What Happens After You Reach Your Goal?
This is a current “problem” in my life. It’s a very privileged problem to have, nonetheless, it is a problem. I have reached a point in my life, at the ripe age of 26, where I don’t have to work if I don’t want to. The problem, I WANT TO WORK, but I’m less passionate now than ever before. I’ve built my current career for the last 8 years, and it’s very mundane to me now. I sell and manage houses, which I am amazing at, and I love the people that I work with, and the clients that I have, but the passion for the daily grind isn’t there. The constant grind and hunger for new business doesn’t burn inside of me, and I think a large reason is because it doesn’t have to. When I started this business, I needed success to validate who I was as a person, and now I have that success, so what now? I spent 8 years defining myself based on my career and growing myself to reach a level I deemed successful, now I have reached that level and don’t know what to do. Continue a passionless grind? Now this being said, I love the business I have and the clients I continue to help out, whether they’re buying their first house, or investing in their 50th house. The struggle is the infamous grind. I don’t need to grind for new business. Again, a privileged problem to have, but what happens when you spend 8 years defining yourself by the struggle of reaching your goal, and you reach it? Does your definition of yourself change? Do you get new goals? Do you just chill at home and find a hobby for the next 70 years? I don’t have the answer, but I have a few options.
The problem I have, that I think a lot of people have, is they put so much stock into reaching their goal and have 0 plans if they actually make it to the end. Can you blame people for this? You’re not supposed to have goals for your goals. We’re supposed to have micro goals to reach the macro goal of wealth, or happiness, or health, or whatever else you’re trying to achieve. Every time you hit a micro goal, you feel accomplished enough to hit the next micro goal to eventually get close enough to hit your macro goal; a mental check mark in your box for that micro goal, and a satisfactory feeling in yourself and your accomplishments. I looked up from the grind one day, and found out I hit my macro goal. The ultimate check mark; EXCITING STUFF! For a couple of days... For a long time, I kept going into the office for my normal 8 AM to 5 PM (or longer) “shift”, seeing if my staff needed help with anything…? Nope, they had it covered. Any new promising prospects that need my face or my voice to comfort them? Nope, my assistant had learned to comfort in the same manner I do. Anything I needed to do financially to prepare or get ready for a slow season? Nope, the companies were profitable and holding a strong pattern of increase in revenue monthly, even with the slow season creeping up, we were better off than we’d ever been. At this point, I was really just getting in my employees’ way.
I’d spent years hiring, training, promoting, firing… but now, in a time where my personal life was about to change, on the cusp of the holidays, truly PERFECT timing, our staff finally seems to have evened out. We weeded through the bad eggs to find the golden ones, and they learned and grew with the company over the last year. We’ve held on to talent and purged the office of negativity. We promoted a long-time employee to our general manager, and found a suitable bookkeeper to take over my wife’s position as she neared the end of her pregnancy. The pieces fell right into place, just as we were hoping they would, but now, I am left passionless and unneeded. That’s the other problem with having an amazing staff, THEY REALLY DON’T NEED YOU. That sounds great! Do the work without my input, grow the company, and make all of our clients happy! Except, what can I do now? I can enhance things a little bit here and there, poke my head in an employee’s office to make them a little more excited about the day or a sale.., tweak a process or procedure to be a little more efficient, or maybe answer some of the incoming calls while someone is on break. A total workload of an hour; two if I have a donut and cup of coffee. I was more of a distraction than a help to our employees. Alas, not much to do in the actual office. I didn’t fathom a goal that would involve me not being involved.
I would assume a lot of high functioning athletes go through something like this. They work all of their childhood, then make it to a great college team, the make it to a professional team and have an amazing career making a ton of money and doing what they love. Then after 10 years of playing professionally they get cut. No chance of getting picked up elsewhere, nor could their body really handle it. They have succeeded in their lifelong goal: money, fame, passion for their work. What happens when they don’t need any of that to define themselves? When do they stop saying, “I used to work/play for….?” When they have the money to do whatever they want, and have already completed their passion they thought they would always have, and are thrown back into their own head and world, then what? You obviously don’t feel bad for them living with their success, but that doesn’t make it any less of a problem for them. A step further, in case you didn’t know…...I didn’t sign a $100M contract. Their new passion could be anything they want with that kind of money, mine is still limited in the wealth world. I have enough passive income to not need to do anything, but not enough that I could do anything. Enough to live extremely comfortably, not enough to buy a 100 unit apartment complex.
So what can I feasibly do with the time and resources I currently have at hand? Some obvious choices: 1) continue trying to grow the business to be larger and more profitable, 2) get a hobby, 3) start a new business, 4) invest more time and energy into other investments, etc. etc. etc. It’s not a lack of options to do, it’s a lack of passion. I don’t want to start something else just for the sake of starting something else. A new hobby might get me killed with our new baby around the corner… A new business sounds exhausting too, if you’ve ever started a business, you’ll know the time and energy that goes into it (for years!), but maybe that’s just what I need to do. I’ve started looking more into flipping homes (buying, fixing up, selling for profit), or building homes to sell, or starting a construction company, but haven’t found something that is just calling my name yet.
My obvious next adventure will be developing my child to be the best human he can be, I mean…..obvi. I’m sure a lot of fulfillment will come from that, but professionally I think I’ll dabble in some other investments/companies. I’ve been looking at building some houses pretty seriously, and flipping some other homes, and buying rentals, so that should eat up some time for me. As for the next adventure…..who knows? It could transform into a new career in real estate, or a new company unrelated to real estate, or maybe just being content with what I have going and not looking at the next feat. I’m sure I will keep you up to date on what I decide and how the next adventure unfolds!
Have you ever met a goal and had the ‘what now?’ feeling? Tell me about it! What did you do to overcome that feeling?