In this episode I talk about overcoming the fundamental economic problem – how to prioritise what to spend your money and time doing as an author.
Tim Lewis: [00:00:30] Long term listeners to this show will know that every now and then I do a solo show where I talk about something that’s either a mindset issue or just something to do with self publishing that’s come up.
Tim Lewis: [00:00:43] I’ll be completely honest with you most of the time I do these episodes because I haven’t booked a guest or I’ve run out of guests. But in this particular instance that isn’t the case. I’ve actually got about three shows recorded.
Tim Lewis: [00:01:02] But I don’t really want to do an interview show when I’m away. In terms of when the show has been released. So I thought I do one of these shorter shows I need to tide you over until we start getting into the more serious interviews again in September.
Tim Lewis: [00:01:21] But also because I’ve quite missed having these sort of odd philosophical chats on the podcast every now and then. So you’re probably wondering unless you’ve ever done economics in the subject as to what the Economic Problem is and why we want to overcome it.
Tim Lewis: [00:01:39] Well it’s a little known fact about me that I actually do have an economics degree.
Tim Lewis: [00:01:45] I did an economics degree at the London School of Economics even though I actually never worked in anything to do with economics mainly because I got quite dispirited about the subject while studying it.
Tim Lewis: [00:01:57] To me economics is in about the same state that medicine was in the 17th century. There are certainly things to be learnt but there’s an awful lot of stuff that people think they know that actually isn’t true about economics.
Defining the Economic Problem
Tim Lewis: [00:02:09] But when you first study economics as I did at what was called A-level in those days at school the first thing that you encounter is what’s known as the economic problem which is that there are not enough resources to go around.
Tim Lewis: [00:02:26] So we’ve all seen this. There just isn’t enough money to do everything we want to do. But the actual problem is much much wider than that. Both in terms of time and in costs. There just is not enough resources for us to do all the things that we want to do.
Tim Lewis: [00:02:45] And actually I think this concept is also profound for authors and solopreneurs and people in business in general.
Tim Lewis: [00:02:56] The reason why it’s important is that we only have a limited amount of time. We only have a limited amount of money to spend on things. Even if you are a multi millionaire you’ve still got that limit on time.
Tim Lewis: [00:03:11] And even if you have got no job to work on you’ve still got that limit on resources and on time. So how do we overcome this problem. Now something that I’ve been realising lately is that while I have done all these great interviews with people. You just cannot do or apply every lesson you hear from every show.
Tim Lewis: [00:03:38] Now obviously systems are part of the answer as we heard with Tony Brown’s interview some time ago. If you start systemising things then you can take less time going back over things you may have got wrong.
Tim Lewis: [00:03:52] And again I talked about this in the episode Check, Check, and Check Again. But even with that. Sooner or later we have to prioritise. And the best way to prioritise is to just look to see what is working. And do more of that.
Picking only one channel
Tim Lewis: [00:04:14] Now obviously a lot easier said than done because sometimes, again as we’ve heard in previous shows, and certainly this is case of content marketing, sometimes we can do things for years and we won’t see the results immediately.
Tim Lewis: [00:04:29] We have to in some cases just to have faith that what we do in will show results eventually. But I certainly think even with social media that unless you are in a position where you can pay for people to help you maybe should be considering focusing on one network.
Tim Lewis: [00:04:49] So if Facebook is where your audience is and you enjoy Facebook there’s a medium for getting new readers for your book then maybe Facebook is a place to concentrate on and just ignore things like Twitter and Pinterest and all the other options.
Tim Lewis: [00:05:06] I know an awful lot of authors don’t do any real social media marketing at all, they just focus on things like BookBub. And there’s a lot to be said for that. Other authors just focus on just writing the books.
Tim Lewis: [00:05:20] They don’t really market the books that much at all. They’re just basically churning out book after book after book after book. And again it’s not a bad approach to overcoming this economic problem that we just haven’t got enough time and resources to do eveything that we want to do.
Tim Lewis: [00:05:38] And I think some of it is based on what you enjoy doing because there’s no point in life of doing things purely because you think they’re going to be the most efficient way of doing things because that takes the fun out of everything.
Tim Lewis: [00:05:50] But on the other hand we do have to look and see as to what we think will work and focus on that. And sometimes you have to trade money for time.
Tim Lewis: [00:06:02] So you are in effect hiring like a VA or you’re hiring somebody to do some of the work for you in effect. In effect BookBub actually isn’t quite an example of that where you you’re outsourcing marketing to another company to send to their list.
Tim Lewis: [00:06:18] So this is really just the essence of this particular show in that I think we need to always be spending a little bit of time looking over exactly what we’re doing and saying is that working? Can we replace that with something else. There will be more efficient or more enjoyable but preferably both?
Replace rather than add
Tim Lewis: [00:06:39] Or are we just going to keep doing more and more stuff. And you can cheat on sleep and things like that. But at the end of the day, we have to make an effort to prioritise and organise ourselves as efficiently as possible so that we can make the best use of time but also what you doing you need to be assessing is this the correct thing for me to be doing. Is this a good use of my time.
Tim Lewis: [00:07:06] And certainly if you want to do anything new you should be looking to see what you can drop. So for example I’m now moving away from fiction books but I still need to do all of the work for the pre-order and the release of my book in September.
Tim Lewis: [00:07:21] So tempted as I am to start looking at writing non-fiction books now I’m probably going to leave that and actually just focus on that until it’s finished and then I can start the non-fiction side of things.
Tim Lewis: [00:07:34] So hopefully this has given you some food for thought in this holiday season in August and I’ll be back with a longer interview show in two weeks time.
If you liked this show you might also like The Benefits of Standard Procedures with Tony Brown, Check, Check and Check Again and Self-Publishing for Profit