It was a beautiful day to wander around the main streets of Bozeman, Three Forks, and Townsend and make connections. Ashley, one of the Posse girls and sometimes my overly-bossy-when-I-need-it friend, was my co-pilot for adventure today as I set out to market my book to local bookstores and gift shops.
I was hesitant as I entered each store, the buzz of anxious energy making my stomach do little flip flops. At the recommendation of a co-worker and mentor, I invited Ashley to come with me for moral support and encouragement.
This had one very intentional side effect and one not so intentional side effect; she helped remind me that I wouldn't die because I was putting myself out there to strangers in the retail market, and... she required pee stops at nearly all of them. I always forget that about her, and yet...
I'm so grateful for the former of the two. Marketing my book lands football fields outside my comfort zone. I'm getting better with each opportunity I push myself into, but it takes a whole lot of coaxing and mental cheerleading on my part. And, in this case, both Ashley's gentle encouragement and no-so gentle swift kicks in the ass if the encouragement didn't appear to be enough **of course, this measure is taken by her and not me.
As cliché as it sounds, the more I do it the less it seems overwhelming.
Guess what, I really didn't die! Whew! Not only that, but I was reminded that we're all connected in so many ways.
One store highlighted the small-town friendships that can be built in one conversation, exchanging names and stories of people in common in our lives, exposing just how small our worlds can be even when they seem to be bustling cities from a glance.
Another store reminded me of the power of connection between women and the universal truth that deep down we all strive to hold each other up and come together in solidarity of the beauty we see in one another.
And then there's the humble bookstore that smelled of warm wood and printing paper that cemented within me the possibility story has of moving people in the ways they crave the most.
Connections are made in the most exquisite ways when we're willing to step outside our comfort zones and open ourselves to the possibilities.
So, what's outside your comfort zone??