According to Wikipedia…
“A tornado is a violently rotating column of air, in contact with the ground, either pendant from a cumuliform cloud or underneath a cumuliform cloud, and often (but not always) visible as a funnel cloud.”
Chaos theory is one of the driving factors of the weather (and in many systems that appear to be somewhat chaotic). Our inability to know all the details that affect the weather makes it extremely difficult to predict. The weather is more than large scale wind patterns such as jet streams, cold fronts or pressure changes…things on the ground and in the air, in all areas around the world, has an active effect on the atmosphere.
And that’s the problem. We don’t know the details of every square inch of the current condition in all locations. But it goes deeper than that, we don’t know many of the important details of the very atoms that make up movement in the air.
This problem is studied in a field called knowledge granulation. It could also be called resolution.
To explain this, let’s look at the TV. We all talk about resolution and definition and…yeah. The higher the numbers, the better, right?
Well, yes, to an extent. The resolution – the number of tiny dots crammed into a square inch of a tv screen – determines how vivid and detailed the image can be. The higher the resolution (or DPI in this case) means a higher-quality image.
It’s the same thing with knowledge. WAY back in the early days of weather forecasting, we relied on observations every several dozen miles or more, with large coverage gaps. We were operating with low knowledge granulation, low resolution. As science and communication has gotten better, the more weather tracking instruments per set of miles has increased.
But more than that, so has the type of data we take in. At first, it was just observations (wind speed, direction, current weather, rain totals, barometric pressure, etc.) telegraphed to central forecasting offices. Then we invented radar, which increased our knowledge gap dramatically. After that was satellite images, faster communication speeds, more weather stations…Our guesses about what the weather was going to do got better.
That’s just it. Guesses. Scientific guesses, to be sure, based on what we know about physics and local conditions, but still ultimately a guess.
It’s naturally chaotic, or appearing chaotic. As our knowledge grows and our ability to observe at a better resolution increases, that chaos appears less and less.
So, What The Hell Does This Have to do With My Publishing Business?
I’m glad you asked!
This has everything to do with your business because a business operates on the same basic principles the weather does. It can appear (and feel) random or chaotic until you really start to understand what makes a business tick.
If I had to guess, I would guess you likely feel like your earnings are sporadic at best, uncontrollable, and that everything feels overwhelming, right? Just enough to make you want to throw your hands up and quit, am I right?
Maybe some of you reading this don’t feel that way, but I would wager a large percentage of even successful publishers sometimes feel like they need a little less chaos in their publishing business. So much to do, so little time to do it in…and that’s with having some help around!
I know I feel that way a lot and getting that feeling under control requires you to get the business under control. And that, as you might guess, requires decreasing the knowledge gap in your business.
No, I’m not talking about learning new marketing systems, new ways of writing, or the like…I’m talking about finding out what makes your business successful and setting up systems that tap those traits.
What if you’re business isn’t successful yet? That’s fine, I’ll hand you what you need to know. The basics:
- A good book.
- A way to get eyeballs on that book.
- A way to capture those eyeballs in one spot so you can tell them to go look at the books you write and release in the future.
Each one of those bullets can have entire systems built to support it, systems that provide feedback and self-correction, which will make you money.
Let’s Talk Productivity
To reduce the chaos in your business, you need to increase productivity on things that really matter, cut out the stuff that doesn’t, and increase the ability to make more money for less invested effort (including dollars/labor).
You need to shrink the knowledge gap and, here’s a hint, you can shrink the knowledge gap or increase the resolution, in two ways, and you’re going to absolutely love this.
The first is the most obvious. Learn the factors that affect your success and create systems that support those factors. That’s the most obvious ones.
The second way is to cut out worthless knowledge, activities and goals that won’t do squat to your bottom line (or, in general, won’t affect it much).
Yes, put another, I said “Do less.”
You reduce the gap by reducing the number of moving parts you need to watch and build systems for. This will reduce the seeming chaos in your business by simply saying “no”.
Granted, you can’t say “no” to everything. Then you wouldn’t have enough stuff going on to have a business. What you need to do is determine what really brings in the money and focus on building systems around that activity, to the point that it’s completely automatic.
Then you can work on expansion.
The One Trait All Successful Publishers Have
You want to know a secret trait that all successful publishers share?
It isn’t “hard work”, “intelligence”, “adaptability”. Those aren’t secrets, per se.
No, the one trait all successful publishers share is simplicity. They don’t have 500 things going on. They have a single system that works and they work that system.
Here are some examples:
- Richard writes for clients. He gets paid 40k bucks/book he writes for his clients and he gets these clients by writing articles daily. He puts these articles on LinkedIn and Facebook.
The traffic goes to his website and he gets 5 to 10 leads a day. Bam.
- Sarah releases short books on Kindle. She writes several a week and releases them. She pays fiverr gigs for traffic and collects the leads and mails them daily, promoting herself and her other books.
- David has writers writing books in certain romantic niches. He releases these books for free through Kindle Unlimited. He pays for traffic with Facebook. That’s it.
Each one of these authors focuses on THREE THINGS:
- A great book.
- A way to get eyeballs.
- Collecting these eyeballs in one place.
But more than that – they only focus on ONE THING for each category. For Sarah, it’s short books. Richard, it’s books for clients. For David, it’s hiring top quality writers.
Traffic? Sarah uses fiverr gigs, which is where her potential readers are. Richard writes articles and puts them where his potential clients are. David knows his target audience on FB and uses ads to get them to see his books.
All of them have an email list that they mail regularly.
One thing. One system. Simplicity.
Figuring Out This Is a Bitch
That’s the good news. Keep it simple and build systems around one or two things – your products, your traffic sources and your follow up.
But there is bad news, and this is where the other traits such as hard-working and stubbornness come into play.
If you’re just starting off, you won’t really know what systems work for you, what options work for you, until you go try. Yes, you gotta try; this shit won’t just work itself you know!
It took Sarah two years before she saw consistent, reliable sales. It took David and Richard months before they landed real money. Time, consistency, hard-work, and stubbornness is all needed.
Don’t let the bad news scare you, though. Because if you dig in daily, you’ll get there quicker than you might think.
This newsletter is already getting a bit long, so we’re going to call it a night for now. Yes, I know, we haven’t even really touched on what a system is or how to build one.
I think that will be the topic of the next newsletter, a part two if you will.
What I really wanted to cover was the fact that simplicity in your business is the key to making this work and cutting out shit you don’t need to be working is oftentimes more important that all the work you think you need to be doing.
That lays the groundwork for what we will be discussing next time.
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the next issue! Remember to comment below:
Latest posts by Rob (see all)
- The Sneaky Independent – Issue #6: Planning vs. Pantsing – Part 1 - January 22, 2018
- The Sneaky Independent – Issue #5: Master of One - January 11, 2018
- The Sneaky Independent – Issue #4: Building Systems - January 8, 2018