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Success Price. Paying the Price for Cookbook Success.

Success Price

Success Price. Why has Joanna Gaines sold more cookbooks than Julia Child?

Success Price. Let’s return to the theme of many an article here. Although it’s been years since we’ve had a blog conversation about “paying the price.”

To get in the mood, search here on “Pay the Price.” You’ll find loads of past articles on this theme. Especially a lot of guest posts.

Or simply ask yourself: Do you often groan, “It’s not fair”?

Does it sometimes drive you nuts how people who don’t seem to deserve riches or fame… Wind up winning so many of life’s big prizes?

Here’s what consoles me:

For Any Good Thing People Get in Life,

They’ve Paid a Success Price

And that price has been paid in full. Really! This applies to any achievement or “luck” that we might envy in somebody else.

You and I, every person alive — we always pay for the good things we get. Only it’s a hidden price.

Earth School is set up in that mysterious way. Like it or not.

Today’s article will be the first in an occasional series of NEW articles on Paying the Price.

Because knowing about this causational principle can bring serenity, as well as determination. Yes, determination!

Expanding upon a familiar saying:

Be careful what you wish for. You will surely get it. Provided that you do the work to attain what you wish.

And also provided that you’re prepared to wait for the karmic wheels to turn.

Because the success that you seek, and every bit of the success that you earn

Won’t necessarily arrive in this particular lifetime.

What Got Me Thinking Again about Success Price

It was a cookbook review like no other. Quite regularly I read the Washington Post “Food Section” on Wednesdays. But never have I encountered a cry of anguish and perplexity like this article by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Here’s the gist. Joanna Gaines’s cookbook, “Magnolia Table,” hasn’t just earned huge praise on Instagram. Over 2 million copies are now in print.

Clearly, in Benwick’s article, she’s trying so hard to be polite. Read it and you’ll learn how simplistic the “Magnolia Table” recipes are. As for the reaction of taste testers at the Post? Priceless!

Benwick quotes Canadian food writer Wendy Underwood, praising the cookbook. Perhaps Benwick chose this quote as a sample of praise to balance the story. Or maybe she hopes that readers will personally salt this sentence with sarcasm:

“The flavors and ingredients used aren’t too challenging or experimental for most North American palates.”

Gushing praise, for a certain kind of readership? Or a burn?

Outrageous Success for Joanna Gaines

Yeah, it’s Gaines’s first cookbook ever.

Sure, her recipe partner had to sign a nondisclosure agreement.

Yep, Joanna is best known for her reality TV show, “Fixer Upper.” It ran for five seasons on HGTV.

And yet, “According to NPD Bookscan, “Magnolia Table” was the No. 2 bestseller across the entire book industry last year, behind Michelle Obama’s autobiography.”

By comparison, how about “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child? It’s one of the most influential cookbooks in American history. Hello! After decades, sales build all the way up to 1.5 million.

According to Benwick, a food writer I admire greatly… How many copies do most cookbook authors sell? Specifically, authors who manage to get substantial food media coverage. How well do their books sell? Just 7,000 to 10,000 copies.

Now Let’s Consider Gaines’s Success Price

For a dedicated food writer like Benwick, Gaines’s success could be crazy making. Seeming so not fair!!!!!!!!!

Yet even disregarding Joanna’s reality show fame, guess what? In terms of social class, I think it makes plenty of sense.

My impression of most food writers? Solidly middle class — at least. Often upper middle. Or even upper class. Hint: “The Barefoot Contessa.”

By comparison, to her fans, Joanna Gaines might come across as refreshing and real. “One of us.”

Also, Guess What?

Why else do so many people admire Joanna Gaines?

Aura reading reveals something that’s also quite popular: Like an estimated 45% of Americans, Joanna Gaines lives in spiritual shutdown.

Most Important, Though, Is Paying the Success Price

You can be sure that Ms. Gaines has thoroughly paid the price for her huge success.

That’s why she got the reality TV show. (Could be, reality TV exists as a way to help people live out the fame karma they have been building for lifetimes.)

It’s no accident that she happens to be the fine, photogenic, blue collar-looking specimen who published an awful cookbook. Excuse me, published a huuuuuuge hit cookbook.

Yes, Shockingly or Not

In a way, Gaines’s success reminds me of another breakout star, Debby Boone.Do you recognize the name? She’s the daughter of a one-time household name in America. That would be the handsome singer and public Christian, Pat Boone.

In 1977 Debby had a breakout hit, the catchy religious song, “You Light Up My Life.”

I remember hearing an interview she gave at the time. Where she bragged that she never practiced singing. Instead she just trusted in the Lord.

