Be a Goal Setter

 

Mom always said, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” I learned, as I grew older, that there is more than one right way to achieve a goal. It’s even more important to never lose sight of the goal.

Trying to publish a children’s picture book has brought that lesson to mind. When the goal is elephant in size, it can only be devoured in small pieces. So, I have the goal, and I thank you 12×12 Forum (admin/elves and participants). I have a plan broken into steps: days to write, to post and comment, and to read. I have a back-up plan, (self-publishing) and extra plans: Webinars, http://www.scbwi.org , and blogs at http://www.juliehedlund.com . Bases covered?

Haven’t you heard of Murphy’s Law? http://murphyslaws.net/ Plan on it. To combat something going wrong, tell a friend, tell a sibling, tell lots of folks. They will ask about your progress and encourage you. They may come through when Murphy strikes.

For one decade of my life I was an independent sales rep/manager for a direct selling company. I taught and sold needlecraft at home demonstrations. I set my own goals, earned commission.

I was about ready for work, after loading the last bag in the car, when our son threw his fast ball to his younger sister at bat. No, he wasn’t using the whiffle ball. Not only was there blood, but her lip was so swollen; and she lost a tooth. I called my hostess, thinking I would be driving to the ER and not making money that night. My spouse drove up the drive in time to make the ER. I settled the boys and sent her little sister to the neighbor. I went to work.

My hostess, and friend, told me to come when I could. After I arrived, everyone ate dessert again. and asked about my daughter. The orders were already added, totaling the biggest sale of the year. By the time I got home, my daughter was home, too. I met my sales goal, thanks to my spouse and friends.

Don’t ever give up, and, don’t give up to soon. The latter was a self-taught lesson.

Like most contests, the prize is not won but earned. Sales and recruiting had to be timely. For achievement during a three-month period the prize/goal was a fabulous trip for me and my spouse. I had reached this goal three years in a row. The fourth year I made a good plan and got everything mailed early. What a shock to get a call from the V.P. saying that I was less than $100 short. I recalled that my last hostess offered to mail in her own paperwork, after she collected from one other. I called her to confirm that all was well, but, evidently, it was not.

The goal was mine, not hers. Lesson learned: Don’t take your eye off the ball. If you want to catch the ball, follow it all the way into the glove.

The real Forum prize is learning: how to write a better query letter, a better manuscript, and amazing feedback and sharing from 12 x 12 like-minded participants and elves.

 

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