33 – February 2
“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea.”—Anne Morrow Lindbergh
My ship is becalmed in still waters. No wind in the sails (or sales). A publisher has said, “Everyone loves your book! I’ll call you tomorrow.”
Now a week has gone by with no call. A friend tells me, “When a woman says she’ll call you later, she means when she gets home. When a man says he’ll call you later, he means before he dies.”
I’ve done all I can do. I built the ship, provisioned it, hired the best crew I could find. Launched it with the crash of a Sparkling Cider bottle against the hull (no alcohol for me) with great fanfare. Crowds along the shore shouted and waved goodbye with great hopes in their hearts.
Now nothing. I can still see the ship, but it isn’t moving.
I appreciate King Agamemnon’s rage and frustration as all his ships sat in the harbor, with no wind to carry them to Troy to recapture Helen. Finally, he sacrificed his daughter, Iphigenia, to the gods and then the wind came.
Okay, so who do I have to kill?
I pause to think about that. I have no daughter of my body to sacrifice. What is the daughter of my soul that needs to be laid on the altar and given to God? The answer whispers in my mind: My will, my impatience, my pride.
I surrender. I decide to enjoy the moment of unknowing, where all dreams and wishes still remain possible. The wind can pick up at any moment, the “Yes!” can still arrive on the next wave. If “No” comes and this ship sinks, I will build another ship tomorrow.
We are only in charge of sending out ships. God is in charge of which ones come in. And on what timetable.
“The divine plan of my life now takes shape, leading me to perfect joy!”
My newest book “From Worry to Wealthy: A Woman’s Guide to Financial Success Without the Stress” was released exactly three years ago!
I wrote specifically for women in business. 95% of business books are written by men, and most of them are directed to people with jobs who want to become successful in the corporate world. The ones women have written, like “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg and “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office” by Lois Frankel, often come from the perspective that women have to toughen up and learn how to play the man’s game of business.
I think we’ve had enough of that. Women have been making great strides in business, both as corporate executives and business owners over the last couple of decades, and I felt it was time for a book that came from the point of view that you could be nice, generous, kind and succeed on your own terms. You don’t have to try to grab a seat at the table if you own the table.
That being said, I’ve seen in my coaching practice for the last 20+ years that women have some very specific fears related to success and money, and I wanted to address those concerns. My agent, Lisa Hagan, and the Senior Editor at Sourcebooks, Stephanie Bowen, and I had a phone conference about such a book, and Stephanie was very excited about it. She asked me to write a few pages as a proposal she could take to their acquisitions board. I sat down on a Sunday morning at 8:30 am wrote furiously until 9:30 that night and had a full-blown 65-page proposal. I was so excited as I was writing—it just poured out of me. They bought it, and I spent a year writing it.
The process was really smooth, with wonderful contributions from my editor, Stephanie Bowen, and all the Sourcebooks personnel. It was much easier than the first time around with “The Wealthy Spirit”!
It took about 18 months until we finally found a publisher for “The Wealthy Spirit”. It wasn’t even called that then – I was using “Financial Stress Reduction” as my title. But Jennifer Fusco, Amy Baxter, and their team at Sourcebooks came up with “The Wealthy Spirit” and my heart leapt inside me, it was so perfect. The original book cover had a photo of a forest, and light shining through the trees.
I signed the contract, met the deadline for finishing the book, and then waited while the publisher worked the production end of things, got the sales and marketing teams involved, did some advertising, etc.
The book was set to be released in September, but my editor Deb, called me in June to say they had to delay the release of the book until the following spring.
I was horrified. “Why?” I cried. “Why can’t it come out now?”
She told me the story – how the sales people had gone to the buyers for the financial book section of the bookstores, and they didn’t want to buy the book and stock it in their section. (Who knew there were different buyers for different sections of the bookstores?) With the trees and “Spirit” in the title, it just didn’t look like a financial book to them. Deb said rather than release the book and have it not be successful, they were going to pull it and reevaluate the title and the cover.
“Okay, I get it,” I said reluctantly, but then added, “I don’t want to change the title, but we could get a cover that looked more financial. And maybe we should be in the self-help section of the bookstore instead.”
We agreed to do some research. Going from bookstore to bookstore, I quickly discovered that the financial section contained mostly books of a strict financial nature – books on mortgages, financing, budgeting, accounting, the stock market, financial planning, etc. But the self-help section carried books that helped you be successful from a mind-body-spirit perspective, and I knew that’s where my book should be. Besides, with the name Campbell, my book would be on the same shelf with Jack Canfield, Julia Cameron, and Richard Carlson!
So we kept the title, changed the cover, designated it as “self-help”, and the book was successfully released in April, 2002.
As it turned out, it was actually a stroke of good fortune that publishing my book was delayed: on 9-11-01, two airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, one into the Pentagon, and one into a field in Pennsylvania. Every book tour in America was canceled.
Someone told me once that God has three answers to prayers: Yes, No, and Wait. For those of use who like being in action making things happen, “wait” is the most difficult answer to handle.
But sometimes, it’s the best answer you can get.
Is there a delay that saved you? Would love for you to share it here!