Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011 Review and 2012 Goals

2011 Year Review

Alright... so let’s review my 2011 goals.

Play amazing poker. I want to play cash games at quite a lot higher level than I do now, and by this time next year I will do. Already deposited more in, tomorrow I start the gradual progression. I certainly will do this.

I didn’t really put much effort into this... more into sales. It’s good that I’m flexible enough to change focus. 2012, I think I probably will play less poker- have more money per hour doing sales. I’ve cashed most of my money out of ps and may even just use the fpps and tickets I have there. Plus poker tilts me too much when I lose. Poker only as an occasional hobby, when I don’t have the chance to do things that pay me more per hour or give me more fulfilment. I played far less poker than in the previous two years. Overall I played well, sometimes very well (in January I scored some pretty big tournament wins, outplaying people of Supernova Elite status), but have run pretty badly all year. This is what poker players call variance, although to be honest I didn’t run great in 2010 either, 2009 was alright. Hopefully there will still be some decent poker wins in my free time- I feel that my overall game is very strong now, and I can even take a bit of time off and come back close to that level if I need to.

I spent more of my free time doing surveys, and these have worked out pretty well. I’m a member of five good survey sites now, and would like to get even better at doing these and get a higher hourly rate doing them.
I’m also looking at ecommerce opportunities, so feel free to contact me if you have some decent knowledge in this field. At the right rate I’m available for any kind of writing. In poker, I need to calculate how much I’m making per hour and compare it properly with other activities. If I decide to put a reasonable amount of energy into poker, I need to work on how to improve my rate per hour.


Reach a high overall wealth. I’m setting myself an ambitious target again, and I’m ready to put all my energy and talent into getting it. I’m ready to do this- this time next year I expect my cash and share value to be a decent figure.

So I didn’t quite make this, although I have put all my energy into getting it. I purposely set myself a ‘stretch’ target so I’d push my boundaries, and although I didn’t quite get there I’m still reasonably happy with how I’ve done. The main reasons why I haven’t got there are not earning enough commission in the sales jobs I’ve had- partly my fault, partly not.

The stock market hasn't been performing too well... I’m long term buy and hold, and although the shares I’ve bought this year have gone up in value, existing ones haven’t. However, I am reasonably confident that in the long term my share portfolio will grow in value, and I do have a decent stream of dividends coming in.

People ask me why I think about money so much sometimes- I probably exaggerate how much I do, but part of the reason is I like the challenges I have to set myself and the person I have to become to get money.

I aim to earn more commission in sales jobs, buy shares wisely, and explore other ways of making more money in 2012. Short story, I’ve been a bit unlucky this year with earning money, but if I keep putting the same effort in, my ‘luck’ will change.

I’ve played very strong ‘defence’ in being careful with spending money, (I’ve done that all my life) but I need to play stronger offence in earning money. This may will involve investing and risking money, and buying things for myself.


Perform superbly in sales. This year in periods I’ve performed the best ever so far in sales. Under very challenging conditions too. Well I’ve learnt from that, and I’m learning every day. 2011 will be my best sales year yet!

I read something from Brian Tracy and it hit home to me:

"Remember, it takes just as long to be great as to be mediocre. The time is going to pass anyway. Your job is to commit to excellence, to get better and better each day, and to never, never stop until you reach the summit."

I love Brian Tracy. He’s like my grandfather guru. He’s right- you’re going to die and become nothing eventually, so you’ve got to make the most of the time you have. This article explains it superbly:

Comfort zones are for wimps.

Again, I’ve put the effort in. And in terms of actual sales skill I think I’ve performed the best I ever have. The results will come. The failings weren’t in actual sales ability- more to do with things like organisation.


So in 2011 I want to push my comfort zone and meet more GREAT people. Mutual fulfillment is what it's about, so I want to learn from them and provide value to them too.

I’ve done reasonably well in this area. I know a number of high value people who really inspire me, and encourage me to push my comfort zone. Congratulations to them! I've given it my best shot to provide value to them too, and am fairly pleased with how I've done on that. The high value new people I've met this year have the potential to be great, and I'm looking forward to watching them win the future. All the great people I know at the start of the year I still know now. My family have given me great support. Chances are if you're reading this blog there's a good chance you've helped me with my goals, and I appreciate that. I've recommended to friends to write down their own goals, which I think will help them. Whether you publish it for the world to see is up to you, but after twelve years of writing and studying goals, I have been more focused on my goals in 2011 than ever before, and part of that I attribute to sharing them publically. Keeps me accountable! I’ve done fairly nicely in meeting new people, but want to know more!

