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My baby is one year old today.

My mom always says that a few years after I was born it was clear to her that she either had another baby or a book in her — but not both.

I always wanted a little brother, so when I was younger that story kind of annoyed me. But now I get it.

(Epilogue: She chose to birth a book, not another baby.)

A year ago today my book, Money: A Love Story, Untangle Your Financial Woes and Create the Life You Really Want, made its debut.

IMG_4990A year ago I celebrated that “birth” by being on the Today Show and throwing two big parties in cities near and dear to my heart: New York and Portland, Maine.

(Watch the highlight video from the NYC launch party, hosted by the generous folks at Betterment.com, HERE, and find out what Marie Forleo, Meggan Watterson, and Terri Cole have to say about it HERE.)

This year has been a big one. A really, really big one.

Getting married and launching a book in one year is a lot. I think my central nervous system is still recalibrating from the expansion.

This week I have a call with my publisher to talk about future projects. As I’ve prepared for the call it’s become crystal clear to me that I’m not the same person I was when I signed my first book contract.

I understand so much more about the creative process, about my own ebb and flow, about what it means to give something your all, and about the ways life must be reorganized to make space to create something worth creating.

Mike and I are talking about starting a family, and the parallels between launching a big creative project like a book and bringing a new human life into the world are particularly poignant right now.

I’ve dreamed of being a mom my entire life — but not just a mom, a truly present mom. I embarked on the path to create financial freedom by the age of 30 so I could create space for the little being(s) that are going to choose me as their mama.

As I look at the landscape of the next year — we run our life and business calendar from September to September because the freshness of fall feels way more new-beginning-ey than the dead of winter — I can’t help but make plans differently based on what I learned last year.

Here’s what I learned while launching my book that can apply to pretty much anything you may be wanting to birth:

1. Getting a creative project out in the world is an all hands on deck endeavor.

Going into the book process I had no idea the amount of time and energy it would require. (The writing part was the easy part for me. It was the getting it out into the world part that was a doozy.) Mike and I worked on the launch pretty much full time starting in July of 2013, and it continued at a fever pitch all the way through the spring of 2014. I’m really glad I didn’t know how much it would take because if I had, I probably would have said no to the whole thing. Could we have been more organized, more efficient, and gotten more help? Yes. But ultimately, I’ve found that getting a creation out there in a way that I’m proud of requires everything I’ve got. I’m keeping this in mind as I look at debuting other creations in the year and years ahead.

2. For most of us a book is not an efficient, effective way of earning residual income.

I talk to so many people who have a brilliant creative idea like a book. Many of them have even gone so far to write it. And most are under the erroneous impression that writing and launching a book (or other single creative work) is going to provide for them financially over the long haul. There are some people who hit the right chord of preparation and timing like J.K. Rowling with the Harry Potter series and are able to cash in. For most of us, though, even if you’re blessed to receive a book advance, it’s been spent by the time the book goes to print. And the continued sales of that book require constant care and tending. Ensuring that your book continues to sell requires getting on planes, showing up and shining at speaking gigs, pitching media outlets, guest blogging, doing interviews, attending conferences, coming up with and executing marketing campaigns, and more.

It’s a hustle and it is not for the faint of heart.

I cannot even begin to express how grateful I am that I have a source of income that doesn’t depend on my book being sold. Take home message: a book is not a business. It may be part of your business strategy, but if it’s the whole thing, you’re likely going to end up scrambling financially. Whatever you’re launching, be sure that you’re looking to see if there’s a way for you to earn recurring income from it and if so, how that actually will work.

I’m obviously a proponent of passion projects and getting your work out into the world. That said, getting serious about how money will be coming in the door and what you’ll need to do for that to happen is critically important to your quality of life.

This is why this year Mike and I are making building our network marketing business our top priority. When I have kiddos running around I do not want to have to get on an airplane and show up perfectly coiffed in order to bring home the bacon. (And I want to raise kids with Mike, not by myself while he’s providing for us outside the home.) This is precisely why we’re shifting our focus back to a grounded business that doesn’t depend on my showing up and looking and sounding good.

