Defining Your Goals and Metrics
What I really want to shape your mind to think about is that most people don't even start here most will start elsewhere, you know, according to inc magazine, more than eighty percent of small businesses, so they don't even keep track of their goals. I think we all agree that that's pretty common, I know that sometimes when I write down goals, I don't ever get around looking at them, but it's so important, and what I want to do is actually change your mindset in the way you think about goals, and I actually want to change it to to really, I want to challenge you to think about your goal as singular, and I want your goal to be more of a purpose than a goal, and what we really want to do is create metrics to support that goal because goals are great, but what we really are talking about most the time we were talking about goals is metrics we're really talking about metrics, so ah, goal might be I want to shoot destination weddings that might be your goal. That might be what you kind of g...
et a bed to do in the morning for your business, a metric would say ten weddings this year at ten thousand dollars a wedding or metric would say I want to sell five hundred dollars, in post event sales average a metric is not necessarily the goal it's what allows you to achieve that goal now a goal on the other hand is don't tie it to money it's not about the money a goal is never about money and I know a lot of people when I when I asked about goals here in the business roadmap challenge like will put one hundred thousand dollars something you know money isn't money isn't what were shot talking about when we're talking about a goal we're talking about a purpose and so what's your purpose is a business that's what your goal should be you know really what do you get out of bed in the morning to solve that might help you and that might push you further than just saying I'm a destination wedding photographer you know at shoot dot at it for example the company's goal is to cure the pain of post production for the wedding photographer that's what we all get up out of bed in the morning to d'oh and every single person who works there can get out of bed and do their respective job in the morning and know what they're trying to achieve that's the goal but of course we have metrics to achieve that goal and so metrics allow us to achieve our goal now metrics is where a lot of times we stop and we don't do as a business we might talk about the goal we might talk about the goals we want to travel more in our business, we want to bookmark clients who want to look better clients but the metric sometimes we don't ever come up with their kind of numbers oriented and it's not necessarily where we want to be, and so really what want to do it said it metrics for our business, so think about it this way. If you're wondering how to set a goal, let me just paint a little bit of a picture for you about how important that purpose is for business and then how important metrics are to serve that purpose. So imagine waking up in the morning and you eat your breakfast, you're getting ready for the day and you wander out to your car and that's great, you got to your car, you get the car and you don't really know where you're going, but you get the car. Did you turn it on your you're facing east sea? Start driving east, you start driving, you had a couple traffic lights, you see a starbucks off in the corner, so you go and you get a cup of coffee, start talking with a priest because apparently it's what you're supposed to do there, he enjoyed the experience, so you're at starbucks for a while you enjoy yourself, you get back in your car, you start driving again and before you know you're forty five minutes he killed forty five minutes you're you're you know three miles from home you have no idea where you're at and you didn't get anywhere with your day imagine instead so imagine instead you got out you got for the morning and you went to your car but instead of instead of just aimlessly going let's say you had a destination in mind let's say it's the beach I live I live in san diego so the beaches for me about fifteen minutes west and so we get the car were like well we want to go the beach we know the beaches west so we'll start driving west so we start driving west you know we way go west and let's send the road turns north and we're like I wanna go west the beach is that way so we wait until we see another turn we could go back west and we we just we aimlessly kind of try to get west and finally we end up getting in the area where west is but you know we're just wandering around and weak we get stopped it's very inefficient sometimes we might get their sentence we might not let's go even further with the example let's say that you got out of bed in the morning and you know you want to go the beach and you actually went ahead and got your gps ready or you printed directions we're talking the way over here this morning about how I mean can you believe that ten years ago we still had to print directions to go places I came and imagine that now I'm just so blown away that we actually did that and it was like ten years ago but let's say you printed directions as my mom would dio or you you know you have got your gps out you have it wired so you're going to the beach and along the way to the beach you're driving but as we all know what happens gps takes us on the wrong way takes us on a road that's blocked takes us on the wrong path and what I'm really getting at here is that as photographers we do tend to get up in the morning a small business owners we do tend to get up in the morning and sometimes we just wander over to the computer with our coffee cup and start working it's like well what I need to do today oh that's right you have e mails to answer that's right? I need to get those that job turned around that client today oh that's right ok, I have to eat that block post out and we just kind of