Time Management

Righto… If I want to earn $10,140 (ish) for the year, and I need to show some sort of results in one month, then this is how time fits in to the plan.

I am offering a colouring book of 365+ pictures for $12.

Which is enough to colour one picture every day for a year, and includes access to colouring pictures on the blog for all of 2013.

(If you would like one, please email wildersoul@gmail.com to let me know! )

It will be instantly downloadable, so people can print it forever from their computer without having to spend on internet access every time they search for a picture to colour in. Also, if they are a hospital or a therapist, or a community art group, then they can print as many copies of the colouring pictures as they like, for the group of people in their care.

So… I aim to send invitations to 1000 different organisations, or people, during the month of September. Seems like a big number, so I broke it down.

That’s 30 invitations each day for 30 days. (I am rounding it for ease of calculation). Comes to 900, and that’s okay, because $12 x 1000 is $12,000.

Because that still sounds like a lot to me, who is a bit of a hermit when it comes to approaching people, I broke it down a bit further.

15 contacts in the morning, and 15 contacts in the evening,

for the 30 days of September.

And that’s the plan. I hunted through the Yellow Pages, and White Pages, and have the first two days of invites written up to start tomorrow. One page for each set of 15 contacts. Although, I may simply take all the broad categories of people, and send invitations via the internet to similar groups online, rather than local. (This is because a lot of the “local” ones are outside my free calling area by phone). I’ll try a combination of both local and online.

Next step is to zip up all the files. I am not going to reformat them, although in future, I have a system in place that provides both US Letter and A4 size files. That means the next set of 365+ pictures will be bigger than this first introductory set.

After that, it’s time to set up one page that I can link to for my potential customers to visit when they receive their invitation. It might be a Sellbox page – I thought of that just now. I will think carefully about what words to use, and how to present it. Hopefully it will be perfect to keep in place for the rest of the year, for anyone interested in having a copy of the Wildersoul Colouring Book that prints out offline, and you can search through without having to enter and exit blog posts.

Now I am interested in how big the zip file will be! Hopefully not an unmanageable size. I could always break it into smaller sizes. We’ll see.

Once it is all ready, I would invite and encourage you all to spread the word to anyone, whether adults or children who enjoy colouring in for no particular reason, or anyone interested in the therapeutic side of colouring in.

These are the broad categories of people or organisations that I will be approaching:

  • Mental health service providers and users, including:
  • Counsellors
  • Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Hospitals
  • Disability service providers and users, inlcuding:
  • Physical disabilities
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Addictions, including:
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Prisons
  • Restorative Justice
  • Victim Support
  • Older Persons, including:
  • Rest Homes
  • Retirement Villages
  • Activities directors
  • Alzheimers
  • Hospice
  • ADHD
  • Brain Injury
  • Sexual assault
  • Adoption
  • Foster Care
  • Community services
  • Social Development – Ministry or services, including:
  • Child Youth and Family services
  • Family and Community
  • Older Persons
  • Disability

My means to reach people will be by email or phone locally, and online via WordPress blogs, Twitter groups, About.me profiles, Linked In groups, Facebook family and friends, Google Plus somehow – I am not too familiar with it yet.

I am hoping to publish my business plan sometime tomorrow too.

Time management isn’t a rigid and strict thing to me, it is a way of organising my mind so as not to be overwhelmed, while achieving goals that I set for myself. I had a bit of a sleep this afternoon to catch up, and now a bit of night shift to get my plan on to the blog. I used to do this for work when I was pregnant. I would sometimes drive in to work at 2am to get things done, when unable come in during the day. Flexibility works well for me. It makes best use of my available energy. I am off to get some sleep now. G’night!

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A shift in direction

To those who may be following the continuing saga of my colouring book…

I am shifting towards making contacts locally and using the internet to keep in touch with people I know in person.

This is changing my idea of how to go about blogging, and also how to ‘do business’ over the internet.

Nothing personal, I have disconnected from people I don’t know in person on Facebook and LinkedIn. Until I figure out what to do next I have made these two social media sites as private as I can for now. I don’t mind the anonymous contacts on WordPress or Twitter.

The stats on my blog were a bit of an eye-opener. It’s mostly Google searches that refer people to my blog. And I am learning a bit at a time about setting up my own business. Seems a singular focus works best for me, or I get too worn down. So I am going to focus only on the colouring book. And test out whether I can keep it to a 9am to 5pm routine.

The idea of a “brains trust” interests me greatly. http://artoftakeup.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/q4-the-design-process/

Also, I want to individually contact therapists, rather than trying to attract a following through blogging. This is part of chipping out a little niche on the particular crag I am climbing. If I want 400 paid subscribers, then I will need to contact at least 400 actual local people or organisations and talk to them.

That’s a big mission for me. Actually, it would be a year or so of daily contacts! I could treat it much the same as my daily uploads of artwork.

