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Photo: Kelly Sikkema (Flickr: Public Domain)


This is where I'm at:

Blog posts were more regularly scheduled over the past three months but I struggled with a mountain of paperwork that left me less time to dedicate to my biz.  

My part-time job is finally focusing on the topic that I want (as a career) as I mentioned in the last update, so there may be a point I have to decide to focus on one or the other although I do like the balance of both - splitting time between two very different activities.  It's just the mental focus that both take probably doubles - as I have to think of promotion, fundraising, deadlines, etc for both.  Not sure where this is all going as I have a definite break with part-time (contract is over as of February 1) so I will have some time to try to go at my biz full time.  So that will be a very interesting opportunity!

I really want to have some things to offer before I push the promotion plan full-tilt.  So this winter I think will still be quiet as I work in the background on things.

The priorities as I see them right now are: products, guest posts, and updating website at some point.

No new collaborations until I have my own products!

Let's step it up and start my first two incredible sweet products and release them into the world for next spring!  It's time to be brave.  xo

keeping ahead of the curve

WEEK 82 - POST 3

So I got another post published and I did a bit of promotion online but again I'm wondering how to raise the profile of these posts more (or if I should). 

The blog is a free offering, but it IS one way of how I draw people in to see what else I offer also.  So I need to understand which posts need more promotion (those that resonate with other offerings) and which of them are ok just to leave to SEO etc. 

I'm happy to be building up my blog content so that when people do come, there's lots to read or lots to note and come back to later.  And I don't want to spend TOO much time on promotion (esp. online) because I don't believe that the payout is there. 

So I know that balancing all streams of promotion is going to be key to me in the upcoming year.  Especially after I have some products.  I really need to get a strong promotional strategy working!

Two other posts are scheduled and two other are in their final draft form and just need some editing and photos.  I'm hoping that I'll be ahead by about a month when I start up again after the holidays.  Along with some work done for the products.  And then the month after I should have three months of time just to devote to work.  Hallelujah.


to leap or not to leap

WEEK 82 - POST 2

I'm oscillating back and forth between focusing on the biz (making the leap) and worrying about where the money will come from.  This isn't surprising but it's hard and it really makes me second guess myself.

I feel like I've had the last few years to prove myself and that I shouldn't take time off (unpaid) to focus more on the biz.  But then on the other hand I haven't had much free time to really focus on the biz, it's always been in small snippets of time between part-time and other tasks, so I've never really given it a go FULL TIME.

So finally having that FREE TIME - REAL TIME - that I can set aside JUST for the biz would be great.

(I really do think that this is it, I've got to do it next year or just let this dream go. xo)

what's what: monday morning check-in!

WEEK 82 - POST 1

Where do we go from here?

I'm really wondering if I can "trust" myself.  Should I really continue to work with this organization if they:

a) expect me to supervise staff

b) expect me to promote all products (even if in a very small way)

It's really not a big deal because of all the people I talked to and networked with, they really have no interest or focus unless there is money behind it.  There is just not the time.  So unless there is some organizational wide (from their end) support there will be no taking up of products.  So in a way, I don't have to worry about promoting that stuff.  One question about the (other) audit (or two) and a few requests for presentations (which I could say no to).  Some interest in the certificate and award but only because I was heavy promoting them and the "pilot opportunity to do it for free".

And as long as I state that staff supervision can be no more that three months and only if they are doing a specific product (not general networking) I should be good.

The other thing I'm wondering about is that I have this new opportunity but it would be research, discussion, developing idea and I'm worried about all the writing (but the research would be fun!).  I'm just worried the writing would impact my other writing (fiction + blog).

If I go down to 15 hours (rather than 18 hours) would that help?

What I'm thinking is that I take the time right now, to let it simmer for 4 weeks and then decide in the new year.  And then once we are in the clear in February see how it feels to focus on the biz.  If it's working continue, if not let's re-evaluate.  If not funding comes in by May/June then a bigger re-evaluation will be needed (but by them maybe the biz will be taking off!)

Half of me is really excited about three months to focus on THE BIZ.  But the other half is terrified that if it doesn't work out, I'll be really stuck and have to take some horrible job and declare that this whole experiment didn't work out.

But what if by trying, I find a new direction or find out that I'm happy with a simple job that gives me time at night to do fiction writing.  What if that is all I need?

(And I think this is part of why I should do self-care and not socialize too much while all of this is taking place - you end up feeling like you have to justify every decision.)


What's Inspiring You This Week: As I sit and stare at this blank space, I am reminded that it is in the MESS that we can find ourselves.   EMBRACE THE MESS!!

Where Are you Stuck This Week: Trying to solve it all, right now, when I don't have to.  There is no imminent decision that I have to do TODAY.

