Only One Way Up

By Catherine Ulrich Brakefield

My pounding heart ticked to the clock’s tempo. I kept glancing at that clock like it held the answer to my dilemma. I had two hours to pitch Wilted Dandelions to an audience who may or may not have stopped into the store to purchase my book.

My thirty plus years in the manufacturing industry, countless conventions, and marketing strategies filtered through my mind’s eye. I eventually made purchasing director of a company that started with 10 employees and grew to over a 100.

Key aspects floated across the piano keys of years. My secret motto for encouragement climbing the corporate ladder was, “Never to take a rejection personally,” and this brought a chuckle to my lips, because through my writing career, that truth had never been more needed.

This led me to recall my first action before I opened the doors of that turbulent, topsy-turvy world of production mania. Pray. Nothing is going to go well until I ask God’s help during this book signing. Matthew 21:21–22 NKJV tells me, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea.’ It will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” God placed me here at this book store for a reason.

By wearing so many hats in the manufacturing industry, I learned to trust those salesmen who showed genuine interest in my company’s growth. No one is going to care unless you do. I couldn’t always give them the contract. But don’t think that I didn’t jot down their name for future contracts! They had made a positive impression.

Catherine Ulrich Brakefield and fan with Wilted DandelionsAfter a few book sales, I walked to the front of my display. A woman rushing into the store asked me about a certain book. I looked around for an assistant. Everyone was busy. This lady was in a hurry. I went to that department with her and looked for the book. Not finding it, I went to the back of the store, and opened the door marked “staff.” I found out the book in question had only two left and led the lady to the books. She thanked me. Then just before checking out, she walked up to me and said, “You’re not part of the staff, are you?”

I laughed. “You almost walked out without that book you needed, and that nearly happened to my heroine, Rachael, only on a larger scale. She almost missed her opportunity of becoming a missionary to the natives of the new Oregon Territory in the 1830s.”

She bought Wilted Dandelions and the book she was seeking and then left the store.

As I finished my book signing and prepared to leave, the store manager offered another invitation to hold a future book signing. At that moment, I realized I had forgotten one important ingredient I learned in the manufacturing industry: Never become a clock-watcher; that will stifle your productivity every time.

Sometimes it might take longer to climb the steps to success, but when you are on the bottom, there’s only one way to go and that’s up—just make every step a positive one. God placed us here for a reason. He doesn’t create coincidences—He designs possibilities!

To learn more about Wilted Dandelions, click here.

About Catherine Ulrich BrakefieldBrakefield Catherine V

Catherine Ulrich Brakefield is an ardent receiver of Christ’s rejuvenating love, as well as a hopeless romantic and patriot. She skillfully intertwines these elements into her writing She is the author of four books,  a former staff writer for Michigan Traveler Magazine, and has freelanced for numerous publications. Her short stories have been published in Guidepost Books Extraordinary Answers to Prayers Unexpected Answers and Desires of Your Heart; Baker Books, Revell, The Dog Next Door; CrossRiver Publishing, The Benefit Package. A trip across the western part of the United States meeting her extended family of Americans inspired her inspirational historical romance, Wilted Dandelions.

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