So one of my personal beliefs is that you can reach just about any goal (realistic ones - creative, whimsical ones like "teach my dog to do dishes" and "be President of the United States" - had to throw that in for you political folks! - tend to not fit my belief structure) by taking small, positive steps toward said goal. A blatantly obvious example of this is the goal of completing a marathon. On the simplest level, you clearly need to place one foot in front of the other repeatedly for long periods of time - eventually you'll get there. To kick it up a notch, you add some pazazz to the goal with some details like a target marathon or completion time. This makes the steps more fun to take, too. Then there's the fun of having multiple goals and working toward them all at the same time (or leap frogging with them). Life becomes a dance when you can get this moving in the right direction.
Well, enough of that crazy metaphorical stuff . . .
One of my current goals is hoovering at basic, only because I'm in uncharted waters and haven't figured out how to add a splash of confidence to quantify and qualify the goal. I want my book to be carried by running specialty stores. Here's how I'll think through tackle setting a more specific goal:
How many stores? All of them!
Is this realistic? Nope. It's more along the lines of whimsical. This is a fairly unique product and I'm one of two people on this team!
What's more realistic? As many stores as possible.
Can you make that more concrete? How about 6 in the state of WA by the end of the month.
NOTE: As it is MY goal, I have the freedom to revise it at will, so if I hit 5 within the next 2 weeks, I'll raise the bar, I promise. This is a short-term goal, afterall.
The good news is that I am already taking those small, positive steps to reach my goal! Today I visited 2 running stores and have one filled invoice! With one more store (maybe the second one I visited today?) I'll be 1/3 of the way to the goal - and these books will have a greater chance of reaching the hands of readers sooner (the ultimate goal of this entire project is to find good homes for these books!)! Hmmmm . . . putting numbers to this stuff is motivating - like it is for those of you who post your splits. Maybe I should start tracking that here, too. Hmmmm . . .
The hard part about this goal (you're thinking - how hard can this really be, Brianna? You go to a store, you talk with the manager, you show your book, you make your sale, you go to the next store . . . lather, rinse, repeat, right?) is that good impressions are made without children in tow. It's hard to sell a book if your kids are pulling the GU off the shelf or swimming through the clothing racks. Can you see it in your mind's eye? Me, too - really, ONLY in my mind's eye - I'm not THAT person! The point is . . . as a stay-at-home mom my time to sell books is very plotted and specific - and not scheduled in week-long chunks. I was fortunate today to be part of a childcare swap with a friend of mine. We swap childcare every week, which is GRAND (everybody wins!), but does make for a bit of a snail's pace for this specific goal compared to the amount of work I can knock out from the comfort of my computer. BUT . . . when I do get out to pitch the book, the steps end up being larger than what I can do from home, even making the wait worthwhile.
So, for this month's store goal: That's one small step down . . . and about 4.5 to go!