Amanda Young – Book Journeys Author Interview Transcript – Mar. 24, 2016

Book Journeys Author Interview – March 24, 2016

 

Dr. Angela Lauria with Amanda Young, author of Finding Clarity: Design a Business You Love and Simplify Your Marketing.

 

“You can make a plan all you want, but …you won’t necessarily follow that path.” ~Amanda Young

 

Angela:

Hey, hey, hey, hey, everybody! Here we are, back at Book Journeys Radio. We have another exciting interview for you with Amanda Young, who is the author of Finding Clarity. So, whether you are looking for clarity about your book or anything else in your life, this is gonna be a great show for you. Amanda’s book, again, it’s Finding Clarity: Design a Business You Love and Simplify Your Marketing. You can learn more about that as we’re talking at simplifyyourmarketing.com, and, of course, you can get her book on Amazon right now! So, Amanda, welcome to the show!

 

Amanda;

Hi! Thanks for having me, great to be here.

 

Angela:

Okay, it’s great to have you. All right, well, let’s just kick things off by telling people a little bit about your book, what’s it about and who did you write it for?

 

Amanda:

My book is for entrepreneurs that are struggling to find clarity in their own businesses and how to really figure out who they wanna work with, what is it they wanna be doing, what they wanna be offering, how they wanna get referrals to their business, and it’s everything that I wanted to know three years ago, before I started my own business. I had had kids and wanted to figu – find a better way to … work from home, use my own skills and support our family in a more flexible way so that I can be at anything that … me at and still be able to … work from home and be helping people and serving – of service at the same time. So, this book just … popped out and said, “Hey, this is what you need to write about,” ‘cause I’ve been finding clarity in my own life and now I get to help other people do it, too.

 

Angela:

Awesome, I love it! So, on the show, there are a lot of listeners who want to write a book, but they haven’t been able to finish it, so I’m wondering if there’s something that you can share that you know, now that it’s done, but that something you wish you knew before you wrote your book.

 

Amanda:

One of the things for me, I think, now that it’s done, is that I – I went into this thinking I was gonna write a different book, and I thought it was gonna be about this motherhood movement that I have in me, and I have this passion to really – changing the world and have a big mission to – to … be of service to moms in the world, and I ended up writing a totally different book, and the book I ended up writing is about finding clarity in your life and to – g – getting in touch with your gut and your intuition, and I think that that really – I didn’t expect that book to come out, but it’s the – I wrote the book that I needed to write, and that’s the message that I’ve been hearing, these last couple of months, since writing it and getting it out into the world, is that, sometimes, you don’t really understand how the plan’s gonna go, or y – you can make a plan all you want, but it doesn’t necessarily – you won’t necessarily follow that path, and for me, it was just this idea of figuring out what book had to come out, and – I’m not somebody who suffers from writer’s block or really having a lot of trouble writing things as long as I’m clear about what it is that I’m trying to say. So, for me, the part of this process that was most shocking, I think, was th – figuring out who I’m writing it for and what the actual book was. So, I had several books in my head … competing to come out, and being able to figure that out, find clarity in that – which book it was that I was meant to write, is where it really all came together. And I guess I’m shocked that this is the book that came out.

 

Angela:

Fascinating. So –

 

Amanda:

Yup.

 

Angela:

– so, how did you, or did you, envision the book being completed when you started, and then … how or why did that change, ‘cause it sounds like you envisioned it one way and then it ended up somewhere else. So, how does that change, and I – when you answer this, I want you to think about how somebody else can apply that, or what they should – … what they should do or be thinking about, to think about how that might change for them.

 

Amanda:

Yeah, so it’s kind of interesting, because I was called to write a book, and so, I felt that – … when I first was introduced to your whole process – a friend recommended that I contact you guys and see if it was the right thing for me, and every part of my being was screaming, “Yes, you need to do this.” It wasn’t even an option. And I just took that leap of faith and went with it, and I guess I don’t know i – if somebody looking at this from a – … “I wanna write a book, I’m not sure what I should write about,” or “How should I – how ….”

