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Live your life out of design or default

As we start this new year, we are still in the mode of doing it right. I thought this would be a great article to kick off 2012.

I have a market coach. His name is Mikey.

I spend four hours a week with him on the phone, and have for the past six months. He is helping me market my book and has promised if I followed his advice, I would sell my first 2,500 books this year.

Today, I am still editing the book with the help of a brilliant editor. I promised it would be under the Christmas tree last month.

It wasn’t.

Many of you have said you wanted a copy. At this moment, I can’t deliver. I will soon. It all sounds like a default or an excuse, but it isn’t — it is just honoring the process.

The most important thing is a statement Mikey made to me: “I live my life out of design, not out of default. Past decisions are current situations. My choices in the past have brought me to my current position. But my future does not have to be lived in default. I have a choice.

“By default, I can make that choice by doing nothing, letting what will be, will be; or I can chose to live by design. I do this by prayer and my thought process. When I am going in the wrong direction, God will give me the ability and opportunity to change. I live my life this way and I run my business the same way.”

I am writing this article to share the advantage I gain by having someone like Mikey in my life.

He said, “Ask yourself two questions: Where am I going and how am I going to get there?”

He detected my anxiousness.

I said, “The book is not ready yet. I have pushed full steam ahead. It is being made into a sleek race horse and will be ready for the Kentucky Derby when I am through with it. It’s got to be better than just a good old horse. You promised it is going to be a best seller. I’ve ridden some good old horses in the past, but this book is different. I’ve got to listen to you.”

I expected Mikey to say, “Do more.”

He said, “Do less. Decrease twenty-five percent what you are doing. Take time for the things that are most important. Prioritize the important things. What is important to you?”

I surprised myself by not blurting out, “The book, the book, the book.” But I said, “First is my relationship with the Lord and second, Al and my family.”

Mikey continued to talk and I listened. Then, I said, “How are we going to market this book? I told the world I would sell this book in six months and I am still getting it ready. I’ve been promising it for the past two months and it still needs work.”

His response was, “You think we were going to start marketing your book January first? We have been doing it for the past three months. You have been posting, building your site, learning social skills for the media, you are going to continue to do what you have been doing. If you do not put God and your family first, then you will live in default. Remember, God will do it. You and I are not going to do it. God will get the glory, not us.”

I responded, “I sent a website to you, where I could join this 365 project, a blog a day. Is this something I need to be doing?”

Mike patiently said, “Betty, people run after the next thing. I know what I am doing. Your plate is already full. You could and it would work for you, but you need to decrease your workload, you are burning both ends of the candle.”

Then, he continued to remind me that God is first in this venture. “Don’t lose sight of Him. He is going to do it, we are not.”

In the past, this is where I got off my course. The business, the excitement and the anxiousness revved my motor. Very little happened! I would have thought I lived it in design, but apparently I didn’t, because it didn’t work. So, hold my feet to the fire, I will sell 2,500 books this year, but it must be out of design.

Final brushstroke: “Spirit of the Red Candle,” a journal of Mary Magdalene, is becoming a sleek fine race horse. I just need to remember it is by design or default I live my life and run my business. It is my choice.

Artist’s quote

“Whatever course you have chosen for yourself, it will not be a chore but an adventure if you bring to it a sense of glory, if your sights are set far above the merely secure and mediocre.” — David Sarnoff, entrepreneur.

Readers’ comments

E-mail me at I’ll post your comments.

Sam said, “I feel sorry for poor Al, and what in the world does his brother, David think of you writing about him?”

I told Sam, “He’s given me permission but be careful, I’ll write about you, again.”

Another reader e-mails: “You wrote, I am sure a therapist would love to get David on her couch and delve into his mind. She needs to be careful, she will be on the couch with him.”

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