Today marks the first anniversary of my first book, Real Leaders Don’t Follow. How do I feel about that? Pretty darn good. It was a royal pain in the butt to get it written, edited and published, but it was well received at launch and sales continue to exceed my expectations, a year in. I couldn’t be happier.

But here’s the thing. I’ve never worked so hard for so long and invested so much of my emotional being into accomplishing something with such a puny payoff. No kidding. Any writer will tell you, unless you’re a Grisham or a Gladwell, it’s mostly a labor of love. Good thing I knew that going in.

Still, this is a key component of my second half career plan, so it feels good to finally be able to call myself an author. And yes, I do get a kick out of handing out signed copies to friends and associates. Maybe pride is a fundamental deadly sin, but what can I say; guilty as charged.

That said, I’m not one to rest on my laurels for very long. I’m not sure if it’s a gift or a curse, but I’m never content with my accomplishments. Truth is, my goal is to write best-sellers, so while I consider Real Leaders to be a solid first effort, I have my sights set much higher. And I won’t rest until I realize that vision or die trying.

The point is, pride and hubris are not the same thing. It’s a question of degree. Feeling good about your accomplishments is not the same as excessive confidence in your abilities. Whether it’s getting your first book published, helping your kid with a tough math problem, or doing a bang-up paintjob on the garage door, it’s good to have pride in your work. Just don’t overdo it. It can be a slippery slope from confidence to overconfidence.

Anyway, time to get to work on book number two. Stay tuned.

Image credit Epic Fireworks via Flickr