Sometimes in life, we get a mindset that if a certain event happens with someone else, our lives will change for ever. We plan the big day, go through the motions, and then the unthinkable happens. We don’t get the results we planned.
In our minds, we fail.
I read an insightful post by Nicole over on the Lululemon blog yesterday about failing. Since the age of 14, Nicole has had the BHAG goal of working for Ellen DeGeneres. Last year, she decided to put together a video to get Ellen’s attention. She contacted former Ellen guests to make cameos in her video, along with writing Ellen a song. She attempted to create a viral video while learning to dance, just like her former guests did. She was pretty proud of the way it came out.
She actually got good traction with the video post, with almost 5,500 views. It almost went viral. Unfortunately, she never got a call from the Ellen show.
She was so confident that something was going to happen, she genuinely wasn’t prepared for it not to. At first she was devastated. She stopped watching the show and was really upset when other people were chosen from Youtube for Ellen’s show. She also felt like she let down her blog followers.
Now over six months later, she has a better view. She was able to overcome failure, and has learned some things from the experience.
I had a similar experience a few years ago. I had written my first book, The Path of Consequence, in 2009. I self published and had it available on Amazon. The reviews were good, but I just couldn’t get any traction.
I figured my best bet was to get the book in front of an agent or publisher. My eyes really opened up in 2011, when publisher Michael Hyatt offered to take book proposals from the first 12 people that signed up for his inaugural “create cruise.”
I signed up the first day, and my wife and planned out a vacation around the cruise. I then sat down and planned out a proposal. I downloaded his book proposal eBook, and got to work.
I soon figured that I couldn’t just follow the instructions. I needed something bigger. So I created a proposal along with picture book explaining the concept. I created product packaging and a workbook to go with it. I became a one man marketing department.
When I finally sat down with Michael on the cruise, I figured I had all my bases covered. That’s when reality hit.
Book deals are hard to come by.
Michael was really helpful and gave me all sorts of pointers about getting published. I soon realized it was really hard to get picked up by a traditional publisher. To have a chance, I would need an agent and lots of writing experience. (Michael’s Get Published Now is an advanced version of what he shared with me)
While I knew the basic realities of the publishing business, somehow I thought my book and ideas were different. Looking back, I realize a lot of people make this mistake.
I was just another new writer trying to find a publisher willing to pick them up.
In reality, there are only a few spots available and they are really hard to get.
Kind of like the Ellen Show.
Here is my takeaway from the experience.
I can wait on other people to make things happen, or I can create my own books, videos and products. With the advent of self publishing, I don’t have to wait for a publisher or get an agent. It doesn’t mean I don’t have to create the best book I can, but it does mean that I don’t have to sit and wait.
Now I can write, edit and publish. I can hire third parties for things I can’t do myself (Editing, graphics, and formatting are common outsourced tasks). I can upload my files to CreateSpace or the Amazon Kindle Store
I have permission to create. I also have the responsibility to make it the best I can.
My suggestion to Nicole. You don’t need to wait on Ellen. Why not start your own video podcast, or radio show? Why not show the world the real Nicole?
In 2013, more than any other time in history, we can take the next step in our lives to write a book, create a video, or start a business. Why not get started today.
Here are a few resources to help you take the first step…
The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
Platform: by Michael Hyatt
The E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
Let Go by Pat Flynn
Think Bigger: Take Action Today.