New Picture Book Self Publishing Opportunity!

You’re standing at a fork in the road of life… and one direction holds a beaten down, familiar path. The other direction is full of wild jungle, unknown and terrifying.

That’s where I stood just a month ago, at a fork between comfortable and crazy, known and nature’s black hole of nothingness. The options were

  1. Carry on with life as usual: writing, publishing, consulting, coaching, and speaking for free (except for book sales and paying to publish), pouring time and energy and value into building many, many bridges half way. Pulled into every opportunity as it came because “I should.”

or

2. Own that while I’m really good at all of those things, I can’t excel at any of them all at once and to value my expertise in writing and publishing, to narrow down who I can help and to do it masterfully. To face the monsters of fear and mediocrity and shoot down their lies that I’m inadequate, limited, too mediocre, or too scared to ever accomplish anything for any good.

Why is grabbing hold of confidence and knowing our value so terrifyingly hard?

Ironically, at the same time, opportunities crossed my path that pointed toward the “crazy” lane.

Like picture book authors who asked me to charge them for my critiques, my advice, and consultation. Even when I said it was free. I realized that what I offer is so valuable that people don’t feel right just taking it. This was eye-opening about the value of what I was sheepishly giving away.

The Book Building Business Intensive with Self Publishing School CEO and Staff

Or being accepted as one of ten people invited to the Book Building Business Intensive in San Diego with the CEO (Chandler Bolt) of Self Publishing School and his very talented staff for their first ever live event.

Or the sweet 6 year-old girl who said to me recently, “Your picture books are perfect.

These small examples all grabbed their neon signs and pointed down the path of terror. Shouting that I have something of value to offer the world. Of believing that I am incredible at what I do. And of receiving the affirmations that keep pouring in.

As for your own gifts, strengths and talents – I will say this: you are fearless! And generous! And you clearly care about, not only the message, but how the message is received and that it is done so in an uplifting way. People will follow such a leader!

-Business Mentor

and

I feel very strongly that you are meant to do great things for yourself, your family and many others that you have not even met yet.

-Business Mentor

and

Thank you for loving me from the very beginning and teaching me what it looks like to be a faithful friend. You are an extraordinarily gifted writer, communicator, connector, adventurer, listener, empathizer and the ultimate FUN creator! Thanks for inviting me into your world.

-A friend

So, after prayerful consideration, coaching and mentoring from thoughtful business leaders in self publishing, and feedback from my family and friends, and spiritual mentors, I’ve decided “Path Crazy.”

I’ve launched my very own Picture Book Self Publishing Coaching program!

I’m SO excited to finally have one bridge to focus on building and to do it superbly. My goal is to help people publish their picture books as quality as possible in 90 days or less.

I’m building the program together with my clients and my decade of experience in traditional publishing and last few years in self publishing as an Amazon best-selling author. You can learn more about it HERE.

If you know ANYONE who has dreamed of publishing their picture book, send them my way! If they sign up, I’ll send you $50! (Make sure they write your name in the “referral” section of the form.

I’m accepting applications for the limited spots I’m offering until Sunday, November 12th!  There is NO commitment when filling in the application other than to a free clarity call with ME to find the best path to fulfilling your picture book publishing dreams!

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I’m excited to start this new adventure! I know lives will change (my own included!) Join me!

{Dad’s} Expectations – and Lessons from Meeting Them

Today, as my five year-old son was getting ready for school, he began to dance in a bit of a circle whining/crying, “I don’t want you to be mad, I don’t want you to be mad!

To which I responded, “Sweety… you are trying to get ready… so I’m not going to be mad, even if it’s not happening fast. It’s when you stop focusing and goof off instead  of getting ready that I get upset!”

I gave him a hug and helped him with the final details of his school readiness routine.

I realize how often I’ve done this with my own dad.

Out of my love, respect, fear of disappointment… I often begin to despair that I’m disappointing him. I cry, I sulk, I whine… at my own failure, inadequacies, insufficiencies… all the ways I must be a waste of human flesh. Not doing the right things, doing all the wrong things… knowing what’s right and still choosing wrong. Or I do it all right for a long time… scraping by on my own ability to do anything, hoping it pleases him… that I’m exhausted but good.

Good enough for all he’s done for me.

Which I can never be (confession).

Never.

There’s no way I can make myself worth the sacrifices my dad has experienced on my behalf.

Yet I try.

Then I fail. And as my brother said recently, want to shout at him, “Well, you’ll have to be okay with that! That’s all I’ve got!”

And he smiles.

Because he’s been my dad a long time.

And there’s nothing about me that ever surprises him.

Then he pulls me in and whispers sweet reminders in my ear… that he chose me (a definite perk of adoption 🙂 )

Chose me knowing that I’m an imperfect human… that I would need a daddy to lean on, to guide me, to teach me.

That in the same way the four little heads I’ve been given make me smile and fill my heart and teary eyes…

He smiles for me.

Smiles that daddy smile when I trip, jump up, and say, “I’m okay!”

Smiles when I get a failing grade… but have learned a greater lesson, albeit painful.

And yes, smiles that loving smile (although it carries tears) when I need a good loving Father’s discipline… because he loves me too much to leave me in my foolish ways… and knows just the perfect touch to bring me back to his side.

My favorite place.

And then I realize that the expectations in my life… are my own. And they are WAY higher than my dad’s.

Because I’m still learning to trust that he loves me. That I don’t have to earn his affection.

He’s walked life out.

He’s seen the challenges, the heart ache, the disappointment… how this whole world is performance-based… and he brought me into it. To be a shelter from the storm.

Just like I try to be for my own children.

Who break my heart when they fear so much of displeasing me that they miss the moments of enjoying me.

I don’t want to miss moments of enjoying my dad by cowering behind my own unmet expectations.

And instead, to curl up on the couch with a hot chocolate and my daddy… and know that I’m doing exactly what he expects… acting human. The human he loves desperately and deeply. The human that can never do anything so wrong that he will finally be surprised or find an end to his love for me.

Amazing grace.

If you don’t know my dad… I sure hope you get to.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

To learn more about 31 Days in 2012 or view other 31 Dayers blogs, click here.

I’m spending 31 days writing about my confessions and the lessons {Dad} has taught me. This is day 11 of 31 Days in 2012.