Archive for the ‘Goals’ Category

I’m stretching. Are you?

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

small__446531078Have you ever been on a stretcher? I was a couple of years back when I was rehabbing a neck problem. What happened? Well, I actually grew a bit, something pretty cool at my age. What does my growth have to do with your business? Well, it’s about being on the stretcher. When was the last time you put your goals on the stretcher?

During a conversation with one of my clients, we talked about stretch goals. What exactly is a stretch goal? I believe it is one that takes you out of your comfort zone. I think it still needs to have a component of achievability; and when you do achieve it, it will take you to a whole new level. You could also think of it as a breakthrough goal.

Why would you want to do this? It’s not really about even achieving the goal. It is about the kind of person you become by doing this. All of us face mindset issue in achieving our goals. By choosing one that is BIG, you have to be a different person. It causes you to expand your vision, overcome your fears, and face obstacles you might not expect. It lets you go to the next level in your business and life. And once you get there, you won’t want to go back.

How do you choose a stretch goal? Think of something that would make a difference in your life or the lives of your customers. Most of us set small, incremental goals that feel safe. When you set your stretch goal, it could be setting a financial goal of 25%, maybe 50% increase. That could make a difference, right? It could be to double your newsletter list. It could be to write the book you have been talking about but never work on. How would you have to think differently if you have a stretch goal?

If you set goals for the year, go back and look at them. Are they all safe? If so, pick one and make it a stretch goal. Then go back and figure out how you will get there. You will be rewarded in the end.

Two quotes to share on stretch goals:

We have found that by reaching for what appears to be the impossible, we often actually do the impossible; and even when we don’t quite make it, we inevitably wind up doing much better than we would have done.
Jack Welch, who coined the term stretch goal.

The major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes of you to accomplish it. What it makes of you will always be the far greater value than what you get.
Jim Rohn

About That Intention

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Intentionsphoto[1]For the last seven years, maybe more, I have picked a word to serve as my focus, or intention, for the year. I have shared the story before that I first did this in my yoga class. Kathy, the owner of our studio, passed a basket with words. I chose one, openness, and didn’t really like it. After all the woman next to me picked love, which I thought was so much better. I asked to draw a new word and Kathy told me the word had picked me and I was to go with it. I put the paper with the word openness on the computer where I could see it every day. I was not sure what would happen, but I just started seeing all kinds of things around me. I guess I was “open.”

Since that time I have had lots of different words to guide me through the year ranging from abundance to joy to last year’s word, consciousness. I wanted to live consciously, being deliberate or fully aware in all my activities. Yes, I saw a difference as the year went on. I spent time being conscious, maintaining a conscious living practice each day.

So, why did I make the switch from resolutions to an intention? It came down to the kind of person I wanted to be, not all the stuff I wanted to do or have. Sure, I could have the same resolutions everyone else made – lose weight, get organized, the list goes on. But that didn’t work because I was still “being” the same person. I had to make a choice to “be” a different person. That is what has made the difference, focusing on being.

So here we are, a week into 2014, and I have been thinking of my “word.” I have picked several words to try out, only none really are what I want. I thought of abundance, change, growth, permission, risk, faith, yet none of those words were exactly what I was looking for. Once I thought of trust, I knew I was onto something. It jelled, so to speak. And, as I mentioned it to a few friends, they each mentioned something that I had thought of. For me it is mostly about trusting myself to make the right decisions for my business and my life. Not second guessing myself. Taking chances and expecting them to work out. Knowing that the “how” will show up. It is also about surrounding myself with trustworthy people.

I have a book titled The Book of Qualities by J. Ruth Gendler in which she brings to life a variety of human qualities or emotions. This is what she says about truth:

“Trust is the daughter of Truth. She has an objective memory, neither embellishing nor denying the past. She is an ideal confidante – gracious, candid, and discreet. Trust talks to people who need to hear her; she listens to those who need to be heard; she sits quietly with those who are skeptical of words. Her presence is subtle, simple, and undeniable.

“Trust rarely buys round-trip tickets because she is never sure how long she will be gone and when she will return. Trust is at home in the desert and the city, with dolphins and tigers, with outlaws, lovers, saints. When Trust bought her house, she tore out all the internal walls, strengthened the foundation, and rebuilt the door. Trust is not fragile, but she has no need to advertise her strength. She has a gamblers’ respect for the interplay between luck and skill. She is the mother of Love.”

