As many of you know, I attended my first book festival this past weekend in Tucson, Arizona. It was a valuable experience, and although it was not exactly what I was hoping for, I did gain some good insight for further marketing of my book as well as my services as a whole. One thing that was certain, was that few people were there to find books on Goals. Most were looking for fantasy, adventure, or even some people were looking for historical books. Only one person in a hundred plus entered our booth and showed any interest in my goal setting book.
I am not surprised, as a matter of fact, one gentleman went out of his way to tell me that the word Goals should be removed from the English language. Now, I didn’t have much of an appetite to begin to debate with this fellow, who was wearing terribly frayed cargo shorts, flip flops, and an exceptionally faded t-shirt which I couldn’t even read the print anymore. Now, I didn’t discredit the statement based on this man’s appearance, or his unkept beard, filthy ball cap that should have been discarded years ago, or the exceptionally disagreeable halitosis. No, it was none of these things, it was the way he said it, as if he knew more than I did, like he was onto something that the world didn’t already know and only he was privy to.
The whole experience didn’t damper the event for me, so much as it was yet another epiphany of how little people think, or even want to think about their goals in life. Ironically, as I spoke to people about my peer’s books from our booth, it was obvious to me that many people were looking for a way to escape their own lives by diving into a well-written novel that provided some relief from their daily mundane lives. Something that provided the release or escape they were dying to have. Some suspense, mystery, or dramatic story that swept them up and enthralled them, but most importantly, helped them escape whatever it was that they really didn’t want to deal with or face in their own lives.
Now, I’m not saying that everyone at the festival lacked ambition, on the contrary, I was surprised at the lengths people went to in order to find these outlets. This is absolutely not an environment that I would enjoy shopping in. Personally, I would be more than content to sift through a couple hundred titles online to find an enjoyable book, whereas these people braved the unique and fickle weather conditions (chilly, windy, rainy, and even at times, outright hot), the crazy crowds, all the walking, the inconsiderate people, and the constant hawking of products by people like myself just trying to sell a few items. To make matters worse, as I looked around, there probably weren’t more than 5% of the more than one-hundred thousand people milling around over the weekend that bought much of anything, let alone any books.
So, what did I learn? Well, first off, before I completely give up on this outlet, I will ensure I improve my marketing presence. I saw a lot of innovative ideas to get more attention, and someone I attended with offered a great marketing idea to incorporate some props! I have committed to a few more of these similar events and will prepare accordingly. I will let my tribe know as far in advance as possible, so I can have more support at such events. And, I most certainly will have to do a better job of getting out there and promoting myself more creatively in this environment, which is way outside my comfort zone. But, as you all have heard me say before, that is where all the growth is!
Most importantly, though, I learned that if I am going to get more people to take goal setting more seriously, I need to help them embrace and understand that they control their own lives and can be living those fantasy lives that they seem to be trying to escape to. I love a good movie, probably better than most, heck, I probably even enjoy many of the bad movies, because that is my escape. BUT, I never want to allow myself to get so caught up into these forms of escapism that I allow myself to stop taking action towards my goals.
I often will have a dozen or so people signup for a live goal setting event and then only half show. I often wonder what could possibly happen in someone’s life that was so important that they are going to put their goals on hold until some better or more convenient time. I think after this weekend, I understand it wasn’t something more important necessarily, it’s just that they lack the faith in myself or my process and whether I can provide on the promises I make. It could be that they lack the faith in themselves, or the worst culprit of all, they already have a comfy little escape solution that makes it far easier to get a break from rather than trying to live their life on their terms.
Please comment and let me know your thoughts. I’m expecting to get some real push back on this one…