Sunday, January 16, 2022

Author Rebecca Hamilton Shares How Her Most Expensive Mistakes Made Her the Most Money


I’m very excited to have New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Hamilton on my blog today to share some pretty incredible insights from her career. This post is all about rising above your challenges to become a victor against the odds, and I for one am HERE FOR IT! Really goes to show how your mindset has more influence in your life than your situations alone.

Take it away, Rebecca! Thanks for having me here! I’m excited to share this post with you. It’s something that’s been on my heart for a long time, but it took me a while to really sit with it because I want to make sure I share these insights with the sensitivity that people who are struggling deserve. As a little background for those who don’t know me, I started my adult life homeless and lived in poverty for about a decade because I finally took control and changed my life. But before that happened, if anyone had told me I could improve my life or that it was up to me, I would have been pissed! I would have told them they don’t understand me, or that I’m already trying everything I can and it’s just not enough. So, I recognize what a tough topic this is. And to be honest, I had to go through several struggles to learn the lesson fully. Because the truth is, you really CAN’T control everything that happens in your life. You can do everything right, and bad things can still happen. However, I’ve learned you CAN control how you handle your hardships. And that can be what eventually moves you in the right direction. So, I’m going to get a little personal now, and that’s the scariest part of writing this article. Putting myself out there. Especially after all I’ve been through. But (deep breath!) here it goes! Growing up, I went through a lot of rejection. My biological father never had anything to do with me, I was often an outcast in school, and without risking saying anything here that might be triggering for anyone, I was a victim of assault in my pre-teen years. This had a big impact on me, and I remember my therapist at the time telling me that it happened because of the way I carried myself. I was confused and angry by that. How I carried myself? I dressed in baggy jeans and oversized sweatshirts. How could I have possibly attracted that kind of attention? It wasn’t until later in life that I understood what she meant by that. I carried myself like an easy target. I was quiet. Reserved. Too afraid to speak up. Awful at setting boundaries. Those are things that didn’t come easily for me to fix. And in fact, the very first time I tried to set a boundary, it cost me nearly $100,000. I’m not able to get into the specifics, but for me, it came down to feeling like people should honor their word and professional agreements and contracts. But if I’m being honest, the real issue came BEFORE that. It came from not setting a boundary sooner. It came from not trusting my instincts. I was such a people-pleaser, that I was willing to go along with things to make people happy even though I shouldn’t have. That’s on ME, and I own it. M Looking back, I should have cut ties with some people sooner. Instead of trying to set boundaries with boundary breakers, I should have cut ties before they even formed. At the same time, setting boundaries IS important. It was a skill I needed to learn. What I didn’t know, though, is that when you dry a boundary with a boundary breaker, they want to “punish” you. I literally had people saying they wanted to “take me down” and “destroy me” - all because I set a boundary that contracts should be adhered to. At the time, I was so confused. How could I be in the right but be treated like I was the bad guy? It made me afraid to ever set a boundary again. I soon realized that ALL boundary breakers do this. There will always be backlash when you set a boundary with people like this. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set boundaries. What I had to learn about as that I needed to set boundaries SOONER, and that I needed to do my due diligence to avoid working with people who will ignore boundaries in the first place. I also learned how to set boundaries with GRACE. Which isn’t easy to do when someone is being volatile, but in the end, the one thing I walked away with was the knowledge that I couldn’t let other peoples’ darkness change who I am. I needed to stay true to myself. In all of this, however, I learned something SO much more powerful than how to set boundaries or how to avoid toxic people. I learned how much I was capable of. Because when faced with $100,000 in effort to just share my side of the story (which in the end I didn’t get to do), I had to…you know…actually come up with that money. In a very short amount of time. I learned that if you really need to do something because you feel strongly it’s the right and just thing to do, you will find a way. By being forced to find a way, I learned how to increase my businesses success. I have so far made back 10x what that mistake cost me, using the business strategies I only had to learn BECAUSE of the situation that mistake put me in. There’s a little poetic irony in it all too. Because the core of this issue was as never about what it looked like. It was about a group of online trolls who didn’t want me to help other authors succeed, because they feared it would create competition for their own author careers. They thought if they could stop me, they would stop future authors from being as successful as they were. But because I had to stand up for what was right, I had to overcome the damage they caused, and in doing so, I ended up helping MORE authors. Their effort to stop me from helping a few authors a year resulted in me helping hundreds a year instead! I’ve now helped over 500 authors become New York Times, USA Today, or Wall Street Journal bestseller. I’ve helped more authors than any other coach to hit six figures a year. And I now have several clients on track to hit SEVEN figures by the end of 2022, for the 2022 calendar year. I was faced with the biggest financial hardship of my life. There’s nothing I could have done to avoid it (other than not set a boundary, which wouldn’t have been a good choice for me as a person either). I could have let the depression take over. I could have cowered against the threats made against myself abs my children. I could have given in to the thoughts of taking my own life. But I didn’t do any of that, as much as my bullies wanted me to. So much so that they continued to try for years. Instead, I chose to fight back. I decided I HAVE to overcome this, and so I did. And because it was such a huge thing to overcome, I had to grow by leaps and bounds in a short time. Some might have said what I accomplished was the impossible. But everything impossible until someone does it. That’s what I hope you walk away from with this. When you are faced with a terrible situation, nothing will make it not terrible. But how you handle it can determine what happens next. A terrible event doesn’t have to mean every event to follow will also be terrible. Some of the greatest things can come from something terrible. In fact, I even saw this happen recently. An anthology I was running Facebook ads for lost all their preorders that they took a year to gather due to an Amazon glitch. Those authors rose to the occasion, and in 3 days, got over 5000 new orders to more than make up for the ones they lost. They could have given up. They could have said life is unfair and something bad happened to them and nothing could fix it. But they didn’t. My $100,000 mistake (the mistake of doing business with the wrong people) brought me in $1,000,000 in revenue, helped me teach hundreds of authors how to make $100k-$600k a year, and has now resulted in over 30 service providers having regular work providing services to our client base which has now grown from 3000 clients to over 11,000 clients. Don’t let your mistakes define you. How you handle them can lead to the greatest success…IF you rise to the challenge. So I hope you will! If you have any challenges with your author career, I’d love to help. I offer a variety of FREE resources to get you started too! Just join our FREE author group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sixfigurefiction/ New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Rebecca Hamilton is known for being obsessed with helping authors reach their publishing career goals. She created her courses to help get authors like you on the path to success, whether you’re a new author, experienced author, or somewhere in between. Her goal for all of her students is to remove the guesswork and get them from where they are to where they want to be, as quickly as they wish to get there.

