Sunday mornings are special to me because I don’t have to wake early and get the kids off to school. It’s the day I break my routine of going to the gym before work. My Sunday-morning routine is to wake up before everyone else in the household, sit here in my studio in the “model’s” chair, and just think. It’s nice and quiet, and I can look out over the property to enjoy the golden morning light.

A New View

Today it’s different. My view has changed. While I was away at a mastermind group meeting in Greenwich and then in planning meetings in Dayton, my wife had many of our trees cut back. Since we’ve owned this property, we’ve suspected that there was a view behind our trees. Sure enough, three days of trimming and cutting resulted in a beautiful view above the treetops, allowing us to see some distant purple hills. Now I have something new to paint from my studio porch.

When I go to mastermind meetings, I always learn a lot about myself when others in the group work on my business, but also when we work on other businesses. One thing is for sure: Sometimes I cannot clearly see my business because I’m so close to it, but others can see things I’m missing. I cherish these meetings.


I picked up on a theme this week that has had me thinking. That theme is specificity.

When listening to others talk about their goals, their dreams, and the things they are working on in their businesses, most lacked specificity. So many things were presented in broad terms, yet I discovered that the people who seemed to be “crushing it” in their businesses were very specific about their purpose, their dreams, and their goals.

In one of my Art Marketing Boot Camp videos, I speak about the value of being specific in your goals. The more exact you are about your goals, the more you can visualize things very specifically, the more your mind can get around it and hope things will come true.

An Exact Vision

For instance, someone might say, “My goal is to have a new studio.” Though that’s a great dream, a better defined goal is to have a very specific plan for that studio so you know the exact dimensions and design, and you can picture the inside, the decorations, the way things are organized, the view, the place it sits, everything.

Vision Boards

In fact, there is a concept called vision boards, where you cut out pictures of what you want, stick them on a poster board, and put it in a place you look at a lot every day. I once did this with a picture of a Porsche. When I put the board up, I could not afford one, but I looked at it every day on my bathroom mirror, and it eventually came true. I rewarded myself with a used Porsche as a reward for selling my radio stations years ago. The color was the exact color, model, and design as the one on my vision board.

Specificity matters.

A little story about specificity.

A guy named Mike was working for me, and he was telling me about the importance of specificity in prayer.

A Frightening Moment

One day my bookkeeper came in to see me and said, “We’re out of money. We cannot make payroll. We don’t have any money owed to us. We’re in deep trouble.”

Though I was very nervous about the situation I had put myself into, I confidently walked into my office, shut the door, got on my knees, and prayed for the specific amount of money we needed for the payroll by the coming Wednesday. The amount was to the penny, like $18,376.38.

On My Knees

Then I got busy finding ways to stimulate business and get some money in the doors, and a couple of days later, one of my clients phoned me and said, “Would you mind if I prepaid you for next year’s advertising? I’d like to get it on this year’s budget since I have money left in the budget.” I told him it was OK. I had no idea how much money he had in mind, but on Wednesday, when the check arrived, it was $18,376.38. I’m not making this up, and frankly, I was absolutely shocked too.

I don’t tell you this to push anything on you. I say it to make the point that specificity is important in everything you do.

Setting Painting Goals

If you’re setting goals — for instance, you want to sell more paintings in 2018 than you did in 2017 — then you need to go into detail. How many paintings, how many frames, what sizes, what specific amount of money, and of course where they will be sold. You then need to be specific for each week, each month, and sometimes each day. For instance, we should all know the amount of money we should bring in each day or, at least, each week, in order to reach our goals, so that not a day goes by that you are not shooting for that number.

The more specific you get, the more you can be specific in envisioning it. Then you have to look at your goals frequently, preferably daily.

Letting Others in on Your Numbers

Not only is specificity important in your goal-setting, you need to be specific with others. Tell your gallery owner (if you have one) that you have set a goal of selling four 9 x 12-inch landscape paintings by the 20th of each month. Subconsciously, this will help them work toward that goal, especially if you find ways to remind them.

Specifics Also Make Things More Memorable

I once attended a seminar on organization where we were told to set appointments at 7:03, for example, instead of 7:00. It makes it more memorable for both parties, and it sends a signal that you are precise. Typically, airline times are specific and not general. Even 7-Eleven does it.

Your mission for this week, should you decide to do it?

Try specificity and see if it has any impact on your life.

A Quick Side Note

I often talk about repetition in marketing and advertising. Repetition builds trust; it builds awareness. In the world of goal-setting, it builds internal belief. If you say something enough, even if you don’t believe it in the beginning, things will start to unfold on your behalf, and before long you’ll start believing it. Then later, it gets so cemented that things start happening to make it come true.

Don’t Drift

We usually don’t just get in our cars and go when we’re taking a trip; we look at a map or we program the trip into a GPS. If you’re a ship at sea, you don’t just go out and drift — you’ll eventually drift someplace you did not intend to go, or you’ll drift right into the rocks. A ship needs navigation, and it needs to be taking action toward a specific point on the map. In other words, the ship needs sails capturing the wind or the engine running and pushing toward that location. So once your dreams are translated into specific goals, specific dates, you can’t just drift along. Your engine needs to be running and you need to be pushing yourself with action.

I wish you a great week. There has never been a greater time to be alive because so much more is possible than ever before.

I am grateful for you and for your time. Sometimes I pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming, because I’m doing what I love with people I really enjoy. Thank you for making that possible. Of course, I welcome your comments.