I know I can’t be the only person who is a little floored that we’re down to only 7 weeks left in 2018.
This year has flown by (thankfully, it’s been a rough year and an amazing year all at the same time). In many ways, I think this year has prepared me for everything that’s coming, in a good way. The clarity I have in my business is unlike anything else I’ve felt, and I know this because of the level of focus I have right now.
Victor Hugo said it best, “Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.”
My guess is many of you have experienced something similar on your own entrepreneurial journey. The path is anything but straight, you’ve had great ideas before, you’ve executed on them, but they didn’t live up to your hopes or expectations. Or… more than that they came to fruition but before you knew it you were tired of that idea or ‘thing’ as soon as it got off the ground.[click_to_tweet tweet=”In many ways it feels like what I’m doing now is what I was supposed to be doing all along” quote=”In many ways it feels like what I’m doing now is what I was supposed to be doing all along” theme=”style6″]
In many ways it feels like what I’m doing now is what I was supposed to be doing all along. Not from the place of “I should have done this sooner”, but from the place of everything else was supposed to happen because it brought me here. The experiences, knowledge, wins, losses… all of it. It was exactly what was needed so that I could fully step into this next phase of my life and business.
For the sake of giving you something really tangible, here are just a few things that I’ve gone ‘all in with’ that didn’t turn out how I hoped they would:
- Building websites (we all know it was never what I wanted to do)
- WP video club membership
- Creating an outsourcing company
- WP plugin for webinars
- WP plugin for Gumroad & email
- High ticket offers for the sake of ‘high ticket offers’
- A movie I produced in 2010, that took massive time, energy, and money
- Multiple partnerships started and stopped
- Done-for-you podcasting service (I enjoyed this the most)
- SaaS product
… and that’s just a sprinkling of what I can remember off the top of my head. There have no doubt been LOTS more that I’m either blocking out or didn’t cause enough drama/success in my life to remember.
Here’s the crazy thing my friends… as I sit here writing this episode out I realize there are a few running themes among most of these projects that didn’t come to fruition.
They all required something of me that I wasn’t willing to give.
There’s a handful of other reasons as well, but on a personal level, that is the running theme for me.
Which is where my FOMO comes into play.
It takes massive courage and bravery to be an entrepreneur today. Of course, it always has, but there’s a different level of courage required when the world has access to you and your brand at their fingertips, 24/7. No matter what is going on behind-the-scenes with other people, it always seems like someone else is doing more, having more fun, connecting more, accomplishing more, showing up more… you name it.[click_to_tweet tweet=”It takes massive courage and bravery to be an entrepreneur today.” quote=”It takes massive courage and bravery to be an entrepreneur today.” theme=”style6″]
My logical brain knows that regardless of what we ‘see’, we’re not getting the whole story.
On the other hand, the little kid in me gets worried or feels left out.
Over the last month+ I’ve been really focused on the Content Creators Planner. I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is what I’m supposed to be doing (this is my ‘everything has brought me here’ thing), and that I only have so much time in the day, but for all that is good in the world my ego thinks I should be doing more.
Fortunately, at this point in my life I’ve learned not to feed that voice, but damn it if it isn’t like a pesty little fly that needs to buzz by my ears every so often.
You know what I’m talking about, right?
You’re focused, you’re getting the work done, you feel fired up, and yet…
… because the work you’re doing isn’t something other people can see just yet, it feels like it’s not enough. Maybe there are other areas of your life that are suffering because of your focus, but then you see everyone else getting up at 5 am, getting to the gym, meditating, journaling, and knocking out half of their to-do-list before you’ve even had your first cup of coffee.
Not what other people are doing, but the judgment we make about ourselves for not doing or being someone else.
Even if we know we wouldn’t be so hard on ourselves if we weren’t paying attention to what other people are doing. Right?
For what it’s worth, I’m certainly at a point in my life where I don’t lose sleep over this nor does it get me off track, but it’s still there. And with the amount of emotional and mental struggles that entrepreneurs deal with it simply felt like it was something that needed to be shared.
I’m feeling a little squeezed right now with all that has to be done and the fact that we’re about to roll full swing into the holidays, but that’s O.K. I love what I’m doing so the work fuels me. I’ve given myself permission to stay focused. I could definitely use a little less ‘outside’ commitment (nothing overwhelming here, just lots of helping the family out with things, but I’m more committed to being at peace with that than saying ‘no’), but my responsibility to myself is unwavering.
Instead of beating myself up for the things I’m not doing (getting to the gym), I’m celebrating the things I am doing.[click_to_tweet tweet=”Instead of beating myself up for the things I’m not doing (getting to the gym), I’m celebrating the things I am doing.” quote=”Instead of beating myself up for the things I’m not doing (getting to the gym), I’m celebrating the things I am doing. ” theme=”style6″]
I’ve been meditating for over a month now (this is the longest I’ve stuck with this and it feels amazing). One day it might be 6 minutes, the next day it might be 15. It doesn’t matter… it completely grounds me and I know that’s a huge factor in what is helping me move through everything right now. I’ve gotten back on a better routine walking the dogs, am making sure to drink enough water and get enough sleep.
I can absolutely start to feel when I need to take some time for myself and I do it. It might just be going to a movie, checking out for the night, or not making plans.
Doing these simple little things for myself is what keeps me going. So instead of beating myself up for taking a nap or needing to put the laptop away at night, I acknowledge that it’s what is required to keep doing what I’m doing. Much like gas in a car or food for fuel. Those things fuel me on an emotional and mental level. It’s absolutely necessary.
Let’s switch gears into…. drumroll, please…
My first physical product!
