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No Success is Achieved Alone

As I celebrate 20 years of BookEnds, it’s impossible to do so without acknowledging all of the people who helped us get here.

Some of you may have noticed that the past few years have been a time of significant change and growth for BookEnds. It was three years ago when I I first read YOU ARE A BADASS by Jen Sincero. The book that launched me to create a new me and a new BookEnds.

As publishing professionals, we believe books can change lives. In my case, I believe this book changed my life. It lit a fire and started something that even if I wanted to I couldn’t stop. From this book I took classes, joined networking and mastermind groups, and made what was probably one of the biggest commitments of my career. I hired a success coach.

Coaches: The Critique Partners of Business Leaders

Just as writers have critique partners, business leaders need someone on their side to encourage, cajole, and tell us exactly what we need to hear. Andria Corso was my coach for two years and she did exactly all of that and more. She challenged me to think outside of myself, to push myself, and to be true to who I am and what I want BookEnds to be. She often told me what I needed to be told, even when I didn’t want to hear it.

Recently, Andria told me it was time to fly. That our time together had reached a natural end. Our relationship, while still precious to me, had moved beyond coaching to a wonderful friendship. And while I enjoyed our regular talks, she was right, I was doing what I needed to be doing all on my own.

Taking Flight

At first I fought what she was telling me. I told her I wasn’t ready. In truth, I was scared. And letting fear control my actions isn’t who I am. Allowing fear to control me would not have gotten me BookEnds, nor would it have grown BookEnds to ten agents and hundreds of clients. She was right. I needed to fly.

It’s difficult when you reach the point where your support system no longer provides what you need. I’ve seen this with authors when I suggest they move on from a critique group or beta reader. The first thing I’m often told is how wonderful the group is. I don’t doubt that. But a support system won’t help you grow if it becomes too comfortable. The author who maintains a professional relationship out of fear and comfort is not the author destined to grow to her full potential. The right group or partner is one who continually pushes you for more.

In my case, I reached the point where I no longer needed Andria to push me for more. I was doing it all on my own. I had learned what I had signed on to learn. Now, it was time for me to take control on my own.

I will forever stay in touch with Andria. She has been an integral part of what I’ve built. We are friends and, it’s possible, someday I will need her help again. But staying would set me on a path to stagnancy. I would be doing the same things I’ve already done and sometimes, we need a little push to climb that next rung. I thank Andria for giving me that push.

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3 comments

  1. When I read your description of what Andria Corso did for you, my first thought was, “She’s the same for Jessica as Jessica has been for me.” Thinking back, the times I didn’t want to hear what you were telling me are the times that I took the most chances and got out of my comfort zone. And did some of the best writing I’ve done.

    I think I’m about due for another kick in the ass…

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