Why do we fail to reach our goals?

January 07, 2022 Season 2 Episode 54
Why do we fail to reach our goals?
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Show Notes Transcript

EP 54: The start of the year always brings in feverish energy to start ambitious goals, but more often than not, we fail to reach those lofty expectations.  What habits must we employ to ensure that we hit our marks for the year?  In this episode, I propose 3 questions to you to prime your goal-setting trajectory.

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Michael Der  0:04  
You are listening to Artrepreneurs a podcast that inspires photographers and visual artists to live their best creative lives. My name is Michael der I am your host and a full time photographer here to give you some tools so you can build your life and creative self employment. Beyond that I get to sit down with an amazing community of creative professionals to talk about process, business, and the lessons that have helped them grow. So let's get to it. Artrepreneurs Season Two kicking off next. Alright, welcome

to the show. Thank you so much for tuning in to the 54th episode of Artrepreneurs. My name is Michael der I am your host, and today we are celebrating our new year's season to launch parties. That's right, we made it through one kick ass year together already. So why not do it again, happy new years to you, let's make the next 12 months even better. Now I love the start of a new year, because it's sort of the ceremonies period that acknowledges both the past and the future at the same time. Right. It's a review of the things that you did last year. So you have a barometer for what you want to course correct and accomplish this year, which I think is pretty darn cool. And so in that spirit, I thought today might be a good day to talk about maximizing your goal achieving. And in order to do that, we're going to need to look back on our previous year and assess what needs to change. 

Now, the full disclaimer, of course is that I'm no expert at achieving every goal that I set, that would be insane. And chances are there's very many of you that probably have a better success rate at achieving goals than myself. But even if I were an expert, these things tend to be very subjective anyway. So what works for me may not work for you. So this is not an episode that's going to promise to 10x your production or anything like that. This is just an introspection into my own approach to goal setting. And if there is anything that you take away from it to help you in your journey, fantastic. You know, like all the episodes that I do at its primary core, the goal is to simply inspire you to ask yourself the tough questions, and then find the answers for yourself, you know, find out what methods might work for you going forward. Right? So I often think about this foundational book that I read by Robert Kiyosaki called Rich Dad, Poor Dad. And in that book, he says, a statement closes the mind. But a question opens the mind, which I foundationally agree with. So if I tell you, here's how to hit your goals, here's what you do, here's xy and z, then that information might be useful. But it also might simply go in one ear and out the other along with all the other information that you're inundated with each and every day. But if I do my job well, and hopefully I do, you're going to leave these episodes asking yourself, well, what can I do to improve my goal setting, because once you get the wheels turning, if you discover things for yourself, I believe it's going to be far more powerful, it's going to be a lesson that you hold on to for the rest of your life. So that's my goal today, just to light a spark, you know, to get the embers burning a little bit. And hopefully from there, you hunt down the strategies for yourself that are going to get you from point A to point B. 

So the first thing I want to ask you is what area of your business is in need of the most attention. That is my first prodding question to get your wheels turning just a little bit. And you might have five or six or a dozen answers, which makes it overwhelming and maybe even a little bit depressing. So let's narrow this down to one answer. And maybe I can help you out here, grab a pen and paper and write down the following sense. And I want you to fill in the blank with whatever comes to mind. Alright, so there's going to be an interactive exercise here. But hopefully it sets everything else up. So write this down. If only I could do blank, my business would go to the next level. Alright, so I'll repeat that one more time. If only I could do blank, my business would go to the next level. Now another way to word this is, if only I knew how to do blank, my business would go to the next level. So that depends on where you are in your current business. If you're just a student, you might want to answer the latter question. If you are experienced, you might want to do the first question. Basically, what we're trying to address here is what area would be the most impactful to your life? If you mastered it. So write that down, honestly assess what you think would be the biggest factor in you taking your next step. And the more specific you can get, the better. 