do stuff so when we get up and we actually have a purpose in mind were like, oh my goodness here's what I'm accomplishing today and yet we still get sidetracked because that's what happens? Sometimes we have the best of intentions. We have our day structured out we have it's super plan we have the goal in mind we have the metrics written out and we still get sidetracked because that's how business is and that's how daily life is and that's why having a purpose and metrics to help you out is so important because we can constantly go back to those metrics as an evaluator and as something that we focus on. We get up every morning, and without that, we end up wandering around aimlessly just like our example. Without those metrics, we're going to pair those metrics with the system that we talk about in a second segment and so by lunch time, you guys are gonna have a method for your business, a system a lot of people talk about, how do we create a system for our business? And we're gonna have that laid out between metrics and the system that we right. We're gonna have the strategy for business right ago by lunch. Not bad, right? All right, so let's, go and talk about what metrics look like first, you know again to support this francisco doubt I love this quote, you have to understand what the long term goal means on a daily basis and that's. Really? What purpose is that? Something you can you can talk about destination weddings. But how do I do? Destination weddings on a daily basis. It's. A little harder. So, you know, how can you take your goal and make it an even more of a purpose? Something that you could get a bed and understand what that means. On a daily basis. Again, some more. Some more numbers here for you. I like numbers. Sorry. Seventy seven percent of small business have yet to achieve their company vision, you know, and that's a pretty astounding number. That's over three quarters of businesses that have yet to even achieve their vision as a company. And so, again, if we're building a business around you well, you know that looks like we have to know what that company vision is. And we have to know what the purpose of the company is. It's. Okay, let's, let's. Look at what metrics must be this's adopted from a common acronym. Smart. How many of you have heard of the smart acronym when it comes to goals and metrics? Great. So let's, talk about what you what each of these means and how we can apply those the metrics that we create so goal must be smart. A metric must also be smart. And with way we're talking about today we're going to talk about how they are with metrics so must be specific and that means concrete and highly detailed ok again how do I achieve something if it's not specific, how do I go out there and how do I achieve something like say I want to be a travel photographer well that's great but how do you achieve that went when have you arrived? What have you achieved that goal if it's not specific and so you need to put specificity to what you need to put something very, very specific too your metric and so metric needs to be you know I'd say have more concrete details to it you know think in terms of very detailed answers, you know, ten weddings a year well that's a great metro because that's very, very specific it's ten you know, you know if you got nine you didn't meet the metric if you got eleven you did better than the metric so very specific measurable again going back to it a dollar amount figure ah percentage you know, whatever that might be if you want to shoot travel engagement sessions if you want to shoot boudoir if you want to shoot landscapes, you've gotta make it measurable, you know? So often we set goals as company owners and these goals are just very amalgam is they're very hard to achieve and then we like what did you achieve your goals? But I don't know. You know, my goal was anyways it was something really cool and it sounded good. I told my mom and she was really happy with me and and what not, but is it measurable? And if it's measurable, it has to have something tied to it. That's that you can attain s a dollar amount is great. I want a book. Fifty thousand dollars worth of business this year. Maybe it's, not a dollar, but maybe it's a percentage. I want to grow my business by twenty percent this year. I want to grow my business by fifty percent. But something that's measurable. And again that back you can work on that. When you get up in the morning, you can work on knowing. Well, I'm this close to that. I want a book. Fifty thousand dollars of business this year. And I booked thirty. Okay, good. So I have twenty more to go. You know it gives you something that you can work with every single day you're out there. The next one is action oriented. So action oriented means that it has to be able to be something that you can take action with which actions need to be taken by you to achieve it. A lot of times we set goals that don't have something we can actually work towards it's something that just happens to us. One thing that when I talk to for hours a lot, they say is I want to be successful. I told I agree with you, but how can you take action towards that? What is success? That's? You know, whenever you're gold brings about a greater question, whenever your metric has a question it gets attached to it, it isn't it isn't specific, isn't measurable and is an action oriented. So how can you achieve a goal if it's just to teo, you know, superficial? I don't say that drug in a derogatory way. I said that, and just how defined it is, how can you take action towards it if it doesn't have something that has a finite definition to it? So our goals have to be action oriented and our metrics have to match that are metrics have to focus on action rated r realistic. So, you know, I do love the quote that says, you know, shoot for the moon, and if you miss your land amongst the stars and you even said it was slow, dramatic pause because it sounds so