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9 Things I’d Tell Myself in 2012

On March 20, 2012–exactly five years ago today–I walked away from my $70,000-a-year day job to take my writing and story coaching business full time. I’ve always been entrepreneurial; I had lemonade stands, provided services like tutoring and chores, and even had a handmade crafts business when I was a kid.

But this was the first time I was fully depending on myself to make money to pay bills and live. 

It has been a long, strange journey for these five years (and the five years prior when I was doing what I do now as a side hustle). I’ve learned a ton. I’ve grown a ton. I’ve created a ton.

And if I had the chance to have a conversation with my 2012-self, back when I was first starting my full-time entrepreneur journey, here’s what I would say:

1. Work On Your Mindset Every. Single. Day. Period. 

Mindset is the #1 thing that has absolutely totally 100% changed EVERYTHING for me. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t taken control of my mindset for good in 2015.

I had so many limiting beliefs and negative ways of thinking going on in my life, mostly subconsciously. Starting a daily mindset practice and keeping it up over the long-haul has allowed me to shift from being a procrastinating writer to being the author of 10+ books with a growing readership and a thriving business doing work I love. 

Your practice doesn’t have to be fancy or take too long, it just has to help you set your focus for the day (and for your life) so you can set you up for success and positive ways of thinking and being. Some possible things to incorporate into your practice:

Takeaway Tip: create a daily mindset practice that incorporates things that make you feel really good.

2. Do What Matters, Daily 

For such a long time I put off what really mattered to me, thinking that everything else around me was more important. I was raised to keep the house clean and take care of laundry and dishes and all that stuff, and so I had to train myself to stop seeing that stuff as important and to put it off so that I could put what really matters first–writing, creating, teaching, growing.

Don’t get me wrong, that stuff still gets done. Eventually.

But I no longer put any household chores ahead of my writing or anything else that actually matters to me. 

I know my priorities and do them daily. Before I let the world in.

Takeaway Tip: figure out what matters most to you and what actually moves the needle in your writing life and commit to doing those things daily.

3. Build Habits and Discipline Around Doing What Matters

The only way to make sure you actually do what matters every day is to build habits around them and be disciplined enough to stick with it. The truth is so many writers have really bad habits and very little discipline. And this the reason why procrastination and self-doubt are running rampant in the writing world.

When you create habits around doing what matters, it actually becomes a hell of a lot easier. 

It’s not having a habit of doing your writing every day that makes you feel doubtful and uncreative and stuck. Because when you only do something once in a while, it’s harder to get into the flow.

But when you have a habit of doing it daily, then it’s just flow, baby, flow.

Takeaway Tip: figure out what matters most to you and what actually moves the need in your writing life and then build habits around doing these things every single day.

4. Put First Things First, Always

Along with doing what matters is making sure to do these things first, BEFORE you do anything else, every day. Putting first things first ensures you’ll always get what matters done, even if other stuff (like dishes and laundry) doesn’t.

If I had been doing what I’m doing now back then, putting first things first and doing what matters every day, I’d be even further along than I currently am.

Takeaway Tip: put what matters to you (see takeaway tip #2 and #3) first and get it done first, before you let the world in or do anything else.

5. Take Care of Your Body and Yourself

This is something that I’m just now taking to heart… but I wish I had taken it to heart five years ago when I was taking my writing and coaching business full time. As an authorpreneur, your energy matters. Because it affects everything else.

If you’re not eating right and making daily fitness a priority, you won’t have the energy to do all of the things you need to do and you’ll let yourself off the hook a lot more often when you’re tired or don’t feel like doing your work. And your creative juices will be junky because you’re feeding junk to your body and mind. 

But by taking care of yourself, you’ll be able to get up every day feeling energized and motivated and you’ll actually be productive all day.

For a long time I felt exhausted all day long and would have to nap to make it through the day. Now I’m energized and feeling good in my body, which is something I haven’t felt in a while.

Takeaway Tip: pay attention to the food you eat and how often you move your body; it matters.

6. Put (and Keep) Your Focus On Where You Want to Go

When you work for yourself, it’s so easy to get distracted by ‘shiny object syndrome’ and to keep thinking you need another program or another course or another coach. But really, you just need to stay focused on where you want to go and keep doing what matters every day, first things first.

Yes, coaches and programs and courses are very useful for when you’re starting out and still have things to learn. But after enough coaches, programs and courses, you know enough and you just have to trust that now you have to actually implement and take action and use what you’ve learned.

Which is why you have to stay focused on where you want to go. Otherwise you’ll get pulled from your path every time a new course, workshop or coach creates something that sounds interesting to you.

Stay focused. Get help when you really need it. But mostly just do what matters every day, first things first, consistently. 

Takeaway Tip: focus your mind DAILY on where you want to go in your writing life.

7. Make Friends with Uncertainty

A big part of why most people who want to be full-time writers never do starts with a U… uncertainty. Because the life of being a full-time authorpreneur comes with a side of uncertainty.

Sure, you can plan and make projections and estimations, but everything is still a best guess.

And that’s why most writers won’t make the leap. Because not always knowing where your next dollar will come from is scary.

But it can also be freeing and it can open you up to unlimited possibilities. When you don’t know what’s going to happen, anything is possible. 

And possibilities are the reason to become a full-time authorpreneur to begin with.

