Goal Setting – Episode 011 – A Photographer Podcast Interview
In this podcast, Kia interviews Matt about goal setting. He compares goal setting to creating a road map so you know what opportunities to take throughout the year. He recommends brainstorming everything you want to accomplish for 5 minutes, dreaming huge and small. Think about where you want to be 3 months, 3 years, and a lifetime from now to give you short term and long term goals. Listen in to learn more about SMART goals. Matt also has specific questions he uses to reflect on the past to help shape the future; you’ll want to take notes! Then Matt explains how he turns his goals into action plans so he can accomplish them.
Resources – Questions Matt uses to reflect
What was the best part of 2018? What was the lesson learned from that? What was the most challenging part of 2018? What was the lesson learned from that? Who & How did you positively influence someone in 2018? Who made you laugh most in 2018? Who or what were you most grateful for in 2018? What still feels incomplete to you? What will you do to handle it? What would you change about how you managed your stress in 2018? What do you wish you would have done differently this year? What are you most proud of in regards to your finances in 2018? Where did you find the most peace and calm in 2018? What advice would you give yourself at the beginning of 2018? What will you do less of in 2019? What important relationship do you want to improve the most next year? What do I most want to be thankful for 1 year from now? What do I want to become an expert in the next year? What are you most excited about for the next year?
Transcription was done by Temi.com which means it’s an AI generated transcript. The transcript may contain spelling, grammar and other errors, and is not a substitute for watching the video.
Speaker 1: [00:01] Welcome to from nothing to profit, a photographer’s podcast with Matt and Kia where each week they talk to photographers about what is working in their business now so you can swipe those ideas and grow your business faster. Hello everyone.
Kia: [00:18] Welcome to from nothing to profit. Today is our goal setting show and I’m Kia bonderant and I am going to be interviewing Matt Hoagland about how he sets the goals throughout the year and I’m super excited because I have some ways that I do goal setting, but it’s not my main thing that I do where we have our new year’s show. We talked about word of the year and that’s really my way of starting the year. So Matt, I’m super excited to hear what you have to say about goal setting.
Matt: [00:50] Yeah, it’s really fun. This is something I felt like I kind of thrive in. I would love to know what my wife and employees think, whether I thrive in it or not, but it definitely helps me a lot and I feel like it moves our business forward in a major way. So yeah, I’m excited to share what I have to offer.
Kia: [01:06] Okay. So tell us about like what you do when you set goals.
Matt: [01:10] Yeah, so I think it’s important to set goals every year because it’s kind of like, for me it’s like a roadmap, you know, it’s really hard to know where you’re going unless you have a map to kind of tell you where to go. So it, it goal setting starts as the start of the process of figuring out what the roadmap is for the year. But, and part of the reason that happens in the roadmap happens is because you’re establishing priorities as soon as you say these are my goals and there’s actually I think a bigger part than goals which is called, which I call an action plan, but we’ll get to that in a second. But it establishes your priorities so that you can start looking at the world, your business, whatever it is, through a certain lens and decide like, okay, all this stuff coming at me. Like what actually, what do I need to pay attention to? Because you know, as you get a million opportunities in the, in any given year to, you know, to change things in your business, but if you don’t have your roadmap and you’ll have your priorities, you don’t know which ones to take and which ones not to take because they all sound like good ideas at the time.
Kia: [02:06] Absolutely. I feel like I always come up with so many things that I can just run around like a crazy person. So yeah. So how do you do that? Like what kind of different goals do you set?
Matt: [02:17] Yeah. So, well I have a couple of different goals. So one of the things that I do is I kind of design. I start the process. So like I said like a five minute timer and I kind of just do like I just write down everything I can think of that and dream up of for like the next year. So this case 20, 19. So all set. I’ll set a timer and I’ll say what do I want for 2019? And I’ll just write down all these different words and brainstorm it and just get it all out on paper and some of the stuff is so crazy that it’ll, it’ll never happen, you know, like win the lottery, you know, like I could write that down if I really wanted to and I can turn that into an action plan and try to win the lottery. But like that, that some of that stuff is so far fetched and I put a.
