Oh my god, I’m setting goals. Somebody tell CNN.

November 15, 2008 at 11:41 am 4 comments

Ever have one of those weeks, where you get to the end of it, and you were totally busy all week, but you’re not exactly sure doing what?  Like, somehow you’ve lost focus?

That was my week. I feel like I was really busy all week, getting stuff done, and today I woke up, and was like, “Where am I going? What am I aiming for? What did I do all that stuff for?” I had no idea what I was moving towards. I was just kind of…moving. Maybe even running in circles.

And I realized that I’m scared of making concrete goals. Cus, ya know, world domination isn’t exactly measurable.

But a goal like, “I want to sell 100 art greeting cards, 50 calendars, 75 magnets and 5 paintings in the next 90 days” scares the frigging crap out of me. Because I’m scared I’ll fail.

I’ve never been able to set concrete goals for my business. Ever. There’s this huge block there for me. I think its because if I set that concrete goal, if I set a very clear intention, well what the hell is going to happen when I fail? When I go and screw the whole damn thing up? And the fact that once I set that intention, I don’t have a flipping clue how to get there.

The whole thing just scares the crap out of me. But I’ve reached a point where running around without any real idea of what I’m heading towards is just driving me up the wall, and I feel like I’m wasting my time. And I really, really hate that feeling.

So I think I’m going to set some intentions. Just little ones. Nothing big and scary. Just totally manageable things. And then we’ll see where things go. Let’s think of it as an experiment; an experiment in faith perhaps. An experiment in synchronicity. Perhaps even an experiment in self reliance. Let’s call it the “Sarah Has Set Intentions. Now What, Universe?” experiment. (There is a reason I don’t name stuff a lot. It’s cus I suck at it.)

Okay, so here we go! My intentions for the next…hmmm…lets say, 60 days. Because 60 isn’t a scary number. Although this is an experiment in stretching myself and my boundaries, so I’m going to be really brave and say 30 days. Thirty it is then.

Okay, here we go:

1. Sell 5 art greeting cards from Cafepress.com

2. Sell 5 calendars from Cafepress.com

3. Sell 5 magnets from Cafepress.com

4. Sell 1 journal from Cafepress.com

5. Sell 3 prints from Imagekind.com

6. Sell 2 paintings.

Ooooooh boy. Did I  mention its scary just saying those things out loud? My mind is screaming, “Mayday! Mayday! Failure imminent!”

Gee, thanks, mind.

But I’ve got to put these intentions in a public place. So I actually maintain them. And you all can yell at me if I don’t maintain them. And we can mark my progress, and see what happens. Because I don’t have a frigging clue as to how I’m going to achieve even this humble goal.

But I think I at least get points for trying.

Wish me luck.


Entry filed under: Art Marketing, Fear. Tags: , , , , .

Growing past the scary bits. Free shipping.

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. shelli  |  November 15, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Bravo! Those are excellent goals, and you have six chances to succeed, and six chances to learn. See, win-win!

    Some personal observations — first, people want to buy not just the art, but the story behind the art. I think adding a description (what you were thinking, feeling, why you chose that subject, etc) for each item would increase its appeal — even on the smaller ticket items.

    Second, have you considered doing a Christmas sale? It doesn’t devalue your art, it just acknowledges that people around the globe are having a hard time right now, and it gives people permission to splurge on a luxury … because, after all, it’s on sale!

    Finally, what kind of marketing are you doing? You have to be proactive in getting the word out. People will buy your work if they can just find you!

    I wish you good luck!

  • 2. Nadia  |  November 15, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    I know its sometimes scary to set goals cause its really frightening to feel pain if we fail. But I think, if we plan it better, there is a lesser chance of failure. Impactful Actions helps me define my SMART goals and keeps track of them, check it our here http://impactfulactions.com/


  • 3. smlacyart  |  November 16, 2008 at 11:20 am

    All super awesome advice, Shelli, thank you so much!

    You know, I’ve been meaning to add the stories behind the paintings for a while now, and I keep being told to do it by people, and I keep procrastinating. Terrible I know 😉

    And your idea about a Christmas sale is an awesome idea – I’ve decided to offer free shipping until Christmas, because really, the shipping can get so expensive.

    And I’m pretty terrible at marketing. Mostly the putting myself out there bit – I’m not great at self promotion yet. But I’m working on it.

    Thank you so much again!

  • 4. dannielo  |  November 19, 2008 at 3:06 am

    Great article.
    If you’d like a tool for setting your goals, you can use this web application:


    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.


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