And be sure to stop by https://www.sixfigureauthorcoach.com as well.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Dresden Files


A friend gave me these books a while ago and I finally got around to reading them. I'd read one or two a long time ago, but it was long enough to have forgotten the gist of the story. All I remembered was a scene or two here and there. 

It was really nice to read the series from start to finish. I love the character arc, and that he did get stronger and more entwined with those around him. Of course, there's more than one way to end a series, but killing the main character will most assuredly do it up tight. When I read that, I kept hoping for some kind of miracle, or at least to know who had pulled the trigger, but no. That was the end. Jim Butcher did write a selection of short stories that went along with this series. They each took place between this book and that, each one introduced with a paragraph or two saying where it belonged and why it was written. The last one followed Harry Dresden death, written from his closest friend's POV. It at least let me know that he was truly gone, though with no body, it's hard to believe. Sigh. Some part of me is still wishing for a miracle. I mean, his story is so unfinished, though maybe it is, the human part of it anyway. 

Since I skim through the intros and such, I saw references to another series that looked interesting, and I was pleased to discover that it had been included with the rest of them. The series is called Codex Alera, and it is only 6 books. I haven't finished it yet, so I can't comment on the ending of this one, but I do wish the editor/publisher (a big name) would have spent more time taking care of the formatting. The paragraphs are indented, but sometimes every line has the same indent so it's hard to tell when one paragraph ends and the next one begins. This doesn't happen all the time; usually around dialog, but it's annoying as H E double-hockey sticks. The book I'm on now has space between the paragraphs so that helps, but the original issue was never fixed. It really injures the author, because a reader will blame him for these kinds of issues. 

