Taking Care of Yourself
You may be wondering what taking care of yourself has to do with selling books… Well, in a word… EVERYTHING! If we don’t take care of ourselves in this self-publishing indie authoring world, then we have no chance for longevity. And how many times have I told everyone that this business is a marathon, not a sprint? The only way to succeed in this business is through long and hard sustained effort over a very long time. If you jumped into this authorpreneurship business before retirement age, you have an advantage. You still have time on your side. If you waited until you retired, well, then you better take care of yourself so you can run this marathon.
This long, hard, sustained effort required to succeed as an authorpreneur slides us way too easily into being a workaholic. And although being a workaholic helps us do more work, which helps us achieve quicker, it also leaves us sleep-deprived and out of work/life balance.
I used to pride myself on how little sleep I needed. And everyone thought all that I had accomplished was amazing, which just kept fueling the workaholic lifestyle. However, sleep deprivation catches up with all of us.
In the beginning, it may not seem so bad… Maybe we put on a few more pounds, and we’re tired all the time, but we fight through it when we’re a workaholic and seeing some success. But, if we don’t wake up soon, being a workaholic is going to lay a beating on us that is a lot worse than being a little rounder and tired all the time… Think about it… Find some balance… Now!
Being a workaholic causes us to lose our health, lose our productivity, and perhaps even lose ourselves.
Always being tired forces one to grab whatever is close and convenient for some calories for energy. We don’t have time to eat properly when we’re a workaholic. These easier to consume empty calories don’t give us the nutrition we need to be working at 100% capacity. Now the 16-hour days are no longer enough because we aren’t getting done what we used to get done in 16 hours.
Being a workaholic eventually causes us to lose efficiency and productivity, too. Did you know that there were numerous studies done way back at the turn of the 20th Century that showed a drastic fall off of productivity after working eight hours?
Back when factories, the assembly line, and Taylorism dominated our country, all efforts were made to make work and the U.S. workers more efficient to increase our country’s productivity. These studies are what pushed forward the 40-hour workweek.
Now, as authorpreneurs, especially if this is a side-hustle for us, I know we’re all working way more than just 40-hours a week and eight hours a day. I also know figuring out where the line is drawn is very tricky. But we have to find a balance somehow so we can be at our best and produce at a level that is deserving of our precious time and our family time. After all, I imagine many of us also have a family that would like to spend some time with us as well…
Workaholics even sometimes lose who they are… In this business, one thing leads to another, which leads to another, which leads to another. Many times these unexpected turns and twists in our authorpreneurship road are really cool. We end up in some awesome places tht we would have never imagined when we first started.
However, sometimes though, this shiny object syndrome can lead us into No-Man’s Land. We wake up one day, and we’re not happy. We wonder how the heck we got to this place. We wonder what the heck happened to our old lives. We miss our former lives… And we think if we could just go back, we’d be happier. Nostalgia rules us for the moment. And then we push it aside and go back to work. Is this what we really want? Is that the American Dream?
A strategy that will help us take care of ourselves in this business is to schedule everything we do. We need to schedule our reading/research, our writing, our marketing, our family time, and everything else we do. If we’re scheduled for 30 minutes of emails and 30 minutes of marketing one specific book, then hopefully we won’t fall down the rabbit hole of spending hours on one thing.
If we do spend way too much time on one thing, when we do come up for air, we realize that we still have a very long list in front of us. This long list that never seems to get shorter puts our health and family/friends on the back burner once again.
Annual physicals at your doctor’s office are essential. We have to stay on top of our health in this business if we’re going to have the longevity we need to succeed. Besides, it’s always easier to jump on a health issue while it’s still small than tackle it when it’s the size of Big Foot.
Hey, all we need to do is gain three to five pounds a year, and we’re in trouble. We won’t even notice the three to five pounds a year. But, after a decade of this business, we’ll be somewhere between 30-50 pounds overweight. We may feel that we’re disappointed in ourselves and that the weight is a minor inconvenience. But, here is the truth, the extra weight is keeping us from being as productive as we could be. It’s also hurting our self-esteem, which hurts our business.
Most health issues begin with the extra weight. Be careful here… Lose the weight, or better yet, don’t beat yourself into the ground, which allows the weight gain to sneak up on you.
Also, watch your sugar intake. A century ago, we didn’t consume anywhere near the sugar consumption the average person does today. And look at how many more illnesses seem to permeate our modern-day lives. All of these illnesses that we have today can’t just be because doctors are better at knowing what’s wrong with us. A lot of it has to be because we are eating mountains of sugar today, which puts a lot of extra weight on us, too. Too much sugar will negatively affect the effort and longevity we need to succeed in our authorpreneurship business.
Basically, just like we have taken charge of our lives by being authorpreneurs, we also have to take charge of our own health. This is how we can be the best authorpreneurs we are capable of becoming. It’s our job to take care of ourselves. Not someone else’s. Remember, no one is coming to save us. We have to save ourselves. And we are on our own to become healthy, successful authorpreneurs. Life is a do-it-yourself project. So get out there and do it!
*Check out the free video lesson on this chapter!