So make friends with uncertainty. Learn how to be OK with it. Learn to ride the wave of the beautiful, uncertain life of the authorpreneur.

And a big part of making friends with uncertainty comes from having a specific vision you’re focused on and a mindset practice that you do daily. When you’re mind is in the game, the uncertainty is easier to deal with.

Takeaway Tip: keep doing your daily mindset practice and keep taking action, it’s the only way to learn how to be OK with uncertainty.

8. Trust Your Intuition

So much of entrepreneurship is strategy and execution, but the part that really matters is your intuition. It’s your gut feel that will get you where you want to go in your writing life.

Yes, have strategy and guidelines, but use your intuition as a compass for how to execute. 

Everything that I create in my writing business, from my books to my workshops to my digital products, come as intuitive downloads that drop into my mind like I’m being struck my lightening. I’ll just be sitting there and then the next thing I know…BOOM! An idea hits me for a workshop to create or a book I need to write.

And one thing I’ve committed to as a value in my business is always acting on Divine Downloads (that’s what I call the intuitive ideas that I get). 

So whenever a download comes to me, I write it down. Sometimes I act on it right away. Other times it’s a piece of something that I know needs more marination time, so I’ll let it sit for a bit and see what else comes through.

Intuitive feel and guidance are a huge part of the creative process and of being successful as an authorpreneur.

That’s something I wish I had learned sooner in my journey. And especially I wish I’d learned earlier how to tap into my inner guidance so that I could pull out all these ideas whenever I need them.

Now that I’m tuned in (thanks to my daily mindset practice), I never worry about not knowing what to write or create, because I not only have backlogs of ideas and new ideas coming to me daily, but I know how to tap into my inner guidance to pull out an idea at the drop of a hat. 

That is something I am truly grateful to have finally learned.

Takeaway Tip: spend a few minutes a day tuning into your inner world; get acquainted with it; and trust that intuitive voice that’s trying to guide you on your journey.

9. Never, Ever Under Any Circumstances Look Around and Say “This Isn’t Working”

I’ve been in the online writing world for more than a decade and I’ve been coaching writers for more than half of that time. I’ve seen it all. And I see it all. Every day.

I see the writers who are all talk and no action. I see the writers who are actually showing up and doing the work. I see the writers who are complaining that things aren’t working and making every excuse in the world for why they don’t have the results they want yet.

I’ve seen it all and I see it all.

I’ve been there. Many, many times over the years. I’ve looked around me and said, “it’s not working.” And in my physical reality at the time, it wasn’t working.

But it also WAS working. I just wasn’t allowing myself to see that part because I was too busy focusing on the stuff that wasn’t working.

And if there’s any piece of advice I’d give my 2012-self, it would be to never look around and say “it’s not working.” For a few reasons:

  • It is what you say it is–your mind decides what is and how it will perceive and interpret things, and you get to choose your beliefs and thoughts. So why would you choose to make declarations and have thoughts that say “it’s not working?” Your life and your reality will always be a product of what you say and think and believe. Your thoughts and beliefs are the cause and your physical reality is the effect.
  • What you focus on expands–we talked about focus once already, but focus matters because it expands. So if you focus on “it’s not working,” guess what’s going to expand for you? That it’s not working! And then all you’ll be able to see are the ways it’s not working. So you must focus on what IS working by collecting evidence of all the ways and signs that say it IS working.
  • What you accept as true will be–if you’ve got beliefs that say you’re not good enough, worthy enough, that you can’t do this, that it works for other people but it won’t work for you… this is what will show up in your reality. Because once your mind accepts something as true, it will attract to your life things that match those accepted beliefs and ways of thinking. Change what you accept as true for you and change your whole life.

Takeaway Tip: never say “it’s not working”… instead, look for evidence that says it is working, keep track of the evidence in your journal so you can always refer back to it whenever you start to feel the “it’s not working” voices creeping in.

As you can probably see from the advice I’d give my 2012-self, a lot of what makes a difference in creating success relates to MINDSET. Amazing, isn’t it?

So today, on my five-year Quitiversary, I say to you the things I wish I could say to my 2012-self.

I hope you’ll read this post several times and really take to heart what I’ve said here. It could cut YEARS off your journey and help you achieve the success you want in your writing life a whole lot faster.

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What’s the #1 thing you’re taking away from this list? Share in the comments. 

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Do you have a half-finished novel waiting to be written? Do you have a novel you’ve written but haven’t started revising or have started but never finished? Then get ready… because I’ve got something coming later this week that will help you step up and FINISH. More details soon… And if you want to make sure you’re the first to hear the announcement when I make it, be sure to get on my email list here

The Master Guide to Selecting the Best Book Editor For You

Finding and hiring an editor for your book is a pretty big deal. Not only is it an investment time-wise and financially, but it’s also an investment in the future success of your book.

On top of that, choosing a good editor can be the difference between a polished, professionally self-published book (that rivals the books published by traditional publishers) that finds a readership, and shot-in-the-dark self-published book that gets no traction. 

Which is why it’s important to do your research and know what you’re getting into.

And to make it even easier for you, the great people over at Kindlepreneur just released The Master Guide to Selecting the Best Book Editor. It contains everything you need to know about choosing an editor, including:

  • Deciding on the right kind of editor
  • Learning how to compare one editor to another
  • How to reach out and contact an editor

And more.

