Authentic Generosity: Knowing When to Give or Receive
“From what I’ve seen, it isn’t so much the act of asking that paralyzes us — it’s what lies beneath: the fear of being vulnerable, the fear of rejection, the fear of looking needy or weak. The fear of being seen as a burdensome member of the community instead of a productive one. It points, fundamentally, to our separation from one another.”
While I’ve got a considerable number of certificates, years of training, and quite a few gold stars to my name, there are still plenty of things I don’t know how to do.
Writing, formatting, and publishing a book all fall into that category of “things I don’t know how to do” — but I made it a goal this year to publish a book anyway (those of you that know me, you know that I like a challenge). I knew that I wouldn’t be able to tackle that sort of thing if I didn’t ask for help.
I quickly discovered that publishing a book takes a village.
Creating Communities of Opportunity
When I started the process of writing my book, I realized I had to get out of my own way and ask for help in a few areas. While wasn’t the easiest task since I honestly love to take on and learn new things. I also figured that if my father could write and publish a novel, I could write a book too.
One of the first steps I took when the first draft was completed was hire an editor. I knew that I’d need someone to take a look at the manuscript objectively, help with the development of the story, and ensure its appeal to potential readers. While I can make edits to my own copywriting, I knew that I shouldn’t: There’s just no replacement for an extra set of eyes on your work!
I also reached out to my friends and acquaintances for beta readers: The amazing individuals in all the communities I’m a part of who either offered or agreed to read a first draft of the book are a part of its success. The generosity of giving their time and providing valuable feedback was critical and I am grateful.
A Village of Generosity
There are a few other things that I needed help with:
- I needed someone who could help set up e-commerce on my site.
- Hire a book designer to make sure the cover and (especially) the interior would be something I would be proud of.
- I’m taking classes on book marketing and publishing (since I plan on writing more books).
- My accountability partner Kiri is a whiz at Facebook/Instagram ads along with finding ways to make things easier.
From the beginning of this project, I knew I’d need a website for my book. I could spend hours trying to build a website, but I’m happy to give that opportunity to someone else: That opens the door for them to keep growing their business and refine their own expertise.
I’m outsourcing all of these things because, while I’m capable of learning and taking on a heavy workload, doing so would burn me out quickly. Taking on #ALLTHETASKS might seem like the least expensive thing to do … but it’s actually quite inefficient.
Instead I spend that extra time by giving of myself more authentically. I can spend time doing the things that fulfill me: mentoring, running my coworking space, volunteering with a cat cafe, my ongoing with a community marching band, etc. All of these activities are ways for me to be generous in a way that’s more aligned with my core values.
When we give of ourselves in ways that align more fully with who we really are, we’re able to cultivate more fulfilling lives.
Generating More Generosity
Here’s a question for you:
How often do you hesitate to do something because you might have to ask for help?
What if we reframed that?
Asking people for help gives them the opportunity to be generous (or to say no and extend that opportunity to someone else who might benefit).
The act of asking opens them up and expands the ways that you connect with that person. There are so many benefits to asking for help, so many opportunities for generosity to bloom.
That spirit of generosity helped me understand that I needed to write this book: Inner Affirmations. Over the years I’ve developed a method of journaling, and that method has supported me through good times and bad.
This book is a guide to my unique and powerful method of journaling, and I wanted to share it with as many people as possible.
You can preorder an autographed copy of the book starting September 14! Learn more here.