PageLines- Pathwaysthankyou.pngThis post is Part Two in a series I am writing about social principles that reflect permaculture principles.  The artwork below is something I discovered during my research for Part One and I am finding I like it better than the original permaculture principles which were laid out by one of it’s founders, Bill Mollison. So, I’m going with the one I like better!

Today I’d like to talk about the principle of “Embracing cooperation.” This week marked the launch of a book I coauthored with an amazing group of women, under the auspices of Powerful You Publishing. The name of the book is “Pathways to Vibrant Health & Well-Being.” The publishers originally approached me to ask me about serving as social media coach for their author team and for this book project specifically. The project–and the people–immediately appealed to me and I readily agreed to join them, as both an author and their coach!

Though the topic is seemingly a bit of a departure from social media, I had an idea in mind for my chapter’s contribution. I wrote about “Right Livelihood as a Path to Vibrant Health & Well-Being.” I believe I am a healthier, happier person because I so love what I do for my living. I am happier doing this work than I have ever been anywhere else.

I was impressed with how well the publishing team worked together to attract a dynamic group of intelligent, compassion women to each contribute their story. I had the pleasure of working with an editor, Sheri Horn Hasan, who greatly helped me fine tune my theme and streamline each draft.

In the days and weeks leading up to our book launch yesterday, March 20th, Sue Urda, one of the publishers, kept us apprised of their efforts and made suggestions for each author to help promote the book to their friends, families, clients and social media following. It was all very organized, upbeat and low-pressure, yet very intentional. I receive my advance copy of the book in the mail on Tuesday, March 18th and that was my first thrill. The next was seeing the link live on The biggie though was seeing the book climb to #1 in two separate categories on on the day of the release.

If I were to try to attempt an Amazon #1 Best Selling book by myself as a first-time author I am fairly certain I would not have succeeded nearly as well as what transpired yesterday. The difference? Cooperation. And mutual success–in the long run. All of the proceeds for yesterday’s online sales went to the publisher. We, as authors, received our own copies of the book which we are able to give away or sell as we desire. Each of the 40 contributing authors united in their effort to drive online sales for Day 1, even though they would not personally profit from it.

We had our eye on “Amazon #1 Best Seller” and coordinated our efforts to achieve it, believing it would be worth more in the long run for each of our writing careers. Time will tell, but I believe it was absolutely the right approach. The taste of success was all sweeter because we got to share it. Congratulations flowed freely among the authors to one another. Any single one of us would have probably been sheepish to enjoy so many accolades for a solo project, but because they were shared it didn’t feel self-congratulatory as much as a team win.

In short, I’m looking forward to working with this group on several more titles this year and am grateful not only for the success of our new book, but for the important lessons learned through working with them.



Colleen Stevens: The Principles of Living & The Living of Principles