Entrepreneurs have a special opportunity to gain a wealth of on hands knowledge and expertise in their field and publishing a book is one way they can share this wisdom. However, a lot of individuals get turned off from the idea due to all of the work and knowledge needed for the process. It requires a strong strategy, messaging, and creative juices to come to fruition, but it is possible for anyone and everyone who wants to share their story. 

In this episode of Dream Cast, Denise Walsh and Michelle Vandepas touch on a bit of everything. They discuss TEDx, publishing, serial entrepreneurship, and marketing. Michelle also shares her experience mentoring other entrepreneurs and authors. As a coach, she helps clear a path for authors to truly share their voices. In the world of publishing, things become complicated quickly. A coach helps you tackle the technical, allowing you to focus on your voice. Book coaches are also wonderful for helping direct your message. Michelle speaks about how important it is to realize your purpose specifically when creating your message. Your purpose can be hard to see when you’re over your head trying to learn what an ISBN number is or how many pages make for a bestseller. 

If you want to learn more, you can schedule a free call with a publisher or book coach on our website! Our publishers have lots of experience helping entrepreneurs publishing and we would love to hear your ideas. Sign up for a call on our home page and clicking “Find Out More”.

Make sure to check out both Denise Walsh and GracePoint Publishing on their social media linked below!

Click here to hear the conversation, or listen to the episode on your favorite podcast provider.

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Full Transcript

Denise 

Hello and welcome back to the dream cast. I am your host Denise Walsh, I combined science, Scripture and stories that will inspire you to dive deep break through your own personal glass ceiling and design a life of your dreams. I believe that we can thrive in all areas of life at the same time. But where do we begin? Personally, financially, spiritually relationally. And often because we don’t know where to focus, we do nothing. At least that’s the space I lived in for several years. I know what it feels like to constantly be spinning my wheels. And that’s exactly why I created the dream life daily journal. After working through the dream life action planner, we need to do something every day so we actually take steps in the direction we desire. Throughout the years I’ve developed success habits that have helped me to create a dream 10 life in all areas by focusing on one area at a time, and I teach you exactly what to do each and every day and the dream life daily journal, you’ll find a Gratitude Game every day to start the morning off write a space for a prayer, meditation, journaling, a space to write down your clear and intentional dream life goal with affirmations and visualizations connected to that goal. You’ll then have a spot to write down your dream life action to do list so you can be intentionally taking action towards your goal every single day. I know that by completing the dream life daily journal every day for at least 30 days, you can create momentum. And when you do that, my friend, you can live your dream life to check out the dream life toolkit.com or Amazon to get your copy of the dream life daily journal today. Big big welcome back to the dream cast. Oh my gosh, okay. I feel like I’m excited about every guest, you guys. But this guest I cannot wait to pick her brain. Because she is an esteemed TEDx speaker, and TEDx speaker, coach, which means not only does she have a message worth spreading, but she teaches other people how to do it, too. And she’s the leading expert for entrepreneurs and personal development experts who want to share what they’ve learned by becoming an author. And as you know, you guys, when I hit the top of our company in 2015, I thought I have learned so much I’ve created momentum in my business. And I want to share that with the world. Not everybody wants to start a home based business, but oh my gosh, the the experience that I had that everybody needs to know this. And so I wrote the book, design your dream life, which came out last year, because I feel like like when you have a message worth spreading a book is a great way to do it. And a TEDx speech really is on my goal to do so. I’m excited to pick her brain about that. She wrote her first book 20 years ago, and began to publish and promote other authors and their work as well. As a serial entrepreneur and serial best selling author herself. She understands the strategy, messaging and creative juice needed to build a platform. She is a visionary marketer, who combines creativity with smart business sense to unleash the power of her clients. She has been featured in numerous media outlets speaking about her passion for purpose and profit. Amen. Yes. Both. And she’s been filmed for an upcoming documentary film wisdom from thought leaders, alongside sting and the Dalai Lama. Guys, we are going to talk all things marketing, speaking and book publishing today with our guest, Michelle Vandepas.

