How a 500 Dollar Mistake Made Me More Authentic
So there I was, sitting on the edge of my seat, awaiting the arrival of 96 pre-publication copies of The Love Mindset from the printer. With a list full of respected reviewers and receptive reporters, I thought my troubles were over.
And the troubles, to date, had been great. I first started a publishing company because I wanted complete control over my message and its distribution, and I’ve had that. What I’ve also had are problems in pretty much every part of the process. I’ve had editor problems, printing problems, marketing problems, email problems, self-esteem problems… You name it, I’ve had it. Still, with all I’ve learned, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Learning aside, I was still glad that the problems were now over. My final version was sent in, my letters were written, and the boxes were coming. All that was left now was to wait, open the boxes, put the books in the envelopes, and send them off. Piece of cake!
Or so I thought.
As I heard the Purolator truck driving away, I ripped excitedly into a box full of copy after copy of…
THE WRONG BOOK.
It was still my book, of course, but a previous edit. Not the final copy. Since then, the subtitle had changed, the text on the back had changed, my picture had changed. The insides were all the same, the message was the same, but the packaging was noticeably different.
And the worst part wasn’t even that I had one box of the wrong book.
I had three.
And that wasn’t the worst part either.
The worst was the moment that my indignation turned to sadness as I realized that it was actually completely my own fault. There was no one to blame, no one to help pay for the $500 mistake, and no one to rush over another 3 boxes of the RIGHT BOOK in time.
I didn’t know what to do.
First, I thought I’d put them out of view.
That helped for a half hour or so, but I quickly snapped out of denial.
What was I going to do? People were waiting for the book and all I had was 96 copies of THE WRONG BOOK.
And, then, it hit me.
There’s no such thing as the “Wrong Book”! Am I not always saying that there’s no right or wrong, good or bad—there’s only what you do with it? Isn’t that what I’m all about—making the best out of bad situations?
It was time for me to put what I preach into practice.
With a cup of creativity, a splash of hard work, and an extra, heaping spoonful of positive thinking, I wound up with 96 copies of the “Authentic Edition” of The Love Mindset.
Each copy of the Authentic Edition has its own number out of 96 on the inside, a special signed message, and an inscription inside the front cover. The surprise edition had become a limited one.
And suddenly, my problem wasn’t a problem at all! It was a great blessing. While, beforehand, I had standard envelopes with standard letters awaiting standard books, I now have limited edition books with special, personalized cards and exciting, personalized letters containing an honest, human story.
Best of all, I turned a problem into an opportunity, which I think is the most authentic thing anyone can do.
And I can talk about authenticity all I want, but this is how I can put into practice—by staying true to my beliefs, even in times of trouble.
And thus, the mistake unwrapped to reveal a gift.
And I think that’s just what life is about. It’s not about avoiding the bad—the troubles, the mistakes, the inconsistencies. It’s about taking whatever comes our way and doing our best to turn even the most unpleasant situations into bearers of the ripest rewards.
Maybe it’s just like Henry Kaiser said: “Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.”