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Author Rich Daniels: Writing a Deeply Personal Story for the Sake of Others

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A Tourist in His Own Life

Rich Daniels was in the midst of a career marked by impressive accomplishments. His resumé included positions in marketing, operations, and strategy for a variety of corporations with an international reach. He traveled worldwide and enjoyed the rewards of his success.

At the same time, he got to live a dream when he became a co-owner of Amigos Cantina, a popular and highly-rated St. Louis area restaurant and co-founder of Yurbuds sport headphones.

Rich is also a husband and father of three. But his home life wasn’t what he hoped it would be. As someone who worked and traveled incessantly, he felt out of step with his wife, Megan, and his three kids (Grace, Luc, and Zoey).

Megan ran their home like a well-oiled machine. When Rich would come home, he’d feel like a disruption to what she’d created. Though he loved his children, he didn’t have a deep relationship with them and was unable to communicate that he knew, valued, and loved each of them individually.

Rich realized he was little more than a “tourist in his own life.”

He spoke with his pastor, acknowledged his problem, then said he wanted to join the men’s group. He hoped to spend time with dads like himself and was curious if any of them had figured out how to live the kind of life he desired—one that struck a balance between work and home.

The church didn’t have a group like that, so the pastor asked Rich to help him put one together. The group would meet in the Daniels family basement. Rich agreed but was so busy that he didn’t make the first two meetings. When he made it to the third, he realized that all of the other men in his group faced the same problem.

It took awhile, but with the support of both his wife and his men’s group, Rich began to rebuild his home life. He slowed down at work. He and Megan decided how they wanted to parent as a couple. Rich became a vital member of his home and community. His life began to improve.

Then, a chance encounter made Rich realize that men outside his current circle needed what he’d discovered.

The Drive to Write a Non-Fiction Book

As Rich made changes to his life, a chance encounter unsettled him. He attended a networking meeting where he chatted with a man who seemed happy and successful.

Six months later, Rich learned that the man took his own life. Rich was shocked. He said, “I grew up with brothers, so I always had someone to lean on when I needed to.”

Rich wanted to reach out to highly-driven men like this one and share the wisdom he’d gained through experience and his men’s group. He wanted to tell them there was a better way to live, and that they didn’t have to go it alone.

Rich decided it was time to write a book. Unfortunately, he had no idea how to start. He shared his thoughts with a friend, who told Rich about The Book Professor®, Nancy Erickson.

Rich visited thebookprofessor.com and took the Self-Directed Book Writing Program. Soon, he decided he wanted to finish his book with Nancy’s help. He hired her as his Personal Book-Writing Coach.

A Legacy to Leave and an Idea to Communicate

Rich entered the book-writing process with a concept designed to reach Christian men. His working title, Creating Gravity, was about “creating gravity that would draw guys to Christ.”

In conversations about his book, Nancy challenged the premise. She envisioned a larger audience for his ideas. Rich thought about it. He said, “Nancy has this saying: ‘While you’re working on your book, your book is working on you.’”

And that’s what happened. The audience expanded in Rich’s mind. His message began to solidify, and he started to codify the ideas he and Megan practiced at home. He could break it down into three main concepts—that every member of the Daniels family would:

  • Feel known. Rich and Megan learned and engaged with his kids’ interests, tastes, and experiences more deeply. They wanted their kids to feel like they were “part of the team”—members of the family, not just someone familiar to be ordered around.
  • Feel valued. In his new family paradigm, Rich began to listen more closely to each person’s words, thoughts, and feelings. Every person now had a chance to be heard.
  • Feel loved. Rich believes every person experiences love differently. He said, “With my wife, it’s when I do chores for her around the house. My daughter Grace, on the other hand, needs words of praise and affirmation.”

Nancy pointed out these three concepts as possible sections for Rich’s book. He hadn’t seen it before that moment. For Rich, Nancy’s perspective made all the difference. It allowed him to write his book quickly and with a sense of purpose.

Authors and “Expert Status”

Though Rich creates effective business strategies for a living, he didn’t have a comprehensive marketing plan for his book. He created a few videos and did a little social marketing, but stopped there.

All he wanted was to have a book to give to guys going through a hard time, like the man he met at the networking meeting.

But the title of “author” continues to afford him extraordinary opportunities.

From time to time, he’s able to bring his message as a guest speaker to groups of men. He said, “My book was more a collection of shortcomings and lessons that I felt were worth me sharing. I wanted to encourage other men to be more engaged at home. But when you publish a book, people see you as an expert.”

Rich shares the message of the book often. He gets to tell others, “As guys, we want the adventure. And with any journey or adventure, we are presented with adversity which we must overcome. It requires the help of God and others. Find a men’s group at your local church or in your community. Get connected with other guys on the journey.”

Rich Daniels’s touching book, A Tourist in My Own Life, is available on Amazon.

The Power of Your Story

Many of us have a compelling story to tell, but don’t have a way to “get it out.” And when we start, it’s easy to get stuck on what we think the book should be rather than what it wants to be —and what would potentially reach the greatest number of people.

If the book you want to write feels like a code you can’t crack, we at The Book Professor® can help. We guide writers and non-writers alike from concept to published book. It’s not easy, but our process has worked for many others—and, if you’re willing, it can work for you too.

If you’re ready to get your book out of your head and into a final, professional, and published form, let’s start a conversation.

 

 


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Dismantling Writer’s Block Part 2: The “I Can’t Write” Myth

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From Non-Writer to Non-Fiction Author

Kids are natural storytellers. They draw pictures with a clear narrative—even if it’s silly. Then they staple those pictures together and create books for fun.

If you stand still long enough, the little kids in your life will tell you all about their friends, family, and hobbies in surprising (and sometimes exhausting) detail.

Which means that whoever you are, you were born with the ability to create and tell stories. But for many of us, someone or something made us feel like we didn’t have the talent to write a book. We lost the joy. We lost confidence in ourselves.

