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  • Jason Wood

A Personal Investment

I’m a writer, a speaker, an event coordinator, but I am not a businessman.

Since the launch of Starving for Survival, a common question I receive is, “what was the hardest part of writing your book?”

The person asking often assumes I’ll talk about reliving painful memories, embracing vulnerability, or spending hours upon hours editing. Those parts each had challenges, but by far the toughest part has been marketing and selling the book.

I majored in communications and have dabbled in marketing in my career, but it takes on a different meaning when you’re as closely connected to the cause as I am. If I could, I would send free copies of the book to anyone and everyone.

But I think about Jon Taffer yelling at struggling bar owners who just give away free shots even though they are on the verge of Bankruptcy. I then realize that when you invest as much time, energy, and money into a project like self-publishing a book that you have to charge a monetary value.

Donating half of the proceeds back to organizations like NoStigmas help ease my angst of promoting the book, but there is still a part of me that just wishes I could freely distribute thousands of books to the thousands of folk who could benefit from reading it.

I had no problem sharing my insecurities in the book, but when it comes to asking people to post reviews and share pictures of the book I get all awkward. I feel like a used car salesman and want to apologize for being pushy or sleazy. I want to scream out that I’m not trying to profit, I’m just trying to help others.

In the last year, I’ve been approached by several brands who want me to promote their products. They offer free or discounted items in return, but again I just don’t feel right about it. I’m not here to benefit from having an eating disorder or to take advantage of those who are battling. I’m simply using this platform to share my story, raise awareness, and provide hope and empowerment. I'd rather have a full heart than a full wallet. I'd rather make a difference than a profit.

Studying business communication, I learned the importance of building mutually-beneficial relationships. This is something I’d consider myself good at in my professional career. I thrive off of these relationships and partnerships where both sides receive value. I’m now realizing the same holds true in my personal mission with this blog and the book. When I receive a comment or email from an individual who shares their story after reading mine, my heart fills with emotion. They may not realize it but they are inspiring and empowering me on my own journey. That is proof to me that mutually-beneficial relationships do not have to be centered around or driven by financial gain.

I’ve also had countless coaches reach out to me and tell me that I’d be a great men’s coach. While tempting to start my own business and help others, I can’t get past the thought of feeling I would be preying on those individuals who need the help. That’s not to say that there aren’t some amazing coaches out there, who are genuinely in it to help others. Again, I could offer my services for free but I don’t think Jon Taffer would approve.

I have a full-time job I enjoy, a husband I love to spend time with, a healing journey to navigate, and a life to live. Plus, I lay down to sleep every night grateful for this platform I do have and the connections I’ve made.

This is what's been on my heart and mind since the release of the book. I know that in order for my advocacy work to continue to evolve and reach the maximum impact then I will have to ask for people to purchase the book and even help promote it. I have to get more comfortable knowing that I’m not taking advantage of anyone.

On this note, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has purchased Starving for Survival, posted a review, and shared it with your networks. I am blown away by your love and support as I enter the next chapter in this mission.


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