Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

    **MATERIAL ON THIS SITE IS COPYRIGHT PROTECTED. For permission on reprints or reusing this material, please contact the individual authors. For sharing the actual post, please use the share buttons.

  • Blog Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 92,268 hits
  • RSS April’s Blog: A Writer’s Journey

    • Evil Parents and Rotten Kids
      A-ZE is for Evil Parents and Rotten KidsI present you Jimmy Kimmel's annual "I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy" video montage. It's an artful mixture of cruelty, humor, and ghastly awe. My favorite is Drawer Boy. Now there's an ax murderer in the making.Which is your favorite?
      noreply@blogger.com (April Gardner)
  • RSS Barn Door Book Loft

    • Mississippi Author Emerald Barnes
      Welcome to the Book Loft, Emerald. Is there a story behind your new novella Before We Say I Do?Yes. Before We Say I Do is the continuation of Entertaining Angels, and it keeps true to that story in that there’s a message to be learned. But in this one, we learn that forgiveness is the key to a healthier, happier life. It’s about learning that if we can’t for […]
    • Before We Say I Do by Emerald Barnes
      Following the best-selling first book of the series, Entertaining Angels, comes Before We Say I Do, An Entertaining Angels Short Story. Chase Sanders and Madison Andrews are about to declare their love for one another in the most sacred of ways. Everything has been going perfectly, especially when an old friend returns to town to stand by Chase’s side on the […]
    • More Book Winners
      Once again, we offer you a warm welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft. And before we announce our winners we’d like to offer a special thanks to these Christian authors who offered a sample of their writing to our faithful readers:  Anna M. Aquino who offered her Devotional  Confessions of a Ninja Mom. Margaret Brownley who offered her Historic […]
  • RSS Clash of the Titles

    • Welcome to the June New Releases Clash
      What a great bunch of books to take on vacation or read under a shady tree this summer. Selections include a Regency romance, a thriller, the story of an abandoned child found by the shore and two Westerns. Peruse below and let us know which one you’ll put on top of the stack in your beach bag. Scroll down and vote in the survey box. Then let your friends kn […]
    • COTT Features: "Until the Harvest" by Sarah Loudin Thomas
      This follow-up story will delight readers of Thomas’ previous novel, but, it reads perfectly as a standalone as well.                                                                                         – RT Book Reviews Top Pick – 4.5 starsAbout the book:When a family tragedy derails Henry Phillips’s college studies, he’s left unmoored and feeling abando […]
    • When Heroes Are Not Heroic: an inside look at "Blue Columbine"
      Blue Columbine, book one in the Grace Revealing series by Jennifer RodewaldWelcome, readers! This week we're going behind the scenes of Jennifer Rodewald's new book, Blue Columbine!! Find out why her hero, Andrew Harris, drew such a reaction, and why this "non-heroic" hero makes the perfect star of this beautiful contemporary romance. The […]
  • RSS Little Bits Blog

    • I'm Baack, I Think
      If you haven't noticed, which I actually hope you have, I haven't blogged for a while. Well, I needed a break. I'd published seven books in three years and I was sort of written out. I simply needed a break. So now I think the break is over. I'm thinking about writing again and have several projects in different stages of writing. They we […]
    • Chloe's Decision 
      As I stated last week, November is NANOWRIMO. I'm working on the next Stones Creek novel. It's the story of Chloe, Noah Preston's sister. She comes to Stones Creek with her two children. If you would like to read her pre-story simply subscribe to Sophie's Special Emails. No more than twice a month will you receive an email with special co […]
    • Remembering Fudgsicles
      It is November and thus NANOWRIMO, National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to begin a novel and write 50,000 words during the month. Since this occupies most of my focus for these four weeks I will be reposting previous articles each week this month. Fudgsicles, how long has it been since I’ve had a fudgsicle? I’m not sure, but they came to mind when […]
  • RSS Living Our Faith Out Loud

