Those who follow me across my social medias know I'm huge into the whole "Positive Thinking." I love reading and learning to be aware of ME, my surroundings, what I want in life, and how to manifest those things into my life. The reason I am so "huge" into these things, is because I know they work. I've been using them for years to bring large successes and accomplishments into my life. Basically my theory is this:
"Positive thinking can bring about positive change."
When I say something like this, I'm not saying everyone else's life sucks. You may like your life just fine right now, and that's GREAT. All I'm saying is we can always IMPROVE on what we have right now. The Universe is infinite...meaning there is infinite joy available for you to have.
Everyday, before I get up to write on my books, and then again before I go to sleep, I try to read something that helps me continue to think positively. I have several books and sources I turn to for that. This is the one I found this morning:
"Daring to do what you want takes COURAGE and BOLDNESS. CLAIM IT!" (Life Lessons for Mastering the Law of Attraction, Jeannette, www.GoodVibeCoach.com)
I thought this was an amazing quote to share for the New Year approaching. This is the time of year that everyone tends to reflect on their lives, and what they want or wish for the year to come. I'm here to tell you that you CAN have everything you hope for. All you need to do is have the courage and boldness to claim it. Don't let fear of failure stand in your way. "Mistakes" and "Failures" can be positive too, as long as we learn from them. We just need to eliminate those words from our vocabulary and start thinking of them as building blocks and stepping stones that will help us learn how to get where we want to be.
For those interested, here is my personal story of how I applied this in my life and all the INCREDIBLE it brought me!
When I started writing, over five years ago, my business was very slow. I was very timid and shy. I couldn't even market my book because I was afraid of offending other people. I'd been raised to never ask people for money, so to ask people to check out my book was terrifying to me. I couldn't do it.
Since I knew NOTHING of the industry, I also signed a contract for seven years with a "not good" publisher, who jacked the price of my book way up, after producing a very shoddy copy of it. I only had the one book published and several other books coming after in the series. I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to sign more book with this publisher, and if I released the next several books, no one would have access to the first one, or want to pay the extremely inflated price for it. To me, at that time, it looked like it might be the end of my writing career.
But, I still liked to write, so I did. And during the first year I was with that publisher, I learned EVERY SINGLE THING I could about the book world from every source I could find.
After a year, I was impressed to write my publisher and ask if I could buy out my contract, so I could reclaim my practically destroyed book. I was hesitant because I knew by then they were stingy and rarely release authors they'd signed--if ever.
But I wrote anyway. They said no. Again, I begged and pleaded with them, giving them all my reasoning. Again, they said no. I continued to save up thousands of dollars, knowing if they ever would release me from my contract I was going to have to pay through the nose for it. I even had another person in the business contact them and try to negotiate on my behalf. Again, no.
I was frustrated. After weeks of trying to communicate with them, I was banging my head against the wall. Throwing my hands into the air, I went to bed that night, not knowing what else I could possibly do to get my book back, so I wasn't stuck with the remaining 6 years of my contract. The next morning I was awakened by a very distinct thought...in the form of a man's voice in my head. "Lacey, get up and email your publisher right now, and ask for your rights back."
My first thought was, WHY? They keep saying NO. But long ago I learned to follow my promptings and intuition, so I did it IMMEDIATELY. This time, I received an answer that very same day:
We have received your email regarding your desire to terminate your contract with us. While we are saddened to hear that you want to leave our company, if you will please send a check for $300.00 to the following address, we will send you the papers confirming the dissolution of your contract, and return the rights of your book to you."
I'm pretty sure my scream was heard all over town as I jumped up and down through my house crying, and the same again when the official papers arrived at my door. It was a MIRACLE!
I had changed my future! And for only a measly $300.00, not the thousands I'd been expecting to pay!
During all this time, I'd fallen in with some other great indie authors who were banding together to be part of a big cross-pollenation event. This event was in the form of a blog hop. We told something about our books, and gave away free ebooks to everyone who commented. It was also a contest between the authors to see who could get the most commenters. All these amazing ladies, who I admired and wished to be like, invited ME to be part of their event! I was ecstatic...and determined to WIN!
I'd based a character (Vance Mangum) in my book off an actor I admired, Matt Lanter. Matt, being the kind person that he is, had all my books and agreed to help me in my part of the contest and donated an autographed picture for my "Vance Basket" full of goodies that I was giving away during the event. My prize was rockin' and I knew people were going to LOVE it! And I was right! With the help of my best friend, who was a blogger at the time, tweets and posts were sent out everywhere. By the end of the event, it was clear I had won by a landslide! But the real joy was the EXPOSURE that event brought me.
Now, I don't normally talk finances with people, but I need to in this case to give you an idea of the change that was happening here. Before this event, I was making about $76.00 a month in book sales. I was actually happy to make that much, because the publisher I'd been with before claimed I didn't have any book sales while I was with them. (A proven lie, but that's another story.) So for me to actually be making enough money to pay the water bill and contribute to my own home was BIG deal to me. I was proud of that $76-ish dollars a month I was making.
Immediately after this event I won, my sales started to go up. People read the first book they had gotten for free and started coming back for the rest of the series. My sales jumped from $76.00 to nearly $500.00 in the next paycheck. Now that may not seem like a lot, but it was at the time to me. I remember emailing one of the event planners and just gushing over her with thanks for inviting me to be part of that event and how much it was helping my sales. So, they invited me to be a part of the next one. It wasn't a contest, but a giant Labor Day sale that featured free and .99¢ books. The following month, my sales jumped from $500.00 to $3000.00.
My jaw was on the floor! I was amazed with what was happening. In two months time, my paycheck doubled again, to $6000.00.
And then I had a thought. It was a SCARY thought at the time, especially because it wasn't really being "done" at that time. It's done all the time now, but for me, a little country girl who lived in the mountains of Arizona and had NO CLUE what she was doing...it was a BIG decision.
I decided to put my reformatted and designed first book on sale on Amazon for FREE for a week. My plan was to see if I could attract new readers like I had with these events, and my goal was to try and get 10,000 downloads. I was also terrified to do this, because this book was a bestseller now, and I worried about losing the money it brought in to my family. But I brushed fear aside and took the leap and . . .
One Hundred and Fifty Thousand people downloaded my book!!!
I was flabbergasted! That's the only word for it. My eyes were wide as thousands and thousands of downloads began rolling in. BUT WAIT! That's not all!
Those people started coming back to read the other books I had out (four at the time.) My next check jumped to $50,000.00!!! For one month!!! I couldn't believe it!!
From that point on the ball continued to roll, until I was releasing individual books that were making that kind of money for just one book. I hit USA Today! I become a multi-time #1 International bestseller! One of my books was chosen as Book of the Year by Amazon, suddenly readers were everywhere, sharing my books. I had executives from different major bookselling companies personally emailing me and congratulating me in my success, and wanting to help promote me even more. A MAJOR MAJOR financial team called and asked to take me on as a client. One of the biggest agents in the business asked to represent me, followed by several other offers too. Movie producers started asking for my books, and foreign publishers started buying my books to translate into other languages.
It was INSANE!
Yet, when I look back, I realize...I almost sabotaged it all. My FEAR of failure almost kept me from doing ALL of the things that eventually led to my success.
I know there are others out there with even better success stories than mine. They, too, took a leap into the unknown. I know others who are climbing their way to success. It hasn't been fast or easy at times, but their continued determination and efforts are slowly starting to pay off. I truly believe if they continue, they will reach their "explosion point" as well.
So that's my wish for every one. Do NOT let FEAR dictate your life for you! Go out with COURAGE and BOLDNESS and CLAIM WHAT IS YOURS!
I wish you all the best success and a very positive New Year!
Lots of love,
Lacey Weatherford <3