I admit, I have a couple of small addictions… namely chocolate, books, toys and weapons.
The fact is, I’m in the book business, so it makes sense I’d own a lot of books. And I’m in the toy business, so makes sense I’d have both collections and inventory. So when I saw a large yellow sign that said, “BOOKS!” and boasted, “Over 200,000 books!” on my honeymoon today, we had to follow that sign.
The Adventure Began…
Honestly, we didn’t know what to expect. After winding around a mountain road for about a mile, we ended up in the backwoods of the Smokey Mountains and Tony started guessing we were going to end up in someone’s backyard in a barn that smelled of musty old books…
And he wasn’t far off!
We pulled into a steep driveway and came to an out building that looked decent on the outside, so we decided to go ahead and check it out.
One Step Inside…
We were both smacked in the face with that musty old book smell, and could barely take one step before being accosted by the first floor-to-ceiling tower of books. I’ve never been in a true hoarder’s house before, but I’ve seen a couple episodes of Hoarders on TV and all I can say is, God bless this woman who thought she could justify her hoard with a “business.” It was buy-sell-trade and clearly she did more buying and trading than selling!
Needless to say, we were curious about finding that diamond in the rough, so we squeezed through the aisles we could actually fit down (and had to double back more than once due to the fact these “aisles” seemed to have been created with tiny Asian women in mind). After checking out several types of books, we decided to double back toward the exit.
I felt a tiny bit guilty about not trying to buy anything, but the fact is the books were in very rough shape and even the “rare” more valuable books were just squeezed in like sardines with no care given to how those precious rare covers rubbed and tore against their comrades.
Breath of Fresh Air…
Stepping out of that space was like going from a full-blown asthma attack to 10 minutes after a breathing treatment. We both breathed that fresh, mountain air in, looked at each other and said, “Obviously, we’re NOT hoarders.”
To some, that store would be a book lover’s dream. To me, it was a claustrophobic nightmare I dreamed about that night. And to the books? Their poor condition and inability for some to even get seen by potential buyers was just so, so sad.
And it got me thinking… How many times do we cram so much into our lives and projects that we can barely breathe? Is it no wonder humans are so run down, tired and stressed?
Whether it’s “stuff” you own, “stuff” you do or the number of words crammed into your book, take a look at your life, your books and your message. What are you telling your readers?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve coached authors who have so many ideas, they never implement a single one. Just as I could barely see to choose a book from that store, they can barely see to choose an idea. Or the authors who try to say the same point five different ways in their books… when one, simple, concise way will do just fine.
In my own life I’ve found that sometimes the only thing that helps me breathe through the clutter of my mind is an outside perspective. This is why I surround myself with close friends, coaches and mastermind partners to ask questions of when I need them most. Sometimes I need a nice ass-kicking to get moving on a project or just clarity to keep developing an idea. What I do know is if I didn’t have this support structure in my life for everything from accountability in my work to accountability in my own personal growth, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’d be one of those lost, sad books crammed with 200,000 of my siblings on a shelf to be long forgotten and abandoned. And that, to me, is not a happy place to live.
Your story deserves to be told. Your book deserves to be in readers’ hands, not lost in the clutter of your hard drive or mind. And your life?
It deserves to be LIVED.
If you’re ready to take action on your goals and dreams and partner up with others willing to invest in you and your projects, check out my exclusive My Book Mastermind program today. And do yourself a favor… dust off an idea and let that idea breathe new life into your work!