An Introduction to my Journey
Article by Wilson Lee
Wilson “The Cosmic King” Lee’s record of his adventures becoming an indie publisher.
Okay so I have some more content coming for you guys. I have gotten a lot of questions about how I ended up putting all of this together. Well man, that made me realize I had a story to tell you! So, submit your questions to me and I’ll try and wrangle them all together into a coherent blob of madness to share with you wonderful folks!
I figured I would start with a quick 10 tips. They are pretty general, but I think a good starting place for the would-be creator.
10 Tips to Starting Being an Indie Publisher
Research A Lot
This is number one because it came to mind first when I was asked about how to do what I am doing. Part of it for me was accepting how little I knew about what I wanted to do beyond my passion. I’ve always had a love for learner and that is a big part of my success so far. I dig in and learn everything I can. In order to be an indie publisher and creator I have, and I am continuing to, learn skills. Some skills are administrative; like learning laws around being an LLC, what paperwork I need, how to file taxes, etc. Some skills and knowledge have expanded my abilities as a writer, creator, graphic designer, and video editor. I am blessed to at least somewhat enjoy the “boring back-office work”.
Do What You Love
In order to overcome the hard times, you’re going to have to love what you’re doing. I know it seems cliché and obvious, but I still think it should be said. So, one more time for the peeps in the back, YOU GOTTA DO WHAT YOU LOVE! There is a special joy in having your efforts align with your beliefs and passions. There will be ups and downs, no way around it. But if you love what you do, you will find a way through. Otherwise, you’ll quit and look for something easier. But you aren’t walking this path because you want easy. So that means you gotta go hard!
There is no substitute for hard-work. But I am by no means advocating for wasting effort. Going hard in about being smart, have a process, and being disciplined. It’s no secret that there is no secret sauce. I am committed to doing this every day for the next 7 years (which will make 10 years in total). That is my self-commitment. At that point, I will know that I went hard, and gave it my all. But there’s no reason to go hard if you don’t know what you’re working for, so you gotta have a mission.
Know Your Mission
You can’t go anywhere until you know where you want to go. Seems simple enough, but I’ve learned that as you face obstacles having an endgame makes a big difference. It’s the lighthouse on the shoreline when you’re on the stormy seas. It keeps you grounded when fate throws the unexpected your way. A mission is different than a goal, it is something bigger and deeper. It’s that metaphysical why.
Focus on Your Passion
Your mission won’t be true if it isn’t focused in your passion. You can’t be committed to something when you don’t have any attachment. It’s not to say you can’t do something, or being extremely successful at it without passion, but rather you won’t feel anything either way. I got to the point where I way to feel what I did day in and day out, I wanted it to matter to me, and to matter to the people close to me. Being focused in my passion is salve when you fail. It soothes the burn of missing the mark. It rekindles the embers where your tank is low. There will be failure, you just have to be ready to make the most of it.
Never Waste a Good Fail
Failing doesn’t make you a failure. Continuing to fail the same way repeatedly is an entirely different situation. The hardest part about failing is holding yourself accountable. You’ve got to have an honesty about self-reflection, even if true objectivity is impossible with oneself. If you can rise above the pain and embarrassment of failing, there is much to be gained. Never waste a good fail. Be strong, look yourself in the mirror and say, “What could I have done despite my circumstance?”. See the goal isn’t to assign blame for the failure it’s to grow from it. You gotta learn from your failures.
Be a Passionate Learner
Learning, we return to this all-necessary trait. You have to be curious and tenacious; you have to seek to grow and develop always. You have to be a passionate learner. Indie publishing is a big world, when you add being an indie creator to that…well let’s just say you see the enormity of the universe. You have to want to take it all in. Be willing to accept what you don’t know but need to know. And then having the discipline to figure it out. Once you’ve put your work into researching and learning, then you have to put in into action. You have to test it out, and there’s no way to do it but to do it.
You cannot be completely risk averted and take something like this on. If you are a person who often thinks of all of the risk of taking action and none of the benefits of taking the same action, you will never take action. You’ll always be “working on it”, or “waiting for the right time”. The right time will never come if you don’t make it the right time. I don’t have a lot of advice here, because I have to work on taking less risk. But I do notice one difference between risk averted and risk tolerant is the focus of the individual. I find that risk averted people tend to be focused on the risk, while risk tolerant people focus on the reward. Then there are the real hardcore people, risk seeking who seem to be focused on the experience. Either way going into to something like this is going to take a certain level of confidence, you’ll have to be willing to bet on you.
Bet on You
At some point in your journey, if you come far enough, you’ll face the moment when you have to choose; do I put my effort into building something for myself, or in helping someone else build something I can believe in. You may also choose to simply put your efforts towards making enough money to have all the things that will fulfill you. It’s a matter of perspective. My only advice is to search your feelings Luke…you have to trust the force. If the force tells you take the safe route, there’s not shame in that. Just like there’s no shame in giving it your all and failing. But if you are going to try it, if you intend to take that less traveled path, then be all in with you. Believe!
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