Happy Labor Day and hopefully you’re getting some BBQ and R&R with friends and family.
It’s been quite a while since I launched any new blog posts on the Here Next Year site! But, that is for good reason as I’ll share my story in a moment…
I’ve been busy developing a new division of our company for the past few months, so more about that later too. What I will say about it now, is that the Web Marketing Club is going to become much more involved because of that addition to our offering.
And, it all happens on Back to Work Tuesday, the Tuesday after Labor Day.
For now, let’s continue with my thought about Back to Work Tuesday.
Everything Accelerates After Labor Day
Today, get the rest you need. Play some volleyball. Relax. Go see a movie. Take the kids shopping. Go for a hike or an extended bike ride.
Get it all out of the way because, after Labor Day, everything will be different.
Tomorrow, it will seem like everyone is suddenly back from vacation. School is back in session. Sports teams go from pre-season to in-season. We start scheduling our entire week around new episodes of our favorite t.v. shows.
If you manage a business that relies on the Internet, like I do, “Back to Work Tuesday” after Labor Day is one of those times of the year that marks the end of one time period and the beginning of a new.
Website traffic increases. More people call-in for information about your services. More people buy your products. If people were holding-off from doing business with you for the past few months, they decide to take action with you after Labor Day.
Everyone wants something new, something different, something that will help them be better off than they were in May and June before the summer season hit.
So, expect some phone calls and emails to happen this Tuesday. Be ready to respond to email inquiries. Be available to take calls. Be speedy in your response and you will likely have a very fruitful September in your business.
That is my official advice for you as president of the Here Next Year Web Marketing Club.
The Opposite is True for
Many businesses that thrive on summer revenue see their money season coming to an end. They can only hope hope they’ve made enough sales to get them through the lean months of October through April or have taken enough steps to assure alternate revenue sources will produce.
Whether your busy season is ending or just beginning, Tuesday morning will be a whole new day. Are you ready for Back to Work Tuesday?
New Opportunities Emerge Too
New trends emerge the day after Labor Day. You start to see things you’ve seen for years in a different light.
For me, that revised way of looking at things involved two areas: Community and Books.
I’ve written books since my first self-published book, Winning the Internet Dogfight, which launched in 2004. And, I’ve built online communities since before there was even an official term for “membership site” going all the way back to 1996.
What sort of vision revision could I have possibly gone through on those two subjects after all those years?
One Word Comes to Mind: MORTALITY!
The famous downhill skiing movie maker, Warren Miller, often said in his movies after showing on-screen dream locations for skiing, “Get here…or you’ll only be one year older when you do.”
Well, I feel about five years older today than just a few months ago before my summer-long experience began.
On May 8, 2016, a month after my last blog post on HereNextYear.com, I sprained my ankle…but good…after coaching my daughter’s last softball practice before the first game of the season.
It wasn’t just a normal ankle turn as I had experienced a couple of times while playing racquetball over the years, but what they call a “high ankle sprain” like football players get.
Unfortunately for me, my accident didn’t involve anything heroic like playing football. In fact, I was carrying a take-out pizza to my car and tripped stepping off the curb!
Now, I can loft off a 10-ft cornice on skis no problem. But, step off a curb, and watch me tumble and be practically paralyzed!
Geez, I’m Getting Old!
For the entire softball season, May through the first week of July, I was wearing a heavy support boot to immobilize my ankle and hobbled around on crutches. For the first month, I couldn’t put any weight on my foot without severe pain.
You can either undergo a procedure to help with a high ankle sprain and get a pin inserted like the pros do, and then go through 6 weeks of physical therapy or ride it out and do nothing but take gobs of ibuprofen for the duration. I chose the latter.
To top it all off, we had our first softball game the very next day after I toppled off that curb!
I continued to coach for the entire season, never missing a practice or a game. All the standing and trying to hobble around the field prolonged my ankle’s healing process.
All the ibuprofen caused me to sleep a lot during the days. The increased swelling that occurred at night after the softball practices and games kept me up until 4am almost every night soaking my foot, putting ice on it, laying upside down, massaging, all the things you’re supposed to do.
