I just got off the phone with my biz coach Mandy (Gresh). And dang, she was giving me some tough love. When I started to complain about how I really need to make some money teaching at Boot Camp for Writers or offering corporate writing services at Coudal Creative Communications, she suggested I’ve basically got to get a little more ambitious, go pro, quit offering discounts and stuff for free, and really do what I say I’m going to do.
Underlying Mandy’s meanness (she called her attitude mean, not me) is this: I am way too nice. I am hardly making any money in this writing or teaching biz.
And it’s been almost nine months since I left my full time job as staff writer. It’s about time I give birth to a moneymaker.
I got mad at Mandy. I told her, “Look I have had some huge successes lately. Huge. Out of the ballpark home runs. Like on Sunday, I performed with 14 other writers at the Listen To Your Mother show to a crowd of like 500 at Symphony Space for a Mother’s Day show.
“I not only rocked the house with my writing, but I’m still getting emails about how natural and funny my performance was.” I know I sounded defensive.
I listed all these other accomplishments I’ve had within the last few months:
- Last month I presented at a conference to well over a hundred interfaith communicators at the annual meeting of the RCC (Religion Communicators Council) in Indianapolis
- I led a blogging workshop for the Indiana Writers Center
- I’ve taught memoir workshops at churches
- I’ve written P.R. and marketing copy
- I’ve written several articles for response magazine
- I took an online course at MIT
- I’ve been teaching creativity at the Computer School every week
- Out of like 160 people, I was chosen to lead a workshop at the IWWG (International Women’s Writing Guild) summer conference at Drew University this August.
So, yes, I’ve been busy. And it’s true. I give myself and my biz away. “I may not be making much money. But I’m making writers,” I told Mandy. And yes, that did sound pathetic.
It’s also true that Mandy called me out on my weekly goal to pitch more of my writing to magazines and paying venues. I want to do it, but I don’t.
Dang, there’s only one thing that would be more uncomfortable than listening to myself explain to Mandy how I could be working so hard and still not making any money. And that would be giving up this writing, coaching, and teaching business that I love and making money at something I don’t love.
The Daily Post: Unconventional Love Prompt
8 thoughts on “Tough Love on my Biz Start Up”
Sounds like Mandy (and you) have perfect timing. This is a great time to have the stepping up conversation because look at that fabulous list of things you have to back up your boundaries regarding payment for your services.
I had so much fun on Sunday. Maybe we’ll get to perform together again some time.
Urrrrrrgh…..from a current potter who has been told pretty much the same about her work + making money + now wants to pursue her real dream of writing. Just UuurrrrrrrrrG.
I hear ya, MB. No one said it would be easy (but that didn’t stop me from hoping.)
Hi just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know
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