Phew – so here we are again. It has been a challenging few weeks, but you know what? We’re still here, still kicking, still motivated and ready to conquer the world! (Mwaahahahahaaa!) Well, maybe not so much as all that, but you get my meaning. So, pull up a chair, grab a coffee, and join me a spell, eh?
Today we’re going to be talking ownership (of a sort)… hang on while I set up my soapbox! 😉
This Past Week
A real quick shout-out to folks who’ve checked up and checked in with me — you all rock, and I appreciate you. ❤
Now – ownership. What am I talking about and what do I mean by that?
I’m talking about owning your 💩
Yep. Now – bear with me, because a lot of this is directed toward myself and my own growth as not only an indie-author, but as an entrepreneur as well… but I hope it may help others who might be struggling in their own journeys.
Here’s what I mean by owning your 💩:
If you aren’t getting the results you want…
If you aren’t at “that place” where you thought you “should” be in your journey by now…
Then you need to have a long heart-to-heart talk with yourself and start getting really… painfully… honest… and call yourself out on your own BS, your own excuses, and OWN YOUR 💩.
There are reasons that (for example) your books aren’t selling as much as you would like — and most of them are relatively straightforward.
- Is your cover up-to-par with your genre’s standards?
- Is your blurb strong enough to make someone want to read more?
- If you are running ads, is your sales copy strong enough to make someone want to click?
- You sales pages – if you have them – are they long form? Do they inspire? Do they touch on someone’s pain points? In short… are they strong enough to make someone say: “YES! I must have this, because it will do XYZ… or it will solve XYZ…. or it will improve my life in some way!”
- Is the first page of your book compelling enough to make someone want to turn the page?
- Is your first chapter compelling enough (think Amazon’s LOOK INSIDE feature) to make someone want to know what happens next?
- And a tougher (and just as important or more important) set of questions:
- Do you KNOW you “SHOULD” be doing X, Y, or Z to build a following, grow your audience, reach new people, etc…. but aren’t doing it consistently? WHY NOT?
While I was taking some downtime over the last weeks, one thing I did have a lot of time for is thinking. Which… can sometimes be a good (or bad! LOL) thing, depending on your perspective.
For me — this was a good thing.
I lost my youngest brother, which, without going into details, brought up a lot of issues that I’ve had to work through and with. Part of that was this exceedingly clear and rather pesky thought of mortality… and why the hell am I not doing what I know I need to be doing?
- Why are my books not selling more?
- Why have I procrastinated in a hundred different ways on promotions, and even completing the next books?
- Why did I stop being honest with myself and calling myself out on my own 💩 so that I COULD do those things?
Humans are messy. Life is messy. We’re complicated, emotional, people who (sometimes) create these stories IN OUR HEADS of what we think others are thinking. When, in reality, those are nothing more than thoughts in our own heads.
Because we are messy, complicated humans, we tend to overthink things.
And often it is MUCH easier to get lost in the overwhelming minutiae of trying to make it through each single day with the thousands of things we (think) we must do… than to face what it is we truly want and the simple tasks that it would take to achieve those things.
SIMPLE?! Are you kidding me right now? You are full of 💩
Yes… I know some of you are thinking exactly that thought… come on, it’s okay…you know who you are! 😉
Because – let’s be real for a minute – we are all, in our own ways, full of 💩.
Yep, I said it. Probably not a popular opinion, but my opinion all the same.
BUT— I don’t mean that in a slanderous, mean-spirited sort of way!! NOT AT ALL!
I mean that we all have our own issues that we’re dealing with. Our own pains. Our own hangups. Our own stresses, failures, fears, quirks… our own 💩.
And the only way to truly reach those BIG DREAMS that we say we want — is to clean out all that 💩, all those self-sabotaging thoughts, and sneaky procrastinations that are designed to keep us “safe”.. i.e., playing small.
But yes – to support my earlier point… SIMPLE tasks.
If you know your blurb needs to be strengthened — rewrite it. Get feedback. Rewrite it again. And again. Until it is as strong as you can make it. We’re writers, for cryin’ out loud. And this is a simple task.
Not necessarily EASY… but simple.
It doesn’t require fancy software. It doesn’t require a college degree. It doesn’t even require more courses. There are free groups online RIGHT NOW that the members are willing to help with these types of things.
Marketing, for example.
Plan a Facebook / AMS / other Ad. There are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of free articles, YouTube videos, podcasts, etc., to help get you started. There are some incredible, inexpensive books on doing this. There are some AMAZING paid courses and academies to do it.
The hardest part of all of it comes down to two simple things:
- Over-complicating any task as a sneaky, self-sabotaging, procrastination tool
- Knowing which of those simple tasks is the RIGHT task to be focusing on
And here’s the kicker… both of those are quite SIMPLE to overcome as well (again – simple, not necessarily easy) – they just take being honest with yourself, calling yourself out on your own 💩, and learning methods which you can best KNOW exactly what tasks are going to yield you the most results.
For me — it dawned on me that I’ve been allowing myself to play small by looking to others for … not encouragement, not approval… no, no, it was much worse… I was looking for PERMISSION.
What the what??!?!
That revelation has had a massive impact on me over these last weeks… so I had to stop, and call myself out, practice what I preach about getting real with your own self, and examining what the hell I was actually doing.
It wasn’t pretty.
But listen up – if there is anything I’ve learned as an indie-author and entrepreneur it’s this…
The dream is big… the tasks are small.
I’ve said it before, it’s a motto of mine, but I found myself not walking-the-walk… and it circled back around to smack me upside the head lately — and I’m grateful for the smacking. 🤪
But the actual to-do tasks that will make both of those happen…
Not easy… but simple.
So long as I keep calling myself out on my 💩… keep myself honest and accountable… and focus on the right tasks instead of the busy-work, sneak-thief procrastination tasks.
Where am I going with all this? Only this:
Where do you need to examine your own indie-author goals and get real and call yourself out on your own 💩?
You may be surprised at what you learn, and how much progress you can make afterward.
What I Accomplished
- Owning my 💩 — and learning where I’ve been keeping myself playing small — and why (It’s an ongoing process… Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that cliche stuff! 😉)
- Taught author-tech mentoring call
- Facebook Live
- Blog posts
- Podcast work
- Used the 💩 emoji a record-breaking amount of times in a single post! 🤪🤣🙊 (well, record-breaking for me anyway lol)