I belong to a women’s CEO professional accountability group called Make it to a Million (MITAM). We collaborate, support, energize, inspire and mastermind with each other for the purpose of growing and building our businesses. Sprinkled all over the country, we meet bi-weekly over the phone to update on progress reports. Four times a year, we meet in person to do a deep dive on our businesses.
All the women know my story. Eleven years ago, I had walked away from an extremely successful career making a ton of money with a Fortune 500 company, all for the purpose of being able to spend more time with my son, Joey. Actually, the decision was quite easy for me to make. I came home from work one day and Joey was crying because I had missed one of his important school events. When I asked him why he hadn’t told me about the event, he said, “Because you’re never home.”
I quit my job the next day.
I pivoted in a new direction in life and decided to launch my own company called Re-Tool Marketing®, a brand management, creative services, and marketing agency focused on driving sales through brand leadership and marketing initiatives. It was the best way I knew how to focus on being a good mother for my son while creating a thriving livelihood doing the things I loved.
For me, the MITAM group has been fantastic. I have never been associated with a more supportive, dynamic and intelligent group of women before. But now that Joey had flown the coup and is in college, I've been hell-bent on making up for lost time!
In November of 2015, I presented to the MITAM group my goals for the next three months. I explained to them that I was going to divide my business into two parts. Re-Tool Marketing® was going to operate 100% as a marketing agency, while my new brand launch, KellyLucente.com, was going to be focused on the entrepreneurial side of my business. I would develop a new site, providing online programs, group coaching, self-help resources, and webinars for entrepreneurs. I explained that it would be my way of giving back and supporting business owners, especially those who didn't have the resources to hire an agency.
“In addition to this,” I continued confidently, “I’m going to write a book, and ALL of this will be completed by February 1, 2016.”
"How is this humanly possible?” a CEO questioned.
My good friend chimed in. “You can’t launch a new brand, build a full website, add all of those programs, and write a book in 90 days.”
“Actually,” I corrected my friend, “I’m going to write the book in nine days!”
I looked around me and saw the looks on the CEO's faces. It was the first time at MITAM the entire group was dumbfounded. “I can't believe they are all shocked,” I thought to myself. I knew EXACTLY how I would accomplish my goals.
After my presentation, two of my dear friends took me aside and tried to talk some sense into me. My best friend – a book publisher – said, “There’s no way you’re going to write a quality book in nine days, Kelly.” My other friend - a ghostwriter for celebrities – agreed and said, “I don’t think there’s enough minutes in the day to literally write the words!”
“Look,” I said firmly. “I don’t need you two to tell me all the reasons why this can’t be done. I’m telling you, I have nine days in the month of November with nothing planned on my calendar. There are no appointments and I will write from 5 a.m. to midnight every day until I complete the book!”
And that’s what I did.
I didn’t take any calls. I never looked at text messages. I refused to peek at social media or online news. I hunkered down and went underground.
I was really smart about it. Before I started writing, I hired the same ghostwriter mentioned above to help me design the flow of information and strategically place the chapters. I had everything organized and mapped out before I began to write.
While writing, as I was cranking out the chapters, I fed the ghostwriter everything to assist me as an editor. She gave me feedback in real time so that I wouldn’t have to completely shift my thought process. I was able to make edits and pivot in new directions on the fly if I had to.
Then, after the first review, I had my staff copywriter on the heels of each chapter’s second review, checking grammar and punctuation. My graphic artist was also involved in the process, creating the graphic images I designed as a wrote – a total of 150 throughout the book.
After nine days, I sent the book to the publisher.
On February 1, I had accomplished every goal I established at the MITAM mastermind back in November. I launched a new brand, built a website from scratch, created program materials for the new brand, and wrote a book...all in 90 days.
In addition to the list of accomplishments above, and I realize this sounds crazy as well, I created a new business called Bubble Print Press, a book publishing company that offers full-service brand and marketing assistance. It was in response to the frustrations and barriers I experienced as a self-published author during this entire process. Now, I can assist other authors who are ready to tell their story without the headaches I encountered along the way.
Do you have a dream? Are you determined to accomplish insane goals? Even if you’re surrounded by doubters or people who think you've lost your mind, I want you to know that ALL things are possible! Be smart and create a realistic plan. Be strategic about how you're going to accomplish your goals, and don't let anything get in your way. If you encounter a few pessimists along the way, let that fuel your motivation to get it all done because you CAN achieve anything you set your mind to!
Kelly Lucente - Minneapolis, MN
CEO & Brand Strategist for Re-Tool Marketing® - www.retoolmarketing.com
Author of “Moolahgy, uncovering the secret cash cow hidden in your brand” - www.moolahgy.com
Interviewed and written by Alyce Renee, Founder of Real & Inspiring
Photo Credit: Annie Marie Photography at www.anniemariephotography.com
If you like this post, please show your support. Like us on Facebook and share the story!