However, I do need to make sure I recognise people who are stopping me reach their goals and not allow them to, to put it mildly.

The best way to show people I appreciate their support is to succeed.


2012 Goals

2012 is going to be my best year yet. I’m going to blast through my comfort zone and achieve big things. Time to use money I’ve saved as great self investment.

Concrete daily, weekly and monthly goals are good too, will do these.

Here are my yearly goals which I will put all my energy and skill into achieving.

More money- I have an 'at least goal' a 'high goal' and a 'stretch goal'. I wil have no wealth barriers, I know I deserve and am worth it. Monitor money better, check sales performance carefully.

Even better at sales- killing it. I also want to be an expert in influencing and negotiating. Ready to do this in every way, managing, recruiting, training and selling. Better opportunities, more commission. Same effort level or even more effort, more skill. Better personal presentation, more self investment.

Better people. Done alright on this but want to meet even better ones. Have more to offer! Be more social. Help high value people with their goals pragmatically.

I realise the main goals I’ve written down aren’t the only things in life. Being in as physically good condition as possible, and challenging your mind intellectually with new experiences are important, and I will aim to incorporate these within my goals.

I'd like to calculate the amount of fulfilment I receive per hour... quite hard to quantify, but I should at least make sure what I am doing in my 'spare time' is consistent with my non monetary goals.

I want to write more quality content, potentially audio or even video content too, providing authentic and original value, which should lead to increased hits.

I want to improve my level of health, eating better foods.

Less internet drama, focus more on positivity.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Breaking the Boundaries... who says you can't sell to someone you've only just met?

A lot of my sales jobs have been what some people call "door to door".

In fact, one of my first 'proper sales jobs' was selling gas and electricity for the biggest company in the field. Being honest with you... even I was slightly surprised I got it- but as in practically every job that's been decent in my life, it took one quick interview then they offered it to me.

Still, just before the job started I was wondering "But... how can you walk up to a random person's door and expect them to buy a service from you that could cost them a thousand pounds per year?" For sure, this kind of approach hurdles over a lot of 'sales theory'.

Thing is though, practically everyone in the UK could save some money on gas and electricity. And you have to believe that. Plus most people don't understand the industry much, (I didn't when I just started). So you have the chance to actually educate people, AND save them some money.

One thing I would say about this industry... it helps having a strong brand. Nobody is going to like everything about a company, but if they know who you are, you've got a much better chance.

Anyway, let me tell you my typical opening line, "Hi it's Mark from xxx, (shows ID badge), just a quick call..."

Let me explain that last part for you. Even one of my managers thought it was wrong, but it isn't :). You see, when people open their door they usually are at least a bit apprehensive. They're worried that you could stay there for hours, or that you might be trying to "take money from them". Beauty of gas and electricity sales is, you don't take a penny from them. All you're actually doing is saving them some money- so this phrase puts people at ease. Also, you're establishing the frame- this will be a quick call.

Usually, you can tell right away if you've got a chance of a sale. If you have, sometimes it's just a matter of building a "Yes ladder"... sometimes very simple...

"I believe we've supplied you in the past at some point, is that correct?"

"Yes." (You can usually tell from the body language here if they were at least satisfied with the service.)

"Great, well would you be interested perhaps in saving some money?"


Anyway, that's an example of how easy it could be... being really honest again, I would say that only happened in around 5-10% of cases of people you actively talked to, still happened though :).

Friday, 30 September 2011

The Art of Face to Face Sales

I was never trained to be a salesman.

I never even imagined myself doing it until I was about twenty... then I discovered that a LOT of successful people started in sales. Those self development books you might have heard of or read? W Clement Stone, author of The Success System That Never Fails got started at around four. Dale Carneige sold bacon, soap and lard.

Chess and fiction writing are... pretty different from sales. Most people who do these kinds of things are not too hot at selling themselves or products. But the character traits you develop in these kinds of areas can actually help you to be excellent in sales. You see, and this is the kind of thing which surprised me when I started out, most salespeople don't study sales at all. They just get by on being naturally sociable people. This comes as a shock to a chessplayer. Quite comical looking back at it, in my first proper sales job asking bewildered colleagues if they had "heard of NLP?"

