Posts Tagged ‘goal setting’

5 Creative Ways To Achieve Your Goals In 2015

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the acronym SMART when referring to goals. That means that your goals should be:

2015 LeapSpecific
Measurable
Actionable
Realistic
Time-Sensitive

Example: Instead of, I’d love to lose some weight this year, a SMART goal would be: I’ll lose 15 pounds by July 1st.

My Problem With SMART Goals

Really, I don’t have so much of a problem with them….as much as I think simply “SMARTing” your goals doesn’t necessarily fit our community. Don’t SMART goals sound—well, there’s no nice way to say this—boring? And as creatives, we want more than that from our goals, don’t we?

Here are five ways to create better goals in 2015 that’ll motivate you to get up and start moving!

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Masterminds, Mentorship and Success

Masterminds, Mentorship and Success

You’ve probably heard the saying, “We are the product of our friends.” This is so very true. It shouldn’t surprise you that nice people who are knee deep in debt often have friends who are also debt-ridden. Perhaps they share feel good lines like, “I don’t need money when I have love.” While love won’t bring you more money, the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

On the flip side, some of my most creative friends also hang around with very creative, motivated people. They help drive each other toward success. They visit each other’s productions and exhibits, deliver honest critiques and push one another to constantly better work. Consequently, everyone wins.

What Pack Do You Travel With?

I was reading about dolphins and wolves recently. Both of these creatures work together in teams to survive. While they may not be strong or fast enough to catch prey on their own, they outsmart their food to win. It’s the same for successful people.

In his classic book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill extolled the virtues of creating a group of like-minded people with which you could share notes and deliver success. Now, “who you travel with” is no longer an accident. You’re actively searching for people to be near who are going to inspire you, cajole you, antagonize you, and make you stretch mentally. They’re going to make you push for more. Like a wolf or a dolphin, they’re going to help you thrive.

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Fighting Past “I Can’t Afford It”

How often have you caught yourself saying: “I Can’t Afford It”?  That’s one of the most disempowering phrases we can use in our creative lives. “I can’t afford it” is the financial equivalent of “I don’t deserve it” or “I’m not ready for it.” Of course you deserve it, and of course, you’re ready.

You just have to tell yourself that you are ready, you deserve it, and all you need is a plan.

Now perhaps there truly are some things you may not be able to afford. Like this yacht…

However, more often than not, you could (and should) be breaking down life into two columns:

–       I don’t want it.

Or

–       I am creating a plan to have it.

Let’s explore these two options: (more…)

Non-Conformists Are Born to Be Better Investors

Remember high school? Were you a person who wore what everyone else wore or did you stand apart?

I’ll bet you didn’t follow the crowd. That’s rarely the artist’s way.

Why do I bring this up? I only mention it because it turns out that creative people – those who are willing to go against the grain – should be great investors. Consider this: a financial company (Blackrock) sent out an email recently discussing the fact that many investors chase “negative returns.” Apparently, people try to guess where the market is headed; and Blackrock detailed just how horrible people are at guessing. In fact, it appears, when most people decide to turn right, the best decision was to turn left.

There’s Value in Turning Left

Everyone’s heard the mantra “buy low/sell high.” This even applies to your art, doesn’t it? Often I meet struggling artists who wonder “How come I’m not a sensation yet?” then they proceed to take the same steps as the herd.

It didn’t work in high school and it isn’t going to work now.

To truly get ahead, in your art and with your money, you need to turn left when everyone turns right. (more…)

Why You Need to Start Saving for Retirement NOW! …A Success Story

I recently received this email from an actor who just finished working through the Artist’s Prosperity Home Study System:

Miata,

I just have to write and tell you how excited I am to have found you! I’ve been an actor for five years, struggling along with everyone else, and I finally decided that enough is enough: I need to put together a plan so I can really focus.

All of this time, I thought I had already been focusing on my art, when in reality, I was part-timing everything: my job, my family and my craft. Now, you’ve put me on a path that I don’t think I could have accomplished myself. I have an emergency fund, a separate checking account for my business, and for the first time, real hope for the future. While I have yet to score that elusive “great part,” my auditions are much better. I believe this is because I come in focused and without worrying about “how broke I am.” Sure, I still worry about money, but not in the “OMG, I need this role” desperate way that I have in the past.

Thank you again for what you do. I just wanted to let you know there are people out there who appreciate you very much.

Jessica

It is rewarding when we hear from folks who have started to take control of their financial futures, because the unfortunate truth is that many people simply never will.

I was just reading some statistics from a group called the Employee Benefit Research Institute. While most Abundance Bound readers are self-employed (and not employees of others), we frequently fall into these same traps and the results of their recent retirement survey weren’t encouraging: (more…)

Setting Goals That Stick in 2013

A couple weeks ago I wrote about the strange place I found inspiration for my 2013 goals. This week, I’d like to address New Year’s Resolutions head-on. Every year millions of people write out a fresh list of goals in the hopes of making the next twelve months better than the previous dozen. We creative people are no exception: in our world, it’s often the well-disciplined artist who ends up on the road to loftier goals, while the dreamer without clear, concise milestones spends another year chasing the same first-tier plans (and never can figure out why he doesn’t achieve anything….). You know the ones; they’re the artists with grand ideas, fantastic plans, and nothing to show for it except a series of excuses.

