7 Entrepreneurs Share What They Have Learned in 2013 and Their Goals for 2014

We are now in the third week of 2014 and your goals or New Year resolutions may be starting to slide as “normal life” starts to creep back in.

But I want to ask you, when it comes to December this year, how is your life going to be enhanced from what it is today?

  • What skills will you have learned?
  • What challenges will you have overcome?
  • What new connections and relationships will you have?
  • What successes and achievements will you have made?

Did you know that research has shown that those that set goals are much more likely to be successful and happy than those that don’t?

If you’re new to setting goals, don’t worry. That’s exactly why I created the Launch Your Life Academy to guide you every step of the way.

But what about those individuals that have already achieved a level of success in their chosen field?

When it comes to goal-setting, how do these individuals reflect and as well as plan for the year ahead?

As we recently found out in our community survey, a lot of you are keen to learn more about business. So I asked a number of entrepreneurs and industry experts a couple of questions to help us gain an insight into how their minds operate when it comes to reflection and goal-setting. Here, we are not asking them about the process that they go through when it comes to goal-setting, rather we are gaining an insight into their mindset. We find out what they have learned and what types of goals they set themselves.

You might remember that last year I asked 19 entrepreneurs to share their goals for 2013. Without them knowing I was going to do this post, I followed up to see how they went against their goals and what they learned while striving to achieve them.

The two specific questions I asked each person were: 

 #1: “What successes or challenges did you face in pursuing your goal for 2013?”

#2: “What’s your biggest goal for 2014 and how will you achieve it?”

The insights you get from each of these entrepreneurs is fascinating.

You will gain insight into each individuals’ values and the importance they place on different areas of their life. You will learn the importance that these individuals place on goal-setting (with some very interesting perspectives!). You will also learn some of the struggles these individuals have faced but importantly, what they have learned from these.

This is a fantastic read and I have read over each of these a few times!

Thanks for all the contributions from those entrepreneurs that are listed here. It really does mean a lot not only to me, but to the whole Start of Happiness community.


Note: This is part 1 of a 2-part series as there is a lot of information in these posts. Part 2 will be provided to you in the next few days.


Farnoosh BrockFarnoosh Brock

Creator of the Smart Exit Blueprint

From 2013:

“What is your biggest goal for 2013 and how will you achieve it?”

For 2013, I am moving into it with a big chain. My husband just quit his corporate job to come work for me full-time, so we are going to take our business to a brand new level. We have a terrifying and adventurous road ahead and my goal is to build a thriving business while building a partnership around work with my soul-mate.”


New in 2014:

#1: “What successes or challenges did you face in pursuing your goal for 2013?”

For 2013, my biggest distraction, which I intentionally created, was a lot of world travel. It is very challenging to be as productive as you are in your home office when you are away and visiting Africa or Asia. For one of my vacations, I had to completely shut off and trust that things would carry on without me. For the rest, I had to find the right balance between work and play so I don’t lose out on either.

Another challenge was finding the most sensible way to divide responsibility between me and my husband as couple entrepreneurs. We had to learn to totally delegate a task without micromanaging it, and to trust that the other person will do their job well and that mistakes are inevitable and must be forgiven fast. You learn from the mistake, discuss how to avoid it in the future and just move on. Not dwelling time there is key.

#2: “What’s your biggest goal for 2014 and how will you achieve it?”

Our biggest goal in 2014 is a complete re-design and upgrade of our services and membership sites, as well as playing a larger game in helping those who are going through career crisis mode. I have found this to be my true area of expertise and passion and the more I see results from my clients and students, the more determined I get to share the little-known career strategies with more smart people who are struggling in their path. We also have a big video strategy. I’ve been in book writing and content/product generation mode most of 2013 so video and creative marketing are on the list. Plus of course a whole lot more world travel!


Celes ChuaCeles Chua

Founder of Personal Excellence

From 2013:

What is your biggest goal for 2013 and how will you achieve it?