Perhaps you:

  • Could never figure out how to diagram a sentence
  • Didn’t understand the five-paragraph essay
  • Grew up around people who didn’t use proper grammar
  • Went into a “non-creative” field like accounting, medicine, or (in my case) computer programming
  • Heard someone say your writing “lacked promise”

Whatever the cause, too many of us call ourselves “non-writers” for all the wrong reasons.

But if you’re reading this, you’ve probably thought: “I’ve gained some life experience. If I knew how to write it down, people would want to read it.”

As The Book Professor®, I believe almost anyone can write a compelling book with a little help. My team and I help non-writers create high-quality non-fiction books all the time! All you need is:

  • A message to communicate
  • The willingness to follow our process from beginning to end

It’s not easy, but if you’re a non-writer who wants to be an author, it’s worth it.

Your Idea Is the Key (Not the Grammar!)

A great non-fiction book is more than a collection of well-ordered paragraphs. It’s the story of someone who has lived life, encountered a problem, and figured out how to solve it. It’s valuable to readers who have similar problems themselves.

This “big idea” compels readers to turn pages. That’s why the first book-writing stage — “PLAN” — is crucial. In it, as your coach, I help pull the idea out of you.

During the PLAN phase, we create your BookMAP™. This isn’t an outline. It’s the process by which we figure out what the book is going to be. During this time, we determine the book’s purpose, audience, and content. (More about BookMAPs™ here and here).

When it’s finished, you’ll have everything you need to craft your first draft. And guess what? You don’t have to be a “writer” to get this far!

First Drafts & The Crucial Ingredient

Once you have a BookMAP™, you’ll know exactly what you’re going to write. Now it’s time to get it out. This stage in the process, called “PRODUCE,” requires a lot of hard work.

But here’s the good news: We’ll fix any mistakes or other issues later. The goal of the first draft is to get your story and wisdom down on paper. And do you know what the crucial ingredient to a well-written first draft is?

You!

Readers won’t be satisfied if you keep them at arm’s length. They want to get to know the real you and see all along the way.

As a coach, I work with our authors weekly. During the PRODUCE stage, I give them tools and tips to infuse their first draft with individuality.

For example, one tip I share is this: Be honest. Let the real you shine through on the page. We can always remove some of it later if you feel like you’ve gone too far, but you’ll be surprised how much you will keep.

I also teach this technique: Use sensory language. Tell us what you see, smell, hear, feel, and taste. Do it as concisely as possible, but don’t hold back. If we need to, we can cut some of it later, but we can’t shape your final draft until you have a first draft.

The “Secret” of the Professional Writer

The next time you’re near your bookshelf, grab your favorite book and find the “acknowledgments” page. As you read it, you’ll discover the secret of every professional writer.

Nobody writes a book alone. Coaches and editors pulled your favorite book out of the author. They made suggestions, changes, and fixes throughout the process. This “great writer” even had a team who fixed grammatical errors, punctuation problems, and mistakes of all kinds.

During the third book-writing stage — “POLISH AND PERFECT” — you will go through a series of exercises to edit your first draft. This is where the magic happens! You will see your ideas, expressions, and experiences come to life and will be astonished at what you accomplished—as a non-writer!

You and your team at TheBookProfessor.com work through your manuscript. Together, we make sure it will stand shoulder to shoulder with anything in the marketplace.

But too often, beginning authors are afraid their first draft will lose its authenticity.

Nothing could be further from the truth. You keep “you,” but the prose becomes tighter, more precise, and more powerful as you go through draft after draft after draft. Then, your coach (me) and a copyeditor provide that extra bit of expertise you’ll need to cross the finish line.

But you are in charge the whole time.

For example, one client of mine, Terry Lammers, wrote a brilliant book that Forbes called one of the “best books to help entrepreneurs grow a business.”

He’s a business expert—not a grammar expert. He worked with me and our copy editors to make his prose grammatically correct.

However, that didn’t mean he abdicated his role as the author. He knows his subject better than anyone. If an edit didn’t resonate with him, he had the power to reject it. (And he did. Often!)

Another client, Beth Standlee (People Buy from People), was born and raised in Texas. When she saw an editor changed the word “daddy” to “father,” she changed it right back! She said, “I’ve never once called my daddy ‘father!’”

I want to help every one of my clients create a book that meets the highest possible standards. A bunch of us work together to get it there. But the author, in the end, is always in charge. What he or she says goes!

Are you a non-writer with a non-fiction book inside you?

Do you want to write a non-fiction book, but you’re:

  • Not sure how to start
  • Stuck on your first draft
  • Afraid you don’t have the discipline to finish
  • Unskilled as a writer

Would you like to get help from someone who can encourage, instruct, and guide you through a time-tested process that results in a marketable book?

If so, you can create a book that stands shoulder to shoulder with the best on the market.

If you’re ready to get your book out of your head and onto the page, let’s start a conversation today.

 


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How one “non-writer” became a Forbes-recommended business author

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Developing a One-of-a-Kind Perspective

Terry Lammers grew up working in his parent’s wholesale fuel and lubricant business. Based in Pierron, Illinois—a town of about 600 people—Terry stocked shelves and drove trucks while still in high school.

He studied accounting in college and gained some early business experience, then went back to work for his parents’ company. He says in his book, “It was just me, my mom, my dad, and two trucks.” When he came on board, their year-to-date sales were about $750,000, and his parents couldn’t afford to pay him a salary.

He used what he learned in college and business to help the company turn things around. They acquired a competitor, Bone Oil Company, and rebranded the business TriCounty Petroleum.

After that, Terry said, “We were off to the races.”

Under his leadership, TriCounty acquired several more fuel companies. Terry trademarked his own brand of lubricants and eventually grew the conglomerate to over $42 million in sales. With three young kids, he and his wife were able to retire early—a dream come true!

Soon, however, Terry grew bored. “After I sold the company,” he said, “I had no idea what I was going to do next! You can only hunt and fish so much.”

