As you emerge into the new year it is a wonderful time to take stock of all the amazing goals that you achieved in the previous year and to recognize the unexpected opportunities that came your way. I personally do not ascribe to the idea that the new year means that you are a new person or that you completely change but I definitely think that it is a great time to refocus.
Part of refocusing is thinking about where you plan to take your creative business over the next year and beyond. Here are some ways that you can get your creative juices flowing to help you take your business to the next level.
Keep learning and further develop your skills
I truly believe that continual learning is fundamental to living a fulfilling life. In order to develop your business, you have to keep developing the skills that you already have and adding to your abilities. Think about the areas in your business that you would like to develop, whether it is improving your product, increasing your presence online or adding skills to your own repertoire, there are numerous opportunities to gain this knowledge. You can look for courses to attend in your local area, follow online courses or read an informational guide from someone who is successful in your business area. Networking is useful not just for meeting new people but you can also find out about events that will benefit you and talk to people about resources that really helped them.
Expand your mind, experience more
I learn not just from attending events or reading books but also from widening the scope of my experiences. New experiences open your mind to different elements that spark creativity in unexpected areas. One way that you can do this is to take classes in new subjects that you have not learnt before, for example a painting class or a DJ class, anything that takes you out of your comfort zone. It is also important to keep feeding your eyes, attend galleries, museums, botanical gardens, shows, watch artistic films, explore buildings with amazing architecture, visit new countries and cities and collect images that inspire you.
Set clear, identifiable goals for your business
When you are running your own creative business the big goals that you want to achieve can sometimes seem overwhelming and it is understandable for you to wonder how you are going to reach those objectives. This is why it helps to break your goals down into clear identifiable milestones. For example, if you want to increase your customer base by 200 people, break it down into smaller amounts of 25 or 10 people and set clear dates for when you want to reach those numbers. In time, you will find that you can reach that target. If you face challenges, you can make the necessary changes to course correct to get you back on track.
Surround yourself with like-minded people and connect with those that inspire you
This is important, not just in your creative business but in life in general. People inspire people. If you meet someone who is running the type of business that you would like to own you can learn from their experiences and be inspired by what they have achieved. You can follow blogs, listen to podcasts, watch videos, read books and attend the events of those that are successful in your field. You should also remember that there are people who may be at the same or a similar stage as you in your business who you can also learn from and surround yourself with. They will understand what you are going through, tell you what has and has not worked for them and you can grow in success together.
Now that you are focused and ready for all the amazing things that you are going to achieve, look forward knowing that you are prepared to expand both your business and yourself in 2018!