A little while back, I wrote about goals and formulating your strategy to meet them (which you can read here). I had also mentioned that part of that process involves revisiting your goals and reworking them. So as I am revisiting my own, I thought it would be helpful to go through some steps and specific examples.
No matter where you are at in relation to your goals, let’s stop for a minute and revisit them. This is something you should do every few months, but even if it’s been years, now is the time to go over your list. What is it that you set out to accomplish? There should be a list of several things that will lead to this accomplishment. Whether you have completed a task or not, here are a few things to consider:
– Out of the tasks that you’ve completed, what were the results? Positive? Did they help you get any closer to your goal or not really? If it’s the latter, you may want to alter it or even consider removing it from next year’s goals. Example: You get your work featured on a website you’ve been submitting to and it doesn’t lead to any website hits. Maybe the website is not worth your marketing efforts so you might not want to submit in the future. Maybe reconsider the types of websites you are submitting your work to.
– Of the completed tasks with positive results, what worked the best? What resulted in the most contact/sales/exhibits, etc.? When you are making your new goal list for the following year, be sure to include those tasks again and add similar goals to increase those results. Example: If a certain exhibit yielded many sales, what contributed to this and how can you do it again? Show at the same venue next year, do the same type of promotions and broaden the range, or maybe the exhibit was during the holidays.
– What can be improved upon? Maybe some tasks are not quite what you expected but still have some benefit. Is there anything you can do to improve this or is it time to cut bait? You want to spend your time on the things that are improving your career and get rid of the time-wasting tasks that are of little or no benefit.
– What is missing from the list? Before completely writing off one of your goal tasks, is there anything you may not be doing to help bring that goal to fruition? Example: If an exhibit didn’t go as well as expected, was there anything on your end that should have been done to make it a success? Did you attend the opening? Did you promote the exhibit? Did you send out press releases?
– Focus on your “best bets.” Maybe you are hoping to get an exhibit or find gallery representation. While this is a great goal, you should focus your efforts on the venues that will be the best fit. Example: If you are an abstract painter, you should focus on galleries that predominantly show abstract work. What sells well for the gallery? Where are they located? What direction are they going in? Just because it is a well-known space, doesn’t mean it’s a good fit unless it meets these criteria. Focus on the ones that do.
– Is there anything you can delegate to someone else? Some tasks are necessary, but may rob you of the time you need to complete your high-priority goals. Do you have an assistant that can take care of such tasks? Or can you afford to hire one? Do you have a business partner that can handle certain tasks better than you can?
Once you evaluate what tasks are best suited to your career goals, it will become easier to work on future goals. You will eventually streamline your goals and learn what to focus on and get the best use of your time.