For years even when I was in middle school and high school I always thought profits and money were all that mattered. If you had money then you would be considered successful and you made it in life. A couple of years ago I realized how wrong that mindset of mine was and how it made me focus on the wrong thing. The battle of passion vs profits begins.
As a Christian, I always struggled with money and focusing on the right thing from a young age. It’s wrong to have money and be wealthy, that means you’re not focusing on the right things. I realized that is the wrong attitude towards money.
I had it all wrong. There is nothing wrong with money and nothing wrong with having a lot of it. Now it’s what we do with the profits and what we spend it on or how we get money is what might be questionable.
When I first started working on my first book I thought to myself. Alright, I’m going to be an author create books for people and to help them escape from the real world and fall into this made up world I created for them. I read an article about Tom Clancy a couple of days ago and loved what he said.
I told stories to take people away from driving trucks or fixing toilets or whatever they do.
Before that sentence, he considered himself a storyteller, not a writer. Now yes, I call myself a writer now because I am. I write books and blog posts now. But what got me into writing was creating something bigger than Peter.
What didn’t get me into writing was money. Yes, I know the money could possibly be endless with writing. If I write a good book and people like it well then, more people will buy it. Seems pretty straight forward haha. Now I wanted to write a good book that has a good story that people can enjoy, that’s obvious. What I didn’t want is to write a good book that people enjoy and want to read to fill my own pockets.
It’s crazy how things change in a short amount of time. When I was younger I was searching for money and trying to make a lot of it. Now that I’m entering this new field and world I’m in the money is endless and it doesn’t drive me. Don’t get me wrong, a goal of mine is to be able to do this full time and have writing books and speaking my full-time job. That is still a big goal for me that I’m working on and trying to accomplish.
A goal of mine that I made at 25 was to sell a million copies of my book in my life. Now if I published a book and charged it $9.99 and I only get $1 of commission for each book sold. I would have still ended up with a million books sold and earned, how cool is that?
My dad said one day when he saw this goal in my room on my dry erase board. Pete, with what your trying to do with your books and help kids and young adults. Maybe you shouldn’t focus on selling a million copies. Maybe you should focus on reaching a million people? He then dropped the mic and left my room. It was crazy, where did he even get a mic? Ok, I lied about the mic part haha.
Ever sense he said that it completely changed my mindset. Money is not why I wanted to be a writer to sell books as a business and make as much money as possible. Writing and storytelling is what got me started. That’s where my hunger came from with wanting to pursue this new opportunity and passion of mine.
Sometimes when you start something new, I’m guessing you never thought crap, I wish I would have done things differently? No, that thought probably never crossed your mind haha. That’s when everything changed for me. Realizing my original goal and what I did. I quickly changed my goal on my board, and that quickly changed my mindset and work ethic.
Now do I want my books to sell, well yes, of course, I won’t deny that or lie about it. But the reason why I want my books to sell now is to be able to reach people with my words and stories. I want my imagination to grab their attention and see what I have created. That’s more important to me now than what’s in their pockets to pay for my books.
Starting out I might have been a little more focused on the money side. Because starting out this isn’t a cheap hobby haha. I know once I make some money and reimburse Lindsay and myself with the money we put into starting this journey. When we become even it will change again, but for the better.
Don’t be afraid to admit you made a mistake. It’s ok to say that your original goal needs changed and fixed. I recognized my mistake and I changed it and edited it and fixed my problem. I’m ok with that and I feel much better about what I did and the changes I have made.
Now, will it always be that easy or simple no, of course not. Will it take time and some adjustments, well yes of course but that’s ok. What’s most important is you find something more important than profits? What I found was a passion and purpose. Now I believe writing and my unique story is going to lead me into what I was ultimately put here to do and created to do. Will it be hard? Absolutely, it already is, but that’s all part of my unique journey that I’m on every day.