The Grand Experiment Called Life

Life is a game, yes.

But it’s also an experiment.

You develop a hypothesis. You test it out. Maybe it works. Maybe it doesn’t.

You learn from each experiment. You refine your thinking. You refine how you live and how you run your business.

This is how I think of life.

Given the time of season, I’m already reflecting on this past year and thinking about the next.

What worked this year? What didn’t work? What can I do better?

One thing strikes me: How fast a year goes.

It seems only yesterday I was making my business predictions for 2012.

Maybe it’s because I’ve got four kids. Or maybe it’s because I’m in my 30s. Or maybe it’s all those things plus something else.

Either way, the days fly by like mile markers on a road trip.

Another thing I’ve realized: I can’t accomplish as much in one year as I think I can.

Or said another way: I need to focus more to have more impact.

As an entrepreneur, it’s far too easy to start things and not finish them.

Or start things and finish them, but then never promote them sufficiently.

I’m now beginning to see that one or two strategic goals are enough to fill a year.

So I’m now thinking about the highest and best use of my time. What can I do in 2013 to really make a difference in my business? What things do I need to say “no” to?

It’s probably about time for me to re-read The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch.

How about you?

Any dazzling insights from 2012?

-Ryan M. Healy

Ryan M. Healy

Ryan Healy is a financial copywriter and the author of Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like,, and

SA - December 20, 2012

You mentioned The 80/20 Principle – did you have a system in place for tracking your activities (inputs) and the results, so that you knew which 20% of your work yielded the 80% of the results?

    Ryan M. Healy - December 20, 2012

    I’ve got some tracking mechanisms in place, so I have a fairly good idea of what’s working and what’s not. Of course, I could always get better at tracking. :-)

      Ram - December 25, 2012

      All your writings are uniformly stimulating and never miss reading them. I look at them as a frank down to right truth carrying the readers. The final stroke always wakes up. I like your style.

John Palma - December 20, 2012

You spoke of the “days flying by like mile markers on a road trip” – well – although your body “slows down – the trip speeds up… as you get older.

I turn 60 in just a few days, and it amazes me how the days fly by even quicker as you fly past the markers on the road trip of life.

Seems like yesterday – I dropped out of school in the 10th grade, got married when I was 15 – and 11 kids later – I’m still married to the same wonderful woman and she is my best friend.

Ended up retiring as the VP of a technology firm – traveling the world – and generally having “it all”.

Most of my years are now in the “rear view mirror” of my life… yours are still in front of you. The road trip ahead of you holds unexpected curves, mountaintops as well as valley’s, exhilarating starts and sudden stops… and long stretches of road that will seem to never end.

A few times you’ll take the wrong exit along the way – but that’s what then becomes “experience”.

You also mentioned… “I need to focus more to have more impact”.

In my early years – impact seemed important.

With the passage of time – I have found that having “trying to have impact” is somewhat elusive – and more often than not – unsatisfying.

But the impact I am speaking of is trying and designing ways to have impact on others.

When you try and live to impact others – you will find that the “impact” you have… doesn’t impact people the way you had hoped it would – whether it’s your children, employees or close friends.

Most of the people simply won’t “get it” – whatever “it” is.

I now wish that I would have had a bigger impact on myself – than trying to have it on others, i.e. meaning that if I had taken more of my own advice and not pontificated it for the enlightenment of others – the memories of the trip in “my rear view mirror” would now be significantly different.

Of course, these are just the nuances of my thoughts that have bloomed from the soil of 60 years of life.

As I re-read this post, it may appear that it is written with regret… but please don’t take it that way.

Bob Seger wrote a song called “Against The Wind” back in 1980.

In it he laments his current situation and sings – “wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then”.

Well – I wish I knew then what I DO know now.

But that’s okay – cause I do know those things now – and – now that I ponder it – I’ve had more of an impact on myself than I thought.

I’m now traveling the remaining miles of the road trip of my life – living, experiencing and savoring each moment much better than I did during the blur of my early years.

Back then – the destination of the moment was the focus… now it’s the journey itself.

Thanks for letting me ramble :-)

John Palma

    Ram - December 25, 2012

    It was fantastic thoughts and many times I got goose pimples! No more words……

    Ryan M. Healy - December 26, 2012

    Hey John,

    Lots of good thoughts and observations. Thanks for sharing.

    Happy New Year!


Jack - December 21, 2012

Thanks for sharing your perspective John.

I think it was Zig Ziglar who said if you help others get what they need, doors of great opportunity will open to you…

Courtney - December 28, 2012

While I have no dazzling insights from 2012 I do have a few tidbits of wisdom to share after making a lot of dumb mistakes.

#1) If you have testimonials use them. Duh!
#2) You can never have too much money.
#3) Never stop marketing yourself.
#4) Play less video games.
#5) Work harder.

    Ryan M. Healy - December 28, 2012

    Haha… #4 and #5 are pretty funny. :-)

    But also good advice.

      Courtney - December 29, 2012

      The curse of working from home is also its blessing. Now, if only I could find clients in the video game industry.

      I’d almost do it for free.


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