A couple of weeks ago, I talked with a trusted friend about the rapid fire growth I’ve experienced in my business this year. She said something that I am still thinking about, still rebelling against, if I am really honest with myself (and you.)
She told me that I should consider putting my own writing projects on hold for a while.
They’re not essential to your business, she said.
I know you love writing e-books, but maybe this isn’t the time to be writing them, she said.
I mentioned her comments to Angie, who is my right-hand person, helping me manage the business these days.
But I grumbled.
It’s easy for me to see the business reasons why it’s more important for me to focus on our core work. My business is new — started officially in March, although I’ve only been working in the business full time since June.
I’ve released 3 e-books over the past ten months. I’ve given away lots of them, and I think they have added to the overall value I offer clients. I haven’t extended much energy in trying to sell them, and as a result, I haven’t sold many either.
So my friends’ advice makes sense.
But here’s the thing — I have ideas all the time.
Over the past week or so, I’ve spent about 5 of my consulting hours talking with clients about LinkedIn. Several conversations have centered around what I call a LinkedIn tune-up. I hear myself repeating the same tips and advice and the first thought that comes to my mind is: there should be a 31 Days of LinkedIn Tips E-book next. Or, at the very least, I should write these tips into blog posts.
I’ve got four big ideas for new e-books and I’ve started writing 2 of them. My goal had been to release another e-book on October 1 (not happening.)
I am doing the essential things because the essential things demand doing. And I love the work that fills my calendar.
Yet still there is this desire pulling me to find the time to continue to write and publish e-books, if for no other reason than that I love to do it. Is that a compelling enough reason? Or is the time to write and publish e-books a luxury I can’t afford right now? If I ignore my wise friends’ advice, is it to my own peril? Or should I push ahead, even if it requires a sacrifice?
Tell me something! What do you think? Is it important to listen to my friends’ wise counsel? Or is my love of writing reason enough to continue?
I am the founder/CEO of the Weaving Influence team, the author of Reach: Creating the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, and the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast. I’m a wife and mom of three kids, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, coffee, and dark chocolate.
Some people have to write to stay sane. If that’s you, then KEEP WRITING. But if it’s not, that would be a lot of extra time to devote to the business…and I’m not about to argue with Whitney Johnson!
Something to think about, Becky – The best materials I’ve developed over the years have been driven by client needs. There may be a way to integrate your business with your writing.
For those people that enjoy writing, they will write anyway. This may not be the time to publish every idea that comes into your mind, but you can still write nonetheless when you have time.
The thing is that businesses, especially new businesses, need nurturing and tending if they are to grow we intend, and go the direction of our vision. Sometimes we must choose where to focus our highest and best energy moments on the truly essential things to move ahead.
And, I agree with Jesse Stoner in the comments. Some of your best ideas will probably come from your work with your clients,as they already have, and there should be a way to capture the best of both worlds. I think this is where you team comes into play in helping pull all the ideas together and getting them (client, team and “personal” projects) to the best platform.
It sounds to me like you’re starting to split things into your work and your passion. That would make me sad, and I hope it’s not necessary. It’s your passion that brought you to your work, this train needs to stay on that track.
I’m sorry but I totally disagree with the “put your writing aside” recommendation. Instead, look more closely at how the business is taking your time and find the parts that can be contracted out or shared with your team.
Never, ever suspend life until later. You never know what will happen before later comes.
Here is a question for you…
Would Seth Godin, Gary Varynerchuk, Malcolm Gladwell, etc… be who they are today if they decided to stop writing early in their careers? How can you be viewed as an expert in your field (especially when your field is Social Media, Content Strategy, etc.) if you’re not sharing your ideas and experiences all the time?
How many things would never have been published, if the authors had followed their peers’ advice? So listen to their advice, but do what’s right for YOU. Maybe your writing and your business aren’t always going to mesh. But which one can only YOU do? And what will you regret NOT doing ten or twenty years down the road?
Also, as a writer, I would say to write those things while they’re fresh and big in your mind. Get the ideas on paper while you’re enthused about them. Otherwise… it’s not going to happen.
To write or not to write. It’s not a black and white question. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Take out a piece of paper and draw a big circle. Draw lines lines for the segments of your life the way it is now so you can see by the pie what the ratios are. Now use another piece of paper and re-draw the lines with the ratios aligned with how you want to spend your time. You can keep writing. But maybe you need to treat it like the second job that you’re passionate about, but has to take 2nd place to your competing more-than-full-time-job. Since that 2nd job is also your business you’re in a winning position either way. Your biggest challenge will be to decide where to draw the line. Keep writing and publishing, but at a slower pace. Your readers will still buy from you.
Keep on writing for as long as you love doing it. There are plenty of other more routine activities you can create templates for and then delegate to your team/staff. Writing those tips for Linked In are an important component of the joy you must find in helping others when you leverage your expertise. It’s also creating your own branded intellectual property and products for client development.
Delegate everything else that you could pay $75.00 an hour or less for and keep the most fun and joyful work for yourself. Once it becomes easy to replicate then DELEGATE it.
Best of luck and hurry up and get the world those great Linked In tips!
Patty De, Coach to High Achievers
Thank you for the great encouragement. I have another e-book planned (not the LinkedIn tips) but I am working to delegate as much as I can!
Just curious — how did you land on delegating anything that costs less than $75/hr?
I hope you’ll continue to read here!