Before that, I want to get my colouring book zipped up ready for download.

And somewhere along the way I want to look a bit deeper at the issues hiding beneath the colouring book. This will take a bit of personal reflection.

When I have it all sorted, it will move on over to wildersoul.com.  Whatever form it ends up taking.

Thanks for being here.

Anasera

 

Tiredness washed out by grief

Which brings us back to insomnia…

New goals fresh and crisp,
ready to embark on the next leg of the journey

Grief is allowed
to exist
and the awful heaviness
of dammed up tears
evaporates
after the flash flood.

The mind clears
like clouds parting
to let bright sun smile through glistening rain.

A rainbow steps on to the path ahead.

New routine

I’ve been feeling a bit ruffled since starting the dissolvingbuildings.com blog. This morning I thought of a new routine to try out. It may or not work in practice. Only one way to find out!

One. Spirituality…  I need to find an outlet, and nourishment for the spiritual side of me. And it has to come first, so I’m going to start with this each morning.

Two. Means of living… Next I will work on dissolvingbuildings.com, creating content to encourage community interaction. I would like to highlight people’s work so I guess it would be a bit like an online publisher, or a niche bookshop… I’ll get it sorted, what kind of an animal is it really? I will allot it the time it requires early in the day.

Three.  Healing, and giving to others… This means my colouring book. The artwork-a-day routine is very healthy for me, and I want to complete my goal of a year’s worth of artwork available for free over the internet. I want this to be a healing sort of environment.

Four. Interaction…. Instead of likes and follows, I want to make comments. Who knows what will come of it! I am interested to find out. I am wondering if the percentages will change. Instead of a smaller percentage of comments out of a very large amount of views, I want to see if I get a larger amount of comments from a smaller number of views. Because at the end of it all, I would like to grow a creative community of people with as little effort as possible in bringing them all together. Call me lazy (?!)

Five. Exercise. Probably between about 3-5pm. Maybe play with a basketball and shoot some hoops or something. Something a little more vigorous than my usual long walks.

Six. And this is the part I look forward to, and what is most often put off… Learning! I like to read, study, practice, and create. And perhaps, I could set apart this last part of the day to learn with others, in person somewhere. Mostly, I want to create a colouring book at home. And I need to devote some time to it. It has to be a little different from the standard colouring books.

I’ve simplified it a lot, and there are things missing which will probably shuffle into weekends and odd pockets of the day.

I avoid deadlines as much as possible, and setting specific times to do things. I do get very specific about my goals, and have regular checks weekly and monthly to review them and make changes or update them. Usually my timing is way out. I either achieve a goal in a few months that I set for a year, or I take a year or more to achieve something I set out to do in a few months. It’s all part of the process and I adjust the timeframe to suit as I go along.

Proof of my addiction to blogging

Yes, I am here, and I had intended to keep the laptop lid shut all day today. The sun is shining and we have not walked out the door to walk in it yet!

I had to let people know, that when you sell your e-books through Amazon, you are allowed to earn a commission of up to 10% for advertising your own book. How cool is that? I mistakenly thought that the commission didn’t count if I referred it from a link on my own blog. Found out I was wrong yesterday!

All you e-book authors out there, make a little bit more by joining up on this link: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/join/landing/main.html

(Don’t listen to me, I got the percentage wrong before, best just visit the site and decide for yourself.)

I am hoping that my brain is improving, although on the surface it may seem like it is not. I am in wait and see mode, and hopefully will not need to visit a doctor. I had a bit of a cold recently and near the end got all stuffed up in the sinuses, with a headache. Sorry to get all graphic here…. As it was clearing up, I had some bouts of fluid leaking from my nose, in an unusual manner. Funny colour too – transparent but slightly hmmm yellowy-orange? in colour.  Strangely reminded me of bile. And anyway, now I feel much better, and the cold is gone.

After a bit of research I am creating my own bit of fiction about my brain blowing up and bursting…. LOL! And that of course explains all my craziness…. In my invented story, I am much more calm and rational now than ever before, because my bubble popped and my brain is restored to normal size. Hehe, my kids tell another story… in which I am the same as ever…. Silly ole me!

Anyway, my day off was kind of hoping for time to let my brain cool off after all the work setting up another blog, which I am really wondering now if it was such a bright idea. I have too many really!

==== show’s over… that’s pretty well all the interesting stuff said and done, just boring notes to myself about my blogs beyond this point! Sorry folks! ====

I may squash my photography blog into this blog. Maybe.

My wildersoul.com blog has been a great place to learn about what doesn’t work for me. That’s partly why I started the new dissolvingbuildings.com blog. There are still things that work best on a self-hosted domain though. Any tricky things that need a script. Like the utilities that my son makes. Have you seen the blank-circle-frame generator? That won’t run on this blog, or on the paid WP.com blog. And the embedded Amazon shop is pretty cool. Can’t be embedded here, only linked, which takes the viewer off-site).

