Podcast Ep. 34 Margaret Rode On The 'Inner Journey' Of Writing Her First Book
Hello, I'm delighted to introduce you to Margaret Rode who is this week's podcast guest.
Margaret is a writer, consultant, and geek sherpa (don't you just love that!) to small businesses and self-employed folks trying to create some good in the world with their work. Her company, Websites For Good, has been helping thoughtful, compassionate business owners save money and avoid 'brain damage' for over 20 years by teaching them to use online marketing tools wisely and well.
Margaret has just recently written and published her first book - Storytelling For Small Business, (which I really recommend, by the way), and so much of our conversation is about her experience of writing her first book, alongside continuing with running her business, as well as the mindset blocks she found herself up against as she went through the process.
If you've ever dreamt of writing a book, or you're in the process of going through it now, I think you'll find this episode really useful.
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Margaret's thoughts and reflections on...
Storytelling and knowing what and when to share from your own life
"When I'm considering what to share from my own life, I first of make sure that of course, it's true. Second that it is in some way helpful to the person I'm speaking to, and I'm not just talking to talk. I'm talking to connect and to show them that I understand, that I get them because this happened to me, and usually, those bits about me are short and punchy and I don't overdo it. What I really want to know is their story, and so sometimes leading with mine, a little piece of mine, triggers something - it flips a little switch. It opens a door in their mind that accesses what they want to talk about."
Balancing running her business with the writing
"At first I found very difficult. I'd never written a book before, and I didn't really respect the work yet, and the requirements of the work. What it would take to make it happen. And what it takes is time and space, which we as entrepreneurs always have in short supply...After a lot of frustrating writing sessions... I learned that I needed to set aside bigger blocks of time to really immerse myself in the world of the book. And how scary is that? We're all busy - we're either trying to build our business, or we've just got the point where our day planners have a decent amount of bookings in them!"
To other solo-entrepreneurs who have a dream to write a book
"The only way we're all going to make it in this world of solo-entrepreneurship, is by learning from each other, and there are some brilliant approaches to things, some wonderful ways of explaining things, just some terrific subject matter, that has not been written about, and has certainly not been written about in your style and your voice and your approachability. And I would absolutely advise doing it, and it's so easy now. Really."
The unseen benefits of writing a book: efficiency and self-care.
"I had to learn to schedule better, I had to learn to be more efficient. I had to be a lot more careful about organising. I wasn't militant, but it became a skill set that I taught myself so I could have that time to write, and that has carried over now, into the post-book period, and now I'm finding that I'm able to help more clients, I'm able to do more things just because I've now acquired that skill of making it all happen with the time I have to do it."
It also built a huge pattern of self-care and self-protection; you find that your brain works better when you do certain things for it. When you eat certain things or don't eat certain things. When you get a certain amount of sleep, when you have caffeine and when you don't. There are all these little tweaks that we can do to make your brain work the way that it needs to work in order to write a book. I elevated that to almost an art form because I needed my brain to be in a certain state.
Where you can learn more about Margaret
Resources and recommendations:
About me, Sarah Swanton & Happy Healthy Entrepreneur
Hello, I'm Sarah, and I'm a Podcaster and founder of Happy Healthy Entrepreneur, which is all about supporting entrepreneurs with their mental health & wellbeing, so they can enjoy the self-employment journey, and create a business that supports them, not exhausts them!
If being a happy, healthy entrepreneur is important to you and you're interested in learning more, then do go to my website www.happyhealthyentrepreneur.com where you can access a whole range of other free resources, as well as The Mindset Shift Series: a range of self-study online courses for entrepreneurs who (really!) want to get out of their own way and make exciting stuff happen in their business (and their life) this year.