    • Madcap Fun with Lindsey Paley and her new book
      June 2015A Camille Carter Novel Book OneBuy on Amazon2.99 ebookFrom the Publisher:When all-round buttercream princess, Millie Carter, becomes stranded at Craiglea Manor Cookery School, she believes her chance of enjoying a merry festive season is over.The village of Aisford is Christmas-card perfect, but Millie hates it - she hates the snow, her freezing fin […]
    • Delightful Short Pet Read
      I've been privileged to work with many authors on a vast array of projects, everything from short horror, flash fiction, quick little reads to epic historical novels. Eliza Earsman has an interesting history, besides a growing list of lovely tales to read. Manley, the rescue cat, is a charming tale at a sweetheart price.About the Book:Manley was in a ba […]
    • Penelope Marzec and Patriot's Pride historical fiction
      Margaret, the heroine of Patriot’s Pride, first appeared as the indomitable younger sister of Agnes in Patriot’s Heart. Margaret and her pet pig, Jonas, stole many scenes in Patriot’s Heart. I knew I had to give Margaret her own book and I am delighted I was able to do so.One fact, which initially inspired me to write the book, was the impressment of America […]
  • RSS Nearly Brilliant

    • The Color of the Season by Julianne MacLean
      NOTE:  Due to a serious need to cut back on my workload, this will be my last official book review on this blog.It doesn’t seem possible that the evening can get any worse for police officer Josh Wallace after he is dumped by the girlfriend he planned to propose to, but it does.  Josh and his partner are shot while chasing a carjacking suspect. While on the […]
    • Book Review: Swept Away (Trouble in texas Book 1) by Mary Connealy
      Ruthy MacNeil is rescued by Luke Stone after she nearly drowns fording a flooded river with a wagon train. Her step family doesn’t survive and she is finally free of their mistreatment. Luke surived the horrific ordeal as a prisoner of war in notorious Anderson prison during the civil war, only to learn that his father has been killed and the family ranch st […]
    • Book Review of Everything She Ever Wanted by Ann Rule
      When Pat Taylor wed Tom Allanson he had no way of knowing it would destroy his life in just a matter of weeksIn fact, Pat destroyed a lot of people’s lives. The attractive Southern belle was spoiled by her mother and she expected to live a lavish lifestyle at any cost. Nobody crosses Pat who was fascinated with Scarlett O’Hara. Pat could pour on the charm, b […]
  • BLOG NEWS

    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
  • Second Monday: Sophie Dawson

  • Tuesdays – Promotion in Motion

  • Wednesdays: Life of a Writer – April & Positivity – Lisa Lickel

  • Thursdays – Luther’s on board

  • Fridays – Revolutionary Faith, Devotions by Elaine

  • Saturdays – Janet Perez Eckles

  • Sunday – Reflections Book Reviews

  • Blog Authors

  • The Barn Door

  • The Barn Door Book Loft. Free Books! Book Giveaways.

  • John 3:16 Marketing Network widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox! Not seeing a widget? (More info)>

Hobby or Business—How Do You View What You Do?

Posted by April W Gardner on September 26, 2012

(This post is a carryover from my “Do You Need a Business License?” post from two weeks ago.)

When I discovered I needed one to be legal, applying for and obtaining a license for my fledgling home business did something for me I never expected.

I’m an author and, more recently, an editor with Astraea Press. True to their claim, authors don’t make much money. Pennies really. I got my first royalty check nearly three years ago and, for whatever reason, have struggled to go anywhere much with sales. Paying taxes hasn’t even been necessary.

But to be perfectly honest, I viewed writing more like a hobby than a business. Don’t get me wrong,

Me. Working from patio furniture purchased with my hard earned dollars.

I didn’t want it to be a hobby. I WANTED to earn money, but a person’s mindset has everything to do with whether or not that will happen. If a girl doesn’t take her work seriously, if she doesn’t appropriately value her skills and time, no one else will either.

Late last year, I came to a critical juncture in my career. Frustrated and weary, I decided I’d either swim or sink, but I was going to do it on my own. One of my 2012 New Year’s resolutions (the only one I’ve ever stuck with) was to have my writing support itself 100%—no more begging money off my very sweet and willing husband. I’d pay for business cards, fliers, or that $1,000 conference, or I wouldn’t have them.

It seemed an outrageous notion. I honestly didn’t think I could do it and actually get anywhere, but for half the year, I did OK.

This summer was turning point. It happened the day I decided to get a business license.