Have you picked a word to guide you for the year? If you have not, give it a chance. You just need to think of the quality or direction that you want your year to take. Need some help getting started. Think about what you might have resolved to do and ask yourself what quality is necessary for that? Or try a search online for character qualities and go from there. Lots of people immediately come up with a word that resonates with them. Others need a bit more time. Best advice is think of a word, mull it over, and if it keeps showing up (like trust), it’s the one.

What word did you end with? And, if you picked a word last year, how did that make a difference? Feel free to tell it below or on our Facebook page.

Book Review: Your Best Year Yet!

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Your Best Year Yet!

Jenny Ditzler

Grand Central Publishing; $13.95

One of my favorite planning resources is Your Best Year Yet! by Jinny S. Ditzler. I have been using this little book for years and recommend it each year. It offers a framework to define your personal values, identify the various roles you play and create goals for those roles. Here are some of Jinny’s questions plus a couple of my own:

  1. What did I accomplish?
  2. What were my biggest disappointments?
  3. What did I learn?
  4. How do I limit myself and how can I stop?
  5. What are my goals for next year?
  6. Where do I need to find education or support to get there?
  7. How can I make sure I achieve my top goals?

I find one of the most empowering aspects of Jinny’s system is the look at the successes of the year. It allows you focus on your successes and not get weighed down by what did not work. It also lets you get off the treadmill of working on your business to see if you really are on course.

Here is a quote from the book I particularly like: “We must prepare our soil before we’re ready to plant the seeds we want to grow in the new year.”

Look for the book at your favorite book retailer. Here’s a link to if you would like to learn more about the book.

Find Your CEO Hat

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

How many hats do you wear in your business? I know most of us wear more than one, particularly if it is a relatively new business. We have not had time to put the necessary systems and teams in place, so we are everything from the creative head to the shipping department. While that is how most of us start out, at some point we need to look to shed some of those hats. If we want to create a successful business, it is important to take an honest look at our skills and look at where someone else could do the job, i.e., take some of the hats from you.

In the past couple of weeks I have had conversations with several clients about their plans for 2014, and some have centered around the CEO hat. When you wear the CEO hat, you need to take “yourself” out of your business. That can be hard for many of us. I think it is because what we create is so personal. We don’t want our feelings hurt if someone does not like our art, and it can stop us from getting the information we need to make decisions about our business. We have got to remember we are making business not personal decisions. Yet it is critical to put on that CEO hat if we expect to grow our business.

As you take time to look at where you are in your business in 2013 and make plans for 2014, try to take yourself personally out of the business, put on your CEO hat, and consider what the right decision is to grow your business. Look for those places where someone else can handle the tasks and allow you put your energy where it belongs: having the big vision for your business, selling your business ideas and energizing those on your team.

Where is Your Return?

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

This week I am at a retreat with some other creative artists. We each brought our own creative work, and we are offering support or advice  – business or art  – as needed. For some, the time is to sew needed samples for shops or classes; for others, it is to do personal sewing or reading. I brought a mix of some reading and plan to make a quilt top. What struck me is that these are women who are doing good work and striving to get it out in the world. They are also good business women who know where their efforts pay off. My question is, do you know where the return is in your business?We are quickly approaching the end of the year, and it is a good time to take a look at how your revenue looks compared to the goals you set early in the year. Are you on track or will you have a shortfall? Are your expenses in line? Have you looked at where the money comes in and where it goes out? For example, you may think that your fabric line sells a great deal, only when you go back and look at the royalty earned compared to your total revenues, you may be surprised it was not as high as you expected. Likewise you may have an activity that happens infrequently and it brings in more than you remember. You cannot make decisions based on something you do not know, so you need to look at your books.You still have time to make a difference in how the bottom line turns out in your business for 2013, plus you will have a better start on 2014. Take time to review what is working in your business and do more of it. And, if you have questions, set up a time to chat with an accountant to see what you can do to get better control on the financial end of your business.

Please share what you learned by looking at your books and what actions you’ll take below.

Is It Time for a Business Retreat?

