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How many times have you thought about writing a book, but then just never started? It is easy to become overwhelmed by the questions, worries, and details when writing your own book. The process involves dozens of minor details. For most authors, these details aren’t the aspect of their book that gets them out of bed in the morning. Instead, they just want to focus on writing.

Michelle Vandepas joins Jay Owen on his podcast, “Building a Business that Lasts”. With over twenty years of experience in the publishing industry, Michelle understands the complexity of publishing. She has learned the best way to account for all the minor details and helps authors spark their passion and allow them to focus on writing. In this podcast episode, Michelle and Jay cover topics on how books can help you build your platform and what direction you should take as a writer. This episode can help authors gain some peace of mind about the details, allowing them to focus on what’s important. Additionally, you can sign up for a no-obligation call with Michelle here! Learn all about our various publishing packages that help you publish your best book. 

Jay Owen has spent nearly twenty years building his company Design Extensions, a Florida-based marketing agency that’s grown its revenue and profits every year since 1999. Jay has learned to balance a successful business and his dedication to his wife, Claire, and his five children. In Building a Business That Lasts, he shares all his most sought-after advice for aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs who reject the endless hustle and instead embrace the idea of a better way to succeed. Make sure to follow along on his social media, linked below, or at his website!

Click here to give the podcast a listen or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

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Full Transcript

Jay 

Have you ever had someone say to you, hey, you should write a book or thought to yourself, I’d like to write a book. But then when you get into it, you think, Man, this is a big task, how am I going to come up with 50,000 words to put on a page? And once I do, how do I format it? And and how do I promote it? And how do I get it on Amazon, and what even is an ISBN number? There’s so many questions around publishing a book. But it can be a great tool, not just for making money, but for being coming, a thought leader promoting your business, all kinds of tools can come around the idea of writing your own book, On today’s episode, I talked to Michelle Vandepas, from Grace Point Publishing, and she is going to give us 20 years of experience of how she helps other people write books, we get really practical around ideas and strategies that you need, if you want to write your own book. So without any further ado, here’s my interview with Michelle. Hey, Michelle, thanks for being on the show. Yeah, thank you. Great to be here.

Jay 

So I’m excited to have you because a lot of entrepreneurs out there often think to themselves, I wonder what it’d be like to write a book, I wonder how I could use a book to promote myself or my business. But I don’t really know where to start. And that’s what you do is you help people down that journey. So you’ve been doing this for a long time, tell me a little bit about how you got into the idea of helping other people write their books.

Michelle 

Yeah. So I’ve been an entrepreneur for a very, very, very long time, my whole adult life. And 21 years ago, I wrote my first book, which was about marketing and building brands. And this is long before internet, right. And I use that to help me build my coaching and consulting practice that I had at the time. And so as part of the process of using my own book, I realized that other entrepreneurs also can use a book to help build their platform to help get the word out. And so it was just a natural extension of my own consulting practice, to then help other entrepreneurs write and publish their books. In the last five, eight years, it’s changed so much right with all the technology online, and how easy it is to sort of get a book out there. Easy, as you know. And so now the whole practice has morphed a bit, and I own a full fledged publishing company. Now.

Jay 

It’s super intriguing to me, because as you know, and some people that are listening to I’ve written my own book, just one, and it did a couple of years ago. And you’re right, the technology out there has made it a lot easier. I’d imagine that what it was, like 10 years ago, but I’m pretty technologically astute, I would say. And it’s still required a lot of hurdles to figure out what to use and what platforms and how to format it. And and first of all, what should even be in the book. So when somebody is thinking about writing a book, where should they start? What’s the first thing they need to think about?

Michelle 

Well, the first thing they should do is pick up the phone and call me right? That’s the phrase I’ll give them. I give 20 minute consultations out all the time. But really, here’s what you need to know who’s the audience who’s going to be reading the book? What’s the one message you really want to put across? Well, you use this for lead generation is this going to be a business building book is this building a foundation, your message credibility, something towards your legacy? Is this just a book you want to write for your friends, and family, all of those are great reasons. But you’ve got to understand the reason the purpose of the book, the purpose of you writing the book first, because that’ll help keep your book focused, and onpoint. And on task to your reader. The next thing you need to think about is if you’re going to self publish, do you need an ISBN or not? And if you’re going to go with a publisher, will you have them? By an ISBN on your behalf? Which is a little tricky. Or if they use their ISBN, then they are your publisher, even if you don’t think they are. So there’s some tricky things like that you need to navigate along the way.