 

Angela:

Yeah, well, the thing that I hear a lot is, “I have a lot of different ideas.” …

 

Amanda:

Yeah. Yeah.

 

Angela:

… write this book, or I can write this book, …

 

Amanda:

Yeah, and I’m one of those people that has a lot of ideas and I’m sure that – … I would not be surprised that, before I die, I have ten books that are out there in the world, because there’s just that much – I love to write, and I love sharing what I’ve learned from – with other people, so I feel like – r – reader process, you have us write for one ideal reader, and that process really helped draw that book out of you, so it’s – I was able to let go – … I – I’m one of those Type A personalities that wants to control things and have my ducks in a row before I go into something, and this process – you have such a – it’s kind of like a railing on a stairway, or some sort of … a safety net that’s there, that’s … even if you don’t know what you’re gonna do, or which book – there’s all these books and these ideas competing in your head, so what’s gonna come out? I think that the process is so solid that you don’t necessarily – I never really questioned whether the right book was gonna come out, and I – even now, I go back and go, “Why did I write that book? If I’m really meant to do this movement, … why is that book -” and I’ve had friends keep reminding me and just saying, “That’s the book that you needed to write.” There’s a – … I needed clarity from that book, and I wrote it for myself, I wrote it for other people, but I really also wrote it for myself, to get through my ….

 

Angela:

Mmm.

 

Amanda:

So, I think that the book you need appears.

 

Angela:

Yeah.

 

Amanda:

… I – it sounds really weird, and I know that you could be … lulu, but it’s really what happened for me, in a way. So –

 

Angela:

Yeah. And so, at some point in the process, you – you … identified this person you were writing for, and i – in – in parts that was – was serving something that was going on in your life, but did – were there still moments, some doubt or moments of writer’s block that stopped you – that stopped you in the process, or maybe questioned what you were doing?

 

Amanda:

Well, I think I ended up writing three different versions of the ideal reader. … I – I thought it was three different people at three different points in time, depending on which book I thought was coming out of me, and the real clarity in that was when I worked with my editor, Grace, and she helped figure out that it wasn’t quite right, that it didn’t feel right, and it was this – … conversations that we had that really solidified it for me, and … thing was, trust the process.

 

Angela:

Mmm.

 

Amanda:

She also had this really great insight for me as I was going along, where she said, “There’s a point in the writing process where you transition from being -” like the author in transition, right? … There’s a point where you transition, and all of a sudden, you’re an author, and for me that point came very quickly in the process, and for most  – for many people, it comes at all different times, but typically, a little bit later, and it – it’s where I started owning it and saying, “This is what’s going on, … I’m gonna take charge of the piece that I was doing.” So, it might not have been the typical writer in that case, ‘cause it didn’t have that writer’s block going on, ‘cause I was so – but it was – it was – once I cleared out that very first hurdle of who I was writing a book for and which book it was, out of all those different options, then it just shot – I felt like it came out very naturally and much more quickly and easily.

 

Angela:

Mmm. Love that. Totally love that. So, I knew you’d actually written a book in the past.

 

Amanda:

Mm-hm!

 

Angela:

Can you talk about what was different with your first book from this one?

 

Angela:

