Thousands of dollars and the hard lessons learned
OHHH … THAT’S GOTTA HURT!
Nearly 3 years ago I launched my first book, Connecting Faith Hope and Love. I was brand new to the writing industry so I did the best I could learning how to write from those who had gone before me. It has always been my practice to learn from successful people who have gone before me, so I could learn to get the best results from my extra efforts.
Like I was taught, I used a merchant account that had an email attached to it, so my team canceled the gmail account address I had initially set up to go with the book. When I cancelled the account I understood that the email we had initially attached to it also went with it. This was not the case.
A few weeks ago I saw that old email address, and for whatever reason I wanted to see if I could still get into it. I did, and what I found was shocking. Over 1000 messages from women, men and organizations asking for my book, and for me to come speak. There were also notifications from people that had signed up for the bonuses but they didn’t get them. There were orders of 100 books, 10 books, 35 books, etc.
Suffice it to say, I was in complete shock. My teenage daughter, who is one of the most intuitive people I know, asked me what was wrong.
“Ohhhh Mom….that’s gotta hurt.” was her response to my explaining the situation.
I knew this book had touched lives over the years, but I felt so sad realizing how many MORE lives it could have touched had I known what I was doing back then. The second challenging realization was that I had left thousands upon thousands of dollars on the table.
LESSONS FROM THE FLIP SIDE
On the flip-side, I told myself, this new revelation is a chance to fully own the following;
- That I am a good writer
- That my books mean something to others
- That I can learn from this painful lesson
Any author will tell you that although we see people buying our books and standing in line for an autograph, there is still a part of us that wonders if what we write will really transform someone. This is less about pride and more about our own sense of self-worth.
WRITING PEOPLE BACK AFTER 3 YEARS
After weeding through the first 500 messages, I began writing people back. Then I realized, that after nearly 3 years of not hearing from me, they may all wonder who this person is writing three years after the fact. They might also expect truck-loads of free books to make up for the lost value. I really had a to ponder this situation and what would be the right course of action.
I stopped writing midstream of one email and decided to ask God for direction. The still small voice in my spirit said, “Be selective. Move toward those whom you know will feed others.” As soon as I heard this I had the thought that I could give this to my assistant to do so I could keep moving forward in my current work. Then I heard this, “You are meant to write. Share your heart and learn from it. Give this task to no one else.”
Hmmm….interesting. So….rather than give this to anyone else to handle, I decided it was my mess, and I needed to be mature and responsible for cleaning it up. I began sending out personal messages to just certain ones, even though I still had hundreds more emails to pile through. It was time consuming, but it was worth it as I read messages like this one from a pastor;
“Kellie, I know you are a woman of God after reading your book. You’ve been through a lot and your faith in God is evident. I want to share your stories with my congregation this weekend and encourage them to read your messages of love. God Bless You!!!”
TRUTH IN LOVE
After asking God to direct me, I realized that there could be some upset people for me to deal with. Regardless, I needed to be an adult about it and own up to my mistake. I’m happy to report that I’ve received responses back from people who thought it was funny and some who forgave me – even three years later. There were a few who said they still ‘might consider a shipment’ but only if I’m willing to ship them for free or at a massive discount.
I’ll send some discounted, and some free, but here is what I took away from this lesson:
- Although its tough to realize that you’ve left people hanging, whether it was your fault or not, its best to go back and apologize no matter how long its been. What you’ll learn from being humble is far greater than if you had just ignored the situation.
- Even though I left thousands upon thousands of dollars on the table, the lesson I learned was priceless.
- In responding to these messages with the truth in love, I am also sharing my current books and ‘The DOL View‘
- I share that I am a speaker who knows how to transform audiences much better than I did 3 years ago.
So you see, it wasn’t a total loss. This as an incredible opportunity to share with people who are still interested in my work, even though its been three years.
We all do the best we can with what we’re given at the time. No matter what mistakes cost – turning them into opportunities to do it better next time is often a greater lesson than the money you could have earned the first time around. And who knows – maybe it saved me millions to learn it now rather than later.
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