The FIRE Movement

Be Tenacious With Your Financial Goals

Be Tenacious With Your Goals

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you’ve said “I’d to ANYTHING to have that!“?

I have too, but unfortunately that statement rarely comes with any real teeth.  Mostly the wish rings hollow.  Once we find out what it really takes to get whatever it is we’re wishing for, we’re unwilling to put in the effort or make the sacrifice.


Would you do anything to

  • Retire early!
  • Reach financial independence!
  • Never have to work again!
  • Have six pack abs!
  • Buy that house!
  • Play in the NBA!
  • Own that car!
  • Take my family on that amazing vacation!
  • Quit my job and become a full-time blogger!
  • (insert your own fantasy here)

We’ve all heard people make the “I’d do anything” claim before.  Hell, we’ve probably all uttered the words ourselves at different times and for different reasons.

Talk Is Cheap

So why is it that our wishes usually go unfilled?  Is it just human nature?  Laziness?  Bad luck?

I have no idea.  And sometimes there really isn’t anything we can do about making our dream a reality; we’re knowingly wishing upon a star.  Take for example my dream of playing in the NBA despite the lack of everything required to play in the NBA.  Those types of things are fantasies, and they’re okay.

But for those ‘wishes’ that are feasible – there’s one personal quality or trait that we need to develop in order to make your dream a reality: tenacity.

Be Tenacious!

Be Tenacious with your goalsI define tenacity like this:

The ability to keep a resolution long after the mood in which you made it in has passed.

It’s easy to walk out of a motivational seminar and resolve to become a better person, fully believing that you’re about to turn over a new leaf.  It’s easy to read a blog post, get inspired and think ‘hell yeah! I’m going to save 50% of my income and retire early too!

But life has a way of wearing down your resolve.  Before long (often a in a shockingly short amount of time) your resolve is gone, along with your motivation, and you’re back in the same old rut.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

You’re reading this blog so I assume you want to reach financial independence and retire early.  Are you willing to do anything to make that happen?

I *think* I’m willing to do what it takes.  Here are some bigger things I’ve done:

  • Eliminated our second car about 18 months ago.
  • I take the bus to work rain or shine (or rain. #Seattle) and walk two miles per day to/from the bus stop.
  • We moved out of the million-dollar home we were renting and into a much less expensive home.
  • We’ve saved money so that we can max out our ‘free money’ opportunities at work.
  • We take day trips and staycations rather than taking amazing Pinterest-perfect family vacations.
  • Instead of spending money on garbage, we significantly increased our savings rate.

The real question is, do I have the tenacity to keep grinding long enough to make my goal a reality?  I sure hope so.  So far, so good.  Ever since starting this journey about a two years ago I’ve wanted an early retirement far more than I’ve wanted any of those things.

In addition to ‘giving up’ the things listed above (which are all focused on saving money),  I’m also trying to turn this blog into a significant source of revenue.  If I’m honest, what I’d really like is for this site to make enough money to replace my current full-time income, which by the way is enough of an income to allow my family of six to thrive financially.

Getting this blog to make that kind of dough is no small task.  But it’s not an NBA-type of fantasy either.  This is a completely feasible goal.

I’d do anything for my blog to generate that kind of dough!” – Ty, daily since January 2016.

Reality Bites

I say and think (often) that I’d do anything for this blog to make money – but would I really?  My actions paint a different picture:

  • I don’t post frequently enough to generate a steady stream of readers.
  • I’m not aggressively trying to build an email list so that I can reach out to my readers and invite them back to the blog (no pop-ups here – you’re welcome).
  • I don’t spend time optimizing my SEO so that I can rank better when someone searches for a topic that I’ve written about.
  • I never guest posted on another blog in an attempt to expose myself to new readers.
  • I’ve never had a single guest post on my own blog, a great way to expand the message I’m preaching (anybody want to guest post?).
  • I’ve not put in any time to try and figure out how to use Facebook.
  • Pinterest is supposed to be an amazing way to generate new readers, but it’s a tough nut to crack. I’ve asked my wife to help me out, but I’ve been unwilling to spend time learning more about the site for myself.

Those 7 bullet points are what I could think of in about 30 seconds, I’m sure I could come up with about two dozen more if I spent a bit more time thinking about it.

  • I don’t spend enough time thinking deeply about my posts before publishing them.

Obviously I’m NOT willing to “do anything” to have the type of blog that can generate enough revenue to replace my current income.  So guess what – this blog doesn’t generate much income at all, certainly not enough to replace my current income … Yet.

Keep Grinding

I’m not willing to throw in the towel quite so easily.  I might not have this site where I want it to be right now, but thankfully I’m not dependent upon this as a source of income, which allows me to approach this blog as a marathon rather than a sprint.

As long as I’m willing to identify obstacles that are currently preventing me from taking this blog to the next level, and then find solutions to overcome them, then I’m confident that I’ll get there in a quick’ish amount of time.

So, I’ve made the resolution: turn this blog into a money maker!  Now, do I have the tenacity to stick to it?  Or will I choose to go to bed early one night instead of working on my SEO?  Will I skip writing a new post because I just don’t feel like it right now?  Will I continue to keep this blog to myself, or will I begin reaching out to others that might want to guest post?

