As the clock struck midnight one year ago, watching the fireworks light up the sky over Las Vegas, I was full of optimism for 2020.
I had been working on a deal to take over operations of Publishizer, the premiere crowdfunding platform for authors and was ramping up to publish dozens of books this year.
We closed the deal and went live with Publishizer on February 3, then a month later I was heading to LA for Marisa Murgatroyd’s live event first week of March.
She invited me to share my story to her amazing audience, and there were set to be 600+ people in the room.
But then in the days leading up to her event, the bad news started to really hit. Fortunately her event still went off, but hundreds of people had canceled or were prevented from coming last minute.
That’s when I started to see the writing on the wall that we were in for a wild ride in 2020.
But interestingly, in the tense uncertainty of the early days of the looming pandemic, the energy in that room was electric!
Just a few days later we had what became our final SPICE Dinner for a while.
SPICE stands for Supporting Prosperity, Impact, Contribution & Entrepreneurship and these dinners had been a reliable fixture in our lives that I really love.
After hosting 22 consecutive monthly SPICE Dinners at my place in Las Vegas, the streak was broken. I had often wondered what it would actually take to break the momentum we were building having SPICE Dinners monthly in (at that time) 4 different cities each month.
Well, I can report that it took a global pandemic to stop that momentum and derail our monthly dinners and gatherings.
In it’s place, I entered what felt like a Groundhog’s Day experience of life – the classic movie where Bill Murray lives the same day over and over again
I’d wake up with the sun, stretch and spend some time in my garden, then sit down at my desk in Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press HQ and dive into 7-9 hours of publishing work each day.
Fortunately we have always been structured as a virtual company, with team and authors spread out around the globe, so there was no real disruption to our workflow and thankfully Ingram, our distribution partner, stepped up big time to make sure there were minimal disruptions bringing books to market.
This allowed us to provide some much-needed stability and reliability to our authors. To be a lighthouse on solid rock, when the winds of change are whipping up a storm.
I reflect that for the 5 years I’ve lived in Las Vegas, I’ve rarely been in town for more than 2 weeks at a time.
This year I was here just about every day of 2020!
In place of traveling, I started exploring the surrounding area and fell in love with Mt. Charleston and the Spring Mountains, which offer 9,000+ feet of elevation in an alpine environment, less than an hour from the Vegas valley floor.
My most salient memories this year involve morning hikes in the mountains, looking out over 100 miles of Southern Nevada and eating a peach and yogurt for breakfast in the forest, before barreling back down to the valley floor and right into a full day of author calls.
Finding the enjoyment and creating contrast in what would otherwise have been a depressing monotony of progressively worse news in the broader world.
Indeed, spending time hiking off trails in the mountains helped me turn further inward for answers and guidance. Listening to my own inner prompting, instead of living in reactive defense to the latest statistics and restrictions piling up.
Never have I been more clear, decisive and aligned with the vision and mission I’ve set out for Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press as 2020:
To Elevate Global Consciousness by Empowering Authors & Entrepreneurs. We are the Publisher for the Passionate and Help You Change the World With Your Words
So many times I’ve leaned in this year to help and support; from countless strategic guidance sessions with out authors to help them navigate the year, to giving away free books to our audience to stay inspired and consulting with entrepreneurial friends whose businesses were being rocked.
We also ran a number of contests on the Publishizer platform, which allowed our team to serve and support hundreds of authors…many more than I could work with directly in publishing partnership.
Our authors that stayed the course and leaned in to support their audiences saw considerable book sales and business growth, which of course is a reflection of the positive impact they are making in the world.
On March 31, Dane Maxwell’s book Start From Zero came out, just in time to provide thousands of people with practical advice on how to build a business with zero ideas, zero cash, zero experience and zero confidence (as the cover boldly claims)
This year saw our first author appearance on Good Morning America, the honor goes to Amanda Nachman, author of #QUALIFIED: You Are More Impressive Than You Realize and CEO of College Magazine!
This year also saw our first publication where we shipped over 5,000 books prior to launch, the honor goes to Emily Pereira for her excellently inspiring memoir The Quest: From the Hollywood Hills to the Amazon Jungle, One Woman’s Search for Enough.
The net effect of these stories, and the countless others I could tell here, is that 2020 is Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press best year in business ever, and to be honest it’s not even close.
This was a banner year for book sales, and I have signed over 55 publishing deals in 2020, ensuring that we’ll have a consistent stream of inspiring books gracing shelves throughout 2021.
So, on this final day of 2020, I bid farewell to what was undoubtedly the most wild and crazy year I’ve experienced.
The world changed in 2020.
And that isn’t just going to stop once the clock strikes midnight tonight.
We are all in for a wild ride next year, so my advice is plan accordingly.
Take this opportunity to get real with yourself about what you want to accomplish next year.
Get real with yourself about who you want to be, and how you want to show up for those important to you next year.
Get real with yourself about what you’re really here on Earth to do.
Is it to play it safe and be on the defensive, wary of dangers and threats coming in from seemingly all directions?
Or is it to play a bigger game, to make a real difference by inspiring others with your bold action?
Fortunes are made and the future is written by those who take decisive action in the face of uncertainty.
Spoiler alert: There will always be uncertainty.
So plan accordingly and chart your own course.
Stand firm in your choices
Let your inner voice guide you towards your own definition of Greatness
If you don’t, someone else will guide you to theirs
You can take that to the bank.
Much love and see you next year,
PS: Have something inspiring to share going into 2021? Hit reply and let me know 🙂