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Celebrating other authors’ successes fuels our own

Originally ran on Sunday, October 26, 2014.

I learned to read fairly early – at age 3-and-a-half or 4 – not because I was particularly precocious, but because I wanted to be able to read the Sunday comics on my own. So I demanded that my dad teach me how to read. Over the years, as the comics have waned in column inches and volume in daily newspapers, my interest in them has simultaneously declined. No longer the first thing I reach for, days can go by without my even seeing a comic strip.

Yesterday, however, I noticed and read the color comics, and this Pearls Before Swine strip caught my attention because it so well captures the human condition – including the attitude of many authors. I’m sure neuroscientists and sociologists and psychologists have studied what it is about human nature that so routinely causes envy rather than celebration when we hear of someone else’s success. And if it’s someone in our field (e.g., a fellow novelist, business coach, financial advisor, or guitar instructor), our envy level is likely to go off the chart!

It’s an abundant universe – someone else’s success does not mean my failure – yet we so often view it that way.

high tides

Sometimes aphorisms have their place, and this is certainly one such situation. Even if it may not feel like it in the immediate moment, your fellow author’s self-publishing success is a good thing for you! And it would be much better for you if you could celebrate with him or her than let the green monster consume you.

Reasons to celebrate your fellow author’s success

  • Envy is one of the surest causes of self-sabotage, so find a way to be genuinely happy for your successful author friends.
  • Being less than happy for others who are succeeding – particularly in the area where you want so badly to do well – inhibits your own chances for success. When you see another person’s win as a success for you, you open the door to hope for your own success.
  • Celebrating with others multiplies your opportunities to rejoice. When you are able to congratulate your fellow authors on their successes, you invite them to be willing to celebrate when your book does well.
  • When you’re truly happy for others, they are more likely to be truly happy for you. But real relationships invite the sharing of the highs and the lows. You want to develop the habit of empathizing when things are down and rejoicing in the good times.
  • The law of attraction teaches us that we manifest that which we focus on – and what we resist persists. So if we resist others’ happiness at the expense of our own, we’re likely to be chasing our own happiness while never really fulfilling it.

But let’s say that  you’ve been trying everything and nothing you’re doing to market your book seems to be making any difference. In spite of your  best effort, you’re still struggling, and the last thing you can do is be happy for your friend who just got picked up by a sizable publisher. Here are a few things you can do to lift yourself out of your blues so that you can be truly happy for your friend. They’ll take some work, but with effort, you’ll get there.

  1. We’ve mentioned this one before, but it bears repeating in the #1 spot: Keep a gratitude journalRecording the things for which you are grateful on a daily basis will help you stay focused on the good stuff and enable you to shrug off any emotion that resembles envy.
  2. Slow down and meditate. When the jealousy monster threatens to rear its head, take a moment to take a breath. Slow down. Stop. Meditate. Getting clear about the direction you want your emotions to take will enable you to put the envy to bed, if only momentarily.
  3. Recognize that positive emotions are as contagious as the negative ones. Read the next sentence out loud and with as much gusto as you can muster: BOY, AM I ENTHUSIASTIC! Read it aloud again, this time like you mean it. Say it one more time, with a big smile on your face. I obviously can’t see you, but I’m pretty sure that if you did the little exercise above, you feel better now than before you began reading this post. You have the power to propel positive emotions to the forefront, so why not use it?
  4. Look for opportunities to celebrate someone else’s success. This may involve gritting your teeth or even facing the envy and doing it anyway. Send a congratulations note. Blog about your friend’s success. Buy an extra copy of their book. If you can find a way to celebrate in spite of the awkward feelings, you’ll get the goodwill flowing, meaning that it will soon be flowing right back to you.
success of another

Use this mantra whenever the envy threatens to throw you off course.

Here’s to celebrating your fellow authors’ success!

Laura

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Why I want to be a TroubleMaker

 

Live-wired, straight-shootin, dirty-mouth'd, pelvis-pushing juke music ...

