Monthly Archives: August 2016

4 Reasons I’m Glad My Book is #108,251 on Amazon

I'm Glad

So, I am very excited today because my book, The Coffee Shop Pastor was released in Amazon’s Kindle store! It’s #108,251 in the paid Kindle store and ranked for sales in three other areas too. I copied this right from Amazon, just now:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,251 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

You are probably wondering how being ranked over 108,000 is a good thing and why it makes me happy? Well, let me tell you why this first time author is excited and how I am spending my book release day.

  1. I actually have an item for sale on Amazon. If you have Prime, you are probably an avid Amazon shopper and spender. There are so many things you can buy (we bought our 20 foot ladder and had it delivered) and now I am selling something on it. In fact, if people specifically search for coffee and pastor, it will come right up…you never know!
  2. My kids are slightly impressed. A couple of weeks ago when I told my kids I had uploaded my book to Amazon, one responded, “the real Amazon?”. Yes, the real Amazon. I showed it to them and got a “cool” from them. My kids need to know in this fast paced, changing, techie world that they can have a side hustle. They already know about my Teacher Pay Teacher site. (By the way, I’m having a great month there, best sales ever – 15 items and it’s only August 10.) I’m an entrepreneur of sorts and they can be too! If I don’t make the effort to show my kids what can be done, will they ever go out on a branch and try?

    My kids have heard me yell at my computer trying to do this blog stuff and ebook stuff. Now, they can see the finished product. It takes hard work and dedication.

  3. I’m not a Hemingway or Dickens and that is okay. Look, I’m not going to lie to you, this book is probably not going to be on the classics, must read list 100 years from now. But, it is a good read. It’s a great story about one person. One person in this busy world who listened.

    YOU can be that person!

  4. If I had given up, I wouldn’t be #108,251 on the list. I wouldn’t even be on it. That is the truth. So many times I wanted to just give up. I thought, ‘this is stupid’, ‘who cares what I write’, ‘I’ve only got four subscribers’, ‘why bother’, and on and on. Have you been there?

    It is a real struggle to not compare myself to other people’s success and recognize that the success I have is just right for me because that’s how God wants it. And so I am celebrating.

If you are trying something new, you just have to keep going. It’s a great feeling when the final product is done. Yes, like a turkey done! And then you get to celebrate. The Today show called, but I was already busy. Here is how I’ve been spending my book release day.

  • I went for a bike ride at 6:00am and did an extra hill because it was too dark at 5:30am. That half hour in-between waking and riding allowed me to check my email where Kindle let me know my book was released.
  • The kids and I harvested delights from the garden. Potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and zinnias are filling bowls on my table! They weren’t thrilled about helping, but when we pulled a six inch carrot out we were all impressed.
  • PK showed me my book that he ordered on his phone. It made me smile that he supports me.
  • I made pickles because over the winter, homemade pickles with grilled cheese is delicious!
  • We had homemade pizza for lunch because football practice is right at dinner time and PK was able to eat with us, so it just worked out.
  • I might just make a cake too!

This is the stuff of life. Opportunities are there and I made one for myself. If I hadn’t written The Coffee Shop Pastor, I would still be wondering if I could. Go ahead and put the doubts away and give a project of yours a try. That picture at the top? That’s me and how I feel when I get to dip my toes in the ocean in December, or I look at my kids, or at the end of a successful school year when the last bell rings, or at times like these when I actually did something I wanted to try. I want to keep that feeling and this picture is a reminder to me to keep going. Good luck!

4 Ways to be Courageous Every Day

Be courageous

Do you like coffee? Do you like the atmosphere of the little shop or the hustle and bustle of people coming and going and wonder what their stories are?

Do you work out at the gym or go out for walks at the park? Do you go at the same time and recognize some of the same people who are there the same time as you?

Do you like to unwind at the end of the day or week by getting a nice cold one or sipping on a delicious, local wine? Do you ever see someone sitting alone and wonder why they are alone?

Are any of the above you?

Do you ever work up the courage to actually say something to someone or listen without expecting anything in return? Do you take time to put yourself second so someone else can be first? Do you?

In a world where everyone seems to be isolated by ear buds, closed off by window blinds, and house entry is behind the closed garage door, how do you get to know people? In a world where Facebook posts show what fun everyone is having and Pinterest shows perfection, how do you get to know people? Here are 4 ways to be courageous and go out on a limb and meet people.

  1. Be aware: If you take notice of your surroundings, you will find something that you can work into an icebreaker to start a conversation. Notice things around you such as:
    • the appetizer or drink you haven’t tried yet, comment on their outfit (color, shoes, earrings, etc.), the weather, the sunrise, their cute dog, whatever is on the TV, a play on the field
  2. Be open: Instead of looking closed off with an imaginary ‘do not disturb’ sign on, make yourself accessible. Open up by:
    • opening your shades, sit on the front porch, use your front door, uncross your arms, take out the ear buds, put your phone away, take off your sunglasses
  3. Be friendly: The old saying goes, turn that frown upside-down. This is an action like:
    • smiling, laughing together, not being short or rude with someone, taking a moment to stop what you are doing and recognizing someone
  4. Be quiet: Don’t always be loudest voice and realize your opinion isn’t always the best. In the quiet, learn to:
    • listen without judging, be present in the conversation, offer your experience in a similar situation without judgment or opinion

You have to realize that doing these things probably won’t  turn you and that other person into life long friends overnight. But, in that moment, you are offering yourself as someone who is kind, someone who cares, and someone who wants to be there. You have the power to impact lives around you. This is what my book, The Coffee Shop Pastor, is all about. You don’t know how your meeting with someone will change their lives. We have a responsibility to make disciples without being all religious. Being aware, open, friendly, and quiet are easy ways to get people to let their guard down and let them know that you are interested in them as a person. Check out my book and use the questions at the end to guide you so you are ready to be a courageous version of the coffee shop pastor.

pic from Amazon