Don’t Yes But Me

yes butHave you heard that phrase? Let’s say we sit down to start planning your marketing strategy to promote your latest self-published book and the conversation goes like this:

Me: Having a blog is a great way to create an online platform for your thoughts and opinions.

You: Yes, but I don’t know how to get started.

Me: Not a problem. I can help.

You: Yes, but I wouldn’t know what to write about.

Me: I can offer some suggestions.

You: Yes, but I don’t have time – my schedule is jam packed.

Me: Do you want to promote you book?

You: Yes, but isn’t there an easier way?

When we are unsure, stressed or overwhelmed sometimes the first thing we say is “yes, but…” to keep from trying something new, expanding our horizons or stretching outside our comfort zone.

I have the same response when I suggest to my authors that they should seek speaking opportunities:

  • Yes, but what would I talk about?
  • Yes, but I get nervous in front of people.
  • Yes, but I don’t have anything of value to offer.

Saying “yes but” is just another way of saying, I’m not comfortable with this. So rather than saying “yes but” why not change it to “yes, and.”

  • Yes and can you help get me started?
  • Yes and do you know how?
  • Yes and is there a book or resource that might help me?
  • Yes and when can we start?

Alex Lickerman M.D. offers some great suggestions for helping prepare you for trying new things without fear. Here are two of them:

Trying something new often requires courage. And needing to summon courage is itself a benefit. Once it’s released it will, like its second cousin once removed, anger, indiscriminately engulf everything in its path. How wonderful to open a flood of courage and be carried on its waves to destinations of unexpected benefit.

Trying something new forces you to grow. We don’t ever grow from taking action we’ve always taken (the growth that enabled us to be able to take it has already occurred). Growth seems to require we take new action first, whether it’s adopting a new attitude or a new way of thinking, or literally taking new action. Thrusting yourself into new situations and leaving yourself there alone, so to speak, often forces beneficial change. A spirit of constant self-challenge keeps you humble and open to new ideas that very well may be better than the ones you currently hold dear (this happens to me all the time).

No doubt, it takes courage to put yourself out there and promote your new book. But who better to promote it than the author of every word? You have a unique connection to the story that no one else will ever fully appreciate.

However, hiding behind your fear by saying “yes, but” to each new idea deprives your reader of the opportunity to find you and your wonderful story.

Start by selecting one thing that seems a little too big or unfamiliar and give it a try. Say “yes, and…” and see where it takes you. Remember, there are people to help; YouTube videos offer learning, LinkedIn groups can provide experienced answers, your local writing group is there to encourage and help and of course, you can also call me.

Bottom Line: Promoting your book takes hard work in ways you may not be comfortable with but did you have complete confidence the first time you sat down to write your book? Of course not. You had doubts and fears and yet you persevered and here you are today; with a book ready for your readers. Let’s say Yes! And get this party started!