Category Archives: Personal Growth

My baby is one year old today.

My mom always says that a few years after I was born it was clear to her that she either had another baby or a book in her — but not both.

I always wanted a little brother, so when I was younger that story kind of annoyed me. But now I get it.

(Epilogue: She chose to birth a book, not another baby.)

A year ago today my book, Money: A Love Story, Untangle Your Financial Woes and Create the Life You Really Want, made its debut.

IMG_4990A year ago I celebrated that “birth” by being on the Today Show and throwing two big parties in cities near and dear to my heart: New York and Portland, Maine.

(Watch the highlight video from the NYC launch party, hosted by the generous folks at Betterment.com, HERE, and find out what Marie Forleo, Meggan Watterson, and Terri Cole have to say about it HERE.)

This year has been a big one. A really, really big one.

Getting married and launching a book in one year is a lot. I think my central nervous system is still recalibrating from the expansion.

This week I have a call with my publisher to talk about future projects. As I’ve prepared for the call it’s become crystal clear to me that I’m not the same person I was when I signed my first book contract.

I understand so much more about the creative process, about my own ebb and flow, about what it means to give something your all, and about the ways life must be reorganized to make space to create something worth creating.

Mike and I are talking about starting a family, and the parallels between launching a big creative project like a book and bringing a new human life into the world are particularly poignant right now.

I’ve dreamed of being a mom my entire life — but not just a mom, a truly present mom. I embarked on the path to create financial freedom by the age of 30 so I could create space for the little being(s) that are going to choose me as their mama.

As I look at the landscape of the next year — we run our life and business calendar from September to September because the freshness of fall feels way more new-beginning-ey than the dead of winter — I can’t help but make plans differently based on what I learned last year.

Here’s what I learned while launching my book that can apply to pretty much anything you may be wanting to birth:

1. Getting a creative project out in the world is an all hands on deck endeavor.

Going into the book process I had no idea the amount of time and energy it would require. (The writing part was the easy part for me. It was the getting it out into the world part that was a doozy.) Mike and I worked on the launch pretty much full time starting in July of 2013, and it continued at a fever pitch all the way through the spring of 2014. I’m really glad I didn’t know how much it would take because if I had, I probably would have said no to the whole thing. Could we have been more organized, more efficient, and gotten more help? Yes. But ultimately, I’ve found that getting a creation out there in a way that I’m proud of requires everything I’ve got. I’m keeping this in mind as I look at debuting other creations in the year and years ahead.

2. For most of us a book is not an efficient, effective way of earning residual income.

I talk to so many people who have a brilliant creative idea like a book. Many of them have even gone so far to write it. And most are under the erroneous impression that writing and launching a book (or other single creative work) is going to provide for them financially over the long haul. There are some people who hit the right chord of preparation and timing like J.K. Rowling with the Harry Potter series and are able to cash in. For most of us, though, even if you’re blessed to receive a book advance, it’s been spent by the time the book goes to print. And the continued sales of that book require constant care and tending. Ensuring that your book continues to sell requires getting on planes, showing up and shining at speaking gigs, pitching media outlets, guest blogging, doing interviews, attending conferences, coming up with and executing marketing campaigns, and more.

It’s a hustle and it is not for the faint of heart.

I cannot even begin to express how grateful I am that I have a source of income that doesn’t depend on my book being sold. Take home message: a book is not a business. It may be part of your business strategy, but if it’s the whole thing, you’re likely going to end up scrambling financially. Whatever you’re launching, be sure that you’re looking to see if there’s a way for you to earn recurring income from it and if so, how that actually will work.

I’m obviously a proponent of passion projects and getting your work out into the world. That said, getting serious about how money will be coming in the door and what you’ll need to do for that to happen is critically important to your quality of life.

This is why this year Mike and I are making building our network marketing business our top priority. When I have kiddos running around I do not want to have to get on an airplane and show up perfectly coiffed in order to bring home the bacon. (And I want to raise kids with Mike, not by myself while he’s providing for us outside the home.) This is precisely why we’re shifting our focus back to a grounded business that doesn’t depend on my showing up and looking and sounding good.

