A Compelling Turn-Around Story
Beth Standlee is the Founder, CEO, and President of TrainerTainment. She’s also a sought-after speaker, coach, and writer. Through her million-dollar company, she teaches people how to sell with confidence.
Beth believes the ability to sell can turn a life around. She understands this truth intimately. A career in sales turned her life around.
When Beth was only nineteen, she unexpectedly became pregnant. Forced to drop out of college, she said, “Instead of getting my bachelor’s degree, I got my M.R.S. degree—then my M.O.M.!”
She believes she could have gotten stuck, unable to reach for the life of her dreams. She discovered sales—a career path that allowed her to fit work around her family’s schedule.
Beth says she was lucky. Blessed with a “wonderful groom,” she had the flexibility to grow as a professional. In 2004, she fulfilled another deferred dream and earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Texas.
However, Beth realizes many women aren’t as fortunate as she’s been. Increasingly, she wanted to write a book so others—especially women—could change their life through sales, too.
Her belief in the power of books spurred her on: “I wanted to write a book of my own because I’m a big reader. Books have certainly influenced my life and helped me grow.”
Then she laughed and said, “If this hillbilly from Arkansas can build a business through sales, anybody can!”
Turning Experience into a Compelling Book
As someone with an English degree, Beth is no stranger to the writing process. She writes the blog for TrainerTainment and, since 2006, a monthly column for RePlay Magazine called “The Party Professor.” She thought that writing a book would comfortably fall inside her skill set without much outside help.
So, at the beginning of 2018, she decided to collect her stories and wisdom into a book. She unplugged from work and set aside two weeks to churn out as much as possible. By day two, she realized she needed help.
She bought the book Stop Stalling and Start Writing: Kick the Excuses and Jumpstart Your Nonfiction Book by Nancy Erickson, The Book Professor®. She found Nancy’s structured approach to organizing ideas through BookMAPs™ especially useful.
Beth worked on a draft of her BookMAP but decided to reach out to Nancy for help. When she recalled their first conversation, she remembered saying, “I don’t know what I’m doing. I need your process for helping folks.”
Nancy asked Beth when they would need to publish. It was February 2018 at the time. Beth had a big trade show coming up in June and hoped she could to release it then. Much to Beth’s surprise, Nancy told her five months wouldn’t be enough to finish a book. “Quality takes time,” Nancy said.
Disappointed, Beth said, “At first I thought, ‘What kind of coach are you?’ But then I realized, as a coach myself, how hard it is being on the buyer’s side of coaching. I didn’t like the things Nancy was saying at first. But just like I understand sales, Nancy understood her process. It made me think, ‘So this is how those salespeople feel when a coach comes to help them!”
Partnership with a Book-Writing Coach
Beth felt comfortable with Nancy almost immediately. “It was very collaborative. Nancy helped me focus my story through an extremely efficient process. I came to her with ‘creative chaos,’ and she helped me organize it.”
First, they created a purpose statement. Beth wanted the book to show people—especially women—that a professional career in sales could change someone’s life both professionally and personally.
Soon after, Beth and Nancy structured the book’s problem/solution sets, an innovative part of the BookMAP process. Beth said, “From a speaker’s point of view, I really understood Nancy’s system. Make a point, then drive that point home. It was the same process: First problem. Then solution. Then here’s a story that’s going to help you remember that solution.”
Because Beth worked with Nancy one-to-one, she had the freedom to customize the writing process to her creative style. After some initial back and forth, Beth decided to complete the first draft in one large chunk, then send it to Nancy for feedback.
The notes Nancy gave Beth were insightful. They were also actionable. Beth was able to incorporate the edits during a difficult time—her husband was in the hospital, diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She finished her book as she cared for her husband (who’s now doing much better).
As they approached the final stages of editing, she relied heavily on Nancy’s consistent feedback, especially during such a difficult period.
A Five-Star Book on Amazon!
Beth’s partnership with Nancy gave her the ability to write and organize something as long and complicated as a book. She said, “I’m not a process-driven person, so I really connected with Nancy and her method.”
The Book Professor’s system helped Beth get the book to market as well. She said, “I wouldn’t have kept going if I had been responsible for editing, registering, coming up with the cover, and everything. I could do it, but I’m too busy!”
By May 2019, Beth released her book, People Buy from People. As of the publication of this article, all thirteen customer ratings on Amazon are five out of five stars.
She’s been able to accomplish all of her goals, even donating the book to several women-in-need organizations. Beth said, “When I write my next book, Nancy will be involved!”
To learn more about Beth Standlee’s book, People Buy from People, or to buy a copy, click here.
Are you ready to write your non-fiction book?
At The Book Professor®, we believe nearly anyone can write a quality book. But if you’re a busy professional, you may not feel like you have the time to create something that will truly make you feel proud.
Though many people begin writing books, few of them finish. Those who do rarely end up with a product they feel is worthy of the marketplace.