In this episode, Michelle Kulp shares her story of how Billy Ray Cyrus motivated her to live her dreams, her 15-year journey of being an entrepreneur, and tips on writing a book to create passive income.
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Welcome to the elevated entrepreneur podcast. I'm Jenessa McKenzie, an intuitive business and mindset coach to inspired success, driven solopreneurs like you who are ready to show up as a bad-ass boss and create the impact and income they desire. It's my mission to help you see who you were created to be. So you can share your gifts with the world and make a difference. My approach to business is not what most would call normal. Thank God, because being weird and unapologetic about it is my jam on this podcast, or mix the Wu with the do to help you create the space energetics and strategy to attract the clients and cash you really want while unapologetically showing up as who you are. So you can design the business and life you desire from the inside out. So if you're ready to say peace to settling, hiding half-assing, and dimming your light, and yes, to having the abundant, profitable business and life of your dreams without living on the edge of exhaustion and overwhelm, listen up. As I hit the BS button on the extremely outdated perception that you need to hustle every something you're not successful. Thank you so much for being here today. Now let's do this.
Hey, everyone. Welcome back to the elevated entrepreneur podcast. I am Janessa, and I'm here with Michelle Culp today and she helps high-level entrepreneurs who have a message to share with the world. She helps them give birth to their book and also to get their book on the top of the bestseller list. So readers can find them, Michelle,
I'm doing fabulous. How are you?
Great. Great. Awesome. Just talking before we started, really started and you know, everyone knows where I am right outside of Boston and it's freaking cold here today. So, but that is about it. So if anyone hears the whistling wind in the background today, that is it it's very windy today. So Michelle, tell us more about you. Like, you know, tell us all about the things.
Yeah. So I never thought I'd be a midwife to help people give birth to their books. Um, but that's what I've become over the years. I didn't start that way. In fact, um, when I was, uh, 17 years old, I was sitting in business law class and I said, Oh my God, I love the law. I'm going to be a lawyer. I like, I knew like 17 years old or somebody, a lawyer. That's, that's my, that's my career path, my calling. And I w I did go to college and I studied law, but I didn't, I became a paralegal instead of an attorney because I got married and had three kids and then never finished that career path. Um, but I, but I loved being a paralegal for 17 years. It was a great career, um, until it wasn't, and, uh, who called there is a book I read and he calls it career creep.
And I'm trying to think of which book it is. Um, and career creep is when you have a job and like, like say, you, you love 75% of what you do. And then there's 25%. You don't love. Um, which is, which is typical. But usually if, if there's 75%, you'd love, you're pretty happy at your job. But at the end of my 17 years, it was reversed. I was, I hated about seventy-five percent of what I was doing. Things had changed. And that's what career creep is. It's like the little things you do at work, or they give you more responsibilities that you didn't want, or you're doing all these things. You're like, I didn't sign up for this. So at the end of the 17 years, I was waking up literally going, I don't want to go to work. I got a call and sick.
I can't stand this job. I hate it. But yet I'm now I'm divorced with three young kids and I'm like, I don't know anything else to do for a career. So, um, as fate would have it, um, do you remember Billy Ray Cyrus, Greg, you are okay. So I meet Billy Ray Cyrus after a concert in 1992, I chased down his limo with a friend of mine. I ended up in his hotel room and I know people say like, well, that sounds crazy. Why would you chase Billy Ray Cyrus down? But you have to, you have to have the context of my life. At the time, going through a divorce, my ex-husband wasn't paying child support. He was kind of like a deadbeat dad. Um, my older brother was diagnosed with AIDS and was dying. I was struggling financially to pay the bills. And so it was a very dark time in my life, in my life.
And, um, all of a sudden a neighbor came over and gave me it, it was like a tape of Billy Ray Cyrus. And I was like an eighties rock and roll girl. I'm like, who's this guy. And then I looked at, I was like, Oh, he's kinda, and they're like, Oh, you got to listen to the song. If you break your heart, I think your kids would like it. Well, it's very addictive too. And I mean, some went on to sell like 17 million copies and it was, it was a thing back then. So anyway, the same neighbor told me, Billy Ray Cyrus was playing on my birthday. And I immediately thought, well, that's because I have Billy Ray and I are going to meet. And he has something really important to tell me. And my friends are like, Michelle, you've lost your mind. The stress is getting to you.
Oh, by the way, I ended up in the hospital, they thought I was having a heart attack. Cause I was having heart palpitations. And they asked me if I had any stress to which I said, no, cause I was like 29 years old. And I didn't know what stress was. I was like, no, I work three jobs. I have three kids. My brother's death. You know, my ex-husband won't pay child support and I'm taking him to court, you know, like, no, no stress, no stress. Um, so Billy Ray was yeah, like the light at the end of the tunnel, you know what I mean? He was like, I'm going to meet him. And he has something that's going to change my life. And I held on to that belief with everything. And I recruited one of my crazy friends from high school, Jackie, and we went to this concert and we tried to get backstage.
We got kicked out four times on the Patriot center where he was playing. And I said, Jackie, we can't keep up. We gotta meet Billy Ray Cyrus. So he comes out in the limo and he's like signing autographs. And I'm just sitting in my car, waiting for all the women to get out of there so I can meet Billy. Right. I got to talk to him. He does all his, his, uh, signing of autographs. And um, he leaves in the limos. So I decide I'm following the limo. I come in, go into New York. I mean, we're in Virginia ever. The limo's going follow Billy Ray. Now I'm running, running red lights. I'm going through stop signs. I'm acting like an insane, you know, you get on that adrenaline high and you're not even like like you're just crazy now. Like there is no logic, there's no logic.
And so I'm running red lights and I'm chasing that limo down, along with a lot of other women. In fact, it kind of looked like an Elvis pres Presley thing where they used to chase it, you know, and go crazy. Like that's how it was. So we get to the Hilton hotel. Billy Ray goes into the side door with his very big bodyguard and all these women come running in and my girlfriend jumps out of the moving car and goes, I'm going to go. I want to go talk to him and tell him to wait for you. It's your birthday. And she runs out of the car and I was like, okay. So I park in the handicapped spot. I go in the side door, Billy Ray's with all these women, he's in the elevator with the bodyguard and he sees me. Now I have to tell you I also, wrote a book called red dress energy.
And it's part of this story. I wore a red spandex dress. Remember I was 29 years old with the red pumps and red lipstick. And I thought, well, all the women are going to be in their country, music outfits, right? Their Jean jackets and their cowboy boots. I'm going to stand out in my red dress. Billy Ray will notice me. So I walk in and he literally pulls me into the elevator with him. And, um, and uh, I said, I said, today's my birthday. And so he signed two things for me. Now you're going to laugh. When I tell you the two things he signed, I would want to why I was carrying this book called creative, visible visualization by Shakti, Dwayne sign, the book. It wasn't his book. It was like, I was doing these visualizations so I can meet him. So he signs my book.
He signs a t-shirt and he gives me a red rose. And then Steve goes, all right, Billy, Ray's going upstairs for the night. Everybody gets out, everybody gets out of the elevator. And so he, they, they literally go upstairs and um, all the women are standing there and my girlfriend says, what are we going to do? I said we got to get rid of the competition. So let's be leaving. And then everybody, I feel like everyone will just leave. Like, Oh, it's over. And then we come back in. Cause we are going to meet Billy Ray Cyrus. So anyways, got rid of the women, come back in, and push every button in the elevator to see they blocked off the floor. Cause that's what they, I was a cocktail waitress at the Sheraton hotel, in my college days. And they used to block off the floor where the celebrities stayed so nobody can get to the floor.