3. There’s always something else you could do. You have to choose when enough is enough.

There are endless ways to market a book (or anything else). There are tons of books, blogs, videos, training programs, and webinars you can study to learn how to get your work out to more people. And at some point you have to look at your life, decide what you want your days to feel like, and know when enough is enough. Round about March I realized how fundamentally tired I was and began to taper off the hustling.

twitter_standingGive yourself permission to say enough. (Tweet it.)

 

4. Everything you birth has a life of its own. At some point you have to let it go.

When people ask me how it’s going with the book these days I’m thrilled to be able to tell them that it’s doing great. It’s been translated into more than seven languages (including Vietnamese and Czech – how cool!) and has sold tens of thousands of copies. We get emails and social media messages every day from people who are reading it and finding it helpful. Here’s what’s cool: I trust that the book is out there doing its thing. We laid a powerful foundation for it this year, and now all it needs to do is find its way into the hands of people who need it. And besides the occasional speaking gig, interview, and media mention, I trust that it has a life of its own and I’m not solely responsible for it at this point. Fly baby fly.

5. There’s nothing more gratifying than being of service.

Every time someone comes up to me and tells me that Money: A Love Story has been helpful to them my heart expands. Though I can’t respond to every message we receive, they’re no less touching.

twitter_standingBeing of service is the biggest bang we could ask for. (TWEET IT)

 

As long as our own well is full there’s no better way to spend our time than doing what we can to make the world a better place. As tired I’ve felt at times during this process, knowing that this book has helped ease someone else’s path makes it worth it.

Over to you:

What are you birthing these days? What have you learned from getting things out into the world (babies, books, or otherwise) that you can share to support others in the creative launch journey? I’d love to hear from you so please leave a comment below.

 

  • Jeni Gray says:

    Wonderful post – as always! I am formulating my project to “birth” soon. Because of you and Marie Forleo and others, I am gaining confidence and clarity as to my direction. It really is all about finding it inside first, then expanding.
    Thanks for all you do!!

  • Peggy DaValt says:

    So well said. You and Mike are an amazing couple and team. You have it together.

    What great role models you are.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Cordially,

    Peggy DaValt

  • Lara says:

    I just birthed my second album, 2 weeks ago – self-released, and whoa a lot, a lot of work it has been. I’ve found that even though I have a team working with me, there’s still so much to do. Maybe more than when I had no team ! Thank you for this – I’m bookmarking it and saving it to read in the future – so helpful. I have loved hearing you speak and your book is amazing, congratulations on such a big achievement – it is indeed a baby ! Xoxo

    • Kate says:

      Congratulations Lara! It is a lot of work and nonetheless worth it. But so good to be clear about it before we head out to create, right?

  • Meghan says:

    I’m in the process of birthing a center for spiritual healing on Mount Desert Island. And thank you for the tips and honesty on book writing because I’ve been feeling a pull to start writing and documenting this journey (professionally and personally)…this is very valuable information!

    • Kate says:

      Meghan – congratulations! And I love that you’re in Maine. Yes – definitely document the journey. You never know what form it will take in the future. Take notes!

  • Kate, congratulations on all of your successes, and I’m proud of you for consciously choosing a direction that likely drives a profitable lifestyle and the one you want to design. Having babies is a big decision (books, human or otherwise)! I’ve been blogging, writing, speaking, etc on personal finance topics for years (I’m a CFP) and I’ve learned a TON, and your work is particularly insightful, gentle, supportive and engaging. I’m currently birthing a new brand; I went out on my own with a successful planning practice and am all hands on deck building out a virtual training program that has heretofore only been taught using private Youtube links to videos!! I am all in. Hired people, paid sponsorship spots, ALL FREAKING IN. Thanks for the great note, hope to connect when the universe deems it the right time.

    Your partner in creating a world where everyone has enough,
    Hilary

    • Kate says:

      Beautiful Hilary! Congratulations on this amazing endeavor. Way to be all in. You’re going to help a lot of people with that level of commitment. Well done!

