The idea for my book, One Less, One More™, started with a phone call.
One evening in the spring of 2007, Brigette, a mom from our children's school, called to speak with my wife, Candace. Before I handed the phone over, Brigette asked, "Do you know anyone today who isn't stressed?"
I laughed. In my world as a communications advisor to leaders, chief executives, government officials, and entrepreneurs, everyone is stressed. Yet over the past couple years, as I've begun adding a higher level of consciousness, an element of spirituality, into my consulting practice, a noticeable number of my prominent clients are less anxious or worried, and more joyful and productive, as they shift away from just making money and winning; embarking instead on personal campaigns to create incredible transformational change for themselves and others.
More than business consulting, I now also help my clients discover their true life's purpose; what truly floats their boats. Where before my clients were focused solely on reputation and the bottom line, today a large part of my work supports leaders to also pursue their passions, enjoy present moment living, become more creative and less combative, controlling and competitive. Today, more leaders than ever are genuinely having fun, spending more time with family and friends, and, ultimately, changing their lives - and the world around them -- for the better.
How? Two words: resisting and allowing. I teach my clients to stop fighting and resisting life, and start enthusiastically allowing all of life to flow through them. And how do they discover their true purpose and move in that direction? Through the ageless philosophy of conscious, intentional, change; and committing to one less negative act, and one more positive action daily, resulting in almost immediate joy, exuberance, harmony, peace, and personal success. One Less, One More.
There was a long pause on the other end of the phone.
"Wow, you're right," Brigette said amazed. "That makes so much sense. All I have to do is one less negative thing, and one more positive thing every day, and soon I'll see real results! You've got to write that in one of your columns."
Several years ago, our family moved to Sag Harbor, New York, part of the Hamptons, on the eastern end of Long Island. Bryan Boyhan, the editor of the Sag Harbor Express,, our weekly newspaper and on-line publication, asked me to write an occasional "Our Town" opinion column on any subject I chose.
One Less, One More seemed like a good subject, and the words flowed. In my column I wrote how to practice One Less, One More, including simple things like smiling, choosing positive over negative thoughts, no blame, believe in the invisible and miracles, be grateful and forgive. I ended the column suggesting that every day we choose one less negative thought or action, and one more positive thought or action, and soon our lives will be less stressful, and if practiced as a community, Sag Harbor would move in the direction of our collective goals, dreams and desires.
Within hours of the column running, I received calls, emails and Google Alerts that people were posting my column on their blogs and Facebook accounts. One Less, One More was going viral, and I was pleased that every note was complimentary and said the column inspired action and positive change. Many of the notes also made a request, "Please, write a book."
Over the next year, I wrote the One Less, One More book proposal, including several sample chapters. I sent my friend and literary agent, Paul F., the proposal. Several weeks passed, and late on a Friday I got the call.
"This is all you," Paul said, "And I hear your voice, love the premise, and you're going to make a million dollars. But, I can't sell it."
I tried saying something cute or funny, but all that came out was a limp, "Why?"
"Because you don't have a platform," Paul explained. "You're not a famous doctor or shrink, don't have a TV show, and, well, you're just not famous. You've always inspired me, but that's not enough. Sorry."
I thanked Paul and fell into a funk.
Candace, using the verbal equivalent of Cher's famous, "Snap out of it!" line from the movie Moonstruck, asked me, "Is your intention to write this book and inspire people all over the world, or is your goal to have Paul as your literary agent?"
I went about finding a new agent.
But first, I had an idea.
Louise Hay, the founder of the inspirational publishing company, Hay House, is one of my heroes. Louise self published one of the bestselling self-help books of all time, You Can Heal Your Life, and now through her Hay House, publishes many of my favorite authors, including Dr. Wayne Dyer, Don Miguel Ruiz, and Esther and Jerry Hicks, to name a few.
"One Less, One More is perfect for Hay House," I thought picking up the phone to call Hay House's offices in New York. I left a voice mail, and within 48 hours received a call back from an editor saying she was interested in my One Less, One More book idea. I forwarded the proposal through email, crossed my fingers (not very spiritual, but it works), and had this strong feeling Hay House would publish the work. It was so effortless, and felt right.
While I waited for Hay House's response, a friend in Boston, Scott Griffith, the chairman and chief executive officer of Zipcar, www.Zipcar.com, read and helped me reedit the proposal. Almost daily, Scott encouraged me to press forward with One Less, One More. "It's more than book," he said repeatedly, "One Less, One More," is a movement!"
In my next blog, what happens with Hay House, and how Zipcar's Scott Griffith finds me a literary agent in Boston.