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[Episode 048] The Power of Pivoting with Monica Ortega

If change scares you, this episode is for you!

Monica Ortega grew up afraid of a lot, but she didn't know just how afraid she was until she started traveling. When she realized she wasn't alone in those fears, she thought, "There's a space [in the market] for that." 

In this engaging interview, we discussed:

  • How You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero helped her changed direction and start hosting her show
  • The scariest thing she's done so far while traveling (100 episodes in and 6 years later)
  • Her rule about trying new things (there's a lesson for all of us here).
  • Which of her pivots has been the most challenging
  • Monica's top 2 tips for making connections when traveling or moving
  • The pros of indie publishing when it came to her book, The Power of Pivoting
  • How to identify a "through-line" in a business that seems discombobulated (boy, did this one resonate with me!)


Monica Ortega is a professional on-camera host, author, speaker, and actress. She...

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[Ep 47] Interview with American Idol Justin Guarini

“Anyone who’s ever made anything — whether that’s impact or a material thing of significance — has failed massive amounts of times.”

-Justin Guarini


Justin Guarini became a household name in 2002 as the runner-up in Season 1 of American Idol. From there, he's starred in multiple Broadway shows and, in 2015, began appearing in Diet Dr. Pepper commercials as "Lil' Sweet."

But the road to success has not always been an easy one.

Through the ups, down, and complete direction reversals that the public is often not made aware of, Justin ended up in unexpected territory, fascinated with the ins and outs of what allows entertainers, influencers, and entrepreneurs to be confident in moments when they're feeling anything but.

It's been a journey that led to the creation of his Core Confidence program and his soon-to-be-released book, Unshakeable Confidence.

In this incredible conversation, Justin and I discussed confidence -- that...

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Book Writing Tip #45: Don't Edit As You Write!

"Just edit as you go," they say. "It will keep everything clean and save you tons of time on the back end."

I don't know who "they" are in this scenario, but they're wrong! 

Have you declared (with lukewarm confidence) any of the following?

"As soon as I iron out the details of this chapter, I'll move on to the next."

"I'm just stuck on whether or not this metaphor makes sense."

"I'm trying to decide whether the content in chapter 2 makes sense; then I'll move on."

"Chapter 4 should perhaps be chapter 2 and chapter 3 should perhaps disappear altogether. As soon as I figure that out, I'll continue on."

While your intentions may be the best of the best, if you are editing (or strategizing chapter order, or debating content, or researching proper comma use) as you write, you are doing yourself a disservice. Here's why:

1. In 99.978% of cases, editing as you go (or telling yourself that you are) is a form of procrastination. 

2. In the other .022% of cases, editing as you...

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[EP 46] Interview with Author Cory Goodrich

Cory Goodrich is an actor, songwriter, singer, painter, and (most recently) author. Her memoir, Folksong: A Ballad of Death, Discovery, and DNA launches on January 11, 2021.

In her first appearance on the Authors, Creators, and Visionaries podcast, we discussed the undeniably divine chain of events that led to our meeting, to me having the privilege of editing her manuscript, and ultimately, to Finn-Phyllis Press (my publishing house) acquiring her memoir for publication.

This story is truly an example of the way that the universe works in our favor when we are able to take action and then surrender, be patient, and see what unfolds. If you are even a bit skeptical this principle (and I have been!), I invite you to listen to this episode with an open mind and a curiosity about what might be waiting for you to slow down long enough that it can catch up to you.



Despite what you may think, you don't need...

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How Legos Can Help You Write, Publish, and Promote Your Book

I did something somewhat absurd two days ago. I poured 1334 Lego pieces onto the kitchen table. 
My son received the Volkswagen Camper, and as his self-appointed Parts Manager, it was my job to organize all of the pieces into groups so that when he called out, "I need a red 1 x 3 tall" I knew just where to find it (not to mention what the heck it is, which took a few hours to learn on its own!).
It occurred to me (after downing several lattes) that, much like a 1000-piece puzzle, writing, publishing, and promoting a book is very much like putting together an absurdly large and detailed Lego set. 
At first, you have no idea where to start. You know you have to get through two 83-page instruction books in total, and so you start at the most obvious place: Book 1, Page 1.
Just start. Don't think about how long the writing, publishing, or promotion process will be. Just take ONE...
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[EP 45] Interview with Business Strategist Mike Young

Did ANYTHING good happen in 2020?

