Return of Investment

by Ashlynmathews on May 22, 2013

Return of investment (ROI) is primarily used in the financial world. It’s a mathematical calculation but also a concept. Basically, will you get in return what you put in? If you come out behind or in the red, then your return of investment was a negative. However, I see the negative as a positive.

Let’s look at ROI from a life perspective. Since this is my blog, I’ll use my life as an example. When I began writing in December 2010, I didn’t put any money into my “career” as an author. But I put in time, lots and lots of it. In September 2012, my debut novel, Shadow Watcher, was released by Adams Media. November hailed the release of my self-published novella, If Only. Two months later, my second novel, My Fallen, was released by Adams Media.

There’s a pattern here. Lots of time was suddenly invested in my “career.” I poured money into review tours, prizes, giveaways of my own books I had bought and sent out, updating and upgrading my website, and swags. Let’s just say financially my ROI was terribly in the red. And some will say my life’s ROI was also in the negative. For sure, my husband and boys will readily agree I wasn’t the best person to live with from December 2010 forward.

I had reached the point where passion became an obsession. However, I see the negative as a positive. Out of a negative financial, mental, and physical return, I’ve had positive results. Personal relationships were tested and have become stronger. My husband, kids and I communicate better our needs and expectations. My obsession had worsened medical conditions I hadn’t realized I had. Now an allergist treats me for allergic rhinitis and asthmatic bronchitis. Yes, I carry around a gallon-size Ziplock bag of medications, but I feel healthier.

So how did I go from a negative to a positive? I’m not a lie down and take it kind of person. I now see my “career” as an investment. How do I get a positive ROI from my writing? Personally, in my eight months of experience as an author, I realize I need to write more and do less of everything else (promotion, social media, signings, giveaways, swags).

How do I get a positive ROI in my personal life? When I spoke with my therapist, we both agreed initiative had a lot to do with it. I firmly believe we live according to the choices we make. Some choices bring us joy while others give us grief.

However, we have the will to make better choices and become a positive person, or as my big boss likes to say, “A force for good.”

I’m blessed to be surrounded by strong, caring, opinionated, supportive and selfless men and women who overcome personal and professional obstacles and continue to do so with finesse. Their negative life experiences transformed them into more positive people. And it’s because they didn’t give up. Their continual presence in my life is definitely a positive Return of Investment.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna Brentwood May 23, 2013 at 7:27 am

Dear Ashlyn.
I believe in any creative endeavor, it is always more about passion and following your heart. At first and maybe always. One hopes in time and with effort and dedication, it may actually start to pay off financially too, but I have learned over the years myself, that I am not doing this for that. I too am pulling back for now frm the promo to write and I like how you expressed your journey and discovery of the positives and what is truly important in life- our families and our happiness.

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Ashlynmathews May 23, 2013 at 9:20 am

Thank you, Anna. I too think the financial ROI will come. But we do have to invest in ourselves first and foremost. I’m so lucky to have met you and your son Colton. Happy writing!

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