Finally, I would fall asleep from pure exhaustion and wake up at 6am to start the day.
As you might guess, I wasn’t able to spend more than a few hours per day working on Here Next Year duties. I would put all my efforts into my client consulting projects and then crash on the couch for a few hours.
After about six weeks of this, I finally started to see improvement. I could take small steps, although, still only with the help of using crutches.
Then, while beginning to get my healing ankle into shape again, my OTHER ankle became injured!!
I guess I was favoring the bad foot for so long that the repetitive impact of extra weight on the GOOD foot overloaded my tendons and sprained them too!
So, back to the support boot, but this time on the OTHER foot! More ibuprofen. More crutches. More bags of ice. More sleepless nights.
The softball team won the championship at the end of the season, an amazing and wonderful day I will never forget. My daughter pitched the final inning to close out our win. Picture perfect.
Five others from my team got chosen for the All-Stars team and, after a few weeks of practice, we won the state championship too!
Why am I Telling You All of This?
Point #1: Accepting a long duration of pain is worth a few hours of glory—and, it’s the GLORY part that you’ll remember forever.
Point #2: Support from family and friends can help you through the most impossible times—even when you think there is no end in sight.
I could have never made it through those months without the daily support of my family, week after week.
No, really, I actually wouldn’t have been able to make it through. There was a period of time where I was so immobilized that I couldn’t get into a grocery store to buy food if you paid me! I simply had to rely on the people who were around me.
And, they’ve been with me all along.
Point #3: You can find people to support you during the good times too!
The New Here Next Year Web Marketing Club is Coming Soon!
After Labor Day, starting on Back to Work Tuesday, you will begin to see announcements about the expansion of the Here Next Year Web Marketing Club.
My objective is to build an ongoing support system for people like you and me who use the Internet to start or expand businesses.
But, I don’t want to create something that is already available. There are tons of web marketing forums and business hangouts and monthly Meetup groups to attend.
All Business Owners Need Help with This!
What I see every business owner needing help with (including me!), are these three things:
- Experimenting with the best ways to present one’s company.
- Preparing and delivering formal presentations to others webinar-style.
- Networking on a level where you really get to know someone, instead of just reading their LinkedIn update of the day.
- Learning from others who are doing what we want to do.
- Teaching a topic to others involving business growth strategies or web marketing trends.
Live Web-Based Meetings Every Week
On Back to Work Tuesday, I will unveil a new level of the Here Next Year Web Marketing Club where each week we will have a live web-based meeting on the same day every week, at the same time, so that you can schedule it into your week.
The objectives of the Here Next Year Web Marketing Club Will be to:
- Allow everyone on the call to give their 30-second elevator pitch so we really get to know who you are and what kind of business you operate.
- Connect and network with each other outside the meeting.
- Support each other in their challenges and successes.
- Educate each other on web marketing hot trends (and dead dogs).
- Gain experience producing and delivering webinars using the system and tools we will provide you with access to.
- Receive evaluation feedback for your presentations to hone your delivery skills.
- Collaborate with other members on product launches and co-production.
There’s more, but that’s a good start.
The system we will use is like Go-To Meeting or Go-To Webinar, but a much more evolved one than Go-To. And, it’s a great tool you should know about if you provide web-based support or meetings.
Having been a Toastmasters member for a cumulative of 15 years, including serving as an Area Governor and Division Governor (before the title change), where I helped to start five clubs, my intention is to run our meetings like a successful Toastmasters club.
I will be the MC (Master of Ceremonies) and we will organize a schedule of presenters and follow a strict meeting agenda, just as if we were conducting a professional conference.
Members will rotate roles as part of the weekly meeting so that everyone gets the chance to deliver presentations and contribute to the meeting in other ways. Your name will become very visible as a result.
Visibility Means Business
You’ve heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” Well, in business, you can surely understand the meaning behind when I say, “You are who you hang around.”
My ultimate intention with this new emphasis of the Here Next Year Web Marketing Club will be to provide us all with that one place to go every week for an hour where you can be around the people who will make you stronger, both personally and professionally.
Don’t Hobble…RUN! And Register Now!