Did you know that there are four main categories of editors? A snippet from the article:

Here is a rundown of common terms for editing services as well as some other terms editors may use to describe them. These are arranged from heaviest editing to lightest editing.

  • Developmental editing (may also be called structural or content) – looks at the book’s big picture and overall structure in nonfiction or plot and characters in fiction. Developmental editors may assess a book idea, outline, or early draft to tell authors what works and what could be better. The big picture questions need to be answered first before an editor ensures your words are polished and used correctly.
  • Line editing (may also be called substantive or stylistic) – goes through each line refining the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences and smooth-transitioning paragraphs. This helps the book “sound good” by polishing the language used to communicate your story.
  • Copyediting – corrects grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. Copyediting also includes correcting commonly confused words (e.g., affect and effect) as well as checking for internal consistency of facts and consistency with capitalization, hyphenation, and numerals.
    • Important note: Sometimes Copyediting and Line Editing are the same thing…just depends on that editor’s interpretation.  In our list of book editors below, we combined them as “LE and CE” and just made it one.
  • Proofreading – a final check before publication to find missed typos, missing words, repeated words, spacing and formatting consistency. Proofreading should be the very last level of editing.

>> Check out the complete Master Guide to Selecting the Best Book Editor 

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How did you find your book editor? 

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And if you’re in need of a content editor–someone to look at your draft for structure, character arc, opposition, and all the most important parts of writing a kick-ass story–check out my Read and Feedback service and then contact me if you wanna chat.

Do You Have A Nonfiction Book In You? Here’s How To Tell

I believe that most writers have a nonfiction book in them–they’re just not always sure how to pull it out. In situations like this, I share two of my favorite exercises:

  1. Uncovering your book idea
  2. Finding your angle

If you’re not sure that you have a nonfiction book in you, here’s an exercise you can do to find a potential topic you could write about.

The “Uncovering your nonfiction book idea” exercise:

  • Grab your notebook or a piece of paper
  • Draw a line down the center of the page, dividing it into two parts
  • At the top of the left column, write “Skills I have/things I know how to do really well”
  • At the top of the right column, write “Transformations I’ve made/experiences I’ve had”
  • Make lists in each column based on the prompt at the top—now you’ll have two lists of potential topics you could write a nonfiction book about
  • Go through the lists and circle the topics or ideas that most interest you
  • Narrow down the topic/idea and choose one

Once you’ve done this exercise, then complete the exercise below.

The “Find your angle” exercise:

The following exercise will help you find a unique and/or interesting angle for your book topic:

  • Grab your notebook or a piece of paper
  • At the top of the page, write your book topic (or idea)
  • Brainstorm 30 (or more) different angles or approaches you can take on this specific topic
  • Go back through the list and circle anything that pops out as something worth writing
  • Narrow down your circled choices to one (or combine several if it works)

From doing both of these exercises, you should have a bunch of nonfiction book ideas. You don’t have to write all of them, of course. In fact, most you probably won’t write at all.

But you’ve got a whole bunch of ideas to choose from now. And maybe you’ve even proven to yourself that you do actually have a nonfiction book in you.

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What potential topic are you considering for a nonfiction book?

Are You Addicted to This?

Here’s something you may not know about me… I used to be addicted to feeling not good enough and constantly telling myself that I didn’t measure up. That I didn’t quite have what other people had.

I was plain. Unoriginal. BORING.

Brown hair and brown eyes. Five-foot-five-inches tall. Size 9 shoe.

Fucking average.

I had a middle-class lifestyle. Nothing was picture-perfect, but everything was status quo.

And there was nothing special about me. Nothing that made me stand out. Nothing that made me feel like I mattered.

Yes, I was always surrounded by love and support, but I still felt alone. Because deep-down inside, I knew something.

I knew that I was born for more. I looked around me and at what I saw in the mirror, and while it all felt average to me, I didn’t feel average on the inside.

As a young child, I saw myself as a star. I saw my name in lights. I imagined myself hanging out with all the celebrities, just like I was one of them.

And when I was young, that’s always what I was: a star. I would find ways to get myself on a stage whenever I could.

I took dance classes and performed on stage with the older girls. I was chosen to speak on the microphone and introduce my first-grade chorus during our school event. I went to an art camp where the final project was to create a piece of art (a mask) and then stand on the stage and show it to everyone.

I used to find a million different reasons why my summer camp leader should let me go up on the stage in the gymnasium and perform for the group (one time she actually let me when I’d been reading a book on magic tricks from the library and wanted to show everyone what I learned).

I was always in the school musicals and plays. I was always performing and showing off and putting myself out there.

Because that’s how I felt inside. I felt like this amazing super-star performer who people needed to pay attention to.

I WAS BORN THIS WAY.

I didn’t know any different. It’s just who I was.

And then somewhere around middle school things started to change. Suddenly I found myself being made to feel not good enough… by the girls who bullied me, by the guys who called me ugly, by the people who treated me like I didn’t matter.

I didn’t know how to deal with any of this. It was like a barrage of feelings and thoughts I had never, ever had about myself before, coming at me at a speed I couldn’t stop. It overwhelmed me and freaked me out and made me retreat.

And that’s when I turned to writing.

From a young age I was fascinated with words and most especially with reading. I couldn’t get enough of it. I carried books around with me everywhere.

I had always been a writer, but it wasn’t until middle school that the writing came pouring out of me like a spout that couldn’t be turned off.

