This week I had the unexpected pleasure to be invited to a Book Club with people I had never met before. One of their members Philip Thompson, heard me speak on the radio show First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, and suggested that my book, Sno-Cone Diaries, A Sweet Route to Happiness was exactly what the group should read.
I guess about half-way through the book I got a friend request on Linkedin from Wendy Griffis asking if I’d be kind enough to make a special guest appearance at their book club meeting and autograph their books. Of course I immediately said yes, asked for the date, location and time, before it even dawned on me that I was once again going to meet a group of strangers. At least it was in a public place at Town Center so I washed that fear away and anxiously awaited the day. So on Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. I walked into the restaurant Brio at the Town Center to meet these beautiful, fun, and interesting people.
First let me tell you a little about this very unique group of people. The group is comprised of competing realtors from Better Homes and Gardens, Coldwell Banker, and others, that do book club bi-weekly by phone. They read a chapter or two and then dial in on a specific day and time and discuss their thoughts and impressions of the book, and something I think even more unique is that they get personal if something really resonates with someone they are open to letting their members be raw, open, and authentic about how it made them feel, brought back a memory, or share if they are going thru something like it now, etc…. Even though theoretically they are competitors they are friends, they care about each other, and they all want to be more successful so they use Book Club as an opportunity for both personal and professional growth. The most amazing thing is they actually read the book and after they finish it they gather in person to eat, drink, be merry, and discuss what book they should read next. And just for the record even though my book has been dubbed “chick lit” the three men that were present on Tuesday, one of whom recommended it, all said the message applied and resonated with them as well. If I can sum up my takeaway from what they said about my book, it was the realness, authenticity, courage of stepping out of my comfort zone to take the risk of being my true-self and in the process of doing that, I changed another man’s life as well as my own and found true happiness is what inspired them the most. To put it another way, when Philip told his friend Katie about the story her response was, “Awwww I want to be Sno-Cone Happy!”
Since I began this journey of adventure I am constantly reminded that there is a force or power much bigger than me working in the universe that has kicked in ever since I surrendered and said “Jesus take the wheel and He handed me the keys to a 10,000 lb. sno-cone truck. If you really think about how I got to Brio on Tuesday night it’s mind boggling with all the things that had to happen, and the people that I’ve met, and situations that occurred, and chances I had to take, and lives that I have touched to be honored by their invitation. My advice to all is this: just put it out there in the universe and take that first step to your goal, you never know what can happen. I may just make that Best Seller list yet!
The people in this book club were so gracious, kind, engaging, welcoming and fun. I immediately felt like I was part of their book club. They listened to my stories, asked questions, laughed, tried to recruit me to be a realtor, and in the end gave me a standing ovation. All of this at a book club meeting, in a restaurant, just chatting about life and how to overcome obstacles, and how important attitude, faith, fortitude, friendship, and doing the right thing every time leads to no-regrets, happiness, and in the long run more opportunity.
I can’t thank them enough for their gracious hospitality. I hope they help me spread the word on the book, and plant the seed on how cool it is to have the author of the book you just read show up at your book club meeting to discuss and autograph your book personally.
I am now an honorary member of their book club and I promised to help them with my sales background to put together some tips and strategies to be more successful, as they are reading a book on how to overcome objections to be more productive agents. Watch out Jacksonville this group is about to be on fire and sell some real estate and become more “Sno-Cone Happy” in the process.