(L to R: Whitney Capps, Mom meeting Karen Ehman, Ruth of Better Mom, Rachel Wojnarowski, Lysa Terkeurst)
If you follow me on Instagram, you may be excited I am home from She Speaks. ENOUGH already lady with the photos from your amazing weekend. Below you will see the car ride to the airport with my new BFF Teri Lynne Underwood. I almost wet my pants from laughing with this girl.
It was an amazing weekend, but an unexpected time of DOUBT for me and my journey.
I went to do three things.
1) DELIVER TWO MESSAGES
My workshops were “How to build a platform from scratch” and “How to create a meaningful product that sells” to some of the writers that come to this weekend put on by Proverbs 31. What an honor to share my journey (including successes and failures) in hopes they will be encouraged.
2) ENCOURAGE OTHERS
(L to R: Stacey makes me cry with laughter. Andrea has the spiritual gift of happy audience member. Anne Marie has a passion to get women’s ministry into Quebec. I’m ready to help. Karmen encourages me and makes me want a tractor. Yaschica works at hotel and I love everything about her.)
I know from experience when you get around 800 other women with snazzy book proposals and flashy websites – you get taken down pretty quick. You can feel like a pretty big loser. So, I knew I could do something pretty fun. I didn’t want to be one of the “speakers” and act distanced and above them. It was to stay in it with them. It was to take every little conversation as a chance to build them up. See value in their idea. Find the worth. Encourage. Encourage. Encourage.
Because you know what? We are all worthy and exactly the same in the eyes of God. No one is sharing their Facebook stats on the tombstone. Amen? Did we say YES with the 9 or 900?
This is my roomie and sweet friend Courtney of Blessed by Brenna. She signed with agent Blythe Daniel who I met and now ADORE. They are a great match. Watch for great things coming from this mom sharing touching stories about true beauty.
3) POINT BACK TO JESUS
I also know from experience… when you attend a conference that is about your ideas and your dreams – you can quickly lose site of the entire REASON which is showing others the love of Christ or making him famous – not yourself. So, I wanted to keep telling them my story had everything to do with empowering moms, changing little lives, giving back and honoring God. I wanted every little conversation as a chance to remind folks why we are writing, why we are speaking. Even though it’s so easy to get pulled off track – keep reading.
I forgot He wanted me to change, too.
As I sat around one night with Emily Freeman, Crystal Paine (Money Saving Mom), Ruth Soukup (Living Well Spending Less) and Edie Wadsworth (Life in Grace). We were talking book deals and publishers and marketing plans. I was having fun and laughing my head off.
As quickly as the elevator took me up to my room, the anxiety and doubt filled my body.
These thoughts rushed through my brain and heart.
- They have a team! Like managers, publicists in place. Why don’t I have a team?
- They are so ready and so prepared. My launch is here. I am so not ready.
- They are big time authors, I am not.
- I not have what it takes to sell all these books.
I slept on those awesome thoughts and then the next day Christine Caine basically slapped 800 women with the message of Jesus. Reminding us all from “big” bloggers to people with no blog to speakers with 9 friends to speakers with 1,000 that we aren’t the priority. She had the room sobbing collectively. It was AWESOME. My hands hurts from scribbling her every word, but one awesome quote.
Get your face off Facebook and get your FACE IN THE BOOK.
You know what?
I don’t need a team. I left with such peace. I actually have a team. It’s the ONE who gave me the dern assignment in the first place. He’s’ got it. And I have YOU. I have my friends. I have Lindsey. I have my publisher and their team working so hard. I have a ton of people on my team actually – even if it doesn’t look like another author’s team. The people meant to get my book will get it and that is all that matters.
You won’t believe the next day.
So, then I did my product workshop and had a surprise. I gave away a trip to Atlanta to the Mart for ONE RANDOM person at the end. I randomly picked Heidi. Her heart was pounding before I even called her name (she later told me).
Fast forward. We had dinner to talk about our trip together to Atlanta. She started telling me her story and how her desires had changed right there at She Speaks. She felt an incredible peace that weekend that she was supposed to stop writing on her blog and just serve others. Use her skills to support other bloggers, “maybe just be an assistant to a blogger or several bloggers?” Y’ALL – are you following this? She loves everything behind the scenes but doesn’t love writing or speaking.
As she told me her story – I started crying. Right there in this very seat.
“Heidi, will you be my new virtual assistant?” And she said YES.
So, y’all! I have a team!
Her name is Heidi. And he picked her out of a huge crowd for me. Brought her all the way from Wisconsin and plopped her in the front row of my product presentation. I went to encourage and remind folks that he has got your dreams, your fears and He’s your team. Still can’t believe it. This photo was taken before my talk and I had no idea the cute girl in the front was soon to be a major part of my life.
How am I going to pay her? Well, just moments before the crowd rushed the table and the ABC Scripture Cards ran out – so Proverbs 31 decided to officially start carrying them in their online store! So, that’s how. Incredible. I’ll let you know when they are up and running for sale.
A couple more items…
1. YOUR SHE SPEAKS STORY – AUG 22
If you went to She Speaks. I want to hear your story and help you build your platform like we discussed. Mark the calendar for Friday, August 22. Write about your experience – anything! One thing you learned or top quotes or a favorite speaker – and post it on your blog. Then, come to my site and you’ll see how you can link up. It’s easy, promise. ALSO – that entire week (leading up to the 22nd) I’ll blog on my two sessions so you can get the notes, the links – all the things I talked about at mock22.
2. JOIN MY LAUNCH TEAM
My book comes out October 7 and I have no idea how to do all of this. But I do know whoever is supposed to get this message is somehow going to get the book. If you’d like to be on my team – which simply means, get emails about the book. How you can share with friends, deals on pre-sale, specifics on book tour events, etc…. I would LOVE to have your email address. There is one prize. A giant hug if we ever meet. Some authors have these launch teams where they get all kinds of perks. Not this one – you get some emails and maybe I’ll figure out something awesome later. A sticker from my girls. Who knows. One day at a time. Heidi will help me!
God is really neat, huh?
Thanks Lindsey for figuring out the email thing below – because my smart team is awesome.