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This is 1 of 4 weekly posts re: a 30-day writing challenge I'm doing in September 2022. It's a practice run for a training cohort I might join in October for an "official" version of this challenge.
It's called "Ship 30 for 30" - in other words, write and PUBLISH ("ship") a 250ish-word Atomic Essay. You're to share your work every day via your choice of Twitter, LinkedIn, Medium, and/or Typeshare.
I don't use LinkedIn (and don't ever plan to) so I won't be sharing my writing challenge essays there. But I am sharing them every day to Twitter, Medium, and Typeshare* along with my Facebook Page and Pinterest account.
*Use my link for 1 free month of Typeshare and then 3 months at 50% off!
If you'd PLEASE click your link of choice above and Follow me, I'd be so appreciative! 🙏🏼 Part of my goal in doing the 30-Day Writing Challenge is to increase my followers on Medium, Twitter, etc. 📈
Photo credit: Magnolia & Sage Stock
Why I'm Doing a 30-Day Writing Challenge
When I was 13, I was going to be A Writer when I grew up.
I was the shy introvert girl who people liked okay but didn’t know much about. I was “stuck up” per my classmates and “always had my nose in a book.”
At age 8, I started a diary … you know the little hardcover books with an actual gold lock on them? I started my entry each night with “Dear Diary, …”. In high school, I filled 8.5 x 11 spiral notebooks with my daily life, my dreams, my crushes, my poetry.
In college, I majored in Creative Writing. I read loads of classic books. I wrote essays dissecting the lives of famous writers and what their words meant. To graduate, I wrote a book of poetry. My graduate professor said I was “very talented.”
I couldn’t wait for the next phase of my life. I’d get my MFA in English, my poetry published. I would travel to Italy for inspiration and write novels! I was on a creative high, using what I knew were my God-given talents and I never wanted that feeling of joy to end.
I was going to be A Writer!
I grew up to be everything but A Writer.
Instead of fulfilling my writing dreams, we bought a house, worked full-time jobs. I became a super mom. I was bushed.
I stopped writing.
Years later, my career has finally settled into one path: digital marketer. I write words to educate, to build trust, and to sell things. I’m a social media expert and a blogger — but I’m not A Writer.
Nothing is stopping me from being A Writer but me.
I followed a rabbit trail that started with a speaker at a recent Kajabi conference and found a writing challenge that was meant for me. As a busy working parent, I can manage this. I can write daily. I don’t need to write “perfectly.” I don’t need to write a novel. I can exceed word limits :)
I am finally A Writer.
Photo credit: Styled Stock Society
3 Best Books for Every Solopreneur
As a longtime solopreneur, I’ve read many books on the varied topics within digital business. Unfortunately, so many of them focus on the goal of expansion and building a team. But what if that’s not what you want? These are the books you should read.
Book #1: The War of Art
You’ve probably seen this one on other “best business books” lists.
Here’s why you’ll love it: Creation is at the root of everything entrepreneurs do. There’s no better book about tapping creativity and overcoming resistance.
Book #2: Company of One
Finding this book felt like home to me 💛. After years as a solopreneur, I finally had a book that validated the decisions I’d made to only work with and for myself.
Who should read this: If you’re a solopreneur needing validation for your choice of business structure, this is for you.
Book #3: Rework
Finally, EVERYONE should definitely read this book!
Here’s why it’s such a must: Rework is a mind-blowing book. Through a series of easy-to-read, short chapters, the authors illustrate brilliant work concepts in fresh ways you’ve never thought of them.
Photo credit: Inspired Stock Shop — find similar photos here
The Goal That Means the Most To Me In My Business Is This
If I had to pick, I have one big overarching goal for my business.
And that’s to be true to myself.
This is my biggest goal because there’s no point in owning a business if I’m doing things I don’t believe in and aren’t right for me.
I believe every person should be true to themselves in their business. I believe when you can tune out all the other nonsense, it makes you feel powerful, in control, and satisfied.
I’ve been in digital business since 2006. Early on, like most, I did (or tried to do) whatever the “gurus” said. For instance, I idolized one of the top affiliate marketers because he was so likable. But he taught to do things one way (the right way) yet did them the wrong way himself, assumedly to make more money.
That was an early lesson to NOT follow behind someone just because you like them and they’re popular. And also to be a worthy example to those behind you.
Now, I certainly don’t think being true to myself is the only goal that matters in my business. I also want to:
- Make money/meet income goals
- Be kind to people and serve people
- Be an example to other solopreneurs
But above all else, the thing that means the most to me is being true to myself, following my heart, and having a business that I love and can be proud of.
One of the biggest benefits of being entrepreneurs is that WE get to decide how we run things. I think it’s vastly important for us each to follow our own paths, and do things that feel good to our souls, regardless of what others are doing.
If this resonated with you, I’d love to hear from you! ✨
Photo credit: Styled Stock Society; sign up for free SSS photos here
Myth #1: No Face Time = Failure
Let’s talk about some myths in online business. Here’s the first one:
You MUST be on camera often or your online business won’t succeed.
I’m sure you’ve been told: If you want success, you have to put yourself out there on camera. This myth exists because people believe the only way to build the “Know, Like, and Trust Factor” is for people to see your face.
But that’s just plain wrong.
You can be successful without selfies 🤳🏼
I’ve done it and I know many others who have as well.