But on this, this night they didn't block off the floor. All, all the lights lit up. I think it was like 15 floors of the elevator. And I said, well, we'll just go to every floor. And we'll find we're going to find Billy Ray on one of these floors. So we finally get to the 12th floor and I looked down the hall and I see the bodyguard. His name was Steve and Steve, um, comes out and sees me coming down the hallway. And he says, um, you're, you're not gonna talk to Billy Ray Cyrus. He is in for the night. And um, I start arguing with him and he says, I'm going to call the police. I'm going to call hotel security. I will have you thrown out of here. Like you think you're the first girl that wants to meet Billy Ray Cyrus. I was like, no.
And then I gave him some sob story, but he didn't buy it. Get out. Now I'm calling security. So my girlfriend was getting nervous and she was like, Michelle, I don't want to go. I want to go to jail. I was like, all right, fine. So we go back to the elevator and I said, Jackie, the only thing standing between me and my dreams is a hallway. And we're like if I have to camp out right here at the Zelle Bay or Billy Ray has to come downstairs in the morning, like I'm going to meet him. She's like, all right, well, that sounds crazy. But uh, we can't sleep here all night. I said, I know that's not a good idea. All right. So anyway, fast forward, there was a house phone on the counter. I picked up the house phone and there's a little sign that said room 12, 20 to 1223, pick up the phone, dial 1223.
Cause I saw Billy, Billy Ray was in the last room. And so was the bodyguard, Billy right? Answers the telephone in the room, across the street from the, I mean across the hall from the bodyguard, he answers the phone. And I said, um, he goes, who's this? I said it's the, it's the birthday girl. And he said, you mean the girl in the red dress? So he sees my plan worked about the red dress. Anyways, long story short, I made it stable. Ray's room. I won't tell you all the details. I was there for probably about three hours. And um, and he really did change my life. And this is why I feel it's important to always tell this story because Billy Ray asked me, he said, listen, they called me an overnight success. He goes, I've been playing music my whole life. I've been playing in bars, not getting paid, traveling from state to state because it's my passion.
It's, it's what I love because what are your dreams? And I said I don't have any dreams. My life's about survival. He goes, no. Um, I mean, cause it might be right now because, but everybody has a dream and he goes, you want, you must make me a promise that you'll go out and figure out your dream. And then once you figure it out, never give up on it. Will you promise me that? So I promise Billy Ray, I'm going to go find my dream. And um, and so I did get a birthday kiss by the way. Oh yeah, it was my birthday, you know, have a problem. But um, no, he was, he was really a gentleman. He was a very, very nice guy and I feel like it was kind of lonely, you know, traveling by himself. And I think he was just happy to have company and we just talked for hours and stuff.
He was really nice. So he, um, I, I go out for a year and I look for this elusive dream that I'm supposed to find. Now when you're in survival mode, I'm sure a lot of people listening can relate to this. Like I'm not thinking about dreams. I gotta pay my rent and my electric bill and, and um, and not get the water turned off. Do you know what I mean? Like I didn't even ever consider that, but I was so miserable with everything going on. I really wanted to figure out this dream thing. So I go to the bookstore and I find a book called how to find your mission in life. By Richard Bowles. Now he wrote a book called what color, what color is your parachute? Which is like this big career. It helps you find your career path. And I look in the book and if there's one sentence that changed my life and it says, what do you love to do?
Where you lose all sense of time. Yeah. And I was like, okay, when I was a kid, I liked writing poetry and essays and reports. Like all my friends hated writing reports for school. I actually liked writing the reports and the essays. And, and even when I was in the legal field, legal research and legal writing were my two favorite things. So I was like, I guess that's my dream. Cause the only thing I could think of is like five hours could go by and it seemed like five minutes to me. And, and so I was like, this gotta be my dream writings. It, Oh my God. I found my dream. I was so excited. And uh, except for the fact that, um, I go out, you know, I'm like, okay, how do, how do you become a writer? Like I don't have a degree in journalism or anything.
So I kind of go the backdoor route and I get a job as, um, well, after I get fired from the law firm, um, which I w I was miserable there anyways. So, you know, I ended up getting fired from the law firm and I didn't want to ever go back into that world. It was like, just sucking the life out of me. And so I wanted to pursue this writing thing. And so I got a job at the newspaper and I became, you know, it was like the local newspaper. And I became a reporter for a while. I was basically doing multiple streams of income. I was teaching classes. I was, um, writing. I was a freelance reporter and he offered me, they offered me a full-time job. But when I finally found out the salary for a reporter is half of what I was making as a paralegal, I was like, I'll go broke being a reporter.
So I, I did it freelance so I could get, you know, sort of, you know, credibility and learn. And the editor of the newspaper taught me so much. So, um, so that was kind of my journey from legal to, to, um, figuring out that writing really was my passion. And then, um, back then you had to go through the publishing houses, right? If you wanted to get a book published there wasn't Amazon. So I tried to, I tried really hard to get a book published. I had a manuscript and I sent it out and I had like 50 rejection letters. And I was like, I guess I'm not going to be a writer. I don't understand. And then, and then one of the big five publishing houses, um, called me up from New York and they had my manuscript on the desk and they said, we love your book. It was called woman, take hold of your power, 50 ways, subconscious ways women give away their power. And I'm only laughing
Because I actually, uh, I think it was actually just this last podcast episode that I released before today. So, um, we're recording today on three two. So yesterday's release was actually a story about, um, my, my own, like giving away my own power and how, how I took it back.
Wow. I have to listen to that. Yeah. Yeah. And, and, and actually the stories in the book were like me and my girlfriends and stuff, and the guy from the front of the publishing house, he's like, Oh, well, do you, do you have, um, you know, what credentials do you have? Like, this is a self-help book for women. And I'm like, what do you mean? He's like, do you have a Ph.D.? I'm like, no. Yeah. From life, I had something better. These, I didn't make this, like, this isn't like from a book or theory, like, this is what I lived in. My friends lived and they go, Oh, well, you know, we really like it. But, um, you don't have a Ph.D. and a week it's just business. Don't take it the wrong way. We're sorry. But you know, can't publish your book. And, um, I was like, well, like is like, did he crush my dreams?
Or did he kind of give me affirmation that my writing was good enough to get them to call me? Right. So I was like, I'm going to look at it like that. Like, um, like my writing was good enough that they literally, if I had a Ph.D., they would have published my book. And back then, that was a big deal. Now, it's not as big of a deal. But, um, so I didn't get my book published. And then Amazon comes around in 2011, I decided to publish my first book. And a year later I had zero sales and I'm like, Oh, Amazon hit publish. And people just magically find your book. No, that's not how it works. Um, Amazon has like right now, I think it's like 40 million books on there. Like, so you can get published. You're just gonna go into the abyss of what is Amazon.