It took me some weeks to get around to making it official, and if you want to read step-by-step how I went about doing that, you can visit my last Reflections post.

Come to find out, investing (yes, investing!) in a business license was exactly what my floundering career needed. The moment I held that license, I felt like a business woman. Stupid, I know, but it’s true. I view my job in a whole different light now. Notice my use of the word “job”? Yep, writing and editing isn’t a hobby anymore.

It’s what I DO. And I treat it with all the value and respect of a business. I have a budget and daily, weekly, and yearly goals. My time is blocked for certain activities, putting the most time toward my DPAs (dollar producing activities).

I require others to value and respect my work and time, too. No middle of the day chats with friends. I love you all dearly, truly, I do. But if you call me while I’m working, I’ll let the phone go to voicemail and get back with you at my next scheduled break.

At the risk of sounding New Age, let me point out that the mind and one’s attitude are a powerful things. Do not underestimate them.

God called me to this job. He believes in me. I should believe in me too! After which, I’ll give Him all the glory for the skill, energy, and encouragement He provides along the way.

I’m not a name-it-and-claim it kinda Christian, and I’m not rolling in the dough (far from it!!), but I’m got business cards, fliers, and went to that $1,000 conference. No thanks to my sweet, willing husband’s wallet. :-)

In addition to that, at the suggestion of a my very business savvy sister, I set a goal to reward myself for my hard work. She told me to think of something–a luxury–I’ve wanted but couldn’t afford. Something I’d never spend the money on because there’s always something else more important that needs to come first.

So I did.

Somehow, that goal in mind made me work harder, and to my utter astonishment, I not only  reached my goal, I surpassed it. Now, I work from my patio on my lovely new furniture. (Pix above)

And you guessed it, I have set another reward-goal for myself.

My business has supported itself probably 95% this year. 2013 will be even better. Actually, in 2013 I plan to make a PROFIT. There have been times since January I’ve had to say “no” to whatever marketing venture I wanted to explore, but for the most part, God has provided.

What was the big change? It’s as simple as this–I’m viewing what I do as a business, and THAT makes all the difference.

How do you view what you do? Is it an accurate perception? What are your time and skills worth? Put a monetary value on them, then shoot for it!

–April W Gardner is an award-winning author, an editor,

and the founder of the literary contest site, Clash of the Titles

8 Responses to “Hobby or Business—How Do You View What You Do?”

  1. Katy Lee said

    Well said….I really like the idea of the no phones calls during the day.

  2. LisaLickel said

    You made me look into whether or not I need a conditional use permit in my township to operate as a business in my home. Perhaps…I’ll have to connect with the town clerk. :)
    Hobby or business is also a tax “bracket” believe it or not. Shellie Neumeier, a professional tax preparer, talked about this a couple of years ago. If you are a business with an EIN, you must show that you make a profit three out of five years when you file. Ouch. Made me plan my advertising campaign a lot more seriously.

  3. I’m on the cusp of this myself. I don’t need a business license to write out of my home -but I do need to mentally start calling myself more and more a writer or author instead of just kind of saying I”m a homemaker and *ahem cough, whisper* author. I may not be making money – YET – but I need to start working like I do and be more intentional about my time. I like the idea of setting concrete goals and I need to pray and do that to help me shoot for something tangible. Thanks for the nudge!

    • Susan, yes, yes, yes! You do need to start setting goals. I SO wish I’d done that many years ago. If you have nothing to shoot for, you’ll miss every time. And when you say you’re an author, do so with your chin high and your hand raised in praise. So set those goals, keep constant track of them, and be confident in your calling! Yay for writers!! LOL

  4. Great post, April. Yes, we need to treat our work like the professionals we are. I have a sales license for when I do book sales during an outdoor event, fair, or for when members of a book club want to purchase directly from me. I personally find the business aspect a bit confusing. But what is not confusing is the need to respect our work time and encourage others to do the same. We work hard for the money (as the old song goes!), even though most of us are not exactly rolling in it!

    • Oh, sheesh. Me too, Elaine. So confusing! and I live in fear that I’m doing something wrong that will come back to haunt me later! LOL We can only do what we know to do. :-) Yes, we work hard. Every penny is more than earned! LOl Thanks for chatting.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,246 other followers

%d bloggers like this: