Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Flexible Goals

The first thing I was taught about setting goals is that they have to be flexible. This simplification process Sarah and I are starting has presented variables requiring adjustments "on-the-fly."

First, the Phoenix house still hasn't sold. We couldn't predict when we started this process eighteen months ago that a mortgage crisis would erupt. Luckily, bad news like this is part of the reason we wanted simplification. Massive homes and huge mortgages and second mortgages limit options. We didn't buy a big house here in Springfield and it is very affordable here compared to a bigger city. Once the house sells, we'll be able to be debt free. Thankfully, we have a third contract, set to close later this month.

In the meantime, we adjusted our goals. Although we wanted to start our own freelance businesses here, we decided to hedge our bets and get jobs in case that second mortgage became necessary. My existing consulting business has paid the bills along with Sarah's new job. That wasn't going to be enough if the Phoenix house didn't sell. In retrospect, we're glad we moved forward on the Springfield house when it became available. However, next time, no bridge loans. We'll make sure the old house sells first if we ever move again.

The fantastic news is we found jobs that give back to our new community. I started at WUIS 91.9, Springfield's NPR affiliate (with its repeater station WIPA 89.3 in Quincy). I'll be looking for support in all forms to help the station grow to serve Central Illinois even better. Over the next few months, I'll be getting to know its listeners and supporters. It feels good to make sure smart radio is on the air. One of my responsibilities is to ask each listener to make a financial contribution to the station and become a member. (Have you done this for your station?) Listener-supported radio avoids all the interruptions commercial stations have to allow to pay for their programs.

Do work you love. Work with people you respect. Good advice I was given years ago that has rung so true I like to ring the bell myself. We'll post more frequently in the future as we deal with the complicated task of simplification.

- Randy

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