Jay 

Yeah, and honestly, I was totally ignorant to most of that, with the exception of what a Google search could return. And the problem with that is, there’s so many answers. I think that’s one of the difficulties I think, in our information. Age is not that we have a shortage of information, it’s we have too much information. And as a result, we can actually be overwhelmed not knowing what to do. And I think that’s the value of having somebody like you come alongside to go, Hey, let me just already know what to do just right. And that way, like in my case, I can just focus on what I needed to do, which is get the ideas out of my head onto paper, so that they can be turned into a book versus trying to figure out what kind of ISBN number I need, who’s going to register that? How much is going to cost, right? It’s printed all those kinds of things

Michelle 

techy things. Then the other thing you know that people don’t think about or things like that. letters. So we’re a book comes together where the binding is you got to make sure you have enough margin in there. So the words aren’t going down into the binding, right? And the layout and design, do you want your name? At the top of every page, your chapter name, the book title? Where are you going to be? You’re going to put an appendix Do you need a forward or preface? These are things that most authors think about as they get farther into the book, because they’re realizing they need to know, but they don’t understand how to make those decisions.

Jay 

Yeah, and, you know, I think the big thing for me, there’s half, if I’d had somebody like you at that point, it would have been so much more helpful, because I could have focused on what I needed to instead, I was trying to worry about all these other technical pieces. And I was already somewhat at an advantage because I have designers on staff at my design agency. So I knew I could get the design piece done. Right? Well, I thought so. But the reality is, we had never laid out a book either. So we’ve done a lot of other design work, but it’s a whole different beast. Different thing. Yeah. And we ended up going through quite a few like print samples that were not what we wanted, for all kinds of different reasons, like you laid out that once it was actually printed and laid out quite right or the, you know, the service we use wasn’t printing, the quality that we wanted, or all these kinds of things, we wasted a lot of time and money in areas that maybe we shouldn’t have. I want to go back to what you were talking about a minute ago, because I think it’s so important about why you’re writing the book in the first place. Yeah. And then who you’re writing it for, right? What are some of the things that you ask people, you know, when they’re trying to explore that? I think people have this idea of like, I’m going to write a book, but like, right, that’s a very big idea. How do you help people narrow that down into something that’s more concrete?

Michelle 

Yeah. So I think the first thing to dig into is Why do you want to write the book? So you got to start with your own personal purpose? Do you want to build your business? Do you want to establish yourself as a new thought leader in your industry? Do you want to build a speaking career? Do you want to use it as a lead gen and give away copies, right? Because all of those different things may tweak the books slightly. But it also gets you really anchored into why you’re writing the book. Once you have that, then you have to think about the reader. Okay, I’m going to write a book because I’m an entrepreneur, I want to be known in my industry for building a business that lasts, right? I want to be known in the industry for that. So then you think about what is the reader really need? What is it that I want them to walk away with, after they’ve finished reading this book. And often I’ll take clients through an exercise of writing the back cover first. Because that gets your thoughts synced into a paragraph or two, about when you pick up this book, this is what you will learn. That’s often what you read on the back cover, often on the back cover this endorsements from other people. So if you think about what potential endorsements might be, that helps you think about what other readers are gonna get from the book.

Jay 

Yeah, I think you brought up a couple of points that are really important for people to think about when writing a book is an A for me, it wasn’t about writing a book to get rich off or writing a book number one, that’s very hard to do, because there’s a lot of books out there and, and most people that are getting rich off of writing books are probably doing so after a long chain of books, or a lot of experience to get there, they’re not gonna write their first book and become a multimillionaire and sell millions of copies. Usually, there are unicorns, but you know, I know for me, like it was exactly I was one of the people who I’d been in business for 20 years, or almost 20 years, that point now it’s 21. And people said, Hey, you should write a book, you should put all these ideas that you’re talking about into a place where other people can have them. And I thought, you know, I really liked that idea. And I want to be able to help other business owners. Interestingly, as I wrote my book, one of the problems that we kind of developed early on is our my marketing agency kind of wanted to use it as a lead gen tool for the agency. But really, the book is it is kind of targeted towards that. But it’s almost targeted towards a company that’s even smaller than our ideal client. Because I want people who are just thinking about starting a business for the first time, people who’ve been in business a couple of years and trying to figure out how to make it grow. And a lot of times, those are smaller than our agencies, typical best clients. But I love helping those people. And also love speaking at events. So for me, it was about creating a tool that kind of became a centerpiece for this podcast and being on on stages as well. So I think what you’re talking about about how the book could be used, versus just being something you’re going to sell is really important.

