Life Lessons Learned on the Lawn

Spring has sprung as I write this.

Last weekend I had to crank up the lawn mowers and transform my yard from a wooded jungle to a suburban paradise.

“That doesn’t sound so bad,” you say. “You got to commune with nature, enjoy the breeze, and sip lemonade. How bad could that be?”

I’m about to tell you.

I’ve Got a BIG Yard

I live on the outskirts of town — a small town.

600 people live here.

My yard is actually 2 lots joined together years ago. I have a yard and a field to mow — 3 acres in all.

And here’s what’s worse.

My riding mower broke.

Let’s just say I had a lot of time to think about things.

Since I’m a Promotion Strategist, my thoughts turned to my (and my clients’) writing career.

Photo by Frank McKinley

It Takes Work

Getting behind a lawn mower and pushing it back and forth across a small yard is tiring.

When you turn that yard into a field, that job becomes exhausting.

Whether you mow your grass yourself or hire someone to do it, it takes work.

So does your writing career.

The rows you mow are metaphors for the repeated activities you do:

  • Writing blog posts
  • Social media engagement
  • Building your email list

If you’re like me, you can add:

  • Running Facebook groups
  • Doing daily video tips for writers
  • Networking with other writers

That’s a lot to keep up with. It’s easy to get lost trying to wear all those hats and keep those plates spinning.

All you can do is try to figure out what’s important — what is giving you a return on the time invested — and drop everything else.

With three acres and a riding mower, I can’t afford any distractions.

You Can Use Leverage to Extend Your Reach

It’s easier — and a lot faster — to mow 3 acres with a riding mower.

And the bigger the diameter of the mower, the better.

You can also hire a team of people to knock out the job in an hour.

You can build your writing career with sweat or you can hire others to help. It all depends on how much money you have to spend and how quick you want the job done.

One way to gain leverage is to get in front of a large audience. You can do this by:

  • Guest posting on a popular blog in your niche
  • Finding a huge publication on Medium that fits your mission
  • Being a guest on a podcast that has a huge audience

You can also pull in more readers by:

  • Buying ads on Facebook to promote your blog posts
  • Enrolling in premium courses that build your skills
  • Hiring someone to run your social media marketing

Either way, you grow faster than you can by just sharing your work with the people you know.

The key is sharing. When people share your work, your ideas spread.

There’s no point in doing it all yourself.

Photo by Thought Catalog via Unsplash

You Can’t Just Do It Once

If I mowed the grass in April and expected it to last all summer, I’d be in for a rude awakening before May 1 rolled around.

Grass grows. You can’t stop it unless you invite winter back. And since you can’t do that, you should plan on mowing it more often.

The same is true with your writing. You can’t write one post and hope it goes viral. There are ways to make it spread, but you need a body of work to build your authority.

Even the one hit wonder rarely scores on his first effort. Maybe the stars aligned — but what really happened was they created something people love to share.

You can do that, too.

Here are a few things people love to share:

  • Stories that give them hope.
  • Pictures of places and things they want to have one day.
  • Things that tug at their emotions.

Figure out a way to fit these factors into your writing and your career will grow faster.

There Are Seasons to Growth

Grass doesn’t grow much during the winter.

That’s okay. It’s the way grass was made. It stays dormant at least 6 months so it can bloom and grow the other six.

Your growth is a lot like that. You may have an exponential increase in your influence one month, and coast along to nowhere the next.

If you keep on doing the work and reaching out to people, it will pay off in the long run.

Photo by Inge Maria via Unsplash

Some Days It Will Rain

You launch a course and a big player in your niche decides to offer one just like it.

That book you knew would be a bestseller gets stuck in the starting gate — and sells 12 copies.

The popular writer you scheduled an interview with totally forgets to show up.

Sometimes things don’t work out.

That’s life.

Get over it — and move on. Tomorrow’s another day, and it’s gonna be fantastic.

Don’t Pay Attention to the Critics

I used to live in a community where if you failed to mow your grass on time, you got a bill for $25.

It would be nice if they had mowed the grass when they sent the bill, but they didn’t.

That’s the way critics operate. They’ll poke fun at you, tell you what you’re doing wrong, and basically call you a fool. But they won’t do anything to make your yard look better.

Only friends will pitch in and lend a hand.

Do you have haters? Good. That means you’re having an impact. Dismiss them, and keep on writing. You’re writing for the ones who need you, not the ones who don’t.

Photo by rawpixel.com via Unsplash

You Need a Schedule to Stay on Top of Things

I have to mow my grass once a week during the growing season.

If I don’t, people will think my land is an invitation to an African Safari.

Yes, since we live in the country, we have all sorts of critters. I haven’t seen lions and zebras — yet. But who knows?

Your readers trust you when you’re consistent. Publish a blog post every week or so. Start a Facebook group and interact with them every day. Make lots of touches with the people you’re serving — and they’ll trust you, remember you, and buy from you.

Now Go Grow Your Writing Career

Life lessons are everywhere.

You’ve just learned seven that will move you quickly toward your goals. Think of it as a map I handed you to help you reach your destination as a professional writer and entrepreneur.

I’d love to hear how any or all of these strategies work (or have worked) for you!

Now go get ‘em, Writer!

 

Visit Frank at FrankMckinleyAuthor.com and see more of his work here.

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