So... you're making a decent living (and this has been your profession for years) but you haven't heard of NLP? Ironically, some of them were using it in a way without knowing.

Anyway, forget money for a second, sales skills you develop can help you in all areas of life. Sales is a real life test of your body language reading skills, memory, vocabulary and often physical endurance. There is no hiding place. You are responsible for your results, and there is no rule that says just because you "turn up for work" you will get anything.

So anyway, as with a lot of what I do, I read a ton of theory before I even started DOING the subject. Probably too much, but it all helps in a way. Ironic thing is, if you're doing a sales job for fourteen days in a row, you don't have much time to read any theory then. Which is good in a way, because you only "get good" at sales by doing it a lot. Rinse, repeat. Do it over and over and over again.

Doing this, over time you become really sharp at reading body language. Within a fraction of a second of somebody opening their door to you, you just know which tone of voice to use, which words to say. Key point here, and those of you who've read me writing about this before may have guessed this already, a lot of it comes down to being none needy.

Even if you are saying all your nice sales lines you have learnt in a book, or even been taught in the field, many people can reject you just because your body language or tone of voice is slightly incongruent. It's happened a lot to me. But now when I get anywhere near the peak of my performance, doesn't happen too much, at least compared to other salesmen.

You should set yourself goals, your own goals like in Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich, not just "management targets". Short term goals work for me... I usually set myself ones that are a bit 'unrealistic' so even if I get close, that's pretty good. This allows you to keep your frame, even after constant rejection. If your subconscious mind really wants it, everything you do will bring you closer, even when dog tired. That's how it's been for me this year.

Friday, 5 August 2011


I'm currently looking for copywriting, editing and proofreading opportunities. I'll even consider interesting free or lowly paid assignments at the moment, to gain some experience. Let me know if you want me!

Oh and this too... all companies or people who I write for will be provided with a link to this blog, and I will recommend you to my friends. I also have extensive sales experience which will help monetise your product. Check out a site I have helped with concept and editing.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Discounted Playing to Win for ECF Forum Members

Quick post here.

A lot of traffic I get for this site is from ECF forum members. Obviously my 'politically incorrect' views attract some attention. I do bitch quite a bit on that to be honest, but I'd rather be a bit controversial than boring, especially if it reveals something about the chess world.

Anyway, because I know chess players like to be thrifty with their money, for one week I'm going to offer Playing to Win at half price for ECF forum members. If you get in touch with me via the comments or elsewhere, I'll send you the book for £4.75- you don't get many chess books that cheap!

Playing to Win

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Thank You

So yeah... haven't posted in ages. Blame google- I was going to do a quick post but it wouldn't load up...

If it paid enough, I'd be a writer more of the time. Note to self, next time you spend eighteen months writing a novel, do not target it at chessplayers, they are tight and will not admit it (bit like me ;)). However, some people reading this may not know that I've actually written another book. I did it in about 3 days, and it's sold more copies than that novel, and at a higher price.

I really appreciate it. It's funny, my shares can go up big time in a few days sometimes, but I get a much bigger buzz from winning a poker pot or selling my novel. When I daydream now, it's about winning the WSOP or being a worldwide famous author. The second is probably more likely to happen that the first... because live poker does seem to be quite manipulative- and I don't mean in the 'reading people and verbal sparring' way.

In the WSOP, the organisation are blatantly there to make as much money as possible- screw the players. They generate a lot of TV revenue and rake etc without giving it back to the players.

Still... I'm pretty sure I will make decent money in poker- it's what I like doing. Writing is kinda... more time consuming. I think my first novel not being a MEGA SMASH HIT WORLD WIDE kinda subconsciously pissed me off... but not too many people are selling novels at the age of twenty one. Still time. Maybe I should become famous and get a boob job like Katie Price. Then I could get someone to write for me while whoring myself out- winner.

Anyway... yeah. Thank you for people supporting my writing- the hits for this blog are way into four figures now, I check up on you too. Who knows, if I think the 'other book' might get some more sales I might even link it here, might shock you a bit though...

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Make Sure You Deliver

Funny that sometimes I get the urge to write at night. Kinda brings it back to those times in a Leeds Uni computer lab. 3am was the only time there was ever relative quiet. 3am, you walk in the "24 hour computer lab". You get in the zone. You are ready to write some of your novel, and you will only go on the Japanese version of MSN-cunningly, some Oriental trickery had managed to get it on certain computers, while the English version was blocked for 'security reasons'- when you have written some more...

