I just released my second book since I launched my Racial Justice from the HEART Business. Lots of people ask me if writing a book is hard or how to do it in a way that helps your finances as well as your calling in the world. Please read the interview below to find out what I learned after publishing my first book in 2016. My NEW book Stop Being Afraid to Say the Wrong Thing is the second in a series on this topic. You can order it on Amazon today!
Below is an interview I did for Help a Reporter Out. I'm posting it here because I've met many several women of color who have looked to me for advice about writing and self-publishing. The biggest obstacle seems to be overwhelm, lack of confidence, and not knowing how to begin. I encourage EVERYONE in my tribe to write what they are learning or struggling with, and over time you will have something really valuable! 1. Why did you decide to write your book?
My friend and communications strategist Dr. Sudiksha Joshi read my On a Mission to Heal the Planet blog posts and collected the relevant ones into a first draft. I needed an outside eye, someone to tell me there was a forest because I could only see the individual trees.
Once I read the posts that Sudiksha collected, I began to think about the overarching lessons and practices I'd been learning regarding racial justice and the heart of oneness. I got excited to share the learning, and after some Facebook testing called my first book Say the Wrong Thing: Stories and Strategies for Racial Justice and Authentic Community.
2. How has the book impacted your business?
Say the Wrong Thing has given my business a focus. After I published the book, I offered a free Lunch and Learn Workshop series as a way to promote the book and to get people using the strategies I offered. This series is now a fee based course called Strategies of the H.E.A.R.T. and is another service that I offer to individuals in my hometown, at retreat centers, and, eventually, online.
I'm also planning to take the Strategies of the H.E.A.R.T. series to faith communities and schools which also promotes the book and gives me a way to build relationships with individuals and organizations.
The workshop series also gives me a way to not feel so alone as an solo-preneur.
3. What benefits do you see from publishing your book?
Say the Wrong Thing has also given me a format for my Signature Talk which I plan to use at conferences and book readings/performances.
Say the Wrong Thing has given me a way to earn passive income (online sales in both ebook and paperback formats).
I also carry copies in my purse and share it with people. When I'm networking at a conference it gives me a way to communicate my Strategies of the H.E.A.R.T. visually and verbally, and it reminds me that I have something valuable to offer when I feel intimidated.
It's far better than a business card.
4. How would your life be different without this book?
I would still be struggling to condense my value into an elevator speech and be unclear about my knowledge. In other words, I knew that I know a lot but I couldn't convey it easily before the book.
5. What was your biggest fear (or fears) about writing and publishing a book?
My biggest fear about writing and publishing Say the Wrong Thing was that I didn't have anything unique or worthwhile to say for more than three or four pages. Therefore it was critical that I only decided to publish a book after I had a collection of blog posts written over two years. I was too overwhelmed to write a book from a blank screen.
6. Would you recommend other entrepreneurs write a book to help grow their business?
I would ABSOLUTELY recommend that other entrepreneurs, especially mission-driven, social justice business owners, publish a book as a way to synthesize their knowledge and structure their offerings to the world.
7.Was the outcome what you expected?
No. The outcomes continue to unfold. This book is far more than a way to build my list; it is a gift to the world that will keep on giving. Say the Wrong Thing has provided me with a foundation upon which to build my business and to cohere my tribe. The Strategies of the H.E.A.R.T. help me to maintain integrity with myself and guide me day to day.
Get my NEW book Stop Being Afraid to Say the Wrong Thing to learn more about how to apply the strategies I use.