The most refreshing existential crisis of all time.

surpriseDarlingheart,

I have spent the last few weeks wandering through an existential crisis.

‘Cause, you see, I snaffled a part-time job in order to even out my cashflow and push me out the front door. It is a delightful job, and I am enjoying it.

Then I spreadsheeted and found that with that weekend job and my retainer clients, I will now cover – and neatly tuck in – my basic expenses without any effort. For the first time in three years, I don’t need to make sales in order to pay the rent. The rent is fine, done, dealt with. The rent is not a fucking issue.

Can I say that again?

I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THE RENT.

THE BILLS WILL BE FINE.

THE SINGLE GREATEST WORRY OF MY LIFE FOR THE LAST FEW YEARS IS NOT A PROBLEM RIGHT NOW.

FREEEEEEEEEEEDOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

So for, oh, seven to twelve seconds I just let the exquisite relief of that thought gently rub my shoulders and unwrap my cupcake.

And then a pesky thought howdied on up. “So this means you don’t have to make any of the things you’ve been working on if you don’t want to.”

Sweet!

“You can make anything.”

I can!

“So what do you want to make?”

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

Queue the existential crisis.

I can have whatever I want.

And… what would that be again?

After five eons of “I’d like Not Worrying About Cashflow with a side of Can We Get A Dog Maybe”? If I ever knew what my capital-letters were, I have forgotten. And I’m pretty sure even if I did know once, my answers are atrophied to the point of uselessness.

But! as mentioned, I don’t need to make sales to pay the bills. I can tell time, “Hey sweetie, I’m gonna hit the road for a few weeks and think deep thoughts. Go buy yourself something pretty.”

I did. Now I have enough answers to start the work, which is really all the answers self-reflection can ever provide.

This is what I know:

I want to explore truthfulness.

I don’t know why, and I don’t need to know why.

Any time I’m talking about truth in ways that are at least first cousins to business, I’ll put it here. Otherwise, I’ll be posting over at Mediocre Be Damned.

I don’t know where I’m going.

I am glad to not know.

I am glad to be creating without an agenda.

I’ll add structure later.

Let’s find out what happens now.

Love and more love,
Catherine

 

On instructive failures, and choosing the burden carrier.

FAIL stamp

Thanks to Hans for the nifty photo. I maybe want this stamp.

You may have noticed – although you are extremely busy and I’m not going to assume anything – that I experimented recently with changing my prices to Australian dollars.

I had lots of sensible-shoe reasons for wanting this to work – it’s cheaper for you, it’s less paperwork and tax headaches for me, and it improves the accuracy in my cash flow projections.

Full of optimism and Improvement Cheer, I changed everything over.

And then sales dropped.

Dramatically.

So I asked the lovely Rise and Shine peeps whether the Australian dollar thing was or could be an issue that would prevent them from buying. And I got plenty of thoughtful, intelligent responses that said, “Yes. Possibly.”

Queue lots of fiddly button-pressing. I’m back in US dollars.

Because my comfort is quite simply not as important as yours, when it comes to sales.

I mean, I’d like this to be easy for both of us. I would.

And often that’s possible. Mostly, even.

But there are some situations where someone is gonna have to endure something. It might be a fiddly data-gathering task, or finding the right time for a non-calendar meeting, or travelling across town for a delivery… any of those situations where one of you is going to have to cope with extra work or discomfort to make this come together.

And every time, you have to choose: will I do it, or will they?

I’ve seen plenty of business owners who seem to default to, “Screw ‘em. They want it, they can come and get it.” And they tend to provide terrible experiences.

But I’ve also seen some who are absolutely goddamn determined to take every single single particle of work onto themselves, and get butthurt and spaniel-eyed if you so much as carry your own parcel. And that bugs the ever-living shit out of me. (Do you not trust me to assemble my own Lego warrior? Be damned to you!)

You can have some decent defaults, but you don’t want to be an extremist. Sometimes it’s you, sometimes it’s them. At Cash and Joy, I find that it’s mostly me, but I don’t know if that’s a universal constant or my own preferences. (Your thoughts are appreciated in the comments.)

So I guess what I’m saying is this: every time there is some extra work or discomfort to be resolved, you have to decide:

Am I going to deal with this, or will they?

I have managed the minor discomfort of the okay-but-how-much-is-this-in-the-money-I-pay-for-dishwashing-liquid mental math for years now. I experimented with giving it to you, and you really didn’t want it. So now I have it back.

And that’s fine.

It’s certainly better than having an easier-for-me system and less sales.

Love and haddock,
Catherine

P.S. Speaking of failures, due to Life I didn’t manage to promote the I Love Sales Pages Bribery Competition! So you now have one extra week to win the totes wicked useful prize. Please do come add your experiences, dearest.

 

The I Love Sales Pages Bribery Competition!

So I’m getting reports from peeps who have dived into I Love Sales Pages that it is succeeding vibrantly in the stated goal of helping people to, duh, love writing sales pages instead of dreading it like a trip to the evil clown dentist.

dentists

What could possibly go wrong?

As part of this, people have been sharing their stories with me about their terrible soap opera history with writing sales pages. I find it comforting and also sad how much those stories sound similar. If you’re struggling with sales pages, you aren’t crazy and you aren’t alone.

It’s one thing for me, who is comfortable sleepover buddies with sales pages nowadays, to tell you that, and it’s quite another thing to hear your experience is shared. There are few words sweeter than, “I thought it was just me.”

So in order to give you the bestest possible chance at the comforting realization that you a) aren’t alone and b) can get unstuck, I’m cheerfully bribing you all to share your stories.

The Bribery/Competition

In the comments below, share your terrible sales page experiences. You can talk about sales pages you’ve read – don’t name names, that’s not very kind. Instead, use the anonymity to be veryvery frank – or ones you’ve written. Rueful realisations, painful lessons, bwah? moments… tell us everything.

There will be a prize for:

  1. The most soul-baring comment
  2. The most sharingest participant (share the competition far and wide!)
  3. The kindest replier

The winners are determined entirely by my opinion. I may create additional categories of winner if I want to.

The prize will be – what else? – a free copy of I Love Sales Pages.

You’ve got until the end of the 6th of August* to comment as many times as you want, to comfort the other sales page gaffe-makers, and to share the competition on social media platforms far and wide. I hope you will, because this is the first stage in a one-woman crusade to end the reign of loathèd sales pages.

*It was earlier, but has been pushed back to accommodate the Epic Cold of Doom and other interesting Catherine issues.

Truly rooly, we can learn to love sales pages. And the first step is admitting there’s a problem.

Come show the scars, my darlinghearts. We yearn to hear your experiences.