Eventually, he went to work for Regions Bank and learned how lending institutions value companies, assess balance sheets and cash flow, and determine risk.

After three and a half years, he and partner Steve Denny launched Innovative Business Advisors. Their firm specializes in business valuation, acquisitions, and consulting. In his work with clients, he’s developed a unique communications style that resonates with others.

Terry said, “Business owners have told me they do what I tell them because I’m honest, clear, and not arrogant.”

With a lifetime worth of experience, he wanted to find a way to package his advice—along with his unique voice—in a book. But there was a problem.

Terry had no writing experience at all.

Writing for a Non-Writer

“In the back of my mind,” Terry said, “writing a book was a bucket-list item,” but he didn’t know how to get started. He got some unexpected advice while speaking with a plumber he met at a networking event.

The man said, “You just have to sit down and write about eight chapters and you’re done!”

Terry decided to sit down and to write his book about mergers and acquisitions, and he started with page one, just the way the plumber had said. Before he knew it, he was lost. He Googled the phrase, “book coach” and found Nancy Erickson, The Book Professor®.

Terry signed up for The Book Professor’s® Executive Group Mastermind and Publishing Program. But when he learned it would be a year-long process, he said, “I didn’t like that!”

He soon came to appreciate that time. As a non-writer who had failed in his first attempt at writing a book, he was now making real headway.

Capturing a Unique Voice

As Terry worked through the structure of his book, he could see that the process made sense. “I think it’s brilliant,” he said. “We started with our BookMAP™. You map the whole thing out, then bullet-point how you want each chapter to flow.”

The next phase of the process is called Write without Ruts, and Terry wrote the entire first draft of his book in about three months.

“Every Sunday evening,” he said, “I’d write two chapters. But every day I had my BookMAP™ in front of me. Since everything I was going to write about was all mapped out, I would think about the book all week long. When it came time to write my chapters, it really was like ‘getting it out.’”

Although Terry had no experience writing, he found himself with a first draft that actually worked.

But then he found himself in the midst of the Polish and Perfect stage, and that put his patience to the test.

Terry said, “Polish and Perfect is the painful part. I had to read the book several times. I had to read it out loud. It was like getting tased!”

He worked with both Nancy and the team’s copy editors, and Terry found he had a challenge to balance his unconventional manner of speaking and grammar with what would make for an interesting and readable book.

“One of the things Nancy teaches is to be very direct in your writing. Don’t say too much. Get it tight. I tried to be funny and conversational, but sometimes that just meant too many extra words. The editors whacked the hell out of it!”

Still, he felt like he was in control. As an expert in finance, he needed to educate the team’s editors on some of the terms and phrases he used. But if he was concerned that the editing process would strip away his unique voice, his friends and family responded differently.

“People tell me all the time, ‘I can hear you talking in the book.’ The editors didn’t take out the quizmacal [sic] things I say.”

In particular, he has a chapter called “Your Bankability.” Although “bankability” is a real word, Terry hadn’t heard it used in his circles. It had a great ring to it, and when his business partner Steve Dean read the book, he said they should name one of their key offerings “The Bankability Method.”

A Finished Book

For Terry, the book is part of building his brand as an expert in acquisitions. It was important to finish in a timely manner, and he credits The Book Professor’s Executive Group Mastermind with keeping him accountable.

 

He said, “While I was writing, I met a lot of people who said they were writing a book too. And you know what? They’re still writing their book, but I have a finished book.”

Terry published his book, You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know: Everything You Need to Know to Buy or Sell a Business, in 2017. Recently, it was listed by Forbes writer Rhett Power as one of “The Best Books to Help Entrepreneurs Grow a Business.”

Power’s review of the book echoed what Terry and Nancy had worked so hard to achieve:

“In a straightforward, authentic style, he walks you through the many options you have for your [business]. By the end of You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know, I felt like I had an entertaining, informative workshop.”

You can purchase Terry’s book, You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know: Everything You Need to Know to Buy or Sell a Business here.

You don’t have to be a “writer” to become an “author”!

Have you dreamed of writing a book but don’t think of yourself as a writer? Or do you have something to say but are stuck and can’t get it out?

The Book Professor® helps people who aren’t writers become authors. Whether writing a book is a life-long dream or something you must do to move your career forward, there’s help for you.

Learn more about how you can work with The Book Professor® and Nancy Erickson, click here.


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Dismantling Writer’s Block Part 1: The Lone Genius Myth

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Book Writers: Do You Think It’s Best to Go It Alone?

Perhaps you’ve seen some variation of this scene in a movie.

A man is sitting at his typewriter (why is it always a guy?), unshaven, half-drunk, and clattering away like mad. There are empty wine bottles and teacups strewn all over the room. Crumpled papers overflow the trash can. In anguish, he stops typing, tears out the sheet of paper, and rips it to shreds.

Sound familiar?

Movies like these have done us a great disservice. They’ve given us the “Lone Genius,” a class of people who spend their days struggling through their book without any help. Though it’s true that authors spend most of their writing time alone with the page, this is only part of the picture.

That’s because books are too long and too complicated to be written without a community of helpers. All authors (including this one) need those who can keep them on track, lend helpful feedback, and even give them a swift kick in the backside when needed.

The myth of the Lone Genius is behind a lot of unnecessary writer’s block.

Authors need a Book Mastermind. Here’s why.

A Book Mastermind Keeps You Accountable

Here’s an unfortunate truth. If you’re the only person holding yourself accountable to write your book, you probably won’t finish it.

It’s not because you have nothing to say, you lack discipline, or that people don’t need what you’ve written. It’s simply this: No one is waiting for you, so it’s easy to put your manuscript off.

The solution? Join a group of like-minded writers.

I put together The Book Professor’s® Executive Group Mastermind and Publishing Program so that every week, writers know they have an online appointment they must prepare for. Everyone will be turning in the same assignment, and if you’re part of that group, you’re highly motivated to come to the call prepared. It’s that simple.