Now the beauty of this is, there's no wrong answer here because it's your truth. And so what this question hopefully does is it's going to prompt you to weed out all the less impactful aspects of your business that you likely spend a lot of time on, and instead help you focus your energy on the highest ROI endeavors. So whatever your answer is, you have determined the one actionable step that would yield the greatest return for you. That's very powerful. And so let's say we applied this question to your personal life. So instead of determining the one aspect would improve your business? What is the one aspect that would take your happiness to the next level? Or maybe what is the one aspect that would take your health to the next level. So let me give you some ideas just in case nothing is really coming to mind. For me, the area that would take my business to the next level is simply getting my work and my face in front of prospective clients with more regularity. And from a personal aspect, the thing that would take my happiness to the next level is to simply improve my physical health. So there it is, I've identified with ease the highest ROI areas that will improve the quality of my life. Now the problem many of us face is that we do not actively emphasize these growth related priorities because that's basically what I'm Asking you to identify is what's going to help you grow. 

And what we've gotten so good at doing is conditioning ourselves to de emphasize growth priorities, to the point where they no longer represent priorities at all. We put those on the backburner, because we feel we can get to it later. The real priorities, quote, unquote, are the rent the job the obligations that we have to others. And as honorable as that action might be, it does take up a lot of our bandwidth so much. So that is no surprise that when we do have time for ourselves, we are just trying to recharge and get by, we don't have time to better ourselves or our situation. It's too exhausting. We don't hit the gym, after a 14 hour workday, we don't spend our precious breaks reading about tax laws, we focus mostly on what is urgent, and not as much on what is important. So what I'm asking you to do is identify what is important to you, and occasionally prioritize that over what might be urgent to you. And in my opinion, one area that stumps progress that creates conflict and frustration in your life is when your actions don't actually align with your values. So if you're the person that preaches hard work, and all you do is wait for good things to happen to you, then somewhere deep inside, you already know that you're full of shit. And if you say your family is the most important thing to you, but you constantly put them last, then you're never going to actually get the family life you want. I want your actions to mirror your belief system, your values, the things that you just identified as the most crucial elements to improving the quality of your life. If your belief system is incongruent to your actions, meaning you spend more time doing things that aren't important than I think it's hard to get ahead. You're constantly fighting with yourself, you're just gonna waste your time, your talent and your energy. So I know that was a very long winded way of saying identify your priorities. But sometimes I think it needs clarification. You know, I really want to focus on growth. After all your New Year's resolutions are never to pay the mortgage on time or to respond to your boss's emails right away. Your resolutions are almost always growth related. So let's not lose focus of that throughout the year. Keep that on the front burner. 

Okay, so let's say you've answered question number one, and you've identified what's important to you and what your priorities really are. How will you ensure that you get these goals done? What is the strategy? Or what is the plan more accurately, without a plan, your goals are simply wishes, which to be honest, is sort of juvenile behavior, no disrespect, but it really is. It's the I want Santa to bring me a reindeer for Christmas mentality, right? There's no manifesting your own destiny, you're just hoping that genie from Aladdin comes out and granted three wishes. So for me, there needs to be a plan. It doesn't have to be an ironclad design. But there needs to be a blueprint, a path to follow. Now you can research tons of information on what makes planning successful. There needs to be articulation, specificity, accuracy, a myriad of other qualities to list depending on which business book you pick up. But for me, though, the simplest way I can say it, is it a plan needs to be actionable and measurable. That's really it. 

So let's talk actionable plans first, which I think is pretty intuitive. Let's say I wanted to get my work on the desks of more b2b clients. That's great. We've got a goal. Now, what are the steps that we can take? What are the actions that should follow? Well, I can keep emailing, I can direct message, I can send promos I can pick up the phone more hell, I can physically knock on doors. Those are actionable steps. Now, to give you another example, if I wanted more people to find me the way a b2c photographer might, these actionable steps might be a little bit different. I might ask my clients to write reviews on my page, I might create leave behind for each wedding, I shoot, I might emphasize SEO building on my images and my website, or I might even partner with other businesses to form third party marketing, either which way you now have actionable steps to take. You're no longer waiting, you're manifesting. 

