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March 29, 2022

156. The Power of Authority - How to Leverage Your Story in Business with Michelle Prince

Writing a book is one of the most inexpensive and powerful tools you have to build credibility. Are you ready to write yours?


Writing a book is one of the most inexpensive and powerful tools you have to build credibility. Are you ready to write yours?

 

ABOUT MICHELLE

Michelle Prince is a best-selling author, motivational speaker, publishing expert, leadership & productivity coach and CEO/Founder of Performance Publishing Group, a partner publishing company dedicated to making a difference, one story at a time. 

She dedicates herself to helping leaders impact the world, using the strengths and talents already within them, to create an extraordinary life, exponentially grow their business and enjoy living on purpose and with lifestyle freedom, especially by sharing their story and becoming the go-to authority.

 

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Transcript

I always ask people why they're writing the book because there's no right or wrong reason. But the goal of why you're doing it really kind of determines how you go about it and what effort you put into it. Maybe there is a reason why you want to be a New York Times bestseller, and there's nothing wrong with with that. But is your book intended to be a legacy book? Is it just for friends and family? In that case, then a couple of people benefiting from your story is probably enough. But maybe you want to build a platform. Maybe you want to be a speaker or a coach or start a business. And so you do need to have some metrics, right? So you do have to get people to read it. So it is a fine line.

 

Welcome, everybody. I am very excited today to have a true professional and leader. And what we're going to be talking about today, Michelle Prince, who's going to be talking to us about the power of authority, how to leverage your story in business, and maybe word it a different way is answering that question is, have you written your book yet? Are you ready to do it? Why haven't you if you haven't and how important that can be to your business. Thank you so much for joining us today, Michelle.

 

Hey, thanks so much for having me, Wayne.

 

My pleasure. Michelle is a best selling author, motivational speaker, publishing expert, leadership and productivity coach, and CEO and founder of Performance Publishing Group. They're a partner publishing company dedicated to making the difference one story at a time. She dedicates herself to helping leaders impact the world, using the strengths and talents already within them to create an extraordinary life, exponentially grow their business, and enjoy living on purpose with lifestyle freedom, especially by sharing their story and becoming the go to authority. So that's right in line with what we do. Maybe if you just start out, Michelle, tell us a little bit about your story, how you got started, and how it relates to all this.

 

Yeah, you bet. So my story kind of starts back a long, long time ago when I was just out of College. I worked for Zig Ziglar, and that was just made a huge impact on me. And so I knew I always wanted to make a difference. I wanted to motivate, inspire, encourage people. I was 20 years old, 21 when I worked there. But in my past took a little bit of a different turn. I left Ziggler to go into software sales. And so that was my career for the next 13 years. But there was something that I always wanted to do, and I always kept coming back to it. But just internally, I never told anyone. I always wanted to write a book. And for many, many years, I thought, well, I have nothing to say. Who cares about my book? What would I possibly put into a book that anyone would care to read, but it persisted. So in 2009, I wrote my first book called Winning in Life. Now how to Break Through to a Happier You. And it was really just my story. And the intention behind it was, you know, what my kids who were at the time in elementary school, I just wanted them to know my story.

 

And so I did it. It was a goal. I checked it off, but I really didn't tell anyone. Still, after I published a book and Zig, by the way, wrote the forward to make a long story short. It was in not long after that, I decided somebody kind of challenged me and said, if you want to make a difference, you got to share your story. And so I did. And that really was the beginning of my business, which now I do full time of speaking and coaching and doing seminars. But none of that would have happened had I not shared my story in a book. That book is what literally opened up all of these opportunities and doors for me. That's why I'm passionate about helping people to tell their story in a book.

 

That's awesome. So, you know, a lot of people are very nervous about writing a book. They have this sense of, why would I do it? And my reasons for one of the books that I wrote was very similar to yours. I just wanted to leave it as a legacy to the kids and wasn't again, as concerned with promoting. It was almost like, Gosh, it's just enough just to even write a book because it's not easy. And yet at the same time, it's one of those things that I guess it's like if you've spent a lot of good quality time with your kids, you don't have those regrets, like, Gosh, I wish I'd spent time with them. I really feel like it's a big deal and sometimes I give it away. Sometimes people buy it, but it's something that's huge for me. And then it also has an impact on how other people perceive what I do. How would you say that shifted how people saw you and what you did? Just the idea of, yes, you put together a book because so many people minimize, I guess people on the inside like us, will say, well, you can do it through Amazon, you can just do a Word document.

 

It's so easy. And then so they dismiss it as if there is no power to it. And from what I'm hearing you say is even in 2021, there's still a lot of power to it.

 

There totally is. I mean, we value books, actually. I mean, if you think about it, I say this all the time. People will throw away a business card, but they won't throw away a book. So it does have that. We still value content. If we didn't, Google wouldn't exist. We value content so when you take what you already know and you put it in a book, there is this just instantly perceived credibility. I'm not saying it's always deserved. And there are a couple of times when you think this person should not have written this book, but when done right, it really is instant, long before somebody reads the book. So it's not so much about what the book is about. It's about the fact that you are a published author, because really anyone can do it. It's not rocket science, but so few actually push through and get it done because it does take time. It's time investment, financial investment. There's a lot to it. But that credibility is there. I think the moment you become an author and I joke, but I say to folks that I was the exact same person the day before I wrote my book and the exact same person the day after.

