I don’t have a team! Then, I got a team!
(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.
Courtney, I loved this post! Your approach to not coming off as a “step-above” speaker worked MIRACLES on my heart. I left encouraged and inspired rather than defeated and doubtful. I cannot clearly articulate just what God did in my heart during your “Building Your Platform From Scratch” but it was clearly a divine moment between the Lord and Myself… and He used YOU to convey His message. Thank you, a million times over! Looking forward to doing whatever you need for the launch of your book! Thanks again!
thank you darby! what a pleasure to meet you. i’m so glad you came up so we could chat and i could connect you with my precious lis.
Answered prayer! Thanks so much for sharing God’s hand this weekend! He is just amazing all the time!
isn’t that the truth!
What a stellar story for letting self go. I mean! just look at Darby’s comment above! she is just one of hundreds! you felt defeated and empty and the God Of The Universe filled that emptiness in. who better? WHO BETTER?? [“not I,” I sheepishly respond.] letting self go is sure hard to do on the front side of a decision. the christine caine talk sounds incredible. I was fired up by it just reading your post about it! also, I’m so proud of and inspired by your goals for elevating each individual at that conference whether top dog speaker or custodian. truly, He is El Roi, God Who Sees. SO thrilled for every step He’s taking you on.
joy – i always treasure, your words, perspective and affirmation. love you. miss you terribly.
For the record, I love you. And I am soooo on your team. And this post is fab. And that is all. (For now.) xoxoxo
separated at birth. that is all.
Love this post! So excited for you and Heidi!
thank you mandy! i appreciate your taking my random hallway appt on va’s 🙂
right back at ya! xoxo
I love love love love love this story. What an amazing privilege to watch God work this past weekend. Heidi is A-mazing! Yay for your team!!
becky. triple love you back. i’m so glad you were sitting there to see it all go down. isn’t God the coolest?? super excited for your journey. put me on the list for your book!
What an amazing story of God providing just what you needed! I can’t wait to see what else He has in store for you. Can’t wait to read the book!
thanks jennifer! i appreciate it so much.
Love it. So pumped! Yay for a new teammate and helper.
thanks my sweet friend. xoxo
Rejoicing with you!!!
you are the best cheerleader. thanks!
Wandered in here after seeing Rachel’s tweet-photo of your ABC cards… I really like them!
And I loved reading of the peace that God gave you through the reminder that He can accomplish exactly what He wants to with your book and through His words…that’s the best way anyway…removes the pressure and striving…resting in Him and His ability make it happen (whatever “it” may be).
I hadn’t heard of your upcoming book, but read through the synopsis on amazon and checked out your other resources pages…and I’d be happy to help share when the time comes. Love, K
well how cool is that! welcome! happy to meet you.
Meeting you was one of the highlights of the conference for me. I just wish we had hours and hours and hours more to chat. Because I fell in love with you.
I’m fully confident your book launch is going to ROCK!!! I just pre-ordered my copy off of Amazon. Can’t wait for the release date.
And know that I have my pom-poms out over here cheering you on in this beautiful journey God has called you to!!
crystal. you have no idea how you impacted me. one of my major highlights of the trip for sure. so thankful we met.
Courtney! I LOVE this. You are such a talented woman and to see all the things God has worked out for you is simply amazing. Keep on, friend!
hey kalyn. right back at ya. you too! don’t ever hesitate to reach out. we’re all on the same team like christine and lysa said.
I love everything about this post! I enjoyed our time together SO much this weekend – you are truly like a lighthouse, like Christine said, spreading encouragement and love to everyone you meet. You touched my heart in so many ways. And thank you for your excitement about my book!! I can’t WAIT to get my hands on a copy of your book, I know it will be just as encouraging and uplifting as you are in person!!
wooohooo!!! what fun to be a part of a very special weekend for you. so happy for you!
Thanks for helping me dry my tears! And don’t forget about the other member of the team! #handler #hairbrush #anythingyouneedmsdefeo
you are a jewel. i can’t believe i didn’t recount all those details – but it was already a novel blog post. one day – let’s be clear. i’ll be your handler. you’re one amazing writer. do not forget it. story isn’t over.
Oh friend. This post is filled with so many wonderful only God moments. I just love how he met you in Charlotte. And you know, he totally had it planned the whole time! Over the moon excited for you.
And the fact you met and hung out with so many of my favorite people just makes it even sweeter!
P.S. Meet me for coffee soon? Do Thursdays work for you? After the kids start back? Say yes please.
hey girl. i would love to do that – really. let’s get it on the books. thursdays after school begins are great.
She Speaks has the uncanny ability to build me up and tear me down. Thankfully, the P31 leaders and super cool Jesus girls like you always point me to the One true reason I go. Loved your session, loved meeting you – and now I think you should draw another winner for the trip to Atlanta!
ha! amy. that is so true. i might just do that. loved meeting you too!
Be on the lookout from a call/email from Barbara Rainey/FamilyLife! They are excited to talk to you!