In 2022, I pushed, asked, and worked until the curtain shut down. These are the things I learned:
#1. Life Is Unpredictable
At the beginning of the year, I had high hopes. I planned to do a lot of things.
- Publishing books (fiction)
- Build this blog to 10,000 visitors per month
- Learn how to code
All those plans were developed on the back of ‘if my source of income was intact.’ I am a content strategist and fiction writer. Sadly, I struggled last year for a few reasons — my source of income took a hit just after my expenses had increased. As a result, my plans went into shambles. Instead of doing the things I promised to do, I was scrambling to make ends meet. All my time was spent sending proposals, getting new clients, and worrying about running out of cash.
It’s hard to focus on goals when too many burdens and urgent matters need your attention, such as health, feeding, and other necessities.
For instance, you can’t tell someone unsure how to pay their health bills to learn a new skill or grow a business. Their priority is surviving the next month, not the next decade.
What I will do differently:
Build multiple sources of income. I’m working on that already, but I know it will take time, which is not great.
Or I can just ignore the idea of rigorous planning and goal setting. Instead, create strategies that can bring the results I want, but don’t be too shocked when things don’t go your way. It’s part of life.
#2. If There Is a Community, There Is a Market
I learned this when researching how fiction writers make money. Even though I am a content writer and into Search Engine Optimization now, I have made the most money from ghostwriting fiction. So, my research into scaling in that area has led me to believe that COMMUNITY is the best thing any business can create.
So, How Can You Create a Community?
Well, it’s not that simple.
The communities are usually there already. You just have to find them. Then, if you cater to the community’s needs, they will find you, invite their friends and family, and hang around. It’s like church.
For instance, I want to make this blog a place for writers to learn from the best and model people who have done this writing thing best. It’s like Profile by Polina M. Pompliano, but this is for writers.
I started, of course. For now, I’ve written about Zadie Smith, Teju Cole, and Joe Sugarman. I could say it’s not working after writing about three writers/authors. Or I could say I haven’t written enough to attract the community. Let’s see what happens after I’ve written about 20 – 100 writers.
Community Is Important
Or attend to an existing community.
The best marketers know this. Apple is creating a product for people who want high-end phones and want to look smarter while holding it. For example, we have businesses creating products for black or LGBTQ communities. Have you seen Black Panther or Little Mermaid? Ask yourself why the best books, movies, and products have people following them like a cult.
#3. Discipline, Learning, and Consistency Are Three Powerful Tools
I admire soldiers. Imagine you are a soldier and you are on a battlefield. Your enemy is out there looking out for you, and the only way to make it out alive is to hide and defend yourself. You have one important goal. STAYING ALIVE.
You can think about your family, but you must return to the moment as quickly as possible. Drift off for too long; your body might lie in the mud, your enemy standing upon you.
That’s the discipline we all need to stay sane, happy, and successful in this distracting world.
Discipline: Ability to stay focused on what’s important.
Learning: the ability to understand concepts and new ideas.
Consistency: continuous work or showing up no matter whose mother is calling from home
I believe if anyone has one crucial focus and we show up at it every day for six months to 5 years, we will get somewhere. Become the 50% or, if lucky, the 10%.
4. Use Your Own Advantage
When starting in any area of creating wealth or a career, you have a few advantages on your side. Most likely, it won’t be money. Instead, it’s usually time and the ability to work hard for long hours.
Use your advantage.
I learned this when reading How to Get Rich by Felix Denis. It’s a good book, mainly because Felix started as a writer, creator, and magazine publisher — before the internet.
I’m a writer, too — in the internet age.
Here’s a quote:
most importantly of all, as a young and penniless and inexperienced person, you are not an ‘expert’. Thus you are more willing to learn than those in their thirties, forties or fifties. You are not afraid of making mistakes, admitting them when you do and getting right back on track. (Speaking of tracks, you have no track record to defend, either.)Felix Denix
As a content writer or blogger, I realized my advantage is how much time I can dedicate to content creation and how often I post. Others have the advantage of a large following on social media or having friends with big websites or following.
What is your advantage? There is much to look at, from your thoughts to your experience. How can your advantage get you where you want to be? Use your advantage.
Don’t mix this up with your strength. Your strength is what you know how to do best. Your advantage is when you look at all the requirements for success, like success, large following, or time. What do you have on your side? For instance, many of my mistakes will be pardoned. I don’t have many records. However, many of Oprah’s or James Clear’s mistakes will not be forgiven.
Sometimes, we take good advice from people who mean well but are not talking about their advantage. For instance, if someone tells you to start a blog, you will make money.
But will that really help you?
Where will your expenses come from until you start making money from a blog?
Perhaps the person giving you that advice lives with their parents, and feeding is covered. In other words, you have to figure out this part of your personal
Moreover, being a beautiful woman can be an advantage depending on what you are working at. So you have to ask yourself what’s your advantage honestly.
Find your models, use your advantage, and then get to work.
5. How Bad Do You Want it
I said I researched how to make money as a fiction writer. I came across a guy who makes about $5,000 per month writing serial fiction.
You want the same. I like the same, too.
However, what if I tell you the guy wrote and published about 60,000 words monthly for the first two years?
60,000 words + per month for 24 months…
Now, you see someone determined on a goal so bad it seems insane and crazy to pull that off.
The previous point comes to mind. What’s your advantage? Time, money, or hard work? Find it. Use it.
We can argue that quality work matters, but science tells us that amateurs learn better by creating a quantity of work. Quantity and practice lead to quality.
During the semester, these students were busy taking photos, experimenting with composition and lighting, testing out various methods in the darkroom, and learning from their mistakes. In the process of creating hundreds of photos, they honed their skills. Meanwhile, the quality group sat around speculating about perfection. In the end, they had little to show for their efforts other than unverified theories and one mediocre photo.Jame Clear, On Why We Should Care Less About Perfection
6. Do Work You Are Proud of
I have a method for pushing myself to do work that might not succeed.
In life, we are all taking risks one way or another. If you create, you risk rejections. If you don’t make it, you risk being in the same place and not finding out if you have a chance at the top.
So, whenever your motivation is down, and you’re afraid of rejection, ask yourself, will I be proud to create this thing? If yes, create it all the same.
Tony Robbins said it better:
Really immerse yourself in the environment, don’t just dabble. Volunteer with your whole heart. Do your homework and model the people who have done it best. Follow them around. Commit every cell in your body to learning and living that life and feel where that focus takes you.Tony Robbins, If I Were 22
By the way, I am proud of most of the content on this blog, especially this one about storytelling in marketing.
7. Be One
This is about relationships — siblings, children, parenting, business, and friendship. This year, I’ve been overwhelmed with love from family and a few friends. I realized it’s not because I am consistently a good person but because I don’t argue or rant about what I expect from others. I just do my part of the thing and (seldom) communicate what I want.
You want your friends to be nice to you. Be nice to them. You want your clients to treat you well. Treat them well first. You want your kids to act appropriately. How about being an example?
Give it forward before you expect anything. In content marketing, you give people content before you sell it to them. Don’t flip this strategy and expect the same result. Help them first, and they will buy. Coming as a salesperson who doesn’t care about your prospect or listener is a big turn-off.
“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.”Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Happy New Year — More Content in 2023
Yeah, I said it. Expect more content from this blog in 2023. If you haven’t, you should follow me on social media. The links are on the right side of your screen >>>> if you are using a PC and at the bottom of this page if you are using a mobile.