In January 2013, I attended ALT Summit. During one of the round-tables, I had an opportunity to pitch my book idea to an editor from Chronicle Books. I only had about 45 seconds, so I quickly exhaled an idea about turning my Social Media Rehab program into a book.
"Great," said the editor. "We've been looking for something like that, but instead of just social media, we'd like to focus on unplugging in general."
She handed me her card and told me to email her (using these guidelines) when I had my thoughts sorted out.
"PERFECT!" I thought. "I'm totally going to just send a quick email and then all of a sudden be published by Chronicle."
As you can imagine, it didn't exactly work out that way. After the initial omg, she liked my idea! wore off, I realized that I had no clue how to pull all of this together. So I talked to my friend Kari about what I needed, I brainstormed titles (my favorite, Digital Detox, was already trademark pending), and I thought and thought and thought.
But I didn't actually do anything.
I didn't put my one-page author bio together (although I talked to Erin about it). I didn't map out an outline (although I started scribbling notes but then it got hard). I certainly didn't submit anything to the editor (nope, nada).
One by one, all those days of not doing combined with life going on to equal me completely forgetting about it.
Until I saw this book for sale at Paper Source in May: Unplug Every Day: 365 Ways to Log Off and Live Better, published by Chronicle Books.
Fuck, y'all. That was totally the project I could have pitched.
I blew it.
Now, I want to point out that I'm not trying to pull an oh, I could have totally written that here. Because, yes, I could have gotten an idea and put together daily prompts and such (hello! More Shenanigans Please!) but I didn't. I don't want to discount the work of the editors who did create this book.
But. But. But. Seeing this made me realize that what I could have done was kept it simple and come up with a fun concept that wasn't overly complicated.
It made me realize that I should have done the work to follow-up and send the freaking email and see where the process went.
It made me realize that I let fear win out, I let overthinking win out, and I let doubt win out.
And that, my friends, is a shitty realization to have. Especially when getting a book published by Chronicle is one of your dreams and career goals.
I've been talking up my upcoming 100 Rejection Letters program for a few weeks; this is why I'm taking on the project again. I've gotten to a place in my business where things are good but they aren't great. Everything is fine but it isn't amazing.
And with two kids and limited time and energy, the work that I do needs to be in-fucking-credible for me to keep going. Otherwise, I might as well just go out and get a job. (Which is a whole lot of NOT what I want!)
Seeing that book in print made me realize that it's going to take bold action to push my business to a level where it is working for me and what matters most in my life.
It made me realize that it was time to stop thinking about things and start getting shit done.
Even if I'm not 100% sure of the outcome.
Even if it might feel easier to not most often.
Even if, for a majority of the time, I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing.
Guess what? Most people feel that way. They just aren't talking about it.
I made the choice to take my I blew it moment and let it propel me towards something bigger instead of letting it paralyze me into more of the same: inaction.
And starting October 15, you'll have a chance to go behind the scenes into that something bigger. Like full transparency, laying it all out, here we fucking go world behind the scenes. (Oh! Hi nerves!) You'll also have the chance to commit to your own version of the 100 Rejection Letters project, to put all you've got into making a goal happen for yourself, to see what's possible when you really try your absolute hardest. (Oh! Hi nerves!)
In Pitch Perfect: Mastering the Art of Making the Ask, I will walk you through the start of making your own pitches (including how to figure out where to even begin!) and offer an exclusive first look at the new program. I've got some amazing bonuses for early sign-ups and you'll get first glance (and first dibs!) during this call. RSVP here.
In the meantime, I'd love to hear about your I blew it moment in the comments. Have you ever had that feeling? Have you ever seen someone else pull off one of your dreams? What did you do in response? And, now, in retrospect, what do you wish you had done?
It all comes down to choice. Every time.
**graphics by Erin Cassidy for Tiffany Han Coaching