And if anybody listening knows what SEO is, search engine optimization, getting your web website to show up on page one of Google, the same thing at Amazon, to get your book visible, you need to be on one of their many bestsellers lists. They have thousands of them actually. So, uh, once I realized, like, there's this whole thing on Amazon that you need to be on the best sellers list, I was attending an event. It was a national speakers association event. And a woman was teaching a class called how to be an Amazon best-selling author. And I was like, Oh my, I need you. I don't understand Amazon. Please help me. I was like begging this woman. And she goes, okay, I'll help you.
And she did.
And we launched another book and in one day, 2,128, people got my book and I was like, Oh my God. Now I understand you have to do book launches and you have to know keywords and categories and best sellers list. And you really need to understand the platform. Of course, you have to have a good book. It's not going to do well. Long-term if you don't write a good book and have a good cover. And all that course, all the foundational pieces of a good book. But anyway, I launched that book. And what, so when I started doing that, um, I had started a website called to become a six-figure woman.com. And I started that after I left the legal field because I got into outside sales and I've doubled my time off. And my income, I was making six figures and I said, I'm going to, I'm going to teach women to make six figures. And so I had become a six-figure woman.com. And when they saw me starting to publish books, they were like, can you help us? And that's how a lot of my programs have developed. I'm sure you can relate right. Something, they get people to go, Oh, we want to do that. Like, whatever you're doing, we want to do it. Like probably your podcast. How do you start a podcast? I want to have a podcast.
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think everything that you do as an entrepreneur when somebody sees you do something new and then be consistent with it and become successful with it, they're like, yeah, show me how you did that. Yeah.
Yeah. So, and so these people started coming and the funny thing was, I didn't have quality control back then. Um, I was, I was like, Oh yeah, I can get it to the best sellers list. And I wasn't really, I wasn't like editing the books or I didn't have anything to do with the books. I was just like, they would get, they would say, here's the book. And I would do my thing. I would do the categories, the keywords, the book launch, get it on the best sellers list, and all that. And then I realized, uh, yeah, these books, aren't going to stay on the bestsellers list unless they are really good quality. And some of them were not.
So when I started working with my coach in 2014, he's like, Michelle, you need a done for you program. Like, you need to get, you need to have the editing, the formatting, the cover design, you know, the, like the whole package like just give them everything they need to be successful. And then also to build a profit path around your book, yes, you can make royalties from your book, but you can make a whole lot more money on the back end by selling something because it will attract people to your business. I mean, that's why many entrepreneurs write books as, as we all know. So
Yeah, almost a form of marketing to write a book.
It really, it really is. And I know there are many forms, you know, you can do webinars, you can write books, you can have a podcast, but really books are a form of marketing. And what really changed my, my business recently was in January 2020. I decided to write a book a month for an entire year. Whoa. Yeah. Another crazy thing that I'm not sure you don't go, you don't go small. Do you know? And the reason, the reason I decided to write a book a month. Okay. So when I published like a few books in the past, but because I got so busy with clients' books, like I wasn't writing any books of my own. Like I wrote a couple here and there, but I never really marketed that heavily or did anything with them. So I was really focused on my clients. And then, um, I read this article on written word media and it said the average author who makes six figures in passive income from their books has 28 books. So I thought, Oh my God, I'm going to write a book a month. And when I hit 28 books, I better be at six, six figures. I'm going to just income six figures. Right. Cause I want to make money literally wisely. Yes. I love my clients and me, and I do a high ticket done for you. And it's wonderful, but it's not passive income. There's something magical. Like when you go to sleep and wake up and there's more money in your bank account. Oh yeah. It's like, Whoa, that works.
I mean, seriously. So, um, in 2019, my income, for my blocks, which they were at old at this point was $500 for the whole year. In 12 months, I got to $3,200 in passive income by writing a book, one short book a month under pages or less. Hmm. And now some of those books flopped, but guess what? Three or four of them are, are generating 80% of that. 30. Now it's up to 3,300 right now. So, um, I figured by the end of this year, I'm going to be close to making six figures in passive income. Now I'm not writing a new book every month, this year. Cause I did that last year. And that was, um, that was hard. That was not easy to do. Um, cause it, you know, it was just like a tight timeline and there were some topics I'm like, no, I'm never going to get a book done in a short amount of time.
So I chose very selectively what I was going to write about. So I write all the books get to 3,200 a month in income. And then January, I decided to put four books together and do a box set called the wealthy writers series. And I took one of my top books, which is called 28 books to a hundred K, and some of my other books for writers. And I put them together and I created a box set. Then February, I did another box. What would my top book, how to find your passion? And I put the four books in that. So I'm like repurposing my, my books. Now I got a Spanish version coming out this month, um, of how to find your passion. So now I can just probably for at least six months, I can just repurpose all the books I wrote. So I will get to 28 products, 28 books, products, whatever. And I'll let you know if I hit the six-figure Mark when I got to 28, but I'm close. I'm getting close. I'm I hit it this year. That's my goal. So that's how I got started with this whole book thing. And I just, I love books. That's basically it. I love books too.
I love reading books. I love just having books like being surrounded by books or just like holding books makes me feel good. Me too. Yeah.
Like it, like at night there'll be like books all over my bed. I mean, I do like in every single room in my house, I guarantee you, there are books everywhere. Like I've had to clean out the bookshelf couple with a couple of moves. Cause book moving books is not fun.
Oh, they're heavy. But I just love, I mean, I love reading them, but I also love just having them gel, like just having them. Yeah. It's, I don't, it's the weirdest thing. Like when I think about it, I'm like, why is that? But I don't know. Maybe in a past life, I was an author or a librarian or something.
I'm sure that you're going to write a book one day. I have the, I have a feeling you're going to, you're going to give birth to a book one day because I'm sure with all, with all the guests that you have and the business experience that you have, I just like writing a book is just telling stories. Just, like I told my Billy Ray story of how I found my dream was writing. I mean, honestly, if I didn't meet Billy Ray and re-read that book by Richard Bowles, I don't know where I'd be. Would I still be working in the legal job? Because it was the safe thing to do. You know, people were like, Oh, you got to stay with that job. You have benefits and you have vacation time. And I was like when I, I like life sucks and I hate it. Like I didn't want to stay. Luckily they fired me. So yeah.
The universe works in mysterious ways. Yes, it does. So I think that a lot of people and I, and I'm going to say this because it's definitely me that when somebody says, Oh, you should write a book. Like, I, I feel like in my head I have like total deer in the headlights look like, huh? Like I don't even know. I wouldn't even know where to start with that. Like what, what would even my subject be? What am I going to write about? Um, you know, and then obviously yeah,
Bad podcaster, everything you've ever done in business that people ask you about to teach them.
I know, I know it's so funny because I think that when we innately know things at this point, like we've been through so many things and we've done so many things and a lot of things are just second nature to us at, at, at a certain point that we feel like everybody else knows this too. So why would they want to read a book about it? Right. But there's a that's an effect. And I forget the name of the effect that is, but it's like, there's a scientific thing behind it that like brain actually says, well, this is like the easiest thing ever. So why do I need to teach that? You know, it's
Like the writing. I never that as like I had like, it came easy to me. So I thought I really liked to read, actually comes, predicted,
See to me too. Uh, and it always has like, I even in college, I like went back to college after I had my oldest daughter. So I was like in my mid-twenties, when I went back to college and I had to take an English comp class and I was the oldest one in the class because all the other kids, and it was a night class as to when they were still like, the kids were, you know, between like 18 and 22. And I was probably like 25 or 27 or, but I had had a lot of life experience up to that point because I just did my life. Right. Um, and probably a lot of things that these other kids either hadn't gone through yet or, you know, everyone's life is different. So anyway, you know, they ask us to write certain types of essays or whatever and these English comp classes. And, um, the professor has said to me, you're, you're the best writer in this class. Like, he's like, I know that you're the oldest person in this. Like he wasn't saying it to be rude or anything. It was just pointing out a fact, you know, he's like, so I know you have different and more life experiences than most of the kids in this class. He's like, but, um,
See, I'd like to go back and see those written papers. You did that while I won an award. Yeah, I did. I won an award. You, you have a talent, uh, uh, innate writing talent. Um, but just like me, I did too, but I never really thought about it. I mean, I was just busy, like living life and, you know, going after a career and all that stuff and raising my kids.
