When I decided I wanted to make the escape from the cube I knew a plan was in order. The amount of money I was making from designing and shows was not nearly enough to cover my bills, so I cleaned off my white board and got to work figuring out how much I’d need to increase my productivity each month in order to reach my goal.
I worked backwards from where I wanted to be to where I was and figured out a time line. I made goals for blogging, freelancing, my template shop, aerial shows and aerial classes and figured out how much I’d need to make from each per month to earn a comfortable living.
Whether it’s running a marathon, losing 40 pounds or opening your own Etsy shop, you can do exactly the same…
1 // Figure out concrete dates and numbers (income, pounds, miles, sales, etc.) How much do you need to make, run, lose, each month to get to your goal? This is very important – if you don’t know where you want to end up, you won’t know how to start.
2 // Create weekly and monthly goals: This is where the white-board comes in handy. Break your big goal down even further into easy (easier?) to accomplish weekly and monthly goals. It makes it seem much more achievable when you’re only focused on what you need to do for the week. I have the next six months planned out with mini goals for each of my income streams, so I can see what’s working and what isn’t.
3 // Write it all down: I have three flexible-cover Moleskine notebooks that I always carry with me. One is for blog stuff, one is for freelance client stuff and one is for circus stuff. I use them to keep a record of ideas and to-dos.
4 // Do one things every day that moves you toward your goal. Even if you’re not feeling motivated, checking one little thing off your to-do list will keep you from feeling guilty and it might even jump start you into checking off a few more.
5 // Spreadsheets: I create spreadsheets in Google Docs to keep track of my client info, how much I’m making, how many templates I’m selling, how many students attend aerial class, how much we make from Weird Sisters shows, and all my expenses. Then each of those spreadsheets are connected into one with all my totals for the year. Sounds complicated, but once you have it set up it’s a huge help to keep track of how you’re doing.
6 // Check in monthly and yearly: What worked? What didn’t? Where do you need to adjust? There’s no shame in changing up your strategy after a few months or heading in a new direction. If something isn’t working then adjust your plan.
If you’re still not sure how to get started or have trouble staying motivated, this might help: 101 Ways to Find Inspiration, Stay Motivated & Achieve Your Goals
>>> TOMORROW: A little inspiration
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