Each month in 2021, I’m creating a report to record the flow and track my progress. Just like I require of my clients, I’ll be reporting on my creative and spiritual progress as well as the business side of everything.
February marks the mid-point of the quarter. At this point, I’m hopefully slogging through the middle of my plans. As is usually the case, I’ve been finding myself ahead in some areas and behind in others.
* Launch the Unlocking Your Creativity guide – In January, I decided that I wanted to actually self-publish this guide a bit more formally. With that decision, many of the tasks required to make this happen became more difficult. I threw myself into this new learning curve, and began a list of everything that I need to do to make this happen. Making this decision may push the launch of this guide into the second quarter, but will allow me to put it up on Amazon where there’s a teeny-tiny chance that someone may stumble across it and find me.
You see, Amazon is one of the places where people go to search for things. Really! Some people go to Amazon like they would go to Google and search. Making this change will also mean that people can find my book through multiple book distributions sites, which I can hardly believe is possible!
Thus, I’ve begun my new self-publishing journey. Opening up this possibility means that I am making a plan for publishing at least three books/guides this year. It’s an exciting time! But it also means that I am behind in this goal, and will probably end up continuing it into the second quarter.
* Find a place to blog regularly – In February, I met a darling woman who runs a really fun website called CityHomesteads.com. She promotes self-sustainable living in urban spaces, and approached me to link to a blog post she’d written about sourdough on my Housewyfe page. Well, I haven’t posted there since Stephanie’s stroke, and shared that with her, so it wouldn’t be a great backlink. However, I agreed to share her post with my current readers and asked if I could write a guest post for her around the intersection of homesteading and creativity.
She agreed, so I am now writing a post for her on creating your own rituals. I’ll definitely share when she posts it.
Also in February, I finished writing and submitted a post on tricking yourself into a creative habit for Eric Maisel’s column on Psychology Today. I’ll be posting about it when it is published on or around March 15. Super exciting!
Finally, in my search to unlock where to pitch myself to write posts, I discovered a new way to search through an essay I read in Hope Clark’s FundsForWriters newsletter. In the search engine of your choice, type what you want to write about “+ Write for us”. This search method brought up the writer’s guidelines for a bunch of websites. In March, I’m planning to delve into that list.
* Create a list-building strategy with my free guide, Tricking Yourself into a Creative Habit – I didn’t have lots of time in February, but when I did, I shared my guide within the small online communities I belong to: Elpha and Litsy. I read through posts and shared the link appropriately, giving light coaching as well. I wasn’t able to do this until the end of the month, but when I did, I gained a couple of subscribers to my newsletter. In March, I’ll have more time, so I’m hoping that those gains begin to snowball as I continue to add other parts of my strategy in other online communities like Instagram and Facebook.
* Launch the newsletter and writing service – I realized that I really launched this service back in November, so this goal is complete. Right now, I’m continuing to pitch it to people through emailing leads gathered from my past and recommendations from people I know. In the past, I’ve felt uncomfortable as I sent these sorts of emails, wondering Am I too “sales-y? Do I sound knowledgeable? Have I guessed their needs correctly?
In the past couple of years, however, my skills in copywriting have increased to the point where those questions have become more answerable. I know that I am speaking to my perfect customer each time. If this person is not my perfect customer, then they won’t respond. If they are, then we’re in for a great time of collaboration and rejuvenation! The writing of these pitch emails feels full of hope rather than slogging through a “have to do” list. I really do feel like I’m offering this person an opportunity, rather than desperately grasping at straws and hoping they’ll say yes to working with me. It’s a wonderful change!
In February, I took a big step toward my goal of working at my career instead of working at a job when I pulled back to part-time at my main employer.
Okay. So, I have to tell you that if any of my clients came to me and said, “I’m not financially ready to do this, but I just have to make this change,” I would have counseled them to hold out. Wait until you have the finances in place to make the change. Grit your teeth and bear up under the pressure. It’s just a job. You’ll be able to make your business happen. It’s just going to be a slow process.
And then I went and had this conversation with my boss where the words “I think it’s time for me to transition to part-time so you can get someone in the office“ just emerged from my mouth. Seriously. It was like someone else was speaking through me. And after the conversation, when my boss hung up the phone and went off to figure out someone who might want to step in and take over the majority of my job, I felt so at peace. In that moment, I felt a divine connection to spirit, strong and alive within my actions.
While pretty darn scary, ultimately, making this move creates space for tons of positive change. First, it allows me to shift my focus to growing my own business instead of theirs. Second, it frees up my energy to serve my clients and build my business through writing and other outreach. Finally, the move pushes me to dedicate myself to making the necessary connections to make this business a truly viable financial support for my family.
I’m truly excited as I enter March with this new freedom. Send any folks who might need my services my way!
Brass Tacks (Otherwise known as The Metrics)
Having measurable outcomes allows me to really track my progress. These are the three that I’m tracking.
Paying clients. My paid client number stayed stable during the month.
Subscribers to my Email List. Here at the end of February, I have 56 subscribers to my email list. Three people subscribed to my email list during the month, and the majority of that gain I can track to connecting with folks through my interaction in these online communities: Elpha, Litsy, and a creativity coaching support group.
Income. I increased my income by 6% from January to February.
My goal for March is to “Build a New Financial Foundation.” I’ll report back in April!