One thing I can blame on the writer is his use of names. He has way too many very similar names, and they're not reserved for mother/daughter or father/son issues. Those I can understand. No, the similarity is across anything named from people to the name of the country to the name of their magic elements. You really have to pay attention to keep them straight.

Aside from these issues, I highly recommend this series - both of them. The story, the characters, the world is fascinating. As with all things, there is give and take. They are very well-balanced books. If you like magic, dig in and enjoy. I sure did and am.


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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Petting and Pampering the Writer

Let me start this by announcing that subscriptions by email are going away sometime in the middle of this summer, so if you subscribe to any of my blogs, you will no longer be getting those cool emails when I post something. I have no idea if it will be replaced by something else - we'll have to see.

Now on to my post

I have a writer friend on FB. A while back, she asked me to edit one of her books. I'm not a professional writer so I don't charge much, so she was probably trying to save a buck or two, but since we'd never worked together before, I offered to do a sample. She sent me her shortest short story. I don't remember how long it was, but it wasn't very long. 

What she gave me was a nice story that ranged somewhere between erotica and romance. What was there was a spotlight on the girl. The hero was little better than a chess piece - maybe a knight - maybe a king - hard to tell - he filled a slot. Everyone else, all the background people that decorated the background were nothing more than that - decorations.

So.

During the edit, I tried add some life to the story. Admiring looks from the peanut gallery, and movement, dialog, and feelings from her knight. I even thought up a background history for the girl - something to explain her thoughts and actions. Something to give her monetary support. Merely a foundation that didn't need to ever be mentioned in the story, but no one walks in a vacuum. 

She accused me of trying to rewrite her story, but it was only examples and suggestions. She was totally free to disregard everything. Like I say on my website, I will give you everything I think of as I read. You will get questions, opinions, and suggestions in reference to the story, and you will get correction in spelling and alternate words if you've picked the wrong one, bringing up the wrong image. I'll also give you better sentence structure if what you have is unclear. I did all that.

She just wanted help with spelling and punctuation. The rest was 'her style'. Her readers loved what she wrote the way she wrote it. Is she a successful writer? I really have no idea. She did not hire me. What I did made too much work for her. She wanted me to fix her mistakes and then she'd probably not look at the story again before publishing.

Needless to say, she did not hire me to edit her work.

Just the other day, she was offering a new work for anyone to read and give her some feedback. I did not take her up on the offer after the last rebuff - why should I?

However

She messaged me and wanted to send me that document. Well, okay. I'll give it a go, so I did. I have an editing job ongoing at the moment so I wasn't willing to devote much time to it. I read roughly half of it - enough to know that her style hadn't changed much. 

This story was a vampire story, and frankly I liked the idea. It was new and fresh, however her sentences were long and clunky, and sometimes they were incomplete thoughts making it hard to follow. The first handful of pages were filled with false starts to be explained later or in some other book. She included things about Atlantis which were interesting - I think - if I could have understood her concepts. All us writers like to make up histories, and I'm sure Atlantis would make an awesome anchor to do that with, however, I just didn't understand. 

Rather than taking my feedback as a way to know that maybe she hadn't gotten her point across clearly, she got miffed, saying how could I not know anything about Atlantis? I know about as much as anyone about Atlantis; it's a subject I read about every chance I get. I love the articles and videos I find on FB and on Netflix or YouTube. She also made a reference to numerology - that I know nothing about - an indication that maybe she should explain it better. I know I'm not the only one who doesn't understand that. 

As you might guess, I told her all this in her return email, including pointing out a bad typo that she might not catch otherwise; it wasn't miss-spelled, she'd hyphenated it to get past the little red lines. In response, I got a long tirade about how it was a work in progress and it wasn't supposed to be perfect, and on and on. She accused me of being harsh, of being in a box and being inflexible. It all left me confused. I guess I don't understand what kind of feedback she wants. Pretty much all that's left is petting and pampering, and I've never believed in pampering a writer. You take feedback for how it's offered. If your reader didn't understand something, you try to make it clearer. 

Sorry for the rant, but I had to get it off my chest. 

Thanks for listening.

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