just oh, that's cute. I love that, but when you're setting metrics it doesn't work it has to be realistic now don't get me wrong push yourself you know it's not like you're going fired or something if you don't need this isn't in the real world ringing just small business but make it so that it's realistic you know, if you shot fifty thousand dollars for the work this year, I wouldn't put your goal in a million dollars for next year I mean, unless you have something going on that I don't know about and you should probably appear teaching, you know, make your make your metrics realistic make it something that you can't achieve that will push you but that's realistic and that's it's important because what also happens that's the side effect is if you do set your gold a million dollars the next year you feel like a total failure and you really didn't need to because there was no way you're going back going anyways on then last it has me time specific and we're great to do this on a yearly basis. I've even started to do metrics on a quarterly basis I've really tried to break it down every three months and in time specific is important because you know we have to have some spot where we can go back and analyze these these metrics we put out and see how we did with them you know I mean think of the day these air great but metrics truly allow you to adjust and adapt and that's really the most important thing about metrics going back to our example before imagine if halfway to the beach the freeway was closed the more you're prepared for that drive the better chance you have of getting to the beach the more you're prepared that if you have your thomas guide with you and your phone dies with your gps side you have a better chance of getting there the more prepared you are maybe you brought a map maybe you studied the route memorized ahead of time the more prepared you are, the more tools you have to focus you on getting to your goal number which is the purpose the more metrics that you have in place that will allow you to focus on that for your business the better you're going to do to get there and so that's why we have these do we really need them? No attend of the day the metric isn't one allows us to achieve success it's it's us doing it but the metric gives us that. That framework so is as any questions at this point we've been talking for a good amount of time so far yeah the chat room is already chime in and you're hitting a hot topic for a lot of photographers good great sam cox over in colorado ask do you recommend making our smart goals metrics public, at least with friends or co workers, is going public really help in any way? I would I would go public, but not in terms of your clients. I would go public in terms of of talking your mentors, of talking to your trusted advisers. And I would definitely that because then you have someone to hold you accountable to them and they get it's. Not like you're gonna get fired if you don't achieve those it's. Not like anyone's going to rake you over the coals. But what it does do is allow youto have something you can check in with you. Andi that's. The great thing about accountability is that sometimes it's that last little bit. We need to get us, you know, to get us from from from where we are to where we need to be. And so I would definitely recommend publishing them in some way. Shape or form. Think that's. Great. And we have a question from pro photographer. How long did it take you to establish your purpose? When you first started a really long time. It took me a long time. I thought goals were all dollar driven. And I thought that I should make my goal is all about the dollar figure, so I really tied a lot of and it's not because I believe that business is just about making money anything that's never been the belief, but I just thought goals always had to be very dollar driven and when I started thinking about goals as my per one singular goal and having that goes my purpose and then having metrics that allowed me to achieve that goal, it probably took five years into my business for five years and it allowed me to achieve what I considered to be success in one way because the metrics worked towards the purpose and the purpose is what I defined his happiness for me, you know, the purpose kind of defined mohr of what I wanted in my business and then I could set metrics that allowed me to achieve to achieve that and what my goal was all right, let's, keep going here, then we're going to keep going. We got a lot to get through here's an example of good metrics. So again, we've talked about what our metrics one of metrics, and so I already kind of gone through some of these but ten weddings in two thousand fourteen at an average price of three thousand dollars a wedding at least five hundred dollars in post event sales for two thousand fourteen event um, again, if we look at these these air specific there measurable their action oriented I can take action to achieving these they're realistic, you know again realistic is obviously in the eye of the beholder, but they're realistic for most photographers here, you know, time specific, so they're very time specific they have times attached to them. So this air, these are examples of great metrics that we could have and everyone's metrics are different and that's the great thing everyone's metrics will you based on what they want out of their business, but they need to kind of achieve all of these five characteristics just to review again, they need to be specific, measurable, action oriented, realistic and they need to have a time component to them. So let's look at an example with some bad metrics are so bad metrics are metrics just for the sake of metrics now where I went to school, I went to an engineering school basically ucsd, and that was where I got my degree in business management, but all my roommates were either biochemists don't know even know say it, it sounds so smart or engineers