Tim Grahl was talking to me the other day about fear — as well he might. After 33 years of employment I’m now self-employed. Well, okay, I’m working to be successfully self-employed. Unsuccessfully self-employed is credit card debt and living with Mom. I’m trying for the other thing.
Living on modest savings, I work full time these days on writing and self-publishing my first novel. Grahl helps writers like me to sell books. I’ve purchased two things from him: a marketing course and his book, Your First Thousand Copies. In addition to these he’s given me an invaluable wealth of !free! information about essential things like email marketing, creating a website and working with Amazon to name a few skills among dozens at which every author must be adept. I can only imagine how much time and money I would have wasted floundering around without him.
When I discovered his library of free resources I downloaded a lot, but not “Conquering Fear” thinking, “Don’t need that.” Two weeks later at 3 AM I’m rigidly wide awake with a ball of ice in my stomach as I consider the enormity of my career decision. Conquering fear? Hell, Yes I need that so I download it and listen to each installment faithfully every day. Key message from Tim: Accept the presence of the fear — there’s no use waiting for it to go away — and learn how to manage it. I feel comforted and soothed by his insights on fearfulness, his reassuring voice washing over me like a Messiah’s. But inevitably the moment arrives when it’s the last part of the last installment. His final words hang and quiver in the yawning silence as I think, “Tim, Tim — Please don’t go. As long as I’m listening to you, I don’t have to work on my novel.” But it’s no use. He is gone with the wind.
I got my first job at 16. In 38 years of being in the commercial world, Tim Grahl is one of the most generous business people I’ve ever encountered. Jeff Goins and Chris Guillebeau have been very magnanimous with their wonderful resources too. They follow a business philosophy of being “relentlessly helpful and outrageously generous.” I’m challenged by them to do the same and can’t help wondering what the world would be like if this was a universally-adopted business practice.