The power of goal setting is undeniable. It’s true that they can be intimidating, but instead of avoiding them, learn how to use them to your advantage! When you utilize your goals to help you instead of hurt you, they can be the key to success, especially while running or starting a small business. Maggie of Tiny Love Design had a few things to say on the matter as well.
Goals encourage accountability.
Whether we’re accountable to ourselves or to others, setting goals makes us liable for something. Accountability is the foundation for success within a small business. Achieving goals is proof of progression. Maggie commented, “Ideas live in my head, but goals live on paper. Writing it down means that I’m holding myself accountable, and I’m going to do all I can to make it happen. And if I’m going a step further, I’ll tell someone about my goal.”
Tiny Love Design was started with an obsessive love of typography, a garage/spare room-run printing press, some gritty hard work, and goals. The designer and owner of the small business is Maggie, who would see typographic blemishes in signs, wall prints, and graphic tees that drove her mad. With the help of her husband, she decided to do something about it: start a typographic business with a high standard of design. Tiny Love Design is a shop of type-inspired prints and graphic tees for women, toddlers, and babies who have a good sense of style.
Maggie started out with the goal of remaining completely local. That meant being a part of every aspect of the process—designs, printing, packaging, the whole shebang. This goal lead to the couple building their own printing press, running half of the print studio in their garage and the other half in their spare bedroom.
When you have a small business, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of being intensely productive and then losing that momentum. Maggie says that “Spacing my goals to a reasonable pace is key for constant growth in all aspects of business,” Maggie says. Making realistic and timely goals will do more good than anything. How else will you map your success? “If I’m not doing something to propel forward, then I’m not making progress. Goals are a great way to keep yourself from sitting stagnant, or worse, feeling content in stagnancy.” Showing consistency in your work will lead to results.
Goals can be overwhelming and seem unattainable at times.
If you are overwhelmed by lofty goals in a distant seemingly impossible future, you are not alone! Big goals can intimidate us out of setting goals or working to achieve them. Start small! Set reachable goals that will help you work toward a larger outcome. “Creating a subset of goals or to-do’s that will aid progression to the large goals helps shift my focus to something that seems more attainable. Instead of being overwhelmed about that large goal, small goals are easier for me to rap and complete. Then I’m that much closer to completing the large goal without all the overwhelming baggage we often feel with large goals.” You may have a large milestone to reach, but reaching for small milestones along the way will get you to your ultimate destination in a timely, doable manner. Know your abilities as well as your limits!
What happens when you don’t meet your goals? You learn.
“Completing goals is great, but accepting the failure of goals is even better,” says Maggie. “Failing requires even more growth because it means you have more learning to do. Don’t be afraid to make goals, but don’t be afraid to fail either. Just make sure you learn from it and get back on your feet.” Depending on how you face the situation, you can benefit just as much from failing as you do from succeeding. The power of goals isn’t in reaching them, it’s learning from them.
When you do reach your goals, celebrate!
Maggie celebrates by sharing with her followers on Instagram. (Celebrate with her at @tinylovedesign!) Sharing your success with customers will excite them. When you’re excited about something, other people will be, too. You can also celebrate in other ways—just make sure you take a moment to relish in your accomplishment before getting back to work. It’ll help you be more productive in the end.
Don’t lose sight of why you’re doing this.
Goals are great, but sometimes it’s easy to hyperfocus on reaching a goal and forget why you set the goal in the first place. Here are some final words of wisdom from Maggie before you move forward and set your goals to success: “Always make sure you’re still enjoying yourself. Once it starts to become ‘work’ and you find yourself wilting, remind yourself why you started. It’ll help flourish your mind with fresh motivation.”
As you move forward in growing your small business, remember to use goals to your advantage. Use them as a learning curve and a way to track your progress. Don’t let them intimidate you! As you set goals, learn from them (whether you meet them or not). You will step closer and closer to your success.