I’ve been talking about this a bit for the last couple of months (and this is where all my focus and energy has been going), but holy moly this is exciting.
And before we get into the actual product (this isn’t a secret, it’s the Content Creators Planner), I want to point out a few things because so often we think we need months or years to do something and get it off the ground. This has absolutely NOT been the case with this product.
This is the “idea whose time has come”.
I’ve been playing with this idea in my head for the last year or so, I just didn’t feel like I had permission to do anything about it because I was working on a SaaS with someone else. As soon as the decision was made to shut down LeadSurveys, it was like the sky opened up (and I talk more about that journey in this podcast episode, I have no regrets).
Originally I told myself that I would revisit this in 2019, mainly because I wasn’t quite sure where to start. Then I had a conversation with someone and we started working on it. This was someone I hadn’t known but had reached out to me, we had a call and something in me felt like it might be a good fit. It wasn’t. And not because they weren’t capable or there were any issues, it was simply life stuff and as soon as I had that feeling in my gut that I needed to proceed without them I said so. No hard feelings.
Then I had one of those “I coulda’ had a V8″ moments!
OMG! I had a friend (an online friend), that I had known for quite a while and duh… she is a graphic designer (25 years in business and knows print design as well as digital design). What the actual bucket?
I took a leap of faith, asked her while she was away on a 2-week European cruise in August and she said yes (by the way, the ‘her’ is Jodi Hersh, and I will be forever grateful that she said yes to jumping in to doing this with me. I know this is the beginning of something amazing).
That was literally just this past August when the decision was made.
The speed at which this has all come together blows my mind. As soon as it started coming to life the idea grabbed a hold of both of us. I started sharing screenshots of the pages in my group and on my pages… the feedback blew me away. Which of course gave us more momentum.[click_to_tweet tweet=”As soon as it started coming to life the idea grabbed a hold of both of us.” quote=”As soon as it started coming to life the idea grabbed a hold of both of us.” theme=”style6″]
Before I go on, I should explain what this is in a little more detail (and you’ll be able to see much more of it shortly, patience young Jedi).
This is a physical planner for mapping and planning your content. We’ve created it as a quarterly planner because planning and mapping content for a year or even 6 months isn’t necessarily realistic. I know that there’s no way I know what I’ll want to create or produce next fall, let alone if it’s valuable to my brand(s). The purpose of the planner is to get people to start thinking of their content from two perspectives: is this valuable to my audience and how will this drive my business?
In other words, does your content covert to leads and sales?
Here are a few of the things that are included:
- Content strategy map
- Content goals
- Monthly campaign goals
- Content checklists (what you should include in different types of content)
- Monthly statistics
- Quarterly statists
- Campaign & funnel tracking
- …. so much more!
I literally feel like a little kid I’m so excited about this.
Where I did overshoot this a bit was that I thought it would be easier to produce in terms of printing production.
Fortunately, this where all the hard work and relationship building over the last 10 years is paying off. I’ve tried a couple sources for printing, then had a call with a friend I connected with over the last couple of years and totally forgot he helped people with book publishing (it was literally just a connection call to say hi again). Long story short, he connected me with two printers, one who can do everything (including fulfillment) and looks like it will be the best price out there.
I’ll share more about that once we get the planner in production, how it’s all working, and what we’re learning (I know enough to know that this is literally just the beginning). Naturally, I’ll be sharing the journey as we go. Most of that will probably be done on this site as opposed to the planner site, since that content will be focused more on how to use the planner, our customers using the planner, content strategy, etc. I also won’t be the only voice creating content over there, so the behind-the-scenes stuff will happen here).
We have no doubt the core planner will change and evolve once it gets out into peoples hands (which is also the benefit of creating a quarterly planner, it will be easier to get the updates to people sooner), but we also have plans for additional products under the brand. YAY!
And naturally, we’ll have a complete customer portal with videos on how to best take the content you’ve planned an optimize it (example: we have 8 complete checklists in the planner, we’ll show start to finish how to optimize a blog post or podcast episode). The training will be ongoing and will exist in the customer portal after the first of the year.
So this will be coming together pretty quickly too.
We’ve been planning it, I’ve been doing tons of research, but it has to happen quickly.
Because that’s how I seem to work best. haha…
All joking aside, we want to get the planner into peoples hands in January. We’re working on the video, planning out the project page and rewards, and doing outreach (I have a lot of support lined up for this already, but that will pretty much be my life in December).
The goal is to launch the Kickstarter on November 26th, which is pretty much like a minute away, but that’s O.K. Worst-case scenario it gets launched a week later, but our target is the 26th (yep, Cyber Monday). The Kickstarter will be 30 days long.
So, between now and then, this is pretty much all I’m doing. I’ve literally rescheduled things, blocked out the next two weeks, and am solely focused on this. We haven’t firmed up our funding goal yet, but have a pretty good idea. We obviously need to cover costs, but we have to build in a little bit of a budget to push it after the first of the year. We also want to make sure we attain our funding goal.
Coming full circle to why I feel like everything I’ve done has prepared me for this:
This is literally bringing together a handful of things I love, that bring me joy, into ONE product.
My love of art (I’ve gotten a little obsessed with brush pens, lettering, and painting again). The majority of my childhood I thought I would be a graphic designer. Most of my free time was spent doing something creative. I took art in high school and college, spent hours drawing in my room, was involved in music from about 7-17, and have always loved working with my hands.
Using colored pens to plan out my content marketing makes me happy.
Then add to that the fact that I get to create content, do content marketing, and marketing in general (email, social, live streams, podcast)… I don’t know that I could have painted a better picture.
Although I guess on some level this vision has always been inside me.
Follow your heart, my friends, you’ll be surprised at what shows up.