Suddenly I had poems, I had short stories, I had ideas, coming out of my freaking ears.

I couldn’t write them down fast enough to capture them all.

All of my life up to that point I felt so average. Like there was nothing special or important about me. Sure, I was creative and had some talent. But I just never felt good enough.

When I was at art camp making my mask for the final presentation, all I could think about was how weird and crazy mine looked compared to everyone else’s. I just wanted my mask to look as good as the girl sitting at the table with me.

When I was in dance class we painted t-shirts to wear for our final recital and everyone else’s shirts had their names in the center with perfect little dots and squiggles surrounding them. I drew a big-ass hot-pink flower with a giant green stem and a bunch of other random things. And then I squeezed my name in at the bottom.

When we looked at all the shirts, everyone’s looked pretty similar and mine looked like a crazy person painted it. All I could think was–why can’t I do it like they do? What’s wrong with me?

I felt this way about pretty much everything. Except for writing.

Writing was always that thing that made me feel good enough. That made me feel special and talented and worthy. That made me feel like I was more than enough. That I was so much, I actually had something leftover to share with others.

My words. My writing. My stories.

And looking back now, it all makes sense. I wasn’t average. I wasn’t unoriginal. I wasn’t not good enough.

It’s that I was always hanging out with people who were further along than I was. Older, more experienced, not beginners. (I was always very mature for my age and I had a passion for learning new things, so I participated in stuff kids my age weren’t interested in ’til they were older.)

Connecting the dots now I can see it so clearly.

I am good enough. I always was good enough. I just always liked to push myself more than most people and try things I wasn’t very good at and fail and fail and fail and keep going.

And now I’m choosing to SEE MYSELF this way.

I’m choosing to feel like that little super-star girl who just wanted to perform and be on stage and have all eyes on her.

These days I’m choosing to “perform” through my writing (though you never know when you might see me singing, dancing or doing some acting some day!) To take center-stage with my words.

To share what I believe to be true about me AND about YOU.

And that is this: you have what it takes. I have what it takes.

You knew from a very young age that you have what it takes. You’ve always felt different inside. You’ve always felt like you have star-quality inside.

You just didn’t always see that inner feeling reflected in your outer reality. And because you were so young, you didn’t know yet that reality is relative.

It’s relative to the thoughts you think and the things you believe.

So you chose to believe the reality that you saw around you. Just like I chose to believe it.

And then we internalized what we saw and made it mean something about ourselves. That we’re average. Not special. Not good enough.

Yet deep-down we still felt it. We may have pushed that feeling away, squashed it with negativity or just flat-out ignored it.

But it was still there.

And it’s still there right now.

Because here’s the thing–what you feel inside is real.

Your dreams, your desires, the things you want to achieve and create for your life. It’s all real. And it’s all possible for you to have all of it (if it wasn’t, you wouldn’t feel pulled to it).

You just stopped believing that it was real. You were too busy shoulding yourself about nonsense and telling yourself you’re not good enough, not special enough, not talented enough… not enough.

So here you sit now. Still with that deep-down feeling that you were born for more.

Born to write. Born to create. Born to put words on the page.

Well, let me tell you something right now…

If you feel this way…

If deep-down inside you KNOW…

If every part of you rings true with the things I’ve said here…

Then it’s time.

It’s time for you to drop the mask and drop the false-front. Time to stop pretending that you’re something other than what you really are.

Time to come out to the world and BE the author you are meant to be. That you’ve always known you were born to be.

It’s time to come to terms with the fact that this feeling you have inside–this feeling that you were born for more, born to shine, born to share your words with the world–it’s never gonna go away.

Never.

Not ever.

NEVER.

Are you hearing me?

You will wake up with this feeling every single day for the rest of your life. You will go to sleep with it, nagging you, begging you to let it out.

It will taunt you, it will haunt you. It will follow you EVERYWHERE.

You cannot escape it. It will be there until you are no longer here.

So the choice is yours… do you take this feeling to your grave and bury it with the shell of who you lived this life as?

Or do you let it out RIGHT NOW? Unleash it to the world and finally realize that if you are born to write, if you are called to put words on the page, if you feel deep-down inside that you were BORN FOR THIS…

Then it is your RESPONSIBILITY to STEP THE FUCK UP. It is your PURPOSE to serve the world with your gift of the written word.

You are doing the entire world a disservice by not showing up every single day and doing your writing, by not pushing through the BS and the excuses and finally finishing and hitting publish.

That not good enough feeling? It’s always gonna be there too. And right now, if you’re MIA in your writing life, then most of the time, you’re letting that feeling win. You’re letting it win over the feeling you have deep inside that you were born for more.

It’s time to CHOOSE to let that other feeling become the priority. To stop listening to the BS and realize once and for all that feeling not good enough DOES NOT COME FROM YOU.

You are NOT born feeling not good enough. You are born feeling that feeling inside that says YOU ARE A STAR, BORN FOR MORE, HERE TO DO BIG THINGS, HERE TO SHAKE THE WORLD.

THAT feeling is real. THAT feeling you were born with.

Feeling not good enough came as a byproduct of your environment, programmed into you without much you could do about it.

But just remember that feeling not good enough does NOT BELONG TO YOU. You may have claimed it all these years, but it’s not yours.

