Updated: Jan 4, 2021
In January 2020, as a result of a writing challenge amongst my college sister-friends I wrote a story which in September became a full blown children's book. I was completely unaware of what being a published author truly entailed. I honestly had stage fright of even contacting my publisher for an initial conversation when it was given to me a week after I wrote my manuscript. During this time in my life, I was currently going through what can either be described as a mental breakdown or a spiritual awakening (how different are they really?) which I still believe was due to the toxic work environment I gained thanks to a promotion. I previously had high expectations of continuing to move up within that company and figured that I could take the constant mistreatment. However, when I asked God for guidance on what I should do, I dreamed word for word my resignation notice and saw me sending it to my boss. At that point I was in a complete state of surrender and I went for it. After a year and half in that position, I did what every HR professional would tell you is unwise. I gave my employer a four day resignation notice with no job lined up and barely any savings. That's right, the HR professional working at a cooperate office threw up the duces with nothing lined up.
Actually, leaving that employer was my 2020 Valentine's Day present to myself. Being a single mother, this is incredibly risky! I was giving myself a super judgmental smack down equivalent to Super Mario defeating King Koopa at the end of the game. I decided to be more gentle with myself realizing that this experience was just a faith walk. I knew my Creator had and always has my back, front, sides, and every other angle. As it turned out, that breakdown was actually a the beginning of my break through! My Dad came to visit me and he brought my spirits up. With nothing to lose, no job, and a better mindset, I went to Mardi Gras! After spending money I didn't have and thoroughly enjoying myself. New Orleans has a special way of cleaning my soul and it was just what I needed to get completely energized. And I got another job in March that has been a much better fit. Things were finally starting to open up and I then had the confidence to contact my soon to be publisher and sign a contract!
I walked my recently voluntarily unemployed then re-employed and playing the cupid shuffle with my money self into this brand new adventure of publishing a book. Typically, I would NEVER share my work with anyone but that's the reason it's important to have a circle strong where you are still growing. I had grand expectations of my book being published and creating a vast amount of play dough to allow a greater level of financial freedom. In my mind, all of this was going to happen solely from book sales. I had an AMAZING publisher and mentor, Audrey Hinds, who walked me through all the steps and knowledge which in itself was a blessing. She also popped "my get rich off my book overnight" expectation. I am so grateful to her for always being honest with me at all cost. I think it took me like four or five times of hearing that an author is an entrepreneur during our author trainings before it actually sank in. I never dreamed or desired to be an entrepreneur. Once I fully accepted this fact, I started creating marketing content like crazy to get as much engagement as possible for the upcoming launch. I set an expectation to get best seller. I was determined that I was no longer going to let my denial of my new role as an entrepreneur be the bolder that allowed me and my book to drown in the sea of many books published each year.
Launch day came and as I was getting ready for my hour live launch party, I kept telling myself "As long as you don't throw up on live, you're ok. No ones comes back from that." The launch party was better than I could have imagined. There were butterflies everywhere and I looked like a garden fairy with a butterfly crown I created from a Dollar Tree haul. Thanks to my friends, family, former co-workers, Sisters-in-Pen, Audrey and everyone else, not only did I not vomit on camera my expectation of becoming a best selling author became a reality. I have learned so much since then and continue to learn. The biggest lesson was this... when reality counteracts your expectations, good or no so great, they are there to strengthen you, mold you, or to gift you of bigger things due to your expectations being too small. I never would have dreamed my soul would be so fulfilled by becoming an Author-preneur and thanks to me surrendering to that fact, I am living a dream I long forgot I had.