If you are an author—you are running a business. If you don’t believe this and don’t have a business plan you’re in trouble.
Tom, you’re starting off with a negative statement?
I don’t lie to my clients–I won’t lie to you.
This is your first obstacle.
Trip or jump over it!
Between 1984 and 1995 I served as a financial planner. I had to deal with two major obstacles before I could proceed:
- The people who really needed my services believed they couldn’t afford me.
- Those who could afford me believed they didn’t need my services.
I overcame the first and ignored the second.
- I developed debt reduction strategies to help those who believed they couldn’t afford me get out of debt.
- I offered this part of my service at no charge with an agreement they would contract me when money was available.
How did ignoring the second obstacle affect my business? It didn’t.
Those who believed they couldn’t afford me followed my advice, eliminated their debt, became convinced they needed my services, and they could afford me.
Word of mouth spread–I became successful!
It very well may be that your debt is preventing you from having a marketing budget. You don’t believe you can afford one.
Truth? You can’t afford not to have a marketing budget.
Here is your first stumbling block to overcome.
A budget is part of a business plan.
Starting to apply these principles is tough—like pushing a car that is out of gas. Hard to get it going, but once it starts rolling it doesn’t take as much effort to keep it moving. It will always take effort—just not as much.
- The purpose of a budget is to plan how you are going to spend your money, which enables you to stay focused. Focus is important so that you control your money rather than it controlling you.
- A budget is not written in concrete. It needs to be flexible.
Flexibility will allow you to handle a forgotten birthday present for your mother. Example: You need $20 for the gift—you spent $10 less for groceries and $10 less for gas than you had budgeted—you can pull the $20 from these two items to purchase her gift.
If you don’t have this flexibility, you will become discouraged and give up. The downside is that you can abuse this flexibility and revert back to old spending habits.
It takes commitment and courage to change things. If you have these two character traits—continue. If not, you will have to acquire them first.
- Write down all of your debts.
- List them from lowest to highest.
This is psychologically important–you want to concentrate on paying off the smallest debt first.
- A garage sale is good. Convert those things that are gathering dust into cash and use it to eliminate the smallest debt. If there is money left over—apply it to the next smallest debt.
- Use a tax refund if you have one coming instead of blowing it on a TV that will eventually gather dust in your garage.
- When you pay off the smallest debt—celebrate by spending one monthly payment on yourself.
- The next month, add the payment of the debt you paid off to the next smallest bill.
- When it is paid off, celebrate by again spending a monthly payment on yourself.
- Continue until all debts are paid off.
This strategy snowballs debt payoff. When all of your debt, except your car and house, is eliminated—once again celebrate with one monthly payment.
Now you have money to invest in your writing business.
A COMMON QUESTION:
Should I wait until all of my debit is paid off? I don’t think I want to wait that long to publish and market my book.
The purpose is to free up money to invest in your writing business. Freeing up one payment may be enough. It may not.
Remember–being flexible is important.
You want to develop a strategy that goes beyond your writing.
NOTE: Never eliminate a payment from your budget. Use it for growing your business, savings or investments. If you don’t do this, you will absorb it into your spending and gain nothing.
How do you feel about this strategy? Let’s talk about it.
Change something today to make your tomorrow better.