Once you realize this–once you really, really take it to heart–you can finally choose to let it go and to focus on the feeling you were born with… that feeling that says, I AM BORN TO WRITE.

You’re here for a reason. If writing is it, then it’s time to put on your big-girl pants, step up and do your part.

The world is waiting for you.

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Are you BORN to write? Are you ready to claim it? Claim it in the comments!

Are you ready to step up to the next level in your writing life? Be sure to check out the Bestselling Author Mastermind, a high-level accountability, motivation, strategy and success mindset group for emerging authors and authorpreneurs who want to create their dream writing lives all on their terms. 

What’s A Writing Empire and Why Do You Need One?

I love that phrase: writing empire. It sounds so awesome, doesn’t it?

Having an empire that you created with your writing at the center of everything.

Usually when you think of an “empire,” you imagine someone like Martha Stewart or Kim Kardashian or some other celebrity brand. But writers can have empires too.

Remember the other day when I talked about diversifying? That’s what building an empire is. It’s finding ways to diversify in your writing life so that you’ve got streams of income coming in from different things.

Freelance. Copywriting. Nonfiction books. Novels. Workshops. Virtual events. Live events. Digital products. Writing services. Coaching services. Editing.

There are tons of ways for you to diversify and build your writing empire. And here’s the best part: you get to create it however you want it.

If you hate doing live stuff, you can be 100% virtual. If you love live events, you can build those into your brand. Whatever you love to do, that’s what you should focus on and build your writing empire around.

I love teaching, I love writing, I love speaking, so that’s what I’m building my writing empire around. I have books, digital products, live virtual workshops, live events (more live events coming in 2017!), coaching, writing and self-publishing services.

The other thing about an empire is that it’s also a legacy. It’s the legacy of the person who it’s built around.

An empire will live on long after you do.

So really think about that for a second. What do you want your legacy to be?

I want to be known for changing the way writers think. For showing writers what’s possible when you set your mind to it. For being a living example of the power of combining practical physical actions with energetic mindset actions.

That is my legacy–the one I’m creating.

These are all things you’ve gotta think about if you want to be an authorpreneur. Not just a writer who publishes a couple books, but someone who builds a business around being who you are and doing what you love.

That is the true power of taking control of your writing destiny.

And you can absolutely do it. It’s yours to create, exactly as you want it.

For some examples of legacy and what a writing empire looks like, check out:

Robert McKee
Larry Brooks
Joanna Penn

These are writers who have diversified. They’ve found what they’re awesome at and they’ve built a business around those things.

If you want to make a living as a writer, this is the best way to do it. Yes, you could just write books, but you’re limiting so many things when you do that, including growth, reaching additional audiences and, of course, the money you can make.

Diversifying is where it’s at. And while you’re at it, you may as well build an empire and create a legacy that lives on.

And speaking of empire… I wanted to introduce you to my new 1-1 coaching program:

Build Your Writing Empire

This program is your springboard to making a living as a writer.

For 6 weeks we will work together to:

Map out your writing empire, including all the things you love to do
Start setting up and implementing the systems and structures you need to support your empire (including an author website, if you don’t already have one)
Overhaul your writing life so you’re aligned with and set up for the success you want to create
Get your nonfiction eBook written and published (at least one, but possibly more than one, if you’re up for it)
Grow your following
Sell more books

You will walk away with a published nonfiction eBook, a blueprint for your writing empire–including what to focus on and in what order–and feeling confident and ready to continue growing your audience and your author brand.

With this program you get:

> Six 1-1 calls with me via phone or Skype (up to 60 mins each)
> Unlimited email support between calls
> Feedback, edits, guidance on everything you create while in the program, including your eBook

And as a BONUS, you get a FREE 1-YEAR MEMBERSHIP in the Bestselling Author Mastermind group (a $348+ value). [This is extra-awesome because I’m going to soon be announcing some major changes to BAM that include giving the group access to pretty much everything I’ve created (and the price is going up).]

This program is PERFECT for you if you:

> Have lots of ideas for books you want to write and just need help getting started/organized/productive/etc
> Want to build a writing empire and legacy with your author brand
> Are someone who takes action and follows through
> Are ready to get your damn writing career off the ground
> Want to finally get your first (or next) nonfiction eBook written and published

This program is for writers who are action takers and willing to put in the work.

Program investment: $997 (payment plans available)

Interested? Email me or send me a PM on Facebook.

Manifestation Marketing: What It Is, How To Use It

Something that has become so powerful for me in my writing life is combining practical, physical actions, with energetic, spiritual-type actions. I’d even go so far as to say it’s the thing that has changed the game for me.

It’s the thing that’s helped me to become a multi-book, multi-category best selling author on Amazon and sell more than a thousand books in a month and more than 500 books in one day. It’s the thing that’s made my writing career TAKE OFF.

But I didn’t have a name for it. I didn’t know what to call it, the combination of practical and energetic.

Until today. Today, I have a name for it.

It came to me this morning, like a bolt of lightning, when I was chatting with a member of my Bestselling Author Mastermind. He was asking about getting support on writing and selling more books. And I was thinking about how best I could help him with this.

And then it hit me… the name for what I do: Manifestation Marketing. The combination of taking practical actions along with energetic actions is how you use the power of manifestation to make your marketing efforts a success.

Of course, this also comes down to mindset. Mindset is everything. And mindset is a huge part of manifestation.

So mindset + manifestation marketing = insanely awesome blow-your-mind totally amazing results.