One time I got in the zone.... despite a bit of noise. Then a fat English guy asked "would I like a crisp".

For the record, I said no. I would not like a crisp.

Anyway.... making sure you deliver.

I'm pretty sure my goals for this year are on my mind all the time, consciously or subconsciously. Sometimes I think I am actually not doing my goals... maybe I am not thinking about them, maybe I am doing something else which is not actually relating to them. But then later that day usually I feel a bit bad for not making enough progress...

So I'm rereading my goal post now, it's already there in my mind though. The subconscious remembers everything important. Poker, wealth, sales... first two, you can basically work at and you will get there at least slowly but surely. And I have been doing- things have been going fine there. Occassionaly I think "yes.... things are going fine.... but are you really PUSHING THE ENVELOPE... pushing your comfort zone here?" Truth is, a lot of the times you just don't need to. There is no fancy magic behind getting rich or getting good at poker- you just have to do the same things a lot. I'm making money, the longer I live at the moment I will just make more money.

My poker is fine. I played one real nice technical hand today that actually worked on a deeper level than I thought it did- and I only realised that AFTER it happened. In chess you have to calculate everything out concretely usually... especially if you're trying an opening novelty. With this hand... over in a few seconds, the amount of conscious thought amounted to like... maybe 8 seconds. Made more money than in a long time of playing chess though. SCOOP is coming soon- I've won tickets and am probably going to play. When I was playing chess I felt inferior to anyone much higher rated than me really. In the SCOOP coming up I already know I am at the skill level of a SuperNova or above if I bring my A game- they just play more than I do! I've taken money off SuperNova elites at the table and some of the moves they made were really 'questionable' aka bad. Despite spending less time on poker I feel that I'll be making decent money from it.

Sales... it's a bit less concrete. There are certain things you can do in preperation and form filling that you can do to help and it's your responsibilty to get yourself in the right mindset. Sometimes though you'll put your best efforts in and it doesn't work, just because people are unreceptive. You have to have the mental strength to put in your peak performance on the next despite that.

Sales is still going fairly well though... but yeah, I know I can improve. And I will do.

Getting to know great people is harder to quantify and again sometimes you'll put energy into doing this and it won't come off. Even when I was writing that down as a goal I could tell that some people would read it and think... "Oh OK, he wants to get to know great people. Doesn't he know enough already? I think maybe he sounds a bit desperate... yeah, I will get back to watching the football highlights now." Maybe it would even put some genuinely high value people off too. Still wrote it down though, for the world to see.

Certainly helps in getting to know high value people that you have something of 'high value' to offer yourself. Just to clarify what I actually mean by high value in this context... it does not mean net wealth, although of course some (most?) of the people will already have that. Means high value overall. As a person.

Have I got enough high value to offer? I think I have in some areas, and in others I need plenty of work. Still believe I have a lot of potential though. We'll see.

Part of the reason why I'm typing this out now is due to a comment I read on Facebook- truly wealthy people have better things to do than hang out on Facebook. Some truth in it... it made me think about my status updates. Most of my status updates relate to how I'm doing on my goals, although I do broaden it out to a bit of social commentary occasionally. I'm commenting more on other people's posts too. But yeah, I reread my status updates and I can definitely feel how some people would think "This guy just thinks about money. He's one dimensional. Hasn't he got anything else to say...". These people don't really know me that well... but they've still got a point, to an extent. I read my other friends statuses... none are quite as relentlessly upbeat as I am, despite the fact that I have a lot of very successful 'Facebook friends' who have a lot to be proud of.

They are secure in themselves and will probably go onto achieve more victories. I hope they do- and anyway they choose to do it is fine by me.

I read a lot of Nietzsche when I was at Leeds University. Once I spent about twelve hours mindmapping Beyond Good and Evil. Incredible book.

Getting into his mind, at the end of cramming all his thoughts into my head, I thought... *pretty bad that he only got some recognition when he was sick.... and only really any number of people read his writing after he died*. Like hyenas gnawing at corpses. Chuckle, chuckle... we'll get the knowledge, you're already dead.

I told myself that I wanted some recognition whilst alive, please.

I'd recommend reading Nietzsche to people reading this... it's a tough read but it'll change your way of thinking. I don't agree with everything he says but there are plenty of gems hidden in there. One is not trying to seek the good opinion of every person...

