I love a good fresh salad and have always had a desire to have my very own vegetable garden. The mini farmer inside me made several attempts, all with varying levels of success. Before I was married, I rented a charming cottage where my garden flourished. It was a wonderful staggered white rose garden and in it I found a spot that allowed me to grow butter lettuce, cherry tomatoes and spring onions. I was in culinary heaven with a fresh bit of greenery on my plate every evening.
What has this to do with being an author? Starting any business or writing a book, all have those same small stirrings that gradually transform into a dream. Where you position your dreams can mean the difference between failure and watching them blossom and bear fruit.
On the first property, my landlady had a sprinkler system, and the garden flourished as she also wanted her tenants to have a beautiful garden. The soil was fertile because she had set a foundation for gardening success. I knew little about gardening, but I planted little plants in a place where they had no choice but to grow. Once I moved from this nurturing oasis, I never quite achieved the same success that I initially had.
Later I moved into a newly constructed complex where, unbeknownst to me, the builders had covered their rubble with sand and planted grass over it. My little plants grew well there, but when we tasted the lettuce, it was so bitter that we soon gave up on the unpalatable plant. I realized early in my publishing career that as a new author, if you share your vision with critical people, they will steer you on a path away from your dream. These naysayers may make you feel that success is impossible to achieve except for a minority or that if there was a way of succeeding, you would not have what it takes to make it a reality.
This time the plants produced stunning, full and red tomatoes. The plant was so heavy that my husband erected a support to help the plant from bending and breaking the stem. The bright red tomatoes were a thing of beauty, which the neighborhood birds gleefully devoured. My tomatoes tasted wonderful, but as the plant grew, I realized I had not planted them into a container that would facilitate deep root growth and the plant did not have the soil depth to grow.
That is typical of any business, including a book business. In order to grow, we have to set up structures that will support our growth. You cannot have a big dream without systems to find, attract and convert readers into your loyal fans that you can largely automate. But this takes vision and a willingness to dedicate the time to set them up.
During the global pandemic, home-grown produce became more of a necessity rather than a whim and this time my plants did beautifully, but upon maturation, they developed some sort of fungus that killed the plant. It seemed like too much hard work to discover what the problem was and try to remedy it, so I gave up; using the excuse that I had other priorities and I would get my produce from the local store. My bruised ego was nurturing itself and just did not feel like getting another stab in the heart. Many authors have given up when they realize they do not have a strategy in place and they are not making sales. They are not willing to invest the time to learn how to reposition themselves for success.
The problem with dreams is that it won’t be long before they come knocking at your subconscious door again. Some people respond by using the “I am too busy” excuse. Some douse their dream with a regular hefty dose of merlot to dull the pain of giving up on themselves, and some people become as bitter as those early lettuce leaves of mine. It is a painful place to be in, and if you choose to linger there, you may leave a legacy of unfulfilled dreams for your children. That is a sobering thought.
So rather pick yourself up, dust off those dreams, and do the work of repositioning yourself for long-term success.
Hello, I am Kim Vermaak
I spent most of my adult life helping other companies build their dream and their brands.
After I turned 40, I wondered if there was more to life than taking care of children and slaving away to earn a living.
I wanted to create a legacy for my children and the next generation. I found that through my books I could celebrate who I am as well as teach others to earn a living through their writing.
Being an author is not a hobby. It is a business, and it is my passion to teach authors how to thrive in that business. I look forward to seeing your book business grow.
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