Yeah, yeah, exactly. That's kind of how I feel. And I also always would write about something that meant something to me. Like if it was, um, even if it was like a persuasive paper, like forget it. I could debate for days on something that I totally believe in. Like yeah.
Days don't get it a text war with me, please. [inaudible] right. Like chapters for the responses and you'll get sick of me,
Uh, or just, scriptive like, yeah, it's just, it's just funny how, when you go back and look at it, you're like, oh, I, I am pretty good at that. Like, I can tell a story like nobody's business. Yeah. Um,
I think what it is is like getting the story out of your head and onto paper. And so people are like, so where do I begin? Like,
Yeah. And it's right. I think, honestly, for me, it's really choosing the one thing that you're going to write about because that's part of my, I don't want to say problem, but that's part of my personality is that like all, I want to tell you everything I want to, while you're here at all, your personality is more
Like an idea generator. I am an idea generator too. And that's probably why it was good that I worked with clients. Cause I live vicariously through all of their books. Like I'm like, Oh my God, this is the topic. And here's the subtitle. And you got to write that, you know? And I love it cause I can't write all these books. So now I can get my clients, you know what I mean? Like some of them come to me with no book and no idea, no title. And some of them come to me, you know, the books are already done or whatever, but still it's like, I can relate to having too many ideas. Now for years, I've kept a title journal. So I probably have like 500 titles written down. They just come to me every day and I just write them down. I'm like, and then sometimes I use them for my clients' books. I'm like, Oh, here's a great title. You should do this. I know
Every time I see a really good title, I'm like, it. Why didn't I think of that? Well, if you started writing them down, you probably didn't.
What do you think of that? If you were looking for them, you know, like when you're talking to somebody and you're like, wow, like I, like I can have a conversation and find five titles for a book, from a conversation with somebody I'm always like, my radar is set to think in terms of titles. And uh, so you know, you probably have like so many things that you could write about and that's probably, you know, I always say writers are very troubled people. We're the only, the only, um, title that has the word block after it. Like writer's block. We don't have electrics electricians' block. We don't have school teacher block. Like why do we have writer's block? And I think what it is is right. The fear of the blank page, uh, I got too many ideas, so I don't, I don't know where to start or what to write about or how to, you know, how do you make a book?
Like, what is it? But, um, what I teach, um, in my program at some of my programs is mind dump. And so you kind of just, you know, take post-it notes and you think of different topics or whatever, and you just get them all out of your brain. And then like you said, you have to have some emotion around it. There were books I started when I was doing the whole book a month thing, I would write 40 pages. And then I was like, yeah, I'm not feeling it. So I got to learn a low, right. It's like the 12th of the month and I have to start over and write it like another book. And I, yeah, those was not good months when I did that, but I wasn't feeling it like the emotion wasn't there. And so I, um, the easiest books and that's really what I wrote was I wrote what I knew. Like, um, one of my books is called make money while you sleep, work from home and make six figures, um, quit your job and follow your dreams. Um, and I used to teach these classes too. I, I taught at adult education centers, community colleges, I taught at unity church. So I used to teach classes and then I just took the content that I was teaching. And then I just put it into books, you know? And I also have online courses.
Yeah. And I think you just like, nailed it right there for every entrepreneur listening ever like take the content that you've already created. Yes. Put it in a freaking book.
And I'm not going to say that with you is like, go back and look at every podcast you've ever done. I mean, you have topics, right? I mean, I'm sure they, some of them may happen organically of who you're interviewing. So me I'm booked, right? Oh, this is the book lady. We're going to talk about books or whatever. Yeah.
But you know, last year when I first started my podcast, it was all guests. So I would have all guests and not that there wasn't a lot of, you know, me in those podcasts because there were because it was a discussion just like we're having right now. Um, but I didn't do solo episodes. Oh, okay. So I think I did one or two last year, but this year I've decided that every other week is going to be a solo episode. Yeah. So it's almost, I would kind of think of that as coming up with a title or a subject of a book because I could talk for way more than an hour on a lot of the subjects that I talk about. But I also know that the people listening want it to be, you know, uh, uh, ingestible size podcast episode,
Do you know? Um, yeah.
So I don't, I try not to go over an hour. Some of them have gone over now or, but not many. Um, and if I feel like there needs to be a part two, there's a part two. So, but writing a book is different because it could be as many pages as you want and people can just ingest it as they need to or want to.
Well, let me tell you about a guy who wrote a 22-page book this summer and made a hundred thousand dollars on the moment. His name is Alex Berenson and he was a New York Times reporter for 12 years. I never knew Alex [inaudible]. He only K he only came up in my business because I was publishing a book for a doctor in Florida. Now, this doctor was also a lawyer and he had been a state representative in Florida. I mean he, and he wrote a book called Corona lessons, will Amazon blocked the book and said, Oh, you can't write about anything, Corona, anything. COVID we're like, what did this, this book was all my head was well-written well-researched 500 footnotes, everything document. It was like, here are the lessons on what we did well. And what we could do better, like have another, you know what I mean?
It was great, it's a great book. Yeah. Well, he got blocked by Amazon. And so he came to me and like I was working with, and when we were trying to publish his book and he said, yeah, Alex, Barron's got blocked too. And you know how Alex's parents got his book on block. I'm like, wait a minute. Who's Alex Berenson. You know, like, you know, like, who am I supposed to know him? Well, anyway, he was this New York Times reporter. And he wrote, um, a book about, um, the untold truth about whatever, how they did the COVID testing. And he was, he's an investigative reporter. And he said like, things weren't adding up. So he goes, I'm going to write like a few short books. Cause things are, are like fluid in this topic. So he wrote a 22-page book, part one, like the cover, is gray with black letters on it.
Like it's, there's no design. It's 22 pages. I looked at the numbers. I did a screenshot that the book made over a hundred thousand dollars in the first month he launched it. Then he did part two, probably made over another hundred for that one that was 36 pages. The third book was like 40 pages. So people think like you have to write the manifesto. You don't, you could literally, I mean if you have a topic that people really want and I call it reverse engineering, your book, like, know what people are looking for on Amazon. You can, I mean, there are tools that you can find out what people are searching for on Amazon. And then you write a book about that topic, you know, using those keywords. So you don't have to write a long book. But, um, anyway, long story short, we, Alex's parents had got his book blocked because Elon Musk somehow got involved in that and got it unblocked. And then for my client, he had, um, uh, one of the senators, I won't name one of the senators called Amazon and they magically unblocked the book. Huh? Interesting. You got to know people in high places. Yes.