What a head-slapper moment that was for me. I couldn’t get it. Why was Debby so “richly blessed”?

  • Born into the family of one of America’s most famous singers.
  • Having a big hit record.
  • And she never even practiced singing????

Of course, by now I understand. Debby Boone earned it. Just not in this lifetime.

How Can It Help Us,

Understanding that Everybody Pays the Price for Success?

Let’s resolve to make today count. And make every day count.

Simply put, we can do our reasonable best, in career and in relationships.

Over time, all of that will add up.

Also, I would recommend using the success strategies in my how-to book with “10 Secrets for Success and Prosperity.”

What else wouldn’t hurt? Being kind to people.

In Benwick’s article, for instance, she quotes Joanna’s photographer for the book. Saying, “she could not have been more lovely.”

Blog-Buddies, I’d love to hear your reaction to this article.

Especially, I’m curious if you’ve been bothered by people who seemingly never earned their success. Stories, anyone?

Does it help to consider that your disliked person… really did pay the price? Just not necessarily in this lifetime.

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Join the Discussion

  1. 1
    Evgenia says:

    Hi Rose, this question was bugging me for a while and I came to the same conclusions.

    People who are born talented were working hard in previous lives. That realization helped me move forward in my life a lot.

  2. 2
    Evgenia says:

    Thank you for confirming!

    Very valuable knowledge!

  3. 3

    EVGENIA, you’re so welcome. Unfairness bugs all thinking people, I’m guessing.

    One more aspect though is worth noting: Sometimes people have the karma to get the wealth or the fame or the reputation or the position. But they’re incompetent. Haven’t you ever seen that happen, Blog-Buddies?

  4. 4
    Steve says:

    Smoking consequences really bug me. Like the chain smoker for 40 years who tells everybody that smoking is really healthy, and second-hand smoke is bunk.

    And then the people who “mysteriously” die of lung cancer, when in this life they’ve never smoked at all.

  5. 5
    Carl says:

    In response to comment #3, I have seen the karma coupled with incompetence at a previous job.

    I witnessed 21-25 year olds handed director positions at a school I worked at. For many it was their first job.

  6. 6
    Carl says:

    They received no training and no supervision.

    In addition, they were given no budgetary restraints, a free graduate degree, and free academic trips to renowned British and European universities.

  7. 7
    Carl says:

    Did they take advantage of the good karma? Hardly.

    They practiced entitlement and arrogance. They treated co-workers with contempt and rudeness, and they hardly worked.

  8. 8
    Carl says:

    Yet they received glowing evaluations, recommendations, inflated grades, and even positions on the board from upper management.

  9. 9
    Carl says:

    As a result, many of the school’s competent staff have left, many of the student employees remain at their jobs after they’ve graduated, and at least several members of upper management are in extreme spiritual addiction (as researched during an RES session).

  10. 10
    Carl says:

    Many of those students/employees have turned down reasonable entry level opportunities because they believe another director position with handsome salaries and benefits will appear in the same manner as their current one.

  11. 11
    Carl says:

    This experience has taught me the value of doing one’s reasonable best and working with integrity.

    I’ve learned if I don’t live with integrity the karma road ends rather quickly.

  12. 12
    Engineer Jesse says:

    I was laughing throughout the whole post!

    Being reminded that everyone paid the price helps build my determination.

  13. 13
    Graham says:

    Regarding comment #3, Rose, how come??

    How can someone get karma for fame without talent??

  14. 14
    Graham says:

    To be clear: I am not remotely interested in becoming famous, so I don’t personally care about this, but it just piques my curiosity – what on earth would a person need to do in order to get ‘fame karma??’

    Baffling!

  15. 15

    GRAHAM, it’s a fact. I don’t understand the why’s and wherefore’s. I’m not a Lord of Karma.

    In case you’re wondering, I’m not a Time Lord, either. (Pretty obvious, since I can’t even watch episodes of “Dr. Who.” Much as I like little chunks of them, overall they’re too violent for me.)

  16. 16
    Kylie says:

    I have found the whole concept of paying the price hugely helpful. The context that I’ve been thinking about it in lately is in the context of learning languages.

    Since I was little, I’ve had the idea that I wanted to speak 5 languages. Over the past few years I’ve moved from having a sort of “that would be cool!” dream to actually putting in the effort to learn language.

  17. 17
    Kylie says:

    I’m someone who in general must have great karma for learning–I would guess I’ve paid the price over many lifetimes. School was always so easy for me, easy and fun.

    But one of the things I’ve realized is that even with this great natural advantage, if I want to actually get fluent at communicating in another language, I have to pay the price.

