As I was considering all the things to include in this series, everything from social media tips and tricks to scheduling and organization, it occurred to me I was forgetting the first and most important thing in this and any other endeavor.
We hear how important attitude is everywhere these days, no matter what we’re doing. But we often miss the simple truth of it.
If your attitude on anything is negative or doubtful, the results will match your expectations.
It doesn’t matter if you’re trying a new diet or exercise program, a new job, or even a new way to promote your books. If you don’t think it will work, it won’t. You’re just wasting your time, energy, and money to be able to tell yourself somewhere down the road that you “knew it wouldn’t work.”
But that means the opposite must also be true, right? If you believe something will work for you, that you will be successful, your results will match. That’s a powerful statement, isn’t it? Because if you can achieve a positive outlook on promoting your books, and yourself as an author, it means you can develop a positive attitude on anything in your life — a day job, family and personal relationships, your books themselves.
How would the power of a positive attitude impact your writing?
The power of a positive attitude is limitless. It’s the difference between a painful writing session where you’re frustrated and struggling against all of the negative self-talk in your head (“This is garbage.” “I suck at writing.” “This book will never sell and I’ll end up dying in a ditch somewhere and no one will care”) and a session where your imagination is on fire and the words and ideas flow like running water and the self-talk in your head is playing like a lovely song (“This is the best thing I’ve ever written.” “I’ll be able to sell this book in no time.” “This is just the beginning of the successful writing career I’ve always wanted.”).
Attitude is the key to everything.
It starts with a goal. Maybe you want to sell 1,000 copies of your book. Maybe you want to sell a million. Maybe you want to top Amazon’s best-seller list in your particular genre. A goal is important because you must have something to work towards and some way to measure how you’re doing in getting there.
Once you have a goal, you must decide that you’re going to do it. Better yet, decide you have done it already and feel the success and joy of having reached that goal right now in this moment. There’s a little bit of imagination involved, yes, but we’re writers. Imagination is the best tool in our box, isn’t it?
Once you have a goal and you’ve decided that you’re going to attain it, and have attained it in your mind’s eye, it’s time to work on the how you’re going to do it. Remember that the how doesn’t have to be set in stone nor even known from the beginning. There’s always more than one road that will take you to a destination and just because you get lost a couple of times doesn’t mean you’ll never arrive.
The wise realize that success can’t be achieved without failure.
And sometimes you don’t know exactly how you’re going to achieve something at the beginning. Sometimes the how reveals itself later. It’s important to be open-minded, optimistic, and believe.
Okay, so how does one develop the positive attitude they need to achieve success in promoting their books (and in any other area of their life)?
A positive attitude should be approached as developing a habit. A habit, backed by numerous scientific studies, that will improve your confidence, your mood, and perhaps even your entire physical being. How do you develop this habit? Here are 5 things to get you started.
- GRATITUDE – One of the easiest and most important things you can do for your attitude is to be grateful for all of things you’re already blessed with. Many get out of bed each morning and think of at least 5 things they are grateful for before they ever start their day. For some, counting all of the good things that happened that day before they go to bed is the way to go. The point is, it’s really hard to obsess on the things that didn’t go your way when you’re appreciating the good things that happened. Maybe that Facebook ad you set up didn’t reach as many people as you’d hoped but then 10% of those reached actually bought the book.
- Positive Self-Talk/Affirmations – Pay attention to your thoughts. The minute that a thought like “No one is going to buy this book” pops into your head, tell it thank you and shove it out of your mind. Unlike gratitude, this is one of the hardest parts of a positive attitude, especially if you’ve been talking down to yourself for years — and many of us have. Replace common thoughts like “No one is going to buy this book” with “I like this book and if I like it, someone else will too.” It takes practice and, not going to lie, a bit of time to form this habit. But once you have the hang of it, you’ll be happier and you’ll get better results.
- Turning Failures Into Advantages – So you spent a week tweeting about your upcoming book and didn’t get a single like or retweet and you’re bummed. It’s a failure only if you decide it is. You could walk away or you could learn more about Twitter until you get the results you want. And if you believe you can do better and have the willingness to learn, you can.
- Focus on the Present – Be present, be pleasant. Whatever happened in the past is in the past and can’t impact what’s happening now unless you allow it to. Worrying about the future, likewise, will also do you no good. Why worry about something you fear that may never happen? Be present and do the best you can. You lose any time you spend dwelling on the past and with a good present attitude, your future is certain to be better.
- Keep Your Crowd Positive – Remember when they told you as a younger person that you are who you hang out with? There’s some truth to that. Other people can have a huge impact on our attitude, mood, and ruling mental state. Surround yourself with positive people who believe in you as much as you do and minimize time with critics. Friends or loved ones who believe in you and support you are often better than gold because they can help you dream up new ideas on how to reach your goal. Maybe even ways you wouldn’t have thought of yourself.
So as we get started on learning the ropes of promotion, get your head in the game. Your promotion efforts will meet your expectations. Invest your time, the most precious commodity any of us has, in promotion with the full belief that you’ll get the results you’ve dreamed of. To warm up, work on habits that foster a positive attitude. The results will thrill you because not only will your writing and promotion efforts be improved, other areas of your life will be too.