Set Goals. Properly.
Setting goals is not about just making a big shopping list of fairy tales and wishes you hopefully desire to come true one day. It’s about self-reflection, taking responsibility and accountability for your actions in order to be in charge of your immediate and long term future.
All goals need to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely). Setting SMART goals in your personal life will transform the way you work towards them and give you a real life perspective of what you need to do. For example, a non-smart goal would be: ‘I need to buy a car this year’. A SMART goal would be; I need to buy a Ford or Vauxhall costing ~£2000 by latest October 2018. The difference is, when you have identified the type of car you like, how much it will cost you and when you need to have it by, the goal is way more obtainable. You can break down how much you need to save each month, narrow down your car search, time other goals around it and, most importantly, track your progress in real time.
This does not only have to apply to your personal life. You can set SMART goals for your business or your side hustle regarding how many sales you want to make, how many customers you’d plan to see and how many followers you’d like to gain on your page or blog.
Don’t talk about it. Be about it.
Sis, you don’t have to take a picture with your MacBook to prove to us that you’re really working. The results of your work should show us whether you’ve been working or not. I agree there is so much beauty in the struggle. But sometimes, if all your showing is the struggle, the “coming soon” the “wait on it”, your audience gets bored. So many projects, business ventures and ideas have failed because of this.
Think about it this way: you should only post about it if you are able to redirect people to somewhere they can buy/read/listen to your stuff right away. Your flyer or banner may be the prettiest of all, but realistically, we live in ab era of information overload. You may only get a person’s attention once, so when you do, don’t waste it!
Begin with the end in mind
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint, but I still gotta win the race”
Word to Drake for this line. When I heard it, I was like wow, so true *clicks fingers*. The reason it spoke to me on a spiritual level is because I’m a meticulous planner. I love to take my time with my craft, build myself up slowly, stay in my lane and in short, just get stuff done. I have to constantly remind myself not to get bogged down in the detail and remember to never take my eye off the prize. I have to constantly remind myself, it’s not about finishing the race, it’s about winning it. It’s about staying on top of your game and giving it 100%. Moodboards are a great tool that people use to map out their ideas and plans. I love them because in a way you visualise the finish line, identify the golden prize, then start working backwards to figure out how you’re going to get there. I’m a great believer that once you lose your passion, you lose your purpose- but the same can be said the other way round. Never forget why you started, and use that as a daily reminder of why you should never give up.
Stop being influenced by the wrong things
During my freelance brand consultancy, I have noticed one thing, especially with about up and coming fashion designers. I’d often ask them, which brands are your favourites, which brands do you consider competitors, where do you get your inspo, and they’d go on and list XYZ brands. In all honesty, I knew exactly which brands before they told me because I could spot the similarities a mile away.
Here’s why they (and probably you) are doing it all wrong:
If you want to be a blogger… don’t look at what other bloggers are doing. If you want to be a fashion designer, don’t look at what other fashion brands are doing. If you want to stand out and build something long lasting, you need to think outside the box. Your personal brand/ business is more than just what you do. The best award winning restaurants stay as industry leaders because they take inspiration from art, agriculture, architecture, history, modern culture and then apply it to their establishment. Imagine if they only drew inspiration from other companies that sell food? How much would that dampen their creativity? Think of yourself or your business like that. Tell yourself: you are not a one dimensional entity, you are not like the rest, you can be unconventional. If you haven’t seen anything alike or similar with what you want to do, you’re probably on the right track.
I once heard someone say “It’s better to aim high and miss, then to aim low and hit”
This was another finger clicking moment for me because I’d never thought about life this way. As somebody who is a self-confessed pragmatic and practical person, I used to be very guilty in clipping my own wings at times in fear that I might be thinking ‘too ambitiously’ or being ‘unrealistic’. Ever since I heard this phrase I constantly remind myself that I’m creative, I’m smart, I’m capable- I’ll aim as high as feasibly possible and even if I don’t end up getting there, I’ll have learnt and accomplished so much along the way and be able to confidently say I did not let fear hold me back. I won’t lie and say it’s easy to push through even when your dreams are so big that they scare you a little. But I can definitely say, speaking from personal experience, living and learning is way better than hoping and wishing.