BOOM!

And just like that, a whole new shift in perspective and focus in my writing business.

How To Do Manifestation Marketing

If you’re still reading this, that means you’re someone who believes in the law of attraction (though I’d argue not believing in it doesn’t change the fact that it exists. But I digress…). And the law of attraction is an extremely powerful universal law. Like gravity and momentum.

With your belief in this law, you can use energetic actions to make your practical physical actions–things like writing your book, revising your book, marketing your book–work even better and feel a whole lot easier.

Something I’ve realized as I’ve gone through my journey this year so far is that everything has felt so fucking easy. I mean, yes, I’ve been working my ass off.

But it hasn’t felt like I’ve been. I’ve felt in flow and like things are just happening with ease.

This, of course, is all because of my mindset and what I’m actively choosing to focus on. But the point is, I always thought that achieving the things I’ve achieved this year would be so hard. Yet when I started combining the practical and energetic actions, it’s made everything a breeze.

Again, let me point out, that I am doing a lot of work. I’m taking massive action, on the daily, writing my ass off, creating my ass off, doing more mindset work than ever before… and it’s all paying off. I’ve truly taken control of my reality and began creating exactly what I want for my writing life.

And you can too.

Here’s an example of how you combine practical and energetic actions. In June, when I found out I was less than 50 books away from having sold 1,000 books for the month, I sprung into action and I:

  • Sent an email to my community, letting them know what was going on and asking them to buy one of my books
  • Got on social media and spread the word about my mission to hit 1,000 book sales by 11:59 p.m. that day
  • Made social media posts throughout the night, updating people on my numbers and asking them to buy one of my books
  • Told everyone I knew (or everyone I’m friends with on Facebook anyhow) to check out my books and buy one if they were interested
  • Shot quick videos for Instagram and Facebook, telling people what was going on and asking them to help me out by checking out my books and buying one if something looked good to them

BUT, I didn’t just do the practical actions. I also:

  • Decided it was a done deal
  • Set my mind to it
  • Visualized it happening
  • Wrote my reality–in my journal I wrote out, specifically, what I wanted to see happen
  • Committed to keep going no matter what my current reality looked like
  • Trusted that by doing whatever practical and energetic actions I could think of, the Universe would show up and deliver the result I was asking for

Those are the energetic actions that, when combined with the practical ones, make magic happen. 

Manifestation Marketing, in a nutshell. The art of combining practical physical actions with energetic actions to create book marketing magic.

BOOM.

And the best part is, this works with anything: marketing, writing your book, doing the edits, revising, the professional self-publishing process and more. Take action on this, and your writing life will never be the same again.

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How do you combine practical and energetic actions in your writing life? 

If you LOVE the concept of Manifestation Marketing and want to learn how to use it in your own writing life to EXPLODE your fanbase and SELL MORE books, be sure to check out my upcoming virtual workshop–GROW YOUR FOLLOWING. Full details here

The 5-Part Authorpreneur Action Plan

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the specifics of what I’ve done to get where I am today, not just with my writing career, but with the following I’ve built and continue to build. And when I looked at it, there were five things that stood out to me:

  1. Mindset
  2. Connecting (aka: building relationships)
  3. Creating Content
  4. Consistency 
  5. Visibility 

Those five things, when done simultaneously, will help you to create the success that you dream of having in your writing life.

To go a step further, I even made a little diagram to show you how these things are interlinked:

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 7.53.32 PM

Mindset is at the very top as the umbrella over everything else, because mindset is the thing that makes everything else work 10 times better.

Under that we have the three Cs of being successful online: Connecting, Creating Content and Being Consistent. 

And all of this creates Visibility–which is when you’re out there, being seen and people know who you are.

Pretty simple, right?

It really is. The difficult part is doing the work and keeping it up. That’s the part where most writers totally fall off (or don’t even start).

Because it takes effort to live this action plan. Not to just do it here and there when you have the time, but to actually build your writing life (and writing business) around doing all five of these things every single day. 

That’s what I do.

I built my writing life around these five things–I do mindset work 2-3 times a day, minimum. I connect on a regular basis with my community and with people in my industry. I blog five days a week, I write emails to my community, I create Facebook posts, I run a free Facebook group where I create videos five days a week and post valuable content, I post inspirational quotes and fun pics on my Instagram, I create and upload my videos to YouTube. I show up in some form online every single day, period. And from all of this, I’ve created visibility, where people are starting to know who I am and opportunities are starting to come to me because of it.

This action plan will help you create the writing life you dream of, where you’ve got raving fans ready to buy your books and whatever else you create. 

But while understanding this action plan seems easy, it’s in the implementation where you really see the results (or not) based on what you choose to do and how you choose to do it.

You have to commit to showing up, every day, in some form, and putting something out there. You have to commit to doing the work, to not giving up when it looks like it’s not working, even if it looks like it’s not working for a while. You have to commit to thinking and acting like the writer and author you dream of being.

That’s what it takes to build a following.

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What’s one thing you can do today to start building your following? Share in the comments. 

If you’re ready to show up online, build your following, create raving fans and sell more books (now or when you’re ready to), be sure to check out my upcoming GROW YOUR FOLLOWING workshop. Full details here

This Is A Call to Arms for Writers Everywhere

Why do you write?”

