Meet Robby Aihn, the newest star in the self-help universe and author of the runaway bestseller, Realizing You, now struggling with his first taste of fame. Though his five principles for good living are changing other people’s lives, his own life is starting to fall apart. When Robby stages a lavish self-help conference in Dallas, he attracts others with their own secrets: his estranged wife and unhappy teenage daughter; the businessman pursuing his own agenda; the all-star pitcher facing the end of his career; and the shy co-author Robby never acknowledged, who is searching for meaning in her own life. Join Robby and the others on their journey toward understanding and fulfillment, in this truly novel approach to changing YOUR life.
Sophie was the last one awake. She lay tensely in the queen-size bed next to her mother’s until she heard Marie’s soft, even breathing. Certain that her mother was deeply asleep, she slipped out of bed, tiptoed to her suitcase, and took out the little pink and red bag. Inside nestled a print scarf and a multi-colored beaded bracelet. Both items still bore their price tags. She’d snipped the tag off only the tortoiseshell hair comb so she could wear it today. She took it from the nightstand, looked at all three items, shook out and stroked the glossy material of the scarf, then quietly tucked all of them back in the bag, which she pushed deep into her suitcase. She wouldn’t take them out again until she left Dallas. She’d never wear that stupid hair comb again. She told herself it wasn’t as pretty as she’d thought when she first saw it in the store. The stern little voice inside her head told her that wasn’t the reason.
Sophie refused to allow herself to know what the real reason was.
She hadn’t left Colorado with those items in her suitcase. Her mother didn’t know she had them. She
couldn’t explain where she’d gotten them.
But taking them had made her feel better. Everybody did it, at least once or twice. No big deal. She took a deep relaxing breath, thinking about how the act of lifting them from the counter made her feel, and realized she was finally getting drowsy. She crawled into bed, turned over, and was deeply asleep in three minutes.
I began thinking about writing a book on best business management practices back in 1994, staying with the conventional non-fiction genre. The book was to be based on lessons learned from meetings with Fortune 500 companies in my management consulting practice. I led hundreds of these meetings with my energy-company clients. I pared down a list of over 80 significant lessons learned to a short list of ten that I thought would be very helpful to businesses and their employees in improving their management skills and corporate results.
While I consider myself to be a pretty good business writer, my consulting practice was so successful that I knew I didn’t have enough time to devote to writing the book; so, I hired a professional writer to translate my knowledge and drafts into a coherent book. We worked for several weeks on a formal book proposal that we planned to send to established publishers.
At that point in 1995, I lost interest in writing the book. Who would want to read my book? While I thought that I had a lot of new insights, the idea of a best-practices book seemed like I was not really adding much mind-gripping knowledge. For one thing, it would be similar in concept to the highly successful In Search of Excellence, written in the 1980’s. Moreover, I would have to go through the painstaking task of getting permission from the various companies cited as examples. It just seemed like too much work to author a book that was not an original concept. I was not at all convinced that the book would have much of an effect on changing people’s lives in their workplace. So, that idea of a conventional non-fiction book died a natural death.
But, I continued to think about and add to my knowledge of best business management practices. I continued to lead meetings with my energy-company clients, taking away something new from each and every meeting. I continued to talk with and interview family members and friends about best practices in their particular fields of endeavor. I continued to make notes and file them away. But still no breakthrough thinking on what a unique approach looked like.
Then, one night in 2008—14 years after my original book thoughts—I woke up from a deep sleep, thinking my book should not be non-fiction, but fiction. It should be story about imaginary people struggling to improve their lives. It should be a book that would engage readers in openly and non-defensively examining the ways some of their behavior habits are obstructing their own opportunities for happiness and for those around them.
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RON DOADES is president of Ronald Doades & Company, a consulting firm that, since 1977, has helped the people of large and mid-size energy companies improve their individual and corporate performance results by learning from the best-practice experiences of others. A popular speaker on the topic of managing change for optimal results, he holds an MBA from Columbia University and an MS in Psychology from The New School in New York City. Visit him at www.realizingyoubook.com
SUSAN SLOATE is the author of twenty published books, including STEALING FIRE, a #2 Amazon bestseller and Quarter-Finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest, and FORWARD TO CAMELOT (authored with Kevin Finn), which in its first edition was a #6 Amazon bestseller, took honors in 3 literary competitions and was optioned for film by a Hollywood production company. She lives in Mount Pleasant, SC. Visit her online at http://susansloate.com.