Just a few days ago I traveled a little over 150 miles to my college town of Fresno, CA . The trip was for the first stop on my Dream Chaser Book Tour. I was extremely excited to take the message of my book on the read, engage with reads, and inspire a few folks. As nearly every experience does, it teaches you something. Either about yourself or others. Here are a few lessons I learned from the trip.
1. Don’t be cheap
Ok, I have to admit, I can be pretty cheap sometimes. Now I don’t like to compromise on quality, but if I can find it for cheaper or cut a corner I just may. What can I say, I like to save a dollar here and there. At times it costs me in the end, whether in time or money. But let’s just say “I’m learning”. Long story short when I placed a reorder for my books I opted for the regular shipping instead of paying an additional $40 for the expedited. But come on $40 is alot of money…right? Plus the last time I placed a reorder of my books, they arrived around 3 days quicker than what was quoted. I was certain this order was going to follow the same schedule. To my surprise when I received the tracking information, it read that my package would arrive on Saturday…in Oakland. Did I mention my event was in Fresno? At that moment I wished I would had sent it directly to the venue, but there was still no telling what time on Saturday the books would arrive. After numerous calls to UPS, it came down to the fact the package was already on a truck and it could not be rerouted until it arrived on Saturday.
Can you guess what was now my only expensive option? Yes, to place yet another order of books and have them shipped Next Day. Needless to say the second order ended up costing me twice the amount of the first. I took it all in strides like Dream Chasers do, promised myself to never risk it again and went on to have a successful book discussion/signing. The books ended up arriving in Fresno on Friday night so, hey at least the mission was accomplished.
2. God knows what you need
The original plan for the Fresno stop of the book tour was to leave in the morning since the event didn’t begin until 2pm and have someone accompany me. After my husband expressed his desire to attend as well, the thought of my boys for once being able to see me in action crossed my mind, and an offer for breakfast in bed from a Soror my plans changed. One of my dearest sorority sisters texted me saying she would love if my family could be their overnight guests. Her and husband have a 5-year old son so it worked perfectly for the boys. Plus, we were in need of some good old fashion family fellowship. When we arrived she had dinner prepared, Wii setup for the boys, our guest suite outfitted as if we were staying at a hotel, and did I mention we got to sleep in while the kids watched TV in their PJs while she flipped pancakes? In my mind I wanted to come to Fresno do the book discussion and hit the road. But isn’t it like God changing your plans and giving you what you need. Needless to say, I was grateful for the hospitality, laughs, and rest. Thank you sweet baby Jesus!!
3. Power of partnership
While I know many people in Fresno almost 60% of the attendees were guest of my event partners; Seasoned Trends (the host venue) and my sorority sister who acted as my event coordinator. The sad truth is sometimes those that know you feel like “they know you and know your story”. Having a fresh audience was a great opportunity to grow my following and support of the book. I can be honest and say if I had went at this event independently, it would not have been as successful. When you are able to reach out your hand and collaborate with the right people the results can be outstanding. I was thrilled to see the familiar faces in the crowd, but our collaboration expressed one of the very elements I support full heartily and that is women empowerment. The women who just so happened to walk in for an eyebrow waxing was exposed to the inspiration within Dream Chaser. This is why the proverb “two is better than one” is so true.
5. Define success for yourself
Some people define success by many measuring sticks. Originally I had in mind that success meant selling every single book I had hauled into the venue. While I was left with just about a dozen or so on hand, a win this time was answering a question someone had been wrestling with. Success meant helping others see the barrier that was preventing their dreams to come true. Success was having my husband and boys with me supporting the work that I do. No longer will my bottom line always be the bottom line. I was given another opportunity to share my gift, practice my craft and be a blessing. And that my friend is a SUCCESS!!