Someone asked me that recently and there’s a variety of answers I could’ve used: because I love it; because it’s what I’m best at; because I’ve got shit tons of fictional stories inside me and creative ideas and life experiences I’ve been through–most of which needs to be written down.

But the only reason that really matters is this one: because I can’t not.

I can’t not write. It’s impossible. Because I was born this way.

I’ve been writing ever since I was old enough to hold a pencil. When I look back on my life so far, the only constant is me being a writer.

When I was very young I wrote poems and rhymey little songs. As I grew up I started writing short stories and then a novella. That novella solidified that I was going to make writing my career.

As I went through high school, I got interested in journalism–mostly because I was trying to figure out how to make writing my career, instead of just focusing on doing what I loved, which was fiction writing. Journalism led me to a four-year degree which then led me to my 7-year string of writing-related jobs in publishing (print and online), corporate online marketing and social media strategy. I’ve written 600+ blog posts, and written and published 7 books (and counting).

And along the way I realized I can’t not write.

Even when I had moments where I wasn’t doing a lot of writing-writing, I always kept a journal. I always had a place to write down my thoughts and ideas. I’ve always had several active idea notebooks at the same time (one for each project).

I couldn’t not do these things. Because I was born this way.

Writing isn’t something I do, it’s who I am. It’s who I was born to be. 

And you’re here right now, reading this, because you feel the same way. You were born to be a writer, to use your words to spread a message, to share stories, to change the world. 

The reason the pen is mightier than the sword is because words change things. Words can shift perspectives and cause a fire to be lit inside someone who was once dead inside.

Words are the most powerful force on the planet. Because words create things.

As writers, we are the creators of the world–our worlds and the fictional worlds that we dream up.

Our perspective matters. Our stories need to be told. Our truth needs to be spoken.

Because in us doing this, by stepping up and claiming our calling to be the writers and authors we dream of being, we activate a power within us so great it can move mountains, seemingly overnight.

In April 2016, I stepped up and claimed my calling. I had been on the path of it since birth and even before, but I never claimed it. I never decided that I was here to be an author and to change the world with my words.

Until that day in April, when I decided that enough was enough. It was time for me to drop the bullshit, stop making excuses, and rise to the occasion. The occasion being my writing life.

Up ’til that point I’d been dancing around my writing dream, writing blog posts each week and writing a new book every couple years. But it just wasn’t enough. Not for me.

So I decided that it was time. It was time to claim the writing life I was born to have and to create along my journey in life. It was time to step the fuck up and do the work to think like and act like the writer and author I dream of being.

And from this place of deciding, of knowing what I’m here for and by deciding to live into that purpose, every single day, from here on out, things shifted. My whole writing life changed… because I did.

If you were born to be a writer–and YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE–then it’s time for you to do the same. It’s time for you to accept that mission and decide to live into that purpose. Day in and day out. Every single day. For the rest of your life. 

From this moment on, that is who I am writing for. That is who I am creating for and that is who I am exclusively going to be working with. Writers and authors who know they were born for this. Born to change the world with their words, their stories. Born to live their dream writing lives, all on their terms.

If you know, deep down in your heart and soul, that you were born to be a writer, I’m talking to YOU.

It’s time for you to come out from hiding. Time to let go of the BS stuff you’re telling yourself right now about why you can’t step up or claim that you were born to write. Time to accept your mission to serve the world through your words and through sharing your ideas, your personal truth and your stories (fictional and nonfiction).

The world needs you. I believe that as writers who are born to write, all of the ideas and stories that come to us, come because we’re meant to write them. No one else could ever write that same thing in the same way you can. 

But you’ve gotta write it. You’ve gotta stop keeping it inside your head or in your computer and you need to put it out into the world.

When I accepted my mission to deliver life-changing ideas and stories to the world through my written words, that’s when things took off in my writing life. That’s when I started selling 1,000+ books in a 30-day period and hitting #1 in multiple categories on Amazon.

It’s when I decided to let my dreams be bigger than my bullshit that things totally changed. 

It comes down to one thing: alignment. Getting aligned with the dream I had and the desire I feel inside to shake the writing world with my words.

Alignment is everything. And if you were born to be a writer, but you’re not doing the work or you’re only sort of doing the work, then you’re out of alignment and that’s why things aren’t working the way you want them to. This can change almost immediately though.

Just as soon as you decide. Just as soon as you decide to let your writing dream and let being the writer and author you dream of being be bigger than the bullshit you tell yourself or that you let stop you.

Just as soon as you step up and accept your mission to truly–day in and day out–be the writer you were born to be.

So… do you accept? 

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Were you born to be a writer? Let’s hear it.

Are you ready to step up and accept your mission to be the writer and author you dream of being, and to live into that purpose? Then be sure to check out the Bestselling Author Mastermind, a high-level accountability, strategy and success mindset group for emerging authors and authorpreneurs who want to create their dream writing lives all on their terms. 

Image courtesy of Seth Sawyers 

Want to See the Success You Dream Of? You Need To Build This Up

When you’re going along on your writing journey, you will inevitably come across other authors. A lot of them will be more successful than you are (right now).

You may see other authors selling thousands of books every month, while your book collects dust in the dark corners of Amazon. You may find authors who seem to have success fall into their laps.

And it can be disheartening. To see others growing in fame and success, and you’re just stagnant and feeling totally invisible.

