8FebThree Simple Steps for Gaining Clarity on Your Goals
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
Don’t make the same mistake Alice made. In this post I’ll give you three simple steps for gaining clarity on your goals.
Decide What You Want from Your Photography Business
Jim Rohn once said, “When you know what you want, and you want it badly enough, you’ll find a way to get it.” But the problem, the real challenge, is in knowing what you want. Of having a crystal clear picture in your mind of that which you want to achieve.
Gaining that clarity – developing that “white hot desire” as Napoleon Hill calls it – proves to be a continual struggle for many – myself included.
Decide what it is you want and where you want your life to be so when the clock strikes twelve on December 31, 2012 – you can celebrate a year well spent.
Gain Goal Clarity with Three Simple Steps
No matter what your goals are for the year – and I do hope you have them written down by now – you need to gain clarity on what success means to you. You need a clearly defined destination – your goal – so you’ll know when you get there and a map – our action plan, to lead us in the right direction.
It’s not enough to say;
“I want to photograph 50 high school seniors this year.”
- or -
“I want to generate revenues of $100,000 in my photography business this year.”
A goal without action – without an action plan to achieve it – is nothing more than a wish.
Step One: Define and Refine Your Photography Business Goals
If money is your goal – business revenues – then figure out exactly how much. Someone who says,
“I want to generate revenues of $100,000 in my photography business this year,”
is probably pulling a round number out of the air. (or somewhere else) You need to break it down so you can assimilate the numbers.
If the goal is $100,000 how much will be profit and how much for expenses. Is it a big enough goal? If photography is your only source of income is $100,000 of business revenue going to be enough to support you and your family?
Will all the revenue come from senior portraits or will some come from children, families, sports, weddings, pets, etc…? You can’t say, “I don’t know where it will come from,” business revenue doesn’t just “appear.” You need to develop a plan on how you will attract the business you need to reach your goal.
If your goal is to become the “best” senior portrait photographer in your market – what will that look like? Who do you currently see as the best senior portrait photographer in your market? If their imagery is – in your opinion – considerably better than yours, what about your portraiture needs improvement? Is it posing, lighting, backgrounds, composition?
Becoming the best senior portrait photographer in your market is a great goal – but pretty subjective. How will you “know” when you’ve arrived? Why not try and replicate some of the images created by the photographer you aspire to be as good as or better than? Copy the pose, the lighting, the background and the composition as best you can. Then compare your images side by side and decide what you need to improve.
Step Two: Define What Success Means to You
Why do you want to earn $100,000 in revenues? Why do you want to be the best photographer in your market? A goal is nothing more than a dream or a wish until you develop a passion for it. What Hill described as that “white hot desire.” What Rohn describes as, “That thing that’ll make you get up early and stay up late and go, go, go all day long!”
Utilize visualization to embed powerful feelings about your goal into your subconscious mind. Visualize yourself as the best photographer in your market. How will you act and carry yourself, how will you communicate with others? Vividly imagine the level of confidence in your abilities you’ll have when you achieve that goal.
Program Your Mind
Our subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between reality and something vividly imagined. You’ve no doubt heard the story about the basketball coach training his players to improve their free throw percentages.
The coach split the team into three groups.
- Group A stayed after regular practice each day and practiced shooting free throws for an extra thirty minutes.
- Group B went home after practice and did nothing further.
- Group C also practiced for an additional 30 minutes – but only in their minds. They were to sit in a quiet place and vividly imagine themselves sinking free throw after free throw. Every shot – nothing but net. IN their minds – they couldn’t miss.
A week later they had another free throw shooting competition. Obviously Group B showed little change from the previous week. But no so amazingly, Groups A and C showed nearly identical improvements in their free throw shooting percentages.
Your subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between reality and that which you vividly imagine.
No it’s Not Hocus Pocus
Nearly everything we use in daily life – from a box of baking powder biscuit mix to a weed whacker or a cell phone – comes with directions on how to use it. Most of us spent anywhere from 12 to 16 or more years going to school learning how to read those directions and gaining the skills and abilities that would enable us to get a job and earn a living.
In all those years of schooling did you ever take a class on how to “operate your mind”? Have you ever seen a set of directions for programming your brain? If a computer as powerful as the human mind would require the space of a hundred story office building to house it – wouldn’t it stand to reason we might need to consider learning how to use it properly?
Step Three: What’s Keeping You from Achieving Your Goals?
Step one is to set your goals and create an action plan for achieving them. (You can use the My Best Your Ever Planning Guide to help.)
Step two is utilizing intense vivid visualization of your goals as if you have already achieved them.
Step three is figuring out what’s holding you back. What could possibly prevent you from achieving your goals.
If you’re goal is to become the best senior portrait photographer in your market – and you just bought your first camera – you’ve got some work to do. But then most of us recognize the ridiculousness of setting a goal like that . . . . . .
And therein lies the rub.
Without question it is our own mind that holds most of us back. Our own – un-programmed – minds can come up with any number of reasons why – new camera in hand, bubble wrap still crinkling in the trash can – there is no way we can become the best photographer in town within a year. So we don’t even try.
Your Past is Not Your Future
Begin today to set a course for a better year and a better life. What has happened to you in the past, your experiences, your trials, your challenges – has only prepared you for the future. What has happened to you in the past is in no way an indication of what will happen in the future. You are human and have the ability to change and achieve whatever you set your mind and heart on.
Just decide where you want to go, create a map for getting there and begin the journey. You can do this.
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