Every Result is an Asset

by Marg McAlister

 

Not long ago, I went to an Internet Marketing Seminar. One of the speakers was John Reese, a man who had recently set the Internet world abuzz by achieving the amazing result of just over a million dollars worth of sales in 18 hours. The product, Traffic Secrets, was all about driving traffic to web sites in order to become known and ultimately make a profit.

So what is the common link between writing and internet marketing?

It's simply this: the mantra that John Reese lives by -- "Every result is an asset".

You may be thinking that it's very easy for someone who made a million bucks in less than a day to say something like that. Undoubtedly, such results are an asset to him! But when you learn more about John Reese, you discover that he spent years finding out what worked and what didn't work. Before he made that million dollars, he started 'in the hole' - one hundred thousand dollars in debt. Nothing he did seemed to work.

John didn't give up. Bit by bit, he added to his store of knowledge and built his business. He treated every result as an asset: another fragment to add to his growing data bank - whether the news was good or bad. If something didn't work, he knew not to try that again. If something worked well, he adopted that strategy as part of his arsenal. He tracked results, tweaked and tried again, made mistakes and had successes. Then, a HUGE success - a million dollars in a day.

"Every result is an asset."

Think about that for a moment. Imagine what it means to your daily life. It has implications far outside Internet Marketing - and far outside writing. It's first cousin to the saying "Everything happens for a reason". It's all about learning what works for you in life. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone experiences rejection. Everyone encounters roadblocks.

You can choose whether to give up when the results fall short of your expectations... or you can treat every result as a valuable piece of information.

Your story or article is rejected

After you swear and slam a few doors and maybe burst into tears, calm down and think about how this result can be an asset. What have you learned?

  • Did you target the wrong market?
  • Did you submit a story that is the wrong length?
  • Does your story need further polishing?
  • Do the characters need work?
  • Do you need to contact (or start) a writing group to help you work out what you might be doing wrong?
  • Do you need feedback from a critique service? 

If you're lucky, the editor will give you some feedback to indicate where you might be going wrong. If not, you'll have to try to work it out yourself - and you might need help to do that.

There are other things that rejection can teach you, too - like how much you want to keep writing. Is your desire to write strong enough to withstand rejection? Are you willing to put in the time necessary to polish your craft and market your work? Do you have the resilience to bounce back after rejection - or would you be happier with another hobby or job?

Belinda Alexander's Story

Belinda Alexander was devastated when she sent her 'chick lit' story to agent Selwa Anthony and got a firm 'no'. After all, chick lit was selling well. Belinda thought she could write it OK.

Her agent didn't agree. She told Belinda to go away and figure out what it was that she really should be writing. So Belinda did.

The result was "White Gardenia" - a sweeping saga of a mother and daughter torn apart by war and finally reunited more than two decades later, after spending years searching for (and just missing) each other. Belinda's inspiration was her family - tales of wartime hardship and the plight of refugees.

This time, Selwa Anthony gave a resounding 'yes'. The novel met with critical acclaim and was a best-seller - and Belinda has found her true voice. For her, the apparently negative result of an initial rejection was a huge asset - it set her on the right path.

As a writer, you are going to meet with rejection - from editors, agents and sometimes from critics who pen negative reviews. You are going to say things you wish you hadn't said. You are going to hear things you don't like from those offering critiques. You are going to get a 'no' when you send in samples of your writing in order to secure a grant or a writer's residency.

At those times, remember: EVERY RESULT IS AN ASSET. What have you learned about yourself, your writing, your approach? Use what you learn to do a better job of crafting your work, finding new markets or deciding on a better direction. Use every bit of knowledge to move yourself further along the path to the results that you really want!

(c) Marg McAlister

 

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