“Help me get my 15 minutes! Life is so busy. The kids, dog and husband need so much! I’m going crazy.” – K.H.
“Do you know how to squeeeeeeeze a few more hours out of a day? LOL – C.C.
Here is my not-kidding answer:
DO LESS STUFF.
That’s right. You heard me.
And here’s an exercise to show you HOW to do that:
1) Write down all of the activities that you typically do in a day, like, say…
drive car pool
make phone calls
get the mail
work with clients
play with the kids
plan upcoming travel
coordinate volunteers/charity work
2) Now, put an asterisk next to the tasks that ONLY you can do. Using our previous list that would be something like:
work with clients
play with the kids
3) Find some way to get those other items off your plate.
You may need to hire someone, you may be able to simply ask some of the other grown-ups in your life for help. Teach the kids to do the laundry and get a co-chair to work with the volunteers.
Yes, you will have to get over some of your perfectionism – nobody else is going to do as good of a job cooking dinner or sorting the laundry as you do. But guess what? You have bigger fish to fry.
Your creative life is never going to take precedence over your quotidian life unless you make it happen.
Let me say this one more time:
The work that only you can do, you must do.
The work that anyone can do, someone else must do.
And if you’d like some help strategizing & executing, please consider working with me one-on-one and fill out my VIP Application here: http://bit.ly/VIPapp
Hi — This is #3 of 7 days I’m sending out a series of articles about how to do better & feel better about marketing your creative projects and entrepreneurial endeavors. It’s a promo for my fabulous new www.WriteRightNowVIP.com teleclass that starts this Thursday, May 24 – check it out! We offer “satisfaction guaranteed or your money cheerfully refunded.” That’s how confident we are that you will benefit enormously from this course.
Either way, I love how much you all are loving the tips & information in these articles.
“Thanks some of the tips have been working already!! I look forward to listening again and telling my friends.” – Deb Proctor, Buenos Aires
Did you miss “7 Copy Writing Mistakes That Are Costing You Money & Keeping You From The Success You Deserve” free on-demand webinar that Wes Schaeffer & did the other day — ??
—–> Watch or download the free on-demand webinar here – http://bit.ly/WRNVIP2)
And, FYI, here are all “7 Copy Writing Mistakes…” topics:
1 of 7: I don’t want to feel sales-y…(read this one here)
2 of 7: I’m too wordy… (read this one here)
3 of 7: How to get started & how to find the time to keep going
4 of 7: What’s REALLY effective copy writing & how do you know?
5 of 7: Beat perfectionism once and for all
6 of 7: How to discover what’s really going to be compelling for your audience
7 of 7: What to do if you feel constrained by having to write for SEO, academic writing, your boss…
How To Get Started And How To Stay Motivated
OK – I’m just going to say this straight out:
If you are a creative entrepreneur, then you have 2 gigs. You have your “real” gig – the job or work that you actually do (consultant, coach, practitioner, actor, healer, chef, tinker, tailor, soldier, spy…) and you have the gig of marketing your gig.
Congratulations. You just won two jobs.
It’s vitally important that you be honest with yourself about whether or not you are willing to accept both jobs.
Because if you just want to do your work and you don’t want to do the marketing, then that’s fine! Just make sure you don’t need the money.
But if you need your business to be profitable or to have a bigger audience, then you’ve got to come to terms with doing the marketing — or, as I described it in email 1 of 7 of this series, “Marketing Is Just Making Friends With People You Don’t Know Are Your Friends Yet.”
Once you commit fully to BOTH of your gigs, you’ll find your motivation to get started grows.
Now Commit To Writing Every Single Day No Matter What
I’ve created a Daily 5-Minute Writing Assignment for the Write Right Now VIP workshop so that you will get in the habit of writing something (a Facebook post, a blog post, a “thank you” email, a love letter, a Tweet…) every. single. day. for eight weeks.
Making your copy writing an AUTOMATIC HABIT helps:
diminish perfectionism (after all, you’re going to work on it again tomorrow, so who cares if it’s not perfect today?)
reduce your anxiety around getting started
end the argument you’ve been having with yourself about how you really should be writing more
But you are perfectly capable of creating a list of assignments for yourself. You don’t need me to send you a “Daily Goose”…
Maybe you make Monday your Twitter Day and Tuesday your Blog Post Day and Wednesday your Sales Page Day…
Or maybe you decide to spend a month just writing, split testing and perfecting your Landing Pages….
