And a magnificent example of KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u: striving to the summit.
Have you been following Ripples, written by my friend David St. Lawrence? He has been blogging about the self-publication of his first book, Danger Quicksand—Have a Nice Day and it is impossible not to have David totally inspire you.
David believes in himself and that his work is important: He is a man on a mission, he is fully energized, and he is fearless — if he is even aware of any pitfalls in not following traditional publishing convention (and knowing David, I’m certain he is) he is ignoring them and trusting in his own mana‘o (beliefs and convictions), and his own capacity for excellence.
Just one example, albeit a small one:
David is taking pre-orders now, and when I was at the same stage I had his same idea; I wanted to autograph copies of my book for those people who had given me pre-orders for Managing with Aloha, with personalized messages for them: I wanted them to know how grateful I was and how much their pre-order meant to me. I talked to a few people about it (all with much more experience in publishing than I) and they told me I was crazy. I could actually sense fear in the eyes of those who might be distributing the book for me and handling its fulfillment (fulfillment is order-taking, money collecting, shipping and handling). I listened to them all and backed away from my idea.
In reading David’s offer that regret is coming back to me all over again. I settled for mediocrity and automatic pilot, and I allowed others to indulge their fear of the effort it takes to do quality work.
In the way he has forged his own path, those of us who have published a book are fully aware of the extraordinary amount of work that David has taken on his own shoulders; my fulfillment story is but one example. Yvonne has mentioned this too. Yet reading Ripples, you get the feeling that this hard work is actually serving to lighten David’s spirit, for you can also sense the new vitality his book has given him, and in turn, the gift it is becoming for the rest of us.
Define what is “best” for the work you do. Do what you do best. Do not tolerate dilution or mediocrity, and do not accept anything less than distinction in your field. Focus on whatever your product is, and focus on the quality and essence of that product;
Don’t meander off course and climb lower peaks that only serve to fragment your efforts and sap your strength.
This is exactly what David is doing, and in blogging about it, he is giving us the privilege of letting us witness his achievement. Sure, David wants to sell us his book, however he has already given so many of them away because he wants us to be inspired: he wants us to follow his example, and reinvent what we do in our own work. When you read his book, you’ll see that this has been his intent all along.
There’s more: best of all for those of us in business, David is an exceptionally perceptive businessman:
“This is an area where you new writers may be able to achieve a stunning breakthrough. Getting a book out in 90 days and keeping a healthy percentage of the selling price beats waiting for eighteen months and getting 50 cents on the average sale, with the royalties paid quarterly.”
The writer/publisher – part 11
Ho‘ohana as you do David, you are my hero.
Join our calling for the reinvention of work, and let your spirit soar too.
Define what achievement is for you, and strive to the highest summit there is. Pursue personal excellence. Be the best you can possibly be. Seek achievement that allows you to Ho‘ohana, work with purpose and intent, within your ‘Imi ola, a life lived for it’s highest form.
You will find you Ho‘omau; you persist in a way that will cause the good in your life to last, for in striving for the best, you have become your best. As you grow, your Aloha has captured more abundance to be shared with others.
— Managing with Aloha, page 67.