Yes – it’s true!
Mom entrepreneurs ask me “how do you have the time….?” I smile. I only work part-time in my online businesses. So I don’t have a lot of time what with 2 teenage boys, their activities, parents and in-laws, my own activities… But what I do have is a plan. I don’t have more time than anyone else – but the time I have to work – I meticulously plan. And my plan helps me accomplish a lot.
I was asked by a colleague to do a Kindle Book Challenge – basically you learn all about the process of creating, publishing and marketing a Kindle – and then you write it. At first, I didn’t think I’d have time until I realized – Soccer Practice! My one son plays on a travel soccer team – which means practice at least 2 times a week at a location over 45 minutes away. Practice was either one and a half or two hours depending on the day. I realized if I prepared properly, I could write a Kindle book during this time.
I would be in my car, where it was nice and quiet, though sometimes dark, with no internet access. But I knew I could find some work arounds. I wouldn’t be able to work the entire time – as I usually needed to talk to the coach or manager (since I was the treasurer). I subtracted about 20-30 minutes from each practice – and the rest was my “work” time. I knew that to make this work – I would need to prepare ahead of time.
My Preparation and Process
Here are some keys to writing my Kindle book in the car:
1) Tablet with keyboard – I brought a tablet with an attachable, real keyboard. I would type new sections, edit, create images – a lot on my tablet. I then was able to save the latest file – and when I got home, I uploaded it to my cloud storage.
2) Research ahead of time – I did some research ahead of time and saved information, articles, and documents to my Evernote or Pocket and saved off line. Before practice I would ensure they were on my tablet – so that I could read.
3) Create images – At times, I did have access to the Internet (depending on the practice location). I would try and create my images. I had many screenshots – as I was showing a step-by-step process. Then I would insert these screenshots into my document – and even add annotations when necessary. And then I could write the step by step instructions. Some screenshots I could do on my phone. Others I would do ahead of time at home and save to my tablet.
4) Set Writing Goals – I tried to write a certain number of words/day. I set goals for myself – a chapter, a topic, etc.
5) Editing – when I got to the editing stage, I would print out sections. I would read and edit on physical paper (I find it easier) and then update the text on my tablet. I would try to finish a section or two a day. I also made notes about new images or different ways to crop or show images within the text.
6) Review Editor’s comments – Once my manuscript was sent out to a professional editor (highly recommended) I went through her changes – and would make comments, or make changes in the text.
7) Technical aspects of Kindle book – I had taken a class that provided taught the technical side of creating a Kindle book – including how to create a cover, creating an Amazon Kindle account, uploading, marketing, etc. I was able to work on creating a cover (using offline programs), creating marketing materials, etc. Again, most of this I could do in the car.
8) Trello + reminders – One component of my plan was the use of the app “Trello” to visualize my different tasks, added timelines, deadlines and checklists. I set reminders in my calendar with what I needed to print, download, save to Evernote or pocket, etc. BEFORE we left for practice. I ALWAYS had work to do. At the end of each working session, I made some notes as to where I was, and what I needed to do next. I made sure to create tasks with reminders and deadlines. It was nice to be able to see my progress.
9) Mobile Biz Kit – I also always brought my Mobile Biz Kit with me. In it I had a battery-operated little lamp – for when it got dark. I also had battery packs, pen and paper, etc. in my kit. (If you’ve followed my blog, you will know how I think it’s vital to my business.)
10) Consistency – I had a plan, but I’m human and I flaked out from time to time. I was tired, and wanted to chat with the other parents. But in the end, I was motivated to finish the book – since I was a part of the challenge. And I wanted to see if I could really write and publish a Kindle book. It all boiled down to doing SOME work at each practice. Some days I got a ton done. Other days….not so much. But I kept at it and did finish it!
The key to finishing my Kindle book was mapping out a plan, creating goals and sticking to them, and preparing ahead of each practice.
I know that everyone is busy. We all have to pick and choose what we want to focus on for our business and for our family. But if you really have a desire to do something new, write an ebook, create an online course, you CAN do it – with the proper plan.
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