If you want to sell more art, where do you even start?
You start by defining a SMARTER goal and committing to it in writing.
That’s what my experience as a thriving independent artist has taught me, and so has over a decade of direct experience helping thousands of other artists from around the globe sell their art without feeling like sell-outs.
Once you have a SMARTER goal, you need to have a written plan.
Let’s just focus today on creating a SMARTER goal.
Sometime during the third week of December 2004, which was when I moved to San Francisco, I wrote down my SMARTER goal and I really committed to it.
I’m so happy and grateful now that I have sold over $100,000 of my art in 2005.
What is a SMARTER goal? Even if you think you know, keep reading because I have three-step process to make your SMARTER goal, even smarter.
S=Specific. What is it exactly that you want? I mean exactly. Your conscious and subconscious mind can’t take any meaningful action with loosey goosey direction.
Don’t know what you really want? Then think about what you really don’t want.
A=Actionable, meaning that you can take clear action upon your goal, today. Not tomorrow, not next week, not after you have something else done, but today.
If you’ve only sold $1000 of your art, it’s going to be very hard for you to know what to do today to sell $100,000 of your art.
But you could take meaningful action towards selling another $1000 of your art. Feel the difference?
M=Measureable. How will you know when you’ve reached your goal? I could measure my success because either I did, or I did not, have over $100,000 in gross sales to report to the IRS in April of 2016. Your measure of success must be very black and white.
R=Result. Is this the result what you really want?
Don’t skip this. Many people craft goals based upon what they think they should accomplish or what others have suggested to them. You have to really want it.
Hint: What I really wanted was to feel “happy” and “grateful.” I didn’t have to wait to accomplish my goal to cultivate those feelings.
T=Time bound. The task will take as long as the time allotted.
What if I just said,
I’m so happy and grateful now that I have sold over $100,000 of my art.
Do you think I would have reached my goal in 2005?
E=Evaluating. You can’t just determine your SMARTER goal and then forget about it.
I know there are some who watched The Secret, and who didn’t listen very carefully, and who actually believe that all they have to do is visualize their goal and that’s it.
But once you define a SMARTER goal you’ll need to commit to it and maintain your commitment by taking focused, deliberate, and consistent action.
Then you’ll start to see opportunities and resources that seem to appear like magic. THAT is the secret.
R=Revise. If revising your goal is really the smart thing to do, then do it. But never revise your SMARTER goal just because you feel lazy or you’re having some temporary self-doubt.
Rather, find some inspiration and get support from other people who have already accomplished what you want to accomplish.
Just like making art, you want to make your own art, not copy someone else’s art. So don’t copy someone else’s goal.
Whatever you do, please don’t just copy my original SMARTER goal.
Quitting your job with the intention to sell over $100,000 of your art during your very first year as a full-time artist, may or may not be a very SMART thing for you to do.
It was smart for me because I had sold $25,426 of my art in the fourth quarter of 2004, after I had quit my job in September of 2004.
How did I sell $25,426 of my art?
- I sold my first $1,000 of my art.
- Then I sold my first $5000 of my art.
- Then I sold my first $10,000 of my art.
Once you have your SMART goal the way to manifest it into reality really is as simple as A, B, C.
A. Write down your SMART goal and put it somewhere so that you can see it regularly.
B. What are the aspects of what you want? For example, the aspects of reaching my goal where to experience a sense of accomplishment, gain financial security, and develop my creativity on a whole new level.
C. Who are you willing to be and what are you willing to do?
Caution: This last part is where most artists get lost or they just don’t maintain.
In my case I had to be willing to:
- go way outside of my comfort zone to get what I wanted, which made my uncomfortable
- pretend to be confident even when I wasn’t yet, which made my uncomfortable
- talk to people about a new idea that most of them rejected, which made my uncomfortable
- do cold calling, which made my uncomfortable
- write letters to strangers, which made my uncomfortable
- keep going even when I didn’t feel like it, which made my uncomfortable
- be good to myself and my body by exercising and eating well so that I could maintain more energy and physical and emotional focus
Notice a pattern? Striving towards a big goal that really matters to you is going to challenge you and make you uncomfortable.
The formula is simple.
The question is this, will you follow it?
Most artists won’t? Why? Five reasons.
- They’re lazy.
- They tolerate distractions.
- They make excuses.
- They’ve learned how to be helpless.
- They don’t really want it that much. They just like romantic idea of being a successful artist.
Are you going to let another day pass just hoping that you will sell more art or will you plan to sell more art?
Someday is today.
Write down your SMARTER goal below and I’ll give you feedback.
Do it now, while you’re thinking about it.