The Temptation Every Author Faces (and How to Overcome it)

elizabeth marshall

Does this look familiar? 

  • You’ve given a talk to six people when you’d hoped for six hundred.
  • You’ve reached out to organizations that look like the perfect fit, but they don’t seem to be interested in your message.   
  • You’ve sent out a powerful new article to test out your next book concept and all you hear are crickets.

Ok, so you may not be bawling your eyes out with a party hat on, but this can often be the reaction when you put yourself out there and things don’t go as planned. 

Beware! It’s a Trap! 

When you feel like this, the natural reaction is to pull back and wait to be picked; however, this is a trap. After all, the temptation to retreat never goes away, even when you’ve reached a significant level of success.  If you succumb, your momentum will grind to a halt and you’ll eventually feel so small that you’ll lose connection to your audience and message. 

Learning to Ride a Bike (Again?!) 

The counter-intuitive “trick” that successful thought leaders know is this: instead of putting on the brakes, you have to pedal faster in order to regain your balance. Likewise, when you fall off, the longer you wait to get back on the bike, the harder it is. 

If you’re feeling a bit like my kid brother in the photo, the best thing you can do right now is to start pedaling.  Here’s a few suggestions:

  • After your speaking gig didn’t go as you hoped, read a testimonial you received from a previous engagement and use that energy to go out and book three more keynotes.
  • When you don’t get a response from that “perfect” organization, revisit your existing relationships and look for new opportunities with the groups you already know.
  • If the wider audience didn’t resonate with your new post, pick a few of your loyal fans who will give you their honest feedback and ask for their input.

If you lean into these inevitable moments, you’ll not only build up a healthy tolerance for these setbacks, but you’ll uncover a huge number of opportunities for your message and work.

As always, I love hearing how things are progressing for you.  Reply to this email and let me know how you’re doing. 

Until next week, 


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