Proverbs 29:18 tells us that without a vision, people perish. This is true even in the creative world. As Christian artists, we spend our time enthralled in our artistic passions because that’s the way God designed us; spending countless hours “in the zone”. However, when we’re looking to take our art somewhere bigger, enlarge our skills and really use them to build a business, we must start with a vision.
Big Vision, Bite-Sized Goals
First, you need to get clear about what God has called you to do. As a Christian artist, you may already know what that is, but maybe you need help getting there. So set your target, that vision of where you see yourself headed. After all, if you don’t know where you’re going, you'll never know when you get there. Write down what that vision looks like to you. How does it feel? What level of income are you hoping for? Are you selling your work and if so, how much, where and to whom? How does your business fit into your overall life? Clarifying who you are, what you want to accomplish and the life you want to experience along the way becomes your guiding principle, the spot on the horizon you’re always moving towards as enabled by the Holy Spirit. Remember, the Bible says in Proverbs 16:9 “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”
After you have your big goal, it’s time to start breaking it down into bite-sized pieces. I like to first break down the big goal into one-year goals. It needs to be aggressive enough to want to work towards, but also realistic. I call them SMARTi goals. These are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, have a time frame and incentives when you accomplish your goals. I like to add a little incentive for achieving them.
So, what do your big goals look like? How much money do you want your art business to bring in this year? Do you want to sell a specific number of pieces? What about learning a new skill, applying for a certain show or getting in a certain gallery? Do you want to record an album and get it out there on iTunes? Dream big, dream specifically and create your SMARTi goals.
Paralyzed or Powerful
As we all know, a big, lofty goal can sometimes put you in a state of confusion or paralyzation. We can get overwhelmed and that can lead to a lot of inaction. Instead, I invite you to shift your focus and allow that vision to become the fuel that encourages you to keep moving forward as enabled by the Holy Spirit!
One way to take the fear out of big vision is by creating bite-sized objectives. Once you have your big yearly goals, simply break them down into 90-day goals that are much more manageable. This way, every quarter of the year is taking a little bite out of that big one-year goal and closer to your vision. And even if you don’t achieve every goal you set, you’re still a lot further down the road toward your big goal than you would have been simply floating along on autopilot like most people.
Next, we’re going to break it down again. Every week, within your 90-day goals, set an objective. Now, you’ve created even smaller bites. To do this, I like to work in reverse and plot out everything that needs to be done for the big goal. Break it all down to little tasks and assign them as your weekly objectives. Accomplishing lots of small, daily and weekly goals takes you towards your 90-day goal one step at a time. And remember, every 90-day goal you accomplish is one step closer to the big, yearly goal. I know, from experience as a thriving artist, this will set you on the path to the vision that God has for you in your life. Do this and you’ll be amazed and the acceleration you experience.
I hope this has been a big encouragement to you. If this article has been a blessing to you, take a moment to share it with a friend.
Thanks for reading!
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Matt Tommey is an artist, author and mentor who is passionate about empowering artists to thrive spiritually, artistically and in business.