Owning October

A Publishers Perspective On Growth

By Kellen E. Brandon
 Publisher, Kellen E. Brandon addressing a crowd of over 1,200 in his hometown of Flint, MI. (Gear Up 2 Lead Conference/ What is Heroic)

Publisher, Kellen E. Brandon addressing a crowd of over 1,200 in his hometown of Flint, MI. (Gear Up 2 Lead Conference/ What is Heroic)

When ruminating of autumn in the Midwest; we usually recollect upon reddish-orange leaves, brisk nights, and Halloween candy. It's the final reminder that summer has sung "so long" and winter now welcomes us. But this year I had other ideas for autumn. I'd been nervously planting seeds hoping they'd all sprout within October of 2015. "Be careful what you wish for," has always been great advice and often received with caution. At  this stage in the game, though, I am very careful about what I wish for; and throughout Brandon Publishing's six year existence, I've been wishing for a month like this. Although our company has had several successes in its short history, none have been bigger than the launching pad of autumn. The bar we've always reached for—relocated. It's been placed much higher than it's ever been; which means higher expectations, more work, more hands on deck, and little room for error. I really like this new space, it's full of expectations and lessons.  

Growth is a pure and necessary form of change. We all have experienced it in some way. What's undeniable is that once growth occurs, things look and feel differently.  I am someone that welcomes change(in most cases).  Although difficult, it needs to happen for our personal, professional, and spiritual spaces. In 2014 Brandon Publishing released 4 books in total; two of those from a youth writing program called Create-A-Book. It was considered by some, "a successful year," but I felt differently.  As my definition of "success" began to change, so did Brandon Publishing. Our staff dwindled from five, to four, to one. I couldn't even hook an intern. It was a major alteration that brought more fear than faith. I was terrified to see myself again, standing alone, six years after Reflections Of Drew. It seemed as if BP was going backwards; I could feel the small business God's calling for my entrepreneur membership.   

 Author | Director Of Young Authors Program -- Gabrielle Cavett (and her parents at book realease social for her first book Hidden Minds) October 2015

Author | Director Of Young Authors Program -- Gabrielle Cavett (and her parents at book realease social for her first book Hidden Minds) October 2015

Luckily this moment in time wasn't a call for my resignation. But more of a moment to bloom; and calm the chatter and distractions that lye beside me. It was a split second to look behind me and see how far we'd come. The game was simply loading, preparing to present the next level of events. It gave me time to truly look at what I was working toward and who I was working alongside. In order for growth to continue organically, "the seeds," (being those who would represent BP) needed to appear identical on the inside. We had to have the same goals, selflessness, humility, patience, passion, and work ethic if this was going to become great. 

Enter— Gabrielle Cavett, The COLchat team, Kelli Peterson, Casey Yarbrough, Neville Mckinney, and Candid Brandon, my wife (who'd I'd fired from BP three years prior). Our one person staff quickly became eight. Confidence was restored, and the future became clearer. We'd grown. I remember watching my grandmother clip limbs and leaves from her plants defining this process as "growth," yet I never truly understood what that procedure symbolized until now. Sometimes we have to cut away pieces of ourselves,  for growth in the "right" direction to occur.  I learned a lot from the habits, people, and items that are no longer a part of this team. I understand my mistakes fully and I'm grateful for them. I once was angry and bitter toward those who chose to step away and also those I stepped away from. As a leader it's vital for me to be able to OWN my faults, deadlines, and promises. 

 Publisher Kellen E. Brandon addresses students during a breakout session about the importance of developing a routine.  (October 2015)

Publisher Kellen E. Brandon addresses students during a breakout session about the importance of developing a routine.  (October 2015)

 Publisher Kellen E. Brandon addressing college bound students on the importance of "being prepared."  (October 2015)

Publisher Kellen E. Brandon addressing college bound students on the importance of "being prepared."  (October 2015)

Ownership has just recently become an important factor in my life. It's a lifestyle that has nothing to do with monetary items and everything to do with mental perspectives. In October 2015, BP took ownership of our dreams. We found fuel for our futures, realizing that holding on to our history (the failures, mistakes, hurt, regret) could ultimately cost us our destiny ---something none of us could afford. 

 Youth Authors: Emily Hamilton, Emie Morrish, and Maria Morrish celebrating the release of their book "Wreak Havoc." (Released October 2015)

Youth Authors: Emily Hamilton, Emie Morrish, and Maria Morrish celebrating the release of their book "Wreak Havoc." (Released October 2015)

 #COLchat Authors: Adam Hartley,  Michele Corbat, Rodney Hetherton @ Barnes & Noble book signing (October 2015) 

#COLchat Authors: Adam Hartley,  Michele Corbat, Rodney Hetherton @ Barnes & Noble book signing (October 2015) 

So for the month of November, we'll be taking time to focus on all of the wonderful creations that were birthed in October. We'll continue to display the growth of amazing people with unlimited potential.  I am not speaking of only our authors and staff members. I am speaking for all of us. Take ownership of your dreams and seek to serve others through your purpose. We cannot be afriad of change. We can no longer fear our own growth. Grow forward! Be free! - KB