I am not sure why I woke up Thursday just oozing with confidence and gumption, but I went with it. I deemed it Tenacious Thursday.
I do have a theory about this sudden burst of pluck. Stay tuned for my thoughts below.
One of my goals this week was to spend more time marketing myself as a speaker so my confidence boost on Thursday came at the perfect time. (Thank you, God. You always know what I need.)
See, lately I have spent a great deal of time working on my website. It is a shocking fact based on its appearance but a true one. I count that time each week in the Marketing category. According to Dan Miller's formula for creating a side business in 15 hours a week, you need to spend about 3 hours on marketing.
I count the grueling website work as marketing because I intend for my website to be a place where clients, potential and existing, gather. I want it to be a tool to attract those interested in my message...similar to an ever-evolving business card. My website is an advertisement (marketing 101) and also a product of mine. All of that to say, it is important, but it shouldn't get all of my "marketing time" each week because I have to get people to the site first!
Thus, one marketing goal this week was to email two women church groups that I had emailed several weeks back. Re-emailing is very hard for me because my initial thoughts are that they didn't respond the first time so they obviously aren't interested. Yet, Patrick McGinnis in his book The 10% Entrepreneur and Michael Hyatt in his book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World both mention the importance of following up with potential clients or collaborators. Don't excessively email or obnoxiously call, but after an appropriate amount of time, contact the person once or twice more. McGinnis points out that we are all busy, and sometimes we need a second chance to respond to an opportunity or person.
So, with their trusted advice (don't fail me now, Patrick and Michael!), I emailed the two groups again. Guess what day...THURSDAY! I really was tenacious that day! At the writing of this post, I have heard nothing back, but it has only been a few days. :) Optimism rules!
Professional Email Address
I finally broke this week and spent the $5 a month it takes to get a professional looking email address - email@example.com. (To get this email, I used G Suite, which is a Google product, and registered through Squarespace, the platform I currently use for my website.) I am very thrifty in my business because, at this point, I have not earned any money. Instead, I have spent, although very thoughtfully and carefully. My husband and I have agreed to invest up to $1,000 of our own money. When that is gone, it will be deemed a hobby, and I will have to reevaluate...a lot of things. (I still have over $600 so that will get me more than 100 months of my personalized email. So all is good right now..wink, wink.)
I have heard it recommended by well-known individuals and everyday rock stars who are winning at this entrepreneurial thing that a professional email address lends to your credibility; people take you and your business more seriously. In Platform, Michael Hyatt tells a story of receiving solicitation from a "social media expert" whose email address was something like rooster776@ aol.com. Instantly you become leery of this so-called expert just because of the email address. Do you want Rooster advising you about tweets or Instagram posts? (Furthermore, Michael says that aol screams 1990s, not present day and the future.) If you choose to get a paid-for email address, most suggest using your name @ your business's or website's name (example: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)
So, I have now become credible by purchasing a professional email address, right?
I Continue To Wow Myself
If optimism rules, then sarcasm is a high-ranking official. It gets me (and maybe you) through the tough, embarrassing times until optimism is back on top. :)
This ole girl was full of confidence on Thursday and emailing people left and right. Only after my husband sent me an email on FRIDAY NIGHT to my new professional address did I realize that I wasn't receiving email. I could send it all day long! But, I couldn't receive it.
Even better, when someone replied to my email or wrote one directly to me, they got some wonderful message about configuration being wrong. My credibility and professionalism just skyrocketed with those bounce-back emails! You can't buy that kind of marketing...you have to earn it! :)
To clarify my issue, I didn't configure the MX records correctly at my domain host. G Suite (Google) walks you through this process, but I obviously failed at that task. Please note, I sent a practice email to myself but did from another gmail account; the practice one came through just fine. Learn from me...do several practice runs and from a variety of email services.
To resolve my problem, I chose the Live Chat option at Namecheap, the company where I purchased my domain name. MX records must be fixed with your domain host (Namecheap for me). I love this company because it offers Live Chat as an option, and they do it well--kindly, quickly, and competently. As you can imagine, I have had several opportunities to try out their services. :)
Use Live Chat If Available
I strongly suggest Live Chat if you are technically challenged like me and a company offers it. Don't be a hero and try to do or learn everything yourself. If your gift is sewing, then sew. If you gift is cooking, then cook. If you gift is training others, then train. Let people with technology gifts us them, just as you want to use your gifts to serve people. This mindset saves you time and keeps you focused on the "ing" of your business! This is just a little tip from someone who wanted to understand every aspect of a website, hosting, coding, etc. Then, I reminded myself that I have no real passion for those topics and definitely am not gifted in those fields!
The Power of Positive Thinking And Writing
This week I worked on a blog post called "Little Successes Lead to Big Things." In this post I outline three things that happened to me lately that were positive...things that motivated me to continue on. For example, Brandon Gaille followed me on Pinterest; Brandon is a big deal in the entrepreneurial world and information-giving business. As I explained in my post, he didn't actually follow me; his podcast The Blog Millionaire did. Still, his picture is beside the podcast's logo so I count it as a personal following. :)
My point in the post, and what I found in the actual act of writing it, is that focusing on good things puts you in a positive frame of mind. Read, write, think about, and talk about positive things. When you do this, those negative voices in your head lose their strength; no longer do they scream, "You can't do this." Instead, positive emotions like confidence and motivation take over.
I challenge you to write down three positive things that have happened to you over the last few weeks or months. Simply remembering and then writing the positive things will alter your mindset for the day and for the tasks ahead.
Focusing on the positive,
Weekly Timesheet - Summary
Research - (3 hours suggested) 1 hour & 35 minutes
Content/Product - (5 hours suggested) 7 hours & 10 minutes
With Clients - (4 hours suggested) 0 hours
Marketing - (3 hours suggested) 3 hours & 15 minutes
Total = 12 hours *Detailed timesheet below
Takeaway = I spent a great deal of time writing, thinking, and revising this week. Because I don't have clients or speaking engagements yet, I assume that is okay. However, I could use the With Clients category as additional Marketing time as well and probably should. I also want to get quicker at writing posts. Platform has some good suggestions for doing that.