Think Process, Not Product (A Look Behind The Scenes)
Updated: Jun 1, 2019
It's been a crazy, long, and ultimately inspiring last few days. I wanted to sit down to reflect on it all and share a bit behind the scenes. Because creating, side hustling, building a brand, and working through the process of it all most definitely has its ups and downs. In fact, far more downs than ups in the first 6 months I'm learning. But when positivity meets energy, you must act and, as I learned, you should share!
I'm getting ahead of myself. Let’s back up to the beginning...
I got VERY little sleep replaying everything I said 3 weeks ago during a 1.5-hour recording as a guest on my favorite podcast “The Stacking Benjamins Show.” It was my second podcast recording but first to air. I hadn’t heard it and I had no influence over editing. Just like any interview, I spun my wheels critiquing myself like crazy…
Can they edit my nervousness out? Did I talk enough? Too much? Why didn’t I bring up X? Why did I say Y? I think I was okay when we talked about Z, right?
An hour before my alarm was set to go off I checked my phone and the episode was already posted. OMG. Freaks out. I grabbed my (fake) airpods and dove right in, ready for the cringe-fest that was sure to ensue…
But almost instantly I realized it’s not so bad! Actually, this is freaking awesome. They keep saying my name and asking me questions and talking about the book and new audiobook! I’m still not used to being called an “author”... I can’t believe they invited me on the show. Wow. I freaking did it!
But also: Why didn’t I bring up X? Why did I say Y? Did that make sense when I talked about Z? My girlfriend’s review: “You sounded like you belong there!” Enter relief and something that mostly resembles pride.
Friday "Lunch Break"
My phone rang at 1pm for an interview with a magazine(!) for a TWO-page print article coming out next month because they had a last minute opening (Pro tip: Tell your networks when you did something cool. A simple email can go a long way, even if not right away. Make asks and promote yourself. You never know which of these emails might pay off).
It was extremely reinvigorating to be asked questions like “Why did you decide to write this book?” and “How did you do it?” and “How has this book changed your life since” and my favorite “What’s next?” Color me fired up.
“The original plan was two more books this year.” Wow. Did I just say that out loud?!
Up and at ‘em early. If not now then when? Morning cold brew in hand, I finally reached for the stack of different colored post-its across my desk that have been staring at me for weeks. I peel off a piece of the brightest one and scribble on it: “M$R 2”. I stick it to the back of a cutting board...
From there, I labeled a dozen more with big ideas floating around in my head starting with topics I didn’t cover in The Money Resolution. I then added bullets leaning on a mostly bad outline I started months ago (aka the “cutting room floor” from the first book). Suddenly, I realized what was happening. This looks a lot like book two if you squint real hard. I grabbed my phone and posted this on Instagram:
I Vespa'd over to the library to return “Financial Freedom” by Grant Sabatier (HIGHLY recommend) and “Everyday Millionaires” by Chris Hogan (you can skip this one…). On my way, I began listening to the new audiobook “The Latte Factor” by David Bach. Later, I also started reading the new 10th-anniversary edition of “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” by Ramit Sethi (so far, HIGHLY recommend). Also, I might have a library addiction...
I saw an excellent movie at the Seattle International Film Festival. I saw a super inspiring new film and I most definitely recommend “The Invisible Witness.” 5 stars. Bravo! (Must. Write. Five. Star. Book!)
Time to gather and hunt. Enough brainstorming. I need facts. Details. Quotes. The substance. The meat. I poked through 50+ personal finance articles I had saved the last few months in my Google News and Pocket apps. I sifted through YouTube videos in my watch history. I scoured through photos in the album titled Money Resolution 2 in my iPhone album, filled with random pictures of pages of finance books and screen grabs from finance blogs.
I received an email notification from Amazon. Something about the royalty payment that’s scheduled and that I should be receiving it in 2-5 business days. Oh right, I get paid for writing because I’m an author! (I’m still in the hole with book one if you’re curious… which is why you should grab the new audiobook if you want to support!)
I read (and super recommend) “Show Your Work: 10 Ways To Share Your Creativity And Get Discovered” by Austin Kleon. Wow. Talk about the right book at the right time. A few great takeaways are about learning to take a punch, learning to keep going, and to tell good stories because cream always rises to the top (paraphrasing). Be vulnerable. Be yourself. Put yourself out there. The biggest takeaway for me though was Ch 2: Think Process, Not Product.
Bring people behind the scenes. Create a community that picks you up when you’re in a down and cheers you on and celebrates with you. Earn hearts, not eyeballs. Build a following so people understand you aren’t just creating a product or art; you’re creating. It's art work. It’s the creative process where we learn the most and have the most to offer. The creative process is messy and exciting and fun and worth sharing.
Positivity and energy, meet action. Color me fired up. #showyourwork
PS: If available in the future, I’ll link that article HERE. You can listen to The Stacking Benjamins Show episode HERE or on your favorite podcast app (It’s called “The Real Cost of Subscriptions” on 5/17/19).