Last Tuesday, after a long day, I came home and realized the fridge was empty. My husband and I have been trying to eat out less and cook more meals at home, so with the best intentions I decided to head to the grocery store and see what I could pull together.
This is when I ran into trouble.
Have you ever gone to the grocery store hungry?
As I roamed the aisles, everything sounded good...including those crazy-expensive, frozen, organic pizzas that I impulsively decide we needed three of - you know, just in case! As I went through the checkout I was startled by how much the bill was, but I was too hungry to do anything about it. Worse yet, when I got home and finally got some food in my stomach, I realized that amid my impulse purchases I didn’t even get the basic things we actually needed for meals in the week ahead.
Lesson learned, don’t go to the grocery store hungry and without a plan.
I share this story because this same lesson can be applied to our creative lives. So often we are hungry to get sales or to solve a problem and so we rush into action. We may have the best intentions, but when we don’t take the time to plan ahead, determine what our real needs are, and create a budget first, it can be a costly mistake.
For example, I recently worked with a maker who was so eager to launch her business and sell her products that she ambitiously rushed into spending a significant amount of money on getting a fancy website built. The problem was, she made this investment before she even knew who her customer was or what branding made the most sense for her business. A few months later she realized that opening an Etsy shop would have been a smarter first step, but since she’d already sunk so much money into the custom website she was desperate to make it work and continued to spend money inefficiently.
These types of mistakes happen to all of us at one point or another, but my hope for you is that you will be a creative with a game plan.
This week’s Monday Motivation Challenge is all about identifying the most important needs for your creative endeavors so you can prioritize how to use your resources over the next month with intention, in a way that moves your closer to your goals. The more we plan, the less likely we are to make costly mistakes.
MAKE A PLAN
TRY IT: What is the most important task you can work on this month to move your business forward? (If this was the only thing you accomplished in the next four weeks you would be happy and your business or creative project would be in a better place)
What are your secondary tasks of importance for your business?: (If you accomplish these things in the next four weeks, that would be really great!)
What are some additional tasks you would like to get done for your business this next month?
Once your list is complete, put it somewhere you will see each day. As new challenges or ideas arise, make sure to review your list and insure you are taking actions that don’t derail you from hitting your #1 priority for the month.
When we set intention around our actions we are able to make steps that are purposeful and get us closer to where we are trying to go. As the old saying goes, “People who don’t plan, plan to fail.” Let’s not be those people!
I hope this week's exercise helps you have a productive month. If you run into any roadblocks, or need help strategizing a plan for what you should be prioritizing, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’d love to help!
We’re in this together,