Financial Discipline through Sweat Equity
One of the reasons we self-publishing indie authors spend a lot of money is because we’re scared. We’re worried that we’re not good enough. We’re afraid that we’re playing the imposter role. And we’re concerned that we’re not smart enough to figure out all that we have to do to market our book in a way that won’t embarrass us. Well, guess what? Babies learning to walk, don’t worry about looking silly when they fall down. They get up and walk, then fall, then try again until they get it right, regardless of who is watching.
We indie authors can do the same thing with our marketing efforts. We can stop being afraid of trying and stop paying a ton of money for services done for us. Many of these services we can figure out ourselves as long as we are bold enough to practice some financial discipline and use a little sweat equity. Okay… maybe a lot of sweat equity… but that’s okay because we’re learning new things, and perhaps, later on, can get paid for these new things we know.
We don’t have to be perfect. Let’s just keep things simple and get started, okay? Any effort and attempt, regardless of how small it is or how imperfect it is, is a good one. Just get started, and you can improve upon it later when you learn new skills. Then you can repeat the cycle again and again as you continuously obtain further knowledge and more skills. Trust me, this is how it works for us indie authors, especially ones who don’t have a budget. No one is coming to save us. We have to do it ourselves and then just keep re-doing it.
Be patient… it will all come to you in time. Just keep practicing financial discipline and keep using sweat equity. Do not just throw money at it. Sadly, there are a lot of sharks out there in this field that will take advantage of your passion for your new book. Take it slow. Get to know people. And slowly learn who you can trust. And when you find someone you can believe in, you can engage in some bartering with them. You can help them in ways your skilled in that they aren’t, and they do the same for you. Then you two can even teach each other what you know. This bartering is a great example of financial discipline and using sweat equity.
We have to pay attention to our expenses. As authorpreneurs, we are now a business, not just a hobby. And companies pay attention to their costs and their return on investment (ROI). If we’re not paying attention to our expenses and just throwing money at each new shiny object. Then we may erroneously get sucked into the self-publishing false California Gold Rush.
The flood gates opened when self-publishing became an accepted way of publishing a book. Now anyone with a work ethic can publish a book. A lot of people are now racing on the internet highway into this business of publishing books to make money. It’s very similar to the way that a lot of Americans rushed to California in 1849. Now, if you know your history, you know that most of those gold-diggers didn’t find gold and get rich. And you also know that the people who made a lot of money were the ones who sold products and services to these exited and passionate forty-niners.
The internet and self-publishing are similar. A few self-published authors are hitting it big. Most of the others aren’t. Some make enough money to live. And the people providing the products and services to these indie authors are usually making some good money. And they will be more than happy to take your money as they convince you that you really need their services. So, now, what are you going to do with this newfound knowledge? Well, first, don’t be too eager to just give them your money. Second, learn these services yourself through sweat equity so you can save yourself a lot of money. Then jump in the pool and sell your know-how to others who would rather pay for the services done for them, rather than learn it for themselves.
It’s a conducive mindset to always be calculating whatever we spend, and how we need to make back. And not to pay anything more until we make back what we have already spent. A simple tool that would help create this financial disciplined mindset is to open up a separate bank account just for our authoring business. This way we can keep track of the numbers going up and going down. We can better see what’s working and what isn’t. This bank account can also help one follow the very wise strategy of staying away from credit cards and reinvesting our profits from our bank account. This strategy will help us stay out of debt. Being in debt isn’t fun, and neither is being a struggling author/artist.
So, how do you learn how to do all this stuff you’re going to have to eventually do? Well, first of all, take a deep calming breath. We don’t have to learn all of it right now. We’ll practice patience and slowly learn it over time. And then we’ll go back and fix or make better what we did earlier.
One way to learn stuff for free is by watching a bunch of YouTube videos and then actually trying to apply what we learn. Another way is by reading books, blogs, articles, or whatever we can get our eyeballs on. Chat rooms are good too. And so is bartering. Content marketing is great also. Through content marketing, we get to read about stuff we’re trying to learn. They we learn it better when we next write about it. Then we learn about it more when we put it out as content as we’re handling it and are further exposed to it. And if we’re putting it out there, then we better be applying it as well. Walking the walk really helps us learn it.
Also, content marketing is free marketing that doesn’t seem salesy to our prospects. It’s helpful. It’s like sharing something we know while it keeps putting our name in front of people as an expert. I do a lot of content marketing. And I suggest you do too. This is sweat equity at its best that helps us build a business and stay out of debt. So give it a shot in your efforts to be financially disciplined through using sweat equity.
*Watch this FREE video lesson on this chapter: