For twelve long years, Kimanzi Constable delivered bread at 2 a.m. It was a job which paid well enough to support his wife and three kids. He certainly wasn't passionate about the work or the hours, but without a college degree, he figured he was doing pretty good for his situation. Still, deep down, there was something inside of him itching for more.
He began to explore some other possibilities. At one point, he thought he might want to be an event planner. He started with his sister's wedding and soon discovered he disliked everything about it. Event planning was definitely not one of his passions. Nor was it one of his gifts.
But there was one thing which sparked a lot of passion inside of him: writing. Ever since he was a kid, Kimanzi loved the written word. He was always writing poems and stories.
At work, there were changes brewing, including a change of ownership which brought on new stress. Kimanzi began to journal his thoughts. He poured his heart and soul into his writing and discovered it was a wonderful, therapeutic way to deal with his observations on the job. The stress. The cranky co-workers. The mundane repetition of doing the same job over and over. There was joy each time he wrote. Pretty soon, he realized he had enough to share in a book. That's when"Tales of the Everyday Working Man (and Woman)" was born.
During the first month, he sold a total of eleven copies. Kimanzi was devastated.
"I was crushed and wanted to give up," said Kimanzi. "But I was fortunate to have friends who continued to encourage me." Kimanzi dove into networking and began to comment on blogs and offer guest posts. He quickly learned guest posting on different blogs was an excellent way to get his name out and generate interest in his book.
There was another valuable lesson: focus on the message and not the sales. "The most powerful way to connect is through a story," he said. "When you say 'check out my book or website,' people don't care. But when I share about a rough day at work or losing something valuable, people are more likely to click through."
Kimanzi was deathly afraid of public speaking, but he knew it was an avenue he would have to branch into if he wanted to sell more books. When he was invited to speak at his first conference, he wasn't comfortable at first, but the more he shared his own story and everything he learned, he realized the whole speaking process became natural for him. He was speaking from the heart, sharing from his own experience.
Everything began to snowball--he was building up momentum toward a life he was truly passionate about. People began to ask him for advice and another avenue opened up; Kimanzi began to coach others on how to create a life filled with passion. He credits Dan Miller, author of 48 Days to the Work You Love and No More Dreaded Mondays as the mentor who changed his life. "Before I met Dan, I was the kind of person who figured out all the reasons why something wouldn't work," said Kimanzi. "Dan taught me to take action and stop making excuses."
Kimanzi is now traveling all over the world sharing his story and his expertise. It might surprise you to know he is still delivering bread part-time. He has been saving up his money over the past year to fund his family's next adventure: moving to Hawaii. He will be honoring his work contract until the end of the year.
"The hardest part is figuring out what you want to do--what your calling is, what your passion is-- and when you figure it out, take action in baby steps," Kimanzi explained.
"Life is very short," he continued. "At the end of my life I don't want to think back about money, I want to look back on my experiences and know that I lived a full and abundant life."
Kimanzi's website: Tales of Work