Setting goals and achieving them
Goals and objectives. Goals and objectives. Goals… and… objectives. We hear this all the time and think we are on the right path, but the reality is we are not. There is an art to goals and objectives, not only in setting them, but in achieving them.
We all have different goals for our business and even our craft. How we shoot. Working with lighting. Growing revenue. These are all valid goals. Achieving them is never a straight or easy path. Lots of zigzagging Here are some simple ways to change the way you see and attack your goals. Ultimately, goals not achieved can be very deflating to your momentum – so putting goals and objectives together that can be realistically achieved is extremely important.
Goals give us the direction we need. As creatives, direction is laughable. We love to chase squirrels. It’s what we do. However, the business owner in us all needs to be focused. Chasing squirrels comes at a price to the business.
When it comes to setting goals there is a great formula we used when in corporate. It’s by no means a new idea. I am hoping that I can show you some ways to apply it to the business of photography and help you find your path.
When it comes to setting goals, follow the below principles and I promise you that you will start making massive strides in your accomplishments.
1) Get Specific. Goals have to be well defined. For example, setting a goal like “shoot more weddings” is useless. How many more? We have to have specific goals. For example, set a goal like, shoot 30 weddings. That’s very specific. In addition, set what are called “stretch goals.” Every year in our business we have year end goals and stretch goals. This forces you to keep pushing even if you hit your first goal. You never want to coast. If you can, keep pushing. It’s an amazing feeling.
2) Must be Measurable. Setting goals that cant be measured is really frustrating for anyone. “Be more active on social media” – how will you know if you have achieved this? Build my Facebook page to 1000 likes. Post on social media 3 times per week. These are goals that are very measurable. Seems like common sense, but you would be surprised how many people miss this simple concept.
3) Must be Achievable. What is the point of setting a goal that is so difficult you cant achieve it. Don’t get me wrong – I am all for setting challenging goals, but to set goals that are in dreamland don’t help you or your business. Once you realize they are not attainable – you will quit on them.
4) Relevance. Set goals that are relevant to the direction you are taking your career. For example, setting a goal to shoot more weddings, when you don’t want to be a wedding photographer, again, makes no sense. Goals should be part of a master plan. For example, many of you may still be working full time jobs and want to quit some day to be a full time photographer. Ok. Awesome goal. So, set goals that are relevant to going full time. A great goal might be to put your business plan together in the next 60 days. This would make the goal – achievable, measurable, relevant and specific.
5) Time. You must have hard deadlines associated with your goals or like all artists and business people, life will get in the way and you WILL procrastinate. I have seen it over and over again, even within my own business. We all get busy and we tend to put things on hold. Put a time and date on the calendar and force yourself and your team to march to that beat.
Coming up with an excuse is never the issue. We all have a plethora of reasons why we are not achieving our goals. Something is always getting in the way. Following and adhering to the S.M.A.R.T framework is not going to fix all your squirrely chasing, but it surely going to help you and your team get on track and stay on track.
What goals have you set for 2015 and how close are you to achieving them? We are heading into the 4th quarter of the year, its time to hunker down and get serious.