 

But all of a sudden I was worthy to be paid to speak to, paid to coach, paid to do things. And yet I was sharing that same information to my friends, family. So there's just a shift that happens when you have published author status.

 

And then everything. I agree completely with everything you just said there, because it's something that will definitely does take, I think, a certain amount of perseverance to say, yes, I'm going to do this. So in some ways it's a filter, a person that completes things versus somebody that doesn't complete things. But you're helping me even see it almost as like a degree, like, look. And again, it doesn't say like PhD or published author, whatever. But there are a lot of people that realize, yeah, you took the time because there's also a lot of I imagine this happened to you, a lot of self doubt, editing like crazy because it's one thing to turn in. This is not like turning in something for a high school paper or something. The closest thing I've never done a thesis, but I could imagine for a doctoral student, your thesis, because I think, unless I'm mistaken, it gets more circulated. There's a lot of people looking at it. It's not just, oh, I did this homework or this essay for this test. It's a big deal because a lot of the times, there is a lot of us wrapped up in it usually either our story or our expertise is in there.

 

And so it can be a little scary. What are people usually most scared about or what was scary about it for you? And how did your perception of that shift after you had written it, as you've written more books? Because you've written more than one book, has that process changed for you? Are you still nervous when you write a book, when you release it? What's that like?

 

I'm laughing because I think no matter how many books you write, there's something within all of us that we think like, oh, gosh, I'm really putting myself out there, or am I sharing too much of my story? Or maybe I'm not sharing enough. And I'm really passionate about helping people to see that the more you share your story, the more people connect to you. But even now, I'm literally before we jumped on this way, I was literally working on a manuscript that I've been working on for a long time. It's done, it's edited and I've reread it and reread it and reread it because you still have this. Even after writing many books, I still have that. I just want to make sure it's just right. But to answer your question, why do people I think a lot of times we dismiss who we are and what we know and we just take it for granted. But doesn't everybody know how to do that? Or why would anybody really care? But that's what I found is what was shocking to me is, again, same stories I was sharing with my girlfriends. But all of a sudden it just started to take people started to really resonate with them.

 

And it was just an eye opening to me that the things that like, oh, I just thought everyone knew how to do that. They don't. Or maybe they need to be reminded of it or maybe somebody else has said it, but maybe it's you that they're actually going to listen to. But so many times we put it on the back burner, it could be procrastination fear, but a lot of times it's just that head junk.

 

Yeah. And there's something you said there somebody has already written it. And I think of a difference between, let's say 2030 years ago and today just in the marketplace. So I grew up listening. Gosh, I think it was 1995 when I first listened to my 1st 18 cassette audio of Zig Zigler. And just over and over in the car. And back then you could name the top players, Zig Zigler, Wayne Dyer, Tony Robbins, Deepak Trope. There was ten to 23 Brian Tracy. There's a certain number of them and that was it. There was a big drop off or a big difference, like it was a players and the next group was almost like F or G or A. There was no ABCD.

 

You're right.

 

And yet today there's so many levels in between. There are so many people I've met who are in my exact space making seven figures that I've never heard of until I meet them. And they're legitimate. And what I think a lot of people forget, too, is there's almost nothing Brand New Zealand never claimed to say I made this stuff up. None of them ever said. They said, look, I've researched this. This is important to me. In fact, it's so important, I am going to do the research as opposed to just making something up or inventing something. And yet, to your point, people will hear things different ways. I think of the story about Joe Montana, the famous football player who's won four Super Bowls, and his son telling him that the high school football coach said, this is how you throw a football and Joe's a quarterback. And I can only imagine the coach saying like, dude, no, you listen to your dad on that one. But the son wasn't apparently willing to hear it from his father hall of Fame football player. And so I think when people, for whatever reasons, because there's cultural similarities, there might be, well, they just feel more like me.

 

They're my age, they're my gender, they're my situation, they're my industry. And I think you and I have both seen enough people that have a similar message. And yet so then as the author, it's almost like, oh, well, it's already been done. It's almost like being nice to your wife or your kids has already been done. So I'm going to do something no, that's actually still a good thing. That still works. What would you tell that person who you ask? And they say, yes, I help people. I know what I do is fundamentally sound. I've done it. So I've got that true sense of, yes, I do have legitimate authority. I'm not faking it till I make it. I really do have something to offer. How do you help that person perhaps understand? Or what should they do? Because if they're saying, okay, but realistically, Michelle, I do need to differentiate my book. I can't just say this is The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Other People or something like that. It's got to be something that's unique. How can somebody differentiate themselves in a meaningful way? And maybe the second part of that and do they need to be a zigzagler?

 

Do they need to be 5 million copies to make an impact?

 

I love this question because honestly, when I was thinking of writing my book before I did it, that was something that I had a limiting belief on. And I remember thinking to myself, who do you think you are? You're no zig Ziglar. And that would stop me. But then I don't know if somebody said it to me or if it was just kind of a revelation. I thought, you know what, though? I may be saying the same thing, because everything I know I learned from him and from other great leaders. So I don't take credit for any of that. But I thought, you know what, maybe there's somebody who's going to more relate to me. Maybe they wouldn't pick up his book at the time. He was in his 70s. And I thought I was a working mom. I had two young kids in elementary school. And I thought, you know what? Maybe there's another lady out there who will just relate to my story more. And it gave me the courage to do it. So what I tell people, whether they're working with us through the publishing or if they've come to a seminar, we help people figure out what their story is.