Matt: [02:54] But the secret is I do put that stuff down. Not that particular one, but I put far, we just read stuff down. So. And then even the little things and just that five minutes of quiet time by yourself running down. It’s amazing what you actually write down. So wait, wait, wait. Okay. So how long do you set the timer for? Five minutes. Oh, okay. Did you say that? And I missed it? Yeah. Just so just five minutes. And then B, you find yourself writing the same things down every year? Mm. Yeah. I mean there’s some core stuff that I write down that was kind of the same every year. But then kind of what drives our action plan for the year is some of the new things we write down that are come from the clarity of writing and those other things down. Let me rephrase that. So there may be something we write down five years in a row and the reason it never gets put in place because that’s maybe not the right way to say it.
Matt: [03:45] Eventually you get clarity around that particular word and it becomes, it morphs into a new word that you actually like, oh, that’s what it actually means. This is what I really want, you know, so like, like it may make more money maybe written down for five years, but you know, on the fifth year you actually, you say it’s not really about making more money, it’s actually about making my business more profitable or something like that. And then it kind of changes the whole thing. So total side note real quick and then I’m going to get back to the kind of goals with question, the kind of goals that I write. So one of the things that allison did recently, my wife, which was pretty cool, is she watched, I sent her a video and then she actually did this, which was amazing, cause I don’t even remember the video, but she took it into action is they had you write down 25 things that you wanted to do and then you’re only allowed to pick five because supposedly there is science behind the fact that you can only pick five things to actually accomplish.
Matt: [04:38] And so she, there’s 25 things she wants to do, but what are the top five? And then once you accomplish one of those then you can pick something else off your list, but you can only focus on like five at a time. So that’s kind of a side note that I’m going to look at doing this year. But with that being said, the goal to kind of the kind of goals I set, it’s like I have like one year goals. Where do I want to be from a year, a year from now? Where do I want to be three years from now? Where do I want to be? Just three months from now and then I kind of have like these lifetime goals, they tend to be around like retirement or you know, longterm super longterm things. So I kind of group, once I write down for those five minutes, I wrote down on my dreams, I kind of group those into like, is this, are these one year things, three things, three month items or lifetime items.
Matt: [05:21] Um, and the idea is I want longterm and short term goals to keep me motivated because you need short term goals to be able to feel like you’re winning, but then you need longterm goals to actually steer your life, ship a certain direction. Yeah, yeah, for sure. Um, and then the other thing that I always focus on, and I’ll get to this in more detail in a second, but I always make sure people have probably heard this a thousand times, but that your goals are smart and if you haven’t heard it, the idea I have, I have it written down here. So it’s basically, they’re specific, they’re measurable, they’re attainable, they’re realistic, and then trackable and some other people have used, instead of attainable, they’ve used like achievable, realistic, they said relevant instead of trackable, they said timebound and I actually liked the time, the time bound one better than the trackable one. So all I just make sure all of them are specific, measurable and that I could actually pull them off and know that okay,
Kia: [06:17] your, uh, your first list, your first list is like, just everything you can think of and you start organizing them into the different categories and then you make you change them to be smart.
Matt: [06:31] Yeah, exactly. So that’s kind of just, that was kind of like the overview of how I view the process, how you use the process. So, so one of the questions people always ask me is like how do I reflect on the past year and, you know, how do I actually get some of these ideas out of my head because, you know, like what do, what do I ask myself to actually think about it? Because, you know, goal setting can be kinda overwhelming. So I have a list of questions that I go through an answer, um, and I don’t necessarily just do this in five minutes, but I definitely make some quiet time for myself and I answer these and I don’t always have to answer them just in one day, but when I read, when I’m reflecting, so I say like what was the best part of this last year and what lessons did I learn so that, that flushes out some ideas. Okay. What’s the most challenging part of last year and what did I learn from that? So it brings up some different.