Michelle 

Yeah, that and that’s such a great differentiator. Very often, what’s in our heart to write about is not necessarily matched up with the lead gen or our business. And it could be and there’s just, there’s no right or wrong answer. It’s what’s in your heart to write. What is your book to write? Maybe you got the next book. It’s more Legion day right for your agency. And maybe this book helps get you speaking gigs which also helped You find your ideal clients. So, you know, there’s always a way to pull it all together.

Jay 

Yeah, I think that for me, like the first book was the one that was the most passionate about from an idea perspective. But now that I’ve kind of like been through the trenches a little bit, I kind of have an idea for how we could write another book that would be more focused on what we do from an agency perspective and how that can be a great Legion tool, talk a little bit about that idea of it being like a lead gen tool for people and how that typically worked. Some, some people may not even know what we’re talking about.

Michelle 

Yeah. So just to give an example, I was looking at hiring a PR agency at the end of last year. And I called the agency and said, I’m interested. And the next thing I knew, I got their book in the mail. And it was literally how a PR agency can help you how I’m different than other PR agencies out there, and why you need to hire us. It was like the most long form sales letter on the planet, right? It was 30,000 words of why you need me. But it was really great for me, because I was able to read through why I need a PR agency when to hire one one to not, it had all my questions and answers in there. And then it differentiated her how I would hire her, and if she’s the one I should hire or not. And so she laid it all out there in the book. She sells the book on Amazon, too. There’s some good stuff in there. But it was definitely a sales letter. And she gives lots of those copies away. And it certainly established her in my mind as an expert, because she was able to come up with 30,000 or more words on the subject.

Jay 

Yeah. So speaking of that book length, what would you say is kind of like, this is a question I hear people ask, how long does a book need to be to actually be not just a long blog post or something else? Like what is kind of our minimum chunk of words to call it a book?

Michelle 

Yeah, so we’re talking about nonfiction, in my case, right? Not fiction, fictions longer, always longer. I say Let’s aim for 50,000 words. Let’s aim for that. Now. Having said that, as entrepreneurs, we all break all the rules all the time. And that’s why we’re entrepreneurs, right? I have published small little books that are like four by four guide books that have no words in them. I have published books that so think of it this way, the more words, maybe also, the bigger the book, right? And if you want to get about 100 pages, which is what you need to have a spine, and you’re doing something like a five by eight book are a nine by six bucket, maybe 50,000 words, by the time it’s laid out. I have certainly published books with 20,000 words, and I’ve published books with 80,000 words. 50,000 is a great amount to kind of go for. And if it’s your first draft, we’ll probably edit some of that out.

Jay 

Yeah, I definitely found that writing is one thing, but editing is a whole different beast. Some people may be scared of writing a book, because they might be like me. And what I mean by that is that I am really bad with grammar. I am an atrocious speller. Now there’s great tools for that and all that kind of stuff. That’s a whole different thing. When you’re writing an email versus writing a 50,000 page book or 50,000 page. I’m a big book. And so like, what are some things that you would say to somebody who maybe doesn’t feel like they are technically a very good writer? They’re not sure. But they have a lot of ideas. How can that person still potentially produce to produce a book, even if they’re not confident in their own ability to write that many words?