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Before the fall starts, show season is in full force and you start thinking about the holidays, try to set aside some time in the next week or two to work “on” your business. I think the business retreat is a great way to do this.

All of us find it really easy to work in our businesses but do you work “on” our businesses? I’d always heard about this concept, but didn’t really understand it as much in the early days of my business. Well, that was because I was spending all my time working “in” my business. Much of what I learned about this concept came from the E-Myth people, particularly Michael Gerber’s book The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It. The premise is that we can’t grow our business if we spend all our time doing the work in the business; i.e., being the technicians or doers. We have to learn and utilize management and entrepreneurial skills to build the business. Your goal should be to have your business work for you, not you working for it.

So, is all your time spent “doing” the business?

Here are four ways to strive toward working on your business:

  1. Develop a clear vision about the path your company will take. This clarity is critical for you and for any people that you hire, whether full-time or on a project basis.
  2. Take time to work on your business. I’ve heard from numerous quilters in business – longarm quilters to commission art quilters – that you need to spend two-to three hours marketing your business for every hour you spend fabricating your art. The best approach here is to set aside the time that works for you to do this. It could be three hours every morning or it could be every Monday and Tuesday. Sometimes you need to try working on your business in a different surrounding. I have a friend who goes to the local café each week to work on her business. The goal is set a time consistently to do this.
  3. Look for ways to create systems in your business. This could be anything from a system to contact potential buyers to a system to process orders. Systems make a difference in how much time you don’t spend as a technician or doer. I’m continually looking at what I do to see if a system could be initiated.
  4. Work on yourself. In addition to spending time working on your business, you need to work on yourself. The late Jim Rohn said, “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job. The major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become.” And, who you become as a person spills over into your business.

I’ve blocked a couple days for this and am thinking about going somewhere outside my home. It’s easier to do this without distractions. Good luck with your retreat and the plans you come up with.

Please share your best business lesson on the blog.



Are You Focusing On MGAs?

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

U.S. Coins and Paper MoneyAs a creative entrepreneur you probably struggle with a large to-do list. I know I do. Even as your business grows and you have assistance, it can still seem overwhelming to get everything done in the allotted time you have.

The key is to put money generating activities (MGAs) at the top of the list. If you look at the last five things you did in your business, how many were related to sales or marketing in your business? You need to prioritize those activities if you are going to bring income into your business. Here are some tips to do that.

  • Capture all the things that you need to get done in one place. No more sticky notes or little pieces of paper. You can create one master to-do list or one for each project. Just the act of getting the tasks out of your head frees up thinking and working energy. I like to use a sheet of paper in a three-ring binder.
  • Go back and decide what you need to do today. You will probably have other tasks to add each day that may not be on your master list. Rank the activities so you can see how many are really money-generating activities. You can use A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, C, etc., ranking system to prioritize them. “A” tasks are those which will make you money.
  • Get going and finish your A1 task before moving to your A2 task. It will take disciple to stay focused on those A tasks, and that’s what you need to do to generate an income.
  • Look at the tasks you are doing with the thought that maybe someone else can do them. Consider taking one of these and train someone else to do it. You’ll be able to spend your time on MGAs while your team can handle other work. You’ll actually be happier and more productive.
  • Watch getting sidetracked by little tasks. It’s easy to look at the list and think you can winnow the list down by doing some quick items, e.g., the phone call, answering email, checking your Pinterest page. I’ve tried that and what happens is that I don’t get to the big stuff because I did the little stuff.
  • At the end of the day, look at what you accomplished. Ta-da!

Please share your tips about how you stay focused on MGAs below.

The 1977 Granada

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

ToronadoWith traveling so much in May, the weeds got ahead of me. Way ahead of me! Weeding is not a chore I enjoy. I’d much rather sit outside and enjoy the fresh air and read or take a walk. About this time I found a note from a young man in my neighborhood looking for work so I gave him a call. He was off from college and wanted to earn extra money. He had a big goal. He was the recipient of a 1977 Granada, a classic car. Only problem was the car needed some cosmetic work that he and his dad could do and he needed to buy insurance.

What did I learn from this young man?