Short books, a hundred pages. Amazon has a whole category called short reads and the first category is one to 11 pages. The second one is like 12, I don't know, 30 pages, you know? So they have all these different categories. So you don't have to write a long book. You could literally probably transcribe one of your podcasts and, and, uh, make a few edits to it and publish it as a book. Um, so a lot of people, if they'd been coaching, teaching online courses, having podcasts, um, you know, uh, we were talking about clubhouse earlier, you know, topics. And it was funny. I listened to stuff, go in the other day on an interview. And somebody said like, some of your blog posts go viral, you know? And some of them you're like, don't do anything. And, um, Seth was like, uh, yeah. Well, if I knew which ones were going to go viral, I'd only write the popular ones.
I, it was really funny the way you said it. And also you said something funny too, about books. He said, one book, I spent a year writing it. And another book I spent 30 days and the book that took me 30 days to write outsells the book that took me a year 10 to one. Wow. And that was the biggest lesson for me. I used to think books took a long time too. Everybody does, right. Oh, I have clients to me. I've been working on this for five years, 10 years, two years, whatever. And they can't get it done. That's why they come to me and they're not, they're not getting it done. And I understand, but now that I've written a book a month, I'm like, Oh no, like it's not that we're going to be done in 12 weeks. We're going to have the book written, edited, formatted book, design, published, launched, and done.
And then you'll be on to media interviews and go talk about your book now in 12 weeks like you don't, it doesn't have to take that long. So that's what it taught me is if you give yourself too much time, then it will take that much time to do two, to write the book. But if you're on a tight timeline like I was, I don't know why I thought I'm going to write a book a month, but now that I've done that, I've seen other people talk about writing a book a month. And I saw one guy who was doing a book every two weeks. So I'm like, I, don't not, I'm not the craziest person out there.
Yeah. So while those are, I mean, I would assume, have to be relatively short reads every two weeks. Okay.
Um, yeah. Um, I don't know. Then, the guy that said he is a fiction writer, the guy that said he was writing a book every two weeks, but they call it in the fiction world. They call it rapid release. I don't know why they have their own term for it. Um, but what they do is it's weird. It's like, you know, you think of like, I don't know, like a gun, boom, boom, boom, boom. But what they do is I think they write all the materials, so everything's done, ready to go. And then boom, they launched the one. And then like maybe two weeks later they launch another one, like in a series of books. And that works really well. And that's what I realized too with my books is like put them in a series, just grouped with the topic. So I have books for authors and writers. And then I have books about careers. You know, I have a book called career path resuscitation, how to find your passion. So I take all like the career books and passion books and then the books for authors, I will say that the books that didn't do really well were the self-help books for women. So, um,
They didn't do well really
Because I was like, you know, that's, what I really wanted to, to write about was, um, self-help books for women. So I wrote, um, red dress energy, a woman's guide to embracing her seven magical powers. I wrote a book on love yourself, big a guide for women who give, um, give too much. And, um, another book called girl boss. And they really did not take off at all. I mean, I did a launch. I did them the way I always do all my books. And um, so now I realize it's just like anything you don't know what's going to take off you, you just have to put your best foot forward. Right. You just like your podcasts. Some shows will be more popular than others and others. And that's what I'm realizing now is like three of my books basically are for make 80% of my income right now. So was it, it wasn't a waste to write the other books? No, cause I don't, I didn't know which books were going to like resonate with people. So I always, I tell clients, the market decides what they like. Like you write the best book and we put out a good product, but the market's going to decide if they like it or not. Sometimes
You don't know what's going to happen in a year, five years, 10 years. Your book could all of a sudden go, well, the one that didn't
Yeah. Yes. I was just going to say that my book had to find, I mean, quit your job and follow your dreams. I actually wrote that way. I mean, a long time ago, 2012 or something, then I did a second edition in 2018 and it never really took off. I wondering cause it was 250 pages. It wasn't a short book. It was a very long book. And I think people just, they see the number of pages now and they're like, no, I can't read that in one night. So I don't want it. But it starting to like the rankings are starting to really pick up on that book. And I think because of everything going on in the world, people, a lot of people who are unemployed, underemployed, um, you know, their, there, whatever, uh, careers are being interrupted or, you know, um, because of COVID.
So I think people are looking for new career paths and my top book had found your passion, which is 23 questions that can change your life. I'm always amazed at how many books I sell per day on that. And I just think that is a very hot topic and the questions that are in the book. Um, the reason I think that book does well is that Einstein said, and I, and I, um, opened the book with this. Einstein said, if he had a problem and you gave him an hour to find a solution, he would spend 55 minutes coming up with the right question to ask. He said because if you ask the right question, you will get the right answer.
Amen. And I was like,
Yes. And so I used to teach a class called ocean writing. And um, I used to do timed writing exercises for the students. And it was great cause I, I didn't want them to like get their left brain involved. I wanted their right brain. So I would say, all right, five minutes, answer this question. And they didn't know what the question was. And I'd say, don't take your pen off the paper because as soon as you take your pen off, you're, you're like going into your left brain, your logical line. So I wrote these questions because questions are what changed my life, the Billy Ray question, the Richard Boles question. And so I put together these 23 questions and I really think that people will find their passion. And one of those questions, um, will help them as they write and journal, you know about that.
Yeah. Well, I think there's a lot of, a lot of that coming up lately, especially, you know, with women, what is my purpose? Um, you know, there are a lot of people who are starting or picking back up on their spiritual journeys. There's a lot of tacos, you know, universal energy and more of the womb right now. Um, because we've had a year to sit with ourselves. It's it's like,
We're all in time out. Yeah. We were behaving very well, I guess, or whatever, you know, we have her on automatic pilot.
Yeah. I mean, it was kind of like the universe was like, Hey, everyone needs to slow down. Everybody needs like totally missing the freaking point, guys.
Yeah. I, I was, um, I was interviewed the other day with three other women and that was the question. What, what, what did you go back to before, you know, before, uh, COVID came to like, you know, in 2019, and what have you learned, you know, from that? And it was interesting to listen to all the one woman and the one woman said, um, I would be more intentional with my yeses. That was really good, you know? Um, because I think we're, it's just like in our blood, we're just nurturers and we are over givers. I, that's why I wrote a whole book about over-giving as we do it to the point of exhaustion and burnout. And until you have no more to give, you know, so
Yeah. And you're like, why can't I, you know, get anything done? Why can't I be successful? Why can't I, you know, these things well, because you're giving it away to everybody else. Exactly. And I, I can't fill it up. You gotta fill it up.
Yeah. My, um, my ex-husband, um, I think when my kids were younger, there was one point I had the job at the law firm and then I had like two part-time jobs. So I had three jobs and my ex-husband who had no jobs called me a job for
A job where I'm like, is that an insult? I can't figure out what that means, but yes, ha I had actually jealousy right there. If you have three kids, you got to hustle, you gotta do, like, I was delivering pizza kits at night at 10 o'clock with three kids in the back seat, after the law firm job all day, like I was, I was doing whatever I had to do to make money, to pay the bills. And so in a way it kind of made me more, I think I have ambition just naturally, but it made me, I had to make six figures. Cause I didn't have any other income to take care of these kids.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And some, you know, that's like being at rock bottom sometimes is the drive, then drive to do the thing, you know, um, hopefully not all of us have to hit rock bottom to get, to get the drive, to do the thing.