Michelle 

Yeah, great question. There is a difference between what I would call a writer, somebody who sits down writes every day knows they want to be a writer for a living, they’re gonna pump out 10 2050 books, 1000 books over a lifetime, right? We all can think of our favorite authors. They are writers. Most of my clients are authors, their business people, their speakers, their coaches, they want to write their memoir, they have one to five books in them, right? That’s a different animal. We’re not working on technical sentence structure. We’re not working on becoming a better writer. We’re working on getting the ideas out of your head onto paper. So it’s a different skill set that you need. And what I usually recommend is we don’t care about editing, we don’t care about grammar, we don’t care about any of that. Your for probably our audience. These people just want to get a book out and they want it to be a good book, right? But they’re not going to sit down tomorrow and start on the second book right away. They may wait six months or a year a couple of years. And so we just want to get the words on paper because editors are magical and they can polish anything have been making it great. What I would say is work with a book coach. First, to really get your ideas succinct, maybe some chapter outline some bullet points. And that can be through my company or anybody, right? There’s lots of coaches out there. And then write like crazy and then start working with an editor. The other thing I will say is, sometimes we have people flying to Denver, interview them, transcribe it. And there’s the outline for the book. And then we can just go with all of that straight to the editor process, and the author and the editor work with all this transcribe material. So even if you don’t think you’re a writer, there’s a way for you to still be an author.

Jay 

Yeah, that’s great. I think that’s really important for people to think about if they think, oh, people keep telling me, I should write a book, I have a lot of great ideas, I’ve done things that would help other people think I have ideas that could be good lead generators, or whatever it may be. But they’re scared of the idea. When you say 50,000 Words, it’s like, wow, I have a hard time writing a 1200 word blog post, much less a 50,000 word book. But I know for me, you know, one of the things that helped was I did hire a book coach, she was really helpful about getting that initial outreach, kind of this brain dump at first to see everything on paper, like we’re all the idea of the system, let’s just throw them out there, then let’s start to organize them in kind of an outline. And then what I did was I just blocked off a day, every single week. And that was my writing day, I didn’t always use the whole day usually was just the morning. But that morning, I would go Alright, I’m gonna write a chapter today. And I have X amount of words that I wanted to write in that chapter. And I would sit down and start writing and, and have that process for me work really well. But to your point, it might be totally different for somebody else.

Michelle 

And some people need to sit down and write every day. And some people need to go away for a week, and sequester themselves in the mountains with no Wi Fi, where they have nothing else to do. I will say if writing really well, was super easy. More people would do it and be joyful about it. I think even the most accomplished writers complain about how difficult writing can be. But don’t let that stop you. Right? We all do difficult things all day of our lives, especially as entrepreneurs, we have to go collect money, we have to shut down a project were passionate about we have to fire people hire people, we all do difficult things. So let’s not have that stop us from doing what’s in our heart. It just means we have to work through it.

Jay 

Absolutely. I think that’s really good advice. Let’s let’s think about or talk about the idea of launching a book because this is a whole different beast, right? It’s a different thing. It’s one thing to write it, but then like, where’s that book gonna live? And, like, how much do you charge for it? And how do you get people to notice it? Like, do you help with those kinds of things as well? What does that look like? And then what are some things maybe people should look out for? Yeah, launching a book if they have one written?

Michelle 

Totally. So if you’re a speaker, a coach, you have a big email list, you have a podcast, you have a way to get your book out, you may just want to buy books in bulk and sell them yourself. You’ll make the most money that way. Having said that, Amazon sort of the standard, and if you’re not on Amazon, people go well, doesn’t really look like you wrote and published a book, right? So they take a huge percentage. People complain about that, because it’s often a shock. But you sort of have to be on Amazon anyway. So after your own email list, your podcast listeners and Amazon, what else? That’s really the question. You’re asking what else? How else do you promote? There are things called book launches, where you can partner with people who you know other people with big lists, and launch your book over a period of a week or two weeks together, so it gets some buzz. You can go on podcast interviews, you can do blog tours, you can do book signings in across the country in your hometown. You can do meetup groups, it depends on the person, who they are, what their strengths are, and what they’re willing to learn and grow and go do you know if you can get into a big book club, that can be huge. Most entrepreneurial books don’t always go into a book club unless it’s an entrepreneurial type book club right? There are so many different ways to market and yes we do work with that we work with things like getting video trailer up getting a speech up on YouTube, something about you talking about your your industry or your topic, your message, maybe get you some speaking engagements. We if you’re on one of our authors, we take you to trade fairs, we just came back from a trade fair and took some books. So there’s a lot of ways to get your book out. You don’t have to do all of it. You do have to choose a few things. Yeah, I think consistently and Well,

