Pandemic’s lessons are featured in Crum’s new book

Feb. 21, 2021

Delores Crum, CERP, president and chief culture officer, Premiere Events, Austin, Texas, is now an author for the second time with the publication of her new book, “Simple Success Strategies: Live the Life You Deserve,” which outlines strategies for success she has learned and honed over the years.

This new book, available Monday, Feb. 22, is an updated version of her first one, “Simple Strategies for Successful Living: A How-to Guide for Getting the Life You Imagined,” which she self-published in 2019.

Crum, who chairs the American Rental Association’s (ARA) Party & Event Shared Interest Group, thought that with two years having passed since her first book and having lived through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has taken such a significant toll on her business as well as everyone else in the party and event rental industry, she had many more experiences to share regarding the principles outlined in the first book.

“I felt some of the examples I used to illustrate certain points in the first book were now dated or out-of-date. I wanted to update the content. This is something that writers do frequently. They don’t always give their book a new title or a new face, which I chose to do, but I wanted to reference the COVID-19 issues, what has happened to me and to Premiere Events during this time. When you talk about overcoming adversity and persistence and all those kinds of things, well, this pandemic has offered us experiences to do just that. There was no way to prepare or plan for something that is so totally unprecedented. It has been an adventure — a really wild ride — to say the least,” she says.

Crum says the pandemic has taught her a great deal. “I have learned that you can do with a lot less than you think you can, both personally and professionally. You can make compromises, make changes and adapt. That is one positive from this entire COVID-19 ordeal, experience, journey or whatever you want to call it — that you can manage with much less.”

While there are new examples in this updated version, the principles — the PEZ formula for success — are the same. “I believe they are timeless and enduring, but the specifics of conveying the messages chapter by chapter have changed somewhat,” she says.

The PEZ formula consists of seven simple strategies — three Ps, three Es and a Z. “I wanted an acronym for easy recollection,” she says.

The strategies in the PEZ formula are:

  • Positivity
  • Persistence
  • Principles
  • Energy
  • Expertise
  • Emotion
  • Zeal

Each chapter is dedicated to one of the strategies. “These strategies are the way we have lived our lives, the way we have been able to meet our financial objectives and experience great joy along the way,” she says.

Crum realizes that she isn’t a well-known success expert, but as she outlines in the prologue of her book, she feels she has learned strategies over the years that could help others — regular, hard-working folks like herself. She writes:

“This book was written by a person who shares your struggles, battles the same insecurities, and who faces, or who has faced, many of the same issues and challenges that you do. By an individual whose father sold used cars for a living and whose stay-at-home mom fit the 1960s homemaker mold. By a woman raised in a barely middle-class Oklahoma suburb, to a family that sometimes struggled to make ends meet. By a lifelong-learner and my family’s first college graduate.

“This book will reveal more of my story, and along the way, provide insights and perspectives based on personal experience, observation and research. It’s my hope that you’ll find this book imminently relatable. My story could be yours — or anyone’s.”

Crum says there are plenty of golden nuggets in the book, even if a person has read the first one.

“Every iteration is an improvement. The message in my view is powerful enough to be repeated. It is like a good quote or a good story. This is not a story, per se, but it is the same principle. You read it once and get the gist. Maybe you completed the exercises for each chapter or maybe you didn’t. Maybe you are thinking differently than what you were two years ago. Maybe you have learned that you can do with less, so when you define success for today, maybe it is looking differently for you than what it did two years ago. I think the message bears repeating, and, with the updates, I think it is more powerful than it was the first time,” she says.

In addition to adding new content, Crum also decided to handle all aspects of the publishing by herself. “I published the first book through Outskirts Press. Basically, I felt that I wanted to publish it under my own name and not copyrighted by someone else. It was a challenge to learn. For those out there who say, ‘I want to publish a book,’ I would say that for the first time I think it is good to have help. My new book mentions self-publishing school. I went through it and would recommend it because the first time you don’t know what you don’t know. Second time, you might subcontract the cover, the editing and certain parts. From my experience, I have found that the more you can do on your own, the better,” she says.

Crum’s goal was to have this new version published near her mother’s 93rd birthday, which is Feb. 18, as a tribute to both her mother and her grandmother, who were avid readers.

“My grandmother, who had a fifth-grade education, and my mother, who graduated from high school as valedictorian of her class but who never went to college, always were reading books. That influenced me to be a reader. I am an avid reader and lifelong learner. I feel that this helped prepare me for the work I am doing here with this book,” she says.

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