 

And I say, look, there's nothing new under the sun, right? There's leadership, there's goal setting, there's personal development. And everything you know is a result of something that you have experienced and something that you're passionate about. It's not that it's new, but it is your take on it. And it's your experiences and it's all the things that have happened to you in your life that you've learned that make your story unique. I mean, at the end of the day, everything in all of my books boils down to finding out what your greatest gifts and talents and purpose is. Right. And then sharing it with others to make a difference. I'm not saying anything new there, but I share my stories and how I got to that place, and I think that's what is so important. And honestly waive now more than ever, we have a greater opportunity. Like you said, all of those greats were huge, but it was really hard for anyone else to get in there unless they were willing to do what they were doing. Now we have the ability with social platforms to put yourself out there, right, to do a Podfest, to do a webinar, write a book.

 

And I just think that the more we do that, the more people you help. I will say this, and you kind of alluded to this. You will never regret writing a book, ever. I've yet to meet one single person who has said, oh, I really regret doing that. Maybe they didn't love the way it turned out. Maybe there were some things they wanted to change, but they never regretted doing it. And something I heard Zig say once or maybe a few times, it's not necessarily about writing a book. It's who you become in the process of writing a book because you really do. And that's what happened to me. It's not really my book isn't anything spectacular. It's just my story. But at the end of the day, it created something in me that wanted me to share even more. And I kept writing. And I have one last thing on that. I've also found that once you write one book, you tend to want to write more because you realize you have a lot more to say.

 

Yeah. Wow. There's so much in there. And you alluded to something that this idea of who I learned a lot from. So I've learned. Dan Sullivan, a strategic coach, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford. There's so many people, Stephen Covey before that. Zig, Zigler, there's so many people I've learned so much from. And initially I almost felt embarrassed because I'd hear some of these speakers, remember, because I was in the corporate side world, these speakers would come in and I knew a little bit about what they were getting paid. And I'm like these people are speaking in generalities, and I was in the insurance field. I'm like, but they're not telling them how to sell insurance. And yet they keep getting paid pretty well because also, of course, they would tie into these universal things that would get people to take action. But I remember when I would hear somebody, they would say, well, I learned this from this person, let's say eight to ten people in a 1 hour speech. And part of me was confused because growing up in a traditional education system, it's like, well, no, but weren't they supposed to create this themselves?

 

And yet, of course, there's the flip side, which is, okay, no, but they wouldn't want to. That would be completely wrong. If they learned something from somebody and didn't give them credit. It was like, okay, this is weird. And then, even then, especially now. And this was something that was almost a little sometimes you get knocked with something that's almost not painful. But wow, I missed that opportunity. I've since heard people come out and they're like, yeah, I learned so much from Wayne Dyer. And this time that was some of my story of like, well, no, I'm not going to write a book too much in that area because then I'll have to admit that so much of it came from his inspiration or this person that then people are going to say, dude, are you just copying his book? And I don't know about you. I've come more to look, at least for me, if 1000 people said I learned this from wait. And it's in my book. And I'm only now realizing this as we're talking, I'd be so flattered. I wouldn't be like, why are you stealing my stuff?

 

Right?

 

I guess that's part of what you went through with Zig because again, like you said, you learned so much from him.

 

Yes. I definitely felt that in the beginning. In fact, I was very hesitant to because I didn't want it to come across that I was trying to do anything that wouldn't be right. And Ziggy's deceased now, and I love the way the family has approached this, that it's all about keeping his legacy alive. So every time I share my story that I was inspired and influenced at a very young age by Zig and all the things that I've learned, I'm teaching and I learned it from him that's keeping his legacy alive. And I think he would say not everything was original from him either. He'll tell you most of this stuff came straight from the Bible. So we're all just again, no new thing under the sun. But it is our experience and our take on it that I think is what makes it unique. But I understand what you were feeling there.

 

Yeah. And I think that's so huge. That whole concept of leaders create more leaders. I think of Debbie Ford. I read a lot of her work and I did her coaching work and she passed about four or five years ago. And the group of people that was really following her work and leading with her and giving workshops, they still do the workshops in the name of the Ford Institute. And again, you think, wow, how cool. And as somebody who got the opportunity to serve with her, it wasn't under her because that wasn't her energy, but to serve with her. And the people that were in the workshop and realized, wow, that's being carried on, again, just something that shifted. So I just think if people are looking to think that they have to be so unique, again, I think that's something that may be off. So one of the things you and I also talked about was in the pre interview is the idea that people do want to do business with people they know, like and trust. People have heard that and that the story is one of the ways to do that. And if you look back maybe 20 or 30 years ago in the late 80s, early 90s, everything was you've got to be perfect.

 

If you want to sell anything, you've got to project that you're perfect. And said with a little bit of a smile and a little bit of sarcasm, when we look at what's on social media and some of the people that get followings, they're certainly often sharing and I'm making light of it, but they're often sharing their vulnerability. And that seems to be what people connect with. Can you share more about that for that person who say, no, but you don't understand, wait, I've got to get every one of my Ducks in a row and then I'll be ready. And maybe that's when I'm 70 or 80. Yeah.