 

Jay 

I think one thing that really stands out there to me is launching a book is kind of like marketing in general. And what I mean by that is that in marketing, there’s so many options, that, that it’s almost overwhelming for people to figure out what to do, should they be on Facebook or Instagram? Or both? And how often should they post? What about LinkedIn? Should they do paid ads? And where should they run them? How much money should they spend? All these questions that people ask us, as a marketing agency are really very similar questions about a book launch? Should I be on a podcast? Should I be on a stage? Should I use social media? My email list bookclubs, all the things that just mentioned? And the answer is like, yes, but it’d be much better if you went into that with some kind of a clear plan, versus just taking a shotgun and kind of spraying bullets everywhere, hoping that something sticks, because ultimately, it’s much better to go into that with a plan, because I’ve just seen people waste so much money on marketing, that doesn’t work. And I imagine the same.

 

Michelle 

Absolutely. And, you know, you can pay to get reviews, and some of the review places are very well established and known in the industry and carry high credibility. And you might pay for review that really wasn’t worth it. Or maybe you got a bad review. And so your tastes a little bit of a dodged the bullet there. And so you can spend an awful lot of money marketing, if you don’t really know where to go and what to do. And I like to start with the strengths of the author. So you’re gonna have to grow, you’re gonna have to step into some things you’re not comfortable with. But let’s at least start with what you’re passionate about what what you’re good at, where your strengths are, and then build from there. Yeah,

 

 

I think that’s really good advice. You know, we kind of jumped right into the technical aspects of book writing, because I wanted to, and I felt like that was really helpful for the audience. And we’ve covered a lot, I think people are gonna find it really helpful, but also want to kind of like, rewind and cover the stuff I normally cover, which is, I’m making a big U turn transition here. When when I think about someone like you who’s been in this industry for a long time, you’ve seen a lot of technological change, which you already talked about over the years. And yet you still managed to adapt, and grow, and stay in business and help other people. Even though things have changed a lot in the industry over the past 10 or 20 years. How have you managed to do that? And what are some of those big roadblocks that you’ve kind of learned to hurdle over as you keep moving forward?

 

Michelle 

So I’m an entrepreneur first. And I think your people will get what that means, you know, we tend to jump in, try things, see what works. We’re usually tribe of people that’s excited about just going for it and seeing see, we like to throw the spaghetti at the wall right? As entrepreneurs. And so that’s probably saved me in some ways, I have also gone down rabbit holes that have not panned out. But because of that, because I’m a small shop, then because I’ve been doing this for a long time, sort of one to one, I can adapt quickly. I can do new things. I know how to hire people for short term projects. I know how to hire VAs to go research things. Well, there’s this new tool I heard about for publishing, though, researcher give me a synopsis, right? So I think as with any entrepreneurial venture, the advice that I would give, and I think what I follow is you, you follow all the threads. If you throw a bunch of seeds, I’ll use that analogy. Instead, you throw a bunch of seeds, and then you go with the ones that are actually growing. And he let the other ones go. Because as entrepreneurs, we tend to have so many projects going all the time, right, and you gotta let some go, or you’re just going to be spread too thin. Speaking from experience.

 

 

Yeah, I think that most people that associate as an entrepreneur have done that a time or two, and spread themselves too thin. I know I do it on a regular basis. But I think I really like that analogy of you. So a lot of seeds and you pay attention to the ones that are growing, and the other ones you leave behind. And I think that’s really important actually, like as it relates to business as a whole. Because I know a lot of people who have sowed seeds who they can pay attention over time and go, that’s not growing, but they can’t walk away from it. It’s so hard. It’s my it is hard, especially when you’re like it’s your thing like you it’s your it’s like your baby, you know,

 

Michelle 

yeah, I had, you know, just give you a personal thing is I spent a year working on launching something with a conference and the podcasts and everything and it did not take off like I thought it would and I you know, sunk a year in this and I had to sort of step back and go, am I going to push through here’s the thing we have to discern, is it the don’t ever give up? Or is it there’s really no inch wrist and I’m being pigheaded. And there’s a fine dis discernment that needs to happen there about, don’t ever give up, keep pushing through if you believe in it, and at the same time, is there an audience’s the timing right? Is this mind to do?

