Four weeks ago I blogged that I was pressing pause, and then took a two week vacation. I let everything hit the floor, and stayed offline and out of business for the most part. Heck, I didn’t even write until the end of the vacation.
Finally, after a few days I was able to breathe.
When you let yourself breathe several things happen. You relax, develop perspective, and can make a few decisions.
Here’s where I wound up.
Getting Ready to Scale
For the past two years, I have served as an uber consultant taking on long-term in-depth contracts that often brought me on site working with clients. This was good from a business and life perspective allowing me to be home more often with the kid. Plus I needed a break after the last start-up.
But Soleil is older, and I am getting hungry again. Plus, I have become the sole bread-winner for my house, putting more weight on my shoulders. Being dependent on one client presents uncomfortable economic weaknesses, plus you end up fulfilling the work 50 hours a week, all while marketing and hopefully getting the next client in the pipe.
It’s time to scale and build a company again.
My role as interim head of communications at Vocus is winding down with a permanent director on board. I am fortunate to contuue working with Vocus on content. Meanwhile, I have picked up five additional clients, including a couple of Fortune 500 companies.
Look for Lady Soleil the brand to evolve beyond a shell company created for tax and legal purposes. In some ways this has already begun, a necessary step if a business is to be built beyond a singular personality. A logo and web site is in the works. Consultants are already working with me. The first hire will come soon.
Prepared for a Long Book March
Exodus was downloaded more than 1000 times during my initial launch. A good start for my first novel, but I didn’t market Exodus in September. I wanted to see how the book was received, and I needed to rest.
One thing I have learned about book marketing is it ends when the author stops pushing. Now I plan on a long entrenched marketing effort that focuses on building out the world unveiled in the text, and expanding the reach of the book into more traditional literary and science fiction circles.
Most of it will not be on this blog, though what you see will be an expansion of thinking behind the book, and more free content. In the short term, I have three quick updates for you:
- I published a new story called “Steam” from The Fundamentalists online this weekend. Steam offers some clues about one of the primary plot themes in the next book.
- Several folks have asked, so I set up a Google Hangout to answer questions, chat, and discuss future books in the trilogy. The hangout is scheduled for Friday, October 25 at 2 p.m. Join us if you can!
- Finally, publishing industry magazine Kirkus Reviews just published their thoughts on Exodus. It was a very positive take on the book, check it out.
Distance Is Good
I have intentionally removed myself from most of the day-to-day scrums within the online marketing conversation. I like and follow lots of people, but find the cliques and anti-clique cliques to be tiresome.
When I got back, someone showed me a “who are your favorite marketing speakers” post. All the cool kids were referring themselves as usual. Most of us know that there were much more negative conversations in private online groups and conversations.
This is human nature, and happens offline, too. At the same time, these types of conversations can be a big distraction, and matter very little to clients. Plus deep participation creates homogenous thinking, and a scary return to high-school like politicking.
I feel better when I focus on more productive activities. My only private online group participation are two baseball groups, and a writer’s group. Everything I have to say professionally about marketing remains said publicly, and otherwise it’s heads down.
Stay the course, and remain in the wide open blue ocean rather than at harbor with the rest of the crew.
So these were my big three takeaways from vacation. Clarity helps.