Note from Alana: My friend Joe Lalonde introduced me to Kimanzi at the WordCamp conference I attended in August. When Kimanzi shared his story, I was amazed, motivated and encouraged. So much so, that I just had to share it with you! Thank you for sharing your Story, Kimanzi. I heard it at a time I needed it most.
Existing Is Not Enough Anymore
shared by Kimanzi Constable
Have you ever had one of those days when you just wanted to scream, cry, and then go back to bed? For twelve years this is how I felt everyday! Ok, maybe not everyday but the last few years have become worse and worse.
Here’s the problem I faced: I have no college degree and special skills. So how could I move onto to something better?
It’s funny the lies we convince ourselves of, I would go to work everyday at a job that made me miserable and I would tell myself that all I had to do was get through that day, then I could go home and turn it off and enjoy my REAL life. The problem with that lie is this: forty hours (longer for some people) is too much time out of your week to just ignore. I would have a stressful day at work, go home thinking it was over, then my wife would say something and I would snap.
I quickly realized that you can’t turn it off – when you’re miserable at work it seeps into every other area of your life. Then and there I decided that despite my situation I was going to do something about it. I was going to find work that I truly loved.
You know how that goes, right? I was all fired up for about two weeks, then the excitement fizzled out and I started making excuses why I couldn’t chase my dreams. It took almost a year and some deaths in the family for me to finally wake up and take action.
During this time the company I contracted to got bought out by a larger company and they started implementing a lot of rules that were horrible for us. I was stressed but too afraid to talk to my co-workers because I was afraid they would rat me out. So to vent I turned to something I had always loved to do when I was younger, write.
I started keeping a journal of all that was going on and after two weeks I realized I had a good amount of material. By chance I ran across the story of Amanda Hocking who was a twenty-two year old C.N.A. that was in the same situation I was in. She wrote three novels and tried to get them published, she was rejected by everyone. She decided to go the e-book route and only using social media and a few book reviewers, she was able to sell one million copies of her three books.
I read this and was inspired, I thought I could turn my journal into an e-book, and sell enough copies to quit this job that I hated. I looked into the process, signed up for every social media profile and told anyone who would listen that I had a book coming out. I was so desperate that I reached out to people that I hadn’t talked to in years, telling them about the book.
The day the book came out I was excited, I thought this was it; I was finally doing something I loved. I ran through work, logged onto Amazon and expected to see at least one hundred sales. Can you guess how many copies I sold?????
That’s right; I didn’t sell a single copy, BOOM! I thought it was a mistake; I started calling people asking them why they hadn’t bought my book yet. I immediately went on all my social pages and started spamming my friends and family.
I was committed to get out of this job that I hated so I had to make this work; I had to sell those one hundred books that first day. In the end the launch was a complete failure, I ended up selling eight copies in the first two months.
I was devastated and ready to give up and pretend I didn’t write the stupid book, my heart was broken. If it wasn’t for the support of my wife and a close group of friends, I wouldn’t be here today writing this post.
They challenged me with my purpose: what was my motivation for writing the book? I realized that while I wanted to escape a job that I hated, I wanted to help people stop settling, stop making excuses, so that they could live the life of their dreams.
From that point on I hit the ground running helping people who were in a similar situation I was in. I started really blogging about all the mistakes I made with my work and how people could avoid them.
I started sharing my story, and people started to relate to it and connect with it. The crazy thing was that people bought the book! The rest is history, right? People bought the book and told their friends, they told their friends and the sales kept coming.
To date I have sold over 65,000 copies of my two e-books. If that wasn’t enough, I signed a four book deal with a major publisher, so now my second e-book will be in print this February.
After the press release came out announcing my book deal, I got an email asking me to speak at a social media conference in Huntington, West Virginia. I had never even thought about public speaking but I knew it would help people.
So let’s fast forward. I have now spoken at eight events, seven all over the United States and one event I spoke at in Sydney, Australia. Two years ago if you would have told me all this would happen, I would have slapped you in the face. This has been a dream come true but the best part is actually helping people stop settling in their lives and take action on a life they’ve only dreamed of.
I get tons of emails from people that have read my book and have said it has changed the way they think and their life. Now I don’t even look at how many books I sold, I focus on what’s important: helping people.
If in your life right now you’re where I was, stuck and completely lost hope, then I’m here to tell you that you can live the life of your dreams despite your current circumstances. Don’t believe me? I’m a living example that you can do it too. 🙂Kimanzi Constable is the author of The Difference Between Living and Existing. He is an international speaker and consultant. His mission is to help people stop settling, stop making excuses, so that they can live the life of their dreams. You can find him at Tales of Work and follow him on Twitter.