Ask…You Just Never Know

Dr. Brene Brown is the author of four #1 New York Times Best sellers. She has a Youtube video that is in the top five in number of views with over 30 million people watching.

In a nutshell, Dr. Brown is a big deal. I have read three of her four bestsellers and I greatly admire her work. She has had a huge impact in helping me courageously move forward in my work on courage.

Currently, I am writing a book on my own courage story and hope it can help others in their desire to lead more courageous lives. One of the ideas I had for my book was incorporating some of my favorite courage quotes. I find quote to provide me with quick inspiration and encouragement.

Two of the quotes I wanted to use were from Dr. Brown. I submitted my list of quotes to my editor with an explanation of how and where I wanted them used in the book.

It wasn’t long before I received an e-mail back from her with some news I didn’t want to hear. She informed me these quotes are “intellectual property” of the person who stated them. In order for me to use them I need to get their permission.

Another option is to use quotes from before January 1, 1923. That’s a good idea but many of the quotes I want to use, including two from Dr. Brown, are from after that date. Dr. Brown was born in 1965 so, obviously, her quotes came after 1923.

My initial reaction after hearing from my editor was one of dejection and disappointment. I thought about looking for quotes that are nearly 100 years old. I’m sure I’d find some that would work. However, they wouldn’t be quotes that had impacted me like those from Brown.

Five years ago I would have just accepted that I wouldn’t be able to use the quotes I would like. I would have settled for what was available without doing anything else. Certainly someone as big as Dr. Brown would not allow me to use her quotes in my book.

Now, however, because of the work I’ve done to be more courageous in my own life journey, I thought I’d at least try something to get the quotes I wanted.

Finding Dr. Brown to contact her was easy. She’s big on the web. On her website she has a contact page. I clicked on it. I filled out the form. In the words of my mom, “All she can do is say no.”

She didn’t say no. She said yes. Well, it wasn’t her exactly but it was her representative who responded to me in less than two hours. She gave me permission to use her quotes in MY book!

All I did was ask.

Are you settling today because you’re afraid to ask? Are you settling for good because you don’t believe you can get great?

Even sending an e-mail asking to use her quotes was a bit uncomfortable. Courage is about embracing the uncomfortable and stepping into your fear.

I’d love to hear from you on something you’ve done recently to not settle for good but reach for great.

Here is the quote on Dr. Brown’s webpage when I looked at her site today, “Courage is contagious. Every time we choose courage we make everyone around us a little better and the world a little braver.”

Do something courageous today to be an example for those around you!

James 4:2


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  • Great life lesson, Dave! Thanks for your encouraging words.

    • Thank you, Matt! I appreciate your support and encouragement!

      Hope all is well with you and your family!