Setting Business Goals: How to Get What You Want as a Creative Business Owner

As we move through the 4th quarter of the year, it’s time to start thinking about what you want for your life and your business in the coming months.

Is 2023 a big year of rebranding for you?

Are you going to step up your marketing game?

How about learning to batch social media and save loads of time? 

There is so much to consider when you own a business.

Goal setting can feel overwhelming, right? Let’s break it down, and start with this most simple, but most difficult question…

What do you want?


  • You can’t move forward with your business unless you have a solid idea of where you want to go.

  • Not knowing where you are going affects your business model.

  • Your time is limited.

  • Your investment in your business is pointless if you don’t have a plan.

Hard but true facts, my friends. 

This is a great time of year to refocus and start planning for the future of your business.

Short term and long term goal setting leads to better productivity and more success.

It’s a sure way to get what you want

And I have to say it, if you don't really know what you want...what are you complaining about.

Am I right? No sense in worrying, complaining or grumbling about our businesses current state of affairs if we don't really know what it is that we want to happen. So let's get started shall we?

So get out a pen and a pad of paper. (or download the guide at the end of this post, for the full service document. I walk you through this whole thing...) Grab a cup of coffee, tea, or a glass of whiskey and let's do this thing.

If you want to get what you want as a creative business owner, first, you have to really know what you want and make a plan.

1. Imagine & Plan Your Ideal Future

An easy way to begin goal setting is to start with the dream.

Imagine it is one year from now, and everything you wanted for you and your business has happened.

The perfect scenario. What does that look like? Where are you? Who are you with? How much money are you making? Where is your art showcased? Do you want to be in galleries. WHAT?

These are your actually your GOALS. 

It may not turn out perfectly, but thinking about your goals in this golden light is a great way to narrow down what really matters to you and what you really want. 

People who actually write down their goals (on real paper!) are more likely to find success getting to where they want to go.

There is a touch of magic in that brain-to-hand connection. So try it!

Dreams And Wishes Are Not Goals Until They Are Written As Specific End Results On Paper - Meir Liraz

Here are some prompts for you to free-write about your future to get you started. 
  • One thing you could do better
  • Things you want to learn about
  • Habits you want to improve
  • Changes you want to make to your social life
  • Hobbies you want to try
  • Marketing ideas you want to explore
  • Art you want to make
  • People you admire and want to meet
  • Places you want to visit

Writing down some of these goals will get you familiar with your ideal future self.

The more you write down your goals and refine them, the more likely you are to find success achieving those things. 

2. Steer Clear of the Wrong Path

In the same way imaging the ideal future is valuable, visualizing an unpleasant outcome can also help you reach your goals.
If you know exactly where you DON’T want to end up, you are much more likely to avoid that outcome.

Self awareness rules in this house! Being mindful of your bad habits, any wasteful tendencies, and past poor choices can help you get exactly what you DO want. 

Quote By John C. Maxwell

Use that imagination again and draw on the knowledge of the anxiety and pain you have experienced in the past to picture a less than ideal future for you and your business.
What does that place look like for you? That is where wisdom lives, and knowing exactly where you don’t want to end up can be the thing that saves you from that miserable place. 

3. Believe and Take Action

Now you have the PLAN. You know where you want to go, and where you definitely don’t want to go.

It’s time for the hard part.

The doing stuff part.

You got this!

No plan can be successful if you don’t have faith in its outcome.

Believing in yourself, your choices, and your abilities is a vital part of ultimately finding success.

It’s time to get busy writing down some clear goals based on that ideal future you just imagined, prioritizing them, and breaking them down into actionable steps.

Mark Twain said, Twenty "years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Quote by Mark Twain

Every good story starts with doing. So I want to encourage you that if you have a story to tell you have to have a plan and then do the dang thing.

Don't regret it.

Some things to consider when you are making a list of your goals are:

  • Your motives

  • Personal and social impact 

  • Obstacles and their solutions

Once you have this prioritized and actionable list of goals, you are on your way to getting exactly what you want. 

The real value of setting goals and being proactive about your future is not the recognition and reward for reaching them, it’s the person you become by finding the discipline, courage, and dedication to achieve the future you aspire to create for yourself.

I can’t wait to hear about your success!


If you want more. Oh, I have more! I have an entire guide that will help you determine exactly what it is that you want and help you overcome any self limiting beliefs you might have too, and then a handy document that will help you keep track of your goals and plan. Yes, seriously.

Download my Goal Setting Workbook for the complete guide. Print it off and get started figuring out what you want next.

About The Author

Heather Bunker Branding Co helps you boot-strap your way to your own personal definition of success. She helps you work through the uncomfortable and necessary parts of business—the foundations—life, business, branding, design and marketing. If you are looking to find clarity, create systems, market your work, stand out in the crowd, develop more products that sell and work past any decision paralysis that is holding you back...she, is the business partner that will help you do it.

She offers done for you services like marketing and brand strategies all the way through to helping you get start up funds. She helps you leverage your creativity and adds in the business know-how so you can build a thriving creative business. She is the business "therapist" that you need to gain massive momentum as a professional creative—so you can bring your dreams to life. 

Be sure to subscribe and follow along on Instagram.