Michelle 

Yay. Oh, wow. Thank you so much.

Denise 

Well, I’m excited to hang out with you today, because you are doing some of the things that I aspire to be doing as well. And I love that you said purpose and profit, because you can have a passion and not make money from it. Or you could feel like you’ve got something to share, or you want to do X, Y and Z but then not know really how to market it. And it seems like you’ve got the strategy for not just clarifying your message, but actually creating the brand and the connections and the marketing surrounding it to actually get it into people’s hands. So before we jump into what you’re doing now, I’d love to hear what got you into the publishing world

Michelle 

to begin with. Yeah, so like most of our journeys, it was not a straight line. I have been an entrepreneur For almost 40 years, 35 years, I guess. And as part of that entrepreneurial journey, I started mentoring other entrepreneurs and helping them with marketing, selling how to build your business. And then, at one point, I sold my companies and just went into consulting, and then into coaching. And part of the whole process was teaching other people, really how to build your brand, and put yourself out there as an entrepreneur, and market yourself. And this was, you know, this is a while ago, this is 25 years ago. So this was not online strategy. This was brick and mortar door to door. And then I wrote my first book about marketing, and use that to help promote myself as an expert in marketing and branding, and as a consultant. And I realized that’s a really great way to help build your own platform. And then I started teaching other entrepreneurs how to write their books and build their use their book to build their platform, worked with speakers, coaches, all kinds of small business people, and published my first book 21 years ago, and then helped other people start writing and publishing their books and courses changed so much in the last five or six years that I’ve morphed along with it. But it has been an incredible journey, I still do a lot of marketing and branding coaching that just really marries well with books and, and helping books build platforms for entrepreneurs.

Denise 

Yeah, I love that. So you were already marketing, coaching, training, working with people. But when you wrote your book, you realize that this was a great way to get your word out for your business. Do all entrepreneurs need a book,

Michelle 

so I wouldn’t hurt, right? It wouldn’t hurt for all entrepreneurs to have a book, you know, there are some people that just aren’t interested in having one or don’t feel like they’re writers, or have never really thought about how they’re going to put their expertise into a book. And I can help them with that if they want to explore the possibility of moving forward. But I think any entrepreneur could have a book to help give them credibility in their field to help their prospective audience or clients know why they’re different. What sets them apart from other people in their same industry doesn’t have to be a long novel, it can be a short book that you use, as a business card or as a lead generating tool, it can be a book that really sets you apart in the marketplace, because you have a different way of approaching your industry. So there’s a lot of ways for entrepreneurs to use a book. But I think, yeah, most entrepreneurs could use a book and in their repertoires part of their branding. Yeah, it

Denise 

sounds like it really gives you number one, like not just something in your head, I wrote a book because I felt like I was getting all of these questions that I couldn’t just answer in a message, or on our resume with our teams or things, I needed something that was a bit deeper that really shared that the process of what I call the dream life pathway. How do entrepreneurs figure out what makes them unique? Or what their brand is? Or what they should even write a book about?

Michelle 

Yeah, so what I usually start with is, what’s the one thing that you want your prospective clients to know? And, and I will say that, because this is an entrepreneurial show, I’m talking about that if I were coaching someone who is writing a house book, or different kinds of books, and we may start with a different question, but if you have a prospective client, what is it that you want them to know about you? Why are you different? What sets you apart in the marketplace? When you’re on a sales call? What do you emphasize why people should buy from you and not your competitor? And that’s probably what goes in your book. That’s the key elements about who you are that makes you unique in your world. And that’s where we would start, I like to say is, where do you put the stake in the sand and say, This is me, this is what I believe in, this is who I am. And that’s where you start writing your book. Another way is to think about what you want to put on your back cover. So after you’ve written your book, what is the back cover say that’s a fabulous place to start writing. Because when you have the back cover, that’s a synopsis in one paragraph, what the books about. And so if you don’t know what you want to write about yet, just start playing with what you might put on your back cover. And it’s amazing how that will spark ideas for you about what should go in your book. I love that

