Posts tagged how to write a book
​Why I am writing a new book and what you will gain from reading it

Why does this book matter so much to me? Why do I want people to read it and think about their skills from new angles? And why am I publishing another book and asking you to pre-order it on Kickstarter? Also, where did the title come from anyway? 

Last February, I was in New York shipping rewards to the supporters of my previous campaign. It was about three months into my life as a freelancer and it was also the first month I didn’t send out a single invoice, nor did I have any client work lined up. Surprise! Surprise! Freelancing is a rollercoaster. We all have heard that, right?

Having my regular expenses and no money coming in felt awful. There were some other private issues happening around the same time when I reached my credit card limit, a major freakout as you can imagine! (Ah, about that; in Europe credit cards work a bit differently than in the US. We can really only spend what we have or will earn in the next month to cover the costs.)

Getting good clients and staying true to your personal mission are very high expectations when you are just starting out. Good clients don’t knock on your door day in, day out. Especially when you are just beginning, one way to deal with a month without any work or invoices is looking for side gigs that you may not necessarily care for. There are millions of platforms that connect you to clients anonymously. It’s a market where you compete based on your price. The other possibility to deal with such a limbo is going back to waiting tables. It’s an option, or at least one I’ve always kept in the back of my mind. 

But then, I thought there must be another solution to make a living as a creative freelancer. After all, it’s the age of the social web! There must be millions of possibilities! 

I began looking for answers and strategies to build income streams independent of other people’s timing and budget. I was looking for a solution that would work on my terms. 

So how did I go about my research? How did I choose who to interview and how did I find these incredible women? 

Given how well it worked the first time around, when I just approached the people I admired for what they were doing, I thought, why not try the same strategy again? While last time I knew almost every single person I interviewed, this time around, I was sending emails to strangers trying to learn from their way of thinking. I got personal recommendations, I found people in news articles, or I approached people who have been on my radar for a while. I got rejections. I got enthusiasm. I got honest answers and most importantly, I got the answers I was looking for. 

So where does the title “My Creative (Side) Business” come from? A title that I got criticized for too, mind you.

The title comes from a realization I had after talking to several different women who shared how they built their businesses. For many, at first, what they do now full-time started as a hobby. They found ways to monetize their side projects and at some point, after years or sometimes just a few months for the lucky ones, it became a project that was making them enough money to be able to focus on it full-time. Because they have seen this technique work once, they tried it again. They changed their perspective. They did something new. They continued reflecting on their skills and playing around with the possibilities of the internet, social media, and online marketplaces. The title really should be “My Creative (Side) Businesses,” given that none of the women I interviewed is putting everything on one card. Stability in business goes hand in hand with having multiple pillars supporting it. 

Every interview featured in #MCFSB that you’ll read will help you realize the many opportunities waiting for you. And every article I have written will help you apply ideas to your own unique, personal situation. You will find examples of moms and how they work to be able to spend time with their kids. You will learn what you can do to be able to become location independent. You will get a chance to reflect how to use your skills if you are suddenly forced to think of a plan B. And you’ll be able to think about what to do when you run out of clients to help you pay your bills.

If what I have described above is something you are curious about, I would really appreciate if you could reserve your copy now. It’s the only time I can make it extra special and send you an actual gift, and who doesn't like gifts? If you have already pre-ordered your copy, thank you! You are the best! I will make your pledge worthwhile, I promise. 

As for me, personally, I cannot wait to send you the finished book! I use Kickstarter to be able to pay my team, the people I enjoy working with the most, promptly. 

PS: Please send our Kickstarter link to friends who you think might appreciate reading the guide. Thanks so much for being awesome! Let’s make this happen together!

How to make your wish come true and why figurative goals are better for your business

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A couple of months ago, Paul Jarvis wrote a newsletter with the title "Motivation vs. Action.” To Paul Jarvis, motivation is not part of the action. He believes that being motivated means one has the intention to do something, which unfortunately doesn’t mean one actually does it. If you wait for motivation to do things, you might never finish what you intend to do. 

 Even if you’re motivated, you might still say that you have millions of other things on your plate and that you’ll do *it* once your time frees up a little. If you ever wonder how other people manage to get a lot done, it’s probably because…

…people who get into shape enjoy the pain of the exercise.

…people who build successful corporate careers enjoy the politics and procedures.

…people who are successful in their relationships are able to handle conflict and cope with loss.

…people who are able to build successful businesses are comfortable with uncertainty and failure.

…people who travel to cool places and do amazing things are comfortable with the risks, potential disasters, and setbacks.

That’s how Mark Manson summarised it. 

If you think about it, Mark is right. That still doesn’t mean that people who don’t enjoy all aspects of the process cannot accomplish incredible things. It just means they must plan differently. 

If someone were to ask me what I believe is the recipe to accomplishing projects, I would say figurative goals, a realistic deadline, and social pressure. 

Let’s say someone wants to write a book. Let’s say you want to write a book. You’ve seen others do it, but you can’t figure out how, and whenever you try, you can’t make it work. 

If you’d follow my recipe, you wouldn’t say you want to write a book. You’d say you want to write a first draft of 50K words. Then, you would set yourself a goal somewhere between 30 and 60 days. You are motivated now, so goals that are far ahead will make it hard to remain motivated. Once you have a figurative goal and a deadline, divide the word count by the number of days you have to reach your goal. 

Suddenly, your plan is not to write a book; your plan is to write 1,6K or 830 words a day for the next one or two months.  

But who will make you accountable? 

Who will cheer you on whenever you’ll want to give up? Exactly! The friends who know about your plan and who’ll remind you what you said you’d do. Making your plans and your deadline public is what will help following through with your plans.

Now the question is, what is the plan you’ll finally follow through with?

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Some book tips for you!

Here are parts of my weekly newsletter: you can subscribe to my newsletter to get the full articles to your mailbox. 

As it is every year, I think Christmas is the perfect time to decide on what we want to accomplish in the new year, think about our past successes and set future goals.

Two years ago I said I'll write a book and I'm so glad that I'm finally just a couple of weeks away from reaching this goal! I've spent the last three weeks hiding behind the screen and have recorded, transcribed and edited 23 interviews with some extremely inspiring women. I found an amazing illustratora great art director and an editor who is really fun to work with. 

Truth is, the ability to do all of this didn't come overnight. I needed some support to help me figure out the best strategy to finally make it happen. So here are the books responsible for my newly discovered dedication and ability to finalise this long attempted goal:

The $100 startup
Chris Guillebeau book tells stories of people who have managed to start their company with a budget smaller than a hundred bucks. 

The Happiness Project
Gretchen Rubin's book helped me to focus on what's important to me and deal with consequences of decisions that were hard to make but necessary.  

Shane Snow's book was a real eye-opener to understand what successful people have in common and what they did to get to where they are today; a book about system hacking.

.. and last but not least; 

No Plot? No Problem?
Chris Baty's book has probably been the most important of all. It helped me to find a way to break down a goal that felt too big to accomplish and organise my time for me to be able to reach what I've been trying to do for so long.

I'm really curious about your aims for 2015. Please drop me a line soon!

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