Random Inspirations

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Passion, Patience, Persistence, and Practice: The 4 P’s of Self-Publishing and Life

on March 3, 2014

Self-published authors are businesspeople…perhaps reluctant ones in some cases, but businesspeople nonetheless. Antonio is always calling my writing career my “startup,” and friends inquire, “How’s your business going?” almost as much as they ask,”How’s your writing going?” Writing is a fine art, but marketing and selling books are business skills–to succeed, authors have to do it all.

This past weekend, we visited one of Antonio’s old friends who started a consulting firm three years ago… Things are going well for him, and he has business contacts across three continents. He said that, with startups, you need a lot of patience; in the first year you’re setting everything up and concentrating on making a name for yourself. The second year is the hardest, but in the third year everything finally seems to fall into place.

I’ve heard similar sentiments expressed in various articles about starting a business. I’m just about midway through the first year of my “startup,” and I must say that choosing to work for myself has been the most rewarding decision I’ve ever made. I’m sure you’ve heard of the 4 P’s (passion, patience, persistence, and practice). They’re keys to success in any business. Here, I apply them to the small business of self-publishing…and life in general!

  • Passion: We’ve heard it said in a multitude of ways–if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you’re going to make it a point to succeed. Doing what we love is the first step to success. If you love to write, don’t suppress that passion. Indulge in it. Businesses started with passion have the odds of success in their favor. If you’re passionate about your business, you will put in longer hours and accomplish so much more without even realizing you’re working. When I worked full-time as a pharmacist, a forty-hour week felt like an exhausting marathon. Now, I work about fifty hours a week on my writing and publishing, yet I finish my days feeling energetic and fulfilled. Why? Passion!
  • Patience: Pour yourself into your business with your heart and soul, but don’t expect to be a best seller right away. You have to give the rest of the world time to catch on to your creative genius, after all. 🙂 Patience is something I struggle with, and I’m sure you do, too. But if you keep working hard, great things will come. That brings us to our next point…
  • Persistence: “If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again…” The late Aaliyah was so right. Persistence is key in self-publishing. Even if your books aren’t topping the charts at first, keep on writing. And always stay open to new ideas and projects–sometimes the results will surprise you. My Amish Hearts books, for example, started out as just one short story, and I thought I’d keep it at that. But soon, that short story blossomed into a novella, then a series of novellas, then a box set, and now a spinoff series. They’re my best selling books! If you stay persistent, you may surprise yourself; your first publication may enjoy modest success, but a subsequent project could be your X factor.
  • Practice: Hone your skills by interacting with other writers, attending conferences, and constantly working to polish your writing. Don’t stop practicing; you should be almost obsessed with evolving to the next stage. Also, read. A lot. It’s no accident that most successful writers are avid readers as well. Appreciating the work of other authors is paramount when practicing and honing your own craft.

Everything, from plants to humans to businesses, starts out small at first. But if you take the time and the effort to nourish and nurture your self-publishing business, it just might grow into something great and powerful! 😉

Businesses are like plants. This mint started out small, but a month later, look at how much it grew!

Businesses are like plants. This mint started out small, but a month later, look at how much it grew!

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3 responses to “Passion, Patience, Persistence, and Practice: The 4 P’s of Self-Publishing and Life

  1. lje0512 says:

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I think it could be applied to many different areas in life not just in self-publishing. 🙂

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