Kia: [07:24] The best part, the worst part kind of,
Matt: [07:27] yeah. Who, who and how did I positively influenced somebody last year. So that brings up like giving back and stuff like that. Yeah. Like who made me laugh the most last year? So that kind of like who do I probably need to be around more because I see them in a positive light. Who or what was I most grateful for last year? So that starts to really make you think, oh, you know, what was really good and just good reflection question. Right. And I have a bunch more, I’ll keep going. So what, what makes you feel and see what still makes you feel incomplete? So like what are you still missing or what do you still thriving after?
Kia: [08:05] Like frustrated about or like this the, I didn’t get that done.
Matt: [08:10] I also have a sub question for that. Like what will you do to handle it? So like it starts that starts the action plan process of what’s, what can I actually do about that? Incomplete filling. What would you change about how you manage your stress last year? So that helps you think, okay, what was stressful last year and what did I in hindsight now since I’m removed from it, what should I have done differently? Uh, what do you wish you would have done differently last year? That’s just kind of a general question. And then switch back to the positive. What are you most proud of last year? And I always do. What do you also most proud of in regards to your finances? Because finances are really important to me. A lot of my, unfortunately a lot of my happiness and um, how identify success and stuff is wrapped up in finances, so I just have to be very clear about that.
Matt: [08:56] But not everybody has to do the finance one, but you just have to keep it balanced. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Where did you find the most peace and calm last year? Just another way to think of ideas and I, you know, make you realize like this was a good thing so I should probably move towards that. Not Away from it. Uh, what, what advice would you have given yourself at the beginning of Twenty 16 or 20? Sorry. Twenty 18. I’m looking at a list from 2016 right now. And these, again, these are just questions I’ve picked up over the years that I thought are good reflection question.
Kia: [09:25] So they’re not specifically from any certain like these are, this is your personal list.
Matt: [09:30] Yeah. And you know, like one year I did the passion planner, so probably from, there’s a couple from probably that, but it’s a compilation of a bunch of different things or you know, I went to a networking meeting or something and whatever. Uh, what do you want to do less of this next year? Again, just about like balancing the positive and negative of what I need to move towards and what I need to move away from. Yeah. What important relationships do you want to improve next year? What do you want to be? I’m most thankful for in a year from now. So that’s just very forward thinking. What do you want to become an expert in next year? So again, that’s forward thinking and what are you excited? What are you most excited about for next year? So those are some of the questions that Kinda just helped me bubble up ideas of where I was last year and where I need to go.
Kia: [10:23] Okay. So, so you, you make your big list. Yup. And then you put those in the categories and then you ask yourself these questions next.
Matt: [10:36] Yeah. Okay. And these questions I just went over, they take awhile. It’s not like this. I just do this afternoon. Yeah.
Kia: [10:43] Like do you do it over a certain number of days or.
Matt: [10:46] Yeah, typically I normally put one good day and again get most of the way through it and then I let it sit for a couple of days and I’ll be like laying in bed or watching tv or something like that and something will bubble up and I’m like, Oh, I’m really grateful for that. Or that was really funny and I can add to the list a little bit but I don’t want to, you know, it’s all about reflection. So sometimes you just can’t reflect on everything in a year, like in a matter of 10 minutes, you know.
Kia: [11:12] Now, do you do this all by yourself or do you like view dialogue? Will Azure doing it?
Matt: [11:18] Um, I typically do it by myself.
Kia: [11:20] Yeah. See I’m such a verbal processor that I think I would have to do like a lot of it talking.
