Last year at this time I was in a very different place than I am today. While I’m still riding the wave of a new business, I have learned some good surfing skills. And by waves, I mean the big ones that you’re not sure you’ll make it out of without being pulled under. Let’s be real here, starting your own business isn’t for the weak. It’s not easy and some days it’s down right terrifying.
There’s something though, even on the toughest of days that keeps you going. Maybe it’s that tiny voice in the back of your brain saying, “Hey, hey you… don’t give up. It’s going to work. Have patience and never stop fighting!”
My form of fighting came in December of 2018 when I wrote the story I wanted my year to tell in 2019. I was done with floundering about and taking any kind of writing work that came my way in order to stay afloat. I was sick of my own excuses. I was tired of feeling like a constant failure. It was time to take matters into my own hands and tell my life what it was going to look like in 2019.
This one simple mindset shift changed everything for me.
One of my goals was to publish a short e-book. And by short, I mean short! It was a test, mostly to prove to myself that I could do it. It took a month from start to finish. Writing, editing, book design and publishing. I didn’t expect much from it. I have a smallish following and have spent some time in the last two years building connections in some Facebook groups, but that was it. I didn’t have a marketing plan beyond that, because well… I don’t love marketing. Shhhhh… don’t tell anyone!
What came next was something I didn’t expect. My little book that could hit #3 in the Hot New Releases for Motivational Self-Help Books just 2 behind Rachel Hollis’ Girl, Stop Apologizing. What?! Even though this didn’t mean I had sold a million copies, it did mean that I had done something I didn’t know I could. I can’t tell you how fun it was watching Lean In With Love climb that list!
1. Publishing a book gave me confidence.
Lean In With Love proved to me that I could do it. It effectively silenced the negative self-doubt that kept pushing to the forefront of my thoughts. In response to the are you sure you can do this moments, I can now say: “Back off you negative jerk, I can do this. Look, I just did!”
2. Publishing a book gave me credibility.
All of a sudden I was being offered work that I hadn’t been offered before, by people who knew me. The book changed their perception of what I could do as well. Win! Win!
3. Publishing a book helped me find my direction.
When I started Sadie Tells Stories I knew two things: I wanted to write and I wanted to have the freedom to work from anywhere. Not the best business plan. I was honestly willing to take anything in the beginning. Seriously, anything.
Now I’m not. I know exactly the kind of work I will take and the amount I want to be paid for it.
4. Publishing a book brought clients my way.
Oh yeah, I said this already in the credibility section, but it’s worth mentioning again. A book is an amazing calling card. It is one of the best ways to get your ideas and your work out there.
5. Publishing a book taught me to own my worth.
I no longer take work that is payed based on the promise of future work. I no longer take work that pays little and requires a ridiculous amount in a short period of time. I have three non-negotiables when it comes to accepting clients now. They must be able to pay the rate I set. They must be able to provide a reasonable amount of time to complete the project, or pay a rush fee. They must be able to pay a deposit upfront. I am worth it and so is my work!
Publishing a book did wonders for my business. It took it from maybe I can do this to I can totally do this. So publish your book already. You don’t need a fancy publisher. You just need an idea and the drive to do it. I promise it is worth it!