Sometimes I look at my 'Facebook friends' list and people have gone. Sometimes some people reappear without notification too... haven't figured out how that works yet. Sometimes I wonder if it's something I've done bad to them... it isn't, but like I said before, some people don't like my tone.

You're a long time dead.

So I might as well say what's on my mind while I'm alive. I don't want people on my list who aren't happy with the way I'm reaching my goals. I had to delete two people from my list- first time in a long time I've had to do that- but they were specifically, if unintentionally, stopping me reaching my goals.

With hard men intimacy is a thing of shame - and something precious

Sometimes I send 'friend requests' to people and they don't say yes or no. Maybe they ignore it, maybe they are unsure, who knows. I usually give them about a week then I 'remove my friend request'. This is how things go down in the early twenty first century, obv. Most of the time these are people I don't know but seem interesting and it doesn't bother me that much.

Someone took the time to reject me lately though. I knew her, quite a long time ago. This was when I was first writing out goals, without really knowing how to do it. This person has reached her goals far more than I believed she would- even though back then I knew she had a lot inner strength that most people couldn't see.

Obviously I wasn't high value enough.

Just so you know I don't ONLY read German philosophers, I've also written all over a W Clement Stone book. I owned that one though, so that's more socially acceptable. He talks about inspirational dissatisfaction- how feeling totally shit is really a stepping stone on helping you improve. That angry feeling, that lost feeling, that inadequate feeling- you can turn that energy around and use it for your own advantage. I've found it to be one of the most powerful forces.

I've decided not to name the person who rejected me, for now at least. If she's reading this she'll know who she is. I'd just like you to know, you've given me a LOT of inspirational dissatisfaction. I think you're the reason I had a worldwide selling novel at the age of twenty one.

I'd like you to know I haven't even really got started yet. I'm pretty sure if you do get to read this, it'll be when I am socially considered to be 'high value'.

Make Sure You Deliver.

Of course, I know that there's the possibility I could fail. I could just end up being nothing, having achieved... well, not enough at least. I'm going to perform to the very best of my ability though and I can't see that happening. Even when I was really little I always had dreams. Things were so vivid in my head. Maybe that's why I escaped into books early... loving the images they created. No matter how much anyone has doubted me, no matter what shit situation arises, positive images always appear in my head...

Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.

Rate me on what I achieve.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Being None Needy

Being 'none needy' is crucial in so many aspects of life... vital in reaching my goals too.

When I was younger, before a chess match I used do a lot of visualisation... I'd imagine myself in the zone, focusing hard, winning the match... all good things in theory. But I probably 'over thought' it. I was already expecting the winning outcome... without fully being present in playing sometimes. And if I didn't win sometimes I hated myself.

Coming home from the chessclub one night, I said to a fellow player "I don't dislike losing THAT much." "Yeah you do. And the thing is... if you hate losing so much, you'll be scared to win."

Stuck with me.

One of my most important chess wins came after I'd be working in the saftey bus until about 2am. Key match- relegation battle in 1st division of Yorkshire league. If Huddersfield lost that one they were probably going down. Obviously I wanted to win, but "didn't have time" to prepare that much... before the match I was nervous... I knew that I could lose. Playing this game against a guy studying for a Phd... got into a difficult position. I knew that if I just sat passively I'd lose... in other words really if I just went into a stream of over analysis I'd just be losing time on my clock. Just thought "if I just make normal moves I'm probably going to lose anyway... might as well try something reckless". The pawn move I made was reckless, and I KNEW objectively it probably wasn't the best move, but it created complications. In honesty, the idea was probably based on Jeremy Silman's theory of 'imbalances' in a chess position too.

Ten moves later I struck some tactical blows and won the game. That was the only game I won in the top division.

Similar things before exams. I so wanted to do well. Again probably too much visualisation, putting too much pressure on myself... I remember in one exam though I just believed I knew the material (and I did really... had studied it all last year) so didn't even bother preparing that much. Got 94% in that exam.

One book that really hit home for me was The Inner Game of Tennis . The author talks about how the subconscious mind already knows exactly how to hit the ball... if you think too much with your conscious mind you won't strike it right. Of course, you might think some situations are more 'mentally complex' than hitting a ball but the same principle applies... your subconscious mind knows what it wants to do you've just got to let it do it!