Denise 

because if you’re planting the flag and saying this is me, then your book will draw people who are like minded to you and your business, or who

Michelle 

also just are attracted to what it is that you’re offering in the way that you’re saying it. Right. So like mindedness This is an interesting thing. And let’s just dig into that for a minute. I’m a big fan of not selling to your friends and family in your personal tribe. Because those are the people that are your friends and family and your personal tribe, they’re not necessarily your audience. To reach a bigger audience, you have to think about your message, right? So you may have a big circle of friends that all think the way you do and have similar interests, but then may not be your buyers. So I agree with what you’re saying that it will attract like people to you. And you also want to go to the next circle out to make sure you’re building a bigger audience than that with people that just are attracted to what you’re saying that maybe haven’t thought about that before.

Denise 

Who I like that? Because you’re right, I think if we are just thinking about those that are in our personal tribe are really limiting what our message could be.

Michelle 

Yeah, we’re not going big enough, we’re not going so that this happens a lot with people in the health industry. They’re like, I want to attract people who are vegetarian and teach them to go vegan, for instance, or I want to teach people how to eat whole foods. And so I want people that are health minded. Well, you’re preaching to the tribe, you’re preaching to the choir, right? Actually, if you are interested in teaching people how to eat whole foods, your audience may be people who eat fast food right now. And so you may not have similar interests at this point, but they’re gonna be really interested in what you have to say. So always think outside of your inner circles when you win a pro easy to stay small isn’t it

Michelle 

is so easy. Yeah, all of us. Yeah, it is,

Denise 

it’s easy, because you think they’re an easy, yes, then we don’t want to get the nose. But when we think bigger, you’re really kind of taking people from this place of alright, I don’t want to be here anymore. And now I’m going to learn from this expert who can help guide me throughout the whole path of making the desire change,

Michelle 

then that’s how you have an impact in the world. You don’t have as big of an impact moving someone from vegetarianism to Whole Foods, just using this analogy, as you would someone who has been eating fast food and these lose 300 pounds. That’s a bigger impact,

Denise 

right? That’s powerful. What are some of the most common mistakes authors seem to be making,

Michelle 

or they don’t understand their ISBN, and who who owns the book, if they use somebody else to get their ISBN, I’m not saying don’t use someone, I’m a publishing house, right. So I buy ISBN, and if you come through me, then you use my ISBN, I’m just saying to understand it, right. And I do have that written out for anyone that that would like more information on that, you just have to understand who owns your ISBN, as you move forward and marketing and publishing your book. Another mistake is not getting really high quality, layout and design, not really understanding what a professional designer can do for your book. So sometimes, if you look at a self published book, where they’ve not used good design, and you open the paperback book, The words are running into the margin on the inside, called the gutter where the glue is where the binding is, and you can’t, it’s hard, you have to like open the book extra hard to read in there, not getting good editing, and not thinking, oh, you know, my mother edited and she was an English teacher, you know that that’s a great person to have look at your book, but you need to also just get a professional editor that doesn’t know you and your work. So those are just a few of the things I see that are easily fixable is just new authors often don’t know these things.

Denise 

I will piggyback on that because I absolutely agree. You hearing my voice, I made these mistakes. My book came out a year after expected because I first was working with people that were not in the publishing industry. They were just friends of friends. And it ended up being too tricky to print too expensive. I wanted it full color, because, you know, they’re like deep topics in the book. And I wanted it to feel fun. And so it ended up being too expensive to print too expensive to ship. And I had to redo it. And when I redid it, it really didn’t take long, but it took way longer because I wasn’t using the right people.

