In part 1, we covered how the quality of your thinking can make or break you.
Missed it? Click here to get caught up.
In part 2:
Think about your Desired Outcome.
The reason you're doing what you're doing.
It's your End Game. It's where you want to be, why you are running this business, and why you are reading this right now.
Clearly defining your Desired Outcome is critical because it will serve as fuel for your ongoing motivation.
It's easy to feel motivated when you are happy and times are good. Anyone can do that.
The true test of the entrepreneur is how you motivate yourself when times are bad.
And times will get bad - that's just how this running-a-business thing goes. I will get into that more soon.
In the tougher times, your Desired Outcome cannot be a passing thought. It needs to be as clear as possible in your mind. You need to be able to instantly visualize what your life will be like once you are living in your Desired Outcome.
So - think about it. Where will you be? Who will you be with? Whose lives will you have impacted positively through your art?
And don't stop there - actually imagine the smiles on the faces of these people who are hanging your art in their home. Or explaining your work to their friends as they host a cocktail party.
Imagine the stories people will tell you about how your art has impacted their lives. Imagine these scenes with as much detail as possible.
TAKE A MOMENT, CLOSE YOUR EYES AND ACTUALLY DO THIS RIGHT NOW.
I'm 100% serious - this is not a trivial exercise. It has real implications on the future of your photography/art business.
So close the screen, turn off the phone, and indulge me for 30 seconds.
Now I'd like you to write down everything you just visualized. Type it into a word document, or write it on a spare piece of paper. Save it so you can access it later.
Here's the idea – when you take time to truly focus on your Desired Outcome, you are programming your subconscious.
Thinking positively has been scientifically demonstrated to create chemical reactions in your brain.
Just from that short session, I am willing to bet that you will notice subtle differences in your mindset, your motivation, and the decisions you make today and tomorrow.
In short, you should know that there is a genuine connection between envisioning success and acquiring the motivation to actually achieve it.
Alright, let's get back to the notes you wrote or typed a minute ago. You need to have this document taped up on your wall, placed somewhere you will see it every single day.
So if you typed it somewhere, print it out. Add some cool fonts and colors if you wish, but get it printed and brought into the real world where you can put it on a prominent wall in your home, office, or studio.
Mine is taped on a wall in my closet, and I have another just sitting on top of my desk at home. I update them somewhat frequently - whenever my desired outcome gets clearer, or if I just want to add more detail to it. Each update improves its effectiveness.
Every time you see your document, read it and be present in the moment. You will notice that the vision comes back into your mind. Every so often, close your eyes for a few seconds and let the vision play itself out again.
I, like many of the most successful people on this planet, believe this habit has a very profound impact on your life - and not just as an entrepreneur.
Tony Robbins, a world-renowned performance coach with clients like Serena Williams and Bill Clinton, calls this act “priming”. As he says it, “priming gets you in an energized, positive state that will carry you through the day.”
Super Bowl-winning coach of the Seattle Seahawks, Pete Carroll, firmly believes that you can create your own reality if you take the time and have the discipline to envision it clearly in your mind.
Dr. Joe Dispenza, internationally recognized for his work on how to program your own mind, says that “when you mentally rehearse the action you want -- if you are truly present -- your body doesn’t know the difference between what you are just imagining vs experiencing. As a result of this, the brain reprograms itself towards the future, and is no longer mapped towards the past.”
There are countless more examples, but I think you get the point. Having a clear mental picture of your Desired Outcome, and setting up a system to rehearse it on a continual basis, is critical mental fuel for the entrepreneurial journey.
"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right." - Henry Ford
Now that you have a clear mental picture of your Desired Outcome, let’s talk about how you are going get there from where you are today.
It’s time to get real.
This is going to be a journey -- you know that by now.
There will be ups and downs. There will be difficulties and frustrations. This is how it goes for everyone who is running a business.