Or spend two weeks playing around with Facebook Ads…
Do whatever you know will help get the truth about what you do in front of the people who really need you. And if you don’t know exactly what that is, then you’d either get some expert advice (like from me & Wes) or you best start experimenting, honey!
And How To Keep Going
Get a buddy.
Accountability is a an incredibly valuable tool.
After all, if I promise myself I’m going to do something, well…I may or may not do it. But if I promise YOU that I’m going to do something – well, shoot! You know I’m going to do it.
BTW, the Write Right Now VIP workshop offers you a PRIVATE Facebook page where you can find like-minded creative geniuses. You can post your wins, find accountability buddies or just stay inspired by watching everyone else. An amazing resource!
Find this helpful? Here’s how to get more…
You deserve to have your business be financially sustainable, values-driven and joyful. Not easy, mind you – but joyful.
And improving your copy writing is the NUMBER ONE key to your success.
I’ve partnered up with my good friend Wes Schaeffer from www.TheSalesWhisperer.com – he’s an Infusionsoft Certified Consultant & he’s a full-on, small-business genius with a GREAT sense of humor – everyone says we make a great team : )
So you’re invited to check out our Free Preview Event – called “7 Copy Writing Mistakes That Are Costing You Money”
—–> Watch or download the free on-demand webinar here
(or paste this link into your browser window: http://bit.ly/WRNVIP2)
It’s for creative entrepreneurs, frustrated small business people…
and YOU if you know that if only your…
– web pages
– bios (don’t you HATE writing Bios? We’ll show you the EASY way!)
– blog posts
– product descriptions
– social media posts (what are you supposed to say on Twitter? Really?)
– press releases
– emails (like this one!)
…were more authentic & more compelling, then you could SELL MORE STUFF, which would mean you would be helping more people! (Which is why we do all this, right?)
Does any of this sound familiar to you?
– You want to promote your business…but you get tongue-tied when people ask you what you do.
– You would love to Blog and Facebook & Twitter & Pinterest & whatever… but you’re not really sure what to say.
– You know your web pages are old & boring…but the idea of redoing it all makes you want to go lay down.
– You’re a creative entrepreneur who’s over-worked.
– You’ve got 37 ideas, a bunch of new projects and plus there’s your actual business…and then there’s the family and the kids and… good heavens, you don’t have the TIME to write new copy!
– You’re ready for financial success and you don’t have time to screw around. You need real answers from experts who really GET IT.
– You are ready to learn a NEW way to write copy that’s easy, fun and…wait for it…. PROFITABLE.
Then this event is for you!
Here’s what people said about it:
“so down to earth, and so real, and are SO encouraging!” – D.D., California
“That was very helpful! Thanks, you two 🙂 ” – R.P., Los Angeles, CA
“I enjoy your laser sharp humor as well as succinct comments and great insights. Always inspirational and instructive.” – C. D., Washington
“7 Copy Writing Mistakes That Are Costing You Money”
—–> Watch or download the free on-demand webinar here
(or paste this link into your browser window: http://bit.ly/WRNVIP2)
You can listen online AND you can download the MP3.
I’ve been in the trenches & learned a lot about small business marketing in the past bunch of years and I’m thrilled to have this chance to share my insights with you.
YOU KNOW THE WORLD NEEDS YOUR GOOD WORK.
But if they never hear about it, they can’t benefit from it, right?
And please let me know how things are going with you – you know I love to hear from you!
P.S. And yes, of course this is a preview event for the Write Right Now VIP workshop – but it’s not a pitch-fest – you know I hate that, too. This is TONS of useful content, tailored just for you. In fact, if you want to check out what the Write Right Now VIP workshop is all about, you can go here: http://writerightnowvip.com/info/
If you have an intuition that the full Write Right Now VIP workshop is going to be right for you, then sign up ASAP and you can save yourself a PILE OF MONEY. (Like $500…) so take a look: http://writerightnowvip.com/info/
I know what I need to do, I just can’t make myself do it.
I watch endless YouTube videos, I play computer solitaire, I fool around on Facebook – I even scrub my kitchen floors – all just to avoid the work that I know is my destiny.