Michelle 

And we did full color books. We do quite a few of them, but you just have to know what you’re getting into. And the nice thing is you can always do full color on Kindle and offer that as even a free book if they buy the paperback

Denise 

right. Ooh, so smart, so smart. So how would somebody go about writing a book in just 90 days?

Michelle 

What I do with my clients is we start with an hour call where we outline Then what you really want in the book and we start with things like what’s in your back cover? What are you willing to put your stake in the sand around? What is it you want someone to know about you as an entrepreneur and your business after they finished reading the book, and we put all that in a broad outline, doesn’t mean that’s what the books can end up being. But it’s a starting place, it’s a jumping off spot. And then we break that down into bullet points. So using the same analogy, I want someone to understand about Whole Foods, okay? Do you want them to understand the difference between organic and non organic? Or do you want them to understand the difference between different grains? Do you want to talk about fresh food versus frozen food, maybe all of those things, or maybe your specialty is just one of those, right? So we dig into that, and we do an outline for a book. And then you write a goal, you’re gonna do 500 words a day, or you’re gonna do 3000 words a week, whatever it is, and you carve out time, and you write every day or every week. So for some people, it might be 15 minutes a day over lunch. For other people, it might be Saturday afternoons for two hours, you know, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is consistency and having an intention that you will hold yourself to, or to hook up with a book coach or someone like my team to hold you accountable and to look at your words at the end of every week, right. So if you have an appointment with a book coach, and you don’t have any words, you’re likely to sit down and write them out right then, and not get too self critical at this stage, because nobody’s writing is good at this stage doesn’t need to be good. It just needs to be out out of your head and onto paper. And then about couple months in, you start looking seeing what you have organize it into the correct order, maybe chapters table of contents, and it starts taking a little bit of shape. 90 days is for someone who’s really committed ready to go has the ideas. For other people, it might be a six month process, but you can definitely get a first manuscript in 90 days ready to go to editing or publishing.

Denise 

I love that it really, it sounds like you’re helping with clarity. You’re asking questions that help bring clarity, and so many times what we have to say, as the author is so innate, that I don’t ask myself those same clarity questions, because I think everybody knows, and that just, you know, it seems so normal to me. So those clarity questions, and then having those goals and then accountability, and feedback, because I think when you’re putting your heart on paper, having someone come alongside you, not just for accountability, that you actually do what your heart’s desire is, but that you get the feedback and the validation and the process. It’s it sounds like a really powerful process.

Michelle 

Yeah, totally. We can never coach ourselves. No one, none of us can.

Denise 

Yeah, my husband sometimes is like, well, you please read your own book, like I know. Awesome. So your publishing company is called Grace point publishing. And you work with authors specifically, who have something new to say in the field of human design, new economy, quantum thought and healing. And I am a former clinical psychologist. And my book combines quantum physics, epigenetic and Scripture and things. And so these types of books really speak to me, I’d love to hear why you decided to focus on this niche.

Michelle 

So it just so happens that my publishing company became the number one human design publisher in the world. Just because we grabbed an author that’s big in that particular field. I personally have had an interest in epigenetics and quantum healing and alternative type of healing techniques for many, many years, 2530 years, when it just started, I followed Candace pert way, way, way back. I don’t know if you know that name. But it’s because of my own personal journey with healing that I got interested in that. So it’s just a niche I know quite a bit about and can help authors in that. It’s not the only niche, we have a faith based press. We have a self publishing arm for people who want to write memoirs and just need help, or some sort of healing journey that may not fit under one of the other genres. So we just focus there because it’s what my personal interest is, and I’m co founder of the company, so I’m allowed to do that.

