Do What Makes You Money, First!

Your Book … On a Shelf … In a Bookstore

You might think that I’m writing a blog post today … but I’m not. Yeah, yeah, what are these words, right? It’s actually my mind kicking myself in the butt. Every week, we discuss the next latest and greatest; we work toward achieving higher and higher levels with our businesses. What happens if we don’t do that?

Seriously, that’s the point. As we dive into social media marketing each week and promote the you-know-what out of our books, sometimes we have to look back at our businesses.

When I was a sales manager in years past, one of my mantras was, “Do what makes you money, first.”

You see, sales people will look to do anything they can to avoid meeting face to face with prospects. There are always excuses:

“I need to organize my leads.”

“I need to work on my presentation.”

“I need to research prospects.”

I’ve heard them all. The bottom line—do what makes money—first.

So, what makes us money in our writing careers? Marketing? No. Social Media? No. Blogging? No, okay maybe for some people. I get it, producing killer content and engaging with a community is important, but does it actually make money?

Maybe this is a better way to ask the question: “What one thing, if you stop doing it, will prevent you from making money?”

Yup. Writing. It’s time to start your day with the mantra, “Do what makes you money, first!”

We all have our zones for writing—for some, early morning rocks, others it might be at night. Do the stars have to align for you to be able to sit down and write?

Here’s the challenge. If you are not hitting your word count goal—every day—then change what you are doing and write first thing in the morning. Tell yourself to do what makes you money, first. Then it doesn’t matter what happens the rest of the day.

Now, I realize that writing isn’t necessarily a business for everyone. People write for all kinds of reasons. However, if you spend any time on marketing, Facebook, social media, blogging or your website, then your writing is a business. If you show up at book signings and run free campaigns or hand out bookmarks in front the stadium on Opening Day of baseball season, then you are writing for money. It’s time to stop kidding ourselves.

Don’t be ashamed. It’s okay. Writing doesn’t have to be altruistic. Be honest with yourself and then treat that honesty the right way.

For one week—write first thing in the morning—before you look at an e-mail, before you check how many new followers or likes you got overnight. Write … before you check out the sales you got while sleeping. Got kids, school, and work? So what. How bad do you want it? Get up an hour earlier and pound out another 1,000 words. Miss your blog post or Facebook chat session? So what. It’ll be there the next time you look for it. Then, next week, come back and let us know what type of difference it made. I guarantee you’ll feel it, you’ll taste it, you’ll actually be closer to your goal of publishing another book.

Author: Jim Devitt

Jim Devitt’s debut YA novel, The Card, hit #1 in three separate categories on the Kindle Bestseller list in early January and was a finalist in the Guys Can Read Indie Author Contest this past summer. Devitt currently lives in Miami, FL with his wife Melissa and their children. Learn more about Jim at his blog and his Amazon author page.

27 thoughts on “Do What Makes You Money, First!”

  1. Thanks for that important reminder Jim. As of late I have fallen into check the emails, yada, yada, yada. The next thing I know it’s lunch time, not a word added to the old MS and I’m lost. First thing tomorrow morning, I’m going to do as you suggested. I have a feeling it will catch on rather quickly 🙂

  2. You’re right on again, Jim. I think sometimes I’m too busy trying to figure out the complex questions that I forget about the doing the obvious. I’m going to try getting up a little earlier each day next week and do some writing BEFORE I do anything else. It’s very good advice. Thank you!

    1. I’m sure you are very familiar with the syndrome having been in sales management for 25 years. Thanks for the comments.

  3. Great article and so true; thank you.
    It reminded me of one occasion when I went for a new job interview and was asked what is the most important technique in selling; my reply was “the one that works” and was told I was wrong: The interviewer had obviously been on a sales seminar. Did I take the job? Not bl**dy likely.

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