Day 40 – Losing time

You take your eye off a thing, and it slips away from you. I’ve been wondering if a daily blog was a good idea, took a weekend off and bam! Ten days have passed, and my goals fell off the radar.

I could lament and self-shame but that’ll do no good other than make me feel like crap. The lesson learned is that daily goal blogging works for me. More goal blogging not less keeps me focused.

Goal 1 – Sell 20,000 Novels

Project – Planet Killer

  • Zero writing sessions today
  • 7 chapters of 80 chapters rewritten

Writing every day is good for me, but I feel guilty for doing it because it’s not bringing in any money. Writing before you know if you’re any good at it, let alone before the rest of the world decides if you’re any good at it does not pay.

This makes me always feel I should be doing something else first to bring in money before I do any writing. Makes sense so far but when you open the door, even just a crack, to the outside world it sets off a chain reaction that finishes anytime between 6pm and 10pm with no writing done.

Blindly chasing jobs to pay the bills is chaos and doing what I’m doing means I’ll wake up every birthday promising that next year will be different, next year I’ll get the novel written. Fuck that. Fuck that all over the place because that’s my fear getting in the way and stopping all the good stuff from happening.

My happy future is writing, publishing and selling books that people read, enjoy and come back for more while telling their friends they should read them as well.

I want to see those books become audiobooks, comics, TV Series, movies, plays, fan fiction, and cosplay as they build their own universe.

As recently as yesterday I would shy away from that admission. I’d say I wrote books that I hoped people liked enough to buy, but that false modesty wasn’t moving projects forward, getting work done or building up a body of work. It wasn’t doing anything at all. It was hedging my bets, not fully committing to what I write and building in a back door to excuse failure ahead of time. That can go fuck itself as well.

I want a lot out of life. I want to be a best selling author, build a successful business, and most of all be the most positive, supportive presence I can be in the lives of my family, friends and community.

To make that happen the first thing that has to happen is to satisfy that need to write, publish and promote my books. It’s not a job, it can’t be switched on and off. Writing has to be done every day and before anything else.

Stick with me on this next bit because it’s new to me as well. Even though I want writing to secure my financial future, I’m not depending on it. I’ll write every day because it’s good for me. Writing every day helps me better connect and understand the world around me. Writing fiction, exploring how characters react to other people, the world around them and the conflicts they face helps me interact with the world. Writing fiction, making stories work is intensely satisfying and useful for my emotional and mental health. The most important thing is every day I’m writing, learning about writing, and improving my writing. If that makes me money that’s a machine I’ll never get tired feeding.

  1. Write everyday
  2. Read everyday
  3. Finish what you start
  4. Publish what you finish
  5. Promote what you publish
  6. Go to step 1

That’s the writing life I’ve been hiding from because of fear, imposter syndrome, low self-esteem, anxiety and any other wedge that can slip between the cracks of my joy and bust it apart. Blogging as therapy dear reader? Who knew?

That’s the whys out of the way but what about the hows?

Getting up before everyone else when the house is quiet and the world doesn’t need anything from me is an excellent time to write. Before I do anything else, even take the dog for a walk, I should write. Shuffle across the hall into the office, turn on the laptop and start writing. This has me thinking about a daily routine that gets me writing and earning.

  • 5am: Wake up and write
  • 7am: Walk the dog
  • 8:30am: Shower, dress, and make breakfast.
  • 9am: Write
  • 11am: Online course work
  • 12:30 Lunch
  • 13:00: Client work
  • 17:00 Prospecting
  • 17:30 End of day routine

Tomorrow is Sunday which means I finish work when I finish writing. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Goal 2 – Make a £30,000 Profit from Marketing Business

Project – Ultimate Salon Marketing Course

Progress made today

Nothing today but I haven’t been idle. I can bore at the drop of a hat. Give me a topic I know something about, and you’ll wish I didn’t. Maybe it’s a tech support background or the tempoarary liberation from obscurity, but a simple question will get you diagrams, detailed explanations and analogies whether you want them or not.

This is not a desirable quality when building out an online course because it will make it an overly long, joyless experience for students who will not go and rave to others. They’ll hammer virtual warning signs around me warning others not to engage.

