The ‘No-Shows’Event

As an author you envision nothing but success for your audience and business. You’ve put yourself out there completely and at the very least expect a great turnout at your events. What happens when no one shows up?

This actually happened to me before. It was my second book signing event and it made sense for me to have it in my hometown because everyone knew me, knew of me, or knew someone related to me. My first event was successful so somehow I figured I could approach this one the same way. I only shared it to the people on social media and then on the day of I waited…..waited…. and waited. Eventually about 6-8 people came (thanks to family and friends lol) but I was soooooo HAPPY! What an experience! So back to my question: What happens when no one shows up?

It’s nothing more humbling than to have no one come to your event or avoid your vending table. After all the work you did to create your book, set up your table, and to have no one or the number of people you expected to not show up is definitely an experience to have as an author. I believe you appreciate the platform even more as you grow into the author God called you to be.

During my book signing event I only had 6-8 people and in the beginning I was waiting for more to come, smh. Eventually I got over that expectation and focused on the ones that were there. It reminded me of one of the parables in the bible about the faithful servant. ‘His master said to him, ‘well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little, I will put you in charge of many things; share in the joy of your master.’-Matt. 25:21  When no one else showed up it taught me to be faithful over the little and have joy in the moment.

When no one showed up I was able to reflect and honestly had a ‘Come to Jesus’ moment. The location I chose for my event made sense to me because it was in a town I grew up in. I realized if I wanted to grow my business, I needed to get out of the comfort zone. I learned alot of friends and family will not support you just because they know you and that’s great because it helps narrow your target audience. You also wouldn’t want just family supporting your business anyway.

So the next time you have no one to show up at your event, know its a humbling experience to have and there are great takeaways to learn every time!

 

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Qualified

It’s been a while since I’ve shared my ‘fillings’. I kind of pick and choose what to share while I’m in that season and for the past few days I’ve been in awe of how God choses the qualified.

What does it mean to be qualified? To be officially recognized as being trained to perform a particular job.

Growing up I’ve never been recognized as being good in sports, like softball. I feel like I was always the last few to be called on a team and I never liked playing because I felt like I wasn’t good enough. There were people on the team that obviously knew what they were doing and then there was me. LOL!

It’s the same when I’m offered a job position and there’s people that worked hard with their degrees apply for the same position. Opportunities to speak and there’s people that have years of experience to do so and yet God calls the one that used to walk with her head down.

One of my favorite stories was when Moses was called to speak to God’s people and he had a speech impediment! Now it would make sense for someone that spoke well to have the job that Moses was given but God thought he would be perfect for the job.

So how does God qualify us? Well for one he doesn’t judge us the same as others.

‘…For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”-1Samuel 16:7

I believe when we’re humble, we’re teachable and with that type of character it puts us in places we could only imagine. I think another thing about being qualified is that we can’t think of ourselves how others think of us. If God says we’re trained to do a particular job we should already have the faith to support it.

So the next time you go after that big thing, whatever it is , know that you are qualified!

 

I’m so glad He doesn’t view us in the same lens as others and in spite of

 

More Than a Label

What is the first thing you recognize when applying for a job position? For me it’s the job title, of course!  A title confirmed your role in a company, it qualified you to have a voice in certain areas. In a dental office you’ll interact with people in the front office to the dental assistant and hygienist. They can all give you advice to ‘brush your teeth’ but when the dentist delivers the same message it is received because they are highly respected and ‘most qualified’ to say it.

This wasn’t my reason of wanting to become a doctor but I paid attention to the respect patients gave dentists and loved it.

Respect, responsibility, a decent pay was in a title and if I wasn’t careful whatever job I had could eventually become my identity if I allowed it.

If you thought the same as me I hope you also came to realize self love is worth way more than a job title.

Working with coworkers and adapting to responsibilities develops your character but your title does not define who you are or your success.

In any role, whether it’s being a doctor or a janitor, serving others should always be your first priority.

Daughter of the King

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 I’m doodling and get a ‘random’ shirt idea for my business called, ‘Daughter of the King.’  I immediately look it up because I like to create first (smh lol) and I see several shirts with the same phrase. What in the world?? It doesn’t make sense. How does the idea come so clearly but everyone already created it? I was upset and thought I was just making up things in my head.

A few seconds later the voice of God said, “Ash, you do know there is nothing new under the sun, right? It’s all how you present it.” This reminded me of Ecclesiastes 1:9 ‘What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.’ Wow ! That was definitely what I needed to hear.  In my original idea I had so much going on with the font ,words, and color it just wasn’t flowing. So after humbling myself I asked him how he wanted the shirt since it was clearly his idea, lol. That’s when it worked. Out of obedience and humbling myself I was able to receive clear direction for my shirt design.

Now what does it mean to be a daughter of the King? II Corinthians 6:18 says, “And I will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” If he’s the King of kings and he calls me his daughter…that means I’m royalty? Not only royalty but to know our Father in heaven is strong, dependable, and loves us more than anyone could. To know I’m a daughter of the King does something to my self esteem. It gives me confidence to walk with my head held high, very encouraging. Just as it speaks life to me that’s what I wanted for others ,especially children.

 

His Will, His Timing

Have you ever applied to a bunch of jobs and did not get a response? Then all of a sudden you hear back from them all at once? That’s exactly what happened to me!

I was applying everywhere and feeling discouraged because I wasn’t hearing from anyone. I was praying and thought God wasn’t listening. For me when it feels like a parent is giving “silent treatment” I try evaluating where I was in error and fix it if possible. So that’s what I did and yet I found nothing. Sometimes even after you ask for forgiveness in an area (or several…) He has a specific path for us so we can’t skip the process.

Eventually I stopped fighting and went with the flow. I spent more time with Him, did some writing, and accepted His will, His timing. I didn’t forget about applying for jobs I just didn’t make it my first priority waking up. That’s when I noticed a change.

I literally received seven job interviews back to back and quickly became overwhelmed! First, I was overwhelmed with joy. Second, I was overwhelmed because I found favor with every position and I hated making decisions. So, guess what I did?

PRAYED! LOL! I needed help making a wise decision and thought God would be the perfect person to go to. However, it felt like he was being silent again! So I continued praying, kept a positive attitude, and wrote out each job description on paper. I listed everything in detail from each job so it would be easier to compare. After writing out skills I’d obtained from each position it was easier for me to notice pros/cons and make a final decision.

What’s so awesome about God’s love for us is that he cares about EVERYTHING we do and doesn’t want us to be anxious according to Philippians 4:6. There are also things he wants us to experience so we’ll be better equipped for in the future. In this situation I wanted Him to make the decision for me so I wouldn’t have to. Instead He gave me wisdom to make the decision myself. Trust His will, His timing and know He’ll guide you throughout the process.

The ‘Quiet Type’

I’ve always been the ‘quiet type’

But now been called to be still

To take notice of what’s around me

And continue to seek his will

I’ve always been the ‘quiet type’

To observe actions over the sounds of words

To listen and not always be heard

To see clearly without my vision blurred

But even as the ‘quiet type’

My thoughts sometimes get too loud

Especially if I follow the crowd

From being lowly to having sprinkles of proud

That’s when I’m called to be still

To be the student and let the teacher teach his will

To act with prudence

Before making the wrong deal

Finding my voice besides on paper is free

Greater is he that is in me

What he’s producing will begin to ripe

But in this season I’ll just be still and be the ‘quiet type’

Lesson 3: Selling

The final lesson I learned as a first time vendor was all about selling. That’s including not having copies of my book, smh. So what happened was…

I made a last minute decision to become a vendor at the kids expo and ordered copies of Ella’s Greatest Adventures at the same time. The books were supposed to arrive day before the event (I knowww!) but there was a delay until the following week!

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>>>Fast forward, I went to the expo with two proofs and the setup for my table. I felt unprepared and did not deserve to be surrounded by other vendors with their organized tables. Anyhoo, I set my table, got out of my feelings, and smiled as people walked by.

In lesson 2 , the cookies had people stopping by the table asking about Ella. Eventually a family came to the table and they purchased a copy of my book. As they looked through one of the proofs I had on the table, I spoke to them about the purpose and goal behind Ella’s Greatest Adventures. The day before I made up order forms so I had those on the table for customers. After that first sell it actually gave me the confidence I needed in order to continue to sell that day.

Thanks to lesson 3 I learned (and am still learning) not to compare myself to others and trust God. I didn’t have a nice standing banner or copies of the book but I had a voice and I was creative. I also learned everyone isn’t for the brand. I made a few sales but smiled a lot as people walked passed. Even as I shared things I thought was amazing about Ella, I didn’t get the same response from some people and that’s okay. The last lesson I learned was to be prepared. The week leading to the event I was in a panic! I was praying and had others praying with me believing my books would come on time. Instead of focusing on when the books would arrive, I made order forms and dental related sheets for families. As an introvert, I do not enjoy speaking to groups of people so I prepared by practicing around the house.

Even though I have ALOT to learn about selling, what I’ve learned as a first time vendor was very valuable.

 

Lesson 2: The Customer is Sometimes Right

“The customer is always right.” I never heard of this until I heard a complaint working at Subway. The person bought a salad and called minutes later not to complain about the taste but the presentation. Their food wasn’t cut small enough and they needed an explanation. As I listened to them complain over the phone, as if I made it I asked one of my coworkers what to say because honestly I wanted to hang up. I said what I was told and the person continued not being satisfied. Even though I had similar experiences since then, I think that Subway moment relates to my first time as a vendor.

The morning of the kids expo I decided to bake sugar cookies. Ideally, fruit would’ve been best to represent the fruit of the spirit in Ella’s Greatest Adventures but that was not in the funds. I wanted cookies to be in the shape of Ella so I used a Mickey Mouse cookie cutter ((lol)) and they came out horrible! Side note: This was my first time doing this so that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!  It kind of worked out because when the Mickey Mouse head wasn’t keeping its shape, I shaped it to look more like Ella. A lot of work for an amateur baker and professional creator!

IMG_5208So once my husband and I arrived and set my table up children started coming… especially for the cookies. One mother stopped in front of the table and said, ” Hmm, cookies and dentistry? dentistry and cookies?” I knew what that meant and for a second, ok maybe a minute, I got into my feelings. “She don’t know how I struggled to get here without having books.” “I know this book relates to oral health but it’s so much more!” Yada, yada, yada. Instead I gave a smile and said, “Yes mam, that’s right.” She ate a cookie and walked away.

giphy3 Just like the Subway person, it was about the presentation. Out of that moment I started getting ideas but I first had to get out of my feelings. Second, I was soo glad I listened. That mom from the expo represented a group of moms I’ll probably meet later down the road and I want to be able to respond in a loving way.

Lesson 1: Event Planning

Last week I had my first vendor event and even though it wasn’t how I imagined it to be, it was pretty successful. One of the lessons I was taught was how to have more than one event on the same day.

The first event I booked was for a baby shower. A few weeks later I bought a vendor table for a kids expo that same day and time (well it lasted longer than the first event). It didn’t make sense to do both but I prayed first before I made an investment for the vendor table. I felt at peace about both events so that’s how I was able to move forward with that decision.

I knew I couldn’t attend both, not the entire time at least, so the plan was to set up and have my husband sell at the expo that would allow me to attend the baby shower event for a few then return to the expo. Without my husband there I wouldn’t have been able to even consider having that as an option so having a team is important!

The morning of the events I was running a few minutes late but once we arrived at the expo we saw this line wrapped around the building and traffic of cars still pulling into the parking lots. I didn’t have copies of my book ( that’s another story, smh) and based on how long it took for me to get into the parking lot at the expo I knew I wouldn’t make it to the next event. Plans change all the time but I think planning strategically would’ve helped the situation.

Before you plan for several events in one day like I attempted to, I encourage you to seek God’s will by praying first, have a support team because it’s hard to do it by yourself, and plan strategically just in case plan-a to plan-g doesn’t work.

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“Ok, cool.” Type of Relationship

We’ve all been there at least I think. You know the type of relationship where you’ve placed the other person first and it wasn’t reciprocated. Or maybe you’ve sent text messages pouring out your heart and the other person just respond with “ok,cool.”  It’s so frustrating, annoying , and all the other words that’s similar.giphy2Well I’ve experienced it , a little too much actually.  I guess after it happened to me the first time you would think I learned my lesson. Instead I gave myself excuses when I wasn’t treated fairly. I wonder how God would feel in that type of relationship?

A relationship where he pours his entire being, blessings, encouraging words, into you consistently, and your only response is “okay, thanks.” A relationship where he made you a little lower than angels and crowned you with glory and honor (Hebrews 2:7).  I thought about this last week and I was like man I love God even more!

I think a lot of people wouldn’t stay in a relationship for too long if the other person didn’t acknowledge them, I know I wouldn’t. Psalms 94:14 says ” For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will never forsake his inheritance.” So does that include the moments we don’t acknowledge him as much? Yes! Well doesn’t he get upset when that happens ? Psalms 103:8 says “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”

He knew what type of person we were before we were born (psalms 139:13)! Yet he’s committed and shows no sign of leaving. I knew this to be true but I guess after reading a devotion a few days ago it was like an aha moment. It’s like being in a relationship and you already know the person love you but then they do something extra like give you flowers or something and you’re like “Aww they really do love me!” So yeah , God is awesome and he loves you flaws and all!

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