3. There’s always something else you could do. You have to choose when enough is enough.

There are endless ways to market a book (or anything else). There are tons of books, blogs, videos, training programs, and webinars you can study to learn how to get your work out to more people. And at some point you have to look at your life, decide what you want your days to feel like, and know when enough is enough. Round about March I realized how fundamentally tired I was and began to taper off the hustling.

twitter_standingGive yourself permission to say enough. (Tweet it.)

 

4. Everything you birth has a life of its own. At some point you have to let it go.

When people ask me how it’s going with the book these days I’m thrilled to be able to tell them that it’s doing great. It’s been translated into more than seven languages (including Vietnamese and Czech – how cool!) and has sold tens of thousands of copies. We get emails and social media messages every day from people who are reading it and finding it helpful. Here’s what’s cool: I trust that the book is out there doing its thing. We laid a powerful foundation for it this year, and now all it needs to do is find its way into the hands of people who need it. And besides the occasional speaking gig, interview, and media mention, I trust that it has a life of its own and I’m not solely responsible for it at this point. Fly baby fly.

5. There’s nothing more gratifying than being of service.

Every time someone comes up to me and tells me that Money: A Love Story has been helpful to them my heart expands. Though I can’t respond to every message we receive, they’re no less touching.

twitter_standingBeing of service is the biggest bang we could ask for. (TWEET IT)

 

As long as our own well is full there’s no better way to spend our time than doing what we can to make the world a better place. As tired I’ve felt at times during this process, knowing that this book has helped ease someone else’s path makes it worth it.

Over to you:

What are you birthing these days? What have you learned from getting things out into the world (babies, books, or otherwise) that you can share to support others in the creative launch journey? I’d love to hear from you so please leave a comment below.

 

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Missing something? I’ve got your ingredients right here.

We need each other. There’s a lot of talk in the self-actualization space about masculine energy and feminine energy. When I first heard about this concept I got very tied up in worrying about which one I was using and whether or not I was doing it “right.” Most of the time I felt likeContinue Reading

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An intimate look behind the scenes of my business model

This week I’m taking my annual sojourn to Salt Lake City, Utah, the home of my product partner, USANA, for its international convention. I don’t talk a ton about my network marketing business, but since I’ll be posting a lot on social media this week about my USANA family and what we’re up to atContinue Reading

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Is it my intuition or is it my resistance? Here’s how to know the difference.

On the one hand, there’s listening to your body, your inner wisdom, your gut feelings, your intuition, or really whatever you want to call your divine instinct. And then on the other, there’s resistance. What’s the difference? This is something I grapple with daily. I’m a worker. I can push through and produce. I canContinue Reading

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I was stumped.

I’d always had a clear vision of what I wanted: a beautiful house on the ocean in Maine, an adorable (and adoring) husband, plenty of space to host friends and family, and dogs and babies running around. Plus, of course, the financial freedom to support it all so my (adoring) husband and I could beContinue Reading

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How are your petunias? On growing and dying.

This summer I’ve been home for two months straight for the first time possibly since my teens. As a result my “flower babies,” as I call them, have received a lot more attention. Deadheading Part of my morning ritual is deadheading my petunias. It sounds like something out of a horror movie but is actuallyContinue Reading

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Permission, intrinsic value, the act of creation, and making art: Insights from one wine-soaked conversation that changed everything.

It was that time in the evening when the wine and champagne had softened everyone’s edges and everything seemed to melt together a bit. We were seated at a round table laden with vegan brownie crumbs, and a lot of chairs had been abandoned in favor of the dance floor. My friend Marie and IContinue Reading

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We were together. I forget the rest.

As it turns out, planning a wedding is not for the faint of heart. There are the logistics. And then there’s the emotional stuff. It’s really easy to perseverate on the logistics to avoid feeling the emotional stuff. I’ve noticed myself veer in that direction countless times in the last year and particularly in theContinue Reading

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How Barbara Walters and Gretchen Rubin Helped Me Overcome Social Anxiety

When I was envisioning our wedding a year ago I decided to keep the bridal party simple and have my two sisters stand up there with me. I’d made a mental list of the important women in my life and realized that I could either have 15 bridesmaids or 2. There really wasn’t much inContinue Reading

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The Infinite Possibilities in Saying “I Do”

I used to think that freedom meant boundlessness. I used to think it was like looking at a vast horizon with every possibility in the world. I used to think freedom meant the ability to choose literally anything at anytime… and to change my mind at the float of a feather. I’m about to makeContinue Reading

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