Denise 

I love it. Well, and it’s true because you said purpose and profit, meaning you have a passion in this and you are excited to tell others and kind of spread this knowledge and you found a way to take your passion and make a profit from it and you’re helping other people do the same totally. So I want to connect with your TED X speaking adventure. Tell me a little bit about how You got on the TEDx stage,

Michelle 

that was kind of a fluke, actually. So I was on the first Colorado Springs TEDx stage. I think it was about seven years ago now. And I just found somebody who found somebody who found somebody who knew who was putting it on. And so I just emailed them and said, Hey, are you still accepting speakers? And they said, Yeah, so two weeks later about, or that wasn’t quite that quick. But a few weeks later, I was on the stage. At that point, we did not have TEDx coaches, we didn’t have a dress rehearsal, we didn’t have any preparation. It was just okay, here’s your time, get on and do your talk. And so I learned so much, and it was really fun. It’s a topic I’m passionate about, which is understanding when you’re in a creative process and understanding when you’re in the doing stage. And for every person that’s a little bit different. But I like to call it procrastination or percolation. So to understand when you’re actually procrastinating and to understand when you’re in percolating creative stage within a project. Over the years, Colorado Springs, TEDx is really morphed into a very professional organization with Speaker coaches. I’m one of the speaker coaches now, dress rehearsals, lots of help lots of help putting their talk together in a professional manner. So I’m proud to have started years ago, and grown with the TEDx people here, how exciting.

Denise 

It is one of those things that how shows up when you start asking and really get the word out about what you’re looking for. Somebody knows somebody who knows somebody who can connect you in the right direction. Yeah. And

Michelle 

very often this thing seeds, and then not trying to figure out every single detail. That’s what bogs us down, right? Yeah. Yeah. Like, God, they say, Yeah,

Denise 

I love it. Well, congratulations on that. But then, not only did you experience success on the stage, but then you also transferred that and said, I want to help other people do the same. And I love when people experience success or kind of hit a goal. And then they reach back behind them and help other people who have that same passion and goal to. Yep, totally, totally.

Denise 

One last question about about all of this before I’m have some entrepreneur questions for you. But I’m also curious, you doing so many cool things about this documentary wisdom from thought leaders tell us what this is about? Well, I

Michelle 

was interviewed a number of years ago. So it’s interesting, that sentence, I wasn’t like standing next to sting or anything I wish I was. We were all interviewed separately for a documentary I since here, the documentary has been sold. And that’s the ways of Hollywood, right? So I’m not exactly sure where it is in the in the production stage anymore. But it was really cool. It was about all the wisdom that we get just as we get older in life, and they interviewed me about purpose, and passion and profit and how all that comes together. And what happens if you just need to put money on the table? And how do you bring purpose and passion into that? So it was a fascinating process. I love doing it. I flew into LA to do it. And I sure hope that it comes out soon.

Denise 

Yeah, I’ll keep my eyes open for it. How did you get connected with the documentary?

Michelle 

Somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody, he talked me up with them, and they called me, I love

Denise 

I love it. You guys be loud about what you’re doing the bold to have a clear message because somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody will refer you to a TEDx, or a documentary, or something pretty cool. That’s right, or being honest. That’s like this.

Denise 

That’s right. That’s right. I love it. I love it. So a couple of questions about your entrepreneurial journey, you are kind of a pro at being an entrepreneur. These days, 35 years of owning your own business. What would you say to somebody who is new and starting a business and is still in kind of the first steps of putting themselves out there? What are some, some ways that somebody can kind of have the courage or the boldness to actually say yes to that dream that stirring in their hearts.

Michelle 

So no matter where you are, if you’re gonna start full time, part, time doesn’t really matter. So this is like just real third dimensional practical sorts of advice. I say cash is king, you got to sell you can create all the websites you want the on as many podcasts as you want, create pretty business cards and rebrand yourself. But if you’re not selling, you’re not in business. And not having cashflow is one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs can make, especially women entrepreneurs, sometimes we get scared of asking for the big money. And we need that to stay in business. We need that to grow our business. Otherwise, we’re just having expensive hobbies. Right? And so I think for any entrepreneur It’s you got to be brave, you got to learn how to sell, you’ve got to learn how to sell. Selling is not a dirty word. It’s it is what brings clients who need you into your business. So they understand what you can do to help them and then sell your your products or services or packages. So you’ve got cash flow coming in, so you can grow your business so you can pay yourself so you can keep the lights on hire team, whatever it is that you want to do in your business.

