Build Your Own Creative Business: Ready, Set, Goal! {Day 30}

Build Your Own Creative Business Series by Lisa Jacobs on Marketing Creativity

Oh my goodness! It’s {Day 30} of the 31 Days to Build Your Own Creative Business series! Thank you so much for being a part of it! If you’re just joining me, it’s never too late! You can click here to catch up from Day 1. Since the series is about to end, I find it only appropriate to leave you with some tips on goal-setting for your creative business.

The thing about goals is …

Great goals are a mixture of excitement and challenge. You want them to feel like they’re within your reach, but you’d have to really buckle down and put in some hard work to make them happen. If you’re feeling an inner restlessness when you think of your creative business, it’s a sign that you’re itching for growth and expansion … and it’s the perfect time to set some goals to make that happen.

While you want your goals to challenge you, they should still make you feel good rather than anxiety-ridden. In the book, Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life, Maxwell Maltz offers this advice:

You should use the same technique in all your affairs that Jackie Burke recommends in putting. That is, not to feel that you have to pinpoint the ball right to the cup itself on a long putt, but to aim at an area the size of a washtub. This takes off the strain, relaxes you, enables you to perform better. If it’s good enough for the professionals, it should be good enough for you.

Furthermore, in the book, The Success Principles(TM): How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, Jack Canfield told about the year he wanted to earn $100,000 (up from his current salary of $18,000). He did what positive thinkers do: he made signs affirming his new and abundant salary, he worked all year-through consciously and subconsciously creating more income for himself, and by the end of the year he had earned more than $90,000. Others told him that he hadn’t actually achieved his goal, but he says, “I wasn’t disappointed!”

The point is not to cross every single goal off the list. What matters is that you’re setting the bar higher, and stretching yourself daily. That’s the only way to grow and work toward your dreams.

Where to begin

In an interview with Leonie Dawson (one of my favorite mentors of all time), we had a conversation about how to get started with your goals. She said,

I get a page out and for each goal I want to undertake, I say, “What is it I need to do in order to make this goal happen?” Just write a really long list of action steps that will get you from where you are right now to the place that you’ll be when that goal is completed.

Having those little micro-steps along the way is so much easier for you to implement than if you were just taking on a huge goal, like “write a book.” And then start aligning dates to the micro-steps as well. Schedule them into your calendar.

It reminded me of Google Directions, and the joke I often hear about getting directions from your house to another location: “I think I know how to get out of my own neighborhood, can we maybe start from the highway?” But Leonie’s advice is 100% on point. When you’re doing something you’ve never done before, you absolutely need the basic directions … you need to know which way to turn out of your driveway. Those itty-bitty tasks are often what stop your progress or intimidate you from getting started in the first place.

Make a list of even the most basic steps it will take to accomplish your big tasks so that your sense of “not knowing” doesn’t leave you trapped right where you are.

How will you follow through?

Setting and achieving goals requires that you adopt some new habits. It means following a production schedule and keeping yourself on track. This is, by no means, an easy task. However, to grow, expand, and present your business in a bigger, better light, you have to strengthen your will-power, increase your productivity, and decrease any unconscious self-sabotaging ways. And since you’re your own boss, please try to do this in a gentle and understanding manner.

In fact, before you set off onto your biggest, wildest dreams, write up the definition of an ideal boss. What is she (or he) really like? How many vacation days does she give you? Does she give you a Christmas bonus? And if so, for how much? How does she treat you when you’re sick and need the day off? How does she respond when your family needs you, and you know that being with them is more important than anything else you could do that day? How does she react when you do a good job or exceed her expectations?

Please take the time to write her down and describe her in great detail. Post that in your workspace where you’ll see it often …

And then, BE HER.

Give yourself permission to grow into this job. Remember why you’re here and who you wanted to be when you started. There’s a lot of work to be done, but remember, the only way to do it is one step at a time. Thank you so much for joining me throughout this series, and I’m so excited to move onto the next chapter of your creative business (and mine) together!

That’ll do it for Day 30! LAST CHANCE to take advantage of the sale: As promised and in honor of the 31 days to Build Your Own Creative Business Series, I’m offering my complete business-boosting e-program, Shop Fundamentals ($57) for $31 while it runs! Click here to learn more.


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