Why I Almost Failed my Business (Lessons from the Book Overlap)

Why I Almost Failed my Business (Lessons from the Book Overlap)

These past six months have been a roller coaster for me. Life circumstances made me take a hiatus from blogging. And I had to face the mistakes I was making that almost failed my business.

While going through some soul searching, I stumbled upon the book Overlap by Sean McCabe. I’m not sure if it was serendipity working its forces, but this reading couldn’t have come at a better time.

Lessons from the Book Overlap - KidPressroom

The book struck a chord with me in many instances, especially when opened up my eyes for the missteps I was taking with my business overall. It was as if a light bulb had come on. Though I will not go deeper into all lessons (the book  Overlap has many), I will review a few points that touched me to the core.


1. Lack of clarity

First and foremost, I wanted to be true to myself and the value proposition of my blog. When I started, I did not have clarity. I created a review blog just to start somewhere, but in reality, I didn’t have a clear idea of my path.

It took me a plethora of research, webinars, and reading to narrow it down. Even so, my site was still without the direction it needed.

I left the doors open for changes, though, because I knew that at some point those changes would come.

In the book Overlap, Sean McCabe explains thoroughly the importance of focusing on one thing and mastering that particular area. And more importantly, he goes further to say that “there is a difference in being passionate about something and about the idea of doing something.”

That moment was a wake-up call for me.

My biggest mistake was trying to spread out and work on many things at the same time without having any focus.

Do I need to say it didn’t work well?

2. Not narrowing down my passion

I was apparently passionate about many things, and it was hard to pick up one single subject.

As I mentioned before, trying to be the jack of all trades was not taking me anywhere.

Then, all of a sudden, I realized people were reaching me for the wrong reasons. They were emailing me to work on my blog traffic and improve my SEO when I was not even sure what my website was about.

As much as I tried to focus, I didn’t have a clear idea about what I really wanted. It was not until the last six months that I started orchestrating how to turn this scenario around.

When it comes to passion, Sean explains that you know you are passionate about something when even encountering challenges—of which you will find many—you are motivated to pursue it rain or shine for days, months, or years to come.

3. Trying to be perfect

I’m not a perfectionist. But I like things well done. My motto was always (and it still is): I do it well, or I don’t do it. Period. This was always the way I worked.

Overlap brings the idea of 90%. In other words, the concept of trying not to be perfectionistic and to put yourself out there instead, even if your work is not perfect.

That means you need to allow yourself to make mistakes. Mistakes are essential to help you, me, and everybody grows—and most likely we are going to make many mistakes before we get it right.

I have been processing this concept of mistakes and giving myself permission to let go. If you read my post about my third book release, you will see how many of those I made. But those were lessons that I learned dearly, made me stronger, and gave me the tools to improve for the next releases and projects.

4. Not following the trifecta

The book Overlap discusses an interesting concept. Instead of quitting your job and hoping for the best, you should transition from something that gives you the tools to work on your passion. In order for this to be effective, you will need to follow the trifecta—“client work” first, followed by the “product,” then “teaching.”

In my case, the product was my priority. Perhaps that is why I paid a big price.

Once a set up my blog, I decided to self-publish on a whim. I released my first book when I barely had any income source on the side to sail along and pay for the expenses.

Then, I did some client work through a bloggers’ network. As part of my blogging initiatives, I decided to work with sponsor opportunities through all networks available to me. The problem was that I was applying for every opportunity indiscriminately.

This dragged me further down the rabbit hole. It didn’t get me anywhere, exactly because of my “scarcity mentality,” which the book nails, and it is probably every freelancer’s biggest curse. I needed money to pay bills. I was desperately applying for any opportunity that would come in, including the ones that didn’t align with my blog proposition.

Again, my blog was not growing and receiving the traffic that I expected. Worse than that, I needed to go back and find a full-time job to cover my expenses—then take care of my business on the side.

I worked on my blog after my 9–5 job until almost the wee hours and during the weekends. At that point, I was fired up to come home and work on my side business.

I was determined to have it grow, but little did I know that I was doing it the wrong way.


The Solution

I had to do something to change. I had to implement what I have been thinking for a while but in the right way. This time, I audited my posts and did a complete business analysis.

The truth hurt, but I had to accept it. I needed to be true to myself and to my readers.

I worked on “rebranding” and focusing on one thing, which I should have done before.

Many years of working and studying in the youth arena inspired me to help families find the best resources available for their children’s education.

Now I can also add my experiences as a writerpreneur to help children’s indie authors or aspiring writers find the best resource to publish their children’s work.

I’ve been there—I’m still there—and I know how it feels.

Kidpressroom (former Reviews by The Banks) has reborn and is now a place to discuss ideas and resources in children’s publishing, literature, and education. The difference now is that I want to be raw and talk about everything from the good to the bad, and all in between. I’m excited about that, and I hope you join me on this journey.

Did you read the book Overlap? What did you think about its lessons? Let us know in the comments below.

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