Posted: 10th July 2017
I was a lifecoach from April 2004 until August 2015. I’d spent two years trying to build a coaching practice where I live, in Telford, but there was simply no interest. When no-one turned up for the sixth group coaching session I’d planned and advertised, I walked away for good.
All my selfs had gone – confidence, esteem, worth, belief – and depression was creeping up.
I had an appointment with my web designer (webbie) later that day. After catching up and telling her all about it, she asked if I’d heard of mandalas. I hadn’t, so she introduced me to a free website called www.colormandala.com, and gave me a demo.
It was wicked! I can’t draw so having access to this site I knew would be brilliant!
I started creating mandalas. It was wonderful. I created mandalas and patterns all day, every day. After two weeks, I had quite a few designs.
It was when adult colouring had taken off and people were desperate for designs to sell, so I mentioned mine in some Facebook writers groups. My first client was a writer and the second was my webbie, both still clients. When I sold each of them a pack, I made more than I had in two years of trying to be a lifecoach.
New Career at 59!
Knowing nothing about graphics files, I knew this would be an upward learning curve. I made a lot of mistakes and took feedback on board. I was hungry to learn and practised daily.
I’ve never been one to do what everyone else is doing so I wasn’t keen on publishing a colouring book; I wanted to keep hiding my light under a bushel.
Instead, I started a website selling designs with Private Label Rights (PLR) so people could use my designs in their businesses. I sold a few packs here and there but didn’t know much about how to “get my name out there” and I wasn’t that confident in my design skills. I didn’t feel I knew much and thought (wrongly) that I needed to know Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
When a fellow “artist” I knew offered training, I jumped at it. Suddenly, I was learning a little about using the bits of Photoshop and Illustrator that were relevant to colouring page design. I still practised on ColorMandala.com daily. It had become my “go to” design site.
I didn’t know who to sell my PLR designs to and wasn’t making much from casual viewers, so made the executive decision to take the site down. I had to do some serious mindset work to get me over the hurdle of getting my light from under the bushel and telling the world – okay, just CreateSpace.com and Amazon.com – that I was a colouring page designer.
Finally, in November 2016, I published my first colouring book, Patterns for Relaxation Book 1. Book 2 was published in February 2017. When she saw my first book on Amazon, a member of a mastermind group I belong to said that she’d like to see them on sale in shops.
I thought no more about it until around six weeks ago.
This lady, Carrie (not a WiRE member but I’m working on her) told me about a magazine that was looking for colouring designs to be submitted, and would I like her to send some of mine. I reluctantly gave her three.
The magazine loved my designs and asked if I would be willing for them to be the free download in the next online issue. “Might as well,” I thought, and said yes.
Next day, the magazine asked which book the designs were from. They weren’t from a book, they were my free gift to new subscribers to my mailing list. But, yes, I could put them in my next book.
Later that day, the magazine asked for the title of my next book. At this point, panic set in because I was working on book 3 of Patterns for Relaxation and hadn’t considered when my next book would be started, never mind what the title would be.
“Er, Calm Yourself Coloring?” Carrie liked that so sent it to the magazine. I use the US spelling because it’s in my domain name.
I shelved the colouring book I was working on to start work on Calm Yourself Coloring.
Next day (Thursday), the magazine asked for the book cover. What book cover?? So I contacted a writer friend to ask if she could recommend anyone, to find she did book covers and would happily do mine. Big phew!
The cover was ready the next day (Friday) and Carrie sent it to the magazine.
Not a Student Rag.
I thought the magazine would be a student rag. Surely it wouldn’t be a “proper” magazine wanting to offer my designs for free. “Proper” being a magazine sold in shops and newsagents.
How wrong could I be?!
I was gobsmacked at Carrie’s reply when I asked. The magazine was Soul & Spirit magazine which is sold in newsagents and supermarkets. Oh My Gosh!
Their Facebook page has 17500 Likes. Oh My Gosh!
I asked Carrie which issue would have my designs in. She said either the next one or in a few months – don’t worry, they’ll let me know.
No Bed Tonight!
I packed up work at 5.45pm on the Friday and didn’t look at Messenger until 8.30pm, only to find a message from Carrie at 6.10pm saying “It’s gone live!”
My language was slightly ripe and I knew I wouldn’t see my bed before midnight.
I shot into my office (dining room) and made a new optin free gift, a low cost upsell and filled out the new landing page for the visitors from Soul & Spirit. The link is under this piece.
If nothing else, it’s been a fantastic boost to my confidence as a colouring page designer and has given me several new subscribers and Likes on my Facebook page.