Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Why are There No Cautions Before Smacking Face First into Invisible Walls?

Filed under: Work — by at 1:22 pm on Monday, January 30, 2012

Have you ever smacked face first into an invisible wall, landing on your butt and asking yourself, “Huh? Where did that come from?”

Last week while working with my business advisor, one assignment felt uncomfortable and I was squirming in my chair while doing it. She asked,  “Why do you find asking these few people whether or not they know what products and services you offer so uncomfortable? Are you not proud of what you do?”

That question touched something and I smacked face first into that invisible wall. Huh?  Why did that apparently harmless question trigger such a response? Why was the task so uncomfortable and icky?

Taking time to mull it over, two possible reasons came to mind:

The first seemed irrelevant, but being the first thing that came to mind, I explored further. Several years ago, a family member, after observing me do some work for him, asked, “Why should employers pay you more because you take longer to complete a task?” A fair question, but it stung and has stayed with me ever since.

Being self-employed for the past thirteen years, I nearly always under invoice when charging by the hour to compensate for any extra time I might have taken and to ensure my clients receive high value for their money. The higher my hourly fee, the more likely I am to under charge. Why should they pay more because I might take longer than someone else?

Although the question may be fair – from an employer’s or client’s perspective – it has undermined my self-confidence as a businesswoman, as a subject matter expert. When hitting the wall last week, I realized I could choose to continue allowing that moment be a defining one or I could choose to dismiss it as insignificant.

it also struck me that my business is a sole proprietorship; I am in charge. I can choose which advisors, mentors, coaches, and colleagues to work with. There are no silent partners calling the shots. Why was I letting that one remark have such control over me and my business?

The second reason that came to mind was asking such questions of the select few individuals was such foreign territory for me. I was concerned about annoying them, about coming across as a hard nosed business person or something I couldn’t put my finger on. Asking them that kind of question hadn’t even occurred to me before. Once my advisor gave me a phrase to use, the task became doable, even though I still felt uncomfortable in asking.

After receiving the very first response, I could see the value in asking the series of four questions. By the next morning I was ready to ask my entire subscriber list of 270 people. In fact, I couldn’t get to my desk fast enough!

Reflecting upon the experience, I now wonder: why do these invisible walls exist? How many others exist, limiting and confining me? How can they be discovered without smacking face first into them? Why are there no caution signs or warning bells?

How do you deal with invisible walls?

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Amazon Kindle Sales Ranking Takes Off

Filed under: I'll Do It Myself: The Book — by at 4:53 pm on Friday, January 27, 2012

I'll Do It Myself on the KindleBREAKING TRIVIAL NEWS…in the past couple of hours, the Amazon sales ranking for my autobiography I’ll Do It Myself shot up from #67,557 in the Kindle Store – after being at about #797,998 for weeks – to #41,004!

And I have screenshot to prove it:

Screenshot of Amazon sales rankings

I usually don’t pay much attention to the sales ranking; ranking does not not necessarily equate to dollars, which, really, is the only one number that really counts But when it jumps 26,553 points in an hour, that caught my attention!

Thank you to the Kindle readers who made that happen.

In the next hour, my book dropped slightly to #44,297 in the Kindle Store.

Did you know you don’t need a Kindle device to read Kindle ebooks? These ebooks can also be read on your PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone and other devices.

My question is: do we, together, have fun with this and see how high we can get the sales ranking? Is there anything better to do on a wintry weekend? What do you think?

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Amazon Kindle: Still Believing Great Opportunity Exists for Self-Published Authors

Filed under: I'll Do It Myself: The Book — by at 7:01 pm on Monday, January 23, 2012

I'll Do It Myself on the KindleLast month Amazon announced Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select – "a new option dedicated to KDP authors and publishers worldwide, featuring a fund of $500,000 in December 2011 and at least $6 million in total for 2012! …"

Understanding that early adopters would have a greater chance of substantially gaining from this opportunity, I opted in right away by making my autobiography I’ll Do It Myself available through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which allows eligible U.S. Amazon Prime members to borrow the book. I would earn a royalty – based on a percentage – for each book borrowed.

December’s results

The numbers for December on now in: based on the number of total books borrowed and the month’s available fund of $500,000, each eligible borrow earned a royalty of $1.70. My sincere thank you to the lone Prime member for borrowing my book. It’s a start!

For fun, I did the math…doubling the number of borrows each month for a year, the royalty cheque for November 2012 would be $3,4581.670…and that doesn’t include any book sales. Now we are talking!

Of course, that number is purely hypothetical because as more authors opt in and as more Prime members borrow books, the available fund – increased to $700,000 for January – will be divided amongst more eligible borrows. The royalty earned per book could drop significantly from the initial $1.70. But seeing the potential income generated is exciting and shows me that promoting this revenue stream may be well worth the investment of time.

Now save 25%

Keeping a closer eye on the Best Seller in Kindle Store list for the last month, I realized my ebook was over priced, particularly for an unknown author. Taking a gamble that a lower price would increase sales, and, hence, increase royalties, I have dropped the price by 25%. $6.49 seemed a lucky number! We’ll see how that goes.

Requesting a favour, please

If you have purchased I’ll Do It Myself from Amazon, first, thank you. I do appreciate everyone who takes a chance and spends their money on my book when there are thousands to choose from. Thank you.

Second, if you enjoyed the book and found some value inside the cover, please consider writing a review. This may encourage other Amazon customers to also buy it.

