Tonight I feel compelled to ask for some grace.
You see, a couple months ago I promised that I would be remodeling my online course, Take Action Social Media. I have been emailing my list, posting about this to my social media networks, and informing my current students that they will get to benefit from the new materials and offerings at no additional charge. I said it would be ready in September. It is still not.
I have big plans for my course. The course is just over 2 full years old and other than some updates when Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have changed, it has remained basically the same course. Many students have passed through its doors and moved on to become successful and effective in their social media marketing.
In the last year though I felt like something had changed in my own thinking in social media and also in the online world, and that it was time for an overhaul. Not only are there new social media platforms that have become popular since the course started – Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ for example, but the way in which entrepreneurs and especially home-based entrepreneurs run their businesses has changed as well.
Being on social media is no longer something “extra” to add to your business, it has become an essential part of your marketing. But with so many social media sites out there now, it is more overwhelming than ever! Where do we begin? How do we manage our time? What can we ignore? Where do we focus our efforts? And the bottom line is, how can we get the most bang for our TIME buck.
The way the course was originally set up is that you go through 4 modules working on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter at the same time. That doesn’t work any more. What my clients are telling me is they want to pick ONE social media site to focus on. Get it going, get some momentum, and perfect their strategies, then move on to the next. Since I have all along told people they do not need to be on all of the sites, this makes more sense to me anyway.
The new course will be set up so that you can go through the entire course – audio, workbooks, video tutorials – working on one social media site at a time. Graduate having mastered that social media platform. Then if you choose, go back to Module 1 and start the same process with new workbooks and video tutorials for the next social media site of your choice.
All in all I will have 7 social media sites featured: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram Google+ and YouTube, with a bonus lesson on leveraging the search engines throughout all of them. And with that you still get access to my private group and monthly Q/A webinars.
At the time I promised this to the world, it seemed simple enough. Portion out my existing workbooks and videos by platform, and add a few new ones.
And then I started. Not only did this turn out to be a much bigger job than I anticipated, and I am doing it essentially all alone since the content lives in my own brain, but the time it has taken so far has been overwhelming, more than the task of creating the content and setting up the web pages itself.
Now, this is where I might sound like I am making excuses – but bear with me. What I hope happens instead is that you see yourself in me and that you allow me some grace. It has been nearly 2 months since I promised my course remodel would be finished. And it is not. I have a hard deadline of November 7th and I am sticking to that, although I cannot promise that the new bonus material or other goodies will be quite in place by then – but I am trying!
You see, I am not like other information marketers, social media “gurus” (what does that mean anyway) or online experts. Many of those who you may consider to be my peers spend countless hours online, have large teams where they’ve outsourced a lot of their work, and some are not even the people posting or communicating with you at all, they have others do that for them. I am not judging, I just am not like that, either because I choose not to be based on my own circumstances, or I am just not “there” in my business. I see people who are constantly marketing, networking at events, conducting hangouts and webinars every night and “on” all the time. They are creating content daily, blogging daily, shooting video daily and just making a huge splash out there online. It seems to me that some of them never stop working. Do they have kids? Do they have a spouse? Do they have time for themselves at all? I wonder. Maybe they don’t and they are OK with that.
That is not me. And this is where I hope you can relate. I have a family of 5. I have a college Freshman, a Junior in high school and a 4th grader. We have a dog, a cat and a bunny. We have a home we own and all that entails. We have 2 sets of parents within 15 miles of us, and extended family on both sides nearby as well. I have a morning routine that involves exercise and reflection. I have an evening routine that involves walks with my husband where we discuss anything and everything without the kids around. I drive the 2 younger kids to many after school activities and am involved as a volunteer whenever I can.
When I am not traveling for a speaking engagement, my “working hours” are 10am to 2pm. Yes let me say that again. 10am until 2pm. After 2pm I am spending some personal time or errands/appointments and then starting kid pickup. After that I am driving them around or attending their activities. After that sometimes I do check into my office again but it is mostly administrative or planning time, not quiet creative time. Then there is dinner, homework with the kids, bedtime routine, walk with hubby and relaxing, watching a show or two with him as well. On the weekends we often have date nights not to mention family activities we do together.
In the past I’ve gotten chastised for saying out loud that I only “work” from 10am to 2pm. How can a serious business person conduct business in 4 hours a day. I call it the get rich slow program. I am going to write a book about this one day because I feel more entrepreneurs need this type of balance – it is easy to lose yourself in your work because it is your passion!
If you’ve seen me work, you would know I get a tremendous amount of work done in those 4 hours. I am streamlined and strategic, I have systems in place, and I do not run my business on interruptions. I have many facets to my business including obligations and ongoing streams of income that need tending to on a regular basis. They take priority during those 4 hours. My family and my personal wellbeing takes priority in the other 20 hours of my days.
For me, it is a blessing to be able to spend time with my family and – a revolutionary concept to some – but to actually spend time nurturing my marriage. At times when I’ve forced myself to do too much business, something suffers – either the kids, my own health, or my marriage. This was a contributing factor in my former marriage in my prior business. I know that. I will not compromise those things again. I may get rich slow – or maybe not at all – but I will be living my life with my family and health in tact.
So forgive me if I’ve let you down. I am not apologizing for my choices, but for not being realistic about how long it would take me to deliver. Several people have been waiting patiently because they know these new lessons will help them grow their business this holiday season and I’ve disappointed them. For that I am sorry. I have learned some lessons here which will make a difference in how I conduct MY business going forward.
I’ve decided to clear my calendar and tell my family to keep the office door closed during the time I am home and I am going to power through until November 7th to get this done. I am committed to spending the next week burning the midnight oil if I have to. Please know that I’m doing all that I can in the time that I have to deliver on my over-ambitious promise in a reasonable time without sacrificing my other priorities OR the quality of my work.
I promise this new version of my course will knock the socks off of any other social media course out there in terms of expert content, ease of understanding, affordability and value. I just need a little more time and I promise, as in all that I do, to over-deliver when it IS done! You’ll be hearing from me then!
Thank you for being a part of my community. If you can relate in any way to what I’ve said here, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.
Until next time,