My 2015 Goals

Jan. 17

Happy New Year! While it’s already 1/17, today’s post is my first one of the new year. I’m excited to be back in business blogging and sharing my thoughts with the world!

Happy 2015

If you’ve been reading PPC Ian for a while, you know that I take great pride in documenting my goals at the beginning of each new year. I don’t always hit all of my goals, but I consider that a really good thing. It’s all about shooting for the moon, learning, and growing each and every year. If you don’t shoot for the moon, you’ll never know what you could have achieved! Last year, I had a ton of goals, 9 to be exact. (Check out my 2014 goals.) This year, it’s looking like another year of lofty and aggressive goals, although the themes of my goals are certainly changing as I get older and learn!

Goal 1: Invest In Family

The older I get, the more I realize it’s all about family. 2015 is the year of family for Nicole and I. "Family comes first" is what I tell everyone on my team at work. 2015 is the year I truly live my own motto. I’m so excited and blessed with an amazing, magical, and truly special year ahead!

Additionally, I have a sub-goal this year of spending more time with my parents. I was reading a post the other day on Yahoo! about things people regret not doing in their 30s. High up on the list was not spending enough time with their parents.

Goal 2: Grow My Career and Help Others Learn

My life’s mission largely revolves around growing my career, and helping others build their careers. It’s crazy because the more I learn, the more I have to learn! Marketing is such a fun career in that the learning never ends. Right now, I’m totally obsessed with offline marketing. While I started out in digital marketing, I’m finding that I’m just as passionate, if not more passionate, about the offline channels. I’m truly thankful to be in a position to manage all paid marketing channels for my employer. I’m dedicated to giving back and helping others learn and flourish within this amazing career path.

Goal 3: Invest In Great Business Partnerships

When things get really busy, it’s sometimes easy to lose touch with important business partners and friends. (Fun note: Most of my important business partners end up becoming friends!) My goal this year is making an ongoing conscious effort to thank my friends and business partners for everything they do. My favorite method of doing so: Lunch or coffee on me!

Goal 4: Optimize My Life and Have Fun

My life is very, very complex. I’m a master at handling complexity. I thrive in the complexity and have built an art and science around this practice. That said, optimization is all about cutting away the complexity that is not helping. This year, I’m trying to get rid of some of the stuff in my life that is not adding value. I’m mostly talking about material possessions here. However, I’m also talking about tasks and processes.

I believe that the practice of simplification will bring fun and joy to my life, in both the short run and long run. I also believe that the process of simplification will make room for new, great things. There is only so much mindshare available. I look forward to the new, amazing things ahead!

Moreover, simplification is core to financial success. Keep your life simple, and you have fewer financial obligations. Few financial obligations is the absolute key to long term peace and happiness, in my opinion.

Goal 5: Embrace Spirituality

Nicole and I visited Maui back in September, 2014. We absolutely love Hawaii and find a lot of peace and spirituality in the magic that is the Hawaiian Islands. As we departed for our trip, Nicole had an epiphany: "Ian, we’re going to church when we return from our vacation." As mentioned in my recently revamped about me page (check it out!), Nicole is always right and always has the best ideas. Long story short, the rest is history! This year, I’m dedicating time each and every day to reading The Bible. Our Pastor challenged us to read the entire Bible in a single year. I’m going to set the bar a little lower, knowing how busy I am. I’m going to read half The Bible this year, and the other half next year. I’ll be slow, but steady!

Goal 6: Keep Running

Right near my office, there are some truly amazing trails. I’ve been taking full advantage of that fact and going on some really long 5+ mile runs throughout the week. I’m so fortunate to have that opportunity to take a run during lunch, before work, or after work. I’m dedicated to my health and will keep running this year. This is a super easy goal for me because I find so much calm and joy in running. Running is my time of meditation and when most of my empowered ideas come my way. Want to come up with great business ideas? Go running!

