Genres: Business & Economics, Small Business
YOUR PASSION. YOUR PURPOSE. YOUR PROFIT. Some people are willing to spend their lives working for someone else. Not you. You’re ready to start your own business—or grow your existing business into something bigger. You’re ready to take control of your life, your finances, your future. Tory Johnson helps you make it happen. Based on her phenomenally successful “Spark & Hustle” workshops, Tory breaks down the basics, and helps you create a plan for success, including
- Exploring your motivations to profit from your passion
- How to nail a one-page business plan to launch your idea with clarity and confidence
- Finding the money to get going, perfecting your revenue and pricing
- Making social media (and other free tools) profitable for you
- Mastering sales without cringing at the thought of asking for money
- Detailed strategies for every aspect of your start-up and tactics to hustle for ongoing small business success
Perfect kick in the business pants.
My Takeaways from Spark and Hustle
I know this is likely a book not to appeal to many of my readers. It’s relevant to me however, and it’s something that I want to talk about. Rather than doing a typical review, I want to highlight the aspects of this book that resonated with me–and what may resonate with you, even if you’re not a small business owner.
–There will never be a “right” time. Stop waiting and go for it.
This lesson actually led me to put the book down after two chapters so that I could work on filling out my marketing services. I’d been waiting to set them up for stupid reasons. No more.
How it applies to blogging: Stop waiting for approval. If you want to do something, do it. You’re never going to know if people are interested in doing something (a feature/meme/event, etc) until you start posting about it.
-Sell yourself first.
This was more of a confirmation of what I already knew rather than a new lesson. People are ultimately looking to connect. They can’t do that with your company or what you’re selling. They’re going to connect with YOU.
How it applies to blogging: People are going to connect with YOU first, not your blog or your posts. If people feel they can connect with you, they’ll be more interested in your blog and posts.
-Working for yourself means longer hours–but greater job satisfaction.
I think this is something that many people don’t realize. Sure, I can go to work in pajamas or take a walk in the middle of the afternoon, but I also often find myself working until 8pm (or later) and on the weekends. And I work on things that I don’t get paid for. (Marketing efforts, for example.) I work A LOT, but I also wake up every morning excited for what the day will bring me. (And I’m a workaholic anyway, so I like that my mind is occupied.)
How it applies to blogging: blogging is work. It’s time consuming and we don’t even get paid for it–but it’s also rewarding. (And if it’s not rewarding, it’s worth figuring out why. It should be.)
-Make your pitch relevant to your customer/client, not you.
People aren’t interested in you, they’re interested in what you can do for them. It’s not that I’m Amanda with wicked awesome language skills, it’s that I’m Amanda and I will whip your manuscript into shape and get it ready for readers’ eyes.
How it applies to blogging: give people a reason to read your posts. “Because I wrote it” isn’t reason enough.
-Social media is a must.
Social media is a fantastic way to increase your exposure–for free. It’s a good marketing tool to connect with people. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like using it–it’s about where your target market is. I avoided Pinterest for the longest time and finally gave in when I was working on my website design course. What I didn’t discover until a few months later was that I could use Pinterest to collect and display grammar advice, help, and humor. It is, to this date, my most active and popular Pinterest board. Bonus? I can sneak my own stuff in there.
How it applies to blogging: there are many people I’ve met through social media (Twitter especially) that I would have never met otherwise. Don’t underestimate the power of social media.
If you’re thinking about starting a small business or you need a kick in the pants (like I did), this is a good place to start. Authors, don’t avoid this because you think you’re not a small business–you are, just in a different way. All the things Tory talks about in this book can be easily applied to being an author.
For being a non-fiction book, Tory makes this read more like one long discussion post. It’s accessible and useful, but never overwhelming. She presents the information in a way that says, “This is what worked for me or my clients” but urges you to decide what will work for you. This is usually how I approach things, so I really respect it coming from other people.