I Missed A Milestone!

This is going to be an unusual email for a couple of reasons.

First of all, it’s going to largely be reflective and about me.  There will be some lessons for you to take away I hope, but for the most part, I’m going to talk about myself and my journey with Casual Marketer so far.

Secondly, I’m writing this email a day in advance.  I just wrote and sent out the email for August 8th and midway through I had the idea for this email.  Sometimes I get great ideas for emails in the unlikeliest of places and I can’t jot them down and forget them, so I didn’t want to do that this time.  Also, I’m travelling at the moment and tomorrow is going to be a pretty long day with my first meeting starting at 9am, I have to check out of the hotel before then and I probably won’t get home tomorrow night until after 9pm from the airport, so I know I’ll be shattered.

Ok, on with the show…

This email kind of marks the sixth months of sending emails out to my list every day.  I’ve not missed a single day in that entire time and I never went to bed before an email went out.

I’m pretty pleased with that.  I set a goal for myself of doing this task daily without fail and so far, I’ve succeeded.  More importantly, I can count on one hand the number of times out of the 190+ emails I’ve sent where I “phoned it in”.  Let’s be honest, when you write 1000 or more words per day in an email on average, you’re going to have days where you just aren’t doing your best work or you’re not feeling it.  I’ve had a few of those, but surprisingly, not many.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that being successful is often just about showing up every day and doing the work.  Inspiration and talent help, but effort and perseverance are the real hallmarks of successful people.

The Olympics are on right now and there are folks winning gold medals and setting world records.  We marvel at their accomplishments and admire their talent.  The one thing we don’t often recognise the volume of effort that those athletes put in during the other three years and eleven months between the Olympics or the 15 years leading up to it.

A couple years back I used to go swimming in the mornings at a local community pool before work for a bit of exercise.  I’d turn up at 7am, half asleep with my son in tow, he’d go splash around and I’d be cursing the cold water while questioning why the hell wasn’t I still at home asleep.  Meanwhile, there’d be a couple dozen kids, boys and girls ranging in age from 11 to 16 doing laps under the watchful eye of their coach.  They’d already had done two hours of training by the time we arrived and would put in another hour before heading off to school.

When I see an Aussie kid winning a gold medal in the swimming, I don’t think of how quickly they swam in that race, I think about the countless hours of training they did to get there and innumerable volume of laps they did in the years leading up to that moment.

The key takeaway from all of that for me is, that you have to show up and do the work on a consistent basis.  It doesn’t matter if you have the flu or if the new Orange Is The New Black just turned up on Netflix, you need to be able to prioritise and commit to consistently putting in the work.

Another thing I draw on from the Olympics is the celebration of success.  Achieving six months of consecutive daily emails is a milestone for me and I’m rightfully proud of it.  I got busy with life, forgot about it and didn’t realise that I’d hit that number until this evening when I was looking inside ActiveCampaign.  I decided then and there to stop, hop up on the dais and award myself a medal.

I’m a big believer in celebrating your successes.  I think too often people get kudos and celebrate the “intent” to undertake something.  They write on Facebook that they are starting a podcast or a new website and everyone chimes in, “Way to go you!” or “You’re a champion!”  Then they never do anything because they’ve already got the dopamine hit from getting the accolades.  Derek Sivers talks about this in his TED Talk and it was really a huge eye-opener for me.

As a result, I only celebrate successes after they’ve happened.  I take time out to give myself a little pat on the back for a job well done.  Like most people, I can be my own harshest critic, so I’ve made the conscious effort to balance that out with being my own fan when I do a good job.  I highly recommend you to introduce this balance into your own life if you haven’t already.

I’m also well on my way to achieving my annual goal of writing and publishing 300,000 words this year.  I’ve been busy and haven’t been tracking my word count as diligently as I was, but by my estimates, I’m up somewhere over 250,000 words for 2016 when you factor in these daily emails and the monthly newsletters that go to subscribers.  I’m going to smash that goal probably in the next 45 days sometime and ideally, by the end of the year, I’ll hit my stretch goal of 400,000 words.

To put that in perspective, that’s more words than are in the Hunger Games trilogy and approaching the size of the Lord of the Rings.  I think my words are better than Suzanne Collins’ but nowhere near as good as Tolkien’s for those of you keeping score at home.

My goal for the rest of the year is to continue doing these daily emails and at some stage take them and edit them down into a coherent book.  In fact, I really want to write another book entirely this year – I have the premise for it and have started the basic outline, but life tends to get in the way of me actually writing it.

Anyway, it’s been a great six months – some of you have actually read EVERY single email I’ve written during that time which amazes me and is quite humbling, so thank you.  I look forward to educating, entertaining and enlightening you even further in the months ahead!

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