Opening Doors with Kim

Kim Ades of Opening Doors lets you in on her frame of mind.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Take Your Turn

Do you ever take your turn?

I don’t mean ‘wait for your turn’ or ‘have your turn’ or ‘stand in line for your turn’…I mean ‘Take your turn”. I am talking about grabbing the bull by the horns even when no one is offering and no one is making space for you to do it.

Taking your turn is one of the most powerful practices in life. What it means is seeing an opportunity and going for it even when it may be uncomfortable, embarrassing, or lead to terrible failure.

A couple of weeks ago I attended a book marketing conference and heard a story of just such an experience:

The man’s name was Richard Paul Evans and one day he decided to write a story for his two daughters – it was called “The Christmas Box”. His wife loved the story so much that he had 20 copies printed to distribute to his brothers and sisters and other family members as gifts for the holiday season. A few weeks later, he started receiving phone calls from strangers telling him how much the book had touched them. He began to track how many people had read his original 20 copies – he counted 160 after which, he stopped counting. The feedback was so overwhelmingly positive that he tried to get the book published – but no publisher was in the market for another Christmas book and they all passed on the opportunity. So he decided to publish the book himself. He loaded his station wagon with books and went across the country from bookstore to bookstore peddling his little 5 dollar book. Many times, he sat for hours at book signing events without even signing a single book. He slept in his car day after day just plugging away to sell a few more books.

One day he decided to take a leap and buy a booth at a tradeshow held by the American Book Sellers Association. The cost of the booth was $400 – he needed to sell 80 books just to break even. He was promised thousands of visitors but he sat at his booth and nobody came – it was dead. His frustration mounted until finally he stood up and went to find out where all the people were hiding. Much to his disappointment, he discovered that they were all in the main hall, getting their books signed by ‘famous authors’. He was fuming. There he observed an enormous table with authors assembled side by side greeting line-ups of hungry fans waiting for a signature on their book. He was a nobody and they were a somebody getting the recognition that he so much desired. And then he noticed something that would forever change the direction of his life… he noticed an empty seat at the table. And it was in that moment that Richard Paul Evans took his turn. He returned to his booth, grabbed several boxes of his books, went back to the main hall and took the empty seat at the table. A security guard approached him. He looked up and said, “Sorry I’m late …” and she replied, “Would you like a glass of water?” That event changed his life forever – he is now a best selling author with more than 8 million books sold in both hard and soft copy world wide.

Think about how many times you have shied away from taking your turn and ask yourself what you’ve gained as a result. I bet the answer is nothing. Taking your turn requires blind faith, entering into the unknown with nervous excitement and all that can come from a single decision, the decision of the right turn... taking your turn.

Taking your turn means coming to the table with chutzpah, gumption, and unwavering belief in your goals. If you are serious about getting to where you want to be – then never think twice about taking your turn. Just grab it and run – and for goodness sakes…never look back!


Blogger Digger said...

I've spent most of my life taking the easy way out. Watched my parents do the same and miss out on tons of opportunities -- which with 20-20 hindsight in their case clearly would have left them happier, healthier, wealthier, etc. I realize now that sometimes you just have to go out on a limb, stir up the water, make a few waves, and go for the gusto. Usually there's very little to lose and so much to gain. The worst thing that can happen most of the time is that you fail and in my experience I have learned more about life and myself from my failures than from my successes. So taking the bull by the horns seems like pretty sound advice to me. I think it's my turn....

12:40 PM  
Blogger Keith Church said...

Good story... "taking your turn" doesn't come easy for most people, but it's an attitude that can be learned or developed.
Nice blog, by the way.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Keith Church said...

Good story, Kim.
"Taking your turn" doesn't come naturally for most people. But it is a skill that can easily be developed.

Nice blog, by the way.

3:58 PM  

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