Matt: [11:26] Yeah. And I’m a verbal processor to boat with this stuff. I mean, occasionally I’ll ask my wife, you know, like, you know, maybe like how did I manage my stress last year? And sometimes she can give me some real talk that um, helps, but I don’t know for the most part it’s, it’s pretty. I’m pretty
Kia: [11:45] by myself. You want to, do you want to see what you really think? Like you want to
Matt: [11:50] measure yourself? Yeah. Okay, cool. So then I have to actually turn them into goals, you know, I have to start turning them into smart goals. And so what I do as I go through a whole process where I have all this stuff written down and stuff starts to get clarified. So some of those words that I wrote down on the five minute timer deal, get clarified in some of these questions or whatever. And so then I start really prioritizing and cutting down this list of stuff that you know, I want to accomplish until I end up with some very clear goals of like, this is what I, this is what I want to do. You know, I want to, you know, grow my business. Maybe where I start. And then I actually realized like, what I actually want to do is go from this many seniors to this many seniors, you know, so I can start to get more clear about how I want to grow my business. So one year that we did this was really good. We said we wanted to grow our business. That’s where we started. By the time I was done with this exercise, I realized that what I really wanted to do was add head shots to our business. So I didn’t necessarily want more seniors, more weddings or anything like that. I wanted a whole new product line. And so we’re able to do that. And when I was super clear about it than I could that I knew that’s what I wanted to do.
Kia: [13:08] So do you take this and compare it to allison or are you the one who kind of comes up with the ideas and then you guys and then she’s like, oh, I like that. Let’s do that together.
Matt: [13:18] Yeah. And so like when it comes to the business, yeah, I mean I’ll talk to everybody and say, here’s what I think. What do you guys think? And I’m a little bit more reflective than they are about it, but then yeah, I have to get buy in and stuff like that and. Right. And that’s kind of my next step after I do this in terms of turning it into an action plan, but the point I want to make with this is that you got to get really clear about your goals and then narrow it down to just the ones that you really want to, that you think, you know, our, our smart goals in a sense. So are, are they very specific? Can you measure them, you know, are they actually attainable? Are they realistic or relevant to what you’re trying to do now? And are they trackable or timebound and some goals won’t qualify for that because you don’t necessarily know how to track it or it won’t be time bound and so you just have to get rid of those. So I normally end up with like three to five goals that I really want to work on.
Kia: [14:12] Okay. So here’s my question for you on it. Have we gone through all the, like the process that you do?
Matt: [14:19] There’s just one last part where I turn it into an action step, but I can, I can get to that in a second. Go ahead.
Kia: [14:24] Well here’s what I want is like, tell me like an example of like how like a goal from the like, you know, like the first kind of, you know, like five minute thing to like the answer to a question like, you know, what was the funniest thing or who was it? Who did I have so much fun with you? Like how you actually turn it into an action step.
Matt: [14:45] Okay. So this is a good one. If it has nothing to do with my business. So I apologize that I don’t think it’s good but photographers are going to be bored with that. But. So there was this, I brainstormed and came up with this idea that I needed to like take care of myself more or I needed to stop self-identifying with work and money and stuff like that. So I needed to come up with something else. And so for years I thought about like a hobby in that, whatever that means, right? It was just too vague. And so as I worked through this process, I eventually came up with this idea that I really needed to do something different for myself. Like I really had to put myself first, which always felt so selfish, but I knew that’s what I needed that given year. So then I went through some of these questions and like there was questions like how did you manage your stress?
Matt: [15:31] And I was like not very well last year, you know, and so of how could I do it done differently. So let me look at some of these. Where did you find peace and calm? And this is where it led to this thing is that I realized like I wasn’t managing my stress well and I was finding peace and calm fly fishing. So when I was going fly fishing and I was like, this is, you know, like there’s just so much good stuff going on. So what advice would you give yourself at the beginning of the year is like, well, you know, remove yourself from the situation and it’s okay to go fly fishing. What is the best part and what did you learn? All this stuff. It’s a lot of it started coming back to this idea that a lot of these problems and things I needed to move away from and things I wanted to move towards fly fishing was going to be the catalyst for it.
Matt: [16:13] I could, I could reflect more, I could have more time to myself and I’m not a type of person that likes to be in my spot myself anyways, but it just, I’ve realized that when I was doing that it was making me a better person. It was making my relationship better. I was being a better boss and all these things. So. So then I moved into an action plan and figured out how to actually implement that in my life. So did that answer your question or do you want me to say more? Oh no, that’s absolutely. That’s perfect. Okay. So then I had, I, I turned all my goals into action plans and they has basically four steps, like what’s the timetable, what resources do I need to make it happen, who is going to affect or you know, who’s gonna be involved in it.