If that were the only reason to take part in a Book Mastermind, that would be reason enough for most of us to reach out for help. But there’s more.

A Book Mastermind Includes People with Complimentary Skills

You have a unique “Zone of Genius:” your training, your giftings, your experiences, and even your tastes. It’s your gift to the world, and it will permeate anything you write.

What’s great about a Book Mastermind, however, is your book benefits from other people’s Zone of Genius as well.

In a recent Book Mastermind, we had a wonderful group of men. They all got excited about each other’s work even though they had very different backgrounds.

One of our writers, a marketing expert for podiatrists named Rem Jackson was stuck on the title for his book. Mike Kitko (read his story HERE) was in that group as well. Mike’s an Executive Coach who knows next to nothing about podiatry. But as Rem was talking about the ideas he was presenting in his book, Mike blurted out something like, “Do you know what would be a good title for your book? Podiatry Prosperity!”

At that moment, it didn’t matter who came up with the idea. The title was perfect. Because Rem Jackson was participating in a group with someone outside of his Zone of Genius, he received exactly what he needed.

A Book Mastermind Gives Generous Feedback

Too many of us have been in writing groups where we received ego-driven, soul-crushing feedback from a teacher, a family member, or a friend. I’m afraid it happens to most of us, and I’m sorry if it happened to you.

However, that’s not the experience we’ve had in The Book Professor® Book Mastermind Groups. They have consistently been positive, encouraging places to write a book.

There’s a reason for that.

If you’re a member of a Book Mastermind with authors who intend to be a source of hope and help for their audience, then they’re generally people who want to be a source of hope and help to everyone — including you. When they offer feedback, it’s in the same spirit that drives them in everything they do.

A Book Mastermind Session Can Be Great Therapy

Every Book Mastermind I’ve been a part of has become, to some degree, a group therapy session.

I’ve worked with a woman whose book told the story of how she survived severe abuse. Another woman wrote about how she made it through her husband’s suicide.

Mike Kitko (the Executive Coach I mentioned earlier) was an alcoholic in a mutually destructive marriage. He had to tell about how he devastated his own life and hit rock bottom.

When people write about experiences like these, they have to relive them. In every Book Mastermind I’ve facilitated, its members surrounded, protected, and validated those writers as they told their truth.

It’s one of the most beautiful parts of the process.

Authors: Do You Believe in Magic?

Recently, one of our Masterminds included an author whose book contained a description of her life in an abusive and alcoholic home. Reading it to the group required extreme vulnerability on her part.

When she finished, I asked the group if they had ever experienced something similar. Everyone in the group had. I could hardly believe it.

Now, you don’t have to be spiritual to take part in Group Coaching. But let me say this.

I do not assemble Book Masterminds by curating people of similar backgrounds. I simply put people together who are available and ready to get started on their books.

But it seems like Something — or Someone — has put each of those groups together. Each one has a synergy I couldn’t have created if I tried. People with similar or complementary backgrounds, temperaments, and experiences end up working together every time.

Are You Ready to Leverage a Book Mastermind to Get Unstuck?

If this sounds like what you need to get yourself out of your writing rut, you may want to join The Book Professor’s® Executive Group Matermind and Publishing Program. Writing a book is a long journey, and this is a great way to have all the benefits of a Book Mastermind gently guided by our time-tested process.

In Module One, we take you “From Concept to Concrete Plan.” This is where, as a group, we learn how to figure out precisely what it is you have to say. Lots of personal revelations surface, and with each others’ support, by the end of sixteen weeks, you have a BookMAPTM to follow as you write. It’s the BookMAPTM that actually allows you to prevent writer’s block.

Module Two is called “Write Without Ruts.” During this part of the process, you get to write the first draft of your book without going back and fixing it up. Every week, you’ll listen to other people share their first drafts while you share your own. It’s intense, revelatory, fun, and exhilarating.

Module Three, “Polish and Perfect,” we get your book to the finish line, making sure that every word is in its place, that every line sings, and that every scene works. We need each other during this part of the process because it can get tedious. Our Book Mastermind is the place where we remind each other how important the work is, how special the book will be, and how great it will feel to share it with the world.

If you want to learn more about The Book Professor’s® Executive Group Mastermind and Publishing Program, or you’re ready to sign up, CLICK HERE.

 

 


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teacher appreciation

Celebrate World Teachers’ Day October 5th, 2019

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This year we’ve talked a lot about writing, publishing, and promoting your book because that’s what I love to do both personally and professionally.  But I want to take a moment to pay tribute to teachers.

World Teacher’s Day is very important to me. As a professional book coach, writer, and former collegiate professor, I am forever grateful to the teachers who ignited my love for all things “books.” I’ve always had an interest in reading and excelled in writing as a youngster, but it was my teachers who kept me motivated to pursue my dreams. They were there to offer a kind word of encouragement when I felt discouraged. There isn’t enough appreciation in our world for teachers. You usually only hear about the bad ones, when there are millions of terrific teachers who do what they do, simply because they care. 

Because their job is often underpaid, criticized, and unappreciated, many educational facilities find it hard to retain and attract excellent talent. Nonetheless, they still come to work each and every day ready to shape and guide today’s youth. 

What is World Teachers’ Day?

Held annually on 5 October since 1994, World Teachers’ Day commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. This Recommendation sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions. 

In 2019, World Teachers’ Day will celebrate teachers with the theme, “Young Teachers: The Future of the Profession.” The early twenty-first century is not an easy time to be a teacher. While teachers were once highly respected professionals, valued, trusted, and accepted as inspirational role models for young people, nowadays they too easily serve as scapegoats for the failure of education systems. Indeed, in our society that tends to glorify celebrities, we’re more likely to heap praise on performing artists, sports personalities, and social media influencers than on outstanding teachers. 

With large numbers of teachers likely to retire in the coming decade, a major concern is that there aren’t enough young candidates coming into the profession to replace them. Over 69 million teachers must be recruited by 2030 for primary and secondary education to meet the SDG 4 education targets. Of this number, 48.6 million new recruits will be needed to replace those who are leaving the profession either through retirement or voluntarily. 

