I was at a BBQ the other day when the host, a wonderful woman who’s the same age as me, jokingly said, “Oh, it’s all just downhill for us now.”
She was talking to the wrong person! (The person who, by the way, had her second baby at 44 years old). “Not me!” I said. “I’ve decided I’m peaking, and things are just getting better from here on in.” She laughed and agreed that was a much better plan.
Have you ever accepted something as fact, just because a bunch of other people said it was so?
Here are a few choice ones I hear in the creative industries:
• Summer is always dead, forget about making money in July or August
• Clients won’t pay the big bucks anymore
• If you make money as a creative, you either sold out or got really lucky
Have you noticed what those decrees center around?
More specifically, a creative’s ability to make it when they want to and for as long as they want to.
If you’ve ever bought into any of these beliefs without questioning them, chances are (and this is going to hurt), you’re not making the money you can and should be making.
Why is it that with your ability to look at a problem in a completely new way and iterate an idea until you reach a genius solution, you should ever be short of anything? It makes NO sense at all!
If you’re not building a business or independent career that generates the consistent income you want and need, I’m willing to bet there are a few things you can do right now that will quickly start changing your outlook and therefore, your results.
Want to know what they are? Read on….
1) Believe it’s possible to adopt new habits (and then do it!)
If you ever find yourself saying or thinking “I can’t do that because I’m not that kind of person” it’s time to call yourself out on your BS. Sure, we all have natural abilities. Historically, I’ve had an aversion to anything to do with metrics and analytics and looking at numbers in general. But experience tells me the way past a limitation is admitting it’s there, educating myself on the subject, and looking for the support I need to get past it.
Identify ONE area where you feel challenged or ashamed and ask yourself the following questions:
- How is this belief/habit hurting me and my family?
- What will happen if I don’t make a change?
- What routines or rituals are keeping me stuck?
- What routines or rituals would I need adopt to change things for the better?
- Who could help me?
I’ve done this exercise and it’s simple, yet powerful. Try it!
2) Start a quarterly planning practice
Here’s why I love, and recommend this practice:
- Business quarters are already established, so you don’t have to remember when it’s time to check in, review where you are, and outline what’s next.
- Quarters are conveniently the same as a 90-day goal, which is the perfect amount of time to tackle something big, but small enough to make it do-able.
Here’s a simple, 3-step process to zooming out to capture all the things you’d like to be, do or have, before we drill down to creating your first 90 day/quarterly goals.
1) Grab a pencil and piece of paper and divide into quarters. The quarters will be labeled (1) lifetime goals 2) three-year goals (3) one-year goals (4) three-month goals.
Now, set the timer for 20 minutes (so you don’t overthink it) and write down all the things you’d like to be, do or have, in the respective sections.
2) Review the 3-4 things you identified as having the most impact on your life and business right now. These will form the foundation of your quarterly goal map.
3) Take a large piece of paper, gather your colored pens, pencils, glitter, etc. and go about articulating your goals as succinctly as you can. Feel free to use visuals as well as words. Below is an example of how it might look, but feel free to make it your own!
3) Make friends with your numbers
This is a topic unto itself, which is why I’m hosting a free online workshop later this month on the topic. But the short version is this. What you focus on expands. If you neglect your personal and business finances, the results will reflect that neglect (look at that, it rhymes!). The day I started getting over my money story and adopting better money habits was the day my business started to grow and bring in consistent income. It can work for you too, try it.
- First of all, mark your calendar for my free online workshop on 12 p.m. July 24th (details coming soon!)
- Identify what you want and need to earn. This includes covering your monthly expenses, paying down any debt and saving for now and retirement. Overwhelming? I get it. But as soon as you start looking at your numbers and making daily choices that align with your goals, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you start to see things turning around.
- Look at your services. How many projects do you need to land to make that goal? Do you need to raise your rates? Who do you need to approach/pitch to get this number of projects in the door?
4) Fail forward
If at least one of your goals doesn’t make you want to throw up from anxiety or you regularly reach them, you may be playing it too safe. Falling short or not reaching a goal sucks at the time but gives you a great learning opportunity if you’re willing to take it.
Review a “failure” and instead of letting shame get the better of you, investigate it. What didn’t resonate? What could you change to make it better? How and when will you put it back out there again.
I totally appreciate that while these things sound simple in theory, they can be really hard to put into practice. The biggest barrier is often the mental one, so if you’re ready to make some serious changes but know you need to support and a step-by-step process to get you there, I’d love to chat. Click here to share a little more about where you’re at and let’s talk.