And…What Did You Learn, Deb?

At a recent book reading I explained some the key ideas in GREAT IDEA! And… and read a few stories. I also asked for questions and comments. Someone asked me to describe the best lesson I got from creating the book.

I had to laugh.

Answering this wonderful question could have taken me hours to answer because I’ve learned so much along the way. And… given that time was a factor, I cut to the chase.

I learned to share creative control.

I like to think I am a creative, driven, goal oriented, competent self-starter. So asking for help is tricky for me. And… when I started to write this book, I was so entranced by the process, it was challenging to consider sharing any creative control. My original vision was not only to write a book but to also illustrate it, handle the page layout and manage the own. After several anxious moments, I eventually came to see that this was a nutty plan. Doing it all on my own was just too much to ask of myself.

So I asked for help.

I am pleased I was able to recognize and accept my own limitations. I figured out that my unwillingness to delegate was rooted in some stubborn resistance that needed some reworking. My idea (write a book about business best practices) was great. Doing it all? Not so great.

When I got ready to share control I delegated the illustrations to my friend Bruce Younger who did an amazing job making my ideas take form. I also sought out an experienced coach who knew way more about publishing that I did. Smart move. I hired Mary of Buy the Book Marketing, who has become my trusted Sherpa guide and a dear friend. It was also a great idea to hire Deanna Estes of Lotus Design to handle the book layout, cover, and website design. Working with these fun, resourceful pros allowed me to stay focused on getting the copy done, edited, and ready for production.

So while I had to give up some control, I ended up becoming more inspired. I got to work with a team of lovely, trusted advisers. I got to take better care of myself.

And, so…wrapping up:

  • I like to think I have a lot of great ideas, but sometimes I have to accept I don’t have the energy or the know-how to see them through. When I intentionally make myself ready to ask others for their expertise, my ideas – and I – get stronger.
  • It takes time to get ready to ask for help. It helps to keep asking, “Why might it be so difficult for me to share some creative control? What am I afraid of losing? What can I gain from sharing some aspects of this project? What do I need to keep – and what can I give away?”

These questions help identify the roots of our resistance. The more we know about the roots of our own resistance, more resilient we can be when others resist our ideas.

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