Have you ever felt God calling you into a new career, but you’ve been afraid to step out of your comfort zone? And how do you hold onto confidence when you’re surrounded by people who seem to have more expertise and experience than you?
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In this episode I talk with Rachel Pellegrino, founder of Little Lambs Books publishing company, about how to know what step to take and when, faith’s role in times of transition, how to determine whether God is leading you, and how she’s maintained her confidence through it all.
Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
Rachel is a leader who wears many hats: wife, mom, business owner, publisher. She’s led all her life from student council to Bible studies to hosting a show at a waterpark. Right now, she leads Little Lamb Books, which is a company that came out of her grief after losing a pregnancy.
Rachel shares how she came into the publishing industry after leaving teaching and processing her grief.
Leaving Teaching and Starting Her Publishing House
It may seem like a big leap from teaching high school journalism and English to publishing, but it wasn’t. While starting a company was a bold step it was also a natural one. The language of the two industries is different, but the same ideas applied.
At this time, Rachel was walking through grief. She asked God what He was doing and what she was supposed to do. God led her to take the writing and business classes she took.
“I don’t think you can ever lead well without wise counsel.” – Rachel Pellegrino
The publishing industry is competitive so she sought mentors in her industry, but not her niche, and asked very specific questions. She also found support through a women’s business group at church, a mastermind, and other relationships.
Challenges and Rewards of Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
We chat about some of the challenges Rachel has experienced as she has transitioned from her teaching background to running her own publishing house.
Rachel also tells the rewards of publishing such as their books winning national awards, meeting people at conferences, and getting to teach others about business. Her main reward? Impacting the next generation for Christ.
Advice for the Woman with a Book in Her Heart
Know these two sides of the writing industry:
Know the creative side
- Write down your ideas.
- Start reading books in your genre. What are comparable titles?
- Figure out your voice in this space.
- Research other books written on your topic.
Know the business side.
- Learn the publishing industry, e.g. What is a query? What are the submission guidelines? How do you pitch your idea? What happens after the contract is signed?
- Find ways to learn.
“We all have a book in us, but God has to call it out of you.” – Rachel Pellegrino
Rachel reminded us not to compare where you are to the people who seem to be an “overnight success.” You need to remember not to compare yourself to others, but rather to say:
“Where I am is not where I was four years ago, and it’s not where I’m going to be four years from now. But God has called me to this now.” – Rachel Pellegrino
She also recommends that you engage a prayer team as soon as you get a book contract.
How to Tell if God’s Leading You in a New Place
How can we tell if it’s God prompting us to change and try something new or if it’s our own desires and flesh? Rachel shares these practical tips:
- Is your question answered in the Scriptures? Start there.
- Plug into a church.
- Plug into a group and listen and absorb what they say.
- Do your due diligence.
- Try it out.
“God gives us discernment and wisdom. We just have to be willing to listen to it.” – Rachel Pellegrino
Ask for His guidance and Him to open/close doors for you.
Holding on to Confidence
Rachel reminded us that as women, we question our confidence often.
“We, as women, moms, entrepreneurs, leaders, need to step out in confidence — not arrogance.” – Rachel Pellegrino
We need to believe that what God has for us and be able to hold on to our confidence in that.
Rachel struggles daily with maintaining her confidence. Her confidence can shrink when she interacts with people who are experts. But she reminds herself of the following:
“God has given me a brain in my head, discernment in my heart, and I’m willing to learn.” – Rachel Pellegrino
She knows what’s doing, but she wonders whether she’s being a good wife, mom, and leader. Her solution? Leaning into her faith and family.
Rachel said that there are times she still second guesses what she is doing. There are other times when she feels very confident.
Currently, God is calling her into a new season, and she’s not sure if she feels ready. But she is taking the next right step.
Rachel feels confident in who God made her to be, so she can ask him when she isn’t sure about what’s happening next.
“I don’t know where my confidence would be if it wasn’t in Jesus.” – Rachel Pellegrino
We discuss the importance of putting your trust in God rather than yourself.
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Connect with Rachel Pellegrino:
Rachel Pellegrino is the founder and publisher of Little Lamb Books, an independent trade publisher of faith-based fiction and non-fiction for elementary, middle grade, and young adult readers. She is passionate about empowering parents with Christian children’s literature as well as partnering with authors who write faith-based stories and providing them with a successful publishing experience.
Based in Texas with her husband, kiddos, and their two dogs, Rachel talks with her hands, prefers Pepsi to coffee, and has a growing plush lamb collection. She blogs on the Little Lamb Books website and is launching her own coaching business for writers this fall.
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