Yeah, my first book was an accident, and it was a – I really – I st – I wrote my mo – my friends kept telling me to write a mom blog, because I have kids, and funny stories that come along with those kids, and so I kept writing them down and started to blog, and then ended up writing a book that – compiles it into a book my father told me to for the holidays, and then he started selling it, so it was one of those things where it wasn’t … “Hey, I’m writing a book on motherhood, and let me go sell it to the world,” it was – came about the absolute backwards way, and I never actually had a marketing strategy or a plan or a way to get it out into the world, and to his day, maybe there’s a hundred fifty copies in print, I don’t even know, ‘cause I’ve never really put any effort behind it, and I never – I wrote it for myself, and I – it was really gonna be a memory kind of book. And maybe to help other people that were going through motherhood, but it was a different – it was a totally different experience, ‘cause I was alone in the process, and I didn’t – I just wrote my stream of consciousness and compiled it into a book without much thought. It didn’t have a developmental editor or any sort of marketing strategy, and so the difference between that process of self-edit – … self-publishing and doing it all on my own, and – and this process, with having the more hand-holding, but – not only the hand-holding, for me, it was – and I’m a marketing person by trade, so for me not to be – … and we can – and it’s like the cobbler’s kid has no shoes, the same type of thing, … I just didn’t put in the marketing effort into it because I didn’t want it to be seen. It was …. a shame or fear around, “Oh, my God, what are people gonna think when I have written this book?” They’re gonna know, you know, they’re gonna know …-

 

Angela:

Mmm.

 

Amanda:

– or funny stories like that, they’re gonna – what are they gonna do, are they gonna judge me, and all that other emotion was in that, and I really didn’t have support around it, whereas, with your process, I had support around that, and it was – being part of a group was a totally – you couldn’t hide the emotions that were happening, and the drama you were – you always saying … “Manage that drama,” because it’s – my ego was screaming, “Oh, my gosh, people are gonna see all of your dirty insides,” or whatever, … they’re gonna see your dirty laundry … –

 

Angela:

Mmm.

 

Amanda:

– floor, … this isn’t okay, and it became – when you’re part of a group, it’s less scary, it’s … “Okay, well, we’re all – we’ve never been swimming before, and we’re all gonna go into the ocean together -”

 

Angela:

Mmm.

 

Amanda:

– and that’s a lot easier, when you’re holding hands with twenty other people who’ve never been in the ocean before and don’t know how to swim, … it’s … – it – there’s safety in numbers, and the idea that I wasn’t alone in struggling with it, and I wasn’t – … I was – that – that my odds of success were a lot higher, and I think I was drawn to your experience and ability to – know how the system works, and know how to get bestseller status, know how to get exposure and leverage, and that’s the guy who had said the key piece that I was missing, ‘cause while I have marketing … and an MBA, I don’t – it’s not something natural, it’s … “Well, we gotta go.” It’s not … you just write this book, throw it out in the world, and it magically gets spread … like a dandelion seed all over the world.

 

Angela:

Right. “If you build it, they will come,” that whole thing.

 

Amanda:

 

Angela:

… How do you think the experience, between your first book and your second book, are different for the reader?

 

Amanda:

Mmm. Well, the second book, definitely brings one reader all the way through, and it’s a lot more – it’s a – more of … a self – DIY, … a self-help book as far as … – this is a process, it’s a hand-holding process of how to get from one place to another, whereas my first book was just … a rambling – it didn’t have a purpose, as much, there wasn’t an outcome.

 

Angela:

Mmm.

 

Amanda:

I think – … when I think back on my first book, I think that outcome was, honestly, just to be … “I want you to know, you’re not alone in motherhood,” … these are the silly things that happen, and this is what I went through, … kids doing silly things and, as moms, we do silly things to support them, but that’s – it wasn’t – I – I can’t really even compare it to this one, because this one, it’s … the outcome is, “I want you to have a process to walk through, to be able to find clarity in the business so you know what steps to take forward.” And so, it was – y – y – yeah, but outcome really made a difference, I think.

 

Angela:

Yeah, for me, that’s saying that – I – I’m always – … I see very frequently, is that most people, when they write their book on their own, or without a process like this was, they’re writing what they wanna say, and the difference was, I think, the people who go through our process is that they’re really writing more to be a servant for their reader.

 

Amanda:

Yeah.

 

Angela:

And so, there are things that we want people to hear, … “Oh, I want you to hear my funny story about this or that.” But then, there’s things that people need to hear. There are things that people are … looking for answers to, and they might be able to find those things, … they may be able to piece together, “Hey, I’m not alone in motherhood -”

 

Amanda:

Yes.

