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Goal setting in business: Discovering success


A few years ago, when I first started my boudoir business, my priorities were completely different than they are now. When I was goal setting in business, I was prioritizing financial goals over anything else.

It didn’t matter how many sessions I booked, how exhausted I was, or how much time I spent working, I would do WHATEVER it took to reach those goals.

In all honesty, I was running from an unhappy life at home and just poured myself into work. 

New Priorities

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He’s so cute. Vacation in Nashville, TN between Christmas and New Years.

Now though, I have a great relationship and a life I love and have re-prioritized all things business and life. 

My goals are completely different than they were three years ago because I actually want to spend time at home with my family.  Now, I prioritize my time with Tome over things such as financial goals, a full schedule, etc. 

I’ve also come to realize I love helping my clients more than just reaching the financial goals(although we all need money to live). I love to see my boudoir photography clients gain confidence in themselves during their session.  And for my coaching clients, I love seeing when things click and they start taking action to change their life and business. 

Discovering your version of success

It’s important to take a few days and really think about what success looks like to you.  Take some time, make a list of your priorities, and think about each item on that list. How important is that priority to you? 

This will help you later with your goal setting. 

Also, know that this can change. You CAN change your goals. Goals are not set in stone.

With COVID-19, I think it’s become clear to everyone that things can literally change over night.  We need to be able to roll with it when/if that time comes.

So let’s talk about financial goal setting in business

First, let’s tackle financial goals. I like to have two goals for this- the comfortable lifestyle goal and the big scary goal.

I break these goals down month to month. Why? Because things change in business so fast.  Do I have a yearly goal? Yes. But I also have a monthly goal so I can stay on track throughout the year.

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The comfortable lifestyle goal. 

Let’s call financial goal number one the comfy lifestyle goal. This goal is what you have to make each month to continue your lifestyle the way it is. Add up all your expenses like your bills, your grocery budget, entertainment budget, etc.  

So now you have your salary.  Multiply that number by three.  That’s the number your business needs to bring in each month to sustain your lifestyle and stay open.

Here’s an example.

Let’s say you need to bring home $2500 each month in order to sustain your lifestyle.  This would be your salary. Multiply that number by three and you get $7500. So your business needs to bring in $7500 each month.

By the way, I break all of this down inside The Photography Pricing Course with the Full Time Formula.  This formula helps you do the math, and it’s especially useful if you are trying to make the jump from side hustle to full time CEO.

The big scary goal.

The second goal is a big scary number that you really want to reach, but you may be a little uncomfortable with even saying it out loud. 

When you’re first starting out in business, which most of my readers are, I recommend taking your comfortable lifestyle goal(the $7500/month goal from above) and multiplying that number by three.  

Why three? Honestly I don’t know.  That’s just a number I chose one day and decided to go with.  It will produce a number that is scary, but reachable if you put your mind to it and implement a business plan that’s actionable.

So multiply $7500 by 3 and you get $22,500.  Your big scary goal is $22,500 each month. It’s scary, but you can do it. 

Goal setting in business and more time with your family

Whether you’re a workaholic or not, I want to encourage you to prioritize your family over everything else. You know this, but you really never know how long you have with anyone. Put the important people in your life first. 

So think about it.  Do you want to work 40 hours a week.  Or do you want to work 20 so you can make time for your daughter’s dance recital or your son’s baseball game? 

Maybe you want to work fewer hours so you have time to run your errands and do the things you need to get done for your family. This will free up time to spend with your husband in the evenings and weekends, instead of spending those hours keeping the house running.

In short, think about the life you want to live.  The lifestyle you dreamed about. What’s it like? How many hours a week do you WANT to work?

Now write it down and make it a real goal to achieve it.

Staying accountable

Goal setting for business is easy once you have those two(three) goals. All you need to do is build a business plan to help you reach those goals, and a marketing plan to support them.  Stay tuned for more on creating both in later blog posts. 

Now’s the time to grow your business.  Don’t wait any longer to start reaching for your goals and putting your family first.


Tracy Lynn is a boudoir photogapher for brides-to-be in the St. Louis area, and a mentor + coach for photographers looking to level up their businesses with better systems and processes.

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