Over on Business Insider, Alexander Levin posts on the challenges of maintaining momentum and drive as an entrepreneur, and takes as his example his own experience building a freelance editing business with indie authors as his primary clientele.
When reading the following quote from the post, just substitute the word "reader" for "client", because to an indie author, the reader IS the customer. Where Levin’s ‘product’ is freelance editorial services, yours is your book. And, being every bit as much entrepreneurs as freelancers of every stripe, indie authors must keep their eyes on the ball and hustle, just as Levin does:
No one is granted endless prosperity merely because they started with a strong lead. Those who take their early success for granted are quickly dismayed by clients who don’t return and dwindling leads. Entrepreneurs who mange to avoid this quagmire share one behavior in common: they never relax their discipline.
My freelance business (as a progressive editor for indie authors) is a telltale case study of this phenomenon in action.
I enjoyed a hot start with freelance editing. My decisive and unambiguous style and breakout indie author focus helped garner some great projects and solid prospects. The initial half-year was full. Success was streaming. Clients were pleased.
Life was good…until it wasn’t. Somewhere along the line my sense of urgency waned. My outreach efforts slowed. My opportunity research faded. Predictable results followed: diminished leads, stalled growth in quality projects and mounting frustration. The bottom line to my burdens was a dangerously relaxed discipline.
Thankfully, all is not lost if you momentarily loosen your grip on discipline. But you must act fast before your business stalls and it’s too late to recover. Courses of action are many. The following worked best for me when I needed to reclaim fully my iron will of self-control.