  • Sam Hunter says:

    Kate – thank you so much for this. Just last night, I got the first shipment of my first book for the quilting industry, as I was in tears of frustration at seemingly being the only person trying to get the word out (3 of 4 booksignings didn’t have my event listed on their sites with less than 2 weeks to go – so I had to write the nudging emails – grrr). I’m so happy to hear you say that it’s not for the faint of heart. I’m thrilled to read you make analytical judgements about whether or not to do another (I doubt that I will, at least not in this traditional publisher vein). Thanks you for reminding us that we get to choose our best paths – not anyone else’s.

    • Kate says:

      Congrats on your book Sam! It’s a worthwhile endeavor, but it’s intense! Trust that your book will find the right people who need it most.

  • Oh, how much this resonates with me, Kate! My mom always had big dreams of me becoming one of those famous coaches, making TV appearances, working with companies, etc. But I always knew that, if I wanted to be a mother, I wouldn’t feel like always dressing up and looking perfect and being on the road. What really makes my heart sing is the thought of being a present mother, like you say – being there to raise my children with my husband.

    This is also why my husband and I are investing so much time and money in growing Arborstead (http://arborstead.com/), our natural deodorant, home & body care company. Now the combination of our two businesses is allowing us to move cross-country and live in the place of our dreams in the mountains. I’ve always been more concerned with freedom rather than money and fame. And I believe that’s what can truly lead to a happy life. Thank you for sharing this so honestly!

    • Kate says:

      I love it Laura. Sounds like you and I are kindred spirits with the pursuit of freedom over fame. Congrats on your company – I’m going to check out the deodorant as I’m always looking for great healthy options!

  • April says:

    Awesome !

  • Congrats to you Kate! On the book, the wedding, the good you’re doing in the world – all of it. It’s so inspiring to hear not only the wins but the powerful lessons you’ve learned along the way (that are wonderful tips for us all).

    I just birthed a newly reimagined lifestyle site called THE GIRL WHO KNOWS. It’s a lifestyle blog with soul. And I’m creating + writing more than I have in my whole life. It feels SO good and is so in alignment with how I want to feel + what I want my life to look like. But yeah girl, it’s a crap ton of work!!

    One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned as I birthed this new site is that the timing of things, isn’t up to us. I really struggled with striving and pushing and worrying about everything from what my site was even about to the copy to the photos and launch date, etc.
    What I didn’t understand in the moment is that all I have to do is show up, put one foot in front of the other, do the best I possibly can, and shower myself with self-care. The timing will take care of itself. When I focus on the what + the why (instead of the when + how), my life feels much more at ease. And the process becomes joyful, instead of stressful.

    Thank you for your book and the work you do Kate – it has really helped transform my life! xo

  • Kate, this is exactly what I needed to hear today! Thank you! I had the same epiphany with my book recently – I just have to trust it’s out there doing its thing and let it fly. Check it out if you’d like – the story of a little girl who gets to visit her grandfather in Heaven (to help explain death/Heaven to kids). http://www.amazon.com/Papas-Home-Jessica-Lynn-Curtis/dp/0931674646/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403554730&sr=8-1&keywords=papa%27s+new+home

  • Ann says:

    Congratulations! Although I was always pretty good at money management, your book really made a difference for me. You made it MORE FUN and SEXY! and I am more organized around money management. Then I read your mom’s book and it reminded me of the times when I was at my best health and I understood why I was in perfect balance at that time and have been focusing on achieving that again. Striving to achieve balanced health and wealth this year thanks to you both.

  • Avni says:

    Thanks for this timely post- I am slowing down with work to focus on getting pregnant, and it’s not been easy to shed the old identity of the working woman. I am learning to cultivate my energy and direct it purposefully, rather than run around like a rabbit in headlights. Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

  • Nathalie says:

    Working through Money: A Love Story(and still going)has been SO inspiring in getting my life to the next level.’Decide what you want your days to feel like’ speaks to me as a single parent. I’ve birthed the babies(no book…yet!)and am now working on my creative business. The question ‘What have your learned from getting things out into the world?’inspires my canvases and inspired a whole new post. Life, art, babies…books. What a journey! Thank you Kate :)

  • j a shimel says:

    I want to thank you, Kate, for publishing this book, although I have to say every time I do one of the exercises I feel like I’m having a baby (*&$#@!!).
    BUT … I’m doing them, so congratulations.
    There’s something about the way you put your thoughts together that makes folks like me want to follow along through all the reading and the work.
    So, thanks again.
    My baby is my weekend newscast/podcast, which I cobble together faithfully at the end of each week. But marketing (aaarrgh!), not so good.
    There’s a lot to learn and I hope I can, because I think it could become a viable revenue stream.
    In fact, I need it to become that.