I don’t set goals anymore. Since 2012, I’ve been living based on intuition and it has been going great. The reason why it has gone so well is because I have honed the logical part of my mind (associated with goal setting) for the first 27 years of my life, and I feel the next few years of my life is about developing the intuitive part of me.

My biggest intention post 2012 is to continue to expand the reach of Personal Excellence and perhaps launch my video channel to spread my message further. How do I intend to achieve it? By the steps that have gotten me this far today—sharing more of myself, relentlessly and in an unadulterated fashion, on Personal Excellence. I feel the rest will fall in place in their own time.”


New in 2014:

#1: “What successes or challenges did you face in pursuing your goal for 2013?”

Wow, so many things have happened for me in 2013 — in a good way, too! I have gained many things which I did not consciously set out to do, with the biggest being finding my life partner after being single for 28 years, being engaged, and now preparing for my wedding for this year! This (finding the love of my life) is probably my biggest highlight of the year and for my life and is more than I can ever ask for. :)

As for the specific intentions I set at the start of 2013 for the year (last year I talked about setting intentions rather for goals as they are more encompassing than goals which tend to be very time and metric-based), they were three big things: (a) expand my reach for my blog Personal Excellence, (b) further my travels, (c) expand my video channel.

It has been a great year in those three aspects too! This year I got to travel to India, Hong Kong, South Africa, and Scotland (possibly Malaysia at the end of the year). I’ve also been expanding my video channel; just reached 1,200 subscribers for my Youtube Channel (a very humble size, but definitely going to grow it further in 2014!). And I’ve definitely been reaching out to new audiences through my blog, my new speaking engagements, my 1-1 coaching, and my new media appearances for the year. All this came from a commitment to realizing my intention while being open to different opportunities that come to me each day.

#2: “What’s your biggest goal for 2014 and how will you achieve it?”

My biggest “goal” is the same as always :) — to reach out to more people around the world. As opposed to last year, my efforts will be much more directed this year: In 2013, I was less task-focused and more open on receiving from the external world with regards to my intention. It has been a great experience because I’m now more in tune with my intuitive self, to the point where I know with good certainty when I can set an intention and see it being realized even without overt planning.

This time round in 2014, I’m going to combine my logical and intuitive selves in realizing my goal to its highest level. This means I’ll be actively utilizing my 5-step successful goal-achievement framework (which Brendan shares more of through his Launch Your Life Academy!) and my intuition to reach out to new audiences. I’m excited at what’s going to come ahead! :)


Colin WrightColin Wright

Founder of Exile Lifestyle

From 2013:

“What is your biggest goal for 2013 and how will you achieve it?”

In 2013, I want to continue to hunt down and kill all the other little barriers I’ve constructed for myself so that I don’t spend another moment missing out on things I might enjoy!”


New in 2014:

#1: “What successes or challenges did you face in pursuing your goal for 2013?”

The biggest problem in breaking down barriers is almost always identifying them in the first place. This was the case for me, though I was fortunate to have the time to really focus on doing so, and that paid off immensely.

#2: “What’s your biggest goal for 2014 and how will you achieve it?”

I’ve been building up to some next-level movements — both upward in the fields I’m already working in, and outward into new fields that I don’t have as much experience with — and my goal is to push harder in both, expanding my horizons and capabilities and comfort level in all directions.


Joe WilnerJoe Wilner

Founder of Shake Off the Grind

From 2013:

“What is your biggest goal for 2013 and how will you achieve it?”

For 2013 my major goals related to my online platform are to double my coaching clients and release an ecourse through Shake off the Grind that will help others live to their potential and be the best-version-of-themselves. This will be available next fall. I will be reaching out to experts around the web to offer their wisdom on cultivating potential in different areas of life.”


New in 2014:

#1: “What successes or challenges did you face in pursuing your goal for 2013?”