Goal 7: Discover New Rap and Hip Hop Music

I’ve been listening to Backspin radio on SiriusXM. I thought I had exhausted all of the good rap music from the 90s and early 2000s. I was wrong! I’m still discovering new rap music each and every day. I’m especially enjoying the Ed Lover show. This goal revolves around discovering new music that motivates and inspires PPC Ian. As a sub-goal, I’m spending a good amount of time discovering old school songs from the 70s and early 80s that have inspired many of the modern rap and R&B songs. I continue to be amazed at the inspiration I can draw from good music.

Goal 8: Save Money and Grow Cash Flow

Whether it’s dividend-paying stocks, peer-to-peer lending, starting new business ventures, or really anything that can drive sustainable cash flow, I’m all over it! In conjunction with the simplification mentioned above, I want to create long-term cash flow that makes my life easier as each year passes.

Goal 9: Stay Calm and Avoid Conflict

This one is best illustrated through example. Today, I was at the bank with my wife. Someone blatantly cut us in line. Did I say anything? Not at all! The old Ian might have said something, but the new Ian doesn’t care. Later today, we witnessed two people fighting in the parking lot. Apparently, one guy opened the door of his BMW on the other’s Audi. In retaliation, the wife of the Audi owner allegedly punched the BMW owner’s car. The fight was starting to escalate quickly, and we didn’t want to stick around to watch. Long story short, everyone is on a tight fuse around here. Professionals are working very hard. Stress in the Bay Area is at a high level. It doesn’t matter how much money someone has, as illustrated through the BMW and Audi example. I’m dedicated to exercising special caution since I see a crazy environment developing in the Bay Area. I’d rather let someone cut me, than have to deal with any drama!

Goal 10: Share My Good Fortune and Help Others

Customer acquisition marketing has been good to PPC Ian. I’m dedicated to helping others this year and beyond. I’m especially interested in helping those less fortunate around the SF Bay Area.

Image of 2015 © fotolia – cienpiesnf

My 2014 Goals

Jan. 19

If you’ve been reading PPC Ian for a while, you know that I always enjoy writing about my goals for the new year. Here are my goals from the past few years: 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. Wow, that’s a lot of goals! You may be wondering, where are PPC Ian’s 2014 goals? This year has been super busy so far, and I’ve been thinking about my goals behind the scenes. I’m a little late this year, but it’s never too late… Today, I’m thrilled to share my 2014 goals.

2014 Goals

Before I get into the specifics, I wanted to first share my thoughts around the importance of having goals and documenting them. First and foremost, it’s important to have goals. All of us can improve. There’s always more to accomplish. There’s always more you can do, both in business and live. Never settle, always keep building. Second, it’s important to document your goals. Personally, I refer back to these posts about my goals regularly. My goals posts are not only for my readers but also for me. They are a great reference point to make sure I’m on target. Moreover, the written word is extremely powerful. Writing down your goals (via blogging or on paper) is a powerful way to solidify your goals in your mind, and get you one step closer to achieving them. So, if you have not created your 2014 goals yet (and/or have not written them down yet), you are not too late. We’re still in January! Without further ado, let’s jump into PPC Ian’s 2014 goals…

Goal 1: Empower and Grow Careers in Marketing

I’ve built my career and blog on the premise of empowering and growing careers in marketing. Each and every day, I strive to help those on my team, those on their teams, colleagues, leadership, partners, friends, family, and really anyone I interact with. Positivity, encouragement, assistance, and teaching goes so far. Invest in others and you make your company and the world a better place. I’ve written about this particular goal at length over the years, so I’m going to keep it short. The one sub-goal I wanted to highlight, however, is one I’m borrowing from last year’s list: Help at least five people every single day. And, one I’m adding to the list: Inspire at least two people on my team to take on the same goal of helping at least five people per day.

Goal 2: Invent At Least One New, Major Marketing Strategy/Channel

I had this same goal in my list last year, and it came true, two-fold. I truly believe in the power of the written word. I also truly believe in the power of innovation. Customer Acquisition Marketing moves so quickly. How do you stay ahead? Innovate, innovate, innovate (and optimize, optimize, optimize). I’m looking forward to another major, new marketing strategy/channel this year (new to me/my company)! Each year, I raise the bar and try to push myself, my team, and our industry forward.