What Is The Message You Need To Hear: You've got this, you have NOT leapt yet.  Don't think that those years were a waste or were the real test.  You are now ready for the real test.  Give yourself this one chance!!  You have some savings - now invest in yourself!!

What Will You Commit To For This Week: Finishing two blog posts and having fun starting the products.  Yes, you heard me - I'm going to start the products!!  xo

OK, that was a long check-in this morning... yikes!! I hope all is going well for everyone else - how is this Monday in your entrepreneur life?

What's Inspiring You This Week:

Where Are you Stuck This Week:

What Is The Message You Need To Hear:

What Will You Commit To For This Week:

end of week - ugh (again)

WEEK 81 - POST 4

I just wanted to check in here one more time because at the end of the day, I was stressed.

- working with those who truly don't listen to my point of view
- working with those who truly don't think through their "asks" (have I been clear enough, is this really the best use of her time, etc)
- working with those who have a complete different vision than I (but I do know that locally there has been support of my vision)

Every time I get put out, I feel these emotions (rage, frustration, stress, unhappiness) because I'm not able to be clear in what I want.  I fear that if I speak up, I will lose this paid position (or at least that certain people will not want to work with me again).  So I just silently boil and let these emotions simmer.  But what if I did speak up?  What if, by speaking up, I provide a clear message to the world and the universe of what I DO want?  And that by speaking up, I'm then lead to more happiness and peace overall.

Again, my mind feels like this is the only group to partner with so I then go into protective mode of what I think I have (that I believe can't be replaced).  I love what I do when I go out into the world with this part-time biz and I don't see any type of replication of it anywhere else.  Not in this informal, relaxed way.  But that's only what my mind can grasp, it's not the truth (or the miracles) of the universe.

I think of all the times I haven't been happy with this part-time job - having to post jobs, interview, supervise, answer questions, manage others, etc. and I know I've compromised a lot.

i've compromised alot to get to:

- $25 an hour (so if I work 15 hrs/wk, I take home $1.5 K a month)
- the opportunity to apply for a three-year grant for my position

But these are achievements I do feel happy with!

But in the end, has all the compromise to get here, been worth it?

Then on the other hand, there is the stress of being a small business owner and the lack of knowledge (or desire) to do the promotion side (which is key - yikes!) and the need to please customers and be flexible, reactive and accommodating.  I just don't see what other options I have.  I was thinking this week, that a better model could have been to write for others and use other publications to get the word out.  I might try a bit more of that in the upcoming year (along with guest posts).

I think that unless you go where someone is REALLY passionate (art, expensive hobby, writing) or has strong needs (i.e. all these business coaches, etc.) then it's a really tough slog.  For example: people like reading and music but most are not crazy passionate about it (unless you are the writer or musician) and you can see where these two industries are bleeding revenues.

Too much to figure out when I'm closer to retirement than at the start of my career.


how to get noticed

WEEK 81 - POST 3

I completed a blog post this week and published one (but didn't promote it yet on T) and am working on two more today.  I was hoping to get some product development done today but if I can get two blog posts written, I'll be ahead by four posts!  I'm thinking about doing shorter posts so that I can give myself more time to work on product development also!  As I've been saying - something hast to give!

I looked at the more robust Google Analytic tool (which I signed up for a few months ago) and it was a bit of a shock to realize how low my numbers are and I'm really wondering how to get the numbers up next year:

- prioritize one type of social media and really connect with people there
- do guest posts to get my writing out to a wider audience
- get better at SEO (I notice I am doing well for some google searches but not the more "general" ones - I may have to dedicate some time to writing more on the general topic?)
- think of a really GREAT social media campaign after I have products to get noticed

For me it still feels unnatural to share stuff on social media - I don't want to go personal but I also may be sharing the wrong stuff for my audience.  I just really need to figure this out!

Along with the blahs and the ughs I've been feeling lately, I've started wondering if what I'm doing is worth it.  Does anyone really care?  Am I making a difference?  How do I narrow in on my "Who" and figure out what real "Whats" they need?  I'm just not going niche enough in the way most laypeople would think!  (My example is this woman who focuses on a hobby/passion that many people have and they want to improve so of course love her website, where as mine is very general (and using the wrong topic description - need to understand better the layperson's view) and not connecting with anyone as it's more a general interest than a PASSION.)

Something to think about...

FROM WEEK 28 (2016):
"I'm kind of learning how to ride the ebb and flow towards my interest in my blog... 
Then the social media schedule (promoting new blog posts) is so time consuming (and not the fun side of blogging!) that I just check out after awhile...  
And I googled for a specific topic and my blog ended up on the SECOND PAGE for the google query.  That's not bad!!  At least I'm not seventh or fifteenth!  This is GREAT NEWS!!" (LINK)