The main obstacles I encountered were directly related to my own lack of knowledge and discipline. I bit off more than I could chew at times and had to adapt to this. I will still be releasing the Becoming Unstoppable eCourse in February of 2014, which is delayed from my original deadline. I had more to learn and complete that I anticipated. However, these obstacles helped to teach me that I need to plan ahead more thoroughly and outsource more of the work.

I also made some updates to the Shake off the Grind by solidifying the mission and purpose of the community. I more clearly wanted people to know that the articles and products are created to help people cope with their low moments in life in order to bounce back and use the high moments to thrive and flourish.

So all in all, it’s been a fun filled year for Shake off the Grind!

#2: “What’s your biggest goal for 2014 and how will you achieve it?”

My biggest goals for the coming year are to further and further break out of my comfort zone, be more authentic and transparent in my writing, and to continue following my vision of helping people raise their consciousness through meditation and coaching.


Evita OchelEvita Ochel

Founder of Evolving Beings

From 2013:

 ”What is your biggest goal for 2013 and how will you achieve it?”

I do not actually set goals in my life as I do not seek to achieve some specific outcome, but rather live through conscious creation of each moment. I apply the power of focused intention to create my life consciously and for 2013 simply intend to do more of that, enjoying whatever creative expressions resonate with me in any given moment.


New in 2014:

#1: “What successes or challenges did you face in pursuing your goal for 2013?”

The year 2013 was rich with many moments of learning, creating and personal expansion. My successes included engaging in numerous creative endeavors that I enjoy such as various writing, video work and teaching events. I was successful at applying my intention of creating or participating in what projects felt right in each moment or segment of my life as the year went on. My challenges included having enough time to do or engage in everything I love and wished to experience. My highly creative and dynamic nature loves to experience the richness of life’s many areas, however this can also become a challenge as it can compromise my personal balance between doing and being. The latter state has become a big priority for me in recent years and something that I make a conscious effort to continually re-balance.

#2: “What’s your biggest goal for 2014 and how will you achieve it?”

My “goal” for 2014 is very similar to that for 2013, to keep on living and creating with conscious, focused intention. However, a big change for this new year is to re-focus my intention when it comes to the various creative projects I engage in. As much as I love creating in many areas, the theme of this new year will revolve around focusing inward. Due to the nature of my work over the last few years, there has been a strong theme of “doing and giving”, and this year my intention is to start by giving back to myself, and experiencing more states of being. To achieve this, I will be taking most of the first quarter of the new year off from all of my creative work to engage in focused reflective time, which will include a long personal retreat, relaxation, rejuvenation and simply being. I intend for this re-alignment to set the tone for the rest of the year.


Alex BlackwellAlex Blackwell

Author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender

From 2013:

“What is your biggest goal for 2013 and how will you achieve it?”

My plan for 2013 is to stay grounded with what are the most important things in my life – my family, marriage and health, and to stay away from the things that distract me or waste my time.”


New in 2014:

#1: “What successes or challenges did you face in pursuing your goal for 2013?”

My challenges came from a change in my family dynamics. Both my son and daughter had to move back home. Having them back in the house changed my routine and altered my writing schedule. Even though I support their reasons for coming back home, and what they are both doing to re-set and begin their lives again, it did make pursuing my personal goals a little more challenging.

#2: “What’s your biggest goal for 2014 and how will you achieve it?”

My biggest goal in the coming year is to keep getting the word out about my new book. I really believe in its message and have heard some great feedback from people who have read it. I would love for the book to hit number one on Amazon! To do this, I will keep sharing, blogging and promoting it.


Barrie DavenportBarrie Davenport

Founder of Live Bold and Bloom

From 2013:

“What is your biggest goal for 2013 and how will you achieve it?”

My biggest goal for 2013 is to continue to grow my readership at BarrieDavenport.com and to create and launch my course called The Path to Passion. Growing my readership evolves from writing really useful articles, connecting personally with my readers, and writing guest posts for other related sites. Creating the course involves the daily discipline to work on it over the next few months. Setting a public deadline for the course to launch helps keep me accountable!”


