When I was in college, I took a job with a successful businessman. I worked for him for years, until I got a job in media. I often joked I should have paid him for an education instead of the university I went to.
I learned many things from him, but one of the most valuable was also one of the simplest.
Craft a written plan for your goals. The plan doesn’t have to be complex. As a matter of fact, it’s better if it’s simple. I still have some of those written plans I’d come up with when I needed to re-focus attention on my freelance work.
Coming up with that plan depends upon what you hope to achieve with your art. Do you want to stay ‘local-centric’, and rely on your home city to take your work to the next level? Or do you want to grow beyond your geographic boundaries? Either way is acceptable; it just depends on your hopes and aspirations.
To come up with a plan, just list your goals or dreams. Then beneath each, list ways you might achieve them. Date the plan. Pick a goal and set things in motion. Small chunks turn into big ones down the road as long as you persist.
Once your plan has aged, review it in total from time to time and see how realistic you’ve been. It’s a great way to gauge progress and resources.
It doesn’t matter what field you practice your art in. What does matter is what you hope to do with it and how you hope to get there.
Not long ago, I found a plan my husband had written when we were young and living paycheck to paycheck. I could tell the cashier, within a dollar or two, what I owed for groceries each week—that’s how tight our budget was. I was cleaning some boxes in our garage, and I saw the goals and means my husband had listed when our first child was an infant.
He had accomplished every goal. That particular plan is priceless to me, both for inspiration and for a keepsake of years when we often found it hard to make ends meet.
Come up with a plan and come up with ways to implement your goals. It’s a great way to take your brand to the next level and do a self-review from time to time.
[Featured photo shows some of my portfolio samples. My early goals included writing books and being included in anthologies.]
(KBD/March 16, 2017)