No matter how talented you are, you are not just going to wake up one day and be there. You will need to get there yourself. By learning new concepts. Gaining new skills. Creating new habits. Experiencing the uncomfortable and improving the quality of your thinking.
The best part? You will become a better human being in the process.
If you've spent any amount of time looking at our advice here at Art Storefronts, you've undoubtedly come across the term "Small Wins".
We call so much attention to the concept of Small Wins because the journey to your Desired Outcome will consist of thousands of them.
By seeking out the Small Wins, not just the big ones, you will be able to stay motivated through all kinds of hardships. The key is to realize it is a marathon, not a sprint.
With this mindset in place, you can stay laser-focused on going from, for example, $0 in sales to $100. Or $100 to $500. Or $500 to $1,000.
What you won't do is attempt to go from $0 to $10,000 in a single month.
As a result, you won't experience the demoralizing disappointment of not attaining the impossible.
For that reason, it is important to program "Small Wins" into your mind as soon as possible.
What qualifies as a Small Win?
If you did one thing to move your business forward today – boom, that is a Small Win. If you did one thing you didn’t want to do today, but you did it anyway – nice! That is another Small Win.
Maybe it was making your first Facebook post. Or taking 10 minutes to learn how to study your analytics. Maybe it'll be getting a little extra sleep so you have more energy tomorrow to work on your business. Or maybe it's pausing your Netflix time for the day to do some marketing or learn something new.
It is so easy to rack up small wins throughout the day when you're actively attempting to do so.
In fact, you've already gotten one down simply by taking the time to invest in yourself by reading this post. Many, many others will not take that step. You now have the edge over them.
Earning Small Wins isn't enough - you need to consistently celebrate them.
To get back to the science of positivity – it has been proven that we can actually build new dopamine receptors in our brain by celebrating small triumphs.
The more dopamine receptors you have, the more positive energy and motivation you will have. It will give you that pep in your step when you get out of bed in the morning. It will also carry you during times of difficulty or frustration.
Therefore, just like your Desired Outcome, Small Wins are another source of mental fuel.
You can start leveraging this positive psychology by creating and celebrating at least one Small Win every day, or every week, or every month.
By “celebrate”, I don’t mean throw a party. I just mean thinking about it - acknowledging the win (however small) and simply realizing and accepting that you just got a little bit better. One more hurdle was conquered, and you should feel proud about that.
When a particularly exciting win comes through, be sure to take time to celebrate it properly with friends and/or family. Take some time off or have a special meal or dessert. I don't care how you do it, but be sure to spend some time smiling and appreciating what you've accomplished.
Before you know it, you'll be able to look back 6 months and see clearly how far you've come in that time. How much you've learned, and how much better an entrepreneur you are now.
This is the growth we want all our customers experiencing, and so we named our members-only Facebook group "#SmallWins". There, you will find photographers and artists from around the world posting their Small Wins on a daily basis.
Celebrating little successes has a profound impact on your day-to-day life. Celebrating them with other struggling entrepreneurs and mentors who appreciate and understand your journey takes it to the next level. Wait till you try it.
Now I'd like to send you on a bit of a mission:
Over the next 30 days, create (and celebrate) at least 1 Small Win per day.
Your only goal is to get to the end of the next 30 days and have gotten closer to your Desired Outcome than you had in the previous 30-day period. That's it. Don't over-think it and definitely don't let your mind talk you out of it because it sounds hard. It's not.
You don't need to double your results. You don't even need to sell any art. As long as you are racking up Small Wins, increasing your knowledge, and improving your trajectory, you'll have completed my challenge and will be on the right path to success.
Art Storefronts is where photographers and artists of all levels of success go to improve their business and reach their Desired Outcome.
Click the button above to learn more.
Nick Friend is an owner of Art Storefronts and a success mentor to its members.
He carries with him 18 years of industry experience, and is committed to building a world in which artists are the ones who profit most from their work.
Learn more in Nick's full bio.
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