How will I avoid this? With Beta Students. I posted online asking for Beta students for the course as it was built. I’ll share the outlines, the lessons and the downloads for their feedback. Equally important is that as I build eh course it’ll force me to rewrite/edit the lessons before I release them to the betas

  • First draft is for me
  • Second draft is for them

Plan for tommorrow

I’m setting the group up for the Betas tomorrow and asking what they most want out of the course to help me build the outline.

Fixed Fee Lead Clients

Progress made today

As it’s the weekend, I’ve not done anything on this, but I’ve had a lot of thinking time about this whole part of my life.

I’m not an arts grants kind of guy. I applied for one once, got rejected and told by those more experienced than me that I’d been too honest. You get individual artists grants by applying for what the governing body wants, not what you’re really going to do. I couldn’t be arsed with that.

I gave up halfway through the setup of a Patreon account because the art I create (novels) has the potential to pay for itself and I’d no idea what to use as incentives. Besides who needs that pressure?

I’m happier having stress free space to write, publish, and promote. To get that stress free space I need an income, and that’s where the marketing business comes in.

If you’d have asked me before the weekend what was the plan for the marketing business I’d have said it was there to pay the bills until the writing money began to flow in. That was a lie I was telling myself. I really want it all.

  • Happy Family Man
  • Best Selling Fiction Author
  • Managing Director of a successful Marketing Business

Nothing else will do.

The best way I know to create a successful business is with a solid plan.

  • Plan the work
  • Work the plan

Business planning falls under the Anniversary Rule. Something you do at most once a year and usually not very well. I haven’t business planned very well at all for the Marketing Business. Guess what I’m doing for the next week?

Pay Per Lead Clients

Progress made today

None today but I did make a great find. The secret to making Pay Per Lead work is getting leads for less than I sell them for.

If on average it costs me £40 for each lead and I sell them for £50 that’s a nice profit. But if I can get leads for £1 and sell them for £50, that’s amazing.

I get leads by bringing visitors to a website and presenting them with an irresistible offer in exchange for the information the client needs. This is usually name, email address and whatever niche information they require that indicates buyer intent from the person submitting their information.

The four ways to attract traffic to a website are.

  1. Getting found on search engines
  2. Social Media
  3. Direct Mail
  4. Paid Traffic

The first three require planning and time from someone carrying out the work. The fourth option needs planning, time, and advertising spend. It makes sense to build a steady flow of leads from the first three options before spending money with Google, Facebook and everyone else.

To make the first three work you need content and way to distribute it that is measurable and sustainable. What are you going to publish, where are you going to publish it, is anyone reading it and how do you make sure you’re getting it out on time?

There are apps that don’t quite do all of that, and it’s always the one or two pieces they are missing that you need. What I found was a paper-based system that does all I need to build a steady content flow. I got in at the Kickstarter level, and it’s proving to be an invaluable tool. See me soar as a Content God, a one-man BuzzFeed and the next generation of HuffPo.

Goal 3 – Weekends off and 6 Weeks Holiday

This hasn’t been happening, and I’m suffering because of it. I’m writing tomorrow. Giving beta students access to the secret Facebook group and then I’m up, up and away for Sunday/weekend downtime.

Goal 4 – Finish Dec 19 Portsmouth Marathon

Got new boots. Minimalist footwear and stony Nothern Ireland footpaths do not mix. Walking until the end of this month then onto 5k training.

Goal 5 – Read 24 Books

Reading

  • Promised Land by Robert B. Parker
  • The Alter Ego Effect by Todd Herman
  • Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
  • Keys to Great Writing by Stephen Wilbers

Finished Books

  • The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
  • A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov
  • Post Office by Charles Bukowski
  • Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun
  • Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky
  • The One Thing by Gary Keller
  • Ask the Dust by John Fante

Goal 6 – Complete 12 Marketing Courses

Nothing here today.

In Progress

  • No Fear Funnels by Dave Foy
  • Landing Page Design & Conversion Rate Optimization by Issac Rudansky

Completed

  • Ultimate Google Ads 2018 by Issac Rudansky