Roller Coaster of Emotions

Wow. I knew I’d ignored my blogs for a while, but didn’t realize I haven’t had a substantive post since 2014! A lot of ups and downs in that time.

  • Summer 2015 – got a good job with grown up money and benefits for the first time in over a decade.
  • Winter 2015/2016 – an old friend needed a place to stay, and in the interest of paying the universe back for the help I received, I let him move in with me. Signed up for a Master’s degree online program. Then I got diagnosed with colon cancer. Since my daughter was grown up and moved out, having someone in the house while I was going through that really helped. Although I had to give up privacy that I crave. (Also, he’s an alcoholic, but that’s for another time). I had to put the Master’s on hold. Moved to a 2 bedroom apartment.
  • Spring and Summer 2016 – dealing with chemo, but also connecting to other women veterans through a new local group.
  • Fall 2016 – jumped into the Master’s program taking 2 classes, which really stressed me out.
  • Winter/Spring 2016/2017 – got a credential for work, was completely buried under with the Master’s. Over my head a bit. Ended up with C in one class I took, and had to redo it.
  • Fall 2017 – got a promotion at work.
  • Winter 2017 – forced Roommate to go to the V.A. for addiction counseling. There was a whole big deal with the neighbor calling police and everything.
  • Spring 2018 – took time off from the Master’s to give myself a break and reevaluate if I wanted to keep going. My daughter graduated from university.
  • Summer 2018 – got sick of the alcoholic roommate. At this point, he’d lost a couple of jobs, started a new one and now was drinking regularly again. I couldn’t take it anymore. Asked him to leave.

So, up, down, up, down, up, down.

But that’s life, right?

I’ve missed writing, but in the time since I stopped blogging, I was somewhat disconnected from my emotions and spirituality.

Also, when I was blogging before and trying to make a business out of my witchiness, I was steeped in dozens of courses and other middle-aged white women trying to do a spiritual or coaching business. There was a whole circle-jerk of us? them? advising each other to up-level and increase your email list, and get the clients who will pay hundreds of dollars for a couple hours of talking with you.

I grew to hate it. Especially after one such coaching session, where I said I wanted to make a set of affirmation cards or something like that and the coach insisted I needed to do intense coaching sessions to make money, just like she was. No. That isn’t what I want to do. Then she insisted I put more coaching sessions on a credit card I didn’t have.

I don’t want to hustle to find broken women and take money from them, often when they are at a really low point. And it began to feel like a multilevel marketing scam.

No, I liked my blog when it was just me, trying to figure life out. I’ve really wanted to get back to blogging for a while, but couldn’t find my voice. I think it’s important for me to get back to it, to center myself again.

How are you doing? What have you been up to the past 5 years? FIVE YEARS, good grief.

 

 

Changing tracks

Image

My life is going through some transitions right now.

I’m working a lot of hours at my day job. That’s a good thing because it means I have steady money coming in.

Steady income does a lot for my mental health. Not worrying about if the basic bills will get paid is a huge load off my mind. I’m not rolling in money, but I know the basics are covered – and that reduces my stress immensely.

I haven’t had any time to pay attention to the blog or to business lately. I’m even cutting back on tutoring!

Which has me thinking about what to do with the blog.

Instead of walking away from it, I want to write on a more regular basis. I think it’s a good outlet for me.

But I’m not sure how the business side will be. I don’t have time to do readings, so for now, that’s down.

I still feel that I have valuable things to say, and I want to write.

As you can see, I’ve changed the look and feel of the blog. I had been on Blogger forever but decided to move to WordPress. There’s supposed to be better customization and widgets on WordPress. We’ll see. So far, I’m not finding it as intuitive as Blogger, but I’m learning.

The theme will likely change a few more times before I settle on something.

I’m being a bit rambly now, so I’m going to end. 🙂

Let’s talk about money & business

I thought I’d give you guys and myself a little run-down on my income for this year, since it’s the first year I’ve tried to make money with this blog.

 My tutoring income is one of my lowest since I started doing it – but I did not advertise or really hustle for clients at all.

