Blogger: Wendy Lawton
Perhaps you saw on Facebook that our fearless leader, Books & Such president and founder, Janet Kobobel Grant, announced that, for the first time, every single Books & Such agent surpassed her sales goal for the year. And that happened in October! Needless to say, we are putting our heads together to decide how to celebrate.
We talk a lot about goals. About this time each year, Janet starts reminding us that we only have until the end of the year to submit our financial, performance and personal goals. Yep, we have to think at least a year ahead and decide what we will be focusing on and what our financial goals will look like for 2019. In this way we share together and hold each other accountable. Each quarter, Janet sends us a copy of our goals, to remind us to keep our eyes on the prize.
This is an important part of our success as agents and as an agency. We try to be thoughtful, prayerful and intentional. With our financial goal it’s more than just trying to figure out which of our clients will be ready for new contracts. We are encouraged to go far beyond the expected. . . even beyond the hoped for. We try to put feet to dreams. It can be scary!
And it’s not just sales goals, although those are the easiest to track on the beautiful Excel graph that Michelle Ule sets up for us each year.
I’ll share a sample of some of the things I set as goals from a few years back. You’ll see that I’m not one of those who believe we should only attempt three to five goals. 😉 Or someone who staunchly chooses only s.m.a.r.t. goals. Guess what? There are no rules when it comes to charting your own course. Here are some of my goals:
- Explore deeper prayer adventures
- Continue to spend time with God each morning.
- Continue to maintain Prayer Journal
- Continue to work on Life Plan (longings, goals)
- Map out a “Day in the Desert” for reflection/ creativity every quarter.
- January—Wellness Week
- 3rd Quarter—__________________________
- Walk or exercise five days/week
- Continue to cook healthy meals
- In bed by 11:00 PM
- Up by 6:00 AM
- Continue to curtail travel (because of the havoc it creates schedule-wise)
- Work harder in a more compact 9 – 5, M – F time frame.
- Try not to work on the weekends. (Never on Sunday.)
- Discover new things. Revisit all the area museums. Continue to stay inspired.
- Continue to practice the home arts—cooking, gardening, flowers, baking, etc.
Overall Professional Goals: Take ample time to dream and plan. This may be the most valuable thing I do. Otherwise I’m just shuffling papers and knocking out product.
Professional Goals— Books & Such
Continue to concentrate my effort on published clients or projects with outstanding potential. Since I plan to compress my work blocks, I need to develop even better systems. I also need to control my day—being proactive instead of reactive.
- Reach a cumulative advance level of $——-.
- Achieve $——– gross agent receipts from Books & Such.
- Continue to develop a more systematic method for handling workload
- Continue to refine and maintain database and note systems— no longer relying on memory for anything.
- Continue to improve email management
- Handle email only once and process information in each email immediately—getting each task, proposal, request in its proper place so that it can be easily acted upon or retrieved.
- Maintain address book religiously
- Deepen editor friendships. Try to come up with some interesting ways to stay connected.
- Continue to jump on opportunities immediately.
- Continue to create bi-annual sales brochure
- Develop at least one innovative selling tool
- Be proactive about developing projects rather than just waiting for the right projects.
- Explore developing writers for corporate projects such as coffee table books for companies like ———.
- Keep track of any reprint possibilities for clients
- Blog one day a week
- Work with our team to raise the Books & Such cachet in the industry
- Keep in touch with fellow agents, encouraging and nudging.
- Continue to use Twitter, but sparingly
- Keep engaged on Facebook, trying to balance 1/3 professional, 1/3 personal, and 1/3 informational.
- Be prepared to set things aside if necessary in order to jump on new opportunities in this changing climate.
- Read key trade articles to make sure I’m aware of emerging opportunities. Don’t let the minutiae of this job blind me to the big picture.
Biggest challenge: Keeping track of everything. It’s getting harder each year.
- Use Day Journal religiously
There were several more, some too personal to share. Did I achieve them all? I wish! In fact I’m still working on many of these some five years later. That’s okay. We’re all works in progress.
If you could choose just one or two goals for 2019 that would make the biggest impact or change your life or career in the most significant way, what would it be?
“Thoughtful, prayerful, intentional.”
