RELEASE SHIT THAT ISN'T WORKING
Think about all the things you identified in your look back that aren’t serving you. GET RID OF ‘EM. Now’s the time for a clear out. Drop projects and people and products and services and belief systems that drain your energy and hold you back.
FIND A WAY THROUGH THE OBSTACLES
Accept things will cross your path to tempt you from your goal or sabotage your progress. You can’t stop them – they will come whether you’re ready or not. (Hello, COVID-19).
Be prepared to cry and rage for a bit, but then get on with it and they won’t seem like problems any longer. Find coping mechanisms to get you through because burying your head in the sand is not a great business strategy.
BREAK YOUR GOALS INTO BITE-SIZED CHUNKS
Break down big goals into small steps that move you forward.
If you dream of interviewing 100 women for an illustrated book, first make a list of the women. That’s a micro goal.
Then contact 2 of them. Another micro goal. 1k words a day is a micro-goal, and you need these to get through the bigger goals, like finishing a book.
Completing these small goals will give you a sense of achievement and keep you going.
ASK FOR HELP
You can’t do everything on your own! Ask for exactly what you need and nothing more – specific question or instructions will get you the best results.
I have a podcast episode all about asking for help.
DO THE THING
Now you’ve got to do the thing. If you want that vision to be your reality, then you have to do the work. Holding the vision in your mind to get you through the grind, and learn to love the grind for making the rewards that much sweeter.
EXTRA FOR EXPERTS: PLAN TO QUIT YOUR DAY JOB
1. Write your quitting date in the calendar.
2. Dedicate yourself to spending every spare moment to hit that goal.
3. As much as possible, put any distractions on hold that aren’t loving your family like crazy. This is not the year to go on a big holiday, build a house (haha), or start another business.
4. Choose ONE genre/project/pen name that you’re good at, and focus on that. You can branch out later.
5. Look for ways to add steady income to replace your day job (can also provide savings while you’re still working your day job. Freelance is great for this. Just PUT THAT END DATE ON IT so you don’t burn out.
6. Work your ass off.
7. Something something.
EXTRA FOR EXPERTS: PLAN FOR A SIX-FIGURE YEAR
1. Write the stuff you’re good at, that your readers love, again and again and again.
2. If you want to try something different (like my kids book) use your bread-and-butter pen name/genre to BUY yourself the time for that project.
3. Listen to your people. I love to do little polls in my group and I have a lot of insight into who my readers are and that helps with making decisions.
4. Listen to people who are smarter than you. The key word being LISTEN. I’m just about to scrap a cover I LOVE on one of my books because it’s not performing and authors I trust say it’s wrong for the genre. If it’s not getting me closer to my goal, it’s got to change or GTFO.
5. The secret sauce is doing the work. That’s it. That’s the secret.
6. Build the foundation first. When you have money coming in, consider outsourcing things you don’t enjoy doing or that suck energy away from the work you do enjoy.
7. Focus on the things you have the power to control and change, which are actually most of the things. No, you don’t know how well a book will do, but there’s always the next book.
8. Give yourself space to take risks. Some might fail, some might succeed, but you don’t get to a new place by doing the same thing all the time. But you need the space (in your schedule, as well as in your head) to see opportunities and do it. In the tech industry this is being agile, moving fast to be first to the market with something people didn’t know they needed.
9. HAVE FUN. Or become an investment banker. That’s an easier way to the big bucks.