  18. 18
    Kylie says:

    That means, putting in the time and attention to actively study, booking weekly conversation classes with teachers where I have to be willing to sound stupid and make mistakes.

  19. 19
    Kylie says:

    And it means that if I do so, I have less time for other goals. So, one price you pay with working towards any goal is that it involves choices. There are only so many hours in a day.

    In the beginning Spanish conversation class I started at my library, someone came in and after class was complaining how all of the others seemed to understand what was being said, how complicated the language was, asking how do I learn etc. etc.

  20. 20
    Kylie says:

    In hindsight, I can see that this person is someone who does not understand paying the price, and is not willing to pay the price.

    She wants someone to just give her the language, without making any effort.

  21. 21
    Kylie says:

    I see this concept too in my job. Do I want a management position or not? I know that I can achieve it.

    But I am more conscious now of the price that I will pay. A position like that is not just going to happen to me. It will be the result of much effort.

  22. 22
    Kylie says:

    I loved this comment from your blog: “be careful what you wish for. You will surely get it. Provided that you do the work to attain what you wish…”

    This is so true. A major part of deciding which goals to go after involves thinking about, do you really want that goal. Are you willing to pay the price?

  23. 23
    Christine P says:

    I can’t decide if this quote “be careful what you wish for. You will surely get it. Provided that you do the work to attain what you wish…” is a ominous warning or a hopeful reminder. Both? There are some things I have mostly enjoyed paying the price for (learning Spanish) and others where I have felt it was half and half or too much .

    I am also confused by Steve’s comment about smokers/ non smokers. So one can have paid the price in previous lifetimes for exceptionally good lungs?

  24. 24

    Good chance for an educational moment or two, CHRISTINE P. So thank you.

    First of all, you know me by now. Have you ever known me to give ominous warnings. For the sake of all of you who are still learning that RES is unlike psychic development and does not involve giving predictions, now hear this. I don’t give warnings or forecasts or predictions. Ominous or otherwise.

  25. 25

    Second, concerning the notion that I have reminded everybody of something in order to bring about a mood of hope? Huh?

    There’s a cliche that most of you are familiar with: “Be careful what you wish for. You will surely get it.” I find that a pretty annoying cliche. 😉 Because it implies a fatalistic view of life, along the lines of the book title, “Do What You Love. The Money Will Follow.”

  26. 26

    For any of you who have tried New Age thinking of this kind, and felt let down, I have two book suggestions for you:

    Magnetize Money with Energetic Literacy.” This explains why Law of Attraction-type practices don’t work. Then supplies what works far better.

  27. 27

    “The New Strong” helps you to understand the context for this sort of magical thinking. Mostly, though, you learn secrets for living now, in the Age of Awakening. Skills that you could call, in the context of our current discussion, “How to create good karma (and avoid misusing each person’s New Vibrational Freedom)”

    You see, CHRISTINE and other Blog-Buddies, something essential is missing in that cliche. It isn’t enough to wish or hope or think or pray. If we desire human results, we must do what it humanly takes to achieve our desire.

  28. 28

    Therefore, what was my intent in writing, “Be careful what you wish for. You will surely get it. Provided that you do the work to attain what you wish”?

    Simply filling in the missing part of the statement. We can accept that is how life on earth works… or we can choose to make ourselves miserable.

  29. 29

    Regarding STEVE’S Comment #4, first he talked about the chain smoker for 40 years who tells everybody that smoking is really healthy, and second-hand smoke is bunk.

    Maybe you’ve led a sheltered life in this regard, CHRISTINE. But I think that many of us have met people who seem to be immune from consequences. Another example would be a person who eats a huge amount of food but remains naturally, outrageously slim.

  30. 30

    I’d put it this way.

    That person isn’t getting consequences (karma) at the usual rate… but later those consequences will come. Such as a person who “mysteriously” dies of lung cancer, when in this life they’ve never smoked at all. But she’s getting karma back from the life of smoking and bragging about it.

  31. 31

    Basically, life on earth is fair. It just is fair over many incarnations. Not just one.

    This helps consequences on earth to be unfathomable — perfect for a spiritual academy designed for personal growth, where we get to use our free will without necessarily knowing that we will pay the price for everything we do. (Not everything we wish. Everything we actually do.)

  32. 32
    Eliza says:

    It does frustrate me sometimes, when there are people in cushy jobs who do very little work on purpose and their managers know and make excuses for them.

    I know their actions will catch up with them eventually, but yeesh the amount of time and effort wasted!

  33. 33
    Diana says:

    Hi Rose, so in thinking about the recent newsletter topic of Trusting Myself more -I can trust that all the good I do in this life will benefit me in many lifetimes to come, and to be trust that this life is good as it is even if it feels unfair at times.

