Season 5 – epiBLOG 4:
Being persistent is always glamorized in self-help books. Integrated perfectly into little nuggets of wisdom for people to post on social media. And don’t even get me started on the motivational speakers (who are speaking to a captivated audience of thousands) who mentally drill into your psyche the significance of being persistent.
Apparently, if you’re not persistent, you won’t be successful.
WTF? What does this even mean? If I’m not persistent, I’m not going to fulfill my very purpose on this earth?
So many tell you to be persistent, but rarely does anybody explain HOW one is persistent in the face of constant adversity. They just spout off some passive and weak clichés.
“Don’t give up.”
Or my all-time “favorite” and annoying poster with the cat dangling from a rope that says, “Hang in there.”
Somehow that’s supposed to be encouraging? Really? None of that helps me to be a persistent entrepreneur or artist.
Today’s topic is on steps that you can apply to support being persistent while working through obstacles.
First of all, if you’re an entrepreneurial artist, meaning a creative individual who is actively seeking to make a living from your craft, you are an entrepreneurial artist. You are automatically going to face challenges as you move forward because that’s part of the process of learning and figuring out the path you’ve chosen to pursue. No uncovered secrets there. We all understand this.
Nevertheless, secondly… you’re out contacting people. You’re following up with potential clients. You provide quality service and/or products to your existing clients. And you still find yourself spending 75%-90% of your time looking for more clients and 10%-25% of your time actually doing what you started your business for in the first place. This is ridiculous. I get it. But this is part of the process, they say. The numbers may even remain this way for the first 1-3 years that you’re in business for yourself. Ugh!
This is annoying, but don’t be discouraged.
The following are 4 steps that you can apply as you build your entrepreneurial artistic business:
Set 1-2 business goals that you would like to accomplish by December 31, 2018. They should be accomplishments that you genuinely want to achieve. They should be tangible and measurable. Your goals should NOT be something vague like: “I want to make a lot of money.” That means nothing. They should be realistic and attainable, but challenging enough to stretch you beyond what you’ve achieved in the past.
You then want to set quarterly goals. For example, Quarter #1 (January-March), Quarter #2 (April-June), etc. Your quarterly goals should support your bigger goals that you’ve created for the entire year. You then want to create monthly goals that support the quarterly goals, and so forth. In doing this, you will have something tangible to work towards, which will keep you focused. Through this process, you will face rejections from people and several other unforeseen and unfavorable circumstances will arise. That’s just life. That part will not be fun. Sometimes you will handle certain situations better than you do at other times, and that’s fine. You’re human. Give yourself a break. However, if your focus remains on the goals and the actions to achieve those goals, you will inadvertently find yourself being persistent without having to walk around claiming to be. You will live it.
Create a schedule each night for your next day. Doing this ensures that you will consistently take steps towards the goals that you’re wanting to achieve. This schedule should consist of at least 3-5 specific actions that you plan to take that support your goals for the month. Do this even if you have a day job. Each action should move you forward to achieving the goals that you’re seeking. Again, you will experience adversity. Your spouse may need more of your time. You may have a demanding day job. You may get sick. You may have an unexpected expense. Or you may be in “feast or famine mode” with your business and you have to make something happen, or else you won’t pay bills or you won’t eat. Whatever your unfavorable circumstances are, you can get through them with the understanding that they are temporary annoyances that are apparently there to teach you something and that you have tangible actions and goals to work towards that will keep you inadvertently persistent.
Review your list of existing clients. Remember there was a time when you didn’t have them as clients. However, because of your work ethic and focus in the past, you’ve been able to provide a wonderful service or product for your currently happy clients. Reviewing your list serves two purposes: (1) this is an opportunity to remain “present” and grateful with those who are already supporting your business. You can reach out to them to see how you can serve and support their needs further. Do what you can to provide quality and sincere customer service. And (2) reviewing your client list is a reminder that you can actually get clients. If you’ve done it before, you can do it again. Supportive and tangible reminders help you to consistently move forward, allowing you once again to be inadvertently persistent.
Attend workshops, listen to audiobooks or webinars, or read books to remain in a “conversation” that supports moving forward as an entrepreneurial artist. Make sure that those you are seeking wisdom and counsel from are where you want to be because they are speaking from experience.
The truth is, building a business is not easy. There is a lot of learning that happens, mistakes that are made, disappointments and victories fluctuating along the way, but it’s your continuous actions that will determine if you will still be standing in the end. Not just standing, but standing victoriously.
There are going to be days that you doubt yourself. Days that you want to cry and question whether or not you’re ever going to arrive at the destination that you have created in your mind. What I’ve come to discover is that we get caught up into where we’re going. I get it. I’m a results-oriented person myself. However, you have to remember that BEING that person who arrives at that future destination can begin right now.
You ARE an entrepreneurial artist.
You ARE great at what you do.
It’s now literally a matter of you being who you are while moving forward with your continuous actions that allow the circumstances around you to modify. Maybe it’s not the destination that we are seeking. Perhaps it’s simply a state of being that will allow the success that we are seeking to materialize around us in the very location where we stand right now.
Today’s LESSON is to consistently take actions on your goals.
FUN ASSIGNMENT: Make a commitment to create a daily or 5-day a week schedule that supports your goals for the month.