Why I Need More Therapy: A Personal Essay


One 15-minute conversation with my mother and I know how I got this crazy.

She’s why I wake up in a cold sweat convinced that I have to organize my garage—right this second, at 2AM—even though it’s been an absolute disaster for the last six years. Why I need to clean my kitchen cabinets, and the upstairs office. And catch up on filing.

… And come up with great exercises for my coaching clients. And finish, not one, but three books. And get new tires for the Miata. And find the perfect T-shirt to wear with that sequined skirt now, NOW, NOW!!! Or die trying.

“Did you get the present I sent you?” Mom asks. It’s the beginning of May and my birthday is over a month away. Up to my eyeballs, this is the fourth time she’s rung this morning, and I’ve only picked up the phone because I’m convinced, what with her persistence, someone I love is dead. (more…)

So you have a brand? Now what?


This is the final instalment in a series on branding. Read the first post “The Basics of Powerful Personal Branding.” The second post, “Why You Need to Invest in Creating a Strong Brand.” The third post, “3 Questions to Help You Create Your Brand.

You’ve created a solid foundation with a personal brand identity, you’ve developed a system for building trust and credibility over time, and you know how to price your offers and have super-simple sales conversations. Now what?

Now you get to do marketing.

In Book Yourself Solid®, we have 6 Core Self Promotion (Marketing) Strategies: Networking, Direct Outreach, Referral, Speaking, Writing and Web Strategies. We say the first three are mandatory because, if you do them every single day, you will get Booked Solid®.

Being out in the world doing marketing and creating awareness means that we need to be constantly mindful of our personal brand identity and the consistency of the story we tell around that brand.

That means that we need to pay attention to our:

  • Website
  • Social media
  • Packaging
  • Content
  • Emails
  • Press
  • Advertising
  • Events/Stunts


4 Cold, Hard Facts About Building A Business With Writing


Until fairly recently, traditional publishing houses, the major ones anyway, were the only folks in town demanding big platforms of their authors.

Without a tribe, a following of 30,000+, they weren’t interested in a writer, no matter how beautiful the work produced. Now, many partnership presses require them as well. Because without an author platform, it’s hard to create book sales; and they’re in the business of, you got it, selling books.

As this world evolves, it’s absolutely essential that you stay up-to-date with it. Falling behind is no longer an option. You fall behind, you stop having the impact you once had. You fall behind and it becomes a tough task simply to get your work out there again.

Is this something you should be thinking about? Absolutely. But worried about? With the right resources – like this article – and some effort, absolutely not.

It begins with getting your mindset right about the goal here. That’s what this article is going to address. In detail.

Cold Hard Fact #1: You’ve got to sell books to keep the lights on.

Even if you avoid these demanding people and go the self-publishing route using Create Space, LuLu, or Book Baby (or any of the other venues of that ilk) you’ll still need to promote and sell your book, or hire someone to handle the task for you.

For those of you who still believe the old Field of Dreams adage, build it and they will come, I’ve got some really, really bad news: approximately 5000 new books a day appear on Amazon alone and rare is the random buyer who will find your needle in that gargantuan haystack.

If someone ends up buying your book, it’s usually because he/she has come into contact with you somewhere else.

And that’s what building an author platform is all about—developing those multiple points of contact.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  Most writers recoil at the thought of building a platform (think passel of snakes tossed in lap).

See, we want to write books, focus deeply for days on end while we swig bad coffee or sip Merlot; not fritter away our precious time and headspace on social media, or building out a stupid website with a blog, the two best methods, unfortunately, for developing an audience.

But it’s absolutely necessary. (more…)

3 Questions to Help You Create Your Brand


This is the third instalment in a series on branding. Read the first post “The Basics of Powerful Personal Branding.” The second post “Why You Need to Invest in Creating a Strong Brand.”

So you’ve decided that you want to create a brand for your company. Great.

But you’re probably thinking, “where do I start?” Understandably. Because it can seem like a pretty big job with all the things that can go into making a brand.

But don’t panic. We’re here to help.

Put simply, the key to building a brand successfully is to get the basics right. Do that and the rest will follow naturally over time. A good way to get those right is to start with the three simple components of your powerful personal brand identity:

  • Your Who and Do What statement
  • Your Why You Do It Statement
  • Your Tagline

The second statement should be about why you do what you do. Not what you do, not how you do it, but why.

For example, if your company provides accounting services, your Why You Do It Statement could be something along the lines of:

“We live to make accounting fun for small businesses.”

A simple statement like that, at the heart of everything you do, will ultimately create a strong brand. “Fun accounting” immediately inspires a curvy logo, bright color palettes, a quirky tone of voice and more. It gives you the very foundation of how to proceed onwards.

But what if you’re not an accounting firm who wants to be fun? What if you’re not really sure what your brand should be about or what your why is? That’s fine. Lots of companies start this way, based on a great idea for a product or a service and then discover their why later.

The following are questions that you can ask yourself to help you find your brand and craft your statement.

  • Why are you doing this?
  • What are customers thinking or doing?
  • What is the competition doing?


Be The Buffalo: A Personal Essay


I was thinking about my relationship with discomfort this morning on my long run. Walt and I set out to do 12 miles. Sure enough, at about mile 6, this twingy thing I’ve got going on with my left hamstring reared its ugly head.

Of course, Walt is of the opinion that I should keep running. Even if my leg were broken.  Times like these, he spouts this mind over matter stuff that makes me want to punch him in the neck.

He claims he developed a totally different relationship with pain when he crossed the finish line of the Vermont 50. That by running through discomfort, you eventually come out the other side.

This was the very same race, I might add, I pulled out of at mile 33. I mean, really, people were not designed to trail run up and down 15 mountains, across 50 freaking miles. The only problem is I have to go back and finish this heinous, unreasonable race because I do not want to slide back into my old avoidant ways.

I think we get ourselves in trouble by running from discomfort. As obnoxious as Walt can be, I know the man has got a valid point.

When I first came out of college, I hadn’t the faintest clue who I was or what step I was supposed to take next. I’d taken up the study of chemistry simply to impress some guy. Poised to go out into the work world, to take a laboratory job I knew I would hate, I was desperate to find an out.

Of course, like so many confused young women, I wanted to take the easy way out by getting married. I wanted someone else to take on the fears and doubts so I could sit back and enjoy the ride.

I got totally thrown off course when I married my Iranian boyfriend. I had allowed my overwhelming desire to be rescued by a man – to evade all adult responsibility – to cloud my judgement. I lost the ability to be selective, to recognize what I required in a mate and what I yearned for from life.

All because I was terrified to face discomfort. Of course, I don’t have to look too far to spot other people doing damaging things to avoid pain as well. (more…)

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