If you’re not yet a member of our LIFETIME FREE membership in the Here Next Year Web Marketing Club, go here now and get registered. You’ll get immediate access to a bunch of shortcut tools and educational documents. But, that’s just the beginning!
We all have limited time. We are all “mortal.” There’s no time to approach our businesses as if we can just wait until next here to be successful. We should be striving for goal achievement THIS year so that we can increase those goals NEXT year.
Today is September 5. This past Thursday was the first day I wore a dress shoe, something other than sandals or really loose sneakers—since that painful fall on May 8. For the first time in many months, I feel like I’m truly “back” and want to make the most of every moment of the day.
If your business has had felt like it has had a sprained ankle for the past few months, the Here Next Year Web Marketing Club is your opportunity to get back to where you should be! Inspired. Supported. Expanding your presence.
Join us now and be ready for my coming announcement. Or, “You’ll only be a year older when you do!”
My Other Discovery This Summer
My 18-year-old son told me the other day that “No one I know reads books on purpose anymore. If we need to know how to do something, we just ask our phones.”
When I was 18, I would have agreed with him. In fact, I think I was in college before actually reading my first book from cover to cover. Only after I got out of college and realized I had to learn more about specific how-to procedures did I finally take to non-fiction reading…by choice.
Books are so easy to find today (through search), and so cheap to buy (through Kindle) and so convenient to read (cell phone), it’s no wonder people are reading more books than ever.
The challenge: Finding a quality non-fiction book that actually provides you with all the steps you need to accomplish a task that you didn’t previously understand how to accomplish.
In September 2015, we realized my wife’s Kindle book sales were still depositing money into our bank account, even though we were not doing anything to promote them.
She has four Christian books published under the pen name of Susan Lee.
Actually, we had NEVER taken action steps toward promoting her books, other than make a website for her authoring.
Yet, for the past five years, those suckers have continued to sell on Kindle! The revenue wasn’t much, but we figured, “Why not?” So, we started some basic promotion. And, of course, the books started selling increasing in sales.
This experience fueled my interest in writing books again. But, there was one problem. Books take forever to write; even longer than most people for me since I tend to beat up every sentence four or five times as I write them.
I Had to Figure Out a New Process for Writing Books
You know me…Virgo to the core! I simply have to figure out a process for everything!
“How can I produce a book, from concept-to-publish, in less than a month without outsourcing its writing so that the book still sounds like me and lets me share my area of knowledge and expertise with the world?”
I know, I know, the real secret to writing riches is to outsource to the Philippines and then slap your name on the cover, right?
But, that wasn’t my true motivation for writing books.
When Books are About the the Message, the Money Happens Anyway
You and I have important messages to get out to the world. Getting those messages produced and delivered, in a presentation that you and I want them to be, is more important than the money.
Plus, we authors do a good job at delivering those messages, the money come back to us in new business AND books sales.
That’s how I built Here Next Year though its years as a web marketing services provider. My first book brought in more services clients, while at the same time, added to my cash flow from direct book sales.
But, back to that question I had to answer if I was going to get involved with writing books…how to produce a book from concept to publish in under a month? After all, any topic “I” would write about would involve web marketing topics. And, you know how they change from week to week. I didn’t want to produce anything that was outdated by the time it got published.
The Guinea Pig: My Wife’s First EBook
I decided to work with the original book by Susan Lee, God’s Law of Attraction. It was due for a rewrite anyway. Work began in April.
Well, you know what happened on May 8th, right? Yep, me in pain every day and getting no sleep at night, and taking huge doses of ibuprofen around the clock.
Every time I worked on book, I just simply started falling asleep at my desk.
I had to figure out something else.
Sometimes the Best Ideas are Discovered in Adverse Conditions
I formulated a series of questions based on sections I wanted to update in the book. We sat side-by-side for a couple of hours and I went through the questions and recorded her answers.
The one-on-one interaction kept me awake and I was able to stay in the conversation with some pretty high energy considering the situation.
Now all I had to do was use her words to update the sections of the book. She didn’t have to write anything and I didn’t have to think about what to update her book sections with.
In only three days, “Susan Lee” had a completely updated book on Kindle.
That got me curious.
