We’ve spent the last week exploring goal setting in your business, today is our final day but maybe the most exciting because it’s go time! If you missed Part 1-Create, or Part 2-Organize, check them out before today’s discussion! Download the final worksheet here, and let’s get started!
For many creatives the idea of a schedule and a plan can seem counter creative and limiting, but I really want to encourage you to try out executing a plan if you are the type of person that feels that way. The word ‘plan’ is a 4-letter word, but it is not THE 4-letter word. The hardest part is done, you figured out what you need to do when, how, and in what order, now it’s time to actually do it! Being dedicated, diligent, and disciplined is hard work but as creative entrepreneurs we didn’t sign up for easy or average. We want the best in every area of our lives and the reason that we are who we are and do what we do is because we believe in our heart of hearts that we are here to bring something to this world in a way that no one else can.
1. Work your plan
This seems like it should go without saying, but it is surprising how easy it can be put together a beautiful, well thought out plan and then not follow it! Figure out what you need to enable you to best follow your plan, set your deadlines and then follow through. Is it reminders in your calendar? A hard copy spiral notebook? Rewarding yourself when you follow through? A whiteboard in your office? A spreadsheet? A consultant? A business networking group?
2. Be flexible (Let the plan evolve)
Set aside time on a regular basis to re-evaluate your plan and make sure that it is still working for you instead of you working for it. You’ve probably read many of the same books and blogs that I have that make it seem like working a process like this is just a lot of action steps devoid of emotion and you are the only person that doesn’t fit in that cookie cutter plan.
Cookie cutters are for cookies, plans are created to be platforms.
Your plan is not your gospel. When new information pops up? Change your plan. When you try something out and it doesn’t feel right or doesn’t get the results you thought it would? Change your plan. When you outgroup it? Change your plan. You get the point! A good plan is a living, breathing thing that flexes and grows just as you and your business do.
3. Be Accountable
This is a huge and often overlooked part of being successful as a creative entrepreneur and something that I am very passionate about. Business does not happen in a vacuum! Good businesses may survive for a while, but great businesses (the kind that you and I are out to build) happen in community. Surround yourself with people that believe in you and in your entrepreneurial dreams and who will remind you of those dreams when you go through seasons when you lose your focus, have setbacks, or feel like you can’t do it. We all have them. I have a business accountability partner that I meet with weekly who is one of the biggest reasons why I decided to launch this blog. Brainstorm with that person and give them permission to challenge you if you’re not being true to yourself and your plan. Join a Meetup group in your area, a networking group, or Chamber of Commerce for experience that isn’t just limited to the development of interpersonal business skills and networking. Beyond accountability find a mentor and be a mentor to others around you. Look for a post about accountability and networking on the blog in the near future!
Every one of us has something to learn, and something to give.
Rinse and Repeat
The beauty of this process in your business is that it revolves and evolves as you grow and change. As you complete the circuit you will find yourself back at the beginning again ready to brainstorm and start the Create, Organize, Execute stages all over again with new ideas in your ever growing and changing business!
Think about Your why
As you sit down to jump into the action steps of planning for your business, take a moment and step back from the ‘what’, ‘where’, and ‘how’ of business planning and think about your ‘why’. Why are you in business? Is it about financial freedom? Is it about the change you can bring to your sphere of influence? Is it about being your own boss? Is it about doing what you feel you were made to do or the love of your craft? Everyone has a reason for the ‘why’ of being a creative entrepreneur, hold that reason in front of you as you plan and execute your plan and let it be an invitation to dream big and go attain it. Your ‘why’ is the tool to get you through the plan when you don’t want too. It’s going to be challenging at times and there will be times that you want to give up, every one of us has those seasons. Let your ‘why’ be the thing that encourages you and your plan the tool that gives you the steps to keep going through those times.
My invitation to you is to schedule time this week to sit down and make a list of some of your short and long-term goals for your business whether you are a seasoned professional, still in the dreaming stages, or a recent launch. Print out the worksheet below, hang the chart on a wall and let us know how it goes!
If you’re ready to work through the final steps in the Execute section, download the final worksheet here!
You asked for it! Want the ‘3 Stages’ graphic from day 1 in an easily printable form? Grab it here!
- What are some of your most effective ways of writing down goals and completing them?
- Do you have any software or apps that help you track and complete your short and long term goals?
- What are some of your biggest challenges in setting and completing goals?
- Which parts of create, organize, and execute need the most attention in your business?
- Which steps to you think are your strengths?
- What are some of the resources that would help you in each of these?