The next post I want to post on this blog will be one that returns to my goal setting practice, as I’ve gone through most of the book launch now and I think I’ve achieved quite a decent growth in “notoriety” (lol) as well as growth in my brand. In other words, more people now know who I am on the internet and that’s good because I write stuff I want them to buy, read and use.
But let’s take a little step back for the benefit of you, poor reader who’s found yourself reading my blog all about my life out here in the North. Well, what can I say? The last two months or so have been tough work, but focused and ultimately effective. I’ve put hours and hours into writing the new book, then editing, rewriting, promoting, guest blogging, talking and all the while through BELIEVING IN IT. And I’ve really enjoyed myself with all this. Self-publishing a book is an amazing adventure to go through, something that really goes a bit down to the core of what you are doing and why. It demands discipline in writing the damn thing (remind me never to say “I’m writing a book!” again, please?), confidence in promoting it all and resourcefulness in doing all the jobs a publisher would do. The payoff is independence – I get to be the boss here. It’s my thing, and no one can say it’s not good enough.
I have put more money into this one than I could even imagine. It’s still not unrealistic amounts, but significant enough to make me raise an eyebrow and hesitate before committing. And what does that mean? I thought about money recently. About my own hesitation to invest, so many times. I have paid a professional designer to create me an illustration for the book cover, and I cannot tell you how much I love the result. I have hired a professional voice artist to read the audiobook version. Again, she is awesome. It makes an enormous difference to my product when I invest, but every time I do, my mind is like “WHAT IF I NEVER SEE ANY OF THIS MONEY AGAIN EVER?” And I have found myself wondering why I ask that. Why is it that it feels like I’m not investing but wasting? And the answer is this: I don’t believe in my product enough. I don’t believe in myself enough to think I can produce something awesome. And once I realised that, I began to calm down a little bit. Because ultimately, I know I produce the best quality I possibly can. And I’m writing about what I really know about…I’m not a hack pretending I’ve discovered the answer to gardening or rocket science, I’m a linguist writing about language learning. And to be honest, based on the questions people ask (thank you 50 Calls Project!), I know I’m doing something useful.
Based on a recognition like that, things have become a little easier. It feels no longer like I am bugging people to reimburse me for my silly investment in an air bubble. Instead, I’m beginning to feel a new sense of happiness about being able to share a thing I wrote that is going to help people out and be a little bit awesome. It’s not big yet, but it’s bigger and better than the first one.
For the month of August, I am taking a break from language teaching and instead focusing on a course with Boost Business Lancashire (free training in how to become a huge entrepreneur…I hope that means huge in weight?) and on finalising, promoting and publishing both my new books.
I have not given up on incorporating my interest in marketing in my future work, and have started talking to more and more language teachers about their kinds of needs. But I also recognise that I have too many irons in the fire and I’m struggling to commit to any one thing, which is not going to produce best results. Just as with the money, time is another investment, right? Keeping all my options open throughout 2014 hasn’t produced near as much as putting the focus onto a book for even a part of the year. So my main goal for all of August is this:
Cut work that I do not find fulfilling.