By now, many of you know I've written a Self-Help/Motivational book called "FIND A WAY TO MAKE A WAY! You're Either Part of the Problem or You're Part of the Solution!"
I went from self-published & released in `07 to signed to a publishing deal in `08. In `09, the book was re-released as a 2nd edition that, in addition to being available in print, also became available as a 5CD audiobook and i-Tunes download.
Two weeks ago I was in Barnes &Noble.
Two weeks from now I will be returning to the Hue-Man Bookstore in Harlem, NYC.
Check the promo:
Many of you have already bought a copy of my book. I know this, and I appreciate it. If you've read it, I KNOW you got something positive out of it, and if you got something positive out of it, those you truly care about can get something positive out of it as well. SO ... How long is your Christmas gift list? What kind of budget are you working with? Naturally, you're going to have to get something flossy for your husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend - but after taking care of him or her, you can take care of your Top-5 by giving them a personally autographed copy of the book and not even break the bank!
I was only at Hue-Man - for the first time just this past April, and they asked me to come back! I must be doing something right! I talked about the book for about 15-20 minutes and commenced to signing. When I was done speaking, the manager said, "We need you to come back and do a seminar!" As busy a year as it's been with various speaking engagements, there was NO WAY I could turn down a return invitation! If you're not aware of the significance of the Hue-Man Bookstore, it’s not just that Hue-Man Bookstore in Harlem is the largest African-American-owned bookstore in the New York area - it’s one of the largest in the nation.
This is NOT a hobby or passing "look at what I did" kind of thing. This is NOT a game! I'm going in HARD!! I've got a lot riding on this event and I would greatly appreciate it if those of you who can make it come through and show some support.
DATE: Saturday - Oct. 9th
PLACE: Hue-Man Bookstore & Cafe' - 2319 Frederick Douglas Blvd; NY, NY. 10027
If you can make it hit me up with a private e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know. There's NO guestlist and NO COVER. All I ask is that you come through & get yourself an autographed copy of my book. Bring a friend or two as well! The more the merrier! I want to pack the place to the point where we damn near shut them DOWN!!
I often ask people, "Are you where you want to be in life?" and I often get the answer, "No, I'm not." Then I ask, "Well, where DO you want to be in life?" This is where the conversations get fun because the answers start at "I don't know" and escalate to the highest heights of whatever can possibly be imagined.
If the person answers that they are not where they want to be because they don't know where they want to be, it's not totally okay because typically I'm not having this conversation with teenagers or even college students. I'm talking about adults who are out in the "real world" and long gone from their days in a classroom. On the other hand, it doesn't make sense crying over their lack of direction up until that point, so I'll say that it's kind of okay to not know because it gives us a "ground zero" to start from.
The fact of the matter is that many people are just going through life on auto-pilot with no clue as to where they're going; and because they don't know where they're going, they're never going to know when they've arrived. Hell, because they're not focused on where they're going, they might "arrive" and not even know it.
I remember one day years ago, when I had to take public transportation to go to work, and I fell asleep on the bus. When I woke up - or rather when the bus driver woke me up, we were at the last stop of his run - with me missing my stop quite some time back.
This event paints the perfect picture of what I'm talking about because I was on the bus "just traveling along." I wasn't driving, so I "wasn't in control" of how I got to my destination. I "got comfortable" on my ride and I "fell asleep." I was still traveling along, but "I had no clue as where I was & because I wasn't paying attention to where I was, when I arrived I had no idea that I had arrived." Because I had no idea that I had arrived, I "kept on traveling" until I "ultimately ended up somewhere I did not know or want to be." However, "once I was awakened," and realized where I was, "I had to go about the work of going back & getting to where I was supposed to be."
Is this not just about the exact recipe as to how people wind up "lost & found" in life?
"just traveling along."
"wasn't in control."
"I had no clue as where I was & because I wasn't paying attention to where I was, when I arrived I had no idea that I had arrived."
"kept on traveling"
"ultimately ended up somewhere I did not know or want to be."
"once I was awakened,"
"I had to go about the work of going back & getting to where I was supposed to be."
If you're not where you want to be, in life there's only one person responsible for changing that direction, and that person is you. No one else is going to know when you're unhappy before you do; so since you're the first person who's going to know when things aren't right, logically speaking, only you can be the first person to go about making things right.
I beleive people make two kinds of mistakes: (1) Mistakes made out of ignorance, and (2) Mistakes made out of arrogance. It's okay to be lost if you don't know you're lost. That's a mistake made out of ignorance - you didn't know any better; but once you realize or are made to realize that you're going in the wrong direction, any conscious decision to proceed in that direction can't be labeled as anything else but arrogance - you're gonna' go where you wanna go because it's where you want to go, even though you know it's the wrong direction! Hell, not only is that arrogant ... it's downright stupid!
So ... Let's talk about getting back to getting to where you want to be in life. If you're not there - or on your way there, you have to wake up and you have to wake up NOW. No one can live your life for you. No one can do your work for you. Oh ... you might get over & trick someone into taking your load upon their shoulders, but the universe has a way of balancing things out, and I guarantee you that you will come up short.
"You have to push a little harder. You have to dig a little deeper. You have to stay up a little later & wake up a little earlier. You have to sacrifice a little sleep. You have to spend little time socializing, playing & watching games. You have to deal with a little discomfort & little-minded people. The rewards will be stupendous because little things mean a lot." ~ HSRjr.
Today, I experienced a personal best in my career as a published author. Today, I had a book-signing for my book "FIND A WAY TO MAKE A WAY!" at Barnes & Noble, the largest retail bookseller in the country.
Allow me to share some history with you so you understand how significant today was for me.
Two years ago, while I was still pushing my (self-published) 1st edition of "FIND A WAY!" I sent a copy to the Manhattan corporate offices of Barnes & Noble and inquired how I could get my book in their stores. About a month later I got an letter from them that politely said (in short - paraphrasing) "We don't do much business with self-published authors who don't have a proven following. Thanks for sending us your book. Don't call us - we might not call you." Some people might have been discouraged at receiving such a letter; however, those of you who know me also know that I have a tendency to be both stubborn and spiteful. So, if you try to stand in my way ... you're in for a fight.
So I kept pushing and plugging. I went from pushing my self-published product to getting signed to a publishing deal. That deal called for the re-release of "FIND A WAY!" - not only in print, but as a 5CD audiobook, and i-Tunes download ... and I kept on pushing and plugging, and after putting in the required work and steadily building a following, I received word from my publisher that I was going to be doing a book-signing at a Barnes & Noble store!
Today was a great day! There was a great vibe in the room. The seats were filled, my audience was inspired ... and books were sold! The scary thing is ... THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING!!
I know I've been gone for "a minute," but I've been very busy, and I have missed you just as much as you have missed me - if not more!
Life is becoming a matter of flux for me right now. What does that mean? That means that things are happening and things are changing. Some things are happening and changing for the better and some things are just proving themselves to be nothing but obstacles. As much as I hate those obstacles, I also welcome them because I know that by overcoming them, I can only get better!
We're about to take off, but it's going to be a slow ride. It's going to be slow so that we can appreciate the journey because that's where the value of the journey is to be found.