But here’s the thing, you never know where someone started. Sure, you’re seeing the success they have now, but what about when they first began their writing journeys?

Everybody starts somewhere. 

And you have to remember that. You have to remind yourself of that. Because if you don’t, it will get to you. It will make you feel like you’re a total loser and like you might as well hang it up.

Everybody starts somewhere.

You’re starting somewhere, and so did all of the authors you’re watching have the level of success you dream of having. No one starts at the top.

Now, of course, there are things you can do to move from the bottom to the top pretty quickly. But you can’t start there. And really, why would you want to?

If you started at the top, you wouldn’t enjoy or appreciate it as much, because you didn’t have to do anything to get there. Starting from square one, being a beginner, failing and getting up and trying again. Those are the things that make getting to the top totally worth it.

But there’s no such thing as a true overnight success. The seemingly overnight success stories you see out there are either 1) total BS, 2) or the overnight results of someone who’s been at it for a while and has momentum built.

What You Need to Play in the Big Leagues

The biggest thing you need to be super successful in the writing world at a professional level is momentum. Momentum is really everything.

So when you publish book number one and only sell a few copies, do not, do not, do not let it get you down. Everybody starts somewhere.

The first year I put my eBooks on Amazon (in late 2012), I made like $150. It wasn’t until I published books 6 and 7 where I really started to see traction. Now I’m selling 1,000+ books and making around $500+ every month.

From the outside, it may look like my writing career just took off out of nowhere. But the truth is, I’ve been writing professionally since I was 18 years old. I’ve worked for a newspaper, several magazines and several online publications. I have a background in online marketing. I’ve got a journalism degree. And I’ve been blogging since 2008, and writing and publishing books since 2010.

I have momentum built.

So when I published my eBook, Align Your Writing Habits to Success–a book I wrote in 15-minute increments over a 30-day period–and it hit #1 on Amazon in multiple categories on multiple days, things just took off from there.

But it had nothing to do with that specific book or me being better than anyone else. It’s just the momentum.

When you’ve got momentum built up, things eventually have to take off. That’s what momentum does. It builds up force so that when you get to a place where you’re fully aligned with the writing you’re doing, it’s like you’ve turned a corner on a rollercoaster. Suddenly everything is just flowing and building up speed–seemingly on its own.

I’m less than 50 sales away from having sold 1,000 books in the month of June. And I know I’ll make that many sales today, maybe even more. Because at this point, my books are selling themselves. Without doing any additional marketing, I’m selling an average of 30-40 books a day, every single day.

Momentum.

I know what I’m doing now. I’ve got enough failures under my belt to know what not to do, and to know how to pivot in another direction when something isn’t quite working how I want it to. But only experience and practice and time can teach you this.

So next time you see an author out there, having the success that you dream of having, don’t let it get you down. Use it as fuel to build yourself back up. Because you know that you have everything it takes to create the success you want.

You just have to take enough consistent action in the direction of your writing dream so you can build up the momentum.

But no matter what, do not let the success of others make you think you’re not good enough or that you can’t make your dream happen. You totally can. Everybody starts somewhere.

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What can you do today to start building momentum on your writing dream? 

Are you ready to build momentum in your writing life? Check out the Bestselling Author Mastermind, a kick-ass accountability, motivation, content strategy and success mindset group for emerging authors and authorpreneurs. 

Image courtesy of Sheila Sund

The 5 Things Your Author Platform Must Have

You’ve probably heard the term “author platform” before. But you may not know what it means. Basically your author platform is how and where you show up online. Whatever you do to connect with your audience and distribute your content–that’s your author platform.

Usually this refers to a website or Facebook page, but there are actually 5 specific elements your author platform needs to have. Those elements are your:

1. Author Message

Every author should have a message, something you stand for and feel the world needs to hear. This is true regardless of what kind of writing your do, fiction, nonfiction, etc.

The way you spread this message is through your content.

2. Website

This is going to be your “home base” online. It’s the core of your author platform.

It’s the place people can go to find out more about you and get access to the content that you create (whatever that may be–books, blog posts, videos, etc).

3. Email List

This is the best way to stay in contact with your community and to give them awesome, valuable content on a consistent basis.

Just make sure you use a professional email marketing software, like MailChimp (it’s free up to a certain number of subscribers), so that way you don’t have to manually send emails out to each person or keep track of who’s on your list.

Also, legally speaking (though I’m not a lawyer), people need to have a way to unsubscribe from your list, the pro software has that option built in.

4. Freebie Opt-In

You may not have heard it called this before, but I bet you’ve seen several of them. A freebie opt-in is just something free that you give away to entice people join your email list.

The freebie can be an eBook, video training series, workbook, checklist, cheat sheet, MP3 recording, whatever you can come up with.

The goal is to give your audience something valuable that they actually want.

5. Social Media

This is the final piece of your author platform, and I put it last because if you didn’t want to be on social media, you could ignore this step completely and still be a successful author in the digital age (although you will be cutting off connection to a large number of people).

Social media is the icing on the cake, but it’s not the whole cake nor is it the most important part of your platform. The reason is because you don’t own the social media sites, so you have no control over changes they make or things they choose to do.

Your social media can consist of your Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest… whatever sites you’re on. I always recommend starting with one or two sites, then being consistent and growing a following on there before adding more.

Are you ready to set up your author platform? Join me for a FREE 5-day Launch Your Author Platform challenge:

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