The Dreaded ‘M’ Word

I just got back from attending the She Speaks conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. For lack of a better word, it was amaaaaaazing. A rich blend of learning, listening, ministering, and meeting other like-minded woman who also feel called by God to communicate His Word through the written and spoken word. My soul was bubbling over with excitement and JOY as I witnessed first hand all that God is doing in and through the hearts and minds of His beautiful daughters across the earth!

After leaving a conference like that, you can imagine how overwhelmed one can feel. For me, that overwhelmed feeling came on the marketing end of things. I just released my first book in Singapore/Asia called Entrusting the Key: From Serial Dating to Joyful Waiting. Its been very exciting and is God’s way of launching me into a new direction in my vocation. I’ll blog more about that later, but my point here is that I learned something I didn’t know before I went to the conference: the heavy marketing required BY THE AUTHOR in order for a book to be successful. That one stung like a jellyfish. I was thinking, “I just spent the last year working tirelessly to write the book and now you’re telling me I have to expend that same amount of energy and effort, if not more, to market the book? Isn’t that someone else’s job?”

I wish that was the case. And there are people to help. But the reality in today’s market is that the author needs to do the majority of the leg work in order to get his/her name and message out there. Don’t get me wrong. I am passionate about the message God gave me, to encourage singles along their road of singleness. I am willing to write, speak, broadcast anything related to the topic in order to get the message out! In other words, the passion and the fervor is not lacking. So what is?

For some reason the word ‘marketing’ sends chills down my spine. It makes me want to run to my room, shut the door and hide under my covers. I want to avoid it, ignore it and pretend the ‘m’ word doesn’t exist. God called me to be a writer and a speaker, yes, but a marketer? No way hose! At least that’s what I would have said before the She Speaks conference.

Thanks to a man named Rob Eager, a marketing expert and a great man of God, was there to present the whole ‘m’ word thing in a new light. I realized that my resistance to the whole marketing thing was rooted in one word: FEAR. There, I said it. Yep, I was scared. Terrified. The world of marketing was like this big monster staring me in the face whispering, “You can’t do it. You don’t know what you’re doing. You are not cut out for this…” But ya know what? That’s NOT TRUE!

One of my favorite verses in the Bible comes from the mouth of the Apostle Paul, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Phil 4:13).

Those words give me encouragement that even in my weakness, my inadequacy, my cluelessness about the world of marketing, I can do it THROUGH HIM who gives me strength. All I have to do is rely on His ability, His provision, His empowerment working through me. After all, God wrote the book, why wouldn’t He want to get the message out to those who need to hear it?

Lysa Terkheurst, the President of Proverbs 31 Ministries, the host of the She Speaks conference, gave a great piece of advice at the end of the conference. Knowing how overwhelmed we all were feeling, she said this: “When you leave this conference, take all that your learned and wrote down in your notebooks and get quiet before God. Ask Him what the one or two things He wants you to take away and apply to your life and do that.”

So, I heeded her words and one of the things the Lord has put on my heart to take away is to start a new blog to represent this new season in my life. This season of stepping out in my calling as a writer and speaker of God’s word and to start blogging regularly, as a way of sharing the things God is teaching me. So here I am.

I pray that the words I write on this blog may be a blessing to you in your own journey wherever you are. If you too are facing the ‘m’ monster, rest assured, you are not alone. Let’s keep encouraging one another and sharing what we learn as we take steps of faith into uncharted terrain. And most of all, lets keep relying on His strength–not our own–to take us through, as He wills it!

Be blessed today sweet sister wherever you are with His JOY pouring down from heaven.

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2 Comments on “The Dreaded ‘M’ Word

  1. What I have discovered to be the root fear behind the fear of marketing – fear of rejection.

    After you put so much of yourself into a book, speech, song or whatever, marketing means that you are stepping out to tell people “Look at what I’ve got! I think you’ll like it… lots!” And when you do that, you face the very real possibility that the people you thought really liked you, really appreciated you and would really support you actually don’t.

    And if the people you thought would like you actually don’t, what happens when you step out into the REAL world, where people don’t know who you are, don’t really care and are too busy to check you out?

    This is the real fear behind marketing. And people usually react to it with snap reflex actions, like thinking that other people owe it to them to do the marketing for them, or jumping in on the latest, greatest marketing gimmicks, or running off screaming into the night (i.e. give up on marketing).

    The narrow road is to sit down, look very carefully at what you offer, know who would most appreciate it and figure out how to best get your message to them. And realize that you will get the door slammed in your face sometimes, and there will be people who discourage you from being serious about your marketing (“Why don’t you trust in God to promote you?”). This is all part and parcel of the marketing journey in this day and age.

    Will it be worth it? Only you can answer this question. In my own marketing journey I have received testimonials and thank-you emails from people who were blessed just by the marketing I did (nice side-effect!) and I have decided it is worth it.

    If you bite the bullet and go for it, I believe you will thank God for the growth you will experience! 😀

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