The Opportunity You Missed

15 Nov

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and nothing occurs by chance. The Almighty One has beautifully and divinely orchestrated our lives in such a manner that our limited time here on earth can be full and complete if we would only take advantage of all of its moments. Everything you want and need is just an opportunity away. Nonetheless, so often we miss our opportunities because we are too focused on the end result or what we think the end result should be instead of the countless blessings that surround us at any given moment. Let me explain…

As an author, I participate in approximately two book related events a month. Whether it’s a book fair/festival, book reading/signing, book club where my book is featured, speaking engagement connected to me being an author, or workshop I am conducting based on my experiences as an author, I am doing something public related to my books every month. In the process, I have met a lot of other authors in which we often share “war stories,” describing the ups and downs of the literary industry.

One “down” that I have heard from some of my author friends and associates is a sense of disappointment when attending a book event where book sales are minimal or obsolete. Sales at an event often has little to do with the quality of an author’s book, but can be connected to a wide variety of factors including the type of event, type of crowd, marketing efforts of the hosting company or organization, organizational skills and professionalism of the hosting company, external or unrelated events in the vicinity, the location, the season, the day of the week, the time of the event, etc. Because so many factors influence event turnout and participation, an author could sell out of books at one event on one day and then sell no books at all a week later at a different venue.

Of course, selling books makes an author feel good, and naturally the opposite is often true; not selling books can make an author feel poorly. This negative emotion connected to not selling can easily turn into a dislike for certain events or overall scrutiny of organizations hosting book venues. Dashed or deferred dreams can be heard rolling off of tongues in simple statements such as, “Be careful about so-and-so event!” or “I wouldn’t do such-and-such ever again!” or even “I did that event last year and…”

Although I can completely relate to the major financial investment that is made as authors connect themselves with various events, and can even admit that due to money I have to be intentional and selective about what I do participate in, I believe there is so much more that can be gained from these events than just book sales; there are unimaginable opportunities. You many meet someone who becomes part of your inner circle, you may network with someone else who leads you to the break you been looking for, you may give someone advice who desperately needs it, you make a business connection that profits you in an area outside of your books; the possibilities are endless. I can say with all certainty that every event that I have ever done connected to being an author I have gained something valuable from. Book sales are just the tip of the iceberg.

Yesterday, a new author-friend reminded me of how young I am in comparison to all that I have accomplished. I believe that my achieved goals are directly connected to my willingness to remain open to the opportunities and not limit myself by only valuing money or a single aspect of success. Many times in my life I’ve had to forgo money or what was viewed as “success” in order to reach a greater goal or place myself in a position to gain greater levels of wealth. True success isn’t attached to instant gratification; it’s what results when perseverance, faith, and opportunity collide. (If you steal this quote, make sure I get credit…lol)

Most of us miss our opportunities to be bigger and better because of our lack of or limited focus. We must remove the tunnel vision mentality and think bigger to have bigger happen in our lives. Whether you’re an author, business owner, teacher, parent, housewife, student, climbing the corporate ladder, or trying to shatter the glass ceiling, open your mind to all of the opportunities that greet you each day. There is a lesson, a friend, a mentor, a lead, or even your big break waiting to overtake you in the place you least expect. Be honest with yourself and consider the many opportunities that you may have missed. Then promise yourself that from this point on you will look beyond the superficial and never again miss another opportunity to obtain the boundless blessings created just for you!

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