In December 2013, I wrote my goals and objectives for myself and my company so that we could be better positioned in our industry as well as in the mind’s of our audience. I knew that getting some major media exposure was going to be key, so one of my very first objectives was to get at least 1 major media hit in Essence Magazine, Black Enterprise or Toronto Life by December 2014.
To be honest, somewhere after March 2014, I was no longer consistent with carrying out the tactics I set out in my plan. Business picked up more momentum than I was expecting and my entire plan was put on the back burner.
Fast forward to November 2014 and one of my long-time clients, Pauleanna Reid tells me that she is going to be featured in the January 2015 issue of Essence Magazine, which will hit newsstands December 2014. By this time I had completely forgotten everything I listed in my plan and it wasn’t until I looked it over again in December 2014 that I realized that I had come pretty darn close to achieving one of the very first goals I had set for myself.
It wasn’t the media hit that I wanted for myself or my company, but it sure was close enough and even better for my client to get the exposure than me, since that’s the business that I’m in.
This experience has taught me some valuable lessons that I want to share with you so that we can all see success and realize our greatest dreams.
Put Your Vision on Paper
Vision boards are all the rage this time of year, even more now than ever but I realize not everyone is into that sort of thing. If you are, great! Start piecing together the vision for your next year, 2 years or 5 years so that you can see it and work towards it everyday. But if vision boards are not your thing, simply write your goals down.
In his book: An Enemy Called Average John Mason says: “The vision must be written. When you keep a vision in your mind, it isn’t really a goal; it is nothing more than a dream. There is power in putting that dream on paper. When you commit something to writing, commitment to achievement naturally follows.”
Commit to Your Vision
As I mentioned above, I did not stick to my vision. Life got in the way and threw everything off balance, but look at the result after just 3 months of being committed. What if I had carried out everything in my plan for the entire year? How many more goals would I have been able to achieve?
Don’t Be Afraid to Dream BIG
I think a lot of us are afraid to ask for too much because we are afraid we won’t get it or we don’t believe in ourselves enough to achieve it and that was certainly the case with me. I specifically asked for 1 media hit and that’s exactly what I got. Needless to say, my 2015 goals are much bigger.
Do Not Be Discouraged
In the spirit of full disclosure, Pauleanna’s feature was not even a direct result of my efforts, but Earlier in 2014 I had emailed Essence Magazine‘s relationships editor, Charreah K. Jackson to see if she was interested in receiving a copy of Pauleanna’s debut fiction novel: Everything I Couldn’t Tell My Mother, for a Mother’s Day campaign that Essence Magazine was running. I didn’t get a response and decided I wasn’t going to bother her anymore since she was already so helpful in contributing to my MadWoMen Chronicles a couple months before. (Click here to read Charreah’s chronicle.)
I’m realizing now that I should never let myself be discouraged when I don’t get responses or see the results I’m hoping for. Somehow, some way, the energy and effort that you put into achieving your goals comes back to you. Maybe not in the way you imagined, but it will show up in some way, shape or form.
The moral of the story is to get serious about the goals and dreams you want to achieve. Write them down, pin them up on your wall, share it with friends and review them daily, weekly or monthly to assure you are on track.
Stay committed to them for the entire time period that you set for yourself. If you set a 3-month, 6-month or 1 year timeline, stick to it no matter what.
Dream as big as your God is, so that even though you fall short, you still end up in a better place than you were before and lastly, don’t let anything lead you astray. You will get bumped around by life and circumstances from time to time but never let it discourage you and always get back on track. The scripture says: Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9 NKJV)