and I know oliver you're an engineer here, but engineers love numbers that's what I learned in college is that all my roommates love numbers and I could see engineers making metrics just for metric steaks and that's not healthy we don't want metrics just for metric sake we don't want to just make these things up out of thin air or give us too much that we can't accomplish is I would say if you're breaking it down all the way down to like I'm going to do, you know, three blawg post every week that have to do with the sun and the star you know, this blood post is going to be all about how I shot this and this block I wouldn't go that far with your metrics that might be your action items that you really break this time that's not a metric anymore that's more of a to do list now, so don't take your metrics from a metric to a to do list that's kind of the practical application of metrics just for metric stick that's bad too many metrics not enough action items so metrics are great but metrics aren't what you do metrics are what you accomplish so metrics are what you do metrics are what you're accomplishing to do list to do items action items that's what you do to accomplish your metrics so don't make metrics thinking their to do list you know, thinking it's your to do list don't make metrics thinking that's your action item ten ten weddings at three thousand dollars a wedding that's not meticulous there's no action item there that's an accomplishment and now I need to go make my action items to accomplish that so metrics are not action items number three metrics that don't drive the intended action that's kind of obvious but you know if you focus on boudoir you really wouldn't want to have metrics that involve you getting out and meeting more wedding clients that really doesn't do any good metric thing to drive the intended action now sometimes the intended action and the metric we're using it's a little harder to determine that but you need to think about your metrics and you need to think about that goal that you have for your business and just make sure that it's not too too hard of a you know, a path to get to that metric you know is it is it really was the best way to say it I mean if the intended action is your is your goal then you need to make sure you're not doing metrics said that kind of push you away from that goal and waste your time I think is really the overall point in that no record so one of you write down your goals, your metrics and then three months later like where'd I put those uh well just yeah now we're getting this year we'll get to it next year or I love it when I see the post on facebook or like a friendly instagram a photo it's like oh my gosh I just found my goals from eight years ago look I called just a few of them like awesome they're kind of a supposed to be revisited the year actually wrote him you know but it is good that you found him so no record that was pretty obvious but put him in a place where you can find them where you can look at him a lot where you can c m I mean you could you know you could put it right up above your monitor I've got to say if he had to go that far but keep a record and keep looking at them they don't do any good if you don't look at him like a fall through so again maybe you know that they're there but you're kind of avoiding it I was in line at starbucks a couple weeks ago I'm not even kidding about this and so the story is a little to do with this was in line at starbucks waiting to get coffee and the lady in front of me wass she's talking to a friend and she was saying yeah I really do need to get around to that near the girl said yeah it's kind of important it's the I r s and she's like well I just get so nervous I just I just get so nervous about I don't want to think about it how long has it been like it's been three years since I paid my taxes it's like, oh my gosh that's not good, not good so lack of follow through don't avoid it just because it's scary or because maybe you're not you haven't achieved every metric it's ok bad metrics are metrics we don't follow through on and you can't achieve any metric that you don't follow through on and so I know that they could get overwhelming sometimes when you go back and looking like oh my gosh, I am nowhere near that that metric of mine and that you know I really fell short there it's okay it's okay it happens that's what we have, you know, several metrics that's why it's a journey that we're on but keep looking at him keep looking and keep working towards it and no benchmark so a benchmark would would kind of going back to that is it has to be measurable and it has to be specific if it's not specific and measurable if it doesn't have that benchmark to it, then it's not a goal that we can really work towards it it's not metrics we can apply towards that. So you know for you guys, what would I say to you? I'd say to have one goal and have many metrics I'd say that what you really want to do is have a purpose have what you get a bed for you know what do you get up in the morning to do with your business you know and a lot of you wrote in on this business roadmap challenge all the things that you want your business to be and I was I was really touched by so many people and what they what their goal is for their business and how they want to touch people how they want to work with people how they want to impact people that's what a goal is you know unease either way to think of a goal is just started with I believe I believe and then go and make one sentence about what you believe and that can actually become your goal that could become your purpose you know I never forget it's so easy when you talk about she's done it this way because that was so easy for me because I started that business almost by accident because I was so overwhelmed with editing weddings that I had myself and garrett we hired someone in train someone to edit our weddings for us and I'll never forget the