* That should be done up in needlepoint and hung over the fireplace.
* Thank you, Wendy, for being a Titus 2 woman, generously sharing your how-to-live wisdom with us.
Wendy, wow! What amazing goals you’ve set! I love how you have maintaining certain established habits as goals too. A couple of goals I have considered for next year are to streamline my writing process, developing better discipline in working on my stories, and being more productive with my time when my boys are in school.
Wendy, what a terrific post. I rather think that by delineating your goals so well, you’ve helped a lot of people whose goals are inchoate, and thus much harder to reach in the dark of their vagueness.
* I tend to set outlandish goals…like trying out for the Albuquerque Aardvarks professional rugby club next year. (You should have seen Barb’s eyes roll when I told her.)
* It’s really stupid, I know; walking is hard, sleep almost impossible, and I can’t get through one sentence without coughing for several minutes. Having one form of cancer would be unpleasant; having two really, really sucks.
* And yet, I rise each morning to face with a smile (well, more of a grimace) a horrid series of exercises that, a miracle awaiting, will help me run out onto the rugby pitch one more time.
* So for me, there’s goal and purpose; to live for the miracle I need.
Wendy, you have an incredible list. My goals for the coming year would be for my trust in God to grow even more, to finish my manuscript edits and feel good about it, and to become a better crit partner in my critique group (I don’t feel I have much to offer my sweet friends and peers right now, but I hope to grow, because they are helping me so much).
Thank you Wendy for this shot in the arm right before I take off for CA. I will have plenty of time to really think through my goals and dreams while flying homeward. Well, actually the pilot is doing the flying, I’m just sitting in a seat with nothing to do but read and think. If you don’t mind I am going to purloin some of your goals from this list like discovering new things and visiting area museums.
Wendy L Macdonald
Thank you, dear Wendy, for being specific in your goal setting; it’s an example I want to follow in 2019. Two goals that come to mind for me to jot down in my new day journal are: Believe. Be bold.
If I act on these two things, my goals will not only get written down, they’re more likely to be achieved.
Blessings ~ Wendy Mac
Wendy, your goals rather blow mine out of the water! I’d have to say the biggest for my writing career would center around consistency. Consistency in social media posting/platform building and daily consistency in actual writing, whether that is blocked out in time or word count.
“Continue to stay inspired” is my favorite. My mother passed late summer. I was her main caregiver. Before and after were draining on my mojo. I have 25 life hacks (yes, I counted them) that I consistently use to handle life well. They are spiritual and mental Iife-giving personal practices that have become habits with me. They were harder to employ well with the ongoing mental, emotional, and energy depletion. I say all that to say this, I need to “stay inspired” in the moment, because it is hard to do when circumstances are draining.
You must be fairly self-disciplined. Interesting and specific goals. Good for you! That’s the way to order your life and still enjoy the journey! Blessings.
Stephanie Grace Whitson
Thank you for sharing the details. I’m in a season of goal-setting and I get overwhemed quickly. Your example here is an encouragement.
Love this Wendy. I tend to have various goals for different areas of my life too. It keeps me moving forward. I enjoy working towards a goal, accomplishing a goal, and see what God has next.
Right now the two goals that would make a significant change is starting a podcast. I am working a seasonal job right now to earn money for the equipment. The podcasts go hand in hand with my writing. The second goal would be to flesh out the branding for my writing of therapeutic fiction, and narrative nonfiction. Both these goals would allow me to continue in the passion God has given me and that is using words in writing or speaking to vfc transform the hearts and minds of people, especially those who have had to endure trauma of some kind. I believe the writing styles I have can do that.
Thank you, Wendy for this detailed outline of goals. Congratulations to all of the Books & Such agents for reaching their financial goal this year. Well done!
This week was the first week after nearly four months of various family crises, where I felt like I could function… and it’s Thanksgiving week. Talk about something to be thankful for. It’s hard to wrap my mind around 2019 being so close, but so far my two main goals are:
1. Find the new normal balancing caregiving with writing (write every day, even if it is while in doctor’s offices waiting for appointments)
2. Boldly follow God’s leading to begin submitting to agents (starting that one now, before 2019) and trust His outcomes to be exactly as He planned.