Great. Um, a great podcast. And he said, why motivation sucks. And I was like, that was the title of the podcast. Now that's really good. And, and he said, um, motivation sucks because motivation wears off very fast. And, and, and he said, what you really need is drive. And I was thinking about the difference between those two words and people always say to me, you know, um, that I'm motivated. And I always think, normally not like, I'm like really lazy. What are they talking about? You know, they're like, Oh, but you know, you do this, this, that, whatever, you know,
No, you have to drive. And it's funny because when we first started this podcast and you were telling me your story just about Billy Ray, I'm like, that girl's driven. Like, yeah, it wasn't, she's motivated. No, that's not what came to my head at all. It was absolutely driven,
Driven. And I never realized that because when people would say a moment, I'm thinking, I am like I was offered a job years ago at the Lexus dealership where, um, my son now works and he's the top number one salesman at Lexus. But the guy used to try to get me to work there. And he goes, Oh my God, Michelle, you'd be so great. And you know, you would make six figures. I go, you don't understand Doug. I am a lazy salesperson. I don't want to work 60 hours a week. I want to work like no hours and make six figures. That's my goal in life. I am ambitiously lazy.
Yes. Amen. Yeah.
Why this passive income appeals to me? Um, you know, it's like, yeah, I can be, I have, you know, multiple six figures from the done for you, but then, I love this passive income thing. And now I have an online course that goes along with the 28 bucks to a hundred K and I priced it really low. And everybody's like, Oh my God, that should be like a thousand dollars, 2000. I said, no, because then people have to think about it. I don't want people to think about it. I want to. And literally, we were at eating sushi for my celebrating my son's number one award that he got at Lexus the other day. And we're sitting there and I look at my phone and like three people signed up for my online course at $297. And I said I'm treating sushi for everybody. And they're all laughing. I was like, God, I love passive income. Why did I start doing this earlier? I would've already been making six figures from it.
Right. And it was, you know, not didn't even really need to launch the course because it came right off the back of the book.
It came right off the back of the book. And that's another good point. Thanks for bringing that up is that if you write about what, you know, what you lived, what your story is, like a lot of people don't, they don't want to share their story, you know, but that's really where the learning is for everybody is like, you know, where we came from to where we are now and the success we have, it's like, you know, share your story. And a lot of times once, once you, um, get your books out there, you can see what's really taking off or resonating with people and create an online course about it. And I had this one guy he's in my Facebook group and he's like, well, what's different about the course then your book. And I've had people say, they read my book seven times.
I'm not kidding. I'm like seven times really. Can't I, there's probably one book I'd read seven times, but like, I just thought that, and it's good, cause it's short. So, but, but um, then they go join my Facebook group and then they go sign up for the course. But you know that you can't put everything into a book. Like I have a hundred pages. I, I, I had some good reviews and said, this, this is like a master class, like this book, like a five-star review. And, but I wanted, I wanted to teach them even more that I couldn't teach in the book because I need to show them things, you know, and
Step, yeah. I call it a client. Uh, I call it an Ascension, a ladder. But for people that don't like, I've had people go like, look at me like sideways going, what is an Ascension ladder? Um, so it's just like your customer journey ladder. Like how are they coming in? And then where are they going after that? Like where are you leading them to and how are they getting there?
And I, and I will say it was hard to write, like coming up with the curriculum. I kinda, um, I had procrastinated for a while on the curriculum for the bestseller stuff. And then, and then this new course and I hired a copywriter. He's amazing. His name is Rob Schultes. And he worked with Suzanne Evans. I don't know if you know who she is, but he's, he's just an Adams of Evans. Evans. Can't think of what her program is. But anyway, he's phenomenal. And I hired him and I said, Rob, my course sounds really boring. Like, you know, research or categories, researcher keywords. I don't know, like whatever, you know, I was just calling it what it was like for that module. And he goes, Michelle, he goes, you're still selling people, even though they bought your course when they get in there if you don't label them, right. You don't title them. Right. They're going to be bored. Right. So for instance, we took the categories and keywords part, which is very, very important though, this whole thing, the bestseller list. And we call it a bestseller, secret sauce. So now people get in there and they go, Ooh, what's a bestseller, secret sauce. Right. Research or categorize. And yeah,
No, I learned that from the copywriter about, um, the T the titles for your chapters, the same way. When somebody looks at a table of contents, you need to be intriguing. Like, you know, you know, don't give away your content with your table of content or your book description, you know, just yeah.
Email, you know, writing an email header, like, what are they, what's the first thing they're going to see in their email? Yes. You know, like what is going to make them click open that email and read it?
Like, if you say the subject, did I ever tell you about the dot, dot, dot? Well, they're going to open it. Cause they'll be like, well, did I ever tell you about it?
I don't know. Did you let me see? Yeah, exactly. Exactly.
We are very funny. Aren't we,
We're curious. We're very curious. Very curious. And we don't want to feel like we're missing out on anything.
Yeah. FOMO, right? Yeah.
So, so if you're leaving somebody hanging with like, even if you're just like, did I tell you like you said, dot dot, dot. They're like, I dunno, did you tell me, you know,
I want to find out I would definitely open that email. I'll be like, did you tell me what? Yeah.
So I just wrote a blog post that's called, um, how deciding to order pad Thai changed my life
Business. I love that. I got to get rid of that. So, you know, now, I have to know, tell me, tell me how well you're going to have to go read the book. I will go read it actually, but that's awesome.
No, it's all about deciding, like, you know, making the decision and how it's just, you know, very, maybe that'll be my book. Maybe that will be,
I mean, my book, then that would be very good. Um, I have read a lot of books on decision-making because I think before writing a book a month, I also suffered from decision indecision. And, um, I think there's even a term, like decision fatigue. Like if you make too many decisions or whatever. And so I think with books on the reason I probably wasn't writing any books for several years, there was probably like a 10-year span. I didn't write any books. And the reason was just like you said, well, I could write about anything. So I write about nothing, right. Because I'm like, I don't know, like where do I start? Because I did have a lot of ideas, but like, but when you're on a book a month, it's like, you just pick it and then you roll with it. And it's like, Hey, it might do well, but might not.
You're not that attached to it because I knew like, Hey, this might work. And it was actually like an experiment, the whole book, a month thing. I never planned on writing a book called 28 books to 100 K I never planned on having an online course or a Facebook group. I was just experimenting with myself. But when I told people about it, can we write a book a month with you? Can we do this with you? I want to quit my job and write a book a month. And I was like, I literally had one of my clients. He's a financial planner, quit his job. His freedom day was yesterday, March 1st. And he is now, he's already written four books. He's on his fifth and he's writing a book a month and he's doing all kinds of other things. But he, I was like, people are taking this seriously. Like, I think it's really sparking that creativity that's lacking in jobs and things when you're in, you know, careers, you hate and stuff. Yeah.