 

Oh, gosh, everybody says that. Or many people say that, like, who am I? I'm not at the pinnacle of my career yet or I haven't Wade it yet. And I said, well, that's exactly the reason why you need to tell your story now, because I don't know about you. I can't relate to anybody who's perfect. And when somebody says, look, I don't have it all figured out, but I'm working on it. Here's what I've learned so far come along this journey with me. I just connect with them more because again, I can't relate to perfect. Actually, this was probably about this was even before I wrote my book. I was at a conference probably about 1314 years ago, and Dennis Waitley was there and he was telling a story about his first book. And the name of it is Escaping Me. But it was something about success and I can't remember the title. But him saying that when he wrote that book, he was in a very different place. I think he was broke and he was I don't remember all the specifics, but it was basically like whatever he was writing about it was because he was going through a hard time and he did a bunch of research.

 

And he read a lot of books, and he was thinking, this stuff is good. I need to share this with my friends to help them, too. And then that just kind of came out of that so you don't have to have it all figured out. And I also tell people, look, just because you wrote a book doesn't mean that you are any better than anyone else. You are just one step ahead of someone else who might be going through the same thing behind you, whether it be building a business, whether it be something personal. So if you look at it that way, when we share our story, it's just like you would a friend turning around saying, hey, there's a pothole here. Don't go over it. That's kind of what our story is. And I just personally, I do think we need to be professional, and I do think we need to always give our best, but we're just kidding ourselves if we stand there and say we have it all figured out. Because I'll tell you right now, I know I don't I'm working on it.

 

Yeah, I think that's something I remember. One of the distinctions I know Brendon Burchard would make is the difference between being, let's say, a results expert or research expert. And there's probably different ways to word that. But the idea that, yeah, you don't have to be the person, I forget which book it is. We'll shoot Napoleon Hill. A lot of it is interviewing successful people and getting feedback and sharing that. And I think this is a clear distinction. And being clear that, no, I'm not pretending to be these people. So it's not a fake. It till you make it strategy, which some people, I think is good, that they have a hard time with that to say, no, I don't want to do that. I want to be honest about it. And yet to still at least be okay. I'm the person that's studying this stuff. And eventually, when I get there, of course, maybe I'll have a little bit more authority. One of the other things that has been said before and gosh, this was said years ago, and then it's almost kind of gone out of style. And I think because it's gotten easier, at least technologically to publish a book.

 

So I remember when I first wrote the first book I did, it was a little over 20 years ago. And I remember hearing Wayne Dyer tell that story about how he would go drive from interview to interview. So no podcast, no video, literally drive from interview to interview. And I love the thing, the story he told where he would say he would do the research of what the local bookstore was. He'd have the books in his trunk, and he would tell on the interview on the radio would say, oh, they've got the books and blah, blah, blah, bookstore. And then the people would go to the bookstore and the books weren't there. And then he'd show up in his car and be like, I heard you might need some books. I got some books which I just thought was so gangster, just so unbelievably. And yet I was like, okay, my first book was about having more free time. I'm like, okay, I can't go my kid. But I'm like, I'm not going to go travel the world and do this whole like, type A, which she was willing to do. And at that stage, it wasn't to do this.

 

And then eventually even I think book pricing finally at that time was maybe like $25,000 to print out a few thousand books. And then eventually, maybe six, seven years later, it got down some of the print on demand technology got to where I think it was like $3,000 for $2,000 or something. Just way more like, okay, I can put those in my garage. Yes, I can afford to do that. But I think since the print on demand, it's almost like even some of the old school people that have done a book the old way where they're like, yes, I do have boxes in my garage or whatever almost have created this. Almost like, well, no, if you didn't do that, well, then you're not a real author. If it's just print on demand, it's not a real book because anybody can do that. And yet there's still this saying, which I've been alluding to is your book is your business card because it still says to people, maybe not everything about you, it might just be one part of your business. But when you comment on, number one, the idea of a book being a business card.

 

And number two, the other thing I find with people who are multi passion who say, but then wait, that one book limit me to only that topic because wait, I actually have a couple of topics I'm involved in.

 

Yeah. No, it definitely doesn't limit you. In fact, again, a lot of it is more the credibility of being a published author versus the topic of the book, truly. And we're very multifaceted people. Right. We have different interests, we have our personal life, we have a professional life. I mean, my first book was Personal Development. My second book was Productivity. My third and fourth and working on fourth book are about book writing. And my fifth book is more of a faith based. So there's so many different components of just me. And so everybody has different topics in my opinion. And what was the other question? I'm sorry, Squirrel.

 

Oh, gosh, yes. And then just the book being your business card.

 

Oh, yes. In fact, that is the title of my third book. Your book is your business card, because I've seen it firsthand. That and I said this already, but people will throw away a business card. They'll throw away a brochure, they won't throw away a book, and I don't know the phenomenon behind it, but we do value things. And if you think about it, do you have books on your bookshelf that you've never read before?

 

Absolutely.

 

Okay. Why don't you throw them away if you never read them? Right? We don't do that.