I get so mad at myself. Does this mean I’m chasing a Shadow Goal? What do I do?
– Elizabeth, N. J.
Rest easy, honey – you are merely suffering from a biological imperative called “displacement activity.”
All Creative Geniuses get this from time to time.
Displacement activity is what happens when an animal is in the grip of two conflicting instincts, and so they enact a third, seemingly inappropriate behavior.
For example, you’ve probably seen a chimpanzee being challenged by another chimpanzee. When the first chimp doesn’t know whether to run away or fight, he will…scratch his head…yawn…look away….start grooming himself…
When you have the instinct to create, and you simultaneously have the instinct to not-create —
— the fear says, “don’t do it!”
(And yes, everyone suffers from this fear – celebrities, septuagenarians, kids, career professionals and me – everyone is sometimes afraid of putting their work out there. It’s terrifying.)
And so, confused by the grip of these two equally strong instincts, you shut down and get stuck playing Words With Friends for hours on end.
It doesn’t mean you have low self-esteem and it doesn’t mean your dream is impossible and it certainly doesn’t mean you’re lazy.
Shoot, you’re one of the hardest-working people I know. Right?
So the next time this happens, just recognize the dynamic without yelling at yourself.
“Ah,” you might say to yourself, “I appear to be having the instinct to create something. And I also find myself feeling afraid of what will happen if I create that thing. Perfectly natural.
But my fear does not get to make my decisions for me.
So I will now set my kitchen timer for 15 minutes and just play around with my creative idea in a light, fun, beta-testing sort of a way and then see what happens.”
Discover more about what keeps us stuck in my free, on-demand, downloadable webinar called Shadow Goals —
“Wow, Sam, I loved this! I’ve gone from feeling kinda blah and unsure to wanting to jump up and start. That’s pretty big for me, and I really want to thank you for that. I think a lot of people will find this incredibly helpful!” – K.
“Thank you SO much for your time, Samantha! This has been inspirational and hopeful for me….you’ve already given me some tools to use to move forward! Blessings to you!” – Deborah
“This call is invaluable so far to me. I’m being made redundant on the 1st of march and am in the middle of trying to choose what to do next and I think everything you’re saying is going to help me with this.” – Suzie, U.K.
Learn more about “Shadow Goals” here by watching the free replay: http://instantteleseminar.com/?eventid=26718078
We know we’re not going to get everything done today that we would like to get done.
We know that we’re probably not going to get it done tomorrow, either.
So rather than walking around feeling bad about all the stuff we know we’re not going to get to, let’s do some strategic thinking about “the list” itself.
We’ve discussed before the the idea of moving your highest-income producing activities to the top of the list (http://sambennett.wpengine.com/?s=highest+income+producing+activities) and I still find that to be a useful tactic.
But what about eliminating some of the non-income producing activities entirely? (I know – there goes your chances for being crowned Queen Perfectly Doing Everything…)
Seriously – what could just go? And I don’t just mean delegate, I mean eliminate.
– Alison has an online grocery delivery service do the bulk of her weekly food shopping. Yes, this deprives her of the opportunity to squeeze her own melons, so to speak, but it saves this working mother at least 2 hours a week of parking, shopping and schlepping.
– Nancy quit Facebook. Cold turkey. Probably gained her an extra 6-9 hours per week.
– Jessica quit her church choir. “I loved the singing,” she said, “But I was not loving the 2-hour rehearsal each Thursday night. Being home with my family instead means we’ve started a weekly game night – Bananagrams! – and now in church on Sundays I get to just relax and enjoy church.” So she gained two hours plus not having to be there early on Sunday – probably three hours a week.
– I put my husband in charge of all national and international events. I do skim the front section of the newspaper each day with one eye half-closed, just to stay abreast of the general news trends. But I realized that don’t really want to take the time to learn all the details. Plus, I find the details depressing. But my husband reads everything cover to cover and is well-informed about almost everything and so, when I find myself wondering about what’s actually going on in Tunisia, I just ask him. It’s very refreshing to remain deliberately under-informed in this world of the non-stop news cycle. How much time do I save? Maybe ten minutes a day plus a whole lot of brain space.