Source
Gross
Fees
Net
AdSense
$8.95
$8.95
YNAB Referral
$6.00
$6.00
Leonie Referral
$93.95
$93.95
Amazon
$11.85
$11.85
Tarot Sales
$1,210.00
-40.66
$1,169.34
Tutoring
$3,340.00
$3,340.00
Totals
$4670.75
-40.66
$4,630.09

Now, Amazon doesn’t pay until you reach $10, so I do have another $0.51 earned there that’s unpaid.
Google Adsense doesn’t pay until you reach $100. Total, since 2009, Adsense has earned $24.98 from several of my blogs.
The fees mentioned above are PayPal fees.
I have not yet added up buying office supplies, paying for my URL, or any other business expenses, but my profit is likely really small. 
I guess I thought it was important to post this because when starting out, a person may NOT get a few thousand a month right away. “Get your first 5 figure month in 3 months, starting with nothing!!!”
Yeah, no. 
It might work like that for someone that already has a huge list or can pay for advertising, or knows someone who will pimp her stuff.
But most people don’t.
I could have made more, and I know it.
When my energy ebbed in the summer, I got behind on completing readings. Then I felt guilty for not getting them done on time. 
I didn’t feel like it was a good idea to push and advertise for more sales when I wasn’t fulfilling my obligations from sales already made.
I’m hoping that this will also encourage me. If I can do better in 2014 than I did this year, then even if I don’t meet my own sometimes lofty goals, I can still track how I’m doing, and see that I’m better.
Here’s the thing, though. I don’t know if readings is really what I want to do.
I started doing them because it was something I could do, already had the stuff for and people would pay for – NOT because I’m totally passionate about doing readings. 
I LOVE doing readings, but I love doing them when I feel like doing them, not when I *have* to.
What I think would be better, for me, is to create something that could sell itself even when I’m at a low-energy point.
For me, products might be better than services, because I can’t/don’t have the energy to be consistent with services. 
Next problem: what could I write or create that would sell? 

Heading into a new year

Unprofound

It’s been more than a month since I posted about Changes.

I like the work I’m doing for the small company, but there are some things I need to keep an eye on.

Thanksgiving week I flaked and didn’t do all the work I was supposed to do. It’s not fatal to me, but it meant I had to talk to the owner about a couple of uncomfortable things.

I’ve been running hypomanic – not getting enough sleep. Unfortunately, I’ve only been partially productive.

I’ve been thinking about all the work I did earlier in the year on business and this blog.

Where do I go next?

First, I want to talk about some of that work.

I listened to and watched dozens of “telesummits”.

I downloaded workbooks.

I brainstormed.

I talked about it.

I started selling

I “invested” in a couple of small things and one big thing. I was able to arrange a payment plan for a big course. And then, two or three weeks into the course, I collapsed and didn’t finish the course, or pay for it (yet).

I joined a couple of communities for support.

I did make some money. Not nearly enough to live on, but enough to show that it was possible for me to make money.

I became overwhelmed, though, not with the actual running the business, but with all the “this is how to run your business” information flooding my inbox.

At some point, they all began to look the same. They were pushing their own products to tell me how to run/set-up my own business.

I became aware that a couple of them were not much further on the road to creating a business than I was. And that’s fine, really, because part of what one needs when seeking help is to see that someone else has done it or is doing it.

But they were all sounding alike.

And one of my favorites. . .

She released a new course.

I quickly realized that it was very similar to her old course, and it still included some stuff lifted directly from another source (she did give credit to that source).

All of these sources started out wanting to help people. And somehow they always ended up convincing each other to help people build businesses.

It got overwhelming and repetitive at the same time.

And I kept getting stuck at defining my purpose and my ideal client.

I don’t know.

I don’t have an “ideal client”.

I want to help people, and I think straddling the lines of logic, spirituality, and mental illness, my experience is unique.

I also watched several people start out with reasonable offerings and watch their prices double, triple or more in a short period of time.

Now, I know why. Once you get popular, your time becomes more valuable. If you’re doing one-on-one coaching or readings or anything else that takes your time, you need to charge enough that you don’t become overwhelmed, taking too much of your time away from family and so on. And one deserves to be compensated for their time. I get that.

But the advice became uniform: give summits/classes. Sell packages. It doesn’t matter if you’ve even actually created the content yet. Sell it first!

I don’t like that. I just don’t.

I get that you don’t want to spend a lot of time creating something no one will buy, but you really want to sell something you haven’t created yet?

So, no, I’ll never do that, and if that’s what it takes to be successful. . .  then fuck it, I won’t be successful.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to turn this little blog into a full-time job.

And I don’t care.

I like writing the blog. I like giving readings. I want to write a book.

If other people enjoy that, then great, maybe I’ll make a little money here and there.

If not, well, ok then.

Now that I have income coming in from another source, I’m not totally stressed, and can do what I want with this.

So, I’m still here. I’m still struggling balancing my life with the bipolar. I’m still giving readings. I’m still writing, though less than I was.

