Day 30: Out With The Old: What to Do With 2016?


The new year can be a conundrum for many people. Turning over the calendar pressures us all to take a look back and a look forward. The old saying “out with old; in with the new” presents an awkward challenge to look back and look forward. But is the new year really all about resolutions, or is it more about evaluation? Or both?

Today is moving day in my business. Every year I look back. What worked and what didn’t work? This can be terrifying because some of the things that didn’t work are hard to let go of. They may be tactics I’ve been using for years that all of a sudden went stale. Do I hang on and give them one more year?

I am not a hoarder. Clutter bothers me. Also, my time is extremely valuable. I don’t want to waste time doing stuff that doesn’t move me forward. That’s why I wrote Sell More Books With Less Social Media. My idea of moving forward is finding out how to do things better and in less time. I live life by the replacement theory.

I love clothes. What can I say? About ten years ago I decided to devise a system that only let me buy without adding to my closet. I decided that every time I wanted to buy something new I had to get rid of something old. So I started with a purge. I removed every piece of clothing and every pair of shoes that I couldn’t live without. Then I set out on my new course: the replacement theory. Buy something new – give away something old.

I take the same approach every year when it comes to my business. I never just add things on the top. First I have to find out what isn’t working well. That is my look back. I ask myself some questions:

  • What didn’t work well in 2016? Why? Pinpoint the trouble spots.
  • Can that project/class/program be tweaked to work better? Spend some time brainstorming the cause. Evaluate: goal, objective, strategies, tactics.
  • If the project/class/program cannot be fixed, devise an exit strategy. Would cutting this from my services leave a hole that needs to be filled?
  • If I want to replace the element for the new year, go through the planning stages: goal, objectives, strategies, tactics with time needed for implementation. Look at the calendar. Will it work with what’s already there?
  • Can that element be absorbed into something else I am already doing?

My biggest problem is letting go. Some projects have so much investment that it’s tough to just throw them on the scrap pile. But failure is a door—it is just a way to get to the next things that works. I learn, I move on.

Do you take time every year to inventory your book marketing tactics and get rid of what doesn’t work or tweak it for better results? Out with the old. Good luck. It’s moving day.

Action Steps:
  1. Go through your book marketing goals and objectives for 2016 and answer the questions above. If you didn’t have any concrete goals or objectives for 2016, stay tuned for tomorrow’s challenge on “in with the new.”