It's the question that seemingly everyone is asking right now, and I had the unique opportunity to chat with business strategist Mike Young about our unexpected (but greatly appreciated) lessons learned this year.

Among these lessons:

>> What you say to yourself matters - how you describe or qualify your “failures” or missteps is crucial. 

>> When starting a new offer, you’ll always have an imposter-syndrome feeling because you don’t know how it’s all going to play out. The solution: DO NOT over-promise on your offer. 

>> It’s difficult to OVER-communicate with people you are close to.

>> You have to know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there (plus my newest secret weapon in this area)

>> The value of monitoring your energy as you determine what you DO like at any given point in time. 

>> Continue to explore your passion in order to...

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[EP 44] Interview with Frank Lopes, author of The 7-Minute Setup

The 7-Minute Setup by Frank Lopes has truly changed the way that I organize and prioritize my life--professionally and personally.

I've tried more than my fair share of planners and prioritization tools. Most of them work well for a few months (while a few barely made it until end of week). But they were all missing one critical component --- the ability to evolve WITH me as my goals and priorities changed. 

If yearly, monthly, and weekly planning sometimes feels like the bane of your existence (*cautiously raises hand), this approach is absolutely one to consider. 

In this episode of Authors, Creators, and Visionaries, Frank and I dive into:

  • The (until now) missing piece when it comes to a time management system that evolves with you
  • The level of true power and influence you can have over your own life, no matter what else is going on in your world or the world at large
  • The long-term effect of peeling back your 7-year goals in order to be completely clear on what...
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[Ep 043] So You Want to Create an Audiobook

In episode 43 of the Authors, Creators and Visionaries podcast, Drew Linsalata and I talk about audiobook creation.

People often ask, "What about an audiobook? Should I create one? HOW do I create one?" But we've learned that there are a few more important questions to ask first.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • What's more important than actually creating the audiobook?
  • Should you narrate your own book or hire that out?
  • What are indicators that you are not the best narrator for your audiobook?
  • Common mistakes in the area of mic selection and other equipment used
  • How audiobooks are far different from podcasts or YouTube content
  • The actual profit margin on audiobooks (it's not what you've likely been told)
  • How to use audio content most beneficially (even without creating a full-length audiobook)
  • The newest trend in audiobook creation -- supplemental (bonus) content


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[Ep 042] Interview with Eileen Robertson Hamra

"No one can deny you your truth"

-Eileen Robertson Hamra

Eileen Robertson Hamra is the author of the newly released Time to Fly: Life and Love After Loss, which immediately captivated me. Her honest vulnerability about the journey through a tragedy the likes of which I am blessed to not be able to imagine kept me riveted. Even though I've not experienced this degree of loss, I was able to incorporate her lessons of strength into my journey, and for that, I know I will be a better person. This is the magic of stories.

In Episode 42 of the Authors, Creators and Visionaries podcast, we discussed not only her story but also her journey writing and publishing her remarkable book. 

Key Takeaways

 Her why, and how it morphed over the course of writing the book 

The realization that took the pressure off of "imposter syndrome" and needing to write the "perfect" book

How to write without pressuring yourself to be a spokesperson or grief...

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Sample Author Email Template from The Vault

A great way to connect with your readers is to communicate with them about a product or service they will genuinely be thrilled to learn about (that relates to your book topic!).

For example, if you've written about managing anxiety, is there a meditation app you recommend? 

If you've written a book about changing your lifestyle and nutrition habits, is there a meal prep service or mean planning product you recommend?

If you've written fiction, what hobbies does your main character engage in? Is there an online course related to learning that skill?

As promised in the last post, here is an actual email template from the Email Vault you get access to when you enroll in From Manuscript to Market (my 12-day, step-by-step book launch system). 

Email for Non-Fiction/Memoir Authors

Email Subject Line: A Resource You Will Love Knowing About!

Hi there, [FIRST NAME],

I so hope that [YOUR BOOK TITLE] has been helpful to you and has provided insights and tools that you can use to...

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In Just 50 Minutes, You Will Discover:

  • How to assess whether there is a demand for your book (aka "Will anyone want to read it?") 
  • Why the notion that you aren't a writer doesn't matter. At all. 
  • How to manage fears that someone might judge or criticize your book/story
  • Exactly how to start (or keep going if you're suffering from the dreaded "writer's block")