New in 2014:

#1: “What successes or challenges did you face in pursuing your goal for 2013?”

My biggest success for 2013 was completing and launching The Path to Passion Course. I offered it twice as an online interactive program with live elements to the course, and then I re-launched it as a self-study program. This course accounted for a big part of my income for 2013 and will continue to provide passive income for years to come. The biggest challenge related to producing the course was simply dealing with all of the moving parts of a very robust course. I had to stay on task every day to meet my launch goals.

#2: “What’s your biggest goal for 2014 and how will you achieve it?”

My biggest goal for 2014 is finishing the creation of my upcoming course, Simple Self-Confidence, and launching it in mid-January. My long-term goal is to have a suite of self-improvement courses to support my readers and their various concerns and needs. So I’ll continue creating courses through the coming year, and I’ll be fine-tuning the Path to Passion course now that I’ve had a year to review it and test various marketing ideas and pricing. I’ll achieve these by setting deadlines for myself, defining the actions need to meet the deadlines, and hopefully stayed focused and on task every day.


Coming Up

In a few days time we’ll have part two of the series which will include more insights from another 7 entrepreneurs (including yours truly!).

For now, do you resonate with the challenges, key learnings or goals that these entrepreneurs have?

What have you taken away from these insights?



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  1. Julien says

    Hi Brendan,
    Very inspiring the input of these entrepreneurs.

    The insights I’m taking from these interviews is that you must be “actor of life”, driven by your objectives, ambition and personal lifestyle. You decide what you really want to do in this world. It might take some time at the beginning, but thanks to perseverance, it is possible to make it. Life is to short than we should not waste it.

    For me, 2014 is the year to bring my personal business project a step further and be able to live from it. A challenging project, but with the inspiration I can find on your blog, it will definitely help!

    • says

      Hi Julien,

      I love the term ‘actor of life’. It’s all about making the decision to be in control.

      Good luck with your own business project. It sounds interesting… keep us informed!

      • Julien says

        “Actor of your life” is an expression for one of my mentors. It has helped me a lot to define my goals and take the right decisions to achieve them, generating success and happiness.

        Yes, I will be happy to share some update on my projet
        PS: sorry for my mistakes in english, but my motherlanguage is french :)

  2. says

    I love reading the goals of others and how they will accomplish them. It really awakens my own creative juices as well! It was fun to see how both Celestine and Evita try to live more intuitively than by goals. So it was interesting to read their responses because they have a completely different way of thinking than most of us. But I am completely in line with Evita in trying to lessen the doing and increase the being. That is one of my own personal goals for this year as well.

    Thanks for putting this together and sharing it, Brendan :)


    • says

      Hi Lisha,

      I too find it interesting how both Celes and Evita try to live intuitively… I’m not against it but I know that it just wouldn’t work for me :) Although the principle of ‘being in the moment’ does definitely have it’s benefits over continually focusing on the future.

      I look forward to hearing how you progress… good luck!

  3. says

    Excellent post, Brendan! I enjoyed the “from there to here” nature of each of them. I most identified with Evita, who doesn’t set goals. I always identify how I want to FEEL…and the specific outcomes show up along the way.

    Thanks for sharing this…looking forward to the next one. :)

  4. says

    Thank you for having me on this list, Brendan! 😀 It’s awesome to read about the goals of the other entrepreneurs; I look forward to seeing a roundup for everyone at the end of the year to see how we’ve progressed then. 😀

  5. says

    Thank you for getting this amazing resource together Brendan.

    Reading about these personal goals and honest stories from fellow entrepreneurs gives one a lot of unique perspective. It also teaches you that at the end of the day, we’re all human and we all face challenges on this path.

    No one’s born successful — its about how you act despite the uncertainty and fear.



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