What is success to you? When you envision yourself as “successful,” what do you see? If you were to ask me that question 15 years ago, I would have given you a completely different answer than I’d give you today. Success isn’t a fixed notion for me; it’s much more dynamic than that.
I finished writing my first book 15 years ago and published it the following year. Up until then, I had always wanted to write and publish a book, but fear of the unknown had me procrastinating for years on end. When I finally pushed through that fear and did it, I felt truly successful! I’m unsure how many copies of that book I sold. Probably very few. Probably only family members bought it. But selling wasn’t the priority back then. My number one goal was to make my childhood dream come true by writing and publishing a book. And I did it!
I’ve since published 28 books. I’m actually writing number 29 right now. Fear of the unknown no longer haunts me because writing and publishing have become like second nature to me after this much practice. I have new goals now, and my definition of success has evolved along with them. Now success is about reaching as many aspiring (and established) authors as I can with my books and helping them to realize their own goals, whatever they may be.
What is Success to Lawson Craddock?
First things first, who is Lawson Craddock? He is a Tour de France rider and the subject of an inspirational article written by Jeff Haden for Inc. about the human spirit and how it will define success from one moment to the next. The title of this article says it all: “After ‘3 Weeks of Pain,’ an American With a Broken Shoulder Finished Last in the Tour de France. Why He Kept Riding Is Truly Inspiring.“
How Craddock defined success was certainly different going into the Tour de France. Sure, he wanted to finish. But he also wanted to support his team, to be a workhorse during the team time trial, to possibly make it into a breakaway or two, to finish high up in the standings on certain stages… maybe even win a stage. (A boy can dream, right?)
In a matter of seconds, all that changed And that’s when Lawson revised his definition of success.
Success now meant finishing — and making a difference for other people in the process.
Where my definition of success has changed over the years, Lawson Craddock’s changed within one Tour de France race. Life threw him a curve ball that changed his course and set him on an even more inspirational road to success than he could have imagined before. The universe works in mysterious ways, doesn’t it?
What is Success to You?
Many of my recent posts on the PPG Publisher’s Blog have been focused around selling lots of books and earning a significant income from one’s writing. Maybe those posts have resonated with you, and maybe they haven’t. That’s okay. One of my past guest bloggers, Liz Schulte, put it best when she said, “It doesn’t matter if the book is insanely successful or still looking for its market, writing a book is a major accomplishment. At the risk of sounding cliché, writing is a journey.” And an enjoyable one, at that! Don’t you think?
When I write the blog posts focused on financial success or share author success stories with you, I just want to get you thinking about what’s possible so you can stretch yourself a little further. Right now, success for you may be exactly what it was for me 15 years ago: just write the book. And your idea of success may well change again in a year from now: now sell the book. It’s all fine. It’s all very individual, and it will evolve along with you as you take your journey as an author. Whatever you define success as for yourself, I hope you reach that goal. I’m rooting for you!
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