BUSTED! Owning My Crap
An entrepreneur's or artist's work is never done. Ever. So, imagine a world when you are both. Many of you who follow me don't have to imagine. You are the ones who know that, just like those in service jobs, teaching, management, or non-profit work, the hours and personal expenses that an entrepreneur (or artist) puts in are long and deep. Typically, we are working in our passions, so it's not a complaint so much as a day-to-day frustration of the job. I often wish, not just for more hours in the day, but that we could run on less sleep so that the hours we have could be more productively spent.
Do you ever go to those conferences that get you super fired up about all of the positive changes and processes you can implement, things you can do, or improvements you can begin? Almost always, at the end of those conferences, or at the end of a session, the speaker will say something along the lines of: "Write down just one thing you will take away from this session when you get back."
I don't know about you, but I am *SO*BAD* at that part! I don't want to write down one thing. I want to write down 5 . . . 10 . . . ALL OF THE THINGS!!!
And I do.
And I get home.
And I start all of the things.
And I get overwhelmed.
And I finish none of them, even though they each move forward "a little bit".
Then, after a week, two weeks, a month?
I feel like a total failure.
Nobody has seen the countless things I began or work I did because nothing was finished. I clean my house in the same manner, by the way.
As a business owner working solo for the majority of my career, I have several pieces that make up the whole of what I offer and I've set priorities to them over time.
There is my work for clients which always takes first priority. This is the work on books, publishing, and marketing for which I'm contracted. I see this as my non-negotiable tasking.
I have my classes and courses. Those used to fall into the "start many, finish none" category. But, finally, the day came when all were completed and prepared through the "move a little bit forward" method over course of YEARS. (I wonder what would have happened if I did them one at a time? Rearview mirror questions!)
Then, there are my personal books and online presence. Because my client work is non-negotiable to me and my classes include students I treat as clients who are also to be served, it seems my personal online content and solo-work has defaulted to the back burner position in my career . . . again and again.
I don't know that my business priorities are wrong. In fact, I don't believe they are. But I am busting myself on the one way that it really drives me . . . and probably you - my followers . . . CRAZY! It comes in the always-well-intentioned and equally-frustration-inducing overpromise/under-deliver scenario.
This summer began with so many cool things for my online world! I have "Conversations With Writers" still rolling out on YouTube, a #summerwritingchallenge, my #sayitwithless Instagram pictures, and Facebook live discussions. But, I'm . . . BUSTED! I have failed to do these things consistently. I'm owning it. What is particularly frustrating is that I do these things . . . and more . . . and successfully . . . for so many of my clients! (After all, they are my non-negotiable!)
And - also upsetting is that I'm sitting here lamenting while I've put out blogs, videos, challenges, and social media content this summer all while working with incredible clients. I should be celebrating! However, because I set up the unrealistic "ALL of the things" approach to my social media summer, without a proper plan, I've let myself - and all of YOU - down.
Then, yesterday and this morning, I got a THREE-ALARM wakeup call!
Last night, I participated in a webinar on cultivating confidence (which wasn't so much about confidence as it was about creating purposeful plans in different life areas which lead to confidence). It was not what I expected. I honestly thought it might be a lot of fluff and feel-good cheerleading. There are tons of those out there and they work for some people. I need more meat than that. Don't get me wrong. The woman who led it, Aleta Norris, is a great cheerleader, but something else happened. She made me work! I had to actually own the crap that was holding me back from progress and, by the way, most of it is just . . . ME! She didn't just pat our backs and say, "You can get there by thinking your way there!" She said, you will make a PLAN to achieve what you want to in your life and you will be accountable to it and you will set milestones. Essentially, you will design your way out of the shortfall you perceive. These weren't her exact words, but that's the general idea. (By the way, if you're interested in the teaching, it was a precursor to her larger course, "Women Who Spark Bootcamp" which launches in fall.) I remember years ago, in my direct sales days, hearing Belinda Ellsworth speak and she said, "If anyone ever tells you your product sells itself, don't walk, run. Run away. Selling takes work. Everything worthwhile takes work." I loved the honesty I was hearing last night that told me I may have areas where I'd like to improve. (In the case of my business, it's in that third priority.) And, Aleta boldly shared, to improve, I'd need to work a plan.
This morning, my work day was greeted by:
I happened to get introduced to a woman's blog that was done very sharply. She'd been blogging for years and I was blown away by her consistency. Unfortunately, I therefore immediately felt disappointed in myself and my newfound motivation to plan my way out of my pickle, until . . .
A teaching from the woman who led last night's webinar popped into my email. In it, she instructed us to stop comparing ourselves to others, but rather to get CRYSTAL CLEAR on our own improvement areas and face them with a plan.
Okay - I get it! God knows I need to hear things in THREES. It's how He sends me, not the hints (which I tend to miss), but the flashing neon signs in my path. It was these three pieces of my puzzled struggle that led me to this confession of a blog! Here are some more threes in that light.
1 - I have failed at that social media content side of things this summer through overpromising. For that, to all of you, I am sorry.
2 - I do need to put some systems in place in this area of my business and they will take work to really improve.
3 - I don't need to compare myself to those who are killing it in this area. I have my own wins to celebrate in other areas of my business. I need to own those as positively as I'm willing to own my losses.
What can you expect in my response to this neon sign?
1 - I will CONTINUE to bring you quality content when it is here; while I have not put out as much as I'd like, I'm proud of what is there for your enjoyment.
2 - I will begin working a plan to bring you more of the free and valuable content across my social media platforms until it is as consistent and reliable as my other offerings. (You could use the "Women Who Spark Bootcamp" to help design such a plan!)
3 - I am proud that the classes I offer are prepared for you to enjoy as clients . . . who will always remain my first business priority.
So - that's where I'm at as I move to the end of this second month of summer! As I work through my areas of improvement, I want to hear from all of you!
What area of your business suffers from Attention Deficit Business Disorder?
What area of your business needs a plan?
What would you like to see from Bucket List To Bookshelf's social media platforms?
In the meantime, check out a true WIN in the form of my Fall Semester of Writing Intensives. I'd love to have you join me on 5 Saturdays over the course of a quarter to gain a LIFELONG Masterclass-Level understanding of the writing and publishing industries that will take you from the idea in your mind to the #1 Bestseller on your bookshelves.
Get 25% off of the full semester or individual classes (Book-in-a-Month Nonfiction, Book-in-a-Month Fiction, Writing Picture Books, Writing Monologues/Scenes/Plays, and The Biz & Art of Writing) when you register by the end of August. Enter the code: EarlyAUG at checkout.
Yours in writing (and in business),