What stories do you tell yourself?

By Dawn Shuler

Two weeks ago, I was an unexpected featured member at one of my beloved On Purpose Networking groups.  Ginny, leader of OPN, had had a cancellation at the last minute, and she asked me if I could fill in.  I said sure.

Now, this was about 30 minutes before I was planning to leave, so I obviously hadn’t had time to plan what I would talk about for 5 minutes and promote.

I put together some ideas about how I see clearly what my clients need, how to get there, and what to do.  Since we also do door prizes, I brought my book Find Your Moments as one of the offerings.

I walked into the event and handed my book to the assistant Jill.  She looked at the cover, looked at me, and then exclaimed, “I didn’t know you had written a book! Oh my goodness!”  She flipped through it and just kept saying how wonderful it was.

I told her that I hadn’t said much about it because it was supposed to have been published two years ago, and there had been this delay (one fulfillment house was too expensive) and that delay (my graphics designer retired), and so on. 

She gave me the stink eye and said, “Um, would you let me talk like that?” (I’ve done some on-the-spot coaching with Jill before.)

Sheepishly, I said, “No.”

The meeting starts, and it’s my turn as a featured member.  I do my off-the-cuff presentation about seeing clearly, and I end a minute early.  Jill, who’s keeping time, says, “You have another minute. Is there anything you want to add or announce?” She looks at me meaningfully.

I sigh, and she pulls Find Your Moments out of the door prize basket.  I say, “Yeah, well, this is my book.”

Ginny stares at me.  “Okay, I’ve known you for a while, and I have NEVER heard of this book or that you were writing it.” 

I hem and haw and start to go into some of those same reasons/excuses that I had used earlier with Jill.

People passed around the book, and everyone loved it.  I had brought extra copies to sell but had left them in the car.

What in the world was going on?

I had to really dissect this and figure it out.  One thing was that I had done all this preparation for Find Your Moments… its own website, planning for a community, outreach, marketing, creating a trailer…  But all that planning had been done two years ago when I thought I was close to publishing it.

And then things really did get in the way.  I struggled finding a publishing /fulfillment house.  My graphics designer really did retire.  I couldn’t figure out Create Space.  My assistant couldn’t figure out Create Space.  Finally, I hired someone, and she took care of it all, and now Find Your Moments is a real book.

It only took two years.

Instead of proclaiming to the world, “My book is published!!! Woo hoo!!! I rock!” I actually went and hid under a rock as far as the book was concerned.

There was some story I had wired up in my brain about how I could only celebrate the book and my being an author if it had happened “on time.”  That otherwise, its worth – and my worth – were somehow less.

So, I’m rewriting the story…. I am damn proud of this book, and I think it’s very special.

What stories do you tell yourself?

fym-cover-3dP.S. And if you’d like to buy your own copy of Find Your Moments, you can do that here.  🙂