Alright, so in terms of interacting with people it's the same thing. Sales is a decent example... and I'll use it because that's what I do a lot of the time! If a person senses you a too desperate for the sale, you'll never get it. However... if you are non detached to the outcome of the interaction but obviously still have the goal of selling you'll do much better. How really 'non detached' you are shows in your body language and tone of voice. Sometimes I'll walk away from a pitch thinking... yeah I said all the right things there, but really that customer didn't buy because my tone sounded a bit nervous.

I've had quite a lot of sales where I've been walking away from the customer and they've run back to me saying..... "Wait! I... I... I want it after all!" Always makes me chuckle after :).

In any interaction you have to be totally comfortable with the outcome. If you are nervous about a negative outcome it's more likely to happen... and again, it'll show in micro expressions or your tone. And let's be honest, most interactions we have in the UK are hardly dangerous... oh so you didn't get the sale.... erm there are only over another 60 million to sell to in the UK. The 'hot girl isn't interested'? Lols, her loss, next.

(You know... I kinda wanted to leave it there... just seems a bit... negative you know :))

Liked writing this out, solidified the concepts for me! TBH yesterday I was thinking... hmm.... should you really write this out... you could actually be WORKING ON YOUR GOALS MORE CONCRETELY. But today I just felt like doing it, so I did- trust your subconscious!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Keeping Your Standards Up

Right, I'm gonna do a kind of 'stream of consciousness' post here...

Keeping your standards up is so important, it goes hand in hand with trusting your instincts. If you instinctively feel someone is lower value.... they probably are. If someone messes you around once... they probably will again. So important to 'control the frame' in the right way- you can't be dependent on any one person. Shouldn't be needy, or dependent on one particular outcome.

Recently, I think my standards have slipped in a couple of areas. Not ideal, but I've noticed it. I could say it's mainly due to the fault of others (it is) but I take responsibility for it.

Recently a family member of mine said another family member had "my best interests at heart". I thought about it. Only I have my best interests at heart, and I think that goes for most people in the world certainly. Other people have what they THINK are your best interests at heart, but really they're their best interests....

I'd say that some of my friends' interests are close enough to mine to make them very nearly have my best interests at heart... their goals and ideals are close enough to mine and their understanding of me is deep enough to really get me. Still, in terms of that real 'core deep inside interest'.... I've still got that. It's only me that feels the true elation of when I reach a goal, or the crushing moment if I fail. And that's life- you stand or fall on your own failures or achievements.

(I was thinking that was an alright ending... but you know..... gotta keep it positive... and upbeat...)

Fuck low value people. Fuck not achieving what I'm capable of. I've got a unique skillset, and the world hasn't even started to see what I'm capable of yet....

Friday, 1 April 2011

Progress Report

Quick update.

Best sales week in my job so far this week- actually best sales day I've had in two years! I'm putting a lot of effort into it, and it's starting to pay off. Just have to stay focused and I'll get even better!

Financial goals are going pretty well overall- money starting to flow smoothly in. I'm going to set myself 'mini goals' which I can achieve in a week or so to keep myself focused- I still have a 'dream figure' I want to be at at the end of the year though!

Meeting some interesting people, and the friends I've known for years are supporting me. I'm thankful to everyone who helps me; hopefully I can help them too.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Progress Report

Goals update!

Making myself accountable for my goals seems to really work! Since the last post, I've probably made more progress than anytime when I've set myself goals.

New job that I've started is going pretty well, and there's the potential for it to be great. It's challenging... and to be honest there have been moments when I've almost thought TOO challenging.... but then I overcome that and just get stronger.

Great part about it is, it's the perfect way for me to achieve three of my goals, and it's already started doing that. The goals I've set for 2011 are like most of the big ones I set- possible to do, but in reality very very difficult. I actually think if I perform at or close to my peak potential I will reach them this year.

The amount I can earn per hour in my new job is pretty amazing. And I want to put quite a lot of hours in. Just need to make sure I get the balance right.

In terms of monetary fulfilment, doing as many hours in this job in the right way is definitely the way to go. Which means less poker. I actually played a bit now just for fun, and it hit home to me now that my hourly in poker won't be close to this job. I still like poker though...... I'm tempted whether to set new poker goals, or just to have it as a 'passtime' with on concrete goals, other than to be a winning player obv.

Hope everything is going well with you and thanks for reading!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Progress Report

Hi all,

Quick update on my goals.

