In April, I became the best and worst versions of myself. The “hustle, hustle” of the end of March led me into a little bit of a panic that I’m hoping will not repeat in May. I got some really fun work that was really more play, and pitched my newsletter service sooooooo many times without getting a response.
I think the worst part was that I lost my focus for a while as I flailed, looking for any way to make money even as I had my best two weeks of the year. However, I rejoiced that I found my focus again, remembering that the easiest way to get in the flow is to work on my career and goals.
At the beginning of April, I settled my goals for the second quarter:
* Launch the Unlocking Your Creativity guide – I spent the month of April trying to get this piece ready to publish so it could be seen on websites such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. This process was just too bulky for me at this time, so I am scaling back and changing the plan. Also, I am exploring creating a class/workshop to go through the Unlocking Your Creativity guide parts and get some feedback.
* Actively Working My Marketing Plan for Coaching – With this work, I am searching continually to find new ways for people to experience my work. I continued to query and pitch guest posts to websites, but I’m also starting to experiment with a video/podcast series to give people more of an idea of me and what I do.
* In April, I had a guest post published on DIYMFA.com, Five Creativity Exercises to Fire Up Your Writing Muse.
* Developing the newsletter and writing service – I’m pitching my services for this, and found some one-time work on Upwork. While working in that system doesn’t do much for me, it did, as my friend Nadia says, “put some cookies in the cookie jar.” It also encouraged me to expand my writing to blog posts as well, and begin to explore editing as a service. However, the work with people’s newsletters is so rewarding that I am continuing to search for those who need that kind of support. I am also researching a new newsletter program by creating another newsletter based on some older, more joyous, and home-focused writing called “Diary of a Lesbian Housewyfe.” More on that as I begin that exploration.
* Writing Book/Booklets – Over the course of the last few months, it’s become really clear that I have so much to say. As a way to help people become more familiar with me and my work, I am creating two more booklets. One will cover the nuts and bolts of flapping your wings, fighting your monsters, and doing the work. The other will be about creating rituals to support you in your work. Eventually, I have a feeling that these will all combine into a full-length book. For now, I’m just hoping to get the word out and have people feel the power of my in-person work so they want to engage with me.
This April, I had a magnificent moment when I realized that I had set up and made enough money that I would not have to pull from savings for two whole weeks. You should have seen the happy dance. It continued all weekend long. Woohoo!
That’s the point of this whole exercise, to generate the income necessary to support us and pay off debt through my writing and coaching. That realization felt like a victory!
And then I started worrying about the two weeks to follow, and everything stopped. No matter how hard I flailed—pitching and writing and working—no new work or clients appeared. I felt the panic growing and realized what was happening, which was new for me. Deep breaths and meditation brought me back to my senses. By focusing on the work in front of me, I eased out of my panic mode. I set a goal of pitching something to someone once a day, and vowed to only take work that delighted me or pushed me toward my goal of coaching and writing.
Getting back into the current of trust, doing the work in front of me, and continuing to put myself out in front of others feels like the key to keeping the income stream flowing. Seeing this victory in April allowed me to see how this new way of working can support me and my family, which was a transformation I was seeking.
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 increased by 12%.
Subscribers to my Email List. I gained another four subscribers to my email list in April.
Income. I increased my income by 45% from March to April.
My goal for April was to “Build a Financial Foundation.” I continue to work toward that goal, but it’s shifting a little for May. The new goal for May is to “Do the Work in Front of Me.”