How to Get Out of A Funk: A Not So Shiny Update on the Wedding Challenge
“This isn’t going well. I’m in trouble,” I say as I bang my head against the table one morning over coffee.
“Ok, what’s going on?” my friend Helen says with a chuckle, clearly amused by my theatrics.
“Well, there are less than two weeks left in the month and it seems like everything I’ve done up to this point has been for nothing.”
For starters, I’m receiving fewer email subscribers today than I did before I began the project, which is extremely disheartening.
Then, I put some old inventory up for sale, promoted and marketed it every day. And while I did make a few colossal errors on the backend that I failed to catch for a few days (like not linking to the sale on the homepage – oops), it’s gotten hundreds of visits. You can see it here. Everything is at least 70% off. Some items are free. That’s right. FREE.
So guess how many inquiries I’ve gotten?
Finally, I began putting together a giveaway – a bundle of wedding goodies and discounts from a variety of wedding vendors. In order to enter, you have to sign up for the email list.
Super awesome giveaway worth hundreds of dollars + more email subscribers for me = everyone wins!
I emailed 10 wedding vendors asking them to sponsor and participate in the giveaway:
After the first day, one vendor responded – yes!
But nobody else did. So I emailed ten more. And then ten more. I followed up. You get the picture. More silence. And the few folks who did respond politely declined.
I was banking on the networks of multiple businesses to help promote the giveaway, but sadly, no such luck.
In the end, I was finally able to secure three sponsorships, plus a few of my own items, so I’m in a good enough spot to launch the giveaway early next week.
I could list out half a dozen more snafus, errors and rejections, but suffice to say, it was enough to send me into a full-blown funk. I found myself resentful of the challenge, short-tempered, bitter, and having to fight for every minute I put into the work.
I took naps when I wasn’t tired, wasted time on YouTube, and watched back to back episodes of Keeping up with the Kardashians.
I don’t even watch TV.
So here I am, sharing my sad story with Helen, ready to call this challenge a wash, cut my losses, and move on. I’m secretly hoping for some validation, that she’ll give me her blessing to give up and spare myself the embarrassment.
She doesn’t because the things we challenge ourselves to do are supposed to be hard. They’re supposed to involve struggle and mistakes and pull-your-hair-out-of-your-head-and-scream moments.
And to be brutally honest (with myself, more than anyone), I know what the real issue is.
I’m sensitive. I don’t like hearing no or being ignored and I’m demoralized because all of my hard work is not paying off.
I know it’s only been a few weeks and that I should stop whining and get back to work. I know I should be more aggressive and patient and thick skinned. But I’m not a seasoned pro who operates at 100% efficiency. Nor am I a fearless go-getter master of discipline. I am trying and I am working hard, but marketing is tough and we don’t always get it right the first time around.
All I can do as I finish out the month is commit to doing a better job today than I did the day before. If I can do that, then I can claim victory over my inner shadow that represents everything negative and defeating about me.
And more importantly, I can focus on executing the plan I have in place.
It includes promoting the sale, launching the giveaway, and hustling for partnerships, promotions, mentions, and shares.
It also includes publishing my ebooks, which I’ve been furiously working on behind the scenes, because in the long term, they’re how I’ll earn a steady stream of income from Idojour. After all, writing is what I do best!
I’m coming out with two ebooks that I plan to self publish on the Amazon platform:
1. Wedding Music and Readings: A 70+ page book with over 500 wedding song ideas for every aspect of the wedding ceremony and reception. It includes different versions of the same songs, links to samples, as well as links to full Spotify playlists. There’s also a section on wedding reading ideas that range from bible verses to readings from literature, children’s books, poetry, music and the movies.
2. Wedding Vendor Guide: Because finding a team of local vendors is one of the most challenging parts of wedding planning, this ebook walks brides and grooms through the process of finding, negotiating with, and hiring local wedding vendors. It includes email scripts, phrases to use, questions to ask for every type of vendor) and contract tips.
My hope is that with the right copywriting, keywords and marketing efforts, brides will find, buy, and enjoy my books many months after this challenge finishes.
