I think the defining characteristic of my generation is not knowing what we want to be or where we're going. Maybe it's what makes shows like HBO's "Girls" so popular. People can really identify with that. In the show, all of these girls are in their midtwenties and someone asks at least once in every episode, "What do you want to be when you grow up."
Lately, I've been asking myself this question a lot. It's sort of a funny question to ask when I work from home and am doing pretty well at it. But I'm asking all the same.
I started to take a good hard look at my business in spring, but it was in June that I asked myself the really important question--one I hadn't asked since I started working on making it go two summers ago: What do I want to get out of this. It's an incredibly important question! Without knowing the answer to this, how do I really know how much effort I want to put in? What do I want to get out of my own labors? I guess it hadn't really occurred to me when I started that this would change. It should have. My goals were all built around working to get myself and my husband into a place of our own where we were comfortable. When I started, I had 5 things I wrote down that I knew I wanted to achieve and I gave myself a deadline of January (I set the goals in June, 2010):
1. The financial independence to not have to work outside of my own endeavors.
2. Location freedom
3. Sell at least 500 pieces
4. Establish a definite look for my work and my shop.
5. Begin making my brand truly recognizable.
In a lot of ways, I've achieved most of these things (#5 is still iffy). Still, I look at what I wanted then and I realize that it was all very short term. I had images of myself working a year later, but not of where I wanted to be several years later or even ten years down the road.
Right now, it's not just about setting long term goals. What it is about is figuring out what I truly want and setting those long term goals to help me meet that.
...I haven't got it yet.
I wish I was writing this from the vantage point of someone who has really figured it out and set goals and put them into action. I have set more short-term goals, but it's just not the same, is it?
So here's what I put forth to you: it's not about deciding "What you want to be when you grow up," that's such a broad question and I don't know that it needs to ever be answered, but decide what do you want to get out of whatever it is you're endeavoring to do now. What do you want to get out of working in an office building, running your home business, or taking classes?
Sit down and write out what you truly want. What do you see these current actions bringing you? Work through it and really figure out where you want this to carry you. That's the hard part. Once you have that, it's easy to figure out how to get there.
By Sarah-Lambert Cook