This month on six-two we’re talking all things goal setting, so who better to chat to than Sarah Weichel, superstar talent manager and CEO of Sarah Weichel MGMT, who includes the unofficial queen of YouTube Lilly Singh (IIsuperwomanII) amongst her impressive roster of clients. Sarah is one of those clever cookies who manages to consistently stay one step ahead of the digital curve, so we caught up with her to learn a thing or two about her approach to goal setting…
You’re working with some of the biggest talent on YouTube right now – do you sit down with your clients and plan out what goals they would like to achieve/milestones they would like to see realised in the year ahead?
SW: Yes, of course! A manager’s job is develop the strategy for their client’s careers – honing in on their skill sets, working with them to help verbalize their aspirations and then implementing a strategy to help execute. Additionally, it’s my job to help pitch and sell my clients to key industry players (ranging anywhere from Hollywood, Music, Tech, Philanthropy, etc.), who ultimately help source new opportunities to grow the overall strategy we’re working towards.
Why do you think it’s so important for them (and you as their manager) to do this?
SW: It is certainly impressive to build an audience online. That’s a great first step in starting any business! But in any industry, that’s only the beginning. Putting together a team of experts to help support and strategize around how best to maximize the “brand” is where few Creators will win over others. A digital business is great and will certainly drive revenue. But how do you diversify your portfolio? How do you know what opportunities are worthwhile? How do you think about your brand and business proactively instead of reactively? These are the questions a good manager should help you answer.
What goals have you set yourself in the past that you’ve seen realised?
SW: Some of the big ones include:
- Signing new clients, expanding beyond native digital talent
- Hiring new employees – Hire Slow, Fire Fast
- On boarding new business partners – helping justify the “Space” as viable and legitimate
Talk us through your personal goal setting strategy – are they small goals or big goals? Do you set yourself a time frame to achieve things? Tell us about the logic…
SW: Goals are important to set but when you run your own business (particularly in a nascent industry), those goals will often change. So you need to learn to roll with the punches… there will be many! How you handle those changes is as important as the goals themselves. Stay patient and find an accountability partner.
Your accountability partner can be a friend, lover, business colleague, mentor… whatever works for you! I have a business partner who I send weekly recaps to every Friday, lets call it a “Week in Review”, or short term weekly goal. It’s helpful to dedicate 30 minutes to review how you spent your time that week. Time is often your most valuable asset as a business owner, so make sure you’re protecting it! How much time was lost traveling from meeting to meeting? Did I schedule an hour-long lunch when it really should have been a 30-minute coffee? Learning what stresses you out and causes unnecessary anxiety will help you stay productive.
If you don’t achieve your goals right away, how do you stay positive?
SW: I stay positive by surrounding myself with great people. I’ll never forget how fortunate I am to have an incredible roster of not only talented people, but kind ones too! As corny as it sounds, I am happiest when they are happy. Oh, and a mental break at pottery class doesn’t hurt. And if that doesn’t work, retail therapy will certainly do the trick…
What do you want to do in 2017 that you’ll remember forever?
SW: Continue to build SWMGMT. Now accepting applications for junior managers with enthusiasm for the digital space!
If your 2017 goal includes a summer in Europe you’ll never forget, Contiki can sort you out. Awesome trips and deals available right here.