Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesdays Tips #1

I'm going to start a new weekly feature on my blog called Tuesdays Tips! Over the last half a year, as I've managed this blog, one thing I've noticed is that I've gotten the biggest response when I've posted advice or reviews for my fellow artisans. The one tutorial I've posted was really popular, as were the series's I did on Time Management and Promotion Techniques. I really enjoyed the feedback I got from these posts, but I was a little overwhelmed trying to fit these different series's into my schedule! I've decided the best solution is to do a once a week post (on Tuesday's!) dedicated to helping and encouraging my fellow artisans. In these posts I'll share tips, tutorials, and site reviews of places that I think you'll find helpful. I hope you enjoy them! 

Tuesdays Tips #1
Measuring Success and Setting Goals

One thing I've heard people say over and over is that it gets very depressing to look around you, see the people who've quit their day jobs and sold thousands of items on-line, and wonder why you haven't reached that level of success? While it's true that we can often look to these people and learn from their success, you should NOT be measuring your own success by them or anyone else! Measure your success by your ability to reach your own goals.

Be careful in setting your goals though, or you'll find your self just as frustrated as if you were comparing yourself to other artists. Here's a few tips for setting goals that can bring you success.

1. Start by sitting down and writing a list of all the things you want to achieve with your business and your art. Include the big fancy dreams, the small dreams, things you want to learn, things you want to make, anything you can think of! 

2. Break your list up into smaller lists. Put your big dreams on one list, craft projects on another, business goals on another, and so on.

3. Make SURE that not all your goals are sales related! 

4. Evaluate your goals in terms of what it will take to get them accomplished, and what is most important.

5. Create a plan for achieving those goals.

6. Start working on them!

7. After a certain period of time (a week, month, quarter) go back to your goals and re-evaluate. What goals we're unrealistic? What goals weren't reaching far enough? Where did you succeed? Where did you fail? WHY did you fail? That why is a really important question. Sometimes you don't reach your goals because of things completely outside of your control. That's OK. Don't let it get you down.

8. Reset your goals and plans. Either continuing with the current plans, or setting up new one's based on what you've learned.

Here's an important key: Do not measure your success by whether or not you achieved all your goals, but on the amount of progress that you made, and what you did within what was in your control.

On a personal note, I've had to learn the hard way the value of measuring your success by progress, and keeping in mind outside factors that affected your progress. I have severe health problems (as you know if you read this regularly) and that often prevented me in the past from even trying to set goals. In the last few months, since I've started setting these types of goals, not only have I achieved a lot, but I've learned a lot about what is and isn't attainable at this point in my life! 

Good luck :)


memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

What great tips!!!
I'm a huge list maker and goal setter...I love to be able to cross things off and show my success :)
Your personal goal-setting posts have been great too!

TiLT said...

your tips are always great! and such good reminders...there are times when it feels like I am ready to throw in the towel every other week! I need to post a short 7 sweet summary of my goeals where I can see it everyday...maybe I need to embroider it so it sinks in :P

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

Always like your tips and they are all so true! Great post!

BeadedTail said...

Wonderful tips Ruthie! I used to fall into that comparing myself with others thing but then realized there are so many different factors affecting sales, etc. that is was like comparing apples to oranges and a huge waste of time.

Splendid Little Stars said...

You are amazing, Ruthie, in all that you accomplish, considering your health problems. And best of all (to us) you are a wonderful and cheery supporter and cheerleader. I appreciate you!

storybeader said...

I love the idea of Tuesdays Tips and look forward to reading them. You sure know how to write, Ruthie!

Nancy said...

Great tips, thanks for sharing.