I've always found something compelling about beginnings. As a voracious "story-vore" and storyteller, I am obsessed with them. Beginnings are the hook, the question mark, the make or break, the accidental glance, the fateful wrong turn, the fortuitous chance encounter...you get the message. Which is why every time the calendar transitions from one month to the next, I see a new story beginning.
The turn of the page from February to March, however, is made even more compelling, particularly to us inhabitants of the Great White North, by the transfer of seasons. March is the month that our weather mercifully breaks, giving us the splendour of spring (March 20), with its widening spans of daylight and forgivingly warmer temperatures. It is a month of hope, a month of reckoning, a month of staying the course, or course correction.
For me, personally, with any luck, it will be the month of a different kind of beginning. The beginning of being a published author. Now, I have been published before in multiple textbooks, but never on a book of my own creation. Until this month. My daughter, Gabby, would tell me that I'm jinxing myself just by stating that my book will be published and released this month, even though it is not yet through the last few hoops. But if, for whatever reason, it is delayed past this month, well, that just gives me another blogpost topic, right?
For the record, you can see that I am referring to myself as a "published author", not a solo artist. There is a small army of thank-you recipients, to whom I shall acknowledge the week the book comes out, but for now let me be clear - and consistent with my "being better at being human" mantra, and the 8 Pillar Competencies of the book - that I did not do this alone. Nor will I ever accomplish anything in life alone. Do any of us?
Back to the topic of March, beginnings, and moving forward. Along with my book, "The Daily Undoing: Being Better at Being Human" I need to make some pivotal decisions this new-beginning month of March. Will I resurrect the podcast, which is the namesake of the book? When I completed my year-ending episode of the daily podcast December 31, 2020, I announced (more to myself than anyone else) that I was going to take a break. But what I secretly thought at the time, would be one week, has magically expanded into two months. What? Where did that go? I suppose that's another reason that this year I feel a heightened awareness, or perhaps anxiousness, about March. It's a bit of a "shit or get off the pot" month for me.
There are other priorities I have, however, regarding the book, the website created to support and promote the book, and other areas of my life, that I must sort out this month. The book will require significant investment in time to promote. My "boot-strapping" budget on the book to date has already ballooned to nearly $2500. Which is not a jaw-dropping sum by any stretch, but for a "self-published" writer who was going to do it all on the MVP method (minimal viable product), let's just say scope-creep has penetrated the plan.
As a marketer, marketing consultant, marketing educator and marketing author, you'd think I would know the value of advertising, and how to use it. But when it comes to pushing out an indie book, the options are dizzying and endless. And the budget sparse. But once I get past the "friends and family" pity-purchases, I'm going to have to get real with finding the tribe this book was always made for, and targeting specific storytelling toward them (remember - now I must create my own beginning, my opening line). Ironically, again, as a marketer, I find myself strangely incapable of describing specifically who that tribe is.
Entrepreneurs? Yup. Managers of teams? Check. Educators? You bet. Educational institutions? Perhaps most in need! Parents? Of course. Adolescent and adult learners? Absolutely...and that one sort of muddies the waters the most. Because I feel this basically includes any humans from about 15 years and up. (Note, as I write this I am also conceptualizing a children's version...oops, another to-do).
Weeks after the launch of the book, I hope to fully ignite the power of the particular web platform upon which I publish my blogposts. You wouldn't know this without some super-sleuthing skills, or my telling you, but the website is not built upon a traditional configuration like Wordpress. I've been there and done that, and figured at this stage in my life, I need to double down on things I am passionate about, and see if there is any market opportunity to match the level of intensity, innovation, and expertise I plan to package up in a value prop.
Based upon the absence of courses on competency-based learning, focusing on the "8 Pillar Competencies" I espouse to be so crucial for careers, entrepreneurial pursuits, and beyond, I do feel this is an addressable market; an unmet need. Moreover, I feel I am prepared and genuine in my intent to provide true value in this space. The kind of value that can have deep impact. I do not make these claims lightly, nor intend to point to a resume or personal brand, and hope for the best. Trust in this space will have to be earned. Authenticity will have to be proven. My intent will have to be felt in any experience I hope to create with customers of a course, in the same way I hope my intent can be felt in the pages of my book.
I am choosing to be neither secretive nor ashamed of my ability to serve in this way, nor my expectation to be compensated in return. And so, the web-builder, Kajabi, on which I chose to launch www.dailyundoing.com, is an e-commerce product, designed primarily for the delivery of online courses. As an educator, and course designer in the conventional world of post-secondary, I am driven to produce courses on the subject of my book - competencies, for the same reason I was driven to write a book about them. There is a need, and I am committed to at least begin (there's that word again) filling that vast chasm.
Oh, and I have 4-5 interviews with amazing Calgary entrepreneurs, who gave of their time to be on my other podcast, "Background Noise", which launched last February, and was supposed to have its second season launch THIS February. Oops. The sense of obligation I feel around getting those remarkable stories to an audience weighs upon my conscience every day, not only because I owe it to those individuals, but because I truly feel the vibrant Calgary small biz community grows from shared stories. Hmm, I think I've just realized I need 2 Marches this year.
But all this sort of plays out teasingly between by conscious and sub-conscious, interwoven with the two most pressing things in my life. My family, and the unique needs of those three amazing individuals. And my job as an educator at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, which impacts directly about 120 college students this semester. These, I know, must get first dibs on my time, before any of the above can be executed.
So, March, huh? New beginnings, huh? That raw-raw, take no prisoners, let's rock mindset, may have been slightly sobered even while, or because, of writing this post. But my reflection has not changed my resolve. Nor should your reflection change yours. Two months gone in a new year. Last month of Q1. First month of spring. No matter how you spin it, March is for marching. So March on, my friend. March on.