Reaching the Next Level - Extending a Hand Both Ways

Reaching the next level...

How many books have you read on this topic? I get calls daily from authors needing help in this area on how to reach the next level, but who are frustrated with the process.

We all want that kind of help. But let me first say, it is a double-edged sword.

I received a call from a nationally recognized author this week. The reason wasn't to promote his own material, but simply to check on a project that had been introduced to me earlier in the week by another individual...whose platform was not nearly at the same level of recognition he had achieved...at least not yet.

So why was he calling me about her project?

Because he knew her. Recognized her dream and wanted to lend what influence he had to help if he could. In essence... he was willing to reach his hand down to help someone else climbing the ladder he had already successfully climbed.

It was refreshing.

One of the ways to reach a new level is to secure "name" endorsements for your book or project. As I work with authors in this process, especially to secure a coveted "celebrity endorsement", it is simply their hand reaching up to another author, businessmen, minister or leader further along in the process, in hopes that they will reach their hand back down.

We don't see that often enough in this day and age. Too often I hear the following comments:

"Ask me again when they are a little more recognized."

"My Board has made it a policy they I can't endorse anyone or any books anymore."

"I'm just too busy with my projects and schedule to assist right now."

While all of these hold some legitimacy...(we do have to be cautious who we endorse or recommend and what projects we get behind), at the same time, everyone is working to reach a higher level in their personal life, their career or with their family. Everyone.

Thankfully, there are still some who are willing to reach a hand back down the ladder.

Everyone needs a mentor or someone with their hand reaching down, to help someone who is on the same journey, just not as far along.

But let me say, it works both ways. As you have your hand reaching up, may the other one be reaching down to help someone else. We are all looking to go to the next level somewhere in our lives. But at the same time, we are all further along than someone else....perhaps someone looking for some help.

One of my friends is an author and minister who is making a significant impact winning the lost via crusades and outreaches. He was working hard and seeing results, but wanted insight from someone who had trod the path before him. He reached out to a well-known minister who was recognized for their television ministry as well as for their success holding large crusades. They were at a meeting he attended a few years back and so he took advantage of the opportunity to introduce himself, give a short introduction to his ministry and then asked for an hour of the minister's time to ask them some questions. He had his hand reaching up. 

The minister's response was disappointing, "You know, I'm just so busy right now, I couldn't take the time to do that."

What I found interesting was that the minister was in the latter season of their life and ministry. Already in their late seventies, or early eighties, while they were still actively ministering, they couldn't continue much longer obviously.

They needed to be pouring their wisdom and insight into younger ministers who could pick up the torch and run with it when they were no longer able to.

I shook my head when my friend share the story of the lack of response. His hand reaching up and yet the hand of the seasoned minister refused to reach back down to help. For whatever reason, the minister felt they were too busy to invest in someone else who was walking the same path...just a little further back. I wondered if their "gift" would die with them. That was the bigger tragedy with the lack of mentorship.

So when I received the call from the nationally recognized minister this week, who had his hand reaching down to a less recognized author, he won my respect for life.

He didn't have to make that call. He didn't have to get involved. He didn't have to take his time to help on a project that has no financial compensation for him personally.

When I applauded his willingness to help, this was his comment:

"I have been blessed to have colleagues like Robert Schuller helping me get my first publishing deal, Dr. Denis Waitley and Steve Forbes writing the forwards to my early books, etc. It would be impossible for me not to help everyone I could as I feel it's my tribute to the people who have helped me."

May that become our motto: "It would be impossible for us not to help those we can help, as a tribute to those who have helped us."

Look for someone you can help this week and sow a seed into your own future by holding your hand down to someone not as far along in the process as you. Perhaps you are a "newbie" and you feel you have nothing to offer. Everyone has something to offer...even if just a kind word.

Don't forget as you have one hand reaching up, to extend the other back down.  

Happy Thanksgiving!