ORDs still available

Stack of I'll Do It Myself booksFor those who prefer ORDs (old reading devices), there are less than 150 autographed paperbacks left. Once they are gone, they are gone. I likely will not have another print run done. An empty corner in the living room might motivate me to get going on my second book!

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Behind the Scenes of a Tweetchat with the Left Thumb Blogger

Filed under: Social Media — by at 6:16 pm on Friday, January 20, 2012

A tweetchat – a chat held on Twitter; typically with a guest host sharing an expertise with a specific group indicated by a hashtag (#). By the very nature of Twitter, anyone interested can participate in the chat.

Thanks to Association for Women in Communications (AWC) organizer and my friend Sheila Scarborough, yesterday I had the pleasure of guest hosting #AWChat, sharing my expertise in web accessibility.

Prior to the chat, I prepared my responses to Sheila’s questions as a series of tweets in SocialOomph – a handy tool for scheduling tweets and other such tasks. I also copied my tweets in to Notepad, just in case…having a back up plan is always wise!

My screen during the chat

During the chat:

  • I had the #AWCchat tweet stream open in Hootsuite on the left side of my screen,
  • my prepared tweets in SocialOomph on the right side of the screen, and
  • my WordQ word prediction/completion hovering in the upper right corner.

When Sheila asked a pre-set question during the chat, I hit “Publish immediately” on the corresponding response tweet in SocialOomph. Except for a 60-second delay in publishing, the system worked amazingly well.

In between Sheila’s questions, I was able to respond to questions from others on the chat. By the end of the hour, my left thumb was on fire (in a good way)! A transcript from the chat is now available.

A few years ago I would have never imagined myself guest hosting such a lively discussion in real life. But, because Twitter is largely text-based and because of the other handy tools, I now have something else to add to the “Can Do” column!

Before I had wrapped up the #AWCchat with Sheila, I was slated for my next tweetchat guest hosting: #SOBCon on February 16th, 10-11am pacific. Join us! 

If you run a tweetchat and if my experience or expertise may be of service to your group, tweet me (@GlendaWH) or leave a comment below with the details.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Enough of Others’ Success Strategies! 2012 is the Year for Mine, Based on Balance

Filed under: 4-Hour Workday — by at 5:35 pm on Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Stylized woman balancing two candles - made in black metalSince choosing this self-employed, solopreneur route – or, more accurately, having the decision, more or less, made for me – I have spent much time reading, observing and listening to how other entrepreneurs and business owners have found success. Strategies, methods and formulas that have and haven’t worked have caught my attention. I have tried implementing a few, and have discarded many others that didn’t fit or make sense for me.

Last week I watched a news clip on our local self-made billionaire Jimmy Pattison, the sole owner of the third largest private company in Canada. His net worth, according to last year’s Forbes’ list of billionaires, is $5.8 billion. When asked for advice on how to get ahead, he typically responds by asking, “What time do you get to work in the morning?”

Oops! Dragging my butt from my warm, cozy bed – where nothing is hurting and I am not constantly fighting against gravity – is not the easiest thing I do in a day. But, in my defense (assuming I need one), that is where I do my best thinking, planning and even writing. Many blog posts and other content get partially written in my head while laying in bed. That is what works for me.

Interestingly, on the same day as watching the news story, I came across successful internet marketer Clay Collins’ bio page. He admits that he needs eight hours of sleep, preferably 10 hours, and that he cannot drag himself out of bed before 10AM. (I’m liking this guy already!) He goes on to explain that he can only get one thing done all day, i.e., writing a blog post, responding to emails or scheduling a week’s phone appointments all on one day. He doesn’t switch between umpteen tasks in one day.

If Jimmy and Clay are the extremes along one continuum, I am definitely leaning toward the Clay end. Who needs billions anyway?

Another continuum i have discovered has to do with work or effort put forth. Years ago, when flipping through a book entitled something like The Secrets of Millionaires, one short passage jumped off the page. Paraphrasing from memory:

Your time is finite. By selling your time, your potential income is limited. To get ahead, do not rely on selling your time.

Given my limited energy, this insight makes so much sense! In other words, rather working by the hour or by the project, create something once and then sell it repeatedly.

That is the concept behind “passive income”; a concept I am still having trouble believing. Once created, the product still needs continuous marketing. How is that passive? For example, having my book available on the Amazon Kindle is not enough. I need to keep mentioning, in different places and in different ways, that the book is available in order to make a sale.

To me, that isn’t truly passive income, but rather “less-effort income” (if you ignore the four years I took to write the thing). But now that it is written, I can sell it countless times and the income generated is limitless. That appeals to me!

People are making decent money from passive (or less-effort) income; Pat Flynn is grossing each month what is my goal for the year. Seeing his monthly numbers do not discourage me (not totally), but rather shows me what is possible and confirms that my goal is not crazy, is not unattainable.

By implementing a four-hour work day (which is taking some practice to get the hang of) and by balancing per-hour work with less-effort income, I am confident I can generate enough of an income to become financially self-sufficient. By repurposing existing content, I  will soon have a few more ebooks available on the Kindle. And, as soon as I can draft the sales page, I will be launching an accessibility review service for blogs and websites. Details coming soon!

After being at this solopreneur game for nearly fourteen years, I am now confident that I now have my own strategy, plan or formula that will work for me.

2012 is going to be a good year because that is what I am choosing to make it.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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