Opportunities missed

Recently I manned (or is it personed?) the West Summit Publishing booth at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship gathering. People came by to buy books, sample candy (we had the best in the exhibit hall) or try to figure out what we were about. (My favorite comment: A man walks up and reads the “West Summit Publishing” banner over our booth. He scans the table full of books and enlarged pictures of book covers. Then he asks, “What do you do?” I wanted to answer “conga dancing” but refrained.)

I had several people, maybe as many as four or five, stop to tell me they had a book or were writing a book. I talked with them about their project. For most of them I had to tell them that because we are a small company with a well-defined niche, their project wasn’t an appropriate project for us.

I offered them something else. “If you email me,” I said, handing them  a rack card with my email address on it, “I will send you an email with everything I know and have learned about publishing options and how to pursue them.”

pathwayYou have to understand, this is no small thing. Stepping out into the world of publishing, whether you are looking for someone to publish your work or publishing it yourself, can be a confusing and overwhelming place. I was offering to cut through some of the clutter for them, to share what I’ve learned after investing a lot of hours in research.

It’s been a couple of weeks. I know it’s summer and people are busy with vacations and the like. Maybe people will eventually get around to sorting through the stuff they picked up in the exhibit area and will email me. But to date, not a single person has taken me up on my offer.

Maybe they didn’t think I would do it. Maybe it seemed too intimidating for them even to consider – all they want to do is write books and not have to bother with the rest of it. I don’t know. All I know is that if someone had offered such thing to me I would have sent the email that night.

The experience has made me wonder about the humber of opportunities that we neglect, the gifts that people are waiting to give us but we cannot allow ourselves to receive. Sometimes it’s the gift of a friendship, or a helping hand. Or the gift of an opportunity to do something or go somewhere that we never dreamed we’d get. even so, we talk ourselves out of it. We  can’t take the time. We’d have to get shots. We’d have to find something to do with the dog. In our anxiety and fear, we take small speed bumps and turn them into the Alps.

Or maybe we just figure that it’s too good to be true. Even when it isn’t.

I think that it was Julia Cameron who said that sometimes we not only look a gift horse in the mouth, we swat them on the rump to get them out of our lives.

So what opportunities are you ignoring?



One thought on “Opportunities missed

  1. Peggy, this really resonates with me! Thanks, I’m forwarding it to my granddaughters. I don’t know if you saw the post from my granddaughter, Maya Hutchins. She’s in DC, doing a NASA internship, trying to see all she can this summer, andlast Thursdaymet the head of Twitter, met a Nobel laureate, attended a professional tennis match, then said yes whena friend of mine offered her tickets to hear Paul McCartney. She’s doing it all! Did I miss seeing you in choir today? Nancy


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