Never Lose sight of your dreams

dreams become goalsThis is a little different from what I normally write and is much more about me and mindset then strictly about business. We’ll be back to our irregularly scheduled business and online marketing posts soon, but for today join me as I explore my goals from 20 years ago and how they relate to where I am today.

I have a game or ritual I’ve done for years. I walk up to one of my book shelves and I take down whichever book catches my eye first. I open it up to a page and sit down and start reading. Then most importantly I try to apply what I’m reading to a situation that I’m currently going through.

This morning I grabbed Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins. I opened it up and the first sentence I noticed was one that I wrote in the book in 1991, when I was 23 years old. It said “Never lose sight of your dreams.”  I asked myself had I lost sight of my dreams? The short answer is “maybe” the longer answer is much more complicated and I like to say my goals have evolved.

Ask yourself that question today and take the time to answer it honestly. Most of us have lost sight of our dreams or at the very least they’ve been subjugated or set aside.

After thinking about that and journaling for a while I decided to track down my goals list from 1991 and I found it. I am blessed that I have journaled in my life. I wish I had done it more regularly throughout my life, but I’ve had several periods over the last 20 years that I’ve spent time journaling and am am able to go back and read about myself from those periods.


Goal watch 300My goals / dreams in 1991 were the following:

  1. Build a multi-million dollar business and become a millionaire in my thirties.
  2. Get paid to speak in front of 3,000 people
  3. Compete in a national martial arts tournament – I didn’t really care if I won, but I wanted to be a legitimate threat to anyone I fought.
  4. Build muscle to reach 175 pounds
  5. I wanted to help others achieve their dreams


Let’s see how I did since then:

Goal # 1 Build a multi-million dollar business and be a millionaire in my 30s.

I did that with RMTG, Inc. We had 30 employees and did just short of $5 million a year for 5 years. Then I “retired” selling my shares back to the company with a 10 year, six figure a year payment package in 2005. RMTG ultimately went out of business and my payments stopped at 10 months instead of 10 years. This on top of a number of other things caused me to ultimately lose everything which could be another series of blog posts.

I joke that I should have been more specific with my goal because I was a millionaire in my 30s and lost everything before my 40s. I’m back on track to building a multi-million dollar business again and will easily do six figures in 2011.

Goal #2 Get paid to speak in front of a group of 3,000 people

When I was 23 I was speaking quite a bit, mostly presenting the Shaklee opportunity, but also talking about NLP and mindset. My regular speaking was MC’ing a monthly Phoenix- wide Shaklee seminar that had 100-150 people and the largest group I presented to a group of just shy of 300 where I was able to share the stage with Robert Cialidini, the author of Influence, one of the seminal works for people interested in persuasion. I ended up moving back to Billings from Phoenix in 2002 and pretty much set speaking aside until a couple of years ago.

In the last three years I’ve presented both paid and for free to groups across the US from as small as 10 people to almost 200. This year my goal is to get paid to speak at least once a month. I have three, possibly four speaking gigs lined up for March and am starting to plan April and May. The 3,000 is a very specific number and will take a while, but I will hit it. If you know a group that might be a fit feel free to contact me.

Goal #3 Compete in a National Martial arts tournament.

I was doing Kenpo karate point sparing tournaments back then and that’s really what I meant. I didn’t check a leg shot properly and tore my MCL and quit competing. Since then I’ve done Olympic fencing and fought in local club tournaments reaching the semi-finals a couple of times with foil. But my best chance at this is SCA heavy fighting. I’ve won 2 of the last 4 tournaments that I’ve been in and feel that even at the ripe old age of 43 I have a chance at increasing my skills enough to be a legitimate competitor in any tournament that I enter. Not quite there, but certainly on the path.

Goal #4 Build muscle and reach 175 pounds

I was pretty skinny back then and was working out an hour or two every day while trying to improve my fighting skills. I was about 165 pounds and one of the issues I had was not enough muscle and/or power. Because of that my goal was to build more muscle. Part of my reasoning was vain as well. What 23 year old doesn’t want to have big shoulders and bulging biceps.

Today, I chuckle at this one. Let’s just say I will never be “only” 175 pounds again unless I lose a limb. I soared past that in my early thirties. My goal today is to get back down to 205.

Goal #5 Help others achieve their dreams

What I meant when I wrote that was help people grow their Shaklee businesses. I quit doing Shaklee and personally feel that the old school MLM model is broken. I still use the products because I do believe in them. Which could just be a case of “drinking the Koolaid” but I find my body likes their protein better than any of the others I’ve tried over the years.

What it could mean today. I love working with business owners helping them grow their businesses. Almost everything I do is focused on helping people make more money. Local businesses don’t understand online marketing and most of the people who are trying to sell them services are simply fleecing them or have no clue what they are doing.

I also dabble in information marketing and have built and sold several courses and coached other online business owners over the years. The courses range from my work with Social Traffic and my product Local Social Profits. Both of which were focused on showing people how to be a local social media consultant helping businesses leverage the power of social media marketing for their businesses. I’m toying with re-launching that again, but their are so many of the “get rich quick” types peddling “get rich” selling offline consulting that it has poisoned the well a bit for me personally. I’ve been doing online marketing consulting for almost 5 years now and get a little disgusted with what I see being sold.