Denise 

That’s so true. And when you sell, you are making an impact, you’re selling a product or service that you love, right. And so you’re excited about it, you know, it’s going to help people. And that’s how you make the biggest impact by saying this product or service is absolutely going to help you. And yes, it costs money because people will take your product or service more seriously when they’ve have skin in the game. And so it is important to actually ask for that transaction. Yep, totally. Absolutely. So who are some people you’ve learned from along the way? Wow. So

Michelle 

my old school stuff, this will tell you how old I am. So way back when Zig Ziglar Wayne Dyer, all the old school guys who were around in the 80s and 90s, teaching, sales and positive thinking and so forth. These days, I’m inspired by sort of surprising people who maybe aren’t so well known, but just get out there and do their thing. So people like you who are out there doing your thing, making a difference in the world, right? I’m really inspired by Greta, who is on the climate change wagon, mostly because she just started one person by herself putting her stake in the sand right what she believed in Malala, another phenomenal woman who just said, this is not right. This is what I believe in this is, this is what we need to stand up for. So I’m all about being brave and speaking your truth and doing it in such a way that can inspire other people rather than railroading other people.

Denise 

Brave truth Inspire. And I think that when we have that confidence in that bravery to speak our truth and kind of live authentically and put that stake in the sand and be bold about it, we are giving permission for others to do the same. Absolutely. So I know that being an entrepreneur, we kind of call it a personal development program with compensation plans. You consistently are learning and growing and pivoting and falling and getting up and all that kind of stuff. What are some things you do every day that keep you fulfilled and moving forward that you couldn’t live without.

Michelle 

So I wish I could say I had this like 4am ritual thing I don’t, I’m not one of these people that get up every morning and make my smoothie and go for my five mile run. I will say though every day, I listen to music every day, I have quiet time to try to walk every day, I’m not so good at that right now, I do just look out the window and think quite a bit. I lead a pretty JAM PACKED life with my family, my business, my personal interests, and so forth. So I’m going, going going going pretty, pretty fast every day. And I do like to just take a minute here and there and just breathe and look out the window. And that’s I think what keeps me going that keeps me not just be on the treadmill or the wheel as they say right running from thing to thing. I do take time everyday to sort of think about the big picture being gratitude, look and see what’s going on around me and appreciate my life.

Denise 

Well congratulations, Michelle for starting a business that you’re passionate about and even pivoting throughout the years to add on speaking and, and to grow your publishing and to continue to create a platform for other people to clarify their message and then get out in the world in a way that brings in cash. And I loved everything that you’ve mentioned today. You guys, if you’re interested in learning more, check out Grace point publishing.com. And she even has a report that has the top 10 Publishing considerations that you can get for free what what is the report that they’ll be able to download?

Michelle 

So yes, the top 10 considerations, it has things like understand your ISBN, understand what different types of editors there are layout and design some of the things that we already talked about. So absolutely go get your free report. And then you can also just schedule a call with myself or one of my team members or someone on our staff that you just have questions about Publishing’s we’re here for

Denise 

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, thank you so much. It was awesome to chat with you a bit today and you guys go to Grace point publishing.com to download the report or to schedule a call because you don’t need a stage to have a story we all have a story and a man message that we want to get out into the world and perhaps a book is a great way to do. So. Thank you so much. Have an amazing day. Thank you so much.

Denise 

Thanks so much for hanging out with us today. I want to hear your aha moment from today’s amazing episode. If you could leave a review and whatever podcast player you choose to listen from, Apple podcast, castbox, Spotify, YouTube, wherever you’re listening from, leave a review and share with us your favorite part of today’s episode. Thanks for hanging out and remember to dream big

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