There’s nothing you can offer
that I can’t get on my own
The essence of your sales pitch
are all things I’ve long outgrown
For it’s not about the money
I’ve got streams that feed my wealth
And it’s not about some “status”
that’s derived outside myself
Yes, a legacy is fine
So call me selfish if you must
But my focus is the present
not when dust returns to dust
I roam the world nomadic
poised to live out all my dreams
You, who merely skim the surface
miss the depth of all my schemes
And yet how is it I’m able?
So footloose and fancy free?
It’s those “little flights of fancy”
that’s how all this came to be!
I had an interesting email exchange recently with the head of a European-based publishing company who wants to commission me by contract to write a book about Saipan’s history. During our last exchange, in an effort to provide what he hoped would be motivation for me to put his proposed project higher up on my list of book ideas I’ve been completing and self-publishing, he wrote: “Think about walking into Barnes & Noble when you next visit the U.S. and seeing your ever-smiling face gleaming at you from their hallowed shelves. Think of your legacy. …Think also about status. It is one thing publishing your own little flights of fancy, but quite another to be published by a proper publishing house.”
I wrote in reply: “Be careful, my friend. ‘Little flights of fancy’ sounds a bit dismissive of a body of work that has sustained me for the past three decades, represents the lifelong pursuit of my passion and has helped others do the same.
“As I said, all that you offer may be great motivation for you, but I’ve learned and found years ago when I was building a sales team, that one needs to be cognizant and respectful of what moves the other person to action. Status? I passed that stage of life many years ago. ”
Years ago, I made the conscious choice to walk away from my civil engineering career, put my Ivy League engineering diploma “on the shelf” and escape that life to pursue my passion for writing while adhering to a certain set of personal principles and standards.
I’ve turned down large sums of money to do my PassionProfit seminars and workshops that were to be sponsored by alcohol companies; and I regularly refuse to work with individuals who or organizations that operate counter to my personal ideals, or who project negativity as I define it.
In my writer workshops and coaching, I advise fellow authors mot to go the “proper publishing house” route in favor of having more control and, instead, deal directly with the buying public through independently-published projects. I’ve had author friends who’ve gone the publishing house route and, of course, I earn more per book than they do since I deal directly with the buying public through my websites. They still work day jobs, while I’ve been free for some time now. In many cases, I sell more books than they do, since I don’t rely on a publishing house to decide if or when to allocate financial resources to marketing my book(s). Sometimes a “signed” author’s books will languish on publishing house shelves for years, waiting for the company to decide to promote it. It’s a Pyrrhic victory.
Through my own efforts, I’ve been featured in or written for Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, Ebony and Black Enterprise magazines, as well as on television and radio. So any craving for status has been satiated long ago.
I share all this not to impress you, but to impress upon you what you—as a writer—can achieve on your own without the so-called validation of being signed to a major publisher.
What that UK publisher didn’t realize is that these days, getting me to sign a contract with any kind of publishing house is an extremely hard sell since it goes against just about everything I believe in, everything I represent about myself to my followers, and everything I’ve taught over the years in my books, my coaching and my writer workshops here on Saipan in regard to freedom, independence and control of intellectual assets. Everyone’s situation and goals are different, of course, but for me, signing such a contract would represent a step backward, not forward.
So, ultimately, I sent the publisher a final email rejecting his offer. However, I do love the poetic meter of the phrase “little flights of fancy” and it makes a great title for a life rhyme! So enjoy and never let anyone belittle or dismiss the pursuit of your passion—whether as an author of books or other passionpreneur—as being somehow “less than.”
Your little flights of fancy have the power to change your life! And, always remember: “Some of the greatest dreams that ever came true, weren’t dreams at all, but standards that weren’t compromised!”