Matt: [16:57] And then I always come up with a backup plan if it doesn’t actually happen and wait, what does that mean? Like if you’re like, okay, this isn’t going to really work. Okay, so let’s talk about the fly fish in one for example. So I say, okay, let me, let me go through it and I’ll tell you what my backup plan was. So okay, so timetable. Like you got to put it a time to it or put it on your calendar or it has to be time bound. That’s so important with setting goals and turning them into actions. So what I said is that I was going to go fly fishing one day a week every single week during the year, like every. So one day a week I was going to go. I didn’t know how that was going to happen in the current situation I was in.
Matt: [17:41] But I just knew it was going to make me happy and make me a better boss. Maybe we’ve got a husband, all that stuff I said. So I was like, once a week I’m going to go fly fishing even if it. And Luckily I live right next to a river. And so luckily even if I was like, I’m just going to go on lunch, I’m going to go. And so rain snow 100 degree weather I went every single week by the end of the year I was actually going more than once a week because I then found people that wanted to go more often with me. And it was, it was really awesome. So the resources that I needed was time and space and you know, some equipment but not really. Um, but mostly the resources I needed for. It was time and space. So who is going to affect. So obviously in my wife slash business partner and then my employees and then my family as well.
Matt: [18:24] And I just had to let them know that this is what I was doing this year and it was important and they are welcome. They are more than welcome to go along with me, but this was something that I was going to do this year and super supportive. So now it’s an action plan. Once a week I’m going to go fishing and you know, I gotta make it happen, but the backup, I always have a backup plan. If I don’t get to go fishing this week, what, what can I do to make sure I stay in the right headspace that fly fishing gifts me and so I, I don’t remember exactly what they were because this was a couple years ago, but I had like five things that I could do
Kia: [19:00] like go to the fly fishing store or spend some time looking online and buying things or stuff like that.
Matt: [19:06] Yeah, and one of them was, was tying flies, like in fly fishing you make your own flyers that you fish with. And so that allowed me to do. When the weather was really bad, I could always take a part of a day and tie flies and that was almost as therapeutic. It’s not quite as therapeutic as the river because catching a fish there’s like an endorphin rush to that makes you really happy, but it. But I had some backup plans in some coping mechanisms if it didn’t happen, but it was, it was so crazy. So I, my goal was once a week by the end of the year I was doing like almost two days a week and that was the most profitable year we ever had in our business. Really. You would think that like we would have lost some business because I was like not here one day a week, but it caused other people to step up.
Matt: [19:50] It caused me to be in a better space. So when I was here I was way more effective and it was, it was just a really amazing year and we still talk about it and we haven’t quite figured out why. I mean we have some ideas why, but like we would have never guessed if Matt’s going fly fishing one day a week that this would be our most profitable year. You know, like we would have never guessed that, but it absolutely was hands down. So that is really interesting. Yeah. Yeah. So, so that’s kind of, you know, just to summarize real quick, you know, like do some brainstorming and then I, you know, kind of organize them and pair them down and then I turned them into action steps is what I do.
Kia: [20:29] So. Okay. And then you have those lists of like a thought like triggers or questions that you use all the way through this process. So do you have all this written out or.
Matt: [20:43] Um, yeah. I mean I have the questions written out. Not One, I kind of have like a, I kind of have it saved in a pdf. It’s like just my own chicken scratch or whatever and just go and print it out and that’s what I printed out for the show and it just has a bunch. It’s like tons of white space. So I just printed out and then I just start working on it and writing on it.
Kia: [21:02] Yeah. I always get irritated when someone’s like, hey, download my goal setting and lists and then I’m like, wait a second, nothing is on this page. This is an empty page. I have to do the work to put this stuff instantly. That’s what it is. You’ve got your questions and then you do the work of filling it in.
