September 8, 2016

Expectations Met

By Doyne Phillips, Managing Editor for Southern Writers Magazine

NCAA Football just had its season opener. Last weekend after all the hype, all the analyzing, and all the predictions our expectations were either met or our team disappointed us. The truth is very few times our expectations are met and many times it isn’t met due to them being so high. We expect our team to do well. We think with all their talent and preparation they will win. The truth is not all teams will win and not all teams will do well. Odds are against a team being National Champs. Of the 252 NCAA teams there will be only 1 that is the National Title Holder. But us knowing that does not prevent us from having the expectations of a perfect season.

Writers face the same sort of expectations. We write a great story, we have the best talent edit it and we find great agents and publishers. Our expectations are high. Odds that our book will be the one, of the millions of books written each year, becoming a Bestseller is low. With all our talent and preparation we expect to be on top even though the odds are against us. So with such great odds why do we, or the football teams, even bother to make an attempt at success? I think we know it is the love of the game, the love of writing. 

Let’s take a closer look at our reasons and our expectations. In both instances we chose the expectations and the ultimate award available for that endeavor.  We looked for the perfect season or the perfect read. Granted it is possible but it will depend upon your execution. The talented football team that is well prepared must execute well on the field. Writers must do so as well. Writers lay the groundwork but many times when it comes to execution they are at a loss as to what to do. This is not unusual due to writers being the creative types and not the business types.  Rarely do writers and their works come equipped with the talents of sales and marketing which is the execution needed to reach to top. So what do we, as writers, do?

Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad was once interviewed by a journalist that share with Robert she wanted to be an author. She went on to say she had written a few things and even had some things published but they didn’t sell. Robert suggested she may want to go back to college and take some marketing courses. She was visibly upset with Robert and let him know she had a Master’s Degree in journalism and was good at what she did. Robert told her he understood but asked her this question. You asked me here today to interview me. 

Did you ask me here to interview the best writing author or the bestselling author? Robert knew he was certainly not the best talent in the business but he had not only talent he was able to execute. That combination was enough to meet his expectations.

We must ask ourselves are our talents enough to meet our expectations. I say it is a great start but we need more if we want to succeed. We must also ask ourselves what to us is success. For some teams success is having a winning season. For others it is a Conference Championship. And then there are those that would not settle for anything less than the National Championship. Good for them, all of them as long as they have a goal. Writers can also choose different goals, different levels, gradually improving until you rest at the top.  As you travel along this path you will recognize what is needed to fulfill your expectations.

Once you do, don’t hesitate to reach out for it through your own means or by enlisting the help of others. Once you do you will be closer to the destination of “Expectations Met”!                                


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