The problem with PayPal. It sends me your email and your name attached to your PayPal account. (I received my first payment just recently and so now I know.) This presents a problem. I would need to win people’s trust, and that would include providing a privacy policy, and some sort of security of data assurance written into terms of service or something like that. Legal stuff.  Basically, “I won’t use your email address for anything except correspondence about your purchase, and will not give it out to anyone else.”

So although selling direct means a lower price for the buyer, and a higher commission for me, it comes with its own problems. Selling through Amazon, although they take commission off for themselves, has a trusted payment system in place.

CreateSpace has a thing where I can order my paperbacks at cost price, which is about $2.15 (US), and then I can change the delivery address to send the books to the person who wants to buy them. I will have to check if there is free delivery within the US.  This could be a good option for bulk orders, for schools, or hospitals. I could ask for a very small commission on top. This could be good for orders of say 10 books for a therapist’s waiting room.

I feel disappointed about the PayPal situation. However, perhaps it is all part of building up a reputation and a brand, and putting all of the legal bits in place. That’s a big job to do and requires some research, and possibly trusting a lawyer of some sort.

The dissolvingbuildings.com blog has bridged a gap between my blog world, and my extended family. Which is a good thing, and is a stepping stone to connecting to the neighbourhood and community.

I have bottled up some excitement in what I call a special treat for myself. I bought a guillotine, no don’t call me Madame! And refilled the toner for our black and white printer, so I will be very soon designing colouring books and printing, trimming and stapling them myself. And printing off sheets of business cards on the special cardboard I bought. So the physical advertising in the community will start fairly soon.

Hopefully I will settle into a bit of a routine over the next week or two. I find it very hard to switch into new habits, it takes time and repetition. If you are reading all this boring stuff, then please bear with me over the next few weeks as I behave a bit like a spider in a spaceship, making very deranged-looking webs for a while, until I get things figured out and things are beautifully in order again.

Final thoughts… I want my wildersoul.wordpress.com free online colouring book mostly focused as a resource for those healing from trauma, of any kind. Any kind of therapeutic use. And of course available for children, homeschoolers, and others who love to colour. Because of this, I am not so keen on having a shop attached, or advertising on the site. All of that can zip over to dissolvingbuildings.com, which is really where we will chase our dreams, and set up in business as a family. In itself that is a very healing thing for our family. And it is leading on to changes in our offline life too. One of us has a part-time job offer for the next six months at least. When there is a motivated goal, then things start to fall into place.

Wishing you all the best for the weekend, if you have read this far! You deserve a break! (smiling…)

Anasera.

PS. don’t worry about my brain. It is probably inflamed from me eating wheat. We had a huge spicy moist carrot cake with cream cheese icing for our blog opening celebrations… and it is all gone now. Naughty me.

Business Therapy

Trucking along with this idea of making an income online… I came around a corner and delved into an e-book on how to make it big with an e-book. I’ve answered some of the questions, and it is easier than coming up with a ‘standard business plan.’ This is more of a specific, e-book business plan!

In the meantime, we have set a family goal to achieve. The first combined goal involving making money together!

To share something personal – it wasn’t so long ago when it was difficult for me to get beyond my own front door and face the world. From walking to the letterbox, to walking around the block, to taking trips into town and back, and venturing out on longer walks, we have eventually made it out of town for a small number of trips, and overnight stays, and now even two week stays with family.

Getting sick is a pain, because it feels like I am going backwards, and cocooning into my house again. It is not such a big issue for me dealing with the physical symptoms. The thunder storm has rolled on past, and the sun is shining outdoors again, so a walk around the block with my buggy sniffly, phlegmy family will be a welcome break from the last few days indoors.

So, this is our goal:

To take a two-week tour of the South Island of New Zealand.
This will involve a flight for three of us, approx $1000
Bus tour for three, approx $2000
Accommodation 14 nights approx $1500
and food at approx $400

All very rough estimates and trying to err on the side of having “too much money” rather than being stuck with too little, far from home! Grand Total of around $5000.

I’ll share my secret: This is intended to motivate me to make an income. I have been a homeschooling mum for many years, and making a re-entry into the paid workforce is a very interesting process. Not only do I need motivation to keep my mind of a husband appearing out of thin air, I also need motivation to keep my family supportive of my efforts to create and maintain a business from home. Without the support of those in my own home, it makes all efforts more difficult to sustain.

The special thing about this trip, is that I have always wanted to explore and get to know my own country before venturing out to visit the rest of the world. To know that I can stay away from home for two weeks, means that this trip is possible for me now. And once this trip is completed, I will know that I am ready to travel overseas.

