Are you curious about a 3-month delay? I explained it in my first income report.
In November, especially at the beginning of the month, I was affected by Covid. Physically, I felt OK. Emotionally and mentally, I was a mess. This was the famous Covid brain-fog. I tell you; it was a real thing.
In the hindsight, reading my journal entries from November, I see I was overly tough on myself. I did a lot that month. But in the midst of it, I felt like moving in slow motion. I was frustrated, moody, and apathetic. All the time.
I remember a call with Marc Reklau in the middle of the month when he did some coaching on me. I needed that badly. As I wrote in the previous report, my social connections took me through this recovery experience. My accountability partners, my mastermind, my brothers and sister from the church community – all of them helped me to keep going while I was ready to give up.
I started the month strong, not that I had any choice. I needed money, so I had to calculate the results of my customers quickly and invoice them. Next week, I crashed. I could work only about 5 hours a day for the next two weeks. I was self-beating myself and lashing out, mainly on myself.
I needed time and I didn’t give myself the time to properly recover. In my mind, it was ridiculous. I went out of bed on the 24th of October and almost a month later I still couldn’t put myself together. I still had days when after just 90-minute work, I needed to crawl back into a bed and take a nap!
Oh, and observing my terrible book sales gave me no peace of mind. In fact, it made everything worse.
First Polish Customer
In early November, I got my first Polish customer. I’m not sure how he found me- through my blog, Quora, or one of the couple podcast interviews I gave. He subscribed to my list and after some time asked if I would like to help him publish his wife’s books on Amazon.
I said my hourly price (and I gave him the price for “things I don’t want to do”). He accepted. We had the first call and I forwarded the first manuscript to my formatter.
Quora in Polish
Speaking of Poland, the Quora community manager contacted me and invited me to the beta program of Quora circles in Poland.
I accepted and I created a personal development circle with the intent to own this space on Quora in Polish. It went well. For the first month, my circle was the biggest one in Poland (which doesn’t mean it was big, a few months later I have below 400 subscribers; other circles simply did even worse). It was easy-peasy for me. I already had had well over 100 posts on Polish Quora. I was familiar with the interface. Managing the circle took me no more than 10 minutes a day, usually much less. I could queue the content for 3-4 days within 10 minutes.
Projects I Tackled in November
Remember I said I underestimated myself? I did a LOT in November.
I participated in a book giveaway organized by Jonathan Green. I got about 960 new subscribers. This number ebbed down to about 360 in the next months. I’m contented with that number. I made sure that only the people interested in my content stayed on the list. The giveaway didn’t require much of me- just sending the files over to Jonathan and sending a couple of emails to my list.
Conflict Management Training
I participated in conflict management training via my day job. It took 1.5 days of my schedule but was well worth it. In the end, conflict management is at least 80% emotion management and emotional intelligence is one of the things I wrote down in my 2023 vision to work on. Speaking of which…
I crystalized and wrote down my 2023 vision. I edited it and shared it with my mastermind and accountability partners. I consider it the most important work I did in November.
I felt terrible and this project lifted my spirit. I had something to look forward to. I also had something to do right here, right now, both in terms of crafting the vision and narrowing it down to daily disciplines which should make the vision a reality in three years.
I researched the current categories for all of my books and the potential categories for them on Amazon. I requested from KDP Support to change categories for several of my books.
I won’t bet my life on this, but I think it helped my sales down the road. For a couple of books, I saw small sales spikes immediately; for others, it wasn’t so obvious at all.
Slicing the Hype
I finally updated the manuscript for Draft2Digital, and the book had been accepted by Apple in their store. It’s available for free outside of Amazon.
Unfortunately, Amazon didn’t match the price in their store. I didn’t have enough energy to ping them about this. It is still on my to-do list.
I did a whole bunch of housekeeping tasks for this blog: I upgraded the WordPress theme, updated plugins, removed spam comments, added a search bar to the main page, and scheduled posts for the future.
The next time I needed to log in there was in a month.
I was hopelessly behind my publishing schedule for Expand Beyond Yourself. In November, I managed to add two-income reports to that blog.
My mother-in-law visited us and stayed with us for the first 10 days of November. She wasn’t a burden, but I needed to be more social than my usual nerdy self. We spent some time together, especially on the weekends.
Back to the Routine
There were some things in November I went back to after about a 2-month hiatus caused by Covid.
I visited a church in the afternoons for the Holy Sacrament adoration.
My church community started to meet again on Wednesday evenings.
I attended a Business on Purpose bi-weekly call.
The weather was still relatively warm, so I got back on a bike a few times at the end of the month.
It felt good to be back in the saddle even if those activities crowded my schedule. I missed those meetings, interactions, and activities a lot. I felt like I got a part of myself back.
Covid’s Real Impact
Brain fog was one thing, but there were some measurable aftereffects of the sickness. I suffered from unexplainable hunger pangs. I gained several pounds in November despite keeping my workout routine. It was frustrating to no end. I managed to shave off six pounds from January to September and I got almost all of them back.
Also, brain fog made me susceptible to stupid time management decisions. Or rather to turn off my conscious brain. I found in my journal at least two instances of binge-watching Netflix for several hours in a row.
Only two Canada-only customers hang on with me, but I had no illusions they will remain my customers in the long term.
And in the middle of the month, my onboarding specialist quit. There wasn’t anybody to onboard. Covid killed even my feeble marketing attempts. So, she moved forward. I couldn’t blame her; I didn’t deliver even half of the workload I promised her.
Despite the swirl of activity, November felt bleak. Covid-induced brain fog kept me in its merciless clutch.
My book sales sucked a big time. Well, they actually increase by over 120 copies month to month, but they were still well below 1,000 copies a month. And profitability of those sales sucked. I made about $200 net in royalties. The last time I earned so little from my books was in August 2016!
The November 2020 Income Report Breakdown
Amazon royalties: €1,215.79 ($1,446.79)
Coach.me fees: $122.33
Audiobooks royalties: $39.2
D2D royalties: $20.87
PWIW personal coaching: $335.45
AMS service remuneration: $1,931.45
$23.37, BirdSend fee
$781.24 Amazon ads
$500, ISI mastermind
$493.15, RAs’ remuneration (RAs = Real Assistants; my team)
$30, SiteLock fee
$76.52, royalties split with co-author
$202.51, Advanced Amazon ads
$95.09, an obligatory monthly fee for LLC
$92, my accountant’s monthly fee
Net Result: $1,918.19