How to Tell If You’re on the Right Track
A big thanks to Amy of Coffee and Kink for inspiring this particular post. We had a good Twitter conversation (as we often do) that got me thinking. Knowing if you’re on the right track with your smutlancing goals or if you’re just spinning your wheels is a question we all have to face at some point. And we have to reassess periodically because it’s easy to veer off course or do something that’s not actually working.
I imagine there are a million ways to figure out if you’re on track towards your goals, but these are the methods I use. Sometimes in conjunction with each other and sometimes separately. Ultimately you have to find what works best for you.
Check Your Numbers
Your numbers can be anything — blog stats, number of clients, dollars earned. Whatever it is, check them, and compare them to the same time a year ago. If they’re better than they were, you’re moving in the right direction. If they’ve gone down dramatically and it wasn’t a planned choice, something isn’t quite right, and you need to look deeper. Success is measured in a lot of ways. Don’t focus on the total numbers as much as whether they’re moving up or down over time.
Check Your Feelings
How do you feel with what you’re doing? Excited? Fulfilled? A little nervous but moving forward anyway? Those are all good signs that you’re on the right path for your goals. But if you find that you’re feeling overwhelmed, burned out, miserable, and dreading the work, there’s a problem. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t work towards your goal. It may simply mean you need a break or to try new tactics.
Trying New Things
To keep myself sane in terms of blogging and creating content, I need a routine. I need to know what day I’m doing what and why I’m doing it. The downside to schedules and routines is the possibility of getting into a rut and stagnating. From time to time, check in with yourself and the community at large. Are you trying new things, participating in events, and experimenting with your content? These things put you in front of new audiences and stretch your creative muscles which, ultimately, propels you forward.
If your creative or blogging life has you puking in fear most nights of the week, that’s a problem. But if you try a new thing or start a new project and feel a little uncomfortable, that’s not always a bad sign. Growth is supposed to feel uncomfortable. Imposter syndrome, as awful as it can feel, is a sign that you’re doing new things and stretching yourself and your abilities. That feeling means you’re likely doing exactly what you should because you’re moving forward on a new path…or you’re on a new section of an old path.
Ultimately, the only way to know if you’re on the right track is to look around you. Do you like who you are, what you’re doing, and the people you do it with? Then you’re where you need to be. In terms of growth, making money, and audience building, check your numbers first — blog subscribers, blog views, comments, social media followers, the amount of money you earn each month. If everything is going up, and you feel good about your work, congratulations. You’re probably right on track.
Okay, now it’s your turn. Do you have your own signals that let you know you’re on the right track with your business, blogging, or smutlancing goals? Share in the comments below or talk to me on Twitter!
Have you learned something new, been inspired, or moved forward with your goals after visiting The Smutlancer?