These challenges and transformations in the 21st century are very real. As we commemorate World Teachers’ Day 2019, we must take time to look at the future of the profession and the role of young teachers in it, taking on the changing climate of education and schooling, the need to draw in and retain a new generation of dedicated educators, and to prepare them for the 21st century challenges of “teaching in diversity” and “diversity in teaching.” (Source)

Take a moment today to think about what your life would be like if you’d never had a quality teacher. How would a shortage of quality teachers affect your children’s or grandchildren’s life and future? In honor of World Teacher’s Day tomorrow, tell the teacher in your life how much you appreciate and value their work in helping to shape our youth!


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Get a Coach-You Can’t Be An Expert In Everything

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No one can be an expert in everything. I talk a lot about the value of establishing yourself as an expert in your field, and I happen to be an expert book writing coach who helps people—people don’t think of themselves as writers—to write and publish their nonfiction books. I am not, however, an expert in everything! That’s why I want to share my own experience about working with a coach to achieve an important goal.

My husband, Tom, is an outdoor enthusiast, and he has a special relationship with the Grand Canyon. Every year for the past decade he has taken a couple of weeks to float the Colorado River at the bottom of the Canyon, enjoying the white water, scaling the canyon walls on challenging hikes, and sleeping under the stars. He is also a darn good photographer and likes to get up in the wee hours to photograph the deep black sky that radiates light from the millions and millions of stars. The Grand Canyon restores Tom and ignites every fiber of his being with its beauty and majesty. He can’t get enough of it, and he wanted to share it with me.

I also love the outdoors, but the thought of spending two weeks on a raft and living outdoors without the basic comforts of a bed or bathroom was a bit daunting. And then there was the hike in. To get to the bottom of the canyon, we would hike 8.5 miles down Bright Angel Trail, which has an elevation drop of one mile. We had to carry in all of our belongings in packs that weighed about 25 pounds. The hike usually takes between 5.5 and 6.5 hours, and it’s not for the faint of heart. You might think that hiking down is easy but, in fact, the hike down is harder than the hike up. Your shins and calves bear the brunt of the pounding, and afterward hikers often lose their big toenails. They are also prone to suffering intense calf pain for days afterward, pain that is nearly crippling.

As you float down the river, other hikes are part of the trip, and I don’t mean a nice little stroll down a trail. At times you have to plant your hands and feet on opposite sides of the wall in a slot canyon and then scale upward. On some hikes there are thin ledges — only two feet wide — that you must traverse. You have to inch yourself sideways and hope that your hands have a firm grip on the rock wall. It’s a long way down, but when you get past these challenging portions, you reach amazing scenes of beauty that you never knew existed.

I knew I could deal with living outdoors, but I wasn’t sure I could endure the hike down with a 25-pound pack on my back. I also knew I didn’t have the skills to climb a slot canyon or scale ledges.

If I was going to do this, I needed to get help. I needed a coach.

A Hike to Remember

I started training with Brent about five months before our trip. He planned a regimen where on Wednesdays we worked on building strength and on Fridays we worked on balance and agility. In between, I amped up my cardio so I would have the endurance I needed. When I went to my training sessions, I had no idea what we were going to do that day. I didn’t know how to get myself in shape, so I just did what Brent told me. All I did was show up and follow his instructions. When he told me to do twenty jump squats, I did them. When he told me to get on the stair climber and climb on my tiptoes, I did it. When he said to stand on the bosu ball on one leg and catch the ball he threw to me, I did it. No two sessions were the same, and week after week after week, I showed up and did whatever he said to do for that hour. Little by little, I built my strength and agility in those one-hour bite-sized chunks.

The day we hiked down the Grand Canyon, there was an excessive heat warning. Temperatures were expected to rise to 112 degrees on the canyon floor, which is exactly where we were going. We were fully prepared with energy snacks, plenty of water, and our hats and sunscreen, and there were water refill stations about every three miles. We were ready. I was ready.

It took us 5.5 hours to get to the bottom, and I felt pretty good until about the last half mile. It was my toes. They were screaming at me, and I was certain I would lose those toenails. The heat was exhausting, and by the time we reached the bottom it was 109 degrees, but we made it. I made it! Those small repeated increments of time I’d devoted to getting in shape for the trip carried me from the upper rim of the Grand Canyon to the Colorado river at the bottom. I never even had the deep muscle pain that some experience.

Get a Coach

So what does my trip to the Grand Canyon have to do with your book? You have a book-worthy idea inside you and might think, “I’m not a writer, I can’t do this,” but that’s not true. You may not be not a writer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t become an author. You can do anything you want to do if you get the proper help. You need a book writing coach who can take the idea for your book and help you crystallize your message, plan the contents, write the manuscript, edit it to perfection—and finally—publish and distribute your book. You need someone to take you the entire distance so that all you have to do is follow. A great book writing coach can turn a “liver” into a writer.

Here’s the thing: people who write nonfiction aren’t writers. They’re what I call “ livers .” You’ve lived through something; you’ve been through something, you’ve learned something, discovered something, or developed something, and you’re busy living your life. You’re not a writer because you’re a doer. You’re out accomplishing things. You don’t need to learn the publishing industry or take any writing classes to write your book. You simply need to get your message out of your head and out into the world, and you need a comprehensive book writing coach to help you do that.

All you have to do is take the first step and get started. You have a message, and I have a process. Why don’t we work together? Contact me today and I can help you take the next step!


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How to Become an Author: Time Block 2

Nonfiction Writing Technique: Learn To Time Block

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Congratulations! You’re going to write your book and are ready to start. But how will you find the time? The rest of your life hasn’t changed, and your schedule was already full.

You’ve heard about The Law of Attraction, haven’t you? The Law of Attractions says that what you think about is what you attract into your life. Your dominant thoughts will find a way to manifest. When you change your thoughts, you change your life.

