Monday, October 19, 2009

Dump Positive Thinking - Try reality

I know some people who are encouraging us to carry on in this rotten economy, start up a new business or a new product, and I usually don't disagree. But I'm reading way too many advise that people counter their feelings of 'scarcity' with feelings of 'abundance.'

If that gets you through the night, ignore what I'm about to say:

They're both a little crazy. The economy is truly rotten. All that means is that you have to take it into account. There are a number of ways to do that:

1) you can look for a demographic that has money

2) you can sell something everyone needs in any event

3) you can stick your toe in the water before you spend too much on creating a new product or business, and see what happens.

Don't be negative. Don't be positive. Be realistic.

Once again, the solution is not to sit alone in a room, managing your feelings and your thoughts. I really think you should only do that in an emergency under rare circumstances.

The solution is to get a bunch of people together and do some brainstorming. You can do that on the telephone, or if your friends don't know enough, search Twitter for people who do. You can also go to my exellent, 12-years-old-and-going-strong bulletin board at or you can comment right here and see if we get some helpful responses.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was came out in 1994 and has been selling steadily for many years. It went right up on bestseller lists in San Francisco, Denver, L.A. and lots of other towns, as well as USA Today and the Wall St. Journal (which is actually tougher than the NY Times, because all books - fiction, non-fiction, etc. - are included in their top ten.)

And then Oprah found me around 1995 or 6. (I have to check that out.) (In case anyone wants to know what Oprah is *really* like, she's just as natural, intelligent, professional and kind as she seems to be on the TV screen.) After I was on her show I Could Do Anything made it to the New York Times bestseller list. For 2 or 3 years that show was aired around the world (I got calls from friends in Japan almost 3 years after the first airing.)

Best of all, in the last day of that year I was watching 'Oprah,' expecting nothing in particular, when Oprah started talking about her year, and the shows she had produced. She then showed clips from the show she was least proud of that year (something about rebirthing) and then she said, 'And this is the show I was proudest of this year,' -- and up on her studio screen was a video clip of me, talking, wearing that pink swing dress and scarf my friends had made for me, waving my arms around (I think) !!! That was unexpected. And wonderful.

No one knew it at the time, but I wrote I Could Do Anything... after being diagnosed with breast cancer. I was determined to put everything I knew in the book, everything that I was afraid people wouldn't know if I was unable to continue writing and speaking.

Fortunately, I lived. And so did I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was.

I just had my 74th birthday and now, motivated by the same intimation of mortality, I'm working on the followup for ICDA - a book about resistance -- that impulse inside us that stops us from doing what we really want to do. I've developed new techniques over the last 15 years, and advanced the ones I had already written about, so this book is as fascinating to write and as important to share, as I Could Do Anything...

(You can see me talking about resistance on YouTube at or just look up my name -- there's another Barbara Sher author too. See if you can guess which is which.)

My big problem is coming up with a title :-) I want to make it apparent that the new book is a followup to I Could Do Anything.... but that's not as easy as it seems. I Could Do Anything If I Only Got Off The Couch? Why you want to hold back instead of going after your dream?


Anyway, I continue to give interactive telephone classes on resistance. (You'll be notified if you're on my mailing list. If you're not, go to and sign up soon.) I charge very little for them and the money goes to charity - all of it. I just want the chance to work with people so I can continue learning.

Writing books is hard work, and when I'm writing one I don't get to do much else for a few years. After I finish a book, I never want to write another one. Anyway, I feel finished, as if I've said everything I had to say, shared everything I know.

But I'm re-inspired when I head over to the reader's reviews on Forgive my shameless, self-promotion. I don't mean this quote to be that. But it's something any writer longs to hear, so I quoted a little of it here:

"For me the big deal was knowing what on earth I wanted to do. And trust me - I had tried almost every other thing, including personality tests, seeing professional counsellors, everything. This book helped me unlock those activities that I have enjoyed since I was just a little child, and see the common thread amongst them. It was like learning more about yourself in a day than you learn in a decade."

That's like a cup of hot chocolate to me.

Okay, back to my mail inbox and to the business of answering emails (lots of them are really nice, like the one above, so I'm not actually complaining) and packing for my overseas retreat for Scanners. (Where is that %$#&* power cord for the videocam? How will I carry less than 50lbs of baggage for a month? What should I take to stop my poor little dog's allergic itching? Sigh.)