When Life Smacks You Down, Do This

Steve Roller here …

Yesterday, we talked about picturing your life in high-definition.

I encouraged you to think about what aspect of the writer's life you value most.

Not just think about it, but picture it to the point where it becomes a vivid mental image that motivates you.

But you know what?

The best laid plans don't always work out.

The fact is, life is difficult. And it seems to get in the way of achieving our goals, doesn't it?

I don't know about you, but I've been sidetracked a number of times over the past two years. My four kids' involvement in many activities is a constant challenge. Last summer, a shoulder and back injury sidelined me for a couple of months. The financial stress of neither my wife nor I having a regular paycheck sometimes puts a clamp on the creative side of my brain. And just before I left the country for a month, I overscheduled projects and missed a deadline.

So while I'm happy with my progress since I left the corporate world for full-time freelancing two years ago, I still have a long way to go.

What about you? Do you experience little landmines that threaten to sabotage your success? Have you had to deal with serious things like illness, job loss, or a death in the family while trying to get your writing career on track?

If life has gotten in the way, or maybe even whacked you upside the head, I have one suggestion:

Re-launch your business!

We've been talking all week about the idea of reinventing yourself. A re-launch is a lot easier and quicker, and doesn't involve a complete overhaul.

It's more of a do-over. A mulligan. A second shot.

You're on the right track. Maybe you completed AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting and got started, but now you've hit an impasse.

The niche you thought you were going to pursue isn't the best fit. The marketing strategy you tried first isn't quite working. The brilliant business name you picked out isn't so brilliant after all.

I can relate because a few months ago I came to the same realization.

So here's my plan for a re-launch that might work for you, too:

  1. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to get things together. I'd suggest at least three weeks, but no more than three months. Then schedule a re-launch date. Mine was going to be May 4, but once again, life got in the way. This time, I'm making it public by stating it here – September 27. (If you see me at Bootcamp, hold me to it!)
  2. First step, figure out what your focus is going to be and how you're going to get started this time. You can do this on your own, but I used two great AWAI tools to help guide my re-launch: Pam Foster's Niche Yourself and Thrive and Nick Usborne's Profitable Freelancing.
  3. If you don't already have one you like, choose a domain name and business name. I'm keeping what I already have because it works for SEO and describes my business fairly well. In addition, though, I'm building a second website for my niche (following the strategy Pam used).
  4. Write the copy for your new website, rewrite your existing website copy, or just add some pages to your current site. I'm doing all three.
  5. Come up with a marketing strategy to attract new clients. There are tons of free articles on the AWAI site. Since you're re-launching and starting from scratch, be sure to include some type of social media campaign. And finally …
  6. Work while you're getting ready to re-launch! There's no reason to put your business on hold during this time. Even if you're just getting started, take on whatever projects you can.

Realize this, too. Even though you don't know everything, you know more than you think you do. There's no time like the present to jump in again with a re-launch.

What are your plans for the next few months? A new niche? A unique marketing technique? Participating in AWAI’s B2B Challenge? Anything you want to state publicly so we can all hold you accountable (like my September 27 re-launch date)?! I'd love to hear about it. You can share it by posting a comment below.

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Published: August 18, 2011

12 Responses to “When Life Smacks You Down, Do This”

  1. I think the relaunch idea is a great. The article resonated for me because after 3 years in business, I'm re-launching as more official - actually getting a website and DOING the business development things for me that I sell to clients. By Bootcamp, I want Adams Writing Agency to be more than just the outline page I put up this week - I WILL have blog posts, a Facebook, and Tweets!

    Also - if you're in EC and get to Cuenca, I'm a resident and would be happy to buy you a drink!

    Jennifer Adams

  2. I am launching myself in a week. I had been inching towards things, but an unexpected layoff pushed me to move now. It's been an exhilarating couple of weeks taking things I learned in The AWAI course and in my own work and putting them together in fast forward. And in just the initial conversations with potential clients, it looks like I am going to be in good shape, and totally enjoy the new work. Who Knew?

    Guest (Tom Atkins)

  3. Steve, I loved what you had to say! Entrepreneurs are human, too! I've had my own business for a decade in DC. I wanted to expand beyond my local clients, but my progress was slow. I began my business in 2000, when my son was 4 and my daughter 1. My dad died in 2001. My mom died in 2003. I was executrix of their estates. Then I got sick. My best friend died in 2005. I just kept going and tried not to beat myself up. It's been a long but steady road. I'm ready to re-launch this fall. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Guest (Kathy)

  4. Steve, your article resonated with me b/c I was whacked firmly and hard upside my head (literally) in Feb of this year.
    My whack? A bumped head on a counter which released a nasty shingles virus on my head, forehead, eye (brow, lid & lashes area). Virus subsided & I was left w/ongoing PostHerpeticNeuralgia - still same painful symptoms.
    Outcome: 2 months dead stop, and (silver lining)the 4 till now (and on)reinvention, rebuilding, and relaunching. New niche, new website and whole new start!

    Ann Jordan-Mills

  5. Yup Steve, Its always hard to remain organized while facing bombing from every side of life. I am blogging from 2 years...still have a long way to go:)

    Guest (Nasir)

  6. great plan! Let's compare notes at Bootcamp - about re-launching and Ecuador.

    Guest (Tran Van Canh)

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