Goal 3: Focus On High-Leverage Cash Flow Opportunities

As a Customer Acquisition Marketer, I’m always looking for the best ways to acquire quality customers at the lowest possible price. I’m looking for stability, and take a conservative approach. When you manage a large (or really any) marketing budget, it’s important to have a very conservative, thoughtful, and analytical approach. Every penny needs to be treated like pure gold.

When it comes to my personal life, I extend these same values. One thing I’m passionate about in my spare time is the overall goal of generating cash flow and income streams. For example, I’ve written extensively in the past about Lending Club (affiliate link) as one potential income stream and source of cash flow. Here are a few of my favorite Lending Club posts on PPC Ian:

(Side note: If you sign up for Lending Club via my affiliate link, I will be truly grateful. Such affiliate commissions help me pay the expensive fees associated with running PPC Ian.)

Whether it’s Lending Club, building affiliate websites, or any other strategy, I’m a fan of cash flow and passive/mostly-passive income. As someone who works incredibly hard and has very few free hours (maybe just a handful each week), you’ll find me spending a portion of my very limited free time in 2014 exploring high-time-leverage cash flow opportunities. I have been achieving great results via Lending Club as just one example, and will be blogging about them in a future post.

Important Note: I’m not a financial advisor and this is not financial advice. Please consult your own financial advisor before making any investment decisions.

Goal 4: Participate In a Huge Speaking Opportunity, The Largest of My Career

I’m excited about this one! Public speaking is a true rush. It’s also a true honor and opportunity to help others. In 2013, I really enjoyed Speaking At Search Insider Summit. This year, I already have a major speaking engagement on the books. In fact, this is going to be my biggest one ever. I’m taking this opportunity with such seriousness and dedication, I cannot wait. I can’t say too much, but some of my favorite friends from Rocket Clicks Digital Marketing Agency know what I’m talking about.

Goal 5: Connect With Amazing People Who Inspire, Find Ways To Work Together

I love blogging because it offers an opportunity to meet and connect with amazing people, both online and offline. A fun example: I was at the Marin Masters conference (put on by my good friends at Marin Software) and was given a shout out as “PPC Ian” in front of the entire audience. This was a fun example of online meets offline; the event became an amazing opportunity to network and meet amazing people who inspire.

There are so many amazing bloggers out there doing great stuff. As a fellow blogger, I always take the opportunity to leave a comment, introduce myself, and say “hi”. Some examples of people who inspire me who I’ve met via blogging: Jason from Dividend Mantra and Morgan from My goal this year: Forge friendships with great bloggers and leaders, both online and offline.

Goal 6: Deliver “Backyard Blogging” Videos and Innovation on PPC Ian

This is one of my favorite goals, and one of the reasons I’m writing this post a little late. As you may have noticed, I’ve been super busy uploading a lot of video blog posts here on PPC Ian. I’m especially thrilled about my “Backyard Blogging” series, where I shoot casual, fun videos about business, life, and marketing from my backyard. When it comes to PPC Ian, video is one of my biggest goals this year so make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel. Here are some of my recent videos:

This is going to be a huge year of video. Additionally, I’m looking forward to exploring some other concepts here on PPC Ian to keep things interesting, and push my content to the next level. An idea I’ve been thinking about: A PPC Ian comic strip. (This idea was inspired by a comic strip my friend Jason Thomspon used to do back in the day.) Stay tuned, cool stuff coming this year!

Goal 7: Spend Time With My Wife, Family, and Friends

With an ambitious list of goals, it’s always important to keep the right perspective on the big picture (this goal and the next one). While my goals are ambitious, it’s all about efficiency. I need to remember to work hard and smart, and spend a lot of fun times with Nicole, family, and friends. At the end of the day, I work hard so that I have time for loved ones. (Side note: Nicole is doing amazing stuff, and don’t be surprised if you see a guest blog post here on PPC Ian from Nicole, and also some other exciting announcements.)

