I want to talk to you today about something that often passes through my mind. Something that a person can go crazy thinking about—missed opportunities. It seems that every single time we (as human beings) turn around, we either open or close a door. Sometimes, we later come back to realize that the door we closed was the one we should have stepped through.
I am reminded of the hobo who had an infected leg. A doctor, the top of his field, went out to help the gentleman in question. He got the leg on the road to recovery and gave the hobo twenty-five dollars for food and a warm bed. A few weeks later, the same hobo was taken to this doctor’s office. He had to have that very same leg amputated. “What happened?” the doctor said after the surgery. “Your leg would have healed.” The hobo replied, “I went to see a real doctor and he gave me some ointment.”
The hobo had mistaken a top doctor in his field for a quack and had taken the twenty-five dollars to see a lesser doctor. The leg had been lost.
In book terms, I will always remember the gentleman who wanted success so badly he jumped from one publishing company to another without doing his homework. The one he left had a strong catalogue, but hadn’t yet made him a pile of money. The one he went to didn’t even have the first understanding of the market. His books lie mouldering on Amazon to this day.
Yes, we make our bed and lie in it, this is true—but with a little thought, a little communication, a little dialogue, these errors could have been avoided. The hobo could have saved his leg had he asked the doctor about his qualifications. The author could have risen to success had he persevered with the publishing company instead of growing impatient, greedy and dissatisfied.
I’ve always found that the best decisions are the ones that take time. Doing research, understanding the subject, talking to others in the field of business all help direct the individual towards a satisfactory conclusion.
For example, take a look at authors like Paul L. Thompson, Randall Dale, C. Wayne Winkle, Robert Hanlon, Fred Staff, Cherokee Parks and many others who waited for years to get their success. They concentrated on the one thing that really mattered—writing those books—and it worked for them. Each of the authors named, and many more besides, can be found on the bestseller chart today, a reward for cool, calm thinking, hard work, communication and most importantly—perseverance.
Now with my sermon for the day over, let’s get back to selling books. Did you know the new Cherokee Parks Western, “The Trader,” is still at number one? I’m mighty proud of that one… but I can’t wait to see who hits the top next!