 

Angela:

– by reading your first book, but when you put your reader at the center of your process, then what happens is, you’re writing to them, instead of … trying to get them excited about something you’re excited about.

 

Amanda:

Yeah. And I – I think that the reader benefits a lot, so – … this one’s so much more strategic, the other one is just – like I said, stream of consciousness, it’s – this is my story, it’s not a memoir, and experience, and, hey, if you can relate to this or you wanna laugh – it’s totally serving a different purpose, but this one – and I can see, when you’re – you’re talking about books that make a difference and create movement and change within the world, that positive impressions on people, and that’s – my second book definitely has a far greater chance of doing that than my first book ever did, because i – I purposely – it’s designed for that. It’s designed to get people through their own process and to let them know that I’m here to help them, should they need more assistance and support. Whole different strategy … different way.

 

Angela:

Yeah. Love that, love that. So, for you, what’s the best thing to come out of having Finding Clarity, I know it’s been out for a couple of months now. W – what are the best things that have come of having that book?

 

Amanda:

Well, that’s a really great question. I think, for me, it’s personal growth. It’s – a lot of – it’s caused me to do a lot of self-reflection and questioning what it is that I really want, and that’s – the book, inside of it, it has a – eight-step process of allowing clarity, which is all about – each of the letters stands for something new, but it’s figuring all about you and loving your clients and l – learning to lead and knowing what to o – offer. And it’s – so, it’s – for me and my business, it’s really been a way for me to tag back to my core goals and what I wanted and make sure that everything that I’m doing is reflecting that, and then, it’s been a guiding light for me, as far as – knowing that I have this movement and this … feminist urge inside of me to help – especially with this upcoming political platform, … where the – the political world, as it is right now, and the things that are shaking up in our economy and – and what’s happening. The landscape is changing, and the book is helping me see – find my own clarity as to what my role is in that – in that future, in that landscape …. What is – what are my next steps, and how is that gonna – how does that apply to me –

 

Angela:

Mmm.

 

Amanda:

– and how do I follow my own gut, because … there’s so many times where I had followed the money in the past, or followed some other – what I think I should be doing, because somebody else … – “should,” the evil “should.”

 

Angela:

Yeah, totally. Absolutely. So, let’s talk about how your business changed during the process of writing your book. I know you said – when you started you were thinking about a mom resolution, the book … focused on designing a business you love and simplifying your marketing. How do you think you showed up differently as a business owner through the process of writing this book?

 

Amanda:

Interesting. I think, from a business standpoint, I’m much more clear on who I wanna work with and what I wanna do with them, what – how I wanna serve them and what my strengths are and what my – what boundaries I need to set. It’s a lot about changing my expectations of what’s possible and what I want for my business. I guess trying to think how –

 

Angela:

You think your business went in a different direction? If you hadn’t done the book, do you think that you would have – be in a different place with your business, have different clients or be on a different path?

 

Amanda:

Yeah, I – I don’t know where I would be, because what – when I – the Universe just cleared my slate for this book in the most amazing way, where it pretty much just shut down my business as it was, which is a good reality …. I think I was on the wrong path for – … swimming upstream instead of going with the flow thing, … –

 

Angela:

Mmm.

 

Amanda:

– forcing, the – forcing myself down a path that I thought would get me where I needed to go, and it wasn’t necessarily working, and so, now – and seeing – I’m slowly starting to see that stream pick up and – and I guess … change directions so that it’s – it’s like a GPS recalculating, …. I’m still in the calculating phase of things, … I feel like I’m at least pointing my compass in the right direction, but I’m not necessarily in the right stream yet, as far as I haven’t seen how all of it blends together. But from the people who’ve read the book, a lot of them, it’s really rewarding to hear them say how they’ve connected with it, how they’ve – it – it – … like it was written just for them, and a lot of them are doing the exercises in it and getting so much from it, so it’s – that’s rewarding in a totally different way that I don’t necessarily know that I was expecting.

