It’s Monday in Tampa Bay, and Tropical Storm Colin is bearing down on the Gulf Coast. Rather than writing, today would probably be a good day for me to shut the computer down, light some candles, and curl up with a good book. In fact, I just got a call from a web designer in New Port Richey who had to go home after his office building was evacuated. Whether or not the power will stay on all day here in Tampa remains to be seen.
This isn’t my normal intro for a blog post, but the stormy weather made me think about the “perfect storm” of starting a business. When I launched Sahno Publishing, I got in-depth business coaching, and it made me a little nervous, quite frankly: here I was, working harder than I’d ever worked in my life, and feeling overwhelmed. As a sole proprietor launching a publishing company, I had to do everything – not only getting my first three novels edited, designed, and set up through distribution channels like IngramSpark and Smashwords, but also writing press releases, trying like mad to schedule interviews, and doing a host of social media activity to raise awareness for my “babies.” In a word, I was overwhelmed.
Oddly enough, when I broached that subject with my business development coach, he said, “Good. I want you feeling overwhelmed.” At the time, I must admit I really did not appreciate that. It’s kind of like if you told your doctor, “Hey, I’m really not feeling well here,” and he said, “That’s cool.” What. The. Heck.
Six months later, I have a whole new appreciation for that conversation. The feeling of being overwhelmed is really just the new normal for people starting and running their own company. If anything, I’m more overwhelmed now than I was then; I’m just used to it now. My brain is loaded with a boatload of information I didn’t have a short time ago, and I’ve got all sorts of activities in my schedule that I didn’t even have back then, making me more strapped for time than ever before: I belong to a networking group, I’m running a meetup that didn’t even exist six months ago, I have a monthly newsletter to send out, and there are quite a number of things I’m working on now that I wouldn’t even have attempted last year. I’ve got an e-book I wrote that’s available for free to anyone who joins my newsletter email list, I’m keeping up this blog on a weekly basis, and oh, did I mention I’m still seeking book reviews and press interviews?
So what does all this have to do with writing? Probably not much, but it has a whole lot to do with running a business. And when you’re an author, and you’ve got books out there, you’re running an author business. If you’re not on it every day like someone in the midst of a storm, it will calm down significantly…and not in a good way. I guess my takeaway message here would be that it’s okay to be in the eye of the storm every day.
For those who have yet to join the Sahno Publishing newsletter email list, why not check it out right now? Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll send you the PDF of my brand-spanking-new e-book, Marketing for Writers. It’s free, and I think you’ll find a whole lot of value in there. If you’re already a subscriber, watch out for the next newsletter in your inbox later, and of course, you’ll get the book for free too. And for all my friends and neighbors here in Florida: stay safe and try to stay dry!