Or: Still doing it all wrong and getting it right.
So, last January, I posted about how I spent very little money on my first book as a contrast to fellow author Lisa Medley’s post on the costs she incurred in putting her first book together. Everyone’s path is different. Lisa paid for some things I wouldn’t have, while I didn’t hire out some things I really ought to have.
My original point was that you don’t HAVE to pay out a thousand dollars on a book if you don’t have it. You have other assets at your disposal. It is probably one of the most popular posts I ever did, and it was reblogged by Passive Voice. I wanted to show people what you are capable of when you put your mind to something, that a lack of money can be overcome.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t what most people took away from that post. The big takeaway was that “He doesn’t value his time and effort.” Why did they come to that conclusion? Because I didn’t put a dollar value on it.
In spite of the fact that I listed it as an investment.
So, I want to set the record straight on this. I don’t put a dollar value on my time and effort because I have a hard time coming up with numbers large enough to accurately express how much I value it. I also didn’t put a dollar value on my time and energy because at the time I invested it, I don’t know what my return was going to be. The first year I invested time and energy into my books, my total ROI was under ten thousand dollars. Last year, that return was over sixty thousand dollars. Next year that return could be much higher or it could be much lower. But the REAL value of my time and energy can’t be assigned a meaningful number of dollars in my head. There just isn’t enough money in the world. To paraphrase my friend Roanen Barron, until I earn a billion dollars a second for the time I could be spending with my friends and family…I’m underpaid.
Now, other people may value my time less than I do. And the truth is, when you’re trying to negotiate a wage, you’re not trying to convince them of what YOU think your time is worth. You’re negotiating to THEIR value of your time.
So, when I post my time and effort as an investment, don’t think that because I don’t put a dollar value on it that I don’t value it. The opposite is true. I value it too much to relegate it to mere dollars and cents. That’s why it has a column all its own, because it’s my most valuable asset, and as such, it’s priceless.