One mistake that even big businesspeople make, is that they set professional goals, but forget about the fuel to get them there. It might not be the most glamorous activity, but remember your financial goals; don’t just focus on your art. By making sure that your financial picture is healthy, you’re bound to have the fuel ready to have a wonderful 2013 in your craft. By placing well-executed goals, you’ll get where you want to go faster, and with less bumps along the road.

 

 

Some Financial Goals to Act On

Emergency Fund – If you don’t have a cash reserve, now’s the time to start one. Anything can happen…and probably will….in 2013, so you’ll want the protection to know that when bad news occurs, you’ve got the money in the bank to easily get through it.

What’s a good reserve? Generally, I recommend having at least three months expenses in a safe place away from market fluctuation (like a bank account). (more…)

7 Great Money Moves to Sprint Into September

What is it about September? People walk a little more quickly. Long evenings under the stars with friends become nights at home in front of the computer. Kids go back to school. Client work picks up. Projects roll. The world shifts into gear again.

This is a time for productivity. It’s a time to set up a successful move for your art. If you’re going to celebrate a great 2012, this is the time to clean up your financial picture so you can focus on your craft, your clients, and your career.

1)    Write out your goals. In the book The E-Myth, author Michael Gerber points out that most small businesses fail because they don’t have set workflow practices. Don’t just jot down some 1,000 foot goals, get your hands dirty!

–       What are you going to do each day to reach your goal?

–       What milestones along the way will you set to stay on track?

–       How much is each goal going to cost?

2) Set up your budget and direct deposit schemes. By automating your financial picture you’ll be able to focus on your art instead of on a stack of energy-draining “to do’s.” If you have a side-hustle job to pay the bills, direct deposit this money into a savings account, then set up an automatic transfer of enough to live into your checking. Use online tools such as Mint or Yodlee to plan your budget parameters. Once you’ve written out your expenses, you’ll be much more comfortable in your financial shoes. (more…)

Investing and Creativity

A talking head on television the other day said, “It takes deep creativity to find quality investment opportunities.”

Is this true?

If investing is about creativity, how come so many members of our community cover their ears the second an investing discussion begins? Why aren’t we the best investors of all?

In fact, when I think of investing, I don’t think about artists. I think about button down suits and Wall Street types. Maybe we’ve been wrong all along.

I think the talking head is right. We should be the world’s best investors. Legendary mutual fund manager Sir John Templeton built a reputation on always looking left automatically if the crowd was gazing to the right. That sounds like our community, doesn’t it? We see the unexpected, feel what others miss, and bring life to what others pass over as the mundane pieces of the world.

Imagine how rich we’d be if we applied our natural abilities to good financial management!

We can apply our abilities to financial planning. We can be great investors. All it requires is for us to overlay the areas where we already excel onto a new palate of good financial habits. (more…)

Did We Strike a Nerve?

So…wow.

Bryan and I have simply been blown away by the response to last week’s “Living in Possibility” call! Hundreds of you joined us for a conversation about living life powerfully as artists who CHOOSE to create the success you desire (and deserve) in every area of your lives. We suspected there would be a few motivated artists who might dive into the material, but we just weren’t prepared for the number of calls and emails we’ve received, sharing your questions, experiences and victories–we’ve never seen the group this fired up before! It seems we really struck a nerve!

Or are you all even more dynamic than we realized?!

The immediate question is: With all of this momentum and new insight, what are you going to do next to stay in the zone of your potential? How will you apply this work practically day to day? How will you best capitalize on these discoveries and treat yourself to the good to come–right now? (more…)

A Few Simple Tips to Save Money

I was out to dinner the other night with some friends and we were laughing about the questions strangers will ask as soon as they find out your profession. One friend who is a doctor – always gets a medical question. Our lawyer girlfriend is often asked whether certain (sometimes dubious) behavior is legal. Me? When I tell folks about Abundance Bound I can pretty much count on being asked for “just a few simple tips” on how to save money.

And truthfully – even though I’ve been asked in some strange places (waiting for a taxi at the airport, during the intermission at the opera, and even on line for the restroom…) this might be my favorite question! There are so many ways to save. Everyone’s situation is different, which can make it difficult to hone on in a few generic tips. Still, here are some ideas that help many people:

If you’re looking to save a few dollars:

  • Focus on the grocery store. Between better coupon clipping, being conscious about where you shop, paying attention to sales, and eating out less, you can save a significant amount of cash. In 2010 I cut $2400 off of my family grocery total for the year just by changing the store where I purchase all of our produce!
  • Shut off lights and sprinklers, and unplug utilities when you aren’t using them. Utility companies offer budget plans, which allow you to pay the same amount every month.
  • Bike or walk if possible instead of driving. Do you know that over 44 percent of all car rides are less than two miles? As gas prices rise it bites more and more into the budget. Are there places you could get to easily without taking the car? If so, you’ll receive a triple benefit; first, you’ll save money on gasoline, but you’ll also feel great about helping the environment AND getting out exercising. (more…)