Goal 8: Workout At least 4x/Week

I’ve been a bit lax about this goal recently, but the new year is just getting started. My goal this year is to workout at least four times per week. Workouts can be cardio, weights, or a combination of the two. My particular strategy this year is not just about the typical gym workout, it’s about variety and making it fun. The perfect example: Check out my recent YouTube Video About Hiking and how it can clear your mind/help you brainstorm new ideas. Nicole and I are so excited to hike all over the beautiful Bay Area in 2014.

Goal 9: Donate Time and Money To Charity

I like listing this goal last because it ties together well with my first goal of empowering, educating, and helping others. Nicole and I keep raising the bar each year. We achieved our goal of donating a record amount to charity in 2013 and hope to do this again in 2014. It’s all about giving back. We are so fortunate here in the SF Bay Area, let’s do what we can to help others!

If you’ve made it all the way to the end, I truly thank you. I know this is a long post, one of the longest I have written in a while. I thank you for your support. Any special and exciting goals on your end this year? Please do share!

Important Note: I’m not a financial advisor and this is not financial advice. Please consult your own financial advisor before making any investment decisions.
Image of 2014 goals © iStockPhoto – Rasica

My 2013 Goals

Jan. 03

Happy new year! 2013 is officially here and it’s time for my 2013 goals post. It’s a long standing tradition here on PPC Ian to blog about my goals for the new year. (You may want to check out my: 2012 goals, 2011 goals, and 2010 goals.) These posts really help me document my aspirations for the new year so I’m able to stay on track and strive for excellence. I try to keep my goals attainable, but still a stretch. Typically, I do not hit all of them (within one year), but I have a great track record of hitting most of them (and a super high percentage of them if you project out more than one year). I feel that if I’m hitting all my goals within the year, I’m not pushing myself hard enough. I hope you enjoy reading this post as a way to spark your own goals. I truly feel that documenting goals on paper (or via blogging) is a critical step in achieving your dreams. Here’s to an amazing 2013!

2013 Goals

  1. Save money and invest wisely.. This was also my number one goal for 2012. While I accomplished this goal in 2012, it’s not the type of goal that is over after one year. Saving money and investing wisely is a lifestyle. It requires many years of persistence to truly get the momentum building in your favor. As such, I’m going to be watching every expense very closely and hunting down passive income vehicles (such as dividend-paying stocks) every single day. Specifically, I’m looking to grow the amount of money I have invested in dividend paying stocks by at least 20%.
  2. Help others and build careers. In 2012, I got promoted to VP. This was one of my longest standing goals. I view my role as the greatest honor and responsibility. At my company and also within the industry, I will strive every single day in 2013 to help others. Whether it’s via this blog, public speaking, 1-on-1s with team members, dinner with partners, or just about any other avenue, I’m going to do everything I can to motivate and empower. In terms of making it specific, I will help at least 5 people every single day, in a big way.
  3. Invent a major new marketing strategy. I love online marketing and the marketing field overall because it’s all about innovation. I enjoy pushing myself to the limits. This year, I want to invent at least one major new marketing strategy (new to me/my company).
  4. Continue to grow my offline marketing expertise. I’m all about pay per click and online marketing. When it comes to online marketing, I have 8+ years of experience. In more recent years, I started getting into offline marketing in a major way. I have built some great expertise across several offline marketing channels and am always learning more. In 2013, I want to deepen my offline marketing expertise and invest at least a few hours each week building my marketing toolkit.
  5. Optimize, optimize, optimize. I just wouldn’t be PPC Ian if I wasn’t thinking about optimization. All day/night, I’m thinking about optimization from a PPC standpoint. However, this goal also ties into my life. I’m looking forward to optimizing my time (get more sleep, and more effective sleep), optimizing my workout schedule (getting out there and working out 4 days/week, one of the goals I did not hit in 2012), organizing our home and making better use of the space (a project Nicole and I are working on right now), optimizing my commute (trying different times to get to/from work as quickly as possible), really finding any and all ways to get even more out of life. I’m a big fan of optimization and 2013 is all about optimizing everything.
  6. Match or potentially exceed our 2012 contribution to charity. Nicole and I donated a record amount of money to charity in 2012. We truly believe in helping others and get a thrill out of giving back. I’m not sure if we will exceed our 2012 contributions this year since we need to balance this goal with the saving/investing goal (which would allow us to donate maximum money long term). That said, we will strive to match our 2012 contribution.
  7. Visit Hawaii. My wife, Nicole, and I love Hawaii. It’s one of our favorite places in the world. We try to go every year. (Here’s a fun post about our 2011 Maui Vacation). In 2012, we took a multitude of smaller trips, but no major vacation to Hawaii. Why? We got super focused on work (which is a good thing since we love our jobs). In 2013, we are already planning a vacation to Hawaii.
  8. Invest in family and friends. It’s all about the big picture. I like to keep this goal on my list each year because it’s easy to get focused on work, blog, business, and investments. However, it truly is all about the people in your life. I’m going to make sure to take time for fun times with family and friends.

