In this guide, I show you how to choose who to pitch, how to find the right contact information, and how to craft a winning pitch.
I am a food + product photographer & educator specializing in eco-friendly and sustainable brands. When I am not working with clients, I empower creatives to start their journey by sharing my knowledge on the business of food + product photography.
Setting goals is one of the most important things we can do in our personal and professional lives! Honestly? Learning how to achieve your dreams starts with knowing how to set goals the right way.
As photographers, we definitely tend to be dreamers! And luckily, it’s absolutely possible to learn how to achieve your dreams—from lifelong ones to those spontaneous late-night ideas that you can’t seem to shake.
Scribbling down your goals on a post-it note (or letting them just linger in the back of your mind) isn’t really going to make them happen. There is a right (and wrong) way to navigate the goal-setting process! Avoiding common goal-setting mistakes is one of the key steps in learning how to achieve your dreams.
Do you want to experience wild success in your business this year (and every year)? I know, I know—duh, Fanette!
But the key to unlocking that wild success is combining smart business strategy with goal-setting. This blend is truly a game-changer for your business and life.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions and mistakes that happen when it comes to selecting and working toward goals. Whether we aren’t sure what’s realistic or we aren’t 100% confident in ourselves, for creative entrepreneurs (like photographers!) in particular, goal-setting can be tricky.
For many of us, goal-setting taps into our natural fear of failure. That fear keeps us from setting goals (or keeps us trapped in a cycle of not pursuing our biggest, scariest dreams!). If you want to know how to achieve your dreams, you need to know how to set and pursue goals that stretch, motivate, and inspire you in every way!
Have you ever written something down on your to-do list that you’ve already finished…just so you could cross it off and feel more productive? (Hands up—I know I’m guilty of this, too!). A lot of us tend to do the same thing with our goals.
Instead of selecting results-driven goals based on what we want to achieve, we think of them as chores—lose weight, increase revenue, post on Instagram more often. Choosing goals that excite and challenge you is essential if you want to start figuring out how to achieve your dreams.
If the thought of achieving a goal doesn’t make you want to buy yourself a cake, pop the champagne, and celebrate, it’s probably not a helpful goal.
Now that you know why goal-setting is important, let’s talk about how to do it more effectively. Avoiding these seven goal-setting mistakes will help you achieve huge success in your business.
The first mistake many entrepreneurs make is setting too many goals. Especially as photographers, we have a LOT that we want to accomplish.
But if you want to learn how to achieve your dreams, you have to focus on what’s important! The truth is that you won’t have time for everything…and that’s okay. Selecting a handful of incredible goals is much more powerful than having 100 ‘meh’ goals.
If you’re struggling to prioritize what goals are most important, consider this. How would you feel if all that happens this year is achieving that goal? If you don’t think you’d consider the year to be majorly successful, it’s time to rework that goal (or reconsider it altogether).
Another thing to consider is the size of your goals. Especially for us photographers (and food photographers like myself), our eyes are bigger than our stomachs! When you’re wondering how to achieve your dreams, you have to consider whether those dreams are realistic and strategic for right now.
Sometimes, our big dreams aren’t going to be feasible this year. Having big dreams is awesome, but in order to achieve success, we have to know how to be strategic about where we place our focus and effort.
Your goals can’t be so big that they aren’t able to help guide the actions you take. Each day, week, and quarter this year, you can work towards your goals—but that means your goal has to be actionable and timely.
If you want to know how to achieve your dreams, this is quite possibly the biggest goal-setting mistake you can make. Most of us tend to use goals as a list of things we want to do…but not things we want to achieve.
This is because so often, we’re scared of setting goals for things that are outside of our control! If we set outcome-based goals instead of action-based goals, we can’t necessarily control whether we can accomplish them…which is scary!
But as a creative, you can’t let yourself be paralyzed by fear of failure. Look at goal-setting in a new way!
Make a plan to show up each and every day in your business and take action toward your achievement-based goal, but know that it’s okay if things change along the way.
Another mistake to avoid is setting goals that aren’t aligned with your business plan. Some of us take the time to set goals without figuring out how we’ll achieve them (and how they fit into our overall business plans).
In order to align your goals with your business plan, you need to:
In addition to making sure your goals are aligned with your business plan, you need to think about the opposite—does your current business model support that dream? If not, think about what shifts you’ll need to make in order to set goals that are built on a solid foundation in your business.
Related: How To Attract The Right Client
As you start thinking about how to achieve your dreams, you have to be willing to commit. Beyond improving your goals, you have to make sure you’re willing to show up and put in the work.
If we’re not committed to our goals, we give up easily. That’s why you need to really evaluate why a goal is important to you, and whether you’re 100% willing to put in the work and make them happen.
Think about how long it’s going to take to achieve that goal. In a few weeks or months, will you still be just as motivated to work on it?
There are a few things you can do to make it easier to stay committed to your goals. First, make sure your goals are visibly displayed somewhere. Whether you create a vision board or dedicate a page in your journal to your goals, keep them visible!
Then, evaluate your progress regularly. Take time each quarter to evaluate your goals.
Do this at least once per quarter for the best results.
Many people only think about goals right at the beginning of the year. I mean, so many of us are guilty of setting those unrealistic New Year’s resolutions and never thinking about them again (or fizzling out after a few weeks of effort).
Instead of only prioritizing goal-setting at the start of the year, take time to assess your goals each month. This lets you make changes in real-time based on your life and your needs.
The final mistake to avoid as you learn how to achieve your dreams through strategic goal-setting is not giving yourself flexibility.
Although we’d all love to set a goal and remain totally focused and on track throughout the year, having strict deadlines or rules isn’t always a good idea. Of course, you’ll want to have an idea of what you need to do and when.
But as a photographer (and let’s face it…as a human being, too!) things come up. Give yourself the grace and flexibility to build positive habits and take time off from your goals when you need to. After all, there are more important things in life than achieving your goals.
Now you know the key mistakes to avoid as you learn how to achieve your dreams! These goal-setting mistakes are huge distractions from finding success.
Now that you’re aware of them, it’ll be so much easier to work without fear and strategically select and work toward the right goals at the right time.