Some of the most successful bloggers out there don’t show their faces in their author photo .There are MANY niche sites raking in the dough without so much as an About, Contact, or Author page much less a photo of the owner. I’ve successfully worked online since 2006; I use stock photos, have never gone live, and use my logo as my profile photo 😬
That’s why I feel it’s such a mistake to believe this myth to be true.
Some tips on how you can do things instead.
Tip #1: Express yourself in other ways. Share your message via writing or with audio. Invest in beautiful stock photos that can tell compelling stories.
Tip #2: Don’t let others pressure you. If someone wants to be the face of their business, great! But only do what makes YOU comfortable.
Tip #3: Emphasize your work. Prove you can do the work, provide the results, etc. That’s what truly matters.
So if you have reasons for wanting not to be on camera for your business, you don’t need to be. It’s your business. Do things your own way 💛
Photo credit: Beach Babe Stock
Myth #2: The Bigger the Better
Here’s a 2nd myth of online business: Your goal should be to constantly expand and make as much revenue as you can.
You probably feel this pressure every day: Constant offers teaching you how to make 7-figures. Humble brags about 6-figure launches. Lambos, luxurious travel, impressive income screenshots (hmm, what about expenses?).
Perhaps this myth exists because entrepreneurs want to strive for the best. Measuring success by dollar amounts and follower counts is super tempting. But in my opinion, they’ve got it all wrong.
Keeping your business small and lean is better.
That’s why so many people elect to be solopreneurs. And it’s clearly a valid choice as well.
According to Entrepreneur.com, in 2019 the US Small Business Administration identified 51 million small businesses, 81% of which were business owners with no additional employees.
Instead of big and bold, keep things small but successful.
Follow these 3 tips to be a happy solopreneur!
Tip #1: Do what you love. Choose a business and niche that you adore. You’ll be handling all aspects so make sure it’s pleasurable to you.
Tip #3: Keep it lean to keep your money. No need to hire employees and all the expense/hassle that entails. Instead, do short contracts with freelancers.
Don’t waste years chasing numbers, only to find that you’ve become a manager vs doing the work you set out to do. Have a solopreneur plan from the start, keep it simple, and enjoy more of your proceeds in your pocket.
Photo credit: Inspired Stock Shop — purchase similar photos here
Myth #3: Large Launches Make You Rich
Here’s one last myth: Throw all the time, ads, and staff you can at a digital product launch so it makes you 5, 6, or even 7 figures.
I’m sure you’ve seen all the humble brags, like “Oh wow, I just had a $165K launch!” And the ads sure catch your eye: “Take my awesome course and have a $500K launch!” Well, who doesn’t love money? And the more we can make from one event, the better, right?
But I’m here to tell you why it’s all wrong.
In many “large” launches, the take-home is minor.
And you’d walk away with more profit in your pocket (revenue minus expenses) by keeping things simple with a low-stress, low-cost launch.
Here’s what Jenny Shih said in her “large launch” debrief for her group coaching intensive: “Stick with one-on-one as long as you continue to love the work. It’s more profitable, way less stressful, comes with much lower risk, and takes so much less time and effort when you add it all up.”
Surprising, right? But here’s where her opinion comes from: Though Jenny’s total revenue was an impressive $445,000 … “at the end of the day, after this launch, … my business pretty much just breaks even.” Her expenses were ads, her team, affiliates, tech support, software, etc.
Instead of chasing large launches, how can you earn the same “take home” in a simpler, less stressful way?
If your business has gotten out of hand in the pursuit of large launches, here’s where to start:
#1 — Remember your why. Who did you originally want to serve and how can you still help them on a smaller scale but with meaningful impact?
#2 — “Take it back to the studs”. Similar to a full-home remodel, take your business all the way back. Simplify your offerings; make them more hands-off for you. You’ll have lower expenses and less stress.
Cheers to Big Impact instead of Big Launches! 🥂
Photo credit: Pixistock feminine stock photos
Mistakes from Week 1
The main mistake I made in my writing challenge was not planning ahead.
Well, I did do SOME planning, as far as blocking out daily writing time and deciding what topics to write about. But I didn’t do any outlining or even come up with essay titles before September 1. So most days, I wasted time brainstorming and deciding what to specifically write about. Frustrating.
What I learned is that it’s best to do as much of that as you can BEFORE you start a 30-day writing challenge.
My advice: Plan ahead.
If you don’t, you’ll waste time and be frustrated like I was. If you heed my advice, your writing challenge will go much more smoothly. You don’t want to play catch-up, and lose your streak (womp, womp). I’m going to tell you exactly how to plan ahead and avoid a fate similar to mine.
#1. Decide on 1–4 topics for your essays.
If nothing else, at least nail down your weekly/monthly topic. For example, during my challenge prep, I considered writing about: pop culture/sports; simplifying your digital business; Kajabi specifically; or authentic marketing.
#2. Make notes on possible titles and start some outlines.
Once I settled on my actual topics (solopreneurship, Kajabi, marketing, blogging), I got lots of ideas. I should’ve written them down and started outlines. Or doing drafts in Typeshare.co* would’ve been ideal <- do this!
#3. Bonus advice: Get some photos ready ahead of time.
Finding a fitting image on the fly for each daily essay post is time-consuming. During your prep, start a folder on your desktop and throw possible images in there (that you’ve already resized).
If you follow this advice, it’ll be much easier to meet your daily goal of writing and publishing an essay for 30 days. You got this!
And that's a wrap on Week 1 of my 30-day writing challenge! xo
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