 

Angela:

Mmm!

 

Amanda:

It was one of those things where I was expecting to be leveraging this from a business standpoint and my whole purpose of it was … “Okay, let’s – let’s put this out there, create my signature system, attract clients, help people on that level,” but even without as many clients I know that I’m helping people and I know that the book is doing good, … so it’s … a – in it’s own way, it’s … beautiful in that way.

 

Angela:

I love it! So, what – what was different about writing or publishing your book than you expected? What were some of the surprises that came up for you, from the process?

 

Amanda:

Mmm. I think promoting it was a surprise, just because it’s a little uncomfortable, and as entrepreneurs, you set your expectations really high and want – you want these amazing results, so it was really – there was a lot of self-doubt. There’s so many little dark areas that I went through, as – … as my journey – my spiritual journey, I guess, it was … a … self – all these self-doubts and fears and just some scary stuff that comes along with putting yourself out there, … “Oh, my gosh, are people gonna psychoanalyze me,” and … – just being exposed. So, it was interesting from this – at – … having to put yourself out there, but also it was really cool to see the response from people who reviewed the book or promoted it on social media and passed it to their friends, and then – I just met a woman the other day, who said, “Oh, yeah. This woman you know totally had me read the book, and when I was on the plane I read it, and then -” it – so, it’s been really shocking to have people come back to me after having read it and saying, “That was so amazing, I really connected with its heart,” and even people – I guess the biggest shock I had was that people that aren’t entrepreneurs have reached out to me and said that it’s touched them, too, so …-

 

Angela:

Mmm. I told you that would happen! …

 

Amanda:

Well, yeah, you talked a lot about how you – … you pick one – you pick one ideal reader, and you’re gonna g – it’s … you’ve – catching that … fish and you’re gonna catch a ton of other fish and they’re all gonna benefit from it, but this was a – this is a friend who’s been struggling with her career, and she – I point out, … you nee – you – what are your five true talents? What do you – really, really good at, and she panicked. It was … “Oh, my gosh, I don’t know what my true talents are! How can I possibly ever -” … she had a little bit of … a crisis of – of … just figuring out herself, and it was beautiful to have dinner with her after that and have her be just like, … “I’m – now, I’m on a journey to figure out – to learn more about myself, and to … us out.” So, yeah, ….

 

Angela:

Wonderful. Love that. Mm-hm. So, in our last – in our last few minutes on today’s show, what advice would you give to someone who wants to write a book but they haven’t been able to finish it?

 

Amanda:

Well, I think it goes – I’ve been at – I’ve had a lot of friends actually ask me, …, they’re all – they’re so interested in this whole process of writing a book, and many of them just say, … “How – how is the process and what was it like and -” … all these different questions, and my advice to them is to really get into the feeling of it and be – you follow your gut and if you’re stro – … figure out what your goals are for it, too. … If you just wanna write the book to get it out of you, then that’s one thing, but if you wanna get it out into the world and promote it, then having that strategy, and that’s important to … system. The group really is helpful, and somebody who’s strategically able to get to you to bestseller status or at least get you out in the world in a way that’s – that you can leverage is really valuable, I think.

 

Angela:

Awesome. Well, Amanda Young is the author of Finding Clarity, you can find her at simplifyyourmarketing.com, and you can check out her book, Finding Clarity, on Amazon. Amanda, thank you so much for being our guest on Book Journeys.

 

Amanda:

Well, thank you for having me. I enjoyed speaking with you.

 

Angela:

You guys, we will be back next week, in the meantime I encourage you to head over to the Author Incubator. Check out our copy of my book, The Difference. If you’re thinking about writing a book, you’ll see a link to get a copy of that right on the home page, and you’ll also be able to learn more about Amanda and the other authors that we’ve published at Difference Press. Our goal at Difference Press is to change the world one book at a time, and I hope that your book will do that. Get it out there in the world, making a difference. We’ll see you guys next week.

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