So what will you think about—that you’ll never get your book written or that you don’t have enough money to pursue it? Of course not!! When that nagging voice in your head says, “you’re not good enough, you’re too busy, this is too hard,” you have to knock it down. You know what I do when that voice attacks me? I stand up and shout out loud, “ STOP LYING TO ME!”

You didn’t wake up one day and say, “Oh, I think I’ll write a book now.” No—something put that seed inside you. And it’s been growing over time. This desire came from something bigger than you, and its effect will be bigger than you, too. Your message can change the world, and that’s exactly how we change the world … one reader at a time.

Life is busy, and time is precious. You’ve got work, the kids, vacation, responsibilities, blah, blah, blah. That little voice that whispers sweet defeat in your ear even before you even get started needs to be put in its place. Tell it you ARE going to do this and you DO have enough time. This is a challenge, but you’re up to it.

Time Block and Finish Your Goals

So how do you find the time to write your book? I use a method for organizing my time called Time Blocking, and it can work for you, too. When you Time Block, you divide your time into blocks so that you can use it wisely and be productive. Of course, you have to be efficient when you carve out the time for writing, which means that you take a look at EVERYTHING you do, evaluate all your responsibilities, and organize the tasks into specific blocks of time. That’s how you get everything done.

Become an author by having a time block plan

Time Blocking also means that when your calendar is set, you HONOR the calendar, that you ENFORCE the calendar, and LIVE BY the calendar. It takes discipline, but it’s very effective once you get the hang of it.

When I was first introduced to the idea of time blocking, I thought Good Grief! I’m going to have to get up at 5:00 am in order to get everything done. I’m not suggesting that your days be as long as mine are, but on the other hand, if you need to pack more in for the short term in order to can get your book written, then so be it.

Notice how I block my time. Everything is color-coded, and you can see that I devote large blocks of time to my tasks– not just fifteen minutes here or there. I organize my time so I can concentrate fully on one thing, then move on to the next.

Every week, I have to schedule a time to plan, write, deliver, and produce my classes, as well as coach my clients, so I calculate how much time I need per week for those tasks, and schedule everything in blocks throughout the week.

If you need more help, contact me for one-on-one coaching or group writer courses or sign up for my newsletter for more information, class announcements, and tips for writers.

 

 


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It’s Almost Fall-Refocus On Your Goals And Finish Strong

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As an international book coach, I’ve had the honor to teach many individuals how to write a book. Writing a book not only helps many of my clients professionally, but it also teaches them how to organize their day to accomplish what they want and focus on their goals. Let me explain. When you learn to write a book through our program, you not only learn the mechanics and writing techniques to help you write a high-impact nonfiction book,  but we also teach you how to stay focused on your goals to finish your book. 

With Fall just around the corner, there’s no better time than now to refocus on your goals and refresh your mind with tips to help you finish the year strong. 

practicing gratitudeClear Your Mind and Stay On Task

I recently came across an article in Entrepreneur magazine that caught my attention because it reminded me of some of the lessons I’ve learned to help me stay focused on my goals and clear my mind. Here are some of my favorites the article mentioned: 

1. Stop multitasking

Instead of trying to do a million things at once, take a step back and tackle one task at a time. And while your inclination might be to start your day with busy work — like checking emails — and then move onto to the harder things, you should try to get your brain moving by challenging yourself with a bigger, more creative endeavor first thing.

2. Block out your days

An excellent way to hold yourself accountable when it comes to quieting the noise all around you is to specifically block out time in your day — maybe it’s 30 minutes or an hour — to spend on a given project. Color-code your calendar or set a timer to make sure you are accomplishing the goal at hand.

3. Get your blood pumping

You can’t focus if you’re stuck inside and staring at a screen all day long. Turn off your computer and phone, and go for a 20-minute walk. The fresh air and the movement will clear your head. Also, make sure that you are drinking enough water and getting enough rest.

4. Meditate

Get a recommendation for a yoga or meditation class, or even make it an office outing, so everyone gets some time to quiet their minds. Or look online for a plethora of apps and platforms whose stock and trade is mindfulness, like Meditation Made Simple, Calm, and Headspace. For slightly more of a monetary investment, you could look into wearable tech like Thync, a device that produces electrical pulses to help your brain decrease stress.

5. Help your technology help you

A platform like RescueTime, a software that runs while you work and shows you how you’re spending your day, could help you understand why something is taking longer to complete than it should. Options like Cold Turkey, Freedom and Self Control block out the internet entirely to keep you off your Twitter feed when you should be meeting deadlines. (Source)

 

There’s no better time than now to refocus on your goals and finish strong. Whether your goal is to finish writing your book or something else, incorporate these techniques into your day, and you’ll be amazed at what your capable of accomplishing! If one of your goals is writing a book, contact us today and we can help you take the next step!

 

 

 


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It’s Friday the 13th-Push Past the Fear and Live

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Today is Friday, the 13th. Doom, doom, doom. If you’re like most Americans, you might consider this day bad luck. I’m not sure how this day became stigmatized with doom, horror movies, and just plain old fear, but most people like to avoid making any major life changes on this day. 

Just like walking under a ladder, crossing paths with a black cat, or breaking a mirror, many people hold fast to the belief that Friday the 13th brings bad luck. Though it’s uncertain exactly when this particular tradition began, negative superstitions have swirled around the number 13 for centuries (Source)

But do you know what I say to fear and this supposed “day of doom?Vámanos! I’m not sure about you, but I’ve lived long enough and can recall seasons of my life where I’ve felt paralyzed by fear. I mean debilitating fear that, if I wasn’t careful, could have stopped me from living a life on purpose and fulfilling my dream of being an international book coachIt was torment. I don’t want to minimize the feelings of anxiety and fear that millions of people across this country deal with every day, but as someone who has learned to work through it, I want to share some important truths about fear to keep things in perspective.

“Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

                                                                                                             -Susan Jeffers

Five Tips on Working Through Fear

Best selling author Dr. Susan Jeffers is a leading pioneer in helping millions of people work through fear. In her classic best-selling book, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, she shares the five following truths about fear that help put the lies it tells us into perspective. 

FEAR TRUTH #1

Fear will never go away as long as you continue to grow!

Every time you take a step into the unknown, you experience fear. There’s no point in saying, “When I’m no longer afraid, then I’ll do it.” You’ll be waiting for a long time. The fear is part of the package.

FEAR TRUTH #2

The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and…do it!

When you do it often enough, you’ll no longer be afraid in that particular situation. You will have faced the unknown, and you will have handled it. Then new challenges await you, which certainly add to the excitement in living.

FEAR TRUTH #3

The only way to feel better about yourself is to go out and…do it!

With each little step you take into unknown territory, a pattern of strength develops. You begin feeling stronger and stronger and stronger.

FEAR TRUTH #4

Not only are you afraid when facing the unknown, so is everyone else!

This should be a relief. You’re not the only one who is afraid. Everyone feels fear when taking a step into the unknown. Yes, all those people who have succeeded in doing what they’ve wanted to do in life have felt the fear – and did it anyway. So can you!

FEAR TRUTH #5

Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the bigger underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness!

This is the one truth that some people have difficulty understanding. When you push through the fear, you will feel such a sense of relief as your feeling of helplessness subsides. You’ll wonder why you didn’t take action sooner. You’ll become more and more aware that you can truly handle anything that life hands you. (Source)

As a book coach with over 25 years of experience, I’ve met hundreds of people that decided to stop writing their story out of fear. If that’s you and you’d like to start again, I’d be honored to walk this journey with you. Regardless of what specific fears you’re overcoming, life is too short to sit on the sidelines! In the words of Susan Jeffers, learn to feel the fear and do it anyway! You’ll be proud of yourself once you do.

 


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August 21st—National Senior Citizen Day

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Loneliness. If you’ve lived long enough, at some point, you’re likely to have experienced loneliness. In a world driven by social media that promises to make you feel connected, it’s almost unfathomable that more people, especially our seniors, feel more alone and isolated than ever before. Recent studies show that older adults who are isolated are likely to be sicker—and die sooner—than those who feel connected. It’s safe to say that loneliness and isolation are quickly becoming another medical health crisis. 

As a book coach, mother, grandmother, and now the daughter of an aging mother, I want to take a moment to honor National Senior Citizen Day and highlight some ways that you can connect with the senior in your life. 

If you have an older adult in your life, take the time to connect with them today. The wisdom, support, and guidance that our seniors offer are priceless, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the advice of elderly mentors in my life. If you’re unsure how to celebrate  the senior in your life today, try some of these ideas:

Spend Time At a Nursing Home
One of the kindest and most rewarding things one can do is visit a nursing home. Sit and chat with residents. Play games and participate in activities. You can make a difference in someone’s day, week, or even his or her life, and trust me, you’ll find the experience fun and rewarding too.

Reach out to a senior family member
Do you have a senior family member? Perhaps it’s a parent, grandparent, aunt, or uncle. Visit them and spend some time together. If you can’t see them in person, give them a call and let them know how much you appreciate them.

Have fun!
Are you a senior citizen yourself? Well, today is all about you! Live it up! Treat yourself. Spend time with your favorite people, go shopping, do whatever you want to do! Maybe it could be the day you finally try that one thing you’ve been thinking about or perhaps it’s a day for relaxing at home. Whatever makes you happy, go for it because it’s a day dedicated to you! (Source)

For more information on how to care for the senior in your life, please visit Age Safe America at www.agesafeamerica.com 


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Can You Make Money Writing a Book?

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It’s May—finally! They say that April showers bring May flowers. I’m not sure about you, but I”m ready to see some flowers in bloom! You know what else reminds me of flowers blooming? Writing a book. Let me explain. As an international book coach, I’m often asked whether or not you can make money writing a book. The short answer to this question is yes, but you must be willing to do the work. Writing a book is the first step, getting others to read and purchase it is the next. When you plant your seed by writing a book and then shower it by getting it in front of the right audience, you can sit back and watch your garden bloom! And you don’t have to be a mathematician to know that more purchases equal more money in your pocket!

The process of promoting your book starts well before you’ve published it. Building a network of interested and supportive followers is a process that should start while you’re writing your book, and it should continue as long as you want to sell your books. Your friends, family, and colleagues will be a rallying point to keep you motivated as you go, and they will also be rooting for your success all along. They will celebrate as you launch your book, and their enthusiasm, likes, and shares on social media will help you to reach their friends and family as well.

Keep reading to learn about six experts who have created expert marketing resources in the form of websites, social media posts, and podcasts, who can help you begin to master digital marketing and get your book in front of the right people!

Social media made easy for authors.

Amy Porterfield produces a weekly Podcast, Online Marketing Made Easy, which is full of great information and easy-to-implement advice that can help you successfully market your book on Facebook. If you think Facebook ads are a waste of time and money, I guarantee, Amy can change your mind!

Before you completely write her off because you don’t think you have time for Podcasts, hear me out. I used to avoid Podcasts because I didn’t believe I had the time to sit down and listen to a full Podcast. Then I realized how much “dead time” I had throughout the day when I am in the car, getting ready in the morning, cooking, cleaning, etc. These are all perfect times for listening to a Podcast and getting some great information. I now listen to so many Podcasts in my car that I call in my “Auto University.”

Not only is Amy herself a wealth of information, she also uses her Podcast to introduce you to other online marketers and their Podcasts. All of these marketing gurus can teach you so much, all while you multitask in the car, in the kitchen, or anywhere you can tune into an episode.

Here are a few of my favorite online marketing Podcasts:

Create online courses to supplement your book.