 

It's worse than throwing away food. Like, for me and our family, throwing away food the way I was raised is horrible. Throwing away a book. It's almost like even like, I have some books that I'll give it away. A few of them gosh, look at my face. I go like, this. Some of the books that I had highlighted that I realized I couldn't give the library, but I was done with them. I was like, okay, at least make sure they go on the recycling, literally. And this might sound weird to people. I would actually say a prayer and intention, like, thank you for that. Because for me, that's somebody's work. There's something in there. And I think of something that I've heard that concept of when you get on somebody's shelf that, of course, them even seen the title. If they have read the book, just seeing the title or the cover of the book, then is an anchor to say almost all the lessons are like, boom, just like that. Okay. It's a refresher of what you learned. So I think, Gosh, there's so much power in it. And I know I've experienced when I still do this because I still have some of my books that for my original print, and I'm definitely not going to throw them away.

 

And I send them as thank you. Sometimes when I go to live events, I carry a bunch of my backpack. I give it to people, and someone say, oh, wait, would you sign this for me? And I remember the first time that wigged me out like, no, you don't understand. I'm not Zig, I'm not Wayne Dyer. I'm not Oprah. I sign your book. It was a very interesting experience. And yet, to your point, they weren't saying, oh, wait, you're so much better than I am, which is like, I wasn't like, no, just like, that's cool that you did that. And actually, it would mean something if you signed Gosh, there's just so much to it. What have you found when people well, first of all, if you don't mind sharing what's your first signing store or what was your experience when people started asking you to sign books? Because I know they have to have.

 

Oh, yeah. In fact, my very first one, I'll never forget it. It was the day that my books arrived. It was St. Patrick's Day, 2009, and my first box of books arrived. I remember opening my box and kind of crying. And one of my friends in my neighborhood was, I think, coming by to pick up my son or something, and she saw me like, what is this? And of course, I made light of it. Oh, well, no, it's just nothing this and I did that and she asked her my autograph. And I remember being like, no, because I didn't want to make it about me. But then that realization of but I would be doing the exact same thing. And we do value that. I think that there's more than anything that holds people back from writing a book or putting themselves out. There is really more the internal stuff than it is anything to do with how difficult it is or how much effort it is or how much money. It's more of like it's just more of some other things going on. But yeah, that was my first. And then since then, definitely as a speaker getting used to doing that.

 

One thing, though, I will say about books and why I love doing live events and giving out books and signing books is if somebody hears you speak and they really resonated with your topic, I always joke but say they want to take you home with them, meaning there's no way they're going to retain everything that you said. There's just no way. And so having a book is one of the ways that they can continue to learn from you. But when you sign in and do a personalized note or whatever you do again, it makes it for the person who has that book. Now, they will never throw that away. And that's one of the reasons why I say it is your business card, because if you really want to stay top of mind one of my books, the book that I wrote, your book is your business card. It is actually my business card. It is a small book. It's a four X six book that I purposely wrote as my business card. And I give it away for free in exchange for someone else's business card. And I've had several calls from people who have decided to work with our publishing company.

 

And I'll say like, well, how did you hear about us? And many times they'll say about two years ago you were speaking somewhere, you handed out your book, your business card book. And I never threw it away. And it's been sitting here on my desk ever since. So there's some power that is associated with content that is bound. I can't describe it or explain it, but we just value books.

 

Yeah, I think definitely, at least in my experience over the last ten to twelve years, there's all this talk when ebooks came out and certainly ebooks are very useful and whatnot. But then, of course, the paper books were going to die. And the more I look at it, it's gone almost like, okay, almost like a wave, like, okay, we're over that and we'll still use them. But there's still something about the paperback book. There's still something about a hardcover book still literally has more weight but also feels a little more sometimes than a paperback. I think there's something that's maybe true to that, but it doesn't go away. And one of the other things that I remember gosh that can be so powerful is this idea that most of us entrepreneurs want to reach a lot of people. We want to serve a lot of people. We certainly can't reach everybody. And yet there's also some of us that realize the financial situation of the world. For example, you and I, just by virtue of the fact that we live in the United States and also do well, are in a very high economic situation compared to the rest of the world, definitely not even a question.

 

And so the book or the electronic book is that way to say, yeah, I can still teach I can still teach a workshop with my book. And one of the things that I wish I could get back to and I'm trying to is to get back to writing a book before I learned how to write a book. So I first wrote a bunch of books, then I took courses on how to write a book. And then now I've got this editor in my head, as opposed to just writing a book, because then you do all this, you're like, okay, now I want to differentiate myself. Oh, Jeez, I just followed a template. And certainly there's best practices. What do you tell people as far as how do you balance the author and the editor, the promoter? How do you advise people get to that best work without it becoming, I guess, too edited too quickly before they even get to their real truth?

 

Yeah, this is something maybe not everyone agrees, but for me, this is important. You don't write a book and then stop writing and go back and edit, because what happens is you're stopping your flow of creativity. We all do it, right. You write a paragraph and you go back and read it. Well, let's just say you think it's terrible or, oh, gosh, and you spend all that energy fixing something and you still don't have the rest of the story out on paper yet. No one knows your stories and no one knows your experiences the way you do. So you have to get it out of your head onto paper. You can always have an editor help you to make it sound good. But what I recommend is, do I call it a brain dump, but just get it out? I recommend even doing writing a book. You don't even have to write a book in order create silos like, what are these core concepts? And then just write about that. And then later you can move things around and cut and paste and all that. But. Right. Just get it out on paper. And then once you think, okay, now that's everything I would want to say on that topic, then go back and read it and proof it and make sure it's the way you want it.