I have taken on-board OM’s very helpful tips in his e-book HarsH ReaLiTy (A Blogging Manual). And have made some specific measurable goals to work towards, which will help me to reach the South Island, and beyond!

  • 100,000 views in six months
  • 6,800 followers in six months
  • Commit to making three comments on new blogs every day (minimum)

Sounds ambitious, and that is the nature of goal-setting. I review my goals weekly, monthly and every three months. Because sometimes they can be too ambitious, or else I have achieved the goal earlier than expected. Or it has evolved into something else. So these figures may change. It is my prompt to get started, and to stay motivated.  Actually, OM is a major motivating force for me. I guess this is because essentially we have a similar aim, of earning an income from blogging in one way or another. Rather than a conventional 9 to 5 day-job or career.

I reckon there’s a few of us out there with the same motivation 🙂

At the root of it, for me, is the desire to spend maximum amount of time with those I love most.

There’s a careful balance needed then, to make sure the means does not swamp the end.

The therapeutic part of this business planning, is in the mindset I strive to develop. It is focused actively on love and hope. And draws the rest of my existence around those things.

Business Therapy

Or Business School. I’m going to share what I’m up to, and then ask you a question at the end.

  1. Free colouring book with fast, easy drawing. Low time, low (no) cost, low quality…
  2. Sellbox shop with listings on Wildersoul.com. Medium time, low cost, higher quality.
  3. Spoonflower designs made to order, medium time, higher cost, higher quality
  4. Etsy shop with handmade one-off artworks created from Spoonflower designs, on fabric. Highest time, highest cost, highest quality.

To work on next:

  • Keep loading up daily artwork for free colouring book. In a way, this is absolutely free promotion of anything else I create. It is literally a look at the artist’s drawing board, with scribbles and sketches of ideas that may blossom into something later.
  • Create a beautiful and intricate artwork from my Spoonflower design. (Butterfly design on fabric – using beads and fabric paint, and who knows what else. It may turn into a beautiful bag of some sort…)
  • Figure out how to have all my blogs on Wildersoul.com, so I have only one point of contact. The trick is to make it so it is text only, mostly, on the front page, so that it loads quickly and easily. And also have all of the colouring pictures display as a gallery with no text. I think I can achieve this by carefully adding categories, and putting them into a menu. Or else I will have to figure out some coding, and how to use shortcodes.

Other ideas brewing:

  • A regular radio broadcast
  • A regular tv channel, you know, YouTube channel. With broadcasts, perhaps via Google+
  • Twitter poetry – 140 character poems. Perhaps it could make a good e-book, with photos and/or artwork added.
  • Skype or Gmail video chat available for face-to-face video chat.

My drive to share freely is in gratitude for the wonderfully supportive bloggers on WP, and also in a spirit of passing on what has helped me to heal.

My drive to start a business is to make money to support my family. Call me old fashioned, it kind of breaks my heart, as I believe in the Man having the role of providing for the family. The way I frame this in my mind, is that I am giving my kids the direct experience of seeing and being involved in a business start-up. Gotta be good for them. I love it when they come up with something better. I like to stimulate ideas, and head them down tracks they may not have considered. And then watch them run with it, in directions beyond my imagination or ability.

In the meantime… I am thoroughly enjoying the art I do with my own hands. Finally I am really starting to add colour. Somehow my mind is also tuning in to what other people want or need, that I could perhaps provide.

For now, here’s my question to you: What are your dreams, plans and goals? What is important to you in life right now? And what are your challenges, or disappointments, and how do you frame them so as to get on with things? (Big question…!)

Higher Purpose

I yearn
  to become
  So lost in the moment
 I forget
  to pretend who I am

To shine like a star
  Authentically me

To love so completely
  that there are no attachments
                   expectations
                  disappointments
                    heartache

     Just
      BE-ing

 To become unaware that anyone is watching

To lose my distrust
  To feel safe

 To be in union
      With the True Power
              of Life Itself

To make a True Friend
    and Be a True Friend.

   To trust.

~~~~~

This is a poem I wrote over five years ago, and I came across it when pulling things out of my ‘Self Employed Info” box. I’m almost there. It’s not so much of a yearning now, as much has come into being in my life.

Also buried in my box full of papers were goals I wrote in 2008, which I have reached. Finding all of you here on WordPress has filled one of those goals! I’m feeling pretty good about being here in amongst you all!

I frightened myself yesterday believing I had to be in full-time employment in two weeks. Actually I have one month, which is a little better! I have a stack of people to get in touch with today, IRD, BizInfo, Chamber of Commerce, Creative NZ, and the Arts Access Aotearoa if they still exist! First – feed the brain some lunch.

The most wonderful things can happen by ordinary contact with everyday friends. With one knock at our front door, my son sold something, and I received contacts for a good local print shop, and someone who may have a market for a tonne of colouring books. (Daycare centres!)

All the best for your goals and adventures in life!

Anasera