Matt: [21:18] Yeah, and then I’ll just give one more idea that I’m not very good at, but as I’ve done in the past that’s kind of fun is I’ve gone to a couple of workshops where they’ve made us write a letter to ourselves that we’re allowed to open up the next year and so sometimes it’s fun to do the reflection questions and then write yourself a letter and then close it up and then open it up and then it’s pretty amazing like what, what’s in the letter the next year? Because it’s about like, you know, here’s what you’re not doing. Right. Matt, you know, did you do it right this year? Did you improve or you know, you last year, we’re grateful for this. Have you? Do you still remember that? Or have you forgotten kind of thing. And um, that’s just always, that’s always kind of a fun exercise because you’re like, oh, I did actually accomplish something or no, like I still need to be more grateful for my wife every day,
Kia: [22:00] you know? Um, so how do you keep them going throughout the year then?
Matt: [22:06] It’s really just those. I mean it’s really those, that action plan is what makes it happen.
Kia: [22:12] Do you print it out? Are you, how like how are, how do you see it?
Matt: [22:16] So for, for me it typically has to go on the calendar. Okay. Like with the fly fish and one which is a terrible example for our podcast, but it just had to go every week. I had to schedule it. And so when, when I knew we were going to be busy, I just scheduled myself off like on Tuesdays, but when we’re slower I could actually like pick the week before what day I was going to go based on what was on the schedule. Um, but it’s got to get on the calendar. So I’ve done other ones were where I’ve turned like the and my action plan is to like add headshots to our studio. Right. We came up as a group and our studio, we came up with a list of things that we needed to do and then I put each one of those action steps into the calendar. So like on a random Wednesday we have a space that said make sure you call the Chamber of Commerce, you know, to get a list of, of their chamber members or something like that, you know, the following week,
Kia: [23:14] the way you get it to work throughout the year is at the beginning of the year you create action steps that you put on the calendar.
Matt: [23:21] Yup. And if they’re in the counter, they get done. If they’re not in the calendar for me, they just go on a piece of paper and they always get for forgotten. So one of the things, I’ll tell you what I did last year for the studio and it didn’t turn out as well as I wanted, but it’s, it was decent as one of my goals for the studio last year was to have a way more google reviews than anybody else in our area because I thought, okay, if everybody has like between five and six, five and 20, call it google reviews, but I have a hundred, like we’re going to get a lot more phone calls when people are organically searching for us because they’re going to be like, wow, that, that studio has, you know, a hundred reviews. So they obviously know what they’re doing. So that was my plan.
Matt: [24:09] Long story short, the is over and we’re only at 45. Um, so. And I didn’t get to my goal, but what it allowed me to do is I put some processes in place where we would follow up with people after we did their order and some different things. And it worked pretty good. I mean, we, we moved the needle a little bit. We didn’t get as far as once. So I want to figure out how to refine that this year and do it, do it again because it was at, that’s a really fun, measurable one. Like you can just literally Google yourself and measure it. But still I think that’s a really good goal is if I could be at 100 and everybody else’s at 20, I think it would help. It would help our business and plus we’re getting feedback along the way from our customers and you know, we’re reaching out to them afterwards to make sure that everything is okay. You know, they’re not just picking up their product and never, we’re never talking to him and there’s like, there’s a lot of really good business practices that get wrapped around it. But I measure it through Google reviews,
Kia: [25:02] know, typically for me, my, I make my goals based on like how many sessions we do and you know, fucking certain amount of things. But, but you’re, a lot of your sound like they’re not necessarily monetarily based or session based. They’re, um, they’re just a lot more varied. Would you agree with that or would you say both?
Matt: [25:26] Yeah, because I mean we have key performance indicators we track on a daily basis. You know what you’re, how many leads did we book from data, from people downloading like are what to wear guide our location guide again, how many consults we booked from those and how many sessions we booked from those consults
Kia: [25:41] and then track those, but they’re not necessarily specifically goal related.