Yeah. Because you're not, you don't well, for most jobs in the corporate world, you don't need to use your creativity because somebody is telling you what to do, what goals to hit and how to do, uh, that's you know, a double-edged sword, right. Because some people are like, okay, well, I can go to this job. They're going to tell me what to do, how to do it, blah, blah, blah. Just going to go there, show up. And I get a paycheck. Right. Great. If that's what you want to do with your life, that's amazing. Go do that and go do it really well. But then there are those of us creative people that can do it for a little while, but then we're like, okay, I'm, you'll really stagnant. Like something's missing. I'm not, you know, soul-crushing like you said, I call it soul-sucking because
I CA I talk about that in several of my books. Like this is a topic that I repeat a lot about the soul-crushing, the soul-sucking job, and the career creep and how that happened, you know? Um, and so many people can relate to that. Now. It's like, it's not just a paycheck. It's crushing your soul and sucking the life out of you. And then you don't have any energy to go after your dreams. Cause your job sucking it all out.
Yeah. I mean, I remember coming home and being just exhausted from sitting at a desk all day and again, a cubicle exhausted. Like, I don't want to cook. Like, I don't
Want to look at me, don't
Talk to me like nothing. And then, you know, and starting my own business and doing the things that I love to do, I can do it all day long.
Do you transition from job to entrepreneur?
Yeah. So it's very, you know, pretty basic. I mean, I was in corporate for 20 plus years, um, because I didn't know I could do anything else.
I didn't either. Do you know? Well, I mean, not that I,
, not that I didn't know that I had other gifts that I could, that I had, but I thought that was the only way you could make money like me because that's what we were talking about.
That's what we were taught.
Oh, you get a job. You make money, you get married, you have kids, you buy a house, then you like retire and die. Like that's just the way that the road was always paved before
There were no other options. There's, there's a wonderful book by Tammy. Kivas called this time I dance. And she was a Harvard lawyer who quit her. A six-figure cushy job with the corner office to become a writer and a teacher. And she literally, when she left the law firm, Oh, well, she grew up, she grew up in New York and she said, I grew up in a Jewish household. And guess what? They gave me two choices. You're going to be a doctor or you're going to be a lawyer. And she said, so I became a lawyer. And, and she was in that career that very fast-paced soul-sucking career didn't even know she was unhappy. And then a friend of hers said, Hey, let's go take this 10-day vacation at the beach, whatever. They went on this thing and she's sitting there and she says, I'm watching the waves crash.
And I thought to myself, I can never go back to the souls. And she never had that thought before that day, she goes back. She downsizes from her very expensive Manhattan apartment. She, um, um, whatever. So she leaves the legal field. She's literally become a waitress at the buttercup cafe down the street. And she's serving like onion rings and burgers to the lawyers. And they think this woman has lost her mind. She was on track to be a partner making all this money at the law firm. And now she's like, what is she doing? She's a waitress. And she's like, I wasn't buying my freedom back. And the less you have to pay, the more you can play. And she said, so I bought back my time, I had my days free. And she said, she slept for like 10 years. She said, I just had to catch up on sleep. Do you know? And then she wrote a book about it.
The book was amazing, but that's so true because we just don't realize sometimes what the problem is or that we even have a problem that we want to change something.
She said it takes, it takes an intermission to find your mission. And that was the intermission was her, her little beach break. And that's when she realized she had a problem. I realized I had a problem and I was waking up every day going, I hate my job. How can I not go to work today and thinking, why do I, I didn't even really know, like, why do I hate my job? I couldn't figure it out. But in hindsight now I realized two things. One, I was more of a people person and I was stuck in a project job. So I wasn't, I wasn't talking to anybody. I was sitting at a computer all day and making copies and filing like how boring is that? I felt like a glorified gopher. I was like, hi. Yeah. So I think that that was part of it. And then I just, as you said, there's no creativity. They just here edit this document here. Like you don't have to do anything creative.
Yeah. Well, I realized it when I was so tired when I got home from doing, not that I did nothing, but sitting down all day at a computer doing, you know, administrative things or whatever it was. Isn't it amazing how draining that is? Like, why am I tired right now? Like I sat down at a desk all day and I was like, Oh, it's just mental, tired. Like, that was the excuse. Right? Like behind it. I'm like, Oh, well it's mentally draining. It. Shouldn't be mentally draining either. I don't want to be mentally drained either.
I want to be mentally drained. No, life's too short to be mentally drained.
Yeah, no, I want to be mentally stimulated. I don't want to be mentally drained.
So my, you know, that transition, it is hard to make sometimes because it's like like you have to have a job to pay the bills. And Elizabeth Gilbert did a wonderful blog post. And um, she wrote the book big magic. And, um, he prayed log, but she wrote this blog post and she said, the four distinctions a job, you have to have a job because it pays the bills. A career might be something you have a passion for. So some people have careers, not everybody. So career is something you are passionate about a hobby don't mix that up with, you know, making a living from it. A lot of people make, turn hobbies into jobbies. And then there's the calling. And the calling is like something that like, as the writing for me is a calling. Like I feel called to, to write. And if everything like, even if I wasn't making any money, I'd still be writing.
Cause I love writing. And so she says, sometimes you get paid for your calling, sometimes you don't. And so I think people have to understand those distinctions, but my, I make two more distinctions. If you have a draining job, I called the jobs. So you were in a job. And I was in a job. I got out of there and got into outside sales. I worked 20 hours a week. It makes six figures. And I loved it. I was like, why didn't anybody tell me this job existed? Cause I never knew. And I did that for 10 years. And that's when I started my website and the online business part-time and all that stuff. But then I call that my freedom job. So you can have a job that doesn't drain your energy. Like Tammy cubes went and became a waitress, serving burgers and fries and ice tea and Cokes or whatever, because like she didn't go home thinking about her job, as you would at the law firm, right?
You're like, you know, you take work home with you, so you need a freedom job. That's how you get out of that. And then, you know, you have to go exploring too. If you don't know what your passion is, you have to try different things. There's a great book by David Epstein called range. And he says, goes try a bunch of things. Then pick what, you know, what you like. But if you don't go try a lot of things, people are just afraid to fail. Like it's not about failing. It's about trying to see what you like. Like I've done a lot of different business models. Like I used to do web design. I did SEO. I've done coaching. I've done. Um, you know, I did a podcast for a short time. Um, yeah, I've done a lot of different things and you just have to see what you like the most and then do that. You know, it's yes.
And a lot of different aspects. If you are an entrepreneur right now you don't have to be everywhere. Like you don't have to be on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and have a podcast and write blogs every week and have a book and be on the clubhouse. And God only knows what else. Like you do not have to do that all the time. No, you find what works for you. What feels good for you? And you go do that more.
And Cal Newport talks about that in his book, deep work. He doesn't have an email. Like, I mean, well, I think he has an email account. He doesn't have a social media account. Like there's no Facebook, there's no Twitter. There's no light. He has nothing. He goes, I'd never because I think I'm the only millennial is never been on social media. He goes, I can either write books or I can answer emails and social media and you know, text and all that. He goes, I don't do that. I write books.
Yeah. And it's all what, you know, feels good to you and what works for you and what you are willing to quote-unquote sacrifice and the boundaries that you're putting up around yourself to get the success that you want. And that success is going to look totally different for everybody. Like the lawyer that is now a waitress, she didn't care. It wasn't so much about the money, the success wasn't the money. The success was the freedom,
Freedom that that's my main like people go, why are you freedom? Yeah. Want a boss? I don't want somebody telling me what to do. I want to wake up when I won't do what I want, you know, and have fun and be creative. And that's what drives me is freedom is the force behind that. Yeah.