  34. 34

    Beautifully put, DIANA. So here’s a follow-up question for you and other Blog-Buddies

    How do you think that perspective might make your life better than if, for instance, your attitude was, “Life stinks. And besides being smelly, it’s so unfair”?

  35. 35
    Steve says:

    Thanks for your comments, Rose. You nailed it.

  36. 36
    Brittany says:

    Regarding comment #34…I don’t know about everyone else ;), but I rather enjoy the good things about life than harp on about the stinky parts.

    RES healing sessions have helped me enjoy life so much!

  37. 37

    Thanks to all who have been commenting here, including that great one just launched by BRITTANY. I’d like to share a great example of some not-that-famous people who are creating magnificent success karma… by paying an everyday price so beautifully.

  38. 38

    Many of you know that I write an “Energetic Literacy” Column for Pathways Magazine. And that I also have an Expo Booth at the semi-annual Pathways Natural Living Expo.

    What might you not know? This is the week when everything is on deadline — editing and typesetting the magazine articles; assigning workshop time slots and finalizing the descriptions.

  39. 39

    So I would like to give a couple of shout-outs, fresh from today.

    First, this year Pathways Magazine has a new articles editor. CHRIS WHITE. Already he sent me a round of article edits for approval. Later Lou had a look and made some more suggestions which CHRIS relayed to me. I sent a counter-proposal about a paragraph I would like to retain. CHRIS thanked me.

  40. 40

    So far, I don’t know what the decision will be, but I’ve got to tell you. In my career I’ve had many editors — article editors, book editors, magazine editors.

    CHRIS and his predecessor at Pathways, MICHELLE ALONSO, and LOU DESABLA (still chugging along as THE FOUNDER for more than four decades) — they do such a professional, smart, caring job. And they do it with respect for us writers. Sometimes the exception, rather than the rule.

  41. 41

    By contrast, here’s just one example. When I published my face reading book with Bantam-Doubleday-Dell, my editor was Jody Rein, someone who has had a grand career in publishing. I was so thrilled to finally live my dream (at the time) of publication by one of the big, fancy publishing conglomerates.

    About the book cover for their edition of “I Can Read Your Face.” Jody sent me a mock-up.

  42. 42

    Here’s the tone of the back cover copy, just one excerpt:

    “Know whether you’re dealing with a phony, a dreamer, a schemer or a saint.” Hey, Blog-Buddies, does that sound like a book I would write?

  43. 43

    In no way was I consulted about the book cover, just shown it as a done deal. I called Jody immediately, terribly upset about some of the book cover copy, like the part I just quoted.

    Her response? “Your reaction doesn’t count for anything. That’s how I’m doing the book.”

  44. 44

    Maybe Jody isn’t creating the greatest karma for herself. By contrast, I’ve had the fun of working with CHRIS and MICHELLE and LOU.

    Most mind-body-spirit magazines don’t have the same integrity. Instead, some have this arrangement: “If you pay for an ad, you can publish whatever you like. No editing.” That’s a big karma difference from Pathways, isn’t it, Blog-Buddies? At the magazine I write for, editorial content is edited properly. And the chance to be published is not for sale.

  45. 45

    And I want to share one more example for you of quietly creating good karma. For this next expo, we’re going to have a different main speaker: LEO, to be introduced by GABRIELLE.

    Every speaker has a preference for time slots. I used to like first thing in the day, to get it over with! When I asked LEO, he preferred noon, but — typically — said he’d be flexible.

  46. 46

    LOU’s daughter, ERIN, does all sorts of managing for these huge Pathways Expos, including workshop scheduling. Unfailingly kind, she’s got such a work ethic! We wound up going back and forth to find the best time for LEO that would allow him to also have the largest room possible, given many simultaneous speakers.

    I’ve just counted our correspondence back and forth. Not including a round of emails she sent to another speaker on my behalf, how many emails between us? 12. All so that LEO can have a larger room, while speaking at 11:30 p.m.

  47. 47

    Why bother? Because that’s simply what ERIN does.

    Maybe she’s not a multi-millionaire in this life. YET! But check back in her future lives. She’s earning it! Like what Brittany put so beautifully above, clearly Erin would rather enjoy the good things about life than harp on about the stinky parts. Yep, karma! AKA paying the price.

  48. 48
    Mel says:

    Rapper J Cole, who has “made it”, has stated that the price rappers universally pay for success is that they have to (and do) neglect every relationship (son, brother, boyfriend) in a single minded dedication to their craft.

    He says it’s plain to see that this leaves many of them unhappy.

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