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Guts and Audacity

by lyn christian on December 22, 2010

Richard Paul Evans

Sometimes it takes guts and audacity to create a seedbed for success. One writer that I consider quite entrepreneurial is a great example of both. Bestselling author Richard Paul Evans is a local legend here in Salt Lake City. And for me he is even a bit of a hero – an example of doing the “gut honest” thing in those critical moments when all that separates fate from fortune is a tightrope walk of courage.

Several years ago he realized how much joy he found in being a parent. He wanted to put his passion into some tangible form and leave a legacy to his children. He wanted them to someday understand how he felt about them. The project became a book titled The Christmas Box. He self-published about 20 copies and gave them as gifts to his family and close friends. Buzz began to build around this book and soon Richard was getting calls from local book stores wanting to know where to order them.

Richard took notice and dove into his own bank account, invested in more books, purchased marketing materials and eventually showed up at a book show in Colorado.

And this is where Mr. Evans really made an impression on me. While at the book show he noticed that his plan to give out books was failing.  Hardly any book store owners came to his booth. He inquired and learned that most of the owners were avoiding the displays such as his. Instead they were out in the halls getting free books from the rows upon rows of authors who had been invited to be there. He could have settled with the fact that he had spent time and money to be in the wrong place at the show. That’s not what he did. Instead he grabbed his books, snuck into an empty space on a table between two authors and set up camp to sign and give out his books. Almost immediately Richard was approached by one of the show organizers. She had caught him at his ruse. But he had come too far to give up so instead of choking he looked up at the organizer and said, “I’m sorry I’m late.”

She blinked, cleared her throat and announced that she’d get him some water. Richard spent the rest of the day signing books and giving them away.

So how does this tie back to you? I have three suggestions:

First, Richard was awake enough that when the market told him he had a winning product, he listened and believed.

Next, he ran at the market. He didn’t wait for things to happen to him. He created and crafted a way for things to happen by going to places like the book show.

Finally, in the clutches with obstacles, Richard did the bravely crazy acts that such moments call for like sneaking onto a table.

If you are a small business person like Neil and I. you have to admire someone who is willing to be both gutsy and crazy about their own success. Do you have a story about how you’ve bravely gone where you’d rather not go? We would love to hear about it.

If you enjoyed this story find out more about Richard Paul Evans at:

Lyn Christian is the founder of SoulSalt, Inc., a coaching and coach training company. She is passionate about the “free-agent” worker who wants to earn their living and live their lives by doing what inspires them. Get more information by visiting or contact Lyn directly through

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