 

But I just have seen it so many times where somebody writes and then they stop and then either their confidence is shot or they're like, this is too hard and they don't even have it all on paper yet. So edits come later. There are six steps in the publishing process, and the first one is drafting. And then that's just getting it on paper. And then it's proofing. It's not drafting proof at the same time. It's a process. And editing is after that.

 

Yeah. I can't think of how many times I've written it knowing that it's going to be in a six by nine format with these margins. And I'd go back, let me make sure that it fits at the end of a page, like all these OCD things coming out that a designer does that you don't need to worry about. Exactly. And then I'm looking at it and I'm thinking, I'm now having this analogy. It's kind of like if you think about my wife and I have a 15 year old and a twelve year old right now, and I'm just starting to watch kids of that age date and this and that and the awkwardness and this and that. And it'd be like editing every single thing they do and like missing. No, this is part of what's beautiful about it. It is a little strange, it's a little awkward, it's a little nervous, it's a little dorky looking. And you can always edit that later because again, it's just a draft. But I think that's so much of now people are trying to figure out how to write authentically off the cuff. Just write off the cuff.

 

It's like acting natural. It's like, no, just be natural. Just be yourself.

 

Think of it like if you were to go have coffee with a friend and they are having an issue or a problem or they ask for advice or they need to learn something from you, you're not going do it yourself and make sure you say it so eloquently and just so perfectly, because that's all about, you know, when you are with a friend, you're thinking of, how can I help them? What would I say? It just kind of comes out naturally. Your writing should be the same because ultimately the book is not for you, it is for the reader. So sharing what you know. But of course, an editor is going to make what you wrote better. Right. But that editing can't come until after all of your thoughts are on paper. So just authentically get it out.

 

Well, to me, that's huge right there what you just said. And it might be so simple or maybe you've come to that. But yeah, that's the book is not for you anyway. And it's so hard because we're like, yes, the book. Remember Wayne Dyer talked about he said something once about how the sign of spiritual development was that you wouldn't worry about your image or Fame or this. He's like, Here, I've got all my fixed picture all over all my books. I guess I'm messing this up. And he was just kind of joking about, again, the ego and all this baggage that comes in instead of just simply saying, look, this person needs what I know about X to get from point A to point B. And if I can give that to them, chances are they're going to get there. And that's it. That's the whole thing. It doesn't matter if they buy my next book or the next book or gas that they check it out the library and don't pay me or they get my book copy from somebody else. So I think, like you said, there's just so much that can come from this if we can kind of almost let it go and let it take on its own life.

 

Have you found that your stuff has taken you places you didn't intend?

 

Yes. And sometimes that's what makes it hard, because you end up sharing and being vulnerable. And then sometimes you're like, oh, do I really want to share that? I don't know. And I've had moments like that. In fact, this manuscript that I've been working on, I've edited so many times because at first I put in a lot, and then I was like, okay, that might be too much. And then I thought, no, I need to be real, because that's what I tell people to do. I think it's just a process, and even people who know how to write books, it's because you're sharing yourself. But to your point, I think we do make it so much about ourselves, and it's hard not to because you're pouring yourself onto paper. But at the end of the day, it's for the reader. Tom Ziggler once told me or told this story, and he said he doesn't remember where he heard it from. But something called the sin of the desert, and the sin of the desert would be you're in the desert, you're with a group of people and everyone is literally dying because of dehydration. They're dying and you find the water, but you don't tell them that would be a sin, right?

 

That would be a sin. Nobody would do that. Of course not. Right. But we do it all the time. When we know something or we've learned a lesson or good or bad, we've gone through something and we have some advice or lessons learned that we could share with someone else. If we don't tell them, well, that would be a sin. And again, I know that's an extreme example, but if you think of your story like that, I believe that there's a reason for everything and not even bad things happen. But you can't change your story. But what if you could use your story and leverage your story in a way that could help someone else? Why would you keep that to yourself if you knew it could inspire someone, educate someone, motivate someone.

 

Yeah. And that's the part, I think then at least for me, took me right back to okay. Now I feel it's almost like from the downside to the upside. Okay. Well, then now I've got to have so many numbers. And what have you found hurts people when they start worrying about the numbers, the vanity metrics, the sales, the downloads, as opposed to simply understanding that this book might like you did with your children with the first book, this might reach one or two people. And maybe that's enough. What would you advise somebody who's already now going the other way and now going the flip side of oh, gosh, now again, expectations. It has to be this. I have to sell a certain number of copies. I have to do all these different things.

 

I always ask people why they're writing the book because there's no right or wrong reason. But the goal of why you're doing it really kind of determines how you go about it and what effort you put into it. Maybe there is a reason why you want to be a New York Times bestseller and there's nothing wrong with that. But is your book intended to be a legacy book? Is it just for friends and family? In that case, then a couple of people benefiting from your story is probably enough. But maybe you want to build a platform. Maybe you want to be a speaker or a coach or start a business. And so you do need to have some metrics. Right. So you do have to get people to read it. So it is that fine line. I know for us personally, we don't work with a lot of folks. Your only goal for writing a book is to sell book copies. I tend to tell them that it's a big, long uphill road because just do the math. However much money you want to make in a year, divide that by a $20 book or actually even worse, because it costs you money to produce it.

