Today is the first day of a major online business course known as B-School. Last year, as someone who was itching to start the process of being an entrepreneur, I signed up for Marie Forleo’s popular and beloved online business program.
Once B-School launches, your personal dashboard opens a new module each week focusing on specific aspects of business and marketing. Last year, I ate up every morsel of worksheets, books, and exercises opened to me. I designed business plans, got out of my comfort zone, emailed people who succeeded in the business I want to launch, conducted practice coaching sessions with follow up surveys, focused on what my customer avatar is and built (albeit unsuccessfully because I hate math) some form of a profit plan.
I loved it. Every bit of it. And I plan on doing it again. In fact, my heart is racing a bit and my hand is dying to click over to my account to start once more.
This time last year I had nothing. I only knew I wanted to be a coach. I knew, that in addition to writing my own projects, I wanted to use my writing to get other people to do the same.
It was imperative that I build something that would not only eventually allow me to live life on my own terms (i.e get out of the corporate world), but would allow others to come out of their shell and do the same – especially by telling their story through the written word.
Today, I have a registered sole proprietorship (that will likely morph into an LLC), a business bank account, an accountant, business cards, a website (still under construction despite giving you all a sneak peek last month), and a membership to the Association of Writers and Writers Programs (AWP) with a hefty conference coming my way. Plus, I have a future that is a little muddy, but filled with exciting uncertainty. (Mostly envisioned back in New York. A move that’s long overdue but difficult to make the financial leap. Help!)
Yet, why am I taking B-School again? Because I am never finished learning. I’m not done obtaining more wisdom and upgrading ways of conducting business – or even optimizing the way I create. It should be the same for you. Hey, just saying.
We should always ask questions, always be curious, always learn new things every chance we get or else we stagnate. The moss will grow over our heads, and we’ll never know why unless we take a good hard look at our process.
This also goes with writing. I am guilty of this, but we writers tend to think we already know how to write.
But sometimes we don’t already know, or we need a refresher.
Pick up that old Stunk & White book, read books like “Bird By Bird”, “On Writing Well”, “Forest for the Trees” and understand new ways to approach your personal expression, your written world.
Join meeting ups, go to conferences, take a class at a local school – get out there and have other writers see your writing.
I know I’ve commented on how writing courses can be a pain in the ass. Relying too heavily on writing courses and school and groups will overload your head with so much critiques that you might grind your writing down to a halt.
But sometimes, it’s good to get your writing out there.
If you have the intent to actually use the suggestions made by other writers in class to take action by sending work to publishers or blogs or agents – then it’s a very good thing indeed.
You are learning new things. You are not sitting by thinking that just going to a class and gathering comments is doing the work. You are taking action by taking the lessons learned or discarding those that are of no use, and focusing on getting that work out there in blogs, newsletters, marketing tools, novels, memoirs….etc.
B-School has taught me that no matter how much work you’ve put into something, you are never fully educated. Life is a process of learning. Each year is a building block. If you work hard, you can build new levels of accomplishment. While you gaze at those successful goals, it’s a good idea to take in more lessons to build the next block and the next and the next.
I’m not only saying this to pump you up, I’m writing this as a pep talk to myself. I’m in the same boat as a lot of writers. We all want to create, inspire, and tell the stories that will leave a footprint behind.
But we all need keep learning, to keep writing and to keep creating.
We want to be part of history, and our history is in the storytelling.
Don’t let the moss grow over your head. Keep asking. Keep learning.