Matt: [25:46] Now we have got, we have goals for them, right? Like in December we needed 60 downloads to produce, you know, 20 consults to produce. I’m just making up numbers to Bruce, 20 consults for produce 18 sessions, you know what I mean? But that’s more like on a daily basis that we know like that’s what we need to be tracking to make sure we’re ahead of it because we know that those, those downloads for our guides are a, are a key performance indicator for how two months from now is going to go and then the consults that we’re doing currently, we know that’s going to translate into money the next month. So we can almost predict a month or two ahead if we’re going to be up or down because of how many downloads we had or how many consults we booked, if we, if we’re down in consults, like in August when we know that we’re going to be down in sales in September. Okay. That’s interesting. Yeah. But, so that, to me that’s a daily thing and we have goals around that, but those are just like things that we just constantly work. These are like a lot of the goals I set are much higher level and the measurable part is the hard one for me always to figure out. So it’s always interesting when I figured out like, oh, google reviews, but, and then the time bound thing is what actually makes it happen for me. Okay. Awesome. Yeah. So hopefully that was helpful for everybody.
Kia: [27:03] Yeah. I’m, I’m curious. So are you going to put any of your lists on here? Like any, uh, on, on the show notes?
Matt: [27:10] Yeah, I’ll definitely put the, the questions that I read so that people could just copy and paste them. But um, as, as I work on some of the stuff y’all, I’ll figure out how a way to get it out to the world and maybe I don’t know when maybe it will record in another month or so. We’ll record some of this stuff and talk about what our goal so far.
Kia: [27:28] Yeah. Yeah. I definitely want to give, give it a shot because it’s not something like I do that like, you know, crazy ideas list. I have one and I just add to it, you know, like oh I want to be on the cover of this magazine or meet you know, meet this person or you know, stuff like that. And then I do like specific, like, you know, the measurable things in the studio, have, you know, how many sessions and stuff like that. But not necessarily like specifically measurable ways of uh, like, you know, like I’ve started a new product line or something like that. I don’t necessarily measure it. I’m the same way that you’re talking about doing it. So I like the idea of, because a lot of times if you don’t book that many sessions because you have the school and you don’t do exactly that, then you feel super bummed out because you didn’t do it, you know, but, but not always. Do you have complete control over that, like what you’re doing here because these are things that you really do have control over.
Matt: [28:24] Yeah. Well and like the Google review on this is interesting. Like I think I learned the most from that one this year because it was something that wasn’t high stakes. Like if we didn’t hit 100 google reviews, our business wasn’t going to be down 15 percent and you know, we’re eating top ramen. Like that wasn’t gonna happen. But like every time I thought about it, which wasn’t every day, but you know, like once a week I could talk to one of my employees or I could talk to somebody and say hey, like we haven’t got a google review in this long. And then they say, oh, well you know what we should reach out to so and so. And just they’ll do it for sure. Oh, okay. Yeah, it drove really cool business practices because we’re thinking about a number that wasn’t the end of the world.
Kia: [29:08] Yeah. There’s just an easy peasy kind of thing.
Matt: [29:10] Yeah. Yeah. So I don’t know, that’s it. It’s been fun. I mean it’s still a journey every everyday for me and every year, you know, and I feel like I get better and better at it and some years I succeed a lot and some years I don’t. And that’s okay. It’s like it’s just a living. It’s living being that
Kia: [29:29] yeah, well it’s living your life intentionally and so sometimes I’m seeing you’re like, oh, I didn’t really like that goal. I don’t really want to make that one happen or you know, I wish I hadn’t have done that. But then others like your fly fish and you’re like, okay, that, that was a win.
Matt: [29:43] Yeah, I mean it changed, it changed my life. I mean it really does let me know what’s up. Allison’s a fly fisher now too, so she fishes with me because she realizes like if I’m going to go one day a week that she should go, I have a trip to Mexico for a week to go fly fishing with my buddies. Um, I would’ve never probably taken a vacation by myself without allison and my buddy’s like, but now I have a reason to like, like last summer, some people know this. I took a job at the fly fishing shop one day a week because they needed it. They had one shift that they couldn’t get covered by a college kid and I was just happened to be in there talking one day and I was like, Wednesday mornings until lunchtime I’ll come in. I don’t care. And it was so good just to be in a different sales environment and be around different people than my employees that I made no money, you know, to speak up. But it was so good to get out of the office and a lot of my friends were like, what are you doing? And you’re like, you own your own business. You’re doing all this crazy stuff. Like what are you doing taking a part time job at a fly shop. And I’m like, it just build my bucket, you know. So like, it, it, it has that, that one goal has spread into my life on a number of different ways.
