Mothers' Day is around the corner. I want to wish you a happy one!
Lately, I have spent a lot of time pondering why moms (and dads) feel such guilt. It may have always been like this for parents, but it is definitely alive and well these days. In today's times, a lot of the guilt is centered around work. You feel guilty if you work outside the home. You feel guilty if you work inside the home but still ignore your children to get stuff done. Ugh! You can't win for losing!
This got me thinking about my mom who worked so hard (unapologetically!) throughout my childhood. I truly believe I was and am better for it. You may want to check out my post To My Hardworking, Steadfast Mom to see why I feel this way.
The Tortoise Wins the Race. Right?
I have heard it said many times, "Don't pray for patience. Otherwise, you will get real opportunities to practice it!"
Well, last week I wrote about ways I was trying to increase my writing speed. After writing that section of tips, I proceeded to take longer to finish the end-of-the-week post than ever before. I just couldn't get my thoughts together. Ugh...how embarrassing and frustrating! Next I tried to pay tribute to my mother with a blog post for Mothers' Day. That post took me forever to write as well. (In my defense, although a weak one for a writer, it is more difficult to write about someone you know and love because you want readers to admire them as you do.)
For me, the saying would be something like, "Don't pray for writing speed. Otherwise you will get real opportunities to practice it (and fail!)." Anyways, I am trying to write faster, but it is a slow go. :)
I am choosing to live by the lesson taught in Aesop's fable The Tortoise and the Hare. Keep working at it, and your hard work will pay off. The more I write and practice the tips I shared last week, the better I will become. Right? (I sure hope!)
To Ponder: Is there something in your business that is taking you longer than expected? Should you continue to be the Tortoise? Is the task one that has to be done by you? Is it necessary to your business at this time?
(To answer my own questions--Since I am building a business/blog around my experiences and my research, I feel I should be the one doing the writing. I plan for writing to be a pillar of my business, and I truly love it. Now, if I could afford someone to do website design and management...I would no longer be playing the Tortoise in that show! I can promise you that!)
Not Promoting Myself Any More
For the last couple of weeks, one of my weekly goals is to practice courage by cold emailing Christian women's groups about speaking at one of their meetings.
I have cold emailed about seven groups and two of them twice. I really stepped up the courage game when I re-emailed two groups. I usually live by the rule that if someone doesn't respond the first time, then they aren't interested. I know in my head that is not always the case. I have ignored emails inadvertently when I told myself, "I will write them back when I finish this." Then I forget. Ugh.
But this week, I changed my marketing approach...drastically. I decided to stop emailing and to focus more on writing (since it obviously takes me years to crank out posts!) for the next few weeks. My thoughts are that as I write more I have more information and topics in my toolbox. It also looks more professional for someone to visit my site and see numerous examples of my work.
Now what I can't decide...is this new approach a wussy way out of promoting myself or is it a valid one for a few weeks.
I am voting--valid. To be honest, I have heard nothing back from any of my cold emails. Wait, I take that back. A kind office manager responded that she had forwarded on my email to the correct person. (Man, I don't like not having that excuse in my back pocket..wink, wink. It makes you feel even worse to know the right person received it and still isn't interested.)
A more accurate title for this section would be: Not Promoting Myself for a Few Weeks, Except on Instagram, Because I Need to Lick My Wounds and Regroup. This title was just a little long. :)
Lastly, I can't state enough how inspiring and empowering it is to meet with like-minded women. I strongly encourage you to make it happen!
This week I had another Dreamers' Meeting with my friend April, aka The Enough Mom. It was wonderful to spend time on the phone talking about our goals, struggles, misunderstandings, and excitement. We always get off the phone feeling connected...not alone and not stupid for pursuing our dreams, which is often how you feel as an entrepreneur if you don't make a point to talk with others like you.
I also got to attend the monthly mompreneur lunch group at The Catalyst Center in Huntsville, AL. Each month, a different lady leads a discussion on topics relevant to mompreneurs. Just being in a room full of other mothers who are entrepreneurial minded gets your heart racing and brain reeling.
I strongly encourage you to spend time (on the phone, over the internet, or in person) with women who are like you trying to carve out a business of their own. You are more energized, and you realize you're in good company with this whole entrepreneurial thing. (FYI, I found my monthly mompreneur group by googling " mompreneur group" and my city.)
You are not alone!
Prayerfully trudging along,
Weekly Timesheet Summary *Detailed timesheet is below.
Research - (3 hours suggested) 3 hours & 40 minutes
Content/Products - (5 hours suggested) 9 hours & 55 minutes
With Clients - (4 hours suggested) 0 hours
Marketing - (3 hours suggested) 4 hours & 10 minutes
Total Time = 17 hours & 45 minutes
Monday - worked on Pinterest and 2 Pins of my Own (Marketing) for 1 hour; finished end-of-week post for last week (Content/Product) for 1 hour & 30 minutes; wrote part of Mothers' Day Post (Content/Product) for 2 hours Total = 4 hours & 30 minutes
Tuesday - had Dreamers' Meeting with April on Phone (Research) for 40 minutes; Posted on Instagram (Marketing) for 20 minutes; Read Abc's of Speaking (Research) for 20 minutes total = 1 hour & 20 minutes
Wednesday - Continued writing Mothers' Day post and started on Need-for-a-season opt-in (Content/product) for 45 minutes; posted on instagram (Marketing) for 15 minutes; finished and revised Mothers' day post (Content/product) for 1 hour & 40 minutes totatl = 2 hours & 40 minutes
thursday - worked on site to determine how to create an opt-in option (research) for 40 minutes; attended this month's mompreneur lunch meeting (research) for 1 hour & 30 minutes; consulted with my sister on perception of biz (research) for 30 minutes; posted on instagram (Marketing) for 10 minutes total = 2 hours & 50 minutes
friday - created pin for pinterest for Mothers' day post (Marketing) for 35 minutes total = 35 minutes
saturday - posted on instagram (Marketing) for 20 minutes; worked on Pinterest (Marketing) for 10 minutes; drafted an email about presenting at mompreneur group next month (Marketing) for 20 minutes; worked on website, about & speaking pages (Marketing) for 1 hour; wrote end-of-week post (content/product) for 2 hours & 30 minutes total = 4 hours & 20 minutes
sunday - finished timesheet and revised end-of-week post (content/product) for 1 hour & 30 minutes total = 1 hour & 30 minutes
total for week = 17 hours & 45 minutes