Welcome to my July 2018 Project Report. My goal with these monthly reports is to help other authors, entrepreneurs, leaders, or anyone else who wants to make an impact through their work. Each month It share how I spent my time as an author and creative entrepreneur and the successes, failures, and lessons I learned along the way.
How I Spent My Time in July 2018
- 10:03 – The Religion Teacher Email & Customer Service
- 8:26 – The Daily Learning Log (archive)
- 5:14 – The “Make It” Project (Formerly “Prolific” Project)
- 4:31 – The Religion Teacher Email List Autoresponder Update
- 4:14 – Fiction Writing
- 4:12 – Daily Review
- 4:07 – Weekly Review
- 4:01 – Launch: Christ in the Classroom (follow along here)
- 3:16 – Morning Preview
- 3:00 – The Religion Teacher Blog Articles & Worksheets
Total Time Spent: 71:10
Here is what I produced last month:
- Worksheets: 3
- Articles/Blog Posts: 31
- Newsletter Emails: 20
- Videos: 0
- Books: 7,858 words (5,021 words of nonfiction / 2,837 words of fiction)
- Workshops & Webinars: 0
2018 Goal Update
In the past I tried to focus only on mission and vision and not specific performance goals. I’m trying something different this year and setting some big goals for myself as a entrepreneurial author. You can find my goals here. This is the progress I have made so far:
55% / double the number of members TRTm members (audacious goal)
0/5,000 copies sold of Christ in the Classroom (good/great)
0/1 published work of fiction (good)
3/7 paid speaking gigs (expected)
39/50 Read 50 books (good goal)
52% Paid Off / Pay off mortgage in 2020 (good goal)
24:57 PR / Run a 5K under 23:00 (good goal)
Incomplete / Start a support ministry for startup founders. (expected goal)
You can read about the process I used to set these goals along a scale of success here: A Simple Process for Setting Bigger Goals.
July 2018 Highlights and Lessons Learned
The Daily Learning Log (Hiatus)
I shared a new lesson in a daily blog every day from November 1, 2017 until August 1, 2018. I took a couple of weeks off during my family vacation and spent some time thinking about the value of the practice.
Here is the source of my struggle:
- The daily blog consistently takes up more time than almost any other project month-to-month.
- No one is reading it but me and a few friends who come across it every once in awhile.
At the same time, if it wasn’t for the daily learning log, I would be doing things a lot differently. Because of the blog . . .
- I pay much closer attention to the amount of time I spend on projects each month. (This is because of the monthly project reports.)
- I send regular, weekly email newsletters rather than sporadic emails to the my email lists.
- I set goals for the year, which I haven’t done in a long time.
- I collected some great writing advice and techniques that I sometimes search for and re-read for reminders.
- I sought out answers to simple, recurring questions about hyphenating words like “nonfiction” or “bestseller” or the correct spelling of the word “OK.”
Early in the the series, I riffed on an idea from Paul Graham about the two kinds of schedules and categorized the work of an author into three groups:
- Maker’s Schedule
- Marketer’s Schedule
- Manager’s Schedule
These daily posts have essentially been a part of my Manager’s Schedule because they are mostly reflections on what I have learned. They aren’t adding up or leading to a product (Maker’s Schedule) and they aren’t leading people to join an email list or buy a product (Marketer’s Schedule).
I would be OK with this if I didn’t already spend a lot of time on Reviews (Morning, Daily, Weekly).
So, I decided to use that morning time to consistently create content that could be a part of a product (Maker’s Schedule) and lead people to become fans of my work (Marketer’s Schedule).
I will continue to write these Monthly Project Reports in the Learning Log.
We’ll see how this goes!
The “Make It” Project
One thing I did differently last month was write down the names of all of my projects on note cards. I stacked the note cards on top of each other and told myself I could not work on any other project until the project on the top of the stack was finished or waiting for someone else.
This really forced me to finish projects I had sitting on my mind and to do list for a long time. I finally finished updating the first few weeks of my main email list autoresponder. I also finished the first “chapter” of a book I have been thinking about and working on for a couple of years now. It is essentially a book of strategies successful artists implement and live to make it as professional artists.
To be honest, I’m not sure when I will launch it or what I will do with it, but like all of the things I create for authors and artists, it helps me create more and better work. The strategy and the tools that go with it are already helping me immensely.
I stalled out a little bit with my fiction writing last month. I finished the two initial fables projects and I have been reading them to my daughters to get feedback. Now I need to collect them into a book so that I can get them into the hands of other parents and their kids.
I went in and added up the number of fables I’ve written so far and I’m up to sixty-two.
It has been an unexpected project, but when I think about it more I realize how much it fits. I’m a teacher so of course my fiction is going to be in the form of a lesson.