 

Right. So let's just say your profit is $10. How many books do you have to sell? And moving books. It's a full time job if you want to do that. So I always say, well, what's your why? Because for me, I don't care if I sell books. I do want to sell books. It's more about the message than it is the book. And so I realized for me, as speaking, I need to have books when I speak because again, it's benefiting someone beyond my talk. And yes. Do I make money on that and sell those books? Absolutely. Did I do a big campaign when I launched my first book and become a best seller? Yeah, we did, because there was a reason behind it to use that to get higher paying speaking engagements. So the Y is really determining that more than anything, but if your only goal is to sell books, then I think you're going to be disappointed because the average first time offer sells about 500 books, some less, some a lot less, some a lot more. It really just depends. But if you think of it as this is the door opener, my book is the opportunity to get other revenue streams, then you will be wildly successful.

 

Yeah. I think that's such a big difference because I don't know what the numbers are now, but I don't remember the average profit per book being anything crazy. So even if it's let's say it's $2 or $3 times 500, $500 as you and I know you're going to spend so much more than that. And yet what if you had 500 leads really were interested in your business and you had some other service or product that helps them? I love some of that. Pat Flynn says about podcasting, people get caught up in their numbers. And do I have 200 downloads or 500 downloads or 1000 or some people have 5000 at the time. And he says, look, what would it cost you to get 200 people in a room and let's say a courtyard Mary courtyard Mary wouldn't hold them at a bigger hotel. You're talking, I don't know, a couple thousand, 5000 whatever to host that. And yet you've got these people all around the world just dialed in their listing completely to you and what's that worth? So I think definitely that's so huge.

 

It is. And I just want to say one thing to it because everything I just said is really intended for more of a first time author. Right. There is a place and there are reasons why you do want to sell, like further building your platform and becoming a New York Times bestseller and all that for a first time offer. That probably should not be your goal necessarily because you don't have that platform yet. But for many other people there. So again, it just goes back to what is the goal? Where are you at? There's no right or wrong reason to write a book, but you need to know what you want to get out of it. And realistically, as a first time author, think of it as your door opener more than anything.

 

Awesome. Thank you so much for those your listing. You might not realize there's so much that she shared in here that's so huge because and again, I think definitely that distinct she made right there. Michelle is so huge. Yeah. There's certainly a point, like in any other business where you want to scale and you want to leverage and it makes sense. But you have relationships in place, you've connected with people. You have people that you can comfortably ask where they're like, of course, I'll promote your book because you had me on your podcast or you supported my book or whatever it might be versus literally coming in cold and thinking you're going to do that? And then how, at least in my experience, the reason I never did it, because I just felt it just didn't flow. And it almost felt like I'm either asking for too much or it feels desperate. And so the in between for me. And again, it maybe wasn't the greatest answer. My answer was, okay, I'm not going to promote it. I'm just going to write it and put it on Amazon. And I had read enough that I knew that not everybody is going to be like, oh, yes, we're going to come by your book.

 

But it was like, okay, it's there. And so now if people look up, they can see that awesome. Thank you so much. Wow, there's so much this. So I've got a few rapid fire questions for you.

 

Okay.

 

If that's.

 

Yeah.

 

So if you could give your entire target audience one skill, what would that skill be?

 

Confidence in that you have everything within you right now to share your story, to write a book, to start a podcast. It really boils down more of what's going on in your head than anything else.

 

Awesome. Love that. What is the cost of business mistake you've ever made and what did you learn from it?

 

I've made so many investing in the wrong people for the wrong reasons. Meaning I'm a big believer in having a coach. I'm a big believer in joining Masterminds, but making sure that it's in alignment with what your ultimate goals are because you can spend a lot of money on a lot of things. I say it all the time. There's no lack of things that you can do to promote yourself and promote your book. But getting really, really clear on what is going to work best for you, just because it works for this person does not mean it's going to work for you to figure out what you love to do. Do you love to speak, get on stages? Do you love to coach? Become a coach, but you don't have to do all of it if you don't love it.

 

I love that. Yeah. That's so huge. My biggest mistakes, the painful ones are the ones where you're like, oh, wow, it was all there. Like the signs were there. And I'm like, no, those are the ones that hurt the other ones. You're still going to get some. Those are painful. What's the best business decision you've ever made and how did you execute it?

 

The best decision I ever made was really trusting myself more. And again, I am a big believer in coaching coaches, but listening to your own intuition and knowing what is really best for you. So those two questions are very similar. But when I several years ago made the decision of stop seeking out everybody else and what they think I should do and get clear in my head, talk to the guy upstairs and listen to what he says. And that was the best thing I've ever done.

 

That's awesome. Yeah. It's so hard to be unique if we keep following other people. It's a very tough line. You mentioned productivity books. This is one of the questions I don't always ask. But what's your best tip to help people get more results in less time?

 

I love time blocking, time blocking. I live and die by my calendar. And so setting out small bits of time to do something and also blocking out your most creative hours. If you are most creative, most energy first thing in the morning, then do not schedule conference calls first thing in the morning. If that's when you're going to write your book, then block it out. If you're picking your kids up from school, block it out because nobody is in charge of your calendar but you. And we also we don't have enough time, but the reality is we choose what goes in our calendar. So choose what's most important and then block it out and don't let anything creep in to those golden hours.

 

Awesome. Thank you. What's the one thing that most other entrepreneurs do that you find unnecessary?