If you feel like you have valuable information to share, and want to take it a level beyond your business book, David Siteman Garland can help you develop an online course to complement or supplement your book. He offers a step-by-step proven system for creating, promoting, and then profiting from your own online course. His free video series: How to turn your ONLINE PLATFORM (blog, web show, Podcast, etc. (into REVENUE by creating your own ONLINE COURSE, can be found right here. Follow his advice and you’ll be turning a profit in no time.

Powerful mobile marketing expertise.

Anyone who has a smartphone of his or her own knows that mobile marketing is essential. Greg Hickman can help you incorporate mobile marketing strategies for your retail business and show you how to be successful with that marketing, an example of this can be seen through digital retailer marketing services similar to woocommerce SEO. He’s all about making use of his extensive network of marketing expert friends to help you dominate mobile. Greg’s web show gives you access to free, uncensored interviews with some of the world’s top experts and most successful mobile marketers. Listen in and take advantage of their experience, insight, and expert advice about how to help retailers and marketers completely dominate mobile marketing.

Managing your book marketing and promotions with help.

If you consider your book a business, the New Business Podcast is for you. This weekly show introduces you to top minds within the “new business” realm. You’ll hear discussions about everything from branding, strategy, business growth, and much more. Chris Ducker is known as “The VA Guy” (VA, as in Virtual Assistant) so when it comes to the world of outsourcing, he really knows his stuff. If you are looking for even more ways to market your product, you might also want to reach out to a Digital Marketing Agency such as Ram Digital to help you develop an online strategy.

Create a successful podcast to promote your book.

Ready to strike out on your own and create your very own Podcast? John Lee Dumas, the founder and host of EntrpreneurOnFire, can help. This award-winning Podcast covers the inspiring journeys of successful entrepreneurs, every day of the week. This Podcast generates over $250,000 a month in revenue, which in itself is a pretty solid argument for you taking the free 15-day course on Podcasting.

Up-to-the-minute social and digital marketing expertise.

If you are looking for a Social Media marketing guru Michael Stelzner is your guy. His on-demand talk radio show, Social Media Marketing Podcast is designed to help business owners and marketers figure out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to social media marketing. If you’re looking to learn about a seo service for your website follow the link.

What about you? Are you ready to make money writing a book? Contact us today and we can help you take the first step!


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Creating-a-story-nonfiction-book-writing-book-coach-how-to-write-a-book

Craft Your Exceptional Story With Structure

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I don’t care if your passion is about a new business process that can save time and dollars, a memoir about overcoming pain and suffering, or if it’s about how to connect on a soul-level with your dog: if you have a passionate solution, someone else needs it. People don’t buy books, they buy solutions. Someone is looking for what’s trapped inside you.

When it comes to crafting your exceptional story, it can be difficult to know where and how to begin. I’m here to help you design your story so you can start writing and get your message out into the world. As a book coach, my life is spent working with individuals who have a story to tell, and helping them share that story in a way that moves people to action.

What is your story?

All of us have our own story, and people are truly interested in hearing it. Every day, each of us are asked questions such as:

  • What do you do?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • Where did you go to school?
  • Do you have kids?

Even if people aren’t directly asking about your story, these types of questions are indirect ways to try to learn more about you and the story you have to tell.  

Physiologically, humans are wired to enjoy and relate to stories. Stories have been a part of the human fabric since the beginning of time. People like to listen to stories, relate to them, and remember them. Find your story and give people what they crave!

It’s important to understand the difference between telling your story and presenting your resume. You cannot tell your exceptional story by reciting a list of your accomplishments or delivering an elevator pitch. You need to dig deeper. Your story will communicate who you are, so you need to figure out exactly who that is and how to showcase that person.

Start with the foundation of your story

Before you start writing your story, you need to answer two questions:

  1. What is the purpose of your story?
  2. Who is the audience?

Stories can help you cross racial, social-economical, political, and religious, boundaries; they are that powerful. I believe there are two key things all people need: hope and help. Your story has the power to offer hope and help to others. Your story can change lives and have an impact on society, but you need to decide just what kind of impact you want to make. What do you want your story to communicate? What change do you want to invoke in the reader? How will your story help people?

Knowing your audience is essential. Your target audience will determine what you tell them and why. Cater your story to grab the interest of your audience, so that you can deliver a helpful and memorable story. Take a look at my blog post, How to Define an Audience for Your Book, for a more in-depth explanation of how to tackle this important task.

Outline the three parts of your story to lay the plan for your nonfiction book

Obviously, all stories have a beginning, middle, and end, but the three parts I suggest you consider are these:

  1. What it used to be like
  2. What happened
  3. What it’s like now

Start with what life was like before the change happened.  Were you happy? Overworked? Unfulfilled? Paint a picture of your “before” and set your audience up for the change.

The “what happened” section is the turning point in your story. It’s your pivotal moment, the bridge that connects the before and after. Something happened that caused a change in your life, and that’s what you’ll share with your audience. Some changes are internal, such as an “aha!” moment that directed you to take action or make a change, but some people need more of a push. External changes are things that force us into change, such as the death of a family member, birth of a child, a divorce, loss of a job, or some other life-altering occurrence. What happened to you? How did it force you to change and why?

Create closure in your story

Next, tell your audience what it’s like now. Where are you in your life? How are things different?

If you’re struggling with how to wrap up the impact of your life or a specific chapter in your story, consider these six areas of your life and how they have been impacted by the events you shared in your memoir or business book:

  • Spiritual
  • Health
  • Relationships
  • Emotional
  • Professional,
  • Financial

How have these areas of your life been affected?

If you take these three aspects–What it Used to be Like, What Happened and What It’s Like Now–put them together, and seal them with a solid purpose statement that clearly communicates the purpose of your story, you will have a solid design in place.  

You have a story to tell, and people are ready to hear it, but whether or not they will relate to it and remember it depends on how well you tell it. How you tell your story is just as important as the story itself. I can help you craft your story and work with you when you have trouble writing. Don’t let fear of writing keep you from sharing your story with the world!

If you need help to write your book, consider working with me as you write your first book. Details below!

 


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