Could I Do This for a Full Book from Start to Finish?
Enter my son.
My son is 18 years old. For the past three years (yes, starting at 15), he has been a professional umpire. And, he’s really good at it.
Well, I know this blog post is pretty long. So, I’ll cut to the chase by saying I formulated an outline of questions and I interviewed him in three sessions for two hours a piece about how teenagers can make great money as a baseball umpire.
He didn’t want his name associated with a book (teenagers!), so we gave him the pen name of Rich Dossan. The book launched in July, probably the worst month to launch a book at all, let alone a book on umpiring. But, it still got some sales. We plan on making a big push for that one in the upcoming Christmas shopping season!
More importantly, it solidified my format for producing a high quality ebook and we were able to get it completed from start to finish in about five weeks.
I was on my way to getting the process down to under a month.
The Next Book was to be One of My Own…and Get it Done in Three Weeks
Now, realize, I have a list of more than 20 books I’m going to be writing on my own over the next year that are all in the areas of web marketing and starting or expanding various web services businesses. I want the branding of the name, Marty Dickinson, to be attached to continue to be attached to the web marketing genre. I would need to use a pen name for this next book.
Plus, if I’m ever going to SELL books and offer a service to my clients for SELLING books (my favorite part), I’m going to have to pick a topic that is NOT related to web marketing, making money or business.
If You Want to Get Good at Selling, Sell Something that’s Hard to Sell
As you read earlier, while all this was going on, I was also head coaching my daughter’s softball team. Was there an opportunity for me to write a book about coaching?
Absolutely! But, I chose to write about baseball coaching instead because baseball is simply more popular than softball. And, I had a long history with baseball coaching as well when my son played through Little League.
I could certainly come up with some tips for dads thinking about being first-timer coaches and how to approach their first season as a baseball coach.
I Honed My Outline Format and Interviewed Myself!
This was actually a great experience for the overall “process” of creating a book using this method because I was able to make changes to my interviewing format; one that pulled content from my brain at a deeper level.
Or, maybe that was just the ibuprofen!
Remember, all this was happening between ice packs and soaking my feet in the tub and laying on the ground on my back for long periods of time with my feet being up on a chair!
I simply LONGED for the day I could try this process when I was healthy again!
Manuscript of 20,000 Words was Complete in 2 Days!
My initial manuscript for the baseball coaching book was complete in a record two days! Cover production took a week. Editing took a week. My first successful production of a book from concept to publishing on Kindle happened within my goal of 3 weeks.
So, What’s in it for YOU?
We are now six books in number, with another launching next week and two more by the end of the month.
On Back to Work Tuesday, I will unveil a website to offer my services as an official eBook publisher for Kindle and Create Space.
You will see all of my books published to-date.
One of my long-time clients has already contracted with me to produce her book in the health and wellness field.
I figure I can handle five book productions this month and will be providing a special offer to those within the Web Marketing Club tomorrow morning.
Each of those books will have the goal of completion within 3 weeks after their start-date.
I’m pretty confident I can do it or I wouldn’t offer it in the first place. My feet are feeling good and have discovered through doctors and physical therapy that I have really weak tendons in my feet. That’s why they were so easily damaged.
So, every day, I perform specific exercises to strengthen the tendons and ligaments in my feet so I, hopefully, will not have this problem again!
And, that means all pistons are firing!
Are You Ready for Back to Work Tuesday?
To sum it all up, YES, I am moooore than ready for Back to Work Tuesday! I’ve had a whole four months to get healed and ready. The so-called “vacation” for me is over! It’s time to get back to work.
If you share in my vision that you and I as web marketers and business owners need to hang-out together more in the form of a weekly Web Marketing Club meeting, please take a moment now to register for the LIFETIME FREE level. And, consider attending my weekly meetings when you see the announcements for them.
If you’ve been thinking about writing a non-fiction book or are in the middle and just can’t seem to get it kicked out, just think about what the possibilities might be if you were to engage with me to get your book created and published in only three weeks!
Just think of the opportunity you will be losing if you let another year slip by without your completed book!
Enjoy the rest of Labor Day today. Tomorrow, be ready for Back to Work Tuesday!