I could not be more excited about 2013. What are your goals for the new year!

Image of 2013 © iStockPhoto – A-S-L

My Current Personal & Professional Goals

May. 02

When I was in college, I had just two goals in my life: Get married to an amazing, beautiful woman and do well financially. I wanted to go after these two goals early in my life. Thankfully, I’m proud to say that I’ve accomplished my two life goals! I have the most amazing wife ever and have made it big in online marketing (which has allowed me to do well financially). Now that these two goals are crossed off the list, I was thinking the other night, what’s next? What are my next few goals? What kind of legacy do I want to leave behind? What’s the bigger picture? Today, I’d like to highlight some personal and professional goals at the top of my list.

Goal 1: Leave Behind a Legacy of Contribution

Las Vegas

It really came to me while running 6 miles the other night: I want to help more people. Now, I’ve helped a lot of people over the years, mainly dozens of employees who have reported to me at my various companies. Many of my old reports are now senior managers and even directors. How cool is that! I consider the fact that many consider me the “best manager ever” as one of my greatest accomplishments and my way of giving back. This is why I get up and love going into work!

That said, let’s think about the big picture here. There are many people right here in the San Francisco Bay Area who can’t put food on their table. There are people who truly need help, immediately. These people are in desperate need of assistance, and I want to help them!

That’s why I started contributing to charity this year in a major way. At this time, I don’t have time to donate but I do have some extra money. Specifically, I have chosen to invest a portion of my Internet marketing money to Second Harvest Food Bank. My pledge to you and goal for myself: I will donate a record amount of money to charity this year and will raise the bar each year in the future. I will make regular contributions every month or so, just like I invest in my 401k. I’m going to make a real impact on people who need help now! At the end of the day, this is what truly matters and this is the legacy I want to leave behind.

Goal 2: Get To The VP Level

I’ve written about this one before in my 2011 goals! I definitely want to get to the VP level or above, it’s one of my personal challenges and milestones, something I must cross off my list. I feel like I’m on the right path: I’ve managed over $100 million dollars of search marketing spend during my 7 years in this career, I’ve managed and mentored dozens of employees who consider me the greatest ever, and I’m a pro at all online marketing channels. More than just a milestone, the VP title will give me more influence. I want to leverage my way of doing things to shape the corporate culture of an entire division. Again, it’s about growing my influence while giving back.

Goal 3: Figure Out Work/Life Balance

I have many goals outside of work, although I’m addicted to work and can’t get enough of corporate online marketing. Right now, it’s a tough balance. And, that’s ok, I’m building my empire. That said, I want to start improving my work/life balance, slowly. In particular, I want to live more of a mobile lifestyle and spend four or more weeks vacationing/working remotely each year (my home base is in the SF Bay Area). My two targets for working remotely: Las Vegas and Hawaii. I love working remotely and my productivity and happiness skyrockets when I’m somewhere exciting. (Side note: Just got back from an awesome trip to Las Vegas and will be writing about that in my next post.) Also, I want to run a half marathon this summer and spend a lot more time running in general. The point of the online marketing game, in my opinion, is achieving optimal work/life balance in the long run.

So, there you have it, some of my current high level personal and professional goals in addition to my 2011 goals. What’s on the top of your list right now?

Image of Las Vegas &copy iStockPhoto – rabbit75_ist