Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Get S.M.A.R.T.

We all know the importance of goal setting. As the saying goes, “You’re not a failure for not having achieved your goals. You’re a failure for having no goals in the first place.” Or something like that. The point is, setting goals gives you something to aim for, a measurable task and a timeline in which to accomplish it. 

We’ve all heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals:
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely
Well, just as you would set S.M.A.R.T. goals for any other task, you need to do the same for writing your book. As an author, you can turn this goal-setting acronym into a guide to getting your book done and achieving some remarkable goals in the process. Each of the following should include the S.M.A.R.T. approach:

Writing: Decide how many words, pages, or hours you’re going to write each week. There is no magic number for any of these. It depends on your skill, your schedule, your lifestyle, and your dedication to getting your book done.

Measuring: Determine how you will measure the success of your book project. Some authors prize book sales as the ultimate measure of success, while others chart clients gained, speaking engagements conducted, or media appearances made. You decide what’s best for you.

Leveraging: How will you use your book to enhance or leverage your platform -- your business or cause? You might consider examining fans, followers, or prospects. Or perhaps, you’ll look at how much more you can charge for your products and services, or the change in your status and credibility among industry leaders.

Influencing: Life is all about helping and influencing others in a positive way. Decide how your book will help you influence your customers, community, vendors, family and others.

These goals are S.M.A.R.T. ways to become a successful author.

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