Live-wired, straight-shootin, dirty-mouth’d, pelvis-pushing juke music …

Here’s a portion of the bio of a band called Vintage Trouble, taken from their website Bio page, written by Nick Faigen:

Vintage Trouble formed in 2010 out of the ashes of a few other bands, and not by chance, Ty Taylor (vocal) and Nalle Colt (guitar) teamed up with drummer Richard Danielson and bassist Rick Barrio Dill. They entered The Bomb Shelter Studio, recorded an album’s worth of material in three days, which was intended to be demos and ended up being pressed into CDs. The Bomb Shelter Sessions became Vintage Trouble’s first album. Selling it at their gigs was easy and not surprisingly so were the calls to feature their music in several commercial media.

But they were just getting started. Unified in their decision to stay in Los Angeles to build the band’s musical foundation, the group quickly collected a lot of fans, who became known as “TroubleMakers.” Such underground buzz led legendary manager Doc McGhee to take notice and sign Vintage Trouble after hearing only a single chorus. Doc’s first order of business was to break the band in England, right away. Their first venture overseas resulted in a similar groundswell, with Music Weekly naming them 2011 Breakout Artist of the Year and HMV hailing them as their “Next Big Thing.”

Their accomplishments go on from there:

  • The band appeared on Later… with Jools Holland. This performance was one of the most talked about of the year, blowing up Twitter as the 6th most tweeted topic worldwide just hours after the show. The very next day, their self-released debut, The Bomb Shelter Sessions, entered the charts, becoming the No. 1 “R&B Album” and No. 2 “Rock Album” on Amazon UK—No. 6 on Amazon overall and No. 13 on iTunes, charting in the “UK Top 40” by the time it was officially released in July.
  • Vintage Trouble went on to play 80 shows in 100 days before an estimated 400,000 people throughout the UK and Germany.
  • The next three months brought them the opportunity to open for Bon Jovi in stadiums and arenas on the UK, Ireland, and German legs of the tour, playing to over 200,000 people in just under two weeks.
  • Guitarist Magazine ran a feature about Nalle, and The Bomb Shelter Sessions was named one of the “Top 25 Guitar Albums of the Year” by Total Guitar Magazine.

And last night, they continued their current tour, opening for The Who! at Jobing.com arena in Glendale, Arizona.

So why did this band catch fire as it has? Perhaps it was a case of being in the right place at the right time. But I think it’s more than that. It’s authentic talent. It was the decision not to wait for the results of a demo, but to release their first CD independently because they knew what they had was gold. It’s their retro look and sound. It’s the awesome photography and stage presence they have for a band so newly formed. It’s the catchy name for the fans – who wouldn’t want to be a TroubleMaker? After their set last night and at the end of The Who’s show, the band held meet-and-greets with the fans, willing to mix and mingle with anyone who wanted a chance to chat and/or shake their hands.

What does this have to do with you and marketing your book? Nothing and everything. You could say, “Yeah, but it’s different with music” or you can take inspiration from these four amazing guys. Visit their website and listen to the free track. Study the images and read their whole bio. What are they doing that you could mimic? How can YOU create a tribe of TroubleMakers that will help you sell more books and put you on the map?

Inspiration surrounds us daily. Are you noticing?

Laura

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The following is the first paragraph from Russell Bishop’s recent article regarding fear of failure. I guess I started reading this one in the middle, as you may be able to tell from comment (at the bottom in bold).

Still, I’d love to hear what he has to say on how the two are related.

Laura

Which do you fear most? Success or failure? Could it be that what holds you back in life is more about your fear of success than it is about your fear of failure? Before we can dig into the fear of success side of the equation, we need to address the more commonly thought-about fear of failure.

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While this isn’t new material, it’s a great reminder for just about anyone who’s attempting to make progress in his/her life. I’ve often heard that the fear of success is an equally daunting saboteur as fear of failure. Would love to hear you address how they are similar, different, and related overall. Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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