And maybe, just maybe, the compound effect will come into play for me. Where I put in all of this time and effort that at first has little impact, but keep at it long enough and BAM! Everything finally falls into place.
As luck would have it, I read this children’s book to my daughter last night called I Knew You Could. We received it as a party favor from a kids’ birthday we attended over the weekend, and after reading it, I thought to myself – how funny that this book fell into my hands at this exact moment. It’s just what I needed to hear.
Take a read below, I think you’ll like it too (warning – it’s long).
I Knew You Could! A Book for All The Stops in Your Life (Little Engine That Could), by Craig Dorfman
I knew you could! And you knew it, too —
That you’d come out on top after all you’ve been through.
And from here you’ll go farther and see brand-new sights.
You’ll face brand-new hills that rise to new heights.
I wish I could show you the stops that you’ll visit,
But that isn’t my choice to make for you, is it?
Instead, I can tell you some lessons and tales
That I’ve learned and relearned in my time on the rails.
First of all, you must find your own track,
So you can start right away and not be held back.
But which track is yours? Well, that all depends
On which way it’s going and where it might end.
Different tracks wind around,
over, under, and through,
So pick out the one
that works best for you.
Though the track you start out on
will feel like “the one,”
You might take a few more before you are done.
And now, with your eyes on your new destination,
Start up your wheels and roll out of the station.
On your new trip, you’ll make plenty of stops,
In deep river valleys and on high mountaintops.
Some will surprise you and some will be planned,
And you’ll roll through each one saying, “I think I can!”
You’ll go through tunnels, surrounded by dark,
And you’ll wish for a light or even a spark.
You might get scared or a little bit sad,
Wondering if maybe your track has gone bad.
So here’s some advice to help ease your doubt;
The track you took in must also go out.
So steady yourself and just keep on going –
Before you know it, some light will be showing.
And then you’ll be out, heading to a new place.
You’ll be ready for the next tunnel you face.
Sometimes you’ll look up and see planes in the sky,
And you’ll think to yourself, “I wish I could fly.”
The cars on the roads will seem quick and free –
You’ll feel stuck on your track and think, “I wish that was me.”
But the plane might wish he could get out of the air,
Saying, “I wish I could travel like that train down there.”
The cars will watch as you speed right along,
And they’ll say to each other,
“Look how fast and how strong!”
Don’t worry about not being a car or a plane,
Just enjoy the trip you’ll take as a train.
Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn,
If you need to be heard or there are people to warn.
Or if being yourself just makes you so proud,
That you want to share it and sing it out loud.
You’ll follow your track
through twists and through bends,
And stop at new stops and pick up new friends.
They’ll all come aboard with smiles and greetings.
You’ll have such great times
with the people you’re meeting.
On the days when you’re sad and feel you can’t go,
Speak up and ask a friend for a tow.
That’s what friends do, so don’t be afraid.
You’d do the same if your friend needed aid.
You might stop at some stops that you never have toured,
And look for new friends, but they won’t come aboard.
So you’ll have to head out with a creak and a groan,
Setting out once again on your track, all alone.
Try to remember that the world is so wide,
Full of all kinds of people with their own trains to ride.
Just stay true to yourself as you travel your track,
With no second-guessing and no looking back.
Once you’re on the right track, you’ll probably say,
“This one is mine – I’m here to stay.”
Try to enjoy the track that you choose –
Stop now and then to take in the views.
If you rush forward, as a general rule,
Before you arrive, you could run out of fuel.
Don’t overwork, but save up some strength.
That way, every day, you can travel great lengths.
You’ll need all that strength on the days when you’re stuck,
Or tired, or sad, or just out of luck.
When your belief in yourself doesn’t feel quite so pure,
And your “I think I can” doesn’t sound quite so sure.
That’s when to push and to strive and to strain,
To show the world you’re not a giving-up train.
And you’re wise if you know that doing your best
Means that sometimes you should just slow down and rest.
Speeding through your whole trip will bring only sorrow,
So slow down today to be happy tomorrow.
There’s more about life that you’ll learn as you go,
Because figuring things out on your own helps you grow.
Just trust in yourself, and you’ll climb every hill.
Say, “I think I can!” and you know what?
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