Yes, I was reminded this morning as I watched my client group welcoming a new member how lucky I am to be associated with such a fine group of people.
My client group is a private group that only they can access. I set it up originally simply to give me the ability to quickly say something to all clients at once. Being in the group is mandatory if you are a client.
I soon discovered it was something else entirely. Even though it is mandatory to be in the group they can choose whether to be in the side that has the ability to talk to one another, or they can choose to not have full access and only receive these priority messages that I originally set the group up for.
Then I discovered the group has a heart for encouraging one another. To further this I share good news with the group and they enjoy sharing in each other's successes. Even if they are not currently getting such good news themselves they like to know and like to rejoice with other clients.
They share bad news as well, asking the group for prayers when needed and the group has become an amazing collection of prayer warriors. I don't ask if a potential client is a Christian in the submission process or what their religious leanings might be but I think a non-believer might not be very comfortable in my client group.
I tell my clients that it isn't MY job to place their project, it is OUR job. I ask them all to be information sources, passing on things they hear in various groups they are in, from what they read and sources they have. They share whether it is information that will be useful on their submissions or not, it may be useful to someone in the group. They pass on places they would really like to be submitted to and I can tell them whether that is a good suggestion or if I have information they don't have that means it isn't a good opportunity for them.
I encourage them to go to workshops or conferences when they can and to bring back input from those as well, especially if it is something I'm not going to attend. I encourage them to read in their genre and to be sensitive to who is publishing things they like and particularly if the book gives thanks to some editor in the front of the book.
Finally, the group just plain has fun! At times the traffic can get a little heavy and some of them choose to do it in digest form, but they have come to be a family. They really care for one another. We've had some leave, primarily when they decided to pursue self-publishing and the group wishes them the best, but are a little saddened by losing one of the family. On occasion I have to release one when I realize I have used all the contacts I have on their behalf. That's always difficult, but I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem and if I can no longer help them I don't want to have them tied up where they can't get with someone that has a different set of contacts and skills and maybe can do them so good.
Did I mention that I am blessed just to be associated with this group of people?