This year, I changed my business. There are still things happening behind the scenes that I’m not quite ready to reveal, but one of the biggest changes I made was that I decided to, once again, start talking to my readers (you!) directly and send daily emails.
It’s been a total of 97 days.
I wrote 39,133 words.
Missed 8 days.
Here are my observations. You may find some of them to be counterintuitive and in complete opposition to what you may have learned from writing and marketing “gurus” online.
1. I made more money. This is such an obvious result, yet, it’s the complete opposite of what we’re taught online. We’re told not to email our lists and our readers too frequently. But I want to talk to you! And the more I did, the more you learned about me, my work, my books, my courses, and therefore, naturally, the more many of you bought. (Thank you!)
2. This surprised even me: I got DOZENS of thank you emails, sometimes after every daily email. You wanted me to contact you more, not less.
3. The emails take me less than half an hour each day to write. They are 440 words, on average.
4. My book sales have grown and stayed consistent.
5. I got more unsubscribes, too. The more I’ve spoken about who I am, what I do, and the things I believe, the more I’ve filtered out the people who are not the right fit for me or my work.
6. During these three months, I dealt with two major personal emergencies, and took a one-week holiday. Not only was my business unaffected, but I remained unfazed, too. (A huge win for me.)
7. I missed 8 days. But each time, instead of beating myself up about it, I just wiped the slate clean and went back in the next day as though I hadn’t. This lack of self-flagellation was also a new experience for me.
8. I used to fit my life around my business. Now I fit my business around my life.
9. Once again, this has proved to me the unmatchable benefits of consistency and showing up daily. I wrote almost the equivalent of half a novel in 90 days in 30 minutes a day with a fair bit of distraction in my life (including solo parenting for a bit). The daily effort was small, but it added up to big results. How many novels could I finish each year if I applied this same discipline to my fiction?
10. Finally, I FINISHED. I set myself an initial target of 90 daily emails to see how I felt about it, how readers would feel about it, and how it would impact my business. The first month was rocky, let me tell you, and I’m glad I persevered because the momentum picked up massively around the second month, thus convincing me I was on the right path.
And that, to me, is the most important lesson of all.
Most of us—and I have done this far too many times to even count—will abandon a fantastic idea during the early stages because it’s not going well, people are not responding, sales aren’t happening, the words aren’t coming, etc., and we forget that sometimes, especially with writing, it can take a few days, weeks, even months for you to settle into a project, to really see it clearly. For it to land.
How you start is not always how you’ll finish.
But to finish, you have to continue.
I hope that, whatever you’re working on, you will continue.