 

Oh, wow. Oh, goodness. That's a tough one way. It's not that I find it unnecessary. I don't enjoy it as much, and I know I need to improve on it is social media. You know what? I love social media. I have a lapse rate with it, though. You know what? Again, I'm probably missing out on a huge thing, but I don't love posting every single day and self promoting and all that all the time. That's my own thing. I got to get over that. But does it work? Yes and no. I would much rather do this. I'd much rather just be real and have a conversation with someone than posting just random things that may or may not be the exact equivalent of what's happening to me that day.

 

Yes, social media is the one we get the most. Some people just won't do it. Some people have said they just dropped it or done certain things. So you're in alignment with a lot of people are finding what's the first thing you believe every entrepreneur should delegate?

 

My first thing was accounting, because I'm not good at that.

 

Yes.

 

My very first hire was somebody to do my books because that wasn't my strength. I didn't start a business because I knew how to run a business. I started a business because I had passion. I read the email and realized I did it all wrong. So that was my first thing that I outsourced. But so I would think to yourself, what do you hate to do? Don't second guess it's. Just hire or somebody get a VA, do something and get it off your plate.

 

Awesome. What have you dropped from your business or your life that's been most liberating for you to let go of?

 

That's a great question. I love to coach. I really do. But I realize that I love inspiring people to get their ideas and run with them. And so I have let go of ongoing longterm coaching just because somebody put it this way, one time, you're either the kind of person that likes a spark in someone or the kind of person that keeps the candle burning. I'm more the light the spark person. And so I let go of that need to feel like I had to do year long coaching programs and all that, because I just realized what my gifts are and my passions are.

 

Wow. Thank you for that. I needed to hear that because I'm the first, I'm not the second. I know there's plenty of money in the second, and I'm still working with that. Or at least I need to find my partner, my Garfuncle to Simon or Simon to the Garfunk or whatever. I need to find that because the two are important. But yes. Oh, wow. That's so huge. Thank you for that.

 

Not saying it's the right decision, but that is something.

 

Yeah. No. And in my case, it happens the line somebody might be saying the exact opposite right now, but yes, definitely. Wow. Okay, cool. And two more. What are you most excited about in your work right now?

 

Well, I'm excited about a couple of things on the publishing side of the business. I'm really focused on scaling that. I've been in business for ten years on the publishing side, actually closer to eleven now, and it's successful, but I really want to expand that. So I've been focusing a lot more on systems, processes, all those things to help me grow that and build that. So that's one thing I'm excited about. But the other thing I'm so excited about is my next book. I mentioned it's more faithbased, but it's nothing to do about writing a book, but it's all about I just want to inspire people to find their story, shine their light and get it out there and journaling, helping people to see just find that inside of them that needs to just shine. And so that I'm Super excited about launching this year.

 

That's awesome. And then what are you most excited about in your personal life right now?

 

Oh, my goodness. Well, as of a couple of weeks ago, an empty Nester. My oldest son just moved to New York City, which is absolutely crazy, but I'm so proud of him. And my youngest son is a freshman in College, so I'm most excited about just seeing them fly and visiting my son in New York City and traveling and doing some things like that. It's just a whole new my husband and I have been married 24 years, and so we're kind of looking at each other like, okay, this is a whole new season, isn't it? At first it's a little scary, but now we're like, this actually could be kind of good. This could be fun and so I'm excited about that.

 

That is awesome. Thank you so much. You have shared so much. And for those of you listening, as somebody who's made a lot of mistakes that Michelle has talked about, we're still looking to do some of the things you're doing. There's so much to this. So listen to it a couple of times. Definitely. Now we're going to put the links to all this in here. So there's two things where can people find out more about you? And then you mentioned you shared with me that there's a gift you're going to share with the audience.

 

Yes. So either my main website, Michelle Prince.com, the publishing website is performancepublishinggroup.com and we do free strategy calls. So if that's something you're thinking about doing, take advantage of that. But I do want to give away my latest book, the power of authority how to get more revenue, respect and results by sharing your story and it's really more intended for entrepreneurs, business owners, people that really want to use their book as a business card and so we're going to give it away free digital copy. Just go to thepowerofhority. Comfreebook and you can instantly download it. Awesome.

 

And you will have that link in the notes or the show notes wherever you happen to listing. Thank you so much. Wow. There is so much you've given today and like I said, I just think this is so great and hopefully if you're listening and whether you're an entrepreneur or not and you're looking to get started, definitely check out Michelle's book and what she's doing and reach out to her really just blown away with what you've shared today. So thank you so much for joining us today.

 

Thank you, Wade for having me. This has been a lot of fun.

 

Awesome. And as always, for those listing, I look forward to helping you impact more people and make more money in less time doing what you do best so you can better enjoy your family, your friends and your life. Thanks for listening.

 

Michelle Prince Profile Photo

Michelle Prince

You have a story & your story matters! Your book is your business card that establishes authority & creates an impact!

Michelle Prince is a best-selling author, motivational speaker, publishing expert, leadership & productivity coach and CEO/Founder of Performance Publishing Group, a partner publishing company dedicated to making a difference, one story at a time.
She dedicates herself to helping leaders impact the world, using the strengths and talents already within them, to create an extraordinary life, exponentially grow their business and enjoy living on purpose and with lifestyle freedom, especially by sharing their story and becoming the go-to authority.