Tag Archives: business plan

AM I AT THE DOORSTEP?

When I see the tears of an Olympic athlete in the medal ceremony, I get it.

I don’t think the broadcasters do.

First of all, I love the Olympics. This is an Olympic year and best of all it’s a Summer Olympics year! (I love those even more than the Winter Olympics.) I can’t say I’m a fan of how the TV coverage goes with the Olympics, though. They turn the event into a drama where each person’s grandmother having just died as they were boarding the plane to head out to the Olympic hosting city.

I just like the competition.

The idea that if you can beat your competitors at this event you are the best in the world, at that moment in time, in your chosen activity. It’s powerful to think about it in that way, but it’s true… somewhat true… at least as truthful as we could ever get (Trust me, I know there are other factors here which doesn’t make the statement “best in the world 100% absolute truth” but while you may be able to talk in theory how you could make the Olympics better, in reality this is as good as it gets right now to benchmark competition and that’s what I’m talking about today.)

The idea of being the best in the world, standing on a pedestal with your country’s national anthem playing… you representing your entire nation… “We are the best in the world at the 200m,” that’s powerful stuff.

That’s certainly a component number one to those tears you see. The media gets that.

Yes, grandma’s death as our athlete boarded the plane is the second component (or whatever tragedy has bestowed them). The media devours this aspect. As the music starts playing, the tears flowing, Jim Nance reminding us, “Her grandmother died just as Delta Flight 322 pulled back from the gate. Her final words were, ‘Win the gold Lonnie.'”

I think the biggest reason for the tears is what they don’t talk about. It’s a lifetime of preparation. It’s getting up at 3:30 every morning to start training at 4:00 a.m. It’s skipping holiday treats to stay on the program. It’s prioritizing training over normal socialization for a young person. Not being able to go out with friends and have fun… a sole purpose and focus on being the best in the world at something. That moment has arrived as the anthem is cued.

The dream is here.

The dream is now.

In my own way, I believe I am taking a large step towards realizing my dreams this coming week. On Friday, February 12, my reformatted newsletter comes out. It’s been a large focus of what I’ve been doing over the last four months.

Over these past four months I’ve been working hard behind the scenes to forge a path of “Where do I go from here?” I’ve got a fairly large catalog of work. I’ve got a decent-sized fanbase. I even have a hit on my hands with my book Bourbon Mixology which continues to sell well.

My plan to better engage my readers and social media followers starts with this edition of SAP News, my newsletter. I’m introducing what I’m calling a “magazine style” format… not in look, but content. Each issue will have original content: interviews, product tastings/demos, showcasing the talents of fellow artists, contests, free book giveaways. My old content was simply to provide an update with what was going on with my writing.

I feel like this shift in approach is going to be real big for me. It’s going to generate excitement and enthusiasm for the publication of SAP News, and in-turn, my writing.

Of course, you never know. The 200 meter race for instance, starts out with 50+ racers at the start of the Olympics. Through qualifying rounds they narrow the field to eight before the start of the final heat.

Don’t all eight, or 50+ for that matter, think it’s going to be them?

Don’t all of them presume this Olympic is going to be their moment?

Their culmination of a lifetime in training.

Their time as the best in the world?

Their final tribute to their dead NoNa?

No matter what happens on Friday, I’m good. I’ve got a whole business plan lined out for 2016 that I will adhere to whether Friday’s SAP News draws unprecedented interest in my work or it’s met with a collective yawn.

If it does generate a buzz, who knows, I might even shed a tear.

I miss you NoNa!

_______________________

Next week I’ll reveal the people who have an influence on my interview style.

In the meantime, follow check in on Steve in a variety of ways:

Steve’s Catalog on Amazon: http://goo.gl/kJpKcP

The OPUS Blog: steveakley.tumblr.com

Sign Up for Steve’s Newsletters: Email Registration

Twitter: @steveakley

Instagram: @steveakley

What’s App: Steve Akley

Home Phone: I’m not giving you that!

Advertisements

STARTING WITH A PLAN (OR NOT)

Every good business starts with a plan, right?

Before you give that an affirmative, let’s think it through using me as an example. I think even a hobbyist writer like myself who has a full-time job and writes in his or her spare time probably needs a plan, but I really didn’t. When I started writing in 2013, my only plan was to write.

When I published my first book, I thought it would be a good time to develop a plan to market the book, but I was met with a collective sigh, or yawn, or whatever is worse when I tried to garner interest in my work. There was no engagement from any form of media in helping an independent author trying to make it on his own.

The money I spent trying to market my first book led to me losing money in my first year of writing. Some would stop right there, but I pressed on by doing the only thing I definitely knew I could do: write.

That’s right, I went about my “business” by writing. After the catastrophe of attempting to gain a large scale audience by marketing as I had done with my first book, I limited myself to simply social media (Twitter and my blog) to market my books. Yes, I’d distribute a few marketing copies to newspapers or others I thought could help spread the word, but social media truly was the bulk of what I was doing.

Basically, my goal became to build an audience one person at a time accompanied by a flurry of writing which could only be explained by the fact I had spent over 40 years waiting to start writing.

Fast forward to today, and I have over 50 books, short stories and mini-books published. I’ve built a decent following on social media and I finally believe now is the time to build the plan to really reach a bigger audience.

Over the past month, and for the rest of 2015, I’m working on a two-year plan to really build up my readership and an active, and engaged fan base.

Will it work?

I don’t know. Just like the books I write, I’m making it up as I go. I’m having fun, though, and that’s probably the true first step in making any business plan a success!