The other day the lady duo over at Think Creative Collective shared this fun fact on Instagram.
Many years ago, Harvard did a study on some graduates of their MBA program — aka some of the smartest people in the country. 84% of them didn't have any specific goals upon graduating, 13% claimed they had them, but not in writing, and 3% had written goals and plans.
A decade later Harvard interviewed the same class of graduates. And can you guess where this is going?!
The 13% who had goals but not in writing were earning on average 2x as much as the 84% of those who had no goals at all. AND the 3% who had clear, written goals were earning on average 10x as much as the other 97% of graduates all together. The only difference between the groups being the clarity of the goals they had for themselves.⠀
Goals are something that's always on our mind. But those thoughts are way-way back there. We briefly chatted about our thoughts for what we wanted to focus on in 2017, but we had yet to get intentional with writing them down. That was until I read that fun fact that you just read.
So without further ado, here are our goals — in writing.
Our guiding word for 2017 is "experiment."
About a month ago, I shared some of our biggest lessons from 2016. Upon reflecting on the year, it was clear that we'd gotten a little too comfortable and things were feeling a little stale. Our process were still working but probably not as well as they were two years ago when we created them, our documents weren't ugly but could use a solid update, and the list goes on.
As we chatted through how to fix this stale feeling, we realized how little we were trying new things. We were blaming a lack of time and lack of need.
These are good reasons not to do things, sometimes. But for us, they were excuses that were leading to burnout by doing the same things over and over.
So in 2017, we're determined to try new things. We want to make messes. We want to get outside of our comfort zone. We want to explore.
And we're pretty excited for the ride.
So what are our top goals?
We will launch a small line of products in 2017.
One of the big things we want to do this year is to experiment with our design skills and have a project where we're our own clients — aka, we get to design wherever our little hearts lead.
After talking it through, we decided to do this by focusing on creating a tiny line of products. We've got a theme in mind and an action plan in place for bringing the project to life.
This is a project that scares us because we really don't know a lot about running a product based business. But we have to remind ourselves that selling isn't the main goal of this project. Our goal is to try new things and test our skills in a new way.
We will change up the content we're putting out into the world.
Our blog slowly became another struggle throughout the last year. While we love publishing content on the regular, it can also get crazy overwhelming on us as we keep up with client work. And if there's one thing we've learned it's that too much overwhelm can quickly lead to burn out.
So this year, we're experimenting with new ways to publish content. One way we're going to do this is by focusing on video content so that we're flexing other skills besides writing. We're both not the biggest fans of being on camera and we know this will push us to learn new skills.
Another big focus is to collaborate more by welcoming in some genius guest posters. Four Oh Seven exists because we knew we could do more together than we ever could alone. Collaboration is magic. And there are so many folks out there that have so much to share that our audience needs to hear. Not only will these guest posters help you learn new things, they'll help us to explore our skills in new areas.
We will refine our process when it comes to working with clients.
When we started Four Oh Seven a little over two years ago, one of our first big focuses was nailing down a bomb process. We knew that no matter how good our skills were if we didn't have a solid process and tools backing us up, it didn't matter.
And if I do say so myself, we did a damn good job. From the start, clients were always commenting on how easy and well organized it was to work with us. This has been something we take a ton of pride in.
But, a lot can change in two years. Not only are there a ton of new tools out there, but we also know a lot more than we did.
So, we're taking the first few months of the year to reorganize. This includes trying new tools and figuring out what works best for us now. Things might be messy for a bit but in the end. it will be worth it. This refocusing will give us the time later in the year to do even more experimenting in other areas of our business.
Have you written down your goals for the new year?
Or are they just floating around in your head?
Take an hour to think about it and write them down and let's be successful together.