The exercise:

  1. Track down an old goals list. This is best if the list is at least a decade old.
  2. Review your goals.
  3. Write down what you meant on each goal that you set.
  4. Write down how you’ve done on that goal
  5. Write down where you are today.
  6. Once you’ve done that ask yourself, “Am I following my dreams?”
  7. Journal your answers
  8. Come back here and share what you learned

I hope this post was as interesting for you as it was for me. I rarely share about myself and posted on Facebook that this post was coming yesterday because if I hadn’t I probably never would have hit publish.

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  1. Pat Griffin says

    Well-written and insightful, Doug. It is inspiring that you are willing to be transparent in order to encourage us to be honest with ourselves. Thank you.

  2. says

    Thank you Pat, as you know I’m not usually one to b so transparent. It definitely made me step outside of the box to do it. I’ve received several private messages expressing their gratitude for the post and how it made them think about where they were in their lives.

  3. says

    Great list! Goal-setting can be really powerful. Thanks for sharing – it sounds like it’s been very effective in your own life. I could do more of this.

    Food for thought: I’d love to see a follow-up post that deals with a major issue why people don’t set goals: fear.

    Love that quote.

  4. says


    Thanks for the idea. Fear would be a great follow-up post. I’ll work on that. As you may have noticed I am extremely sporadic about my blogging so it may be a while 🙂


  5. Henry says

    Hi Doug, I am a 54 year old entrepreneur. I have been self employed since 1986 and can identify with lots of your comments. I do occasionally journal and have come to really value my early writings as well. Reviewing goals is very interesting and especially as i get older. Some have faded in importance and some help me to remember my dreams when I get all caught up in the drag of life’s battles. I also write out my thoughts and gut feel about situations. I have learned lots by rereading the journal and reflecting on how it turned out. Most of the time my gut was right but it took me time to be ready to deal with the situation. I am getting better at seeing the signs earlier and finding better solutions. One of the times I was rereading some notes I noticed how I had the same complaints and intentions for years. This was a pivotal point for me and motivated me to start being more conscious of action on my intentions.
    Great Blog, first time to see it.

  6. says

    Thank you for your insightful comment Henry,

    My  only regret about journaling is that I have done it too inconsistently over the years.  There are themes to our lives that we forget when we haven’t written them down. Luckily I have tended to journal when things were great and when things were bad. I have probably learned more about myself from the bad than the good. I’ve had similar revelations from reading from those times and as you did have made adjustments because of that.


  7. Emma Tiebens says

    Hello Doug!

    I enjoyed reading this immensely and I LOVE your transparency especially with Goal #1! The good news is that if you were able to do it once, you can do it over and over again!

    You got me smiling on Goal #4 – lot of truth in it! Hubby and I always have great discussions about that too!

    Great meeting you and congratulations on being selected as one of Chris Brogan’s “celebrated” and specially mentioned blog post this week!

    Take care… and cheering you on with those new goals!

    Emma 😉

  8. mfrazer117 says

    I had a dream… a simple goal: go back to school. Get a Masters Degree. Become a therapist. Simple? All I had to do was move to another city that had a major university, apply, be accepted, and spend the next 3 years studying, writing papers, presenting papers, and taking exams. Not so simple. BUT I DID IT.  And, along the way found a new career as an author. I needed a theme for a thesis and expanded this theme into my first book: The Relationship Trap. Two years later (January 2011) I published my second book: When Angels Call Your Name. You never know where your dream will take you, and it may not necessarily be your original goal, but never lose sight of that dream.

  9. Brad Kinder says

    Great post.  Thank you for the laugh on goal 4.

    It is important to reach our dreams.  I just did a post this week about making dreams possibilities.


  10. says

    Very nice post.  A little bit of gut authenticity is needed from time-to-time. I really appreciate how you walked us through your personal and professional reflection, some of your insecurities, and really analyzed how your goals and thought processes have changed over time.  I too am an avid supporter of keeping a journal and self-reflection.  I began keeping a journal at the ripe ole age of 6 and have intermittently my life long. One of my biggest regrets (only regrets) is not doing so more regularly.  Because I agree with you that your gut is usually correct.  What better to prevent repeating the mistakes of your past, than actually having a true snap shot into how you really felt at that moment in time?

    One goal that I have held for about ten years now is to get as much of my writing as I still possess off of aging paper and into electronic format, before any more of it gets lost.  It may mean something to others or it may not, but it certainly means a lot to me and I feel confident that others can see the value in it. 

    As someone who hasn’t built a multi-million dollar business (or two) your article provides a way for me to truly connect to you both personally and professionally.  I will certainly subscribe.
    Thank You,

  11. sandra says

    If have to some dreams in my college life k when will u studying in three years ago all i had to do was move to another city that had a major university,be accepted, and spend the 3 years studying. And my ambition in software tester is my dream