Part of why this comes up is that Leonie Dawson’s Amazing Life and Biz workbooks and calendars are out. If you’re interested in buying them, I’m an affiliate so buy through that link. 🙂

This may be the last year I buy it – I think I may make my own for next year.

Blogging Challenge

I joined The Ultimate Blogging Challenge on June 30.

I was supposed to post every day in July, but because of all the heatwave stuff happening, I didn’t post the first three days.

To make up for it, I need to post extra a few days. I’ve also promised a guest post to someone this month, so I really better get writing. 🙂

Yesterday, I was asking for direction from my readers. One of the things I said was that there’s already a lot of other information on Tarot and Oracle card reading out there, and I was having problems seeing what I could add to the cacophony.

Picture from Pixabay

Today, I see this quote:

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best” – Henry Van Dyke

Well, doesn’t that put me in my place.

And the funny thing is, I know this. I’ve advised people on this, frequently.

I know I can’t sing. I sing along to songs I like anyway.

I’m sure I’m not the best dancer, but when I feel like dancing, I do it.

I’m encouraging a friend to write regularly, even though he thinks he’s not as good as authors he reads.

It’s not about being the best in the world. It’s about doing something you want to do – pursuing something you feel the need to do, whether or not you get recognition from the world.

And maybe your (my) unique voice can reach someone, help someone.

What do you like to do? What holds you back from doing it?

Patterns: Withdrawing

Whenever I start something, I have a pattern of going full throttle for a short period of  time and then dropping it.

Last week I was so excited about a lot of things. I had a lot of plans for what I was going to do. I wrote outlines and lists with time tables and due dates. I was excited about the upcoming stuff for Invincible Summer. I started several things.

And then, I stopped.

I didn’t blog, I only wrote a small bit in my journal. I stopped doing affirmations for a few days. I didn’t visit the Wild Sisterhood. I didn’t read ZenHabits. I put off working on everything.

I also stopped talking, responding to emails, getting out of the house. I started napping during the day, instead of writing and planning.

I caught myself withdrawing from almost everything (except, curiously, talking with M. Hmmm).

It’s ok to take a break from things at times.

But my personal pattern includes stretching that break out for days, weeks, months. . .

Luckily, I have a small mastermind group, and one of the ladies nudged me with, “When are we meeting again?”

So, I set up a meeting. I had ideas, but had not fleshed anything out yet, still not entirely sure what direction I was going to go in.

By the end of the teleconference call, I not only had an idea, but several questions to put in the product. By the end of the day, I’d hand-written an introduction and sketched out an outline, listed questions I want to use.

I felt great again.

And the next day, I stopped again.

WTF?

This is like last year, when I only had a couple of small things to do to finish my teaching credential, and I kept putting it off, saying, “Oh, I can just do this tomorrow.”

And then I let it go too long and have to repeat something I should not have needed to repeat.

I’m starting to do this now with what I’m trying to do this here.

I have things working well for me.

I just have to keep showing up and not let this break I took last for months.

I suppose my path will never be a straight line.

And that’s ok.

So, today, I’m pulling out the notebooks, and the planner, and listen to today’s SSBR call at noon. And I’m writing. It’s not my best post ever, but I’m doing something, which is good.

The difference a year makes

Last year at this time, I was frantically trying to finish up my student teaching, grading papers, writing final exams. .  .

I had surgery about seven weeks before and I was physically and emotionally exhausted.

I was looking forward to finishing up and collapsing for a few weeks.

I didn’t know that it would take a year to start to feel like myself again.

In some ways, I feel like I “lost” another year. Isn’t it bad enough that I feel like my thirties were a total waste due to depression? I have to start wasting my forties, too?

I could have had my credential a year ago. I could be working as a teacher now instead of scrambling to find a job. I could have worked on building my business instead of ignoring it.

But, right now, I’m feeling like things are turning around. I’m seeing good things that can happen and I am actually able to see the steps I need to take to get there.

I don’t remember when the last time I felt this productive and capable was.

Maybe I just really needed this last year to rest, reflect and rejuvenate.

Maybe now, I’m finally ready to take on the next chapter of my life.

New career, new business prospects, opening up to romance, feeling stronger and healthier. . .

Goddess Leonie’s workbook is helping, but it’s not like anything in there is NEW information. I’ve known about making goals and setting action items before. But this time, I feel like I might actually be able to follow through.

Am I actually manic right now? Is this unrealistic? I don’t know, but I hope not. I hope this is exactly right – enough energy to do what I need to do but not so much I start being crazy.