This is Week 18 of a 52-week project/experiment in DIY marketing. Armed with nothing but a copy of the 2009 Grow Your Business Marketing Plan + Calendar and my bare wits, I'm applying the skills you need to grow a business in real time, day by day, and reporting on them week by week. I'll provide a topline of my experience here every Monday; see my companion blog, A Virgo's Guide to Marketing, for the full story, additional links and other marketing-related goodness.
I sincerely hope, for everyone's sake (and especially mine) that this is the last post I make to this series with this particular flavor.
The flavor of the week was Despair, a complex and unappetizing blend of illness, exhaustion and mental anguish—both over being ill and exhausted and being pulled from my work. (See? Cra-a-azy Virgo.) This, on top of last week (which was no party), did nothing to brighten my outlook about my marketing plan, my business or life in general. Outside of one highly productive day full of things I'd committed to and couldn't renege on, I spent the entire week trying to dig my way out of a flare-up of Crohn's disease; mostly, this meant getting ridiculous amounts of rest (10 – 12 hours per day of sleep) and eating whatever food I literally could stomach.
I even missed a day of blogging on my main site, communicatrix—something I don't think I've done yet this year. I cancelled anything else non-essential, and rescheduled it for a later date.
There's stuff to be learned even from a bad week like this, and here's what I took away:
- Store up for winter "Winter" being anything from illness to a crush of work you really want to take. I can't believe that I've been blogging for four years and have nothing in the pipeline ready to go in case of emergencies, but there it is. That's one of the main rules for a successful blog that my friend, Chris Guillebeau talks about in his fantastic free downloadable PDF, 279 Days to Overnight Success. No wonder his blog has been such a stunning success!
- Find backup The great thing about partnering up is that there's someone to pick up the slack for each other. I started co-hosting my monthly Biznik event here in L.A. with my friend, designer Heather Parlato, because I thought it would be fun for both, and be good for her to get more involved. As it turned out, it was great for me that she was involved: I was able to secure the venue and prep from the phone, and she handled the event with such aplomb, I wasn't missed! (Well, they say I was missed, but we'll see next month, won't we!?)
- Your marketing plan is missing Saturday and Sunday for a reason You heard it here first: I'm officially human; I can't work seven days per week. At least, not pushing 50 with a chronic illness. Nor, have I discovered this week, do I particularly want to. I'm sure that it's not going to be completely smooth, this transition to a more balanced lifestyle, but it's imperative, if for no other reason than I cannot work at all when I become ill or exhausted.
So this week, while I scan the Calendar against my calendar and what, realistically, I think I can accomplish, I'm soliciting advice on balance: what do you do? And how do you do it?