 

 

Yeah, that’s a great question too. Yeah, I think that’s, I think that that discernment process is one of the hardest things for most entrepreneurs, because the reality is, there are always seasons when you start something new, where it is not going well, right? And you have to decide, is this a temporary, like not going well? Or is this like just how it’s going to be? There’s a great book, and I have not read it in a while might go back and reread it called the dip by Seth Godin. He talks about that he talks about this exact idea, where almost all businesses have this kind of acceleration point, and they have this dip, the most successful ones do this, they have this dip, and then eventually they scale up, or they don’t. And he talks about, like, kind of that process of figuring out when to quit, because I think there’s a lot of this, like, never give up like hustle to you, you know, can’t sleep and everything else. And there is some of that, like, you gotta hustle to like, get the game going sometimes. But I think to your point, there are also times where you look back and go, You know what, this is not right time, right season, right, whatever. And it’s just, I’m gonna put this back on the shelf and go focus on things that are growing.

 

Michelle 

Yeah, the other thing is entrepreneurs to just kind of off subject eternal, but but, you know, we all get so many ideas. What I often coaching is those are all great ideas. The two questions to ask is, is it mind to do and is now the time? That’s great. And very often, you’ll get instant answers sort of back in your gut, like, yeah, it’s mine to do, but actually, I don’t need to do it for five years, or I’ll just put it on the back burner. Or no, you know, I think my friend or my peer, this is a great idea for them. I’ll pass it along. And I think that often helps. Book coaching though, I will say if you have an idea for a book, it’s usually yours to do.

 

 

Yeah, that’s a great point. I love those two questions. Is it mind to do and is now the time those are, are great questions. Because sometimes the answer the first one is yes. But I know like for me in the season of life that I’m in now, I have five young kids who range from seven years old, I know, shocking, from seven years old to 15 years old. And there are a lot of things in life that I might want to do, and I might even be perfectly designed for. But if I also want to be a great dad and a great husband, I can’t do all of those things, and do those things right now, too. But I can go, hey, you know what, gosh, they’re already growing up fast. And a seven year old before I know it in a decade is going to be all grown up and moving on. And Lord willing, I’m gonna have plenty of seasons left to pick up some of those things off the shelf and go, You know what this is for me? And now is the time I love those two questions. Gosh, there’s so much else we could talk about one last thing, I always like to kind of transition towards the two things I actually don’t want to talk about before we kind of hang up today. The first one is around the question of work life balance. This is something I feel like every entrepreneur struggles with at some point, and it means something different to everyone. I don’t even really love the term, but whatever. So we’re talking about work life balance. And then the second thing I want to talk about once we’re done with that is kind of parting advice, not just about books, but like right when you’re speaking to another entrepreneur and going hey, here’s something I want to leave with you today. I want to kind of round out on that. And then how people can find you. So let’s start with the work life balance. Question. One, what does that even mean to you people talk about it all the time. Yeah, to how has that changed over different seasons of entrepreneurship and life for you?

 

Michelle 

Yeah, great question. I love this question. Because when we use the word balance, we think like a scale where they’re supposed to be even. And I don’t think I’ve ever had work life balance in my life. So it’s not sort of this theory that I subscribe to. And I think everybody’s different for me. You know, I have a family too, and a child at home and all of that. And so for me, it’s like a work on emails. And then if I’m at home, be interrupted, and the balance is all happening there in 20 minutes, right? And then I might work some really long days, work my tail off for weeks at a time and then I’ll take three or four or five days and go to the mountains or go on vacation. So for me, work life balance is not like I work nine to five and then I go home and turn off my computer because that’s just not realistic for me. I do get balance in my life, but it may come from big, big walls of energy where I’m headed on vacation,

 

