and Keeping Score

I think the key for me to making money going forward is going to be focusing my strategy game acumen and mentality towards making money. One of my first orders of business is to get my finances into a form I can “keep score” with. For the past two years, Anne has done most of the finance, but for me to focus on making money, I need to keep track of how much is going in and out of my accounts. I need to get excited about racking up points! This will help me stay focused and motivated on the task.

The other part of it is simply being much more aggressive about earning money. It tends to be a low priority for me. Even when I was working regular jobs, my salary was honestly a tertiary consideration. I cared a lot more about the work I was doing and the people I did it with than what I was paid. So long as I thought I was paid fairly and honestly, that was enough. I don’t want to give up caring about work or people, but I need to inculcate at least a little bit of love for the money itself. Get some of that shiny gold and do a happy dance!

An Easy Way to Help

Just a reminder. You can help me make money without spending any more than you usually do. One of my income streams is affiliate sales with Amazon. Basically, if you buy something using one of my special links, I get paid a finders fee. If you bookmark this link and use it when you shop on Amazon, we get paid some shiny gold coins for the treasure pile (real money needed for food and shelter).

You can expect to see more of such links from me this year. Some hustle is part of the 2018 theme.


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