In my last post, I shared with you the 10 goals creatives should tackle to set their businesses up for success in 2019. 

If you’ve set those goals for yourself and you are ready to tackle more, here are eight more goals every creative can benefit from setting this year. 

1. Craft a client experience. When we hired a contracting company to renovate our house when we first bought it, do you know what they did? They renovated our house. Do you know what we said they did? They renovated our house.” But if they had changed just one little thing and on the last day left us with a gift basket (let’s say of kitchen towels, candles, and wine) with a note that said “Welcome Home.”…do you know what we would have said then? “Oh my gosh, our contractors are AMAZING! SO thoughtful and so, so good at what they do. They made everything so easy and just listen to this gift they left us!” It’s what we talk about in our J&M Ultimate Business Course as “moving from word of mouth that ends in a period to word of mouth with an exclamation point.” And it makes all the difference.

2. Write out your workflow. Pick a day and sit down to write out your entire workflow start to finish, from client inquiry to a year after the final product is delivered. Look for roadblocks, bottlenecks, or anything else that might contribute to a bad client experience. Set out a plan to fix it in this first quarter.

3. Create set times to create just for you. One of the biggest reasons that creatives burn out is because they take this thing that they used to do all the time because they LOVED it and now only do that thing because it’s work. It is absolutely critical that you keep carving out time to create just for you when there isn’t a customer involved. A great way to keep yourself accountable to that in 2019 is to create a 12-month project – an assignment you give yourself where you have to create something new each month. Because what is a creative without the chance for creating?

4. Spend one day a month studying. Carve out one day a month that is your “education” day to be spent studying your craft. You can practice a new technique, head to the library to study a book on one of the greats (we’ve been studying Karsh and loving it!), or catch up on a course. If the sentence were true that “you are only as good as the last time you learned” ask yourself how GOOD you would be!

5. Plan Content in Advance. One of the biggest reasons that people give for why they fall off on their blogging, social media, or creating new content in general is because when they sit down to do it, they just don’t know what to say. A super simple fix for this is to just sit down quarterly and brainstorm a list of posts you want to write and then, in advance, assign them a week for when you’ll tackle them. It takes the guesswork out of it, while still allowing room to be creative for when you actually write the post. If you plan to blog once a week, for example, that’s only 12-13 ideas you have to brainstorm every three months when you sit down to plan. List them out by week and then when it comes time, you’ll know exactly what you are writing about.

6. Review your work for growth areas. Plan an afternoon to sit down and look through the best of your work from last year to celebrate what went right! But also, plan to take a look at those times you’d rather not remember. Identify some areas you want to work on so that this year looks different than last.

7. Thank a mentor. Find a mentee. Chances are, you became the creative you are today because someone first poured into you. Someone gave you your first camera or paint brush, allowed you to shadow them, shared with you some of their inside “secrets” to make sure you had an easier road than they did, and just generally believed in you. Take the time to reach out and thank them this year. To tell them and show them the impact they have had in your life. And then find someone that YOU can be that person for as well!

8. Find a new creative outlet. Like we mentioned above, running a creative business often means taking a hobby you used to love and turning it into work (that you hopefully still love!). But, that can also often mean that you are left without a hobby – something to do just for the pure fun and joy of it. Chances are, if someone is creative in one area, they have it in them to be creative in several areas. So this year, make it a priority to find a new creative outlet that you do just for you. For example, this past year Justin has taken up cooking and is even taking an online class to learn from Gordon Ramsey and he’s loving it. And as the official taste tester, I can tell you…so am I! 

Here’s to good goal setting and much success in 2019!