The other day, I was having an email conversation with a friend about business goals.
She mentioned that she’d started a book only to realize she didn’t want to write one *right now* after all.
She had mixed feelings about the decision, though. After all, *everyone* says a good consultant *must* write a book. And she was feeling the pressure.
In a reply email, I offered her a piece of advice that, as soon as I’d typed it, I knew was really advice for *me* and not her.
Have you ever had that happen? You’re talking with someone and you hear yourself making a suggestion that you realize (on the spot or later on) is exactly what *you* needed to hear?
This final newsletter ingredient continues to be the hardest for me — I grapple with it in nearly every issue. See, persistence, and staying the course with your newsletter, is all about keeping your focus on the things that matter. Not letting yourself get distracted by all those *other* great ideas. The sections you *could* add to your newsletter. The design changes you *could* make. The requests and reviews and that *might* be good to include.
I find myself going around in circles some weeks – not wanting to start the newsletter, and yet being on a deadline and *needing* to start the newsletter. And, each time I get caught in this circle, the solution is consistently the same. Yet, it often takes me several hours to *realize* that I know how to resolve my procrastination.
For me, what works most often is to STOP what I’m doing (surfing the Internet for ideas, reading someone else’s book or newsletter, asking someone else what they think I should write about, reviewing back issues) and to simply SIT for a few minutes.
I know that’s the solution. And I know it works 9 times out of 10. And yet, I still find myself unwilling to apply it at the first sign of distress.
Then again, I’m the same way about taking medicine . I have to get really, really, really sick before I even think of taking something.
So often, we think of persistence as working harder, as pushing through it, as forcing ourselves to buckle down and get it done. And there’s value to that.
But, in this case, I’m speaking of persistence as more of a willingness to repeat those actions you already *know* work for you. So, if you know that a plain text newsletter format works best for you, don’t let yourself wonder if you should publish in HTML every few months. If you know your readers respond best when you talk about your dog, don’t listen to that consultant who tells you to be more buttoned up.
By persistence, I’m asking you to commit to blazing your own trail — doing things your own way. Persist in that. And don’t worry about what everyone says, or what works for everyone else.