– David sent out a hilarious post-holiday email to his family and friends saying something to the effect of, “Dear Ones, A better father would probably be able to get his kids to write thank-you notes. But I’m not that guy. So please accept this generic email as a sign of our sincerest thanks for the gift/card/well-wishes you sent/made/delivered. We really like/appreciate/use it a lot. We love you. Sincerely…” This single dad’s big savings was in deciding to quit nagging his kids. Again, some gain in time, probably, the bigger gain was in his newly-peaceful approach toward his kids.
So what could you just give up on?
1) Look in the areas of your life where there are a lot of “shoulds” going on in your head.
2) Be willing to sacrifice some pleasure for a greater good. All of the activities above were at least somewhat pleasurable – Alison loves food and cooking, Nancy loved Facebook, Jessica loved her choir, I love being well-read and David loves having polite kids. But what if the gain in time or peace of mind is greater than the pleasure factor?
3) Is the gain in time or peace of mind greater than the ego gratification? (This is a biggie – so be gentle but firm with yourself in your answer to this one.) After all, it can feel pretty good to know that, “you did everything yourself, ” or that “you stay connected online,” or that “you sing,” “you’re informed,” “you appear to have perfect kids.” Your ego could take quite a hit, here. But there is great freedom in stepping down off the moral high ground.
4) I would not eliminate anything in the arena of personal care. The time you spend working out, meditating and getting your hair cut is a valuable investment in your appearance and your self-respect. Clearly, this is just my big ol’ opinion (and I suppose if you’re spending an hour blow-drying your hair every morning or two hours a week at the manicurist keeping up your elaborate acrylics, you could consider an adjustment there…) but I really want you to keep your self feeling good and looking current. Not necessarily dressed in cutting-edge fashion, but in a style that is neat, clean, well-fitted to your lifestyle and, you know, from this decade.
5) Try it before you decide. Consider eliminating something for a week or a month before you cut it out entirely. After all, if you really miss it, you can always go back to it.
Here’s an email I got recently that I thought might speak to you:
Hello Dear Samantha,
I listened to the recording of the Procrastination tele-seminar last night, woke up this morning and walked straight to the bathroom to pee, but before I brushed my teeth or put clothes on or anything, I went to the cold downstairs and worked on my original music for 15 minutes and really got something good accomplished! (run-on sentence intended)
Here’s my question – I actually have not just original music, but also music for hire, taxes, and de-cluttering all weighing on me.
The idea of spending 15 minutes on each shuts me down. How do I choose what to do? How do I juggle these different boulders? The music for hire is what I need to LIVE off of so I can do my original music, and I haven’t done it since June, when I got the project. Now my head is spinning.
Do you have an idea?
I love your attitude and perspective,
And here’s what I wrote back:
Hi Nedi –
Hooray! Hooray for you! Great work jumping into your original music – fuzzy teeth and all 🙂 Feels so good, doesn’t it?
I can think of a number of suggestions for you –
1) Just stick with working on your original music every day for a month or two until you reach a natural stopping point, then transition to another “daily” project.
2) Make a few lists of a bunch of different 15-minute tasks for each of your projects and each morning just pick one task that feels good (it’s crazy how much progress you can make with this technique).
3) Assign each project a day: Monday for original music, Tuesday for taxes, Wednesday can be a “free choice” day, then Thursday for music for hire, etc.
Experiment until you find a system that really works for you – remember, there’s no right way to succeed, there’s just YOUR way. You’ve got some great momentum going, so stick with it, OK? And don’t forget to reward yourself for doing such good work.
And please let me know how it goes.
The Get It Done Teleclass
(it’s like a big weekly conference call and it’s recorded so you can listen anytime) starts this Thursday, Jan. 27th and if you want to:
– finish your project
– use your deep creativity
– share and get support from a like-minded community and ME!
Then go here to learn more about The Get It Done Teleclass
By the way — The free Procrastination Is Genius In Disguise call was so much fun for me and the demand for this material has been so great that I’m offering it AGAIN on Wed. 1/26 at 9:45am (PT). You can register for the free call here: www.GetItDoneTeleclass.com – Tell your friends!
P.S. The Get It Done Teleclass comes with a money-back guarantee: if you don’t love it, I’ll cheerfully give you 100% of your money back, no questions asked. So if you’re thinking about it, go ahead and DO it! You know I’d love to work with you. Learn more here: www.GetItDoneTeleclass.com/winter xoxoxo SSB.