One Hour a Week - Investing in Your Future

"Victories are a byproduct of a larger vision."   
- Neil Hayes, When the Game Stands Tall - The Story of the De La Salle Spartans and Football's Longest Winning Streak

The De La Salle Spartans high school football team had an unbelievable winning streak that encompassed twelve years and 151 games. Unbelievable. Known as the winningest team in history, their success wasn't accidental. It was methodical dedication to go a cut above.
One of the keys of this winning team was to write out on an index card a list of goals-which each boy chose on his own-in which he shared with another player to help hold him accountable. These were goals that pushed them past their comfort zone and physical endurance. They were asking themselves to give 100% in their regular workouts and then give an additional push after each workout to go that extra step further each day. It was one of several things that put them a cut above the rest. It set them on the road for success. Their winning streak was simply a by-product of the investment they made in their future.
Are you that committed to your writing success? If so, it starts with a one hour a week (minimum) commitment to developing your writing platform in addition to your writing. 
I met with an author this week that had been investing in her future as a writer. The result and our meeting reflected her good choices. She had spent the last two years developing her website, blog and audience. She had started from scratch and learned through the school of blood, sweat and tears, but the results were pretty impressive. Setting up her own WordPress blog she was now ranked in the top 12,000 websites in a Google search.  

Does she have the most impressive site ever? No. And in fact, it isn't high dollar at all. Lots of changes could be made---which she recognizes and is working on as time permits. The key is that she started the development of her platform at the beginning of her journey and continues to stay engaged to make changes in her blog, postings, website and reach that will make an impact for her in the long run. She now has an audience AND two years of blog posts---150,000 words---from which to write her book. She already has a market before her book is even written.
Ok, so you didn't do it that way. I understand. Most people don't. So let's start now. Here are some recommendations:

  • One hour a week developing your website and Facebook audience.
  • Or your website and Twitter fan base with good content.
  • Or your website and GoodReads or LinkedIn circle.

Have you noticed that each of these suggestions includes your website? Good. Thought you would get that. Don't have a website? Guess's a mandatory ingredient. It becomes the hub of your wheel.  
Next, invest at least 15 minutes each day (more if you can) developing yourself. Read a book that will develop an area of your life that will grow you in the direction you want to go. If you look at my night stand, I usually have a stack of 5-6 books. My kids laugh at me, but I am rarely reading just one book at a time. Some books are for spiritual growth, another for writing, another for marketing, and usually one thrown in just for mindless enjoyment. Books are mentors. They take us deeper and further than we can go ourselves when we are willing to learn from the experiences of others. You're a writer. You get that. You should always be reading something on marketing or social media platform. (Note: if you haven't yet, reading Michael Hyatt's book: Platform - Get Noticed in a Noisy World is a great place to start.)
This one hour a week investment in your platform is minimal in your writing future. Fifteen minutes of reading a day (less than two hours a week) into yourself is also a minimal investment. But the return if done consistently, WILL create a marked difference.
The De La Salle Spartans hit their winning streak stride when the team bought into the vision. Not the vision of winning, but the vision of investment into the future.
Invest in your future now with these daily habits and you will see results that might well put you on your winning streak as a writer.