I was watching the country group Lady Antebellum live in a concert special for the first time and, wow, what chemistry they have playing together. Their story is such an inspiration. They talked about how in their band’s beginning, they drove around in a jeep, traveling miles to play at carnivals. Then, they graduated to a van, and eventually, a bus.
They practiced for hours in a band member’s brother’s house because they were so broke they couldn’t afford to pay their own rent, let alone rent out a studio. They grew their fan base little by little over the years, and are now well-known and touring in Europe, as well as in the US. Along with their fan base, they grew musically and recently added a horn section, and admit that it added a whole new energy to their stage. They truly love one another and it shows; there were a few emotional moments between them during the concert. It was so real, spontaneous and genuine, I instantly knew I’d love them too.
It took them ten years to get to this point in their careers. They’ve evolved, as musicians and as individuals. They’re each married now and there are toddlers running around. The secret to their success? They knew they were talented, even ten years ago when they endured a bumpy jeep ride to the carnival (and crowded; all their instruments were crammed in there too!).
Persist, focus and grow. We can all learn from Lady Antebellum, whose humble beginnings are forgotten now that they are mega-stars. We authors know we write great stories. We just need to keep sharing, marketing, and showing up at carnivals. Someday we’ll hit the big time.
I hear authors say:
“I have a book but no one’s buying!” Answer: “Write another one!”
“No one’s reading my blog!” Answer: “Write another one. Keep sharing.”
“I’ve been an author for two years and my book only has twenty reviews.” Answer: “Strive for two more years and continue marketing and building your brand.”
The fifth year you can try something different.
The sixth year you can make the goal of writing two more books. You’re an expert now, it should be easy.
The seventh year, you’re still climbing. You’ve never stopped. Authors are falling behind because they’ve given up.
The eighth and ninth years, you’re now mentoring others, being an advocate in your own way.
The tenth year, you’ve added bells and whistles and more books. Do you quit? No, you’ve only just begun!