I call it Divine intervention. For example, I was on NBC News! (http://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/book-encourages-young-girls-color-love-their-hair-n438971) This happened because of a networking event that a friend of mine invited me to. He is the kind of person whose lead you MUST follow! You just don't and can't say no because when his invites are always beneficial for all his guests. Anyway, one of his acquaintances happened to be the editor or NBC BLK... When I tell you I literally ran after her with my book and gave my elevator pitch! I really did (took the stairs instead of the elevator just to catch up) She loved the book, she related to the book!! I was interviewed by her intern on Oct of 2015. The article came out on Feb of 2016 b/c it was considered evergreen. But I am a firm believer that nothing happens before its time. Huff post - continued to break the story and more media followed. I went from selling 2-5 books per month to selling over 500 in a month! Divine intervention and more importantly NEVER hide the talent God placed in you.
Having an "ordained" body of work like "Bad Hair Does Not Exist!/Pelo Malo No Existe!" is a blessing. "Ordained" is one of the boldest titles I've ever used as a descriptor. There are times when I forget to use in my speeches and I feel the blessings run short. Being blessed with a book like "Bad Hair Does Not Exist" is a constant reminder that It's not me but God. I feel that I have to do something great with it all the time because the "Talent" is not meant to be hidden, it's meant to be multiplied. I have to admit it is draining at times and fear kicks in often. Draining because God's blessing is not one dimensional. Like the human body has many parts but all function as one, this book functions pretty much the same way. There is the angle of being the hero to my daughters, self-esteem, anti-bullying, global impact, entrepreneur, enterprising, media, book sales, no book sales, partnerships, contracts, etc.. Fear kicks in because I must take this blessing to victory always. It's my way of saying "Thank You." I have to remind myself, that the hardest part was done for me and that is God provided the experience, the paper, the pen and the illustrator. That reminder gives me the courage to Kick that fear away. Kick my focus on high gear and start to work towards the goal. What is the goal? What does Victory look like to me? For starters selling 500 copies because of media would be great. Would like an endorsement from Beyonce, Oprah, Michele Obama to sell 5000+ copies and qualify for the board of Ed and Public Libraries. A 10K books -Book tour 100% sponsored by companies like Unilever, Pantene or Loreal to travel within the US, Central America, South America, Caribbean and Africa. A publishing deal that makes monitory sense would be also good as added value. When fear Kicks In... I just know its time to work to bring home the victory. YUP!
My youngest daughter Bella born into babysitter drama. The best caregiver ever was next door to me but she did not take children until they are two and potty trained. So we had to go the next best thing, and then the next and then the next. First sitter decided she could pass a curling iron a one year olds hair and ended up burning her ear (YES - I STILL FEEL IT!), the next babysitter was at home and wanted to set her own schedule making me late to work often, the next was a daycare facility that cost $280/week and the children were not taken care of properly - so many meetings and complaints. It was a revolving door with so many employees, and discontent parents. It was just bad!! We finally found the babysitter that would change our fate! Ms. Iris was awesome, she cared for our Bella like no other. And one day, I got to learn something about her culture as a Puerto Rican woman. She referred to my type of hair as "bad" or "pelo malo." It was the day she called Bella's hair "bad" that marked the beginning of something grand in all of our lives. When the incident happened, I had two choices and that was to respond as I believed I received it. Or to respond with thought, caution, respect and love. I chose love. I began to blurt out proper terms (long, short, wavy, curly, straight). It was at that point that I asked Ms. Iris if she would allow me to bring in a books that will help us both work as partners to make sure that our children's self esteem remained high. She agreed. I did not know - God would bless me with writing it. Ms. Iris also disclosed to me that her dad, whom she loved very very much was an Afro-Latino from Puerto Rico. And that he had hair just like me (tight curls). However, the term he used to describe his own hair was also "pelo malo" So when she used that term toward Bella's hair, she did not say it with malice or ill intent, it was what she knew. I am grateful that my response to her came from love. It was a learning experience for both of us. She continues to be my friend. And I have more respect for her now because she was open and committed to working in partnership with me.
Lesson #2 I Have to Thank God!
I always refer to "Bad Hair Does Not Exist" as an ordained body of work. I am a firm believer in God. You have no idea how many businesses I've tried to launch, and all the jobs I've gotten fired from. I have failed on so many levels in my life it's borderline embarrasing. But he gave me one more chance. I remember the experience like it was yesterday, I was at the Dr's office with my daughters and husband. Bella-Victoria was playing and I got hypnotized by her pure heart and beauty and thought about how perfect God made her. I guess it takes beauty to make beauty. Who would have ever thought that such a simple book, with simple language, repetitive affirmations would come to my heart and be written in 5 minutes - my hands moved like Neo from the Matrix. The miracle was that it was RIGHT ON TIME in history and it has been a grand success. God could have given it to anyone, but God Chose Me. The book was written from a place of Love and I am now a firm believer that God Still performs miracles. I am a witness to that.
Lesson 1 - Surround yourself with progressive like minded people.
I remember about four years prior to the book's existence Isidra and I had made a decision to listen to motivational cd's, you tube channel with people like Les Brown, Jim Rohn, Joel Osteen, Earl Nightingale and many more. We made this a daily ritual. We grew up, got more focused and began to take ownership of our lives and destiny. She created Afro- Latin Publishing to create greeting cards in afro images and I learned how to answer to be a more effective communicator. Which for me meant to respond to people from a place of sincerity, honesty and love.