Have you thought about your End Goal?


Recently a post caught my eye on twitter called “What’s My End Game?” from Matthew Lang. Cliffs: He’s not sure.

This is something I’ve thought a lot about over the past few years. I’ve never really made anything concrete though. I know that I eventually want to move 100% of my efforts to building products and SaaS ventures.

But even that’s not my real end goal. That’s a goal to help fund my end goal. Keep reading and I will explain.

Oh noes, client work!

Ah client work. So many freelancers get this perceived burn out from client work and have these thoughts that are like, “my end goal is to move away from client work.”

That’s not an end goal though. There was nothing specific about that. When I think end goals I think about framing the idea into a range of options, if not a full out idea with specifics.

Range being “I want to build a product in or for (insert specific here) industry. I’m thinking about doing X, Y, or Z to meet that goal.”

Specific being “I want to build a plugin that helps e-commerce sites a/b split product pricing based on stock levels.”

Are you ready for it?

Here is another thought: Are you even in the position to think about your end goal?

10 years ago my end goal would have been dramatically different than the goal I have now.

5 years ago my end goal would have been dramatically different than the goal I have now.

Personally I’m just not on that level yet. I still need time to walk around the block a bit. So I have middle ground goals that I focus on in order to help me refine my way to an end goal.

Maybe there’s no such thing as an end goal.

Things change everyday. We live in a rapid on-demand world. The landscape is different everyday.

Predicting 10 years out is ludacrious for most of us because we run really small operations with most of us being solo. Trying to frame what we will be doing 5 years from now is more likely, but still far out because of how quickly the landscape changes.

The las few years I have focused on the yearly goals by asking myself one question and making a short bulleted list.

“What do you want to do this year?”

  • Find an idea for a product
  • Take less XYZ type projects
  • Earn X% more

Progressive Refinement

By thinking in the short term a byproduct is that I’m refining the future through a process:

  • I take less of X type projects so it’s likely I’ll move away from them all together within the year after.
  • I’ve now removed those types of project from my radar than I can earn more by focusing in on a niche.
  • Knowing my clients and market better I can expose what needs they have, coming up with a product idea rather organically.

My Contradiction

I told you I had a goal to help me fund that end goal, then I told you I wasn’t ready for an end goal, next I proclaimed maybe there’s no such thing or its too far of a shot in the dark. Then I explained how I try to stretch short goals into more likely goals through refinement.

Yeah, I know. The whole thing is far from concrete – or maybe it isn’t at all?

The one “end goal” that has stuck with me for a long time has been sort of a pipe dream. It has nothing to do with the web and I would definitely have to employ a full on staff with a physical store front. I love being around people, smelling fresh brewed coffee, watching baristas control a latte like a canvas, people conversing with friends, or people head down tacking away at a laptop.

For some reason that assembly line of chaos kind of helps me focus. I have a hard time focusing when its quiet or I’m alone. I’d love to open a coffee shop, or two, or ten. Maybe building it large enough to have coworking memberships? Who knows! But cafe’s are expensive ventures that don’t tend to do well. So we’ll see in the next… 5-10? ;)

Do you have an end goal? If so, what is it? Comment below!

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  1. Dennis O'Neil says

    Well said Drew. If you’re ever up for a philosophical read on the topic, I’d recommend a book titled “Finite and Infinite Games” (amzn.to/17oVfY0). The author says there is really only one “end game” and that’s the end of life. Everything else is a series of finite games we play along the way.

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