I’ve been burnt. It’s my fault that it happened, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.
You see, as you might be aware, I kinda put The Thriving Creative on the back burner 3 years ago when I got a full-time academic job. Between the job, 3 hours a day of commuting, and trying to work on my PhD, I needed to put the Thriving Creative on low-heat on the back burner and trust that as long as I stirred it every once and awhile I could bring it back to the boil when the time was right.
It seemed like a good enough plan. I mean having a portfolio career does demand that some things get more focus at a particular time and others get less.
But here’s where I went wrong.
I had been building up an email list over several years. It was all organic growth with people signing up from my website, or signing up after taking one of my workshops, or I was getting a steady drip of new traffic from some videos I had created for friends. While not enormous, the list was growing on its own and I had some peace of mind that when the time was right and I had more time and energy to put into The Thriving Creative that I would still have a list of people interested in my work.
It all seemed like a decent compromise for a few years while I was working on other things.
However, Mail Chimp didn’t like my plan.
As late as February or March of this year, I still received email notices from Mail Chimp that people had signed up to my list. But by the time April came around and I wanted to send out a GDPR notice to my list I found that I couldn’t log in.
To make a long story short, even though people were still signing up for my list, I hadn’t logged in to Mail Chimp for over one year. And, rather than send me an email first to warn me, their system automatically cancelled my account and deleted my list. I tried to see if it could be recovered but they told me very bluntly that their terms and conditions said if you don’t log in after one year they delete it. I get that… though I still think a warning notice wouldn’t go amiss before they delete. But that’s what happened.
So my list that I developed over several years is gone.
I suppose to go back to my metaphor, I put the pot on the back burner and it boiled dry! Oops. Not a great creative entrepreneur move.
But then sh*t happens to all entrepreneurs.
So this is a cautionary tale that while life sometimes means we need to put things on a low simmer, we do still need to check them from time to time. What I should have done was put together a quick monthly or bi-monthly check-list of websites to log into, things to update etc. A bit like when you go away on holiday and you get the teenage neighbour to bring in your mail and water your grass. That’s what I should have done, but didn’t 🙁
And on that note, if you have previously signed up to my list, please know that it is gone and I will be starting again. If you are interested in my work, please look out for the opportunity to sign up for my new and improved mailing list!