Sunday, November 01, 2015

Hooray for Growth

I don't want to let another week go by without  blog post, so I decided I'd write one this morning while I drink my tea. Writing while having my morning tea is one of my favorite things, and I don't do it enough anymore. There's so much to do, that I tend to put my tea in my travel mug even when I'm at home, and then I dive into the chores.

But not today. Last week, I realized on Monday that I should have taken a little bit of time for myself over the weekend. I did nothing but chores and watching kids all weekend, and come Monday, I was tired and stressed out, although I was happy to have Petunia's new room painted.

So this weekend, I'm taking some time on Sunday morning for me. Mr. Snarky is doing chores, but I'm not feeling guilty about that because yesterday morning he went and watched the rugby world cup final live while I took the kids to gymnastics and then started prepping the baseboards in Petunia's room for paint.

(The All Blacks won, so he came home happy, with doughnuts, and all was well with the world.)

I have some really big topics bouncing around in my head, wanting a blog post, but I am too tired to tackle them. It has been a full month- lots of work, lots of chores, but also lots of fun, since it was Petunia's birthday and we went to Disneyland AND had a small party with her closest friends. Her birthday is finally officially over: on Thursday, I quit work early and took Cheez-Its into her class for the "October biirthdays" celebration. It was annoying to quit work early, but worth it to see her in her classroom. She is happy and comfortable there, and that makes me happy.

Like I said in Friday's links post, my super busy time at work is almost done. I need to finish getting Missed Chances published (it is now live on Kobo and GumRoad!) and get it launched with some reviews. I'm still querying reviewers for Unspotted and Okay, So Look, too, but I can ease off the hectic pace a bit.

Soon to be a kanban board
I have some good things penciled in for the rest of the year, but I also plan to take some time to think a bit more about my medium term strategy. I finished painting the barn door in the new office, so soon I can make my kanban board on the white board on it. I think that will help me make sure I don't overlook the tasks I should be doing to build something sustainable. We'll see.

One thing I know I need in my medium term strategy is growing my Tungsten Hippo audience. Many of the book marketing/advertising lists out there won't take short ebooks, so I am trying to build my own short ebook marketing list. I want to do it in a way that feels authentic, though, both because I think that will be more successful in the long term and because I will feel happier about it. Therefore, I was pretty happy to come across the #NonfictionNovember hashtag. I love non-fiction in general, and think that it is a genre in which short ebooks really shine. So I'm participating. My first post is up: it is about my year in non-fiction, and features a look back at some of my favorite non-fiction short ebooks for the year.

I'm also thinking hard about my strategy for the consulting part of my business. I was struck by how much I enjoyed giving the latest session of my "intro to PM" class. However, I also hate marketing when my product is ME, so my ideal strategy allows me to give classes/seminars but does not require a lot of really active marketing. Once again, growing an audience is likely to be part of the answer- and my Management Monthly email newsletter's audience is slowly growing. I've also noticed that GumRoad has added more "discoverability" features, and I'm curious if those could help me, particularly if I did more of the short seminars that I leave available for purchase even after the live session is done.

In short, I spend a lot of time thinking about marketing, and how to do it well but authentically and in a way that doesn't feel sleazy to me. This has reminded me of a conversation I had with my first career coach, over a decade ago now. I was struggling with the transition into management, and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I still thought there was going to be a single, simple answer to that. (HA!) One of the problems I had with the job I had landed in was that it required me to do some marketing. I hated it. I was no good at it. The coach listened to me rant about why I hated it and was no good at it, and then told me a story about another client, who learned to like marketing by viewing it as a puzzle that allowed him to get to the things he really wanted to do. I laughed that off, sure that I'd never think that way. I was wrong!

And now my tea is empty, and Petunia is ready for me to help her pack up the toys in her room so that we can move her to her new room... so I'll end this post and, with my last sip of tea, make a silent cheer to growth, in all its forms.


  1. I hear you on marketing. It can be horrible. It can also be a way of solving problems that people desperately need solved with your expertise or products. Books need readers and readers need books. Marketing can be a way to let interested readers know about things it's highly likely they'll find engaging.

    1. I find it MUCH easier to market other people's books that I've published than to market my own book, and marketing my own book is itself easier than marketing my seminars and classes- even though I really believe in the "value proposition" of those classes. I need to work on getting over that!


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