Joanna and I might seem like competitors but in this medium, there really isn’t such a thing as competition. Just because somebody writes in the same niche as you, don’t look at them as a competitor. Instead, network with them, combine forces, email one another. You can work together to grow. It goes back to the saying of rising tide raises all ships (but do so with integrity).
And speaking of competition, comparing yourself to others may give yourself unrealistic expectations of yourself, especially if you are starting out. Comparing yourself is healthy, if done correctly, and should be done with the intention to learn and not destroy yourself. In fact, even though you may look at what you’re putting out years later with embarrassment, those first few videos or podcasts or books may serve those who haven’t done any of those things to help show them the ropes.
Want proof? If you’d like to watch our very first videos, see below.
Joanna’s First Video:
Dave Chesson’s First Video:
Joanna also advises to make marketing part of the creative life and not leave it to the last minute or put it on the back burner. Her popularity has grown not just because of her books, but because of her website, podcast and podcast appearances, ads, and informative videos.
You don't have to have a breakout hit in order to make a very good living with your writing. I can't even count the number of streams of income I have at this point. Every blog post I write, every podcast idea, almost every social media thing I put out, everything points to different places that all feed into streams of income and all based on my writing.
Keeping track of where you begin as a way to look back later is also helpful. While comparing yourself to others can be constructive, so can comparing yourself to yourself. Write down where you are right now and in a few years time (Joanna likes to use four years on Olympics years) and have a goal to continuously learn and grow year after year so that in time, you can measure your success.
Success doesn’t look the same to everybody. In fact, success doesn’t even have to come from an amount of money made or books sold, but it could be the success of leaving your job or being able to spend more time with your family or traveling. Only you can define that success means to you. If you can define your WHY, you can define your success.
Most importantly, once you hit your goals you’ve set for yourself, don’t forget to reevaluate your goals and set new ones. And if you find yourself stuck in a period of self doubt, check out Joanna’s video about Self Doubt.
Joanna’s Self Doubt Video:
Bio of the Author in the Case Study:
Joanna Penn is a bestselling author, speaker and award-winning entrepreneur who resides in Bath, England.
On top of traveling and writing bestselling thrillers as J.F.Penn, she helps authors with creativity, writing, publishing, book marketing and creative entrepreneurship. She also co-authors romance novels with her mother under the name Penny Appleton.
Resources Referred to in this Episode:
- Joanna Penn’s Author Page
- Joanna’s website The Creative Penn
- The Creative Penn Podcast
- Joanna’s favorite book marketing Software KDP Rocket
- Entrepreneur on Fire
- Book Marketing Show Listing Previous Books For More Sales With Steve Scott
- Book Marketing Show Marketers & Coffee: Mistakes Authors And Ourselves Have Made
- The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
- 20 Books to 50K Conference