When I look around at authors who have been truly successful versus those who seem to be floundering I see one distinct difference. And that’s a plan.
A good business owner of any kind always has a plan and she always knows that the plan is likely to change which means she’ll need to revisit it, at the very least, once every year. There are a number of things this plan could have and that really depends on what you think it needs to have.
Of course your plan will need goals. You’ll need long-term goals like hitting the New York Times bestseller list and short-term goals like finishing this next book. You’ll need financial goals as well as writing goals and you’ll definitely need goals that at this point in your career seem almost unattainable.
The most important thing to note is that to really achieve success, change is important and necessary. The plan you wrote ten years ago is going to look very different from the one you’re working with now. I know mine has. Some of those original goals might become less important as your career progresses or as the industry changes. Some of those goals might be more important. Even if the goals always remain the same, What will always change will be the path you plan to take to achieve them. At one point you might have thought publishing your first book would be enough to help you achieve that dream, but as you’re watching the trajectory of your career you might come to realize that this is going to take a little longer than you thought and you’ll need to shift some of your tactics and even your timeline to achieve what you ultimately want.
If you don’t have a plan or goals that you’ve written down you need to schedule some time to do that now. I have a business plan that I share with my team. It includes the goals I want to see for BookEnds as well as the goals each of us individually want to achieve. I also have a list of personal goals taped to my computer. Something I can refer back to as I’m planning my day, my week or even my month. Something that helps keep me in check. Some of those goals for 2015 have already been achieved. Some I’m realizing are going to take a bit longer and others are a constant work in progress.
When writing your plan, don’t be afraid to share it with others. It helps keep you in check and helps them help you achieve those dreams.