Manifesto #4: Fulfillment over profit.
I want you to get the money in the door. I really, really do. As Danielle LaPorte says: “No money? No business.”
If that’s what it takes to get money in the door, it’s not worth it–and no, I’m not a trust fund baby. I’m saying that from the perspective of someone who knows what it’s like to have a maxed-out credit card and rent due in a week.
One of the most powerful moments I’ve had in the development of my business was born of pure frustration: I hit a point where I felt absolutely, positively and utterly fed up with trying to get my business going, because I’d been doing everything that anyone was telling me to–giveaways, blogging daily, paying for sponsor spots on high-traffic blogs, going around to various websites and adding to their comments, posting to social media a lot, etc.
Translation: Despite that, the money was not coming in the door.
Now, this is kind of funny, right? At the time, even though I was doing all of the things the experts would have said I should do, none of it felt good, AND none of it was actually paying the bills.
At the time, I would have told you that I “didn’t like marketing.” Because I didn’t like it, I wasn’t consistent about it. I was also afraid of stepping into the online arena with any conviction.
As I recall it, something within me went, “Look, Kate, you’ve just got to focus on what you love to do–and what you love to do is write.”
In that moment, I decided that there would be no more giveaways, no more sponsorships, and while I loved to write, blogging daily was killing me slowly, so there would be no more of that.
I would write. I would write my best work, and that was it. I would guest post, because that was writing and I liked it. I would stop adding comments to websites, because that just took time away from my own writing. I would post to social media only as I wished and in the way I wished.
Click to tweet: Let fulfillment lead the way to generating profit. http://clicktotweet.com/cqDkx
I immediately felt better. The fact that I felt better was more important to me in that moment, than money coming in the door–because with feeling better, I had a renewed belief in my capacity to create something, anything, some way, some how that would lead to success.
This isn’t just a “me” story. This is a collective story. I chatted up Tara Gentile about this, and here’s what she said:
My business was predominantly blogging–media–for much of its infancy. And having taken over a site for another blogger, I felt I needed to just keep blogging in the same style as she always had and the same style as everyone else in our corner of the internet. I created rapid-fire posts that highlighted products I found intriguing.
But I realized I wasn’t getting much traction. I wasn’t getting the numbers of new subscribers, traffic, or advertisers that I really wanted. So I decided to go a different road and start writing the kinds of articles I really wanted to write. I stopped doing things the way I thought I “had to” and started working to my strengths as a blogger. I wrote in-depth articles, I crafted stories, and I pitched unconventional ideas.
Even though I write at a different site now and blog about very different things, I have stayed true writing what I want to write, the way I want to write it. And it’s become one of the big things I’m known for.
I also asked Andrea Owen for her take:
I thought I had to write an article for a WEEKLY newsletter AND a blog (different content because someone told me not to duplicate it). That lasted a month, I HATED it.
Recently I decided to stop doing my Monday Kick-Ass quotes. I did them for 2 years and I got great responses from my list that they liked them and they were easily sharable on social media. It worked for a long time. Then I started hating doing them. I would forget about it until Sunday afternoon and have to tear myself away from my family to go work on it. I was getting resentful. I kept it up because I thought if my people liked them, I had to keep it up for them.
I took the summer off of doing them and felt 1,000 times better.
Yes, you want pay the bills.
Of course! I’m not saying you have to choose one, over the other. But you just might find–as have many other people in this industry–that prioritizing one, to get to the other, reaps incredible rewards.