We have a special guest blogger today her name is Sonya Highfield she is the founder of two great companies, Real World Creatives and Sonya Highfield Photography. Sonya is one of our speakers at the next Elite Workshop Sonya Highfield is a creativepreneur in Boston, passionate about living a successful creative life and helping other talented artists do the same. She has been running her commercial and fine art photography business since 2012, and founded Real World Creatives in 2015 to mentor and empower artists to make art & money!
When she’s not working on her businesses you can find Sonya planning her next vacation, doing yoga in her living room, wine tasting, returning library books late, and hanging with her family and friends.
How to Know When Your Goals are Stunting Your Business Growth
(And What to Do to Get Aligned with Better Ones)
As a creative business owner it can be overwhelming to figure out what to focus on these days. We want to conquer social media, write a blog with massive reach, serve our clients, create digital products, courses, webinars, podcasts, workshops…the list goes on! We see others doing, doing, doing and we make lists and Pinterest boards and seek out help for creating goals so we can achieve, achieve, achieve. We buy special notebooks and color code our calendars, and write inspiring notes to remind us to STRIVE for those goals! But what should you do when your goals end up weighing you down, not lighting you up? How do you adjust/pivot/start over even, without feeling like you’re a quitter?
Last year I hired a business coaching team that helped me map out all my goals. They encouraged all my ideas and cheered me on to create a 6 month timeline of when I would implement: an online course, a webinar series, a virtual summit with guests, an online membership program and serve clients one-to-one. (Not to mention rock weekly social media posts, a blog and bi-monthly newsletter.) Oh, and this was my second business, as in I was still running my first. But I was pumped to have all these big goals!
After 6 months of working with them I had created one type of one-to-one service, but barely implemented it. I would report every week on what I’d worked on, where I’d gotten stuck and each week they assigned me more tasks, encourage me to try new things, add new goals. What I ended up with was a schedule totally out of whack, being completely overwhelmed and feeling like I was failing because I wasn’t accomplishing any of these goals.
When I admitted these goals were not reasonable to attempt all at once, I felt relieved. When I was able to release these goals and start fresh I found: focus, motivation, inspiration and success! Were these bad goals? Not at all. Was it insane for me to think (and the coaches to not warn) that this would be very tough and really not necessary to do in the first 6 months of a new business? YES. And when I went back to examine them, I realized some were simply options that had been given to me, not necessarily things I wanted to do.
Since I let go of trying to tackle all these goals at once, I’ve been able to create long term and short term goals that are aligned and fit into my vision of business & life this year. (Remember your life? You should be able to work and enjoy it!) I have clarity on what I’m working on, and feel excited and empowered because I know my focused efforts are opening doors, creating connections, and moving my business forward. And doing that little thing we like to call making a living.
So if you’ve created a slew of goals that you’ve been struggling to work through, possibly feeling ashamed about not crushing them yet, I encourage you to ask yourself: Is this right for me? Do I need to do all of this right now? Would I feel happier, less stressed, more focused, more ACCOMPLISHED by actually having fewer goals?
To create goals that align with your big, dreamy business vision you need to think about HOW you really want to connect with customers/clients and HOW you want to make money. Maybe you love to blog but that isn’t how you want to make money right now. Maybe you love finding clients from instagram and it feels like a natural place to spend your time. Maybe you need to get off social media more and get out in your community to find partnerships. Think about what makes sense for YOU and your business, not anyone else’s. And oh yeah, your life! We need personal goals too, for balance and happiness. And I’m guessing yours are similar to mine, in that I don’t want to be burned out and bummed out by my business that I can’t enjoy my days, my friends, family and *gasp* time off!
So take out one of those special notebooks, let yourself examine and rewrite your goals in a way that allows you and your business space to succeed, room to learn then grow and some happy focus.