So, there you are – You have a deadline, you are responsible, things have gone horribly wrong, and you’re doing your best not to just collapse in a puddle or starting ranting or panicking.
Yeah, that feeling.
Okay, everyone, breathe deeply, come back to the present moment, and remember you are here now, not in that bad place.
I was in that bad place a while ago. In my case, it was a major move, from one place to another, with generations of family possessions, lots of downsizing, major offloading of business records, even houseplants that needed new homes. Oh, and an extremely short deadline to empty the place out, ready for the new owners. Oh, and I had to find a place to live, for a few months, until the next permanent place became available.
And one evening, about 48 hours before the drop-dead day and time, a key support person was unavoidably called away – completely out of the picture. I was carrying all the responsibility now. Yikes. There wasn’t time to collapse in a puddle, or rant, or panic. I can still picture the place I was standing when I realized what this meant. “Desperation” is the word that comes to mind.
There wasn’t time for any of that. So, I contacted some new people for help. In one case, a person I had never met, and in another case, a person I only knew slightly. The amazing part of this story is what happened next.
All the rest of the helpers that I had already arranged for did show up, and with these additional, last-minute helpers, It all worked out. We had a team!
I was able to build a team, augment it at the last minute, lead it, get things done in short order, efficiently, effectively, at reasonable cost, and with no injuries to person or possessions. And this is the most surprising part of all – I had a great time! Somehow, feeling buoyed up by these great people, who for our time together had a shared purpose and camaraderie, everything changed. What felt for a moment there like something just awful had become something joyous.
Why am I telling you this story?
To illustrate, from a recent moment in my own life, the incredible, amazing, transformative power of a team. Even in my worst moment, some part of me spoke up, with the awareness that asking for help and building your team will get you out of the stickiest of situations, and even improve your outlook toward the whole project.
Many of the authors that I work with can tell their own versions of this story.
For one person, the meltdown resulted from the technical problems building her book, which required detailed, unusual formatting and layout, in software that wasn’t really capable of doing what she needed. We got her hooked up with graphic designers who transformed her book into a professional, updated publication – same great content, and now with the look and feel that measured up. She also worked to locate the best print-on-demand provider for her project, and now has the logistical support she needs.
For another client, the meltdown happened when he didn’t trust his writing voice any more. He’d been looking at his words for too long. He was in a crisis – everything was terrible! No one would ever read this stuff! He had lost his way! He’d never ever finish this book! Life was awful!
So I encouraged him to start telling his story out loud, looking for speaking engagements, making videos, attending conferences in his field. That shift from typing to talking changed his attitude, and the new professional relationships that developed out from his change of medium have now grown into part of his team! Experts in their fields, they now reach out to help my client, offering their networks, their time, and their endorsements to his project.
Ask for help
Maybe, like some of my clients, you’ve been accustomed to doing things by yourself. Or maybe you’re comfortable putting together a team – it’s just that in the context of completing and publishing your book, you haven’t found the people yet. I got that big move to happen because I asked for help when it was needed. At Chenille Books we can help you develop the right team for you and your book.
You’ll feel supported and hopeful about the next steps.
Visit us at Chenillebooks.com, drop me a note with your story, and sign up for our newsletter, to get more stories and helpful hints.