Finding Success with Goal Setting
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the possible things you could do as a smutlancer. You look around and think, “Okay, I want to be [INSERT THING YOU WANT TO BE]” and then you wonder how the hell you’re supposed to make it happen. We’ve already talked about re-thinking success and decided (at least I did) that it’s about the goals you set for yourself.
If you want to achieve whatever success looks like to you, you need a goal. But even knowing where to begin can be extremely overwhelming.
So let’s talk about what that can look like.
Goal vs. Dream
For me, my goals break down in two ways: the goal and the dream. A goal is something tangible that I have a chance to achieve in the amount of time that doesn’t make me feel like a kid the day after their birthday. (You know that feeling…the 365-days-takes-for-fucking-ever feeling.)
Since I’m an adult, I can have a goal that takes more than a year, but anything with no clear deadline or goal to achieve becomes a dream.
Goal: Win two clients and make $300 per month in steady income.
Dream: Quit day job, have 10 clients, make $3000 per month in steady income.
See the difference? You can work every day for a few weeks or months and achieve the goal. You might even be able to set a deadline (always ideal). But the dream? It takes as long as it takes. Once you get to about five or seven clients and $2200 per month, the dream can become a tangible goal because you’re already on your way to achieving it.
Short-Term Goals Lead to Long-Term Goals
The goal and the dream are good to know, but to me, that’s just the beginning. Most of the time, to attain your big goal, you’re going to need small, baby goals to get you there. Some people might not need this, but if you work better when you can see your accomplishments (and I do), this is one way to do it.
So let’s take our example goal (Two clients and $300 per month) and break that down into possible smaller goals.
- Write one piece of content for another website: online magazine, guest post, etc. Paid is ideal, but not required.
- Get paid to write one piece of content for another website.
- Create a page/website detailing the work you do and promote it three times a week: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, emailing someone you know, etc.
- Reach out to three companies you’d like to work with and offer your services as a writer.
Technically, these are all tactics within a strategy to show potential clients that you’re a “real” writer (FYI, if you write words, you’re a real writer). But when it’s all new to you, and you’re starting from zero, consider them goals, too.
These smaller goals should have deadlines, though. This month you’ll do number one. In the next month, you’ll (hopefully) finish goal number two. Two weeks after that, goal three, and a month later, number four. All told, your four goals took less than four months. In month five, you might have your first client.
Work Hard But Be Patient
I’m the least patient person I know. Sometimes that’s a good thing because it gives me a drive to accomplish All The Things, and sometimes it’s so very bad. I’m the first to consider myself a “failure” when I don’t meet a goal fast enough. The moral of the story? Don’t be like me, kids.
For real, though, the thing I want to stress is that you shouldn’t panic if you don’t meet a deadline for a goal. As long as you’ve been working on it and can show progress, it’s okay. Keep going. If, however, you procrastinated, let fear get in the way, and now you’re 48 hours away from your self-imposed deadline, you need to set a new deadline.
There is no goal-monitor who will rap your knuckles or call you names if you don’t hit your deadline. These things often take longer than we anticipate. As long as you’re working towards the goal, you’re fine. The next time you set new goals, you can adjust for a more realistic timeframe.
I fully admit I have a problem with goal-setting. I’m never done, and I don’t want to be done. Figuring out what I want to do and then working towards it is like a drug for me. If I can do that (insert thing), what else can I do?
So you might not want to emulate me (you’ll see in a minute) but think about what you want to accomplish. Think of the things that are realistic and the things that seem like dreams. There’s no right answer, and there are no right goals.
Imagine the thing you desperately want to do as a blogger or entrepreneur. Make a list of the big, giant goals and then brainstorm all the small goals you think you need to accomplish to get to the big one.
Or start with a small thing that you’re not sure you can do — and work towards that. Once you have your first success, it’s easier to start dreaming of new goals and plans.
My Crazy-Ass Goals
What does goal-setting look like? The possibilities are endless. These are some of my former, current, and future goals — in no particular order.
- Self-publish an erotic story.
- Turn that story into a series.
- Get published on a website I admire.
- Have a story accepted by a publisher.
- Switch from a free website to self-hosted.
- Get my first sponsored post.
- Receive an affiliate commission.
- Receive regular affiliate commissions every month or quarter.
- Create and sell an online course.
- Finish a novel.
- Finish a non-fiction book.
- Make the majority of my income from passive income.
- Create a podcast network.
- Make 100 percent of my income from sex and kink writing.
- Work as a consultant for sex and adult brands.
- Create a network of sex writers and help them get hired.
- Speak in public as a kink educator
- Speak in public as a writing/marketing educator
- Coordinate and plan in-person events
- Offer online course and summits for writers
And I could keep going. Some of these are goals I’ve achieved, some are in the works, and some are only in the idea stages.
The downside when you have multiple goals is that you can easily feel like you’re not doing enough or that you’ll never be “done.” When that happens, look back at what you’ve accomplished so far and celebrate your successes.