 

right? I think that’s so good. You know one of the things I always say to people is ignore the system but have a system like just because that works for you might not work for somebody else. There are some people who personalities they go look I need to work out at least one one hour a day, I don’t ever want to work more than seven hours in a day, I want to be able to do this, this and this, and I want to do that every single day. But that’s not really for me either. My Mo is much more like yours, where it’s like I might have, I’ll tell my wife, look, I’m this week is shot, I’m gonna be, I gotta go in early, I got to work late, but I’m gonna take three days off next week, and we’re gonna go do this with the kids. And, like, great, as long as that’s communicated upfront, and everybody knows what the plan is. And the expectations are clear, we don’t have a problem. The problem happens when I’m like, she thought was gonna be home early. And then I’m not, that’s where the problem, their communication is key and all of that, but I love your mentality, I don’t believe it’s a balance, either. I think it’s more of a, in my book, I actually call it the work life blender. Because I say, look, some days, you got to put a little bit more fruit in the blender, a little more sugar, nowadays, you need a little bit more spinach. And it just varies like that the recipe varies from day to day. And that’s okay. And I think some people carry a lot of weight, and a lot of guilt, and maybe even a lot of shame around this subject. And I think, for me, one of the big things just been getting around other entrepreneurs. And it’s why I always ask this question, because it’s different for everybody. And that’s kind of what I want people to hear.

 

Michelle 

Yeah. And you know, for me, I love what I do so much, and having kids at home and whatnot, sometimes can be stressful that actually come into work is like my downtime, sometimes, right? So it depends on the day, but I’m not trying to get away from work with balance. For me,

 

 

I hear you. I’m fortunate in that to that I really love my work my wife, however, she homeschools, our five kids. So she literally never gets away unless I actually send her away. Because when she’s at home, she’s basically in work mode of some sort all the time, I can guarantee you that homeschooling five different grade levels is way harder than what I do every single day absolutely the same. So if you’re talking to another entrepreneur, and you’re going, alright, you want to build a business that lasts, I hear you, here’s something I really want you to take home today, think about and kind of be aware of on your entrepreneurial journey, what would you say to that person?

 

Michelle 

So I think, based on what we’ve talked about already today, I think it is important to understand the dips in the cycles, and you’re in it for long term. Sometimes, you know, I’ll get a client and say, Well, I haven’t had anything happened in like, two weeks or whatever I’m like, you gotta have a long term view here. Try to have some cash flow, generate some kind of income stream that’ll get you through the downtimes, whatever that is, take care of your clients. So they’ll refer people to you, you know, this is all kind of old school advice. I don’t think I have anything new and brilliant to say I would say go back to the basics. Be good to your clients, show up for work every day, be in it for the long haul and make sure you’re bringing in revenue.

 

 

It’s funny, my uncle always used to tell me, he said, Look, just do a great job for people and ask them to tell someone else and you’ll never run out of business. And I’m on year 21 of that. So it’s working pretty well. And inevitably to in that I always tell people as well. Look, when you’re on a company the size I do now, we don’t always do a great job. Sometimes we mess stuff up. And when we do we do We apologize as quickly as we can and do everything in our power to correct whatever the issue was because people are people and people make mistakes. And I think anybody who like wants to act like they’re running a perfect ship all the time, is probably fooling themselves and everyone I’d much rather be more transparent. Look, look, sometimes we do screw it up. And when we do I want to do the best we can to fix it. And if we can’t I want to part ways well, because I certainly don’t want to burn any bridges. So I think that’s all great advice, long term view, cashflow, various income streams and care for your clients. Those four things are just critical. They are basic, but so many people don’t do them. That’s what’s crazy. As we kind of wrap up today. If people want to find you on the internet, they want to learn more about you writing their own book, what you do, where is the best place for them to go?

 

Michelle 

I think on a grace point publishing.com I’ve got free downloads there they can get you know, report on how to publish a book some free tips, you can schedule a call with me to find out more about book coaching or publishing. So Gracepoint publishing.com. And that’ll lead you to my personal website and other things as well.

 

 

Sounds great. Michelle, thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciate it BJ

 

 

Great to be here.

 

 

I hope this episode has given you some ideas or inspiration that will help you grow your business. If you found it helpful and you know somebody else who might benefit from it as well. I would greatly appreciate it if you would take the time to share this with them maybe on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn or even shoot an email over to a friend with a link to this podcast in it. And if you haven’t already, make sure you sign up for our email list and building a business that lasts.com

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