Playing amazing poker. I've had the two biggest tournament cashes of my life. I've been playing pretty well in the cash games too, although last few sessions have actually been negative. Some pretty bad beats, but after a hand review I can tell I'm letting fish get it all in and calling not with the total nuts. I rarely used to do that. Still, in terms of actual poker ability, I'm more or less at my peak now, and I believe the results will come.

I'm actually playing multiple table touranments better than ever before, and better than cash games sometimes. There are nuances within them I've learnt which most players at the stakes I play don't know. I intend to play quite a few 'UK and Ireland' events at PokerStars, as there's decent value there.

However, the way I'm feeling at the moment, I'm more inclined towards a sales or at least 'influencing people' job, with poker as a part time objective. Maybe it's the bad beats. I need to keep persisting with poker though, as I know I have some big scores in me!

Reach a high overall wealth. My shares have been performing pretty well so far this year, so I'm at my peak wealth now more or less. I think there are solid gains for them to come this year too! That sphere of my wealth should increase organically, and if I can get a good value price I'd like to buy some more shares fairly soon too. Poker and a few other activites have contributed to wealth growth too, but ideally I'd like to have a well paid sales job to really motor this along.

Perform superbly in sales. I haven't really had the opportunity to perform yet, which is a bit frustrating. I'm aiming to do everything to make this happen though.

Get to know more great people. Fairly pleased with how I'm doing on this one. Early days in the year yet, but I'm pretty happy with the people I know and am chatting to. Can always do more though! I'm at @MarkHowitt on Twitter and Mark Howitt on Facebook if you want to get to know me more.

And come to think of it, this website can help me with my goals too! So I'll try and provide some quality content here, and work on the design even though I'm no web guru. All part of making things happen!

Friday, 7 January 2011

Trusting Your Instincts

So... my goals are going reasonably well for 2010 so far. Shares have been performing well- yesterday I was at my total peak wealth. Poker has been going pretty well too- I'm playing fine, am at my peak winnings in cash games and have qualified for the biggest tournament of my life on Sunday. Cash nicely in that one and I'm really ready to play higher stakes. So I'll be preparing for that- my MTT game is at its peak now, so time to show and prove!

Anyway... instincts. Yeah, trust them. For all of 2011 so far I've been hyper focused on my goals- more so than ever before. I'm aiming to make all my actions bring me closer towards them. Anything which isn't is only moving me further away.

There are always challenges in achieving big goals, but that's why you set them. I think where I've stumbled in the past is on a few occassions not trusting your instincts. Two main reasons for this- of course, with thoughts that flash through your mind and just gut feeling you can't quantify immediately WHY you feel that way. You just do. Secondly, often it's socially unconventional to trust your instincts. You'll be doing something against the herd instinct, which is so strong in most people. It isn't in me but I have slipped up sometimes. I won't be doing that anymore-I'm responsible for getting my goals and I will do whatever it takes to win.

Monday, 3 January 2011

2011- This Blog!

I'm going to write more on this blog in 2011 too. Keeps me accountable, and I enjoy it!

I'm being proactive so far this year and chatting to some interesting people. Hopefully this blog will allow me to contact more. Feel free to swap links or comment.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

2011 GOALS

2011 GOALS

Play amazing poker. I want to play cash games at quite a lot higher level than I do now, and by this time next year I will do. Already deposited more in, tomorrow I start the gradual progression. I certainly will do this.

Reach a high overall wealth. I'm setting myself an ambitious target again, and I'm ready to put all my energy and talent into getting it. I'm ready to do this- this time next year I expect my cash and share value to be a decent figure.

Perform superbly in sales. This year in periods I've performed the best ever so far in sales. Under very challenging conditions too. Well I've learnt from that, and I'm learning every day. 2011 will be my best sales year yet!

Get to know more great people! Really pleased this year with people I've got to know. The friends I've known for years as always have been amazing. You know who you are, and I'm privileged to know you.

If you'd told me a few years ago that I'd have chatted socially to some Chess Grandmasters and other high achieving people, I wouldn't have believed you. Subconsciously I would have thought they were too high value to talk to me. I clearly know now that some of the most talented people are the most open to connecting with other potential big winners.

So in 2011 I want to push my comfort zone and meet more GREAT people. Mutual fulfillment is what it's about, so I want to learn from them and provide value to them too.