Now the second aspect of a plan is making it measurable. And I find that the more information that you have, the more systematically you can devise a blueprint for your success. So for instance, if your goal is to build your own photography studio, and you're determined maybe the actionable steps are to start setting money aside to fund the expenses of production and rent. Well, without measurement, you may never get to your goal, you will need to know not only how to build your studio in the first place, but you'll need to know what the costs are, what your expected income is, and what your projected savings rates should be for each paycheck. This form of measurement is going to give you greater consistency and insight into your approach so that you don't underfund your project or elongate your timetable. As friend of the show, James Patrick has said what can be measured can be improved upon. 

So my last question for you is what level of perfection? Are you practicing? Are you practicing perfect? Or are you practicing imperfect and generally speaking, we weigh heavier to one side than the other. Some of us are perfectionist while others are not. Now if what you're doing is working for you, then don't change a thing. But if you're not receiving the level of return that you want, you may have to lean heavier to the other side. For instance, I myself tend to be more of a perfectionist in a lot of areas. And so what that does is it it prevents me from being as prolific in my personal projects and the amount of pitches that I send. I don't think I'm obsessive, but I am always trying to make it as best as I can. And so that is an internal battle that I have to fight on occasion. On the opposite side. I know plenty of creators who have no problems publishing work, creating products or reaching out to leads but their products and services never really developed because they don't spend enough time evaluating and course correcting. So while one party might be overthinking the other party may not be thinking enough now having been on both sides of the coin. You know sometimes I've been too Cavalier and sometimes I'm being too perfectionist. I would lean too. Word over perfectionism as being the more growth stunting trait. Now I'm not saying it doesn't have its places, but in the realm of art and business quite honestly, I'd rather be more prolific than perfect. I'd rather produce more shoots, I'd rather pitch more frequently, I'd rather get more reps and even if the product has holes in it, because in the end, perfectionism is more often than not establishing reactive mentality as opposed to proactive mentality, I have to wait until this shoot is perfectly planned. Before I set it up. I have to wait until I know everything about contract negotiations. Before I pitch my services, I have to have my blog post triple checked before I hit publish. The same goes perfectionism is the mother of procrastination. So if I practice perfect every time I'd never launched an episode on this podcast, I'd constantly be revising my structure and my writing, the only way to get closer to perfect in my opinion, is honestly just to do the work. So if I may, from one perfectionist to potentially others out there, practice imperfect because the results will come when you focus on habit building over garnering results. 

On top of that, it's a stronger mental platform to stand on. In my opinion, perfectionism tends to feed to insecurity. Have you ever been at a party or a bar or any type of social event where the longer you stay quiet yourself, the more insecure you get, like you never warm up to the surroundings, you just get more weirded out with the fact that you're just being awkward in the corner. So I'm not an extrovert by nature. But in social settings, I make a concerted effort to engage with people quickly, simply to build momentum to generate energy. And so you can apply that same lesson to all aspects of your everyday life, whether it's reaching out to leads, producing projects, launching episodes, things don't need to be perfect because they never will be. I really believe that the more I let go of perfectionism, the better my experiences become, and the more I ultimately accomplish. So in the end, my fellow entrepreneurs, we all have a great road ahead of us. Regardless of what your goals are. Seek out your roadmap so achieving your goals for the year. Establish your priorities, execute your plan, and embrace imperfection.

What's up Artrepreneurs thank you for tuning in and making it all the way to the end of the episode. If you enjoy the content you just listened to hit subscribe and tune in again next week. Also follow us on Instagram and Facebook at Artrepreneurspod for updates, promos and giveaway contests that we run throughout the year. And if you haven't already, be sure to check out our really cool website It's a great resource for you to download informational PDFs and booklets access discount code from our amazing affiliates and read what our audience is up to on our community blog. For now I just want to say thank you for tuning in supporting the show and being a part of this journey. This is Michael der signing off for now Artrepreneurs Season Two let's go

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