  • @stampylisa says:

    I am RE-birthing my Arbonne business and soon my health coaching business as I start to wind down from my first j.o.b. which in 3 years I can retire from w/a pension. I need to get serious about becoming a network marketing all star and truly helping others find their own freedom w/o constraints!! Constantly working on my head trash and finally being able to choose what I’m doing on MY TIME will be awesome!!

  • Hello Kate…so timely, as many of your ‘stories’ are to me. As I continue to procrastinate the final stages of completion on a book; and the second ‘go’ at Crone Contemplations blog…I value your journey as it parallels mine (although I am a lot older in age!) I did give each of my 3 daughters your book!
    Although I am a proud zija International distributor and very excited about our future; I gather inspiration from both you and Mike and listening to you speak about ‘freedom’ with this chosen profession confirms my decision to be in network marketing. Yes, we are in two different companies but our hearts are open and willing to spread the concept of “Life Unlimited” or “Freedom Family” It is all good!!! Thank you.

  • Stefanie says:

    I look forward to seeing you have babies. I think you are going to be a great Mom. Plus, for me being a child of parents that shared alot of anxiety around money, I believe you are going to raise your children with a positive mindset around it and I think that is awesome. I, for one, look forward to the day you will be giving tips on money mindset and parenting.

    Congrats on your books birthday!!!

  • Deanna says:

    Thanks so much for this post Kate! It’s funny how I feel this was just what I needed to read this week, I love what you wrote:

    ‘And at some point you have to look at your life, decide what you want your days to feel like, and know when enough is enough. Round about March I realized how fundamentally tired I was and began to taper off the hustling.’

    I have decided that while I am just getting started building my business, and have some great momentum,I too need to taper a bit on the hustling. I’ve gotten so busy I’m not able to keep up with the work I have and have lost perspective on ‘how I want my days to feel’ so I need to take time to get centered, keep doing my ‘day job’ which does pay me well, and get myself feeling good again. I think ultimately a little time off will maybe even make my business better. I have to remember it’s not a sprint but a marathon…I’m in it for the long haul and being burned out doesn’t serve me or my clients. THANK YOU!!!!!!

  • Yup Kate – you nailed it.

    Not many people like to hear that a book isn’t a great income source – but it’s so true. A book is a business card – a taster or a gateway drug.

    I’ve felt another book in me recently, but it’s actually probably much less work to create a course and a lot more profitable.

    And YES – again nailed it on the hustle. Business is really not for the faint hearted – but we couldn’t do anything else!

    xx Denise DT

    • Kate says:

      Hey beauty! So wonderful to hear from you here on the blog. I so agree that a course is much less work and a lot more profitable. There are times when a book makes a great deal of sense…and there are times when it doesn’t. So glad you’re on the same page with me here!

  • Great blog Kate!
    It struck few chords with me, as I went through the process to write and publish a book two years ago (‘Antarctic Odyssey a New Beginning’).
    I remember very well thinking: “Gosh writing it was the easy bit, now what?”
    I remember very well coming back home after being away to write my book and feeling elated and ecstatic …
    But the rest of the process was a long journey and unfortunately didn’t work out as well as yours, still I don’t regret it, as there isn’t a bigger joy than creating and if you do it with the intent of helping others is ten times more rewarding indeed!
    It feels your soul, but not your tummy!
    It is definitely true that a book is not a business, even just to make it a success and pay for itself is a huge feat indeed!
    Even if my work with women is very rewarding like writing my book, I have to find a steady source of income to reduce stress …
    Love and hugs from me

    Gabriella Guglielminotti Trivel
    A Woman of the XXI Century, Author, Speaker and Feminine Cycle Consultant

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