So what are some of the, you know, tips that you would give somebody that's like, okay, uh, I'd love to write a book now. What
Call me? That's me. No. Um, well, you know, I, as I said, I did, I did create the, so the 28 books to 100 K online course. Um, I D I did a price that very low and I, I actually, it's not just about writing a book a month. It's also about how to do the bestseller stuff, how to do the launches, how to market the book, and all that. And I have gotten tremendous positive feedback from everybody in the course. So I would say, you know, if they want to check it out is 28 books to a hundred K because that tells, um, I talk about my process of how I wrote the books and all the obstacles. In fact, in one of the books, I have a chapter called to write in your pajamas because anytime I literally had to roll out of bed and go to my little writing desk and write. After all, if I did anything first, I did it right.
If I went and made tea if I went to Starbucks if I ran errands if I went and meditated, whatever I couldn't do anything. I had to roll out of bed. Right. And just do it, get it done with, and then I could do other stuff. So, um, I wrote about that in a book called how not to write a book, 12 things you should never do if you don't want to write a book. So that, that's a good way. But I think, um, I think you just have to write what, you know, you know, write, write what, you know, but also make sure that the market is interesting in that topic. So it's, it's kind of like, you know, yeah. You can write what you know, but make sure people are searching on Amazon for that topic or at least figure out what the topic is.
Yeah. And you can, I mean, can you do that pretty much by the search bar and Amazon?
Yeah. So when you go to the search bar, so if you go there and you type in how to find your purpose, how to find your passion, how to find your calling, those are actually great topics. I use a software called publisher rocket because it gives me numbers. So it'll say 1200 people are searching every month for how to find your passion. So I know when I write a book like before I even write it, I actually do all the keyword research. You publish your book with seven keywords. So I go and do all the research and I go, do I have enough keywords? And people searching for this topic that I think the book could have a chance at success. And if the numbers are good, I'll give you a great example. This, um, this couple from California came to me and they wanted to write a book on.
And they were an older couple, I wouldn't say retired but retirement age. And they wanted to write a book on English, cottage gardens. And I was like English, Scottish gardens. I've never done a book on gardening. Let me look at them, I'll get back to you. So I do all this research. I do a video. I send it back. I go, no, I won't take you on as a client. If you write a book on English, cottage gardens, you know why there are like 12 searches a month for it. Like nobody's looking for English, cottage gardens. And there were no successful books. I couldn't find any making any money. Like currently, as you said, maybe a different time, but not in this current time. I said, but I accidentally came upon, uh, um, a topic that you might want to write about. And this, this woman was like a real, um, gardening type lady.
Do you know what I mean? Her name is Wendy Solvera and she wrote a, she ended up writing book called container and raised bed gardening. Cause they had like 2000 searches a month for raised bed, gardening, container gardening. I guess people want, you know, to control the food, their food. Now they want to grow their own food. So I said, if you write that book, I'll take you on as a client. Well, we'll get the book done in the next, you know, 90 days. And so they came on as a client. She was phenomenal. She really knows her stuff. She had diagrams written, she had charged on, she had died. You know how, um, you know, the types of plants you put together that, you know, make them do really well. There was bookmaking of 25,000 a month. Wow. I know. I was like, what if I knew anything about gardening? I don't, uh, talk about hot topics. Her book is so well she's, she's doing podcasts now. She's being interviewed. She's been approached by different gardening places that want to sell her book. I mean, and now she's doing gardening coaching. She has an Amazon gardening store. She has the book in three different formats and she just built a whole business and brand around one book. But it was all because of keyword research.
That's awesome. So researcher keywords and search your keywords, your topic. Yes. Don't you write about what you know? So
My, my coach, my, um, business coach years ago, Jason said to me, one time we were just testing Facebook ads and I'd pick out all these pretty pictures. You know, it'd be like the beach with a book on it or whatever. And I go, Jason, don't you love this picture. He goes, Michelle, it doesn't matter what we, what you like, what I like, it's what the data says, go test the image. So we would test three images and all the time it was never the image I thought that was going to win. It's always something unrelated to books. It would be like, I mean, the image on my website is like this beautiful Island in the middle of like, you know, it looks like the Caribbean with a gold path. That was the winning image. Every time sunflower fields always won and sunflower field fields. And I said, Jason, how come to these images always work for like business stuff. He goes, causes people to want their images that make them happy. And so they click on them,
That's it? Yeah. Yeah. Or images that give them the sense of the transformation they want.
Yes. And I think the gold path leading up to the was like the path to your dreams or shock. There's something about that picture. I ended up using that picture on my website years later because I was like that, that image always did well with Facebook ads. I'm going to, yeah,
That's funny. That's awesome. Michelle, this has been great. A lot of great information and I know a lot of people are going to be like really thinking about either really thinking about writing a book or they're going, just going to start doing it.
Awesome. I hope I've inspired some people. I love, you know, writing and I, there was a book I read years ago. It was called. If you could speak, you can write. So literally you can talk, you can, you, we now have apps called rep like, go talk your book. I just took on a client last week. He literally was at a hotel 10 hours. He spoke his book and he had a book.
That's amazing. I was thinking that same thing because sometimes I can speak it better than I feel like I can write it. Or other times it's raw it's writing. Like it all depends. I guess maybe
I haven't, I haven't tried the speaking thing, actually. I always talk about it, but I've never done it. Cause I, I love to type, I don't know. There's just something about sitting at the keyboard and maybe the legal days of doing that and I type fast. So I'm just like talk a lot. So talking to my work well for you, that's your natural gift. I don't have that. Well sort of, I don't, I'm really an introvert people don't think I am, but I am.
Yeah. I'll I'm with you, but I don't think I am either, but I really am
Too. Isn't that funny?
So tell everyone where they can find you.
Awesome. They can find me a best-selling author program.com and they can get my quick-start kit where I give away all the templates. You can take an author assessment and find out what your author archetype is. And, um, get free training from me at best-selling author program.com and then just click on the gift and you'll, you can sign up for that.
Awesome. And social media. Do you have Instagram? Facebook
Michelle called and then Facebook. Um, I have 28 books to 100 K that's the group. If they're interested in joining, it's not like you have to write a book a month, you could write a book, a quarter, you could write a book every six months or whatever, but it's full of information and support really. That's amazing people in that group. Um, and I'm very picky. I get so many requests for that group. And I said to my assistant like I am rejecting half the people that want to be in this group. I go look at their page and I'm like, I don't know. They look like something's weird or something. I just don't let Eddie. But I'm really picky. I'd probably have double the size in that group, but
In your group before they joined.
And so the answer, they don't answer the questions, they don't get it. And if they say they don't want to write a book, then why do you want to be in Mike? In my group? So I'm not letting you in it to write a book. No. Great. You're not getting in the group. Great. Not the group for you. Thanks, bye. And then I look at their stuff and they're like promoting all this weird stuff. I'm like, no, you're not going to like, Oh yeah. People are like, just
Like trying to join a bunch of groups so they can stuff. Yeah. You know, I'm so suspicious by nature. I come from the legal field. I don't trust easily. So. Yeah. All right. Awesome. Michelle, thank you so much for being here and everyone listening as usual screenshot you listening to this episode, just screenshot this episode and throw it up on your stories. Tag us, tell us what your aha moments were. Tell us what you know. I don't know what you loved about this episode and any questions DMS we're here and we'll see you in the next step. So
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