feeling when I got my first wedding back on their forget it I remember back then it was on discs talk about it like it was years and years and years ago but it was on the disc and I popped the disk in my in my dvd player and I open it up and it was just like it looked better than I've ever, you know? I mean it it looks great and I just rember feeling this burden like, taken off of my shoulders and so that's why our goal is I want everybody to feel that to feel that burden being released that's why our goal is to cure the pain of post production for wedding pros and you can start that with I believe, you know, so why am I here on creative live? I'll tell you this is what I believe for creative life and this is what I believe for the photographers that were talking to today, I believe a business should be designed to make you happier and if I can help you out of the next three days that's my goal that's my purpose for the next three days and being here and that's why I educate photographers in any way that I can you know, the next three days I'm sharing with you guys my successes, I'll be sharing with you guys. A lot of my failures will have a lot of laughs over some of the embarrassing things I've done, but my my my purpose for you is that I think your business should be there to make you happier and my purpose is to help you get there that's why I'm here and I want you guys to have that purpose for your business I want you guys to know we'll get you out of bed in the morning and then have metrics to help you achieve that purpose and then the action items that come out of those metrics so I think what's really challenging about this is that this sounds really great and it sounds like something that we all want to do but when it comes down to it, how do we actually do it? You know, it sounds really great I want to have ah really nice lofty purpose or hear that sounds so poetic but in the actual practical day to day of paying bills and of making this business work for me, how do I actually go down to that and had I drill down to that deep, deep level and so I just want to challenge you guys and throughout the next three days we're really going to be showing you how to do that it'll come to you kind of slowly it's going to something after work towards if it happens quickly, it probably isn't really the right answer you know it's something that's hard to find in your business that purpose that thing but if you kind of pull away all of the different things that go into the day to day stresses of owning a business if you pull back the layers of the financial situation of the stress of deadlines of the confidence and fear factors of the you know, the dead having to keep up with doing this the amount monotonous things that go along with a bit of you pull all those layers back there is a reason deep down that you started this business of yours there there's a reason you wanted to make a difference you wanted to have an impact someone told you someone online that you were really good at this that you change the life that you made a difference and if you pull back all of those layers and I know they're there the stress, the financial commitment, the fear, the I'm not good enough the I don't have the right equipment the all the different things that exist on a day to day basis that kind of cloud our vision for a purpose it's there I'm not saying that we don't pay attention that stuff like the girl in line at starbucks, but I am saying it getting rid of that helps to kind of figure out what the purpose should be and then we need to create metrics we need to create metrics. So again, what were those metrics we had before ten weddings and thousand fourteen an average price of three thousand dollars just examples I'm not by any stretch of imagination saying that this should be everybody's goal or raise metric they follow my goal shouldn't be your goal my metric shouldn't be your metrics these aren't even my metrics I just pulled these from other photography that I've talked with at least five hundred dollars in post event sales for two thousand fourteen wedding again not my metric just a metric that I've pulled from talking to photographers I'm just trying to give you examples of metrics here's some other metrics that I think can give you some ability to move forward in your business you know it's not just about what you book but about what you challenge yourself to do meet with two vendors from every wedding that I shoot in two thousand thirteen we're going to talk all about how big of a deal vendors can be in the afternoon segment and how much they can help your business and so maybe after that segment you're going to say and I want to meet with two vendors uh from every wedding that I that I shoot and talk to them I would ask them how I can best refer them so we can work together more in two thousand fourteen that's pretty specific that's action oriented I missed measurable that's measurable not snowing smart right so stick to the smart specific it's measurable we can measure that did I meet with two vendors or did I not its action oriented and so it's it's given us an ability to take action after the wedding? I have action that I can take now it's realistic to vendors one's, probably never gonna respond your email, so you really want to meet with one, probably, you know, and so, you know, that's, really very realistic for you to get to on bennett also is, you know, it has a time to it. It has a time frame to it, and I think what's also best is, I like to put in little things, like, how can I ask how I can best refer them so we can work together in two thousand fourteen? And that also helps me with my framework. So it's, not just this metric, I post somewhere, but it actually has meaning to me, it's, like, ok, the reason that I have this metric here is tio increase my business, but it's also to help my fellow business owners, and I need to learn how I can do that before I can expect to help them out.