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What's Your Internal Dialogue Telling You?
That summer of 2015, I wanted to give up on life. Quite honestly, I hoped I would die.
dialogue told me, You just screwed up your life! You’re nothing but a failure and your life is over.
I’m not kidding you.
The internal dialogue that runs on repeat in your head shapes how you see yourself and how you live your life.
I now realize that I needed to do some internal work. Change some priorities. Rid myself of some old mindsets.
words, I needed to grow.
When pain, disappointment, and hardship strike, we can sit in the mess and feel sorry for ourselves or we can use it as fuel to propel us
Read that again.
Disappointment can be the catalyst for dramatic growth. The process for every disappointment in your life potentially looks like this:
Disappointment ➡️ Change ➡️ Growth
Pain, disappointment, and hardship are inevitable. It’s been that way for thousands of years and no one can avoid it. But not everyone changes and grows as a result of this
When facing pain, disappointment, and hardship, we so often feel hopelessly out of control.
But can I let you in on a secret? You do have control—not necessarily over outcomes, but over yourself. Your thoughts. Your mindsets. Your responses.
4 Keys to Growing and Changing
Here’s how what I learned in 2015 as a result of my disappointment and hardship. If some don’t apply, that’s fine. And I’m sure other insights are out there that
I’m not covering. But here it goes:
Key #1. Keep going.
One thing you CANNOT do is give up.
Believe it or not, accepting failure is the easy way out. Not finishing your manuscript requires no effort at all. Letting your writing goals fall to the wayside is easy
But writing and publishing a book? That’s hard. That’s why most people don’t do it.
But it's all a choice.
Key #2. Take responsibility
Here’s something else you CANNOT do if you want to transform your disappointment into growth: blame everyone else.
Read that again.
Blame is the enemy of growth. There’s another word for blame: victimization.
If you’re saying to yourself, “That editor just doesn’t get my manuscript,” you’re playing the victim.
If you’re disappointed by your negative book reviews on Amazon, stop feeling sorry for yourself and write a better book!
If a publishing professional suggests you make some changes, don’t be offended. Heed their advice.
A month after our marketing disaster, my “former” business partner asked me if I wanted to join a 2016 presidential campaign and ghostwrite a book for the candidate’s father.
I knew the writing gig would cover the bills for a few months, but I also determined that it might open up other possibilities for future income.
And it did.
For years, I envisioned myself playing the #2 man to my #1 business partner. All the while, my wife was telling me, “You need to start your own thing and stop
relying on this person.”
I needed to take responsibility for myself.
By taking responsibility for my future, I positioned myself to grow.
Fast forward, the publisher liked my
ghostwriting work and hired me to run their self-publishing division. Which leads to my next point…
Key #3. Be willing to do something new.
The problem with your manuscript might be that you need to reorganize the outline or story arc.
Or you’re not writing to your strength
and you need to try writing into a different genre.
Maybe you even need to start over on your manuscript.
As I was transitioning into my new position, I realized we would need copyeditors for the manuscripts that came in. So I convinced the publishing company to let my side company, Illumify Literary Services, be the contractor for all the copyediting.
At that point, Illumify Literary Services was an idea. It didn’t even exist.
And mind you, I’m the world’s worst copyeditor. The only copyediting job I ever did, I was fired halfway through. But I did have a friend with some traditional copyediting experience, so I ran with it.
Eventually, my boss, who formerly worked as a copyeditor for a HarperCollins imprint, asked if he could do some contract copyediting for us.
He’s now Illumify’s Editorial Director—but I’m getting ahead of myself.
My side hustle started going so well, I decided to dip my toes into publishing books. Granted, I didn’t know much about the production end, but I was in the mood to try something new.
I called my former business partner. I think he felt a little guilty about abandoning me, and I wanted to take full advantage of his guilt.
“Let’s meet in Ft. Lauderdale for a publishing retreat,” I told him. “Then you can show me what you do.”
He agreed, and he taught me the tricks of the trade. To this day, we share the same book cover designer.
But transitioning from pastor to business owner wasn’t easy. That’s why you need to…
Key #4. Surround yourself with people who know more than you.
Years ago, I decided I didn’t need to be the smartest person in the room. I preferred to surround myself with people smarter than me.
If I didn't do this, I knew I wouldn't grow.
The first year after switching my business from a copyediting company to a publishing company, I paid $10,000 to consultants who shared their knowledge and expertise with me.
Never underestimate the power of an effective consultant.
There’s no shame to hire a book coach who will help you hone your craft.
You always, always, always need an experienced copyeditor to refine your
And there’s no shame in hiring a publisher to guide you through the publishing process so you can release a transcendent book.
Our team of professionals, together, have sold millions and millions of books.
Illumify was conceived in the midst of disappointment, and while I don’t want to return to the early years, I’m so grateful that the process brought us to this moment.
Don’t let your
disappointments as a writer stop you or define you. Even if you haven’t looked at your manuscript for a year or two, it’s never too late.
Click here to set up a strategy session with me—and move from disappointment to the exhilaration of releasing your transcendent book.
Let’s bring your book to life!