Goal setting moves us forward and keeps us accountable. It prevents us from aimlessly failing. It keeps our ego in check.
So, let’s talk about goal setting as we set out to grow from 0 to 10M followers or whatever your end goal is.
Set clear goals
There should be as little ambiguity as possible when you get to the target. Did you succeed or fail? Both are okay. For example, the goal of becoming the most popular creator is vague. How do we define the most popular? Which platform? In what genre? The goal of becoming the most popular IRL creator is also ambiguous. We still do not know what popularity means, and we do not know the time horizon. Here are examples of specific, clear goals:
- Get to 100 followers in next 30D is helpful and specific
- Miss <5% of streaming sessions that I commit to in my schedule over the next 30D
- Maintain >0 concurrency for ten consecutive days
- Do at least one collaboration with another creator this quarter
Realistic, but ambitious
The goals must be somewhat achievable but ambitious. Do not set unrealistic goals that are too far out, but also try to stretch. An example of an unrealistic goal that is too far out is also an example of an unclear goal. Become the #1 creator on YouTube might be a bit too now for most of us. At the same time, do not be afraid to fail and try to achieve things that are outside your comfort zone. If you are already averaging ten concurrent viewers, your next goal shouldn’t be 12 — let’s go for 30 or 50. Goals are deeply personal, and it is hard to give specific advice. The one thing that we will say is that if in doubt, shoot higher. Be ambitious!
Break them down into components parts
Long-term and short-term. That’s right. We talked about this a lot. We had a planner. We must keep bringing it up. Why? Because the path you are on is going to be hard. Growing as a creator is hard. Doing anything worthwhile is hard. And so, you absolutely must break down your path into components parts to avoid getting lost, to prevent losing morale, to keep yourself accountable. The same way that games have checkpoints. Let’s pick a larger goal that you have and aim to break it down into at least three parts. What will that look like?
A famous stoic philosopher believed that the main task in life is to recognize what we can and cannot control and then determine actions. This wisdom is timeless, and it applies here because we must not pick goals on which we cannot act. We must be able to act — do to something that is within our control — to make progress towards that goal. If you do not see a clear list of actions that you can take to get to that goal — you should rethink your action plan or pick a different goal. Avoid picking goals that are not actionable.
Do not conflate goals with desires
Goals are things that you genuinely want. Desires are nice to have. All of us have many desires. Take a few minutes to reconcile your goals and desires; it does not necessarily mean that it is materialistic. A goal can also be materialistic. You can have an end goal of making $XXK as a creator, and that is your prerogative. The main task here is to prioritize. It is up to you to figure out what you want and what is superfluous. You can’t have everything.
Write down your goals
This step is simple but so important. Why write them down? First, writing adds clarity. It forces you to crystalize your thoughts. When setting goals — clarity is critical. Second, it keeps you honest.
Execute. Don’t be a dreamer
That’s right! Do work. Take action. Fail. And if you fail, that is okay, but at least you try. Everyone wants to be the next superstar creator, but few want to put in the work. What are you doing today to get that 5% increase in followers? What are you doing this week? What actions are you taking? Yes, it’s hard. Yes, you will fail, but without execution and work, your goals are just dreams. Writing down clear and specific and actionable goals is helpful. Taking the time to do that puts you ahead of many. Now, make sure that they do not end up goals on a pretty whiteboard that you bought. Now — you must do the work to make progress against these goals. Go!
Reflect and learn
Pain + Reflection=Progress. You will fail, and each failure presents a lesson and an opportunity to grow. You may try a new game, and it won’t work, and you will lose viewers. That is okay. What did we learn? You may decide to go to a few meetups to grow your network. Turns out that some of these were not useful for whatever reason. Good! So that didn’t work, and we can now remove this path from our arsenal of tools to grow and we can adjust. Do we go to different meetups to avoid these specific kinds? Do we not go to meetups at all because they impact your schedule too much? What is learning? Try to extract learning from everything you do, regardless of results. It should be deliberate practice. And it will help you grow.