We shall see.

Chime In!

Do you have the ability to keep a resolution long after the mood in which it was made has passed?  Would you do anything to achieve your goals?  How far have you gone to make your dreams come true?

By Ty Roberts

Ty Roberts is the founder of Camp FIRE Finance, and a husband and father of four living in the Seattle area. He's a fan of the 4% rule, 80s movies and music, dad jokes and cast iron cooking.

21 replies on “Be Tenacious With Your Financial Goals”

Hey Ty! Love your definition (& pic) of tenacity. You’re spot on, tenacity and endurance are often the keys to success. Blog revenue is a perfect example, it takes years to get your readership to the point where there’s any potential for revenue (I’ve been at it two years, and just put Adsense up, no $ yet, but that’s not my goal so I’m ok with it).

Keep plugging, even when you don’t feel like it! Be tenacious!!

Spot on for the definition of tenacity Ty! I find that most of us tend to slip up after we make a resolution. If you told yourself, you’re going to go to the gym everyday for the next 3 months, it’s not going to happen unless you have some superhuman willpower. What most of us can do is take simple steps, build up the right habits and be consistent. This is just the advice I use for myself.

Tenacity is key. I just read all about this in a book called Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.

I get frustrated sometimes by people who lament their place in life and all the things they wish they had…and then they go home to play video games all day or go on bar tours every weekend. You either want one thing or the other, you can’t have both. Luckily, grit/tenacity can be a learned trait, according to the book, so you’re not stuck with your current level. But like anything, it’s a skill that needs honing.

I really like your definiton, Ty. It really gets right to the heart of the problem for most people.

I tend to try to avoid framing anything as “I’d do anything for…” I like to think in terms of different tiers of priorities. Family, happiness, and doing good for others are at the top of my list. I really want to hit FI, but I wouldn’t do anything that would conflict with those. I wouldn’t take any steps that would help accelerate FI but would harm my family or our happiness, for example.

On the other hand, FI is definitely a higher priority than consumption. I would definitely (and have) cut a ton of spending that doesn’t contribute to long-term happiness or the safety and well-being of my family.

That said, tenacity is still key to following through on priorities. If I say that something is a priority, then I need to be able to act in accordance with that, even when it is hard or my motivation drops off.

Oh man do I hear ya! I’ve been trying to go the pinterest route and even though I’ve hired a VA to help me with it, I STILL have to do a ton of work on top of my already stressful full time job. I go in waves. I’ll push as hard as I can (without sacrificing health, which has and will always be THE top priority) and then I just have to take one weekend to totally check out (like this weekend I’m going to Denver). Pacing oneself is hard, especially with audacious goals.

I think part of the problem when attempting a huge goal (ex: save half my income! make a good income from my blog/website!) is people don’t get further than that. Making a goal is not enough. You have to create a plan to get from here to your end goal. So, when people make a goal without a plan, and then don’t see any progress, it’s easy for them to quit thinking it’s impossible. Being tenacious is what helps cross off all those points from the start to the end goal. And what helps you keep going when you hit a set back.

I also have similar goals in regards to my blog and have found that staying up late/getting up early isn’t working for me. I am going to see about rearranging my work schedule to stay late most of the week, but have a half day on Friday so I can work on it when I am at my peak instead of dragging my feet tired. We’ll see if taking this step will help me accomplish my “mini goals” towards a more financially independent life.

I hate goals. I hate them, hate them, hate them. It’s so easy to set lofty goals. It’s easy to set SMART goals. But the routines, habits, and courses of action are what really matter.

And I’m still so wishy washy on what to do with my blog. There are days when I’d sell to the highest bidder (for what…maybe $3?). And then there are days when I kick myself for not already pursuing the opportunity to monetize. I suppose my biggest fear is losing sight or control of why I blog for me.

Really compelling post (as always!).

Thanks, Penny. I often wonder if the time and effort I put into my blog would be better spent on my current full time job. If I took the ~10-20 hours per week I spend on this blog and added that time to the 40+ hours I’m already spending at work, I’d get more work done, would get noticed by my bosses, would get promoted and would make more money. In the long run I’d probably reach FI a lot faster by doing just that.

Ty, your accomplishments are laudable. You’ll get there if you really want to, and I’m enjoying being a fly on the wall during your journey.

I’ve been struggling with not meeting goals lately, and it’s gotten me a bit depressed. I’m struggling with a lot of shoulds that aren’t getting done, even though they make sense. So I’m regrouping and reprioritizing, and it seems to be helping a bit (at least with the disappointment and guilt.

Hey @emilynancejividen:disqus. Regrouping & doing a priority check regularly is sooo important! Glad to see that you’re taking the time to do so (I don’t think enough of us do). Progress is progress, even if your ultimate goal wasn’t met – if I’m better off than when I started, then I chalk that as as a win.

I don’t know how I missed this post, but I’m so glad I read it today. I’ve been writing a bit about goals and what I think it takes to accomplish big things in life so I really appreciate reading your thoughts too. Tenacity definitely helps at times. I’ve went pretty far to accomplish goals in the past. It helps to continually remind yourself why you are doing it. Recognize even the smallest of accomplishments, and allow yourself to step back if needed to make bigger steps forward later. You got this! Keep grinding!

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