There is a place. Like no place on Earth.

A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger!

Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter.

Which luckily I am.

~The Mad Hatter

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Art Marketing ~ Life On The Dark Side

7 Steps To Help You Set Goals For Your Creative Life

So many artists are disappointed with their creative careers. They are frustrated by day jobs that suck the life from them. They struggle to get to the “next level”.

Why is that? They have talent. They show and enter contests. Folks like their works.
The real problem is far too many artists do not have goals or a plan.

A Goal is a well-defined target. A Goal without a plan and timeline is just a dream. The truth is the bigger goal is really comprised of many little goals. The goal is the destination and the plan is the road map.

Here are seven steps to help you set SMARTER goals and develop a workable plan to achieve them:

1. Specific
Exactly what is it you want to achieve in your creative life? If your goal statement is vague, you will find it hard to achieve because it will be hard to define what creative success means to you.

A well-defined goal will give you clarity, direction and motivation towards what you want. A specific goal will usually answer question; What do I really want to accomplish?

Andrew Simonet, of Artists U, goes into more details in his free e-book: MAKING Your Life as an Artist. You can download it for free!

2. Measurable
You must be able to track progress and measure the result of your goal. Some goals are easy to measure while others have no apparent qualities.

Tracking your results will help you determine if you are headed in the right direction. A good goal statements answer the question: How will I know when I achieve my goal?

3. Attainable and Action-oriented
An Attainable goal should stretch you a little. When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true.

Develop an Action plan to reach them. Ensure the actions you need to take to achieve your goal are things you can do and control. Within in each big goal, there are smaller goals. What steps are needed to Achieve your goal? Identify the requirements and constraints. Setting lofty goals can be very intimidating. By breaking down goals into smaller, bite-sized pieces makes it easier to achieve the end goal.

4. Realistic, Result-Oriented, Record and Resourced
A Realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both represents a willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. Be sure that every goal states a Result.

Record your goal and progress towards it. Written goals are visible and have a greater chance of being completed successfully. Recording is necessary for planning, monitoring and reviewing progress. Is your goal written down?

R also stands for Resources. How much money will this project require? Where is the money coming from? Does your budget match your goals? What shoestring solutions can I implement? Can I barter services? Can I crowd-fund this project?

5. Time-Bound
Goals must have a deadline. Without a deadline, it's easy to put goals off and forget them. As well as a deadline, it's a good idea to set some short-term milestones along the way to help you measure progress.

A time-bound goal will usually answer the question of When? What can I do six months from now? What can I do six weeks from now? What can I do today?

6. Excitable, Enjoyable, Engaging
Goal must Excite you. You must really want this with all your heart and soul. Goals must also be Enjoyable. If you are not having fun then you must ask yourself is this really the goal you want?

Goals must also be Engaging to you as well as others. You must find your audience. Who wants what you create?

7. Rejoice, Relax, Review, Reevaluate, Regroup, Repeat
Rejoice in your efforts and results. Relax to Renew your energy.
Review the good and bad results. What could have been better? Reevaluate your goal and the steps needed. Then Regroup the action plan and Repeat.

A final thought. Once you have your goals written down and a plan in place. You must keep your goals CLEAR.

Commit to the goal & the action plan
Look outside the box for solutions
Keep your Energy high. Get enough rest, eat properly and remember to have fun.
Attitude is Everything. Stay positive and focused.
Reward yourself when goals are met. Do not under any circumstance reward yourself for disappointments & failures. What I mean is, saying to yourself: I didn’t achieve my goal so I’m going to go out to dinner or buy a new pair of shoes to make me feel better. That dinner out or new pair of shoes should be the reward for “getting something done”.

Don’t wait until New Years Day to create a plan. Start now and take the time to create a road map to your creative success. Below are links to some excellent resources to helping you to identify and articulate your goals and to create the plan.