Are you curious about a 3-month delay? I explained it in my first income report.
The beginning of April 2020 was exactly the same mess as the end of March. To be exact, I was a mess.
I let my wife hijack my schedule. She never really wrapped her head around the concept that I’m really working when I’m closed in my home office. In truth, I let her hijack my schedule. I didn’t feel like working anyway. I spent quite a lot of my time following the news, analyzing coronavirus statistics, and engaging in Twitter political wars.
My wife’s favorite pastime is watching movies with me. So, we watched a movie practically every evening. Sometimes, a couple of movies or more (on Sundays). It was still better than stupid Twitter wars, which seriously clouded my judgment.
Garbage in, garbage out. Also, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, even if those people are Twitter trolls. My productivity and peace of mind went down the sinkhole because I allowed random people to invade my mind.
I was able to convert some of it into positives. This is how I started recording the corona videos – one day I wrote a whole article-rant about how to do read the statistics using your brainpower, not opinions on the Internet. I also wrote several answers about the coronavirus situation on Quora, both in Polish and English.
Yet, it wasn’t enough.
I worked from home and I didn’t work many hours. Still, three days in the week I worked were hampering the little momentum I got. My day job was a distraction. My mental energy was so low that whenever I had to dedicate some brainpower to my day job I had very little energy left for my own endeavors.
However, it was a conversation with my supervisor which started the process of recuperation. We admitted to each other that we have trouble putting ourselves together. We jumped on the phone and discussed it in length.
My supervisor had much less trouble with productivity, she was crushing it in the job. Yet, she was a complete mess outside of work hours. You already know my mental state from this and the previous report.
But the most enlightening was the reflection after our conversation. We concluded that our old survival mechanisms kicked in in the new situation. We fell back to our default coping mechanisms.
Our survival wasn’t threatened, but we felt like it was. You surely remember the first weeks of the lockdown; nobody was sure of anything. We both knew better, but we couldn’t help ourselves.
To make it even more fun, both of us weren’t really afraid of anything: getting the virus, death, or poverty. We had it figured out. Yet, we lived in a state of constant anxiety and our brains went back to our past and obsolete survival mechanisms.
So, I had this conversation on the 6th of April. The same week, I discussed this mental fog state with my mastermind and one of my accountability partners.
I discovered that everybody was affected by this syndrome to some degree. It wasn’t something wrong with me. It was universal. It was like a magical poisonous cloud of anxiety covering the whole world.
This realization alone helped me to put myself together. I also named the source of the problem in my case – Twitter wars – and promised my accountability partner to stay out of that.
It helped like waving a magic wand. I keep track of my work hours. I worked barely over 3 hours a day in the second week of April and almost twice as many hours in the 3rd week.
A Ridiculous Corpo Story
After the conversation with my supervisor, I offered to GIVE our team SOME time. Since we knew everybody deals with anxiety, I offered my help to go through this struggle. My crazy supervisor encouraged me and she even forwarded my email to the whole company.
And here comes the story straight from Dilbert: The head of the HR department researched me, find out I have no coaching credentials from established entities and did what every venerable head of corporation HR department would have done: she named me a fraud and banned any help from me to the team.
Till that moment, I had stayed in my day job because my wife insisted on it. So, I tried to find a new place for me in the organization, the one that would utilize my talents better. I hoped to provide some training and coaching within the organization.
The HR lady cured me of those illusions. That event convinced me that I will quit this job at the very moment my wife allows me. Which is just a matter of time and money.
It was very liberating. I dealt with the corpo world’s idiocy for all too long. At that moment I separated my future from working for someone else. Forever.
Well, it separated me from my day job solely in my head. But it was liberating enough 😉
The upside of my distraction was that I took care of some household upkeep. I took my wife’s bike to a mechanic, made a checkup of my lawnmower, tanked our cars full, and did some other small things around the house.
Delegation and Progress
One of my sisters living in Ireland got laid off and she was bored out of her mind. She offered to help me out and I taught her how to keep track of my customers’ results and register them in the Google sheet.
My eldest sister was also laid off and she had more time to help me out. I taught her how to import my Polish Quora answers into my Polish blog and prepare drafts. That was a great idea. At the beginning of April, I had maybe a couple of posts on the blog. At the end of the month, I had two published every week and a few scheduled for the next month.
Having the drafts prepared by my sister, it takes me about 10 minutes to format the post, ad categories, tags, images and schedule the post. When writing this report, I have the whole month of content for my Polish blog scheduled ahead.
I had been dabbling with the hiring process for a few months. On the 22nd of April, I finally published a job ad in an authors Facebook group. I gave candidates the time to the beginning of May to apply. Four persons applied within 48 hours and three of them were quite a good fit. And that was all. The feeble nature of FB feed took the ad out of sight of other authors, or no one else in that group was interested.
So, that wasn’t the best hiring process in the history of humankind, but it worked just fine for me. I would have got overwhelmed if I got 50 applications to review. I had enough in my lap, thank you!
5 Circle Fit
Brian Buffini organized an online challenge to help his followers get out of the lockdown at full speed. I joined the challenge. The recommended activities were much below my usual level of difficulty (e.g. 1-mile walk and I had been doing about 3 miles a day). Yet, 5 Circle Fit helped me because it gave me some structure to follow.
The book sales were slow. Amazon was as surprised by the Coronavirus, as the whole world. Paperback printing and shipping took a huge hit. At the end of the month, I noticed some uptick in sales, but it was more in my perception than in reality. I sold more than 30 copies in five out of the last ten days of April 2020. However, I sold only 30 copies more overall, than in March.
The biggest struggle in April was trying to stay sane and productive. The moment I stopped engaging in political wars on Twitter I immediately noticed that my productivity (and sanity) surged. That was my win of the month.
The March 2020 Income Report Breakdown
Amazon royalties: €2,836.8 ($3,148.84)
Coach.me fees: $124.86
Audiobooks royalties: $36.36
D2D royalties: 24.33
PWIW personal coaching: $335.45
AMS service remuneration: $3,214.85
Affiliate commission: $294.06
$49, Aweber fee
$2,348.55 Amazon ads
$500, ISI mastermind
$77, Business on Purpose monthly fee
$499.44, RAs’ remuneration (RAs = Real Assistants; my team)
$30, SiteLock fee
$184.27, royalties split with co-author
$155.29 profit split with my editor
$95.09, an obligatory monthly fee for LLC
$92, my accountant’s monthly fee
Net Result: $2,861.8