Maybe you’re thinking, “I didn’t quite hit the goals I set for myself last year.”
It’s frustrating when expectations aren’t met, creativity feels scarce, or you’re not sure where to head next in your business.
But here’s the thing:
Learning from the past is constructive, but dwelling on it will never help you move forward!
It’s totally okay to feel a bit disheartened, but let’s focus on shaking off that 2023 dust and gearing up for an awesome 2024.
This week I’m sharing a simple but powerful system that can quickly and efficiently help you figure out why your past goals might’ve fallen short and, more importantly, how to get that immediate boost while building a solid, long-term plan for your creative business.
In 3 easy steps I’ll show you how to pinpoint your urgent needs, take action, reshape your mindset, and seek support. We’ll start with quick wins, set up a plan for long-term goals, and shift your mindset so that you can go into the new year feeling positive and capable!
This newfound insight will empower you to step confidently into 2024, ready to revitalize and expand your creative business with practical tips and a fresh perspective.
First things first, let’s figure out what’s holding you back.
Before you charge ahead with fixes, it’s crucial that you understand why last year’s efforts fell flat.
Is it a need for extra cash, are you feeling stuck in a rut, or are you just a bit fuzzy about where your business is heading?
Were your goals crystal clear, time-bound, and something you could actually sink your teeth into?
Did perfectionism manage to slip in and sabotage your plans?
Once you’ve identified the root of the problem, you can respond strategically (instead of reacting frantically).
This is all about getting a quick win to gain momentum and start the year on a positive note that can set the tone for the rest of the year. This is what will build your confidence, fuel positivity, and get you moving in the right direction.
Here are some tips and ideas to inspire your first win!
When money is tight, it can be hard to start the year feeling positive. If an influx of cash is what will help you kickstart the year, it’s time to drum up some business!
COO Tip: Another strategy is to buddy up with someone in a related but non-competing field. For example, if you’re a copywriter, teaming up with a web designer could open doors to a broader audience.
When you’re feeling stuck, the most important thing you can do is to just begin.
Got a big goal that feels totally out of reach?
Often goals without a plan can leave you spiraling instead of inspired. When analysis paralysis sets in, it’s easy to feel like you’ve failed before you even start!
It’s time to snap out of it!
Start by getting crystal clear on that goal, no matter how lofty it may seem!
Break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks.
Now, pick the first one and just do that. For instance, if you’re itching to launch a podcast, start by scouting platforms or ordering the gear you need.
Start small, but, whatever you do, start somewhere!
If you feel like you’re running in circles, constantly keeping busy, but never getting anywhere, take a step back and look at the big picture.
Is something out of sync?
It might be time to look at not just what you’re doing, but how, and how often. Dive into the different aspects of your business to figure out where the breakdown’s happening so you can put new systems in place that are supported by sustainable rhythms. The right systems will help you work smarter, not harder in your creative business.
Remember, it’s about figuring out what’s holding you back and then taking those small, focused steps to kick off that forward momentum!
You don’t have to have it all figured out, just take your next best step and let momentum propel you forward.
Whether your quick win involves a cash infusion, moving the needle even slightly on a big goal, or revamping an outdated system that no longer serves you, checking it off your list will help you feel accomplished and capable!
COO Tip: This is just a taste of the work we tackle in my digital course, Business Building for Creatives. You’ll learn not just how to get those quick wins, but how to build a sustainable business you love that grows with you! You can check it out here.
Now it’s time to leverage that initial short-term win and sustain the progress you’ve already made! That quick win is evidence that you can bounce back from whatever slowed you down or held you back last year!
While diving into short-term goals can give your business that initial push (and instant gratification) in the new year, they work best when they align seamlessly with your overarching, big-picture aspirations.
Sometimes that feeling of falling short stems from not bridging the gap between your daily actions and the grand vision you hold for your creative business.
Yeah, they might seem intimidating at first glance. But trust me, when you tackle them with a deliberate strategy, you’ll realize those dreams aren’t as far off as they might appear at first glance.
Alright, it’s goal-setting time—no wishy-washy stuff here. As you set and act upon your long-term goals, some zoomed-out planning will help you set that target.
None of that vague ‘maybe someday‘ stuff, let’s get specific so you can get into action!
Write your goal down. Put it into words where you can see it, refine it, and connect with it regularly.
Now, break it down. What’s the small, manageable step you can take to gain momentum, boost confidence, and make progress? It doesn’t have to be flawless; it just needs to push you forward. Get crystal clear on your big goal and the reasons driving your actions.
Fuzzy targets are hard to hit!
Map out a step-by-step action plan with clear timelines and due dates.
I highly recommend using “S.M.A.R.T.” goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Pairing these goals with a deeper “why” that motivates and fuels your work is a recipe for success.
Once you have your goal front and center, the hard work begins: dedicating time toward achieving it! This can feel impossible when your attention is being pulled in a million different directions as a business owner!
But the truth is, if you want to avoid feeling like your creative business is fizzing out, you need to prioritize CEO Time. This high-level time lets you think like a boss so you can step out of the weeds of working in the day-to-day tasks of your business and pour into working on your business.
Carve out time to consistently chip away at your goals!
Consistency is potent! Grab that calendar and block off dedicated slots for working on the tasks that will get you closer, step-by-step, to achieving that big-picture vision you have in mind. And once you schedule this time — don’t cancel on yourself! Treat these slots like appointments you can’t miss. If you wouldn’t cancel on a client, don’t cancel on yourself!
Once you’ve carved out time to work towards your big goals, you’ll need to define which actions are going to help you get there (and which are just distractions).
Now, this might sound cliché, but hear me out: as the expression goes, “Eat the elephant one bite at a time.”
Break that big, ambitious goal into manageable chunks. Don’t overwhelm yourself with the enormity of the endgame. Instead, focus on these bite-sized pieces.
To put those clear, long-term goals into action, it’s all about mapping it out, claiming your time, and breaking those big dreams into achievable tasks that move your forward without the overwhelm.
You’ve got this!
While short-term and long-term goals are essential, none of them will really matter if you don’t cultivate a healthy mindset in your creative business!
Whether you support yourself with journaling, leaning on your support system, taking daily walks, or something else, taking care of your mindset is essential– it can make or break your goals and the success of your creative business.
Here’s a quick gut-check:
What’s that one thing you’re avoiding but deep down know is essential for your business? What do you KNOW you need to do but you keep putting off?
We’ve all got that one task or goal that lurks in the shadows, and there’s a reason it’s being dodged. Understanding and overcoming this mental block is key to unlocking progress.
Then, you need to swallow your hesitations, fears, and limitations so you can shift into action!
Maybe progress for you involves posting imperfect content to engage with your audience or reaching out to potential collaborators, even if you’re not entirely confident. It’s about making progress, despite those nagging doubts.
Remember, momentum builds when you take that first step, even if it’s a bit messy. Embrace imperfection; it’s all about moving forward and doing hard things.
Accountability and support are game-changers. Lean on peers, a coach, friends, or industry groups. Mindset hurdles pop up often, and having a solid support system can be a lifeline. Setting up this support network now might just be the best move you make all year—it’s only January, and you’re already setting yourself up for success by creating your network of allies!
Cultivating a healthy mindset in your creative business isn’t just about hitting goals—it’s about facing those essential tasks, embracing imperfection, and propelling yourself forward, one bold step at a time.
While peers, friends, and business buds are essential, sometimes you need more specific, professional support. That’s where I step in!
No matter where you stand in your journey, count on me to have your back.
Wrap up your creative journey with support tailored to your needs!
I offer several different ways to work together: