Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Joe Vitale and the Secret

So there I was at a presentation being given by Joe Vitale on the missing part of the Secret. Now, most of the people there knew him because of his connection with the Secret. After all, this was a World Wellness event. But I had heard of him long before that in connection with marketing. I found myself trying to reconcile the two images—altruistic believer in infinite possibilities and wanting to help others manifest abundance in their own lives versus ultimate marketer.

The thing is maybe there isn’t a contradiction. The basis of his marketing advice, after all, is to offer a product people WANT. And then he talks about ways to get the message out that you have it. With the Secret, he talks about what we focus on coming into our lives. So...if all we care about is being greedy for money, we’ll bring selfish, greedy people into our lives who want to take from us. But if we focus on how we can provide something that will make others happier or wealthier or in some other way offer a true benefit, then we will draw into our lives wealth, happiness, etc.

How does this apply to us as writers? Well, if when we write we don’t think about what readers want from our books, we aren’t likely to be able to sell our manuscripts. If we only think about how we can make money from our writing, that’s likely to backfire, too. On the other hand, if we think about what would bring real pleasure, real value to our readers, then it’s a win/win situation.

Here's another point. If we focus on what we don’t like about the publishing world, well, that’s what we’ll see. If we focus instead on how we can bring value to the process and how we can use it to bring value to readers, well, again, it’s far more likely to bring us success. Where do we want to put our energy? On railing against what we don’t like or in getting to where we want to be?

The other thing about Joe Vitale’s talk is that he spoke about how our unconscious assumptions can get in the way of having what we want. What comes to mind when you think of great writers? Are there parts of that image that you don't like? Change/rewrite it! (Julia Cameron did a great workshop on this at RWA national one year.) If we clean out the crap we can get out of our own way and be far more likely to succeed.

It was a thought provoking talk. What if we do have the power to achieve the success we want and it’s in our hands? What if we can best achieve that success by focusing on bring value to our readers and letting go of expectations and assumptions that don’t serve us very well?

It wouldn’t hurt, either, I think to adopt one of the keys to Joe Vitale’s marketing strategies—working with others to achieve mutual success rather than seeing everyone as a competitor or an obstacle. What if instead of complaining when someone doesn’t do what we want, we were to ask ourselves what we could do that would make helping us something the other person WANTS to do? Brow beating people never works and neither does lecturing them. So...can we alter our attitude or our product or offer something the other person would genuinely value?

In other words, it always comes back to us—whether with the Law of Attraction in the Secret or in marketing. How can we change rather than (pointlessly!) trying to change other people?