  1. Knowing your why is huge. Tim, that’s the young man’s name, said he needed the car because it would make the right impression. It was an impression that he wouldn’t get with the family’s old pick-up truck.
  2. Create a plan and work the plan. Tim showed up at my house with calendar pages for May through August printed out. He knows how much money he needs to make to maintain the car. He has the calendar filled in with odd jobs ranging from yard work to dog walking so he can accomplish that.
  3. Set deadlines so you can work toward your goals. Tim plans to take a “lovely young woman” out on on June 16th, so he’s got a deadline. He wants that good impression. He has other deadlines along the way, but that’s the first one.
  4. Look for options and ask for help. Tim has outlined how much money he needs to make, only it will take the summer to make enough to pay the insurance. (That’s not counting on the money for gas!) To meet his goal, he had to look at other options. His older brother, after reviewing the plan, is loaning Tim the money for the insurance. The older brother considers it a good risk.
  5. Don’t forget yourself. When Tim was setting his calendar, he put in the fun activities he had planned so that working toward his goal didn’t consume all his time. It’s easy for those of us who work for ourselves to finish one task and then jump right into the next.

While I could see all the specifics of a good business plan here, what was most fun for me was the joy that Tim had in telling me about the car, how he was fixing it up, and the impression he knew it would make. It was a good reminder for me about looking for the joy in my goals.

Now I’ve got to keep a lookout on the 16th to see the car tooling up the road.

Please share your thoughts below.

How Good Are You At Juggling?

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
Last week I noticed that one of my Facebook friends commented that she was juggling a lot of balls in the air. Can you picture yourself there? I certainly can. At any given time I have editorial duties for the magazine, content to write or deliver related to IAPQ, new orders to fill, lectures to prepare for Quilt Market, coaching calls with clients, not to mention the various balls I’m juggling as a wife, sister, aunt, friend, and homeowner or any other volunteer position I might have. It could truly make you dizzy.
And, I know your life isn’t any different than mine. How do I – and you – manage to juggle these responsibilities and not succumb to the falling balls? Here are a few tips:
1. Start with a list of our your responsibilities and relationships. For example, your work and what it entails; your family duties; your personal care needs, such as that massage or exercise; outside activities, such as church or your guild.
2. Write down everything you need to do currently. If you can get it out of your head and onto one list, you can get some control.
3. Once you’ve got your list, get the tasks into your calendar.
4. Set a deadline and set to work on completing the tasks. This lets you be in control.
5. Learn to set priorities. Not everything on your list needs to be done, does it? Be ruthless about what is really important and what is not. And be ruthless about which responsibilities and relationships are most important and when.
When I start to feel overwhelmed by all the juggling I have going on, I remember an interview I watched with news anchor, Diane Sawyer. She talked about how life is like juggling. We are juggling glass balls (family and health being two examples) and plastic balls (some of the less important stuff). She emphasized to make sure we didn’t drop the glass balls. The plastic ones could drop and not cause too much trouble. But the glass ones are a different story.


Please share your thoughts on juggling on the blog 



Please do! Just use it in its entirety and be sure to include the blurb below.
Morna McEver Golletz is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Professional Quilters, an association to help quilters, fiber artists and other creative arts entrepreneurs build business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at

Are You Aiming Too Low?

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

stretch goalI had a conversation with a friend last week about growing our respective businesses. It was about how big we wanted to get. The conversation centered not on making lots and lots more money, not to say that making a good income should be ignored. It centered on how many people we could impact, whether that was the initial person we worked with, or the people that person influenced, or further down the line. You know, the ripple effect.

So, I ask you, are you thinking beyond the person you are helping right now? Are you thinking about how big of an impact you have beyond that?

If not, go back and look at those goals you wrote. They are written, right? Look at how you can reach more people and create more value. And when you do this, you change the lives of those people and the people in their lives.

I start each day with a list of questions for myself, and, yes, some are revenue based. Beyond that is, “What is your stretch goal for today?”

Funny thing, once I started thinking about my impact in a broader sense, my business was more challenging, more fun and more rewarding.

Here are a couple of favorite quotes about human potential:

“The potential of the average person is like a huge ocean unsailed, a
new continent unexplored, a world of possibilities waiting to be
released and channeled toward some great good.”
Brian Tracy

“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is – infinite.”

William Blake


Please share your thoughts and experiences below.