Kia: [30:48] Well that’s cool. So when do you normally do it? Like if this is a beginning of the year type thing, how do you, what’s your timeline for what you’re due for this year?
Matt: [30:56] And normally starts around Christmas time is as soon as we’re done delivering everybody’s holiday cards and all that rushes over. Um, because I mean it goes pretty quiet as soon as the holidays here and then, um, I, I normally work on it and then I normally have it wrapped up the first couple of weeks in January. So it’s normally around a new year’s thing. We’ve did this exercise though a couple of years ago, like in October because we knew we had to do some resetting and so we did it in October and that was really good too. Um, I don’t think it has to be a new years, but that’s just tends to be where I put it.
Kia: [31:30] Yeah, well it’s when you have the time to work on that. So that makes a lot of sense
Matt: [31:34] in the busy season is fresh on my mind so I can answer a lot of these questions because it just happened.
Kia: [31:40] Okay. So one last question, uh, so once you have it and you’ve kind of worked it all out, then how do you present it to the people in your life, your wife, your, the studio staff?
Matt: [31:52] Yeah. So I just, I just tell, I mean,
Kia: [31:54] you just schedule a meeting. Do you have it already?
Matt: [31:57] If it’s business oriented, like yeah, I sit down with them and say, Hey, here’s what I think I want to do and here’s the action plan. What do you guys think about that? They’re like, no, that’s the dumbest thing in the world. We’re not doing that. That’s just doing more of something we don’t have time to just ask for. Um, but other times they’ll add some clarity around it. And so yeah, that’s typically a meeting with allison, uh, like my wife, I just typically we just have a discussion and it’s pretty informal, but I just say, hey, I came up with my goals for this year and my action plan is you want to hear him? And she’s like, yeah, you know, or tell me tonight at dinner or whatever. And I just tell them. And then with like friends and family, it just, it just comes up like as people, somebody will ask me like, oh, you know, like, how’s business going? It’s like, oh, it’s really good and you know what, I have this crazy goal this year. I’m gonna try to get to a 100 google reviews and I’ll just bring it up, you know? And they’re like, oh, that’s really cool. I hope you can do it, you know?
Kia: [32:47] And so you just talk, talk it through. So with your staff, you have a meeting and you go over everything and then you definitely let them have,
Matt: [32:55] have input into it because there has to be buy in from them. And I mean, I, my goal never is just to add more to their plate or they’ll say something, I’ll say, here’s my, here’s my goal. And it does the action plan. And they’re like, well that’s really terrible. We’re already doing this and seeing traction over there, why don’t we just put more energy into that, you know, stuff doing instead of doing a whole new thing and a why don’t we just put more energy into b. and so a lot of times they have some really good insight into that stuff. As long as the goal gets accomplished, I don’t really care what the action plan is as long as the goal gets accomplished, you know? Yeah. That sounds great. So yeah, so that’s, that’s goal setting.
Kia: [33:37] That’s awesome. I am excited to try it for myself and look through all the questions and it’s a, it’s a good discipline and I think I can see where it’s had some really awesome effects in your business to know. Thanks. Yeah. Okay. All right. Uh, we finish another episode of from nothing to profit, this one about goal setting. And we look forward to hearing how you guys have integrated it into your business, into your life. So please go to the website.
Matt: [34:06] Matt, is it photo, photo, gas dot CEO
Kia: [34:10] photo pop podcast.com. Please go to the website. You can find all the ways to contact us there and share what goals that you’ve created for your business this year. Uh, we hope this is going to be a great help to all of you. So have a good day. Thanks guys.
Speaker 1: [34:24] Thank you for listening to from nothing to profit a photographer’s podcast with Matt and Kaiya. Be sure to subscribe for more business strategy and ideas to help you create a profitable and successful business you’ve always wanted. See you on the next episode of from nothing to profit.