because life doesn’t fit in a file folder

2017: Professional Goals In Review

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I’ve never been a particularly “goal oriented” person.

Don’t get me wrong. I get shit done.

But it’s not always intentional.

It’s always been more like: I want this and I go after it.

(I usually get it, too.)

This last year, I decided to be more intentional about everything.

Partially born out of a need to track my progress after an iatrogenic brain injury, I’ve found that writing things down has helped me to realize that I accomplished a lot of personal and professional goals this year.

I set quite a few goals for myself this year, and I’m pleased to see that I’ve met every single one.

2017 Goals In Review

Make 200 sales. In 2017, I sold more than 400 pieces of art to 207 individual people, including over 50 original paintings.

Grow my social media engagement. I’ve increased my presence on Instagram, Twitter and even LinkedIn. Facebook is still my preferred site. I started the year with just under 300 followers on my RASJACOBSON ORIGINALS FACEBOOK PAGE, and I’ve grown to 690 followers as of today. More important than the numbers, my followers are quite interactive: helping me create titles for new artwork, giving me opinions, and helping to gauge general interest of particular products. I started producing short videos and have taken a liking to painting LIVE thanks to everyone’s kind comments and sense of humor about my lack of professionalism when things don’t go as planned.

Develop a website with a user-friendly interface. Did it and it changed everything. Sales increased 200%. People really want to see and buy in the fewest number of clicks possible.

Have a curated gallery show. In September, I showed at Whitman Works Company. It was well attended, and I felt validated. Owner, Derek Darling, went the extra mile to help me realize my vision for the opening.

Participate in First Fridays at The Hungerford Building. I was in attendance for 11 out of 12 of them, when I couldn’t be there one of the women with whom I share space handled my sales. The Collective in Studio 254 is comprised of eight deliciously collaborative women, and I feel lucky to know each of them.

Get featured in traditional media. I made it into CITY NEWS in print and online, right before my gallery opening. I’d still like to be interviewed for Rochester Women Magazine and I’m hoping that one day artist Cordell Cordaro will notice me and feature me in his beautiful magazine ARTHOUSE PRESS, available now in Barnes & Noble stores all over the country.

Post one blog a month. Phew. (((wipes brow))) I did it, but it wasn’t easy. Not all my posts were art related, but that’s not all I’m about. I mean, I live in this frickin’ crazy-ass world so how can I not comment on what’s going on right now. Oy.

Use my art to raise attention to the dangers of benzodiazepines. The side effects associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal are horrifying and hard to articulate. At 52 months off, I’m grateful to have improved. I don’t know what the mechanism is with these drugs, but when a person takes Valium or Klonopin or Ativan or Xanax, that person behaves much as a functional alcoholic would. Initially, you’re productive enough so no one says much. But after a while, the drugs stop working, and then you have a secondary problem on top of whatever reason you started the drugs in the first place. And that is everything that is wrong with the world today.

(I could go on and on about this. And I will. In 2018. )

Outside of my artwork, I’ve continued teaching memoir classes at Writers & Books; organized & hosted several public readings ~ there’s one tonight at Writers & Books at 7pm-9pm; and I’ve continued to help people edit and publish their own stories and prepare them for publication.

I joined a gym. What? I eat eat right. I work out.

What I Didn’t Do

I said I wanted to find a boyfriend  join a networking group. I did. I attended two meetings. And then I fell off the wagon. That being said, I connected with so many local artists in real life and folks online, too. So technically, I was networking…just in a different way. This is one of the things I plan to be more diligent about in 2018. I’ve even rescheduled my art classes so that I can attend Marketing Mondays.

Thank you all from sticking with me as I figure out my new normal.

For celebrating my successes and helping me remember everything is happening the way it’s supposed to happen. Slowly, organically.

That I don’t have to know everything right now.

That the sky isn’t falling.

That I’m going to be better than okay.

What’s ONE thing you accomplished in 2017?

Want to see my work, click HERE

8 thoughts on “2017: Professional Goals In Review

  1. I accomplished buying a lot of your paintings and gifts in 2017! I have always told you that you are a success at whatever your endeavors are. You are a great friend!!!

  2. I’m glad you asked if I accomplished one thing this year, because I had to stop and think if I’d set out to do something significant. The answer is yes! I’m a work-a-holic and involved in many community service type organizations; therefore I haven’t taken time off for myself, at least until a couple of years ago. That’s when I made a sequential list of historical museums to visit, one each year, by way of a road trip or airline flight (since there’s no bridge to Hawaii yet.) This year, because of an additional commitment, it was a bit difficult but I pushed myself to accomplish trip number two before my deadline. I feel better knowing that I accomplished something. Thank you for making me think about it.

  3. Unlike you – at least the new you – I’m not a goal-oriented person. Never have been good at setting and attaining goals. About the only thing I can think of that I accomplished this year was being a friend to my friends. Can’t measure that in dollars and cents, but I’d rather be known as a reliable friend than sell X number of books or whatever.

  4. Great job on all your goals met this year! You kicked butt! Can’t wait to see what next year holds for you. 🙂

  5. My major accomplishment for 2017 was to withdraw from as many outside commitments as made sense so I could focus on my own business. I left my position as gift shop manager at Fairport Pharmacy and we let go our space at The Hungerford (I miss the community there big time!)

    Mid-year I vowed to stop learning about marketing & social media and really build my business. I love that stuff but the things I was consuming were starting to get repetitive. I still participate in some, like Marketing Monday, which is learning/networking/accountability group rolled into one. (See you there!)

    Lastly, I finally installed a shopping cart on my website and posted a few things. For 2018, I want to really ramp that up so it’s my main source of income.

    And experiment with having my wall art professionally framed.

  6. Congrats on accomplishing your goals! I love setting goals and one of my favorite goals that I set was to start journaling again. I’m happy to say that I did start journaling again and I have been loving it. I hope you have a great weekend.

  7. I’ve accomplished many goals this year. I’m taking more art classes in various genres. I’ve painted with oils & acrylics, portrait drawing in graphite, making greeting cards, doing Torah Study along with cooking, baking, traveling and the all the other mishugas that comes along. With my husbands help, we’re doing things to the house thats been on the bucket list for years. My social life has improved dramatically. I’m back to ushering, too. Life is the best EVER!

  8. Congrats on your accomplishments, Renee! You have done so much in the last 52 months, perhaps more than many do in a lifetime. My brother views his alcoholism as a gift because of how very far it has taken him in his life. I cannot be as grateful for the pain in my life–I cannot call it a gift. However, the pain and brokenness in my life has created a deep compassion in me for others, who also live lives of chronic emotional pain, poverty, disconnectedness, who live lives that no one should endure. My goal for 2018 is to turn compassion into more meaningful action, to look for little ways to pick up “the littles ones” who have been caused to stumble by the meanness of those who believe themselves to be in charge. My fortune cookie from Christmas dinner reminded me that I already have all the material resources I need. There are at least a couple of ways to interpret that: Time to go fill myself spiritually and/or; I have everything I need. I lack for nothing. I have a firm foundation from which to defend, protect, and assist those deemed by faith to be greatest in G-d’s loving creation. In other words, get my pathologically introverted butt out there and do what I know to be good, right, and true. Blessings on you in this season of great and little light.

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