I grew up in the UK and had a happy childhood with my two sisters. At the age of 17 I was diagnosed with severe Scoliosis and whisked away for a major operation to break my back and “put it back in line”. I had no idea what it would involve to have my back broken to make it straight. I never asked what would be involved or how long the recovery would be, or what the risks would be. You never questioned the people in authority in the UK – your parents, the government, the Doctors – they knew what was best for you. I had no voice.
Despite a year off in hospital, I worked hard and was awarded the Business and Marketing Honours graduate of the year, presented to me at Buckingham Palace. This ethic came into my career in product development, and by the age of 32 I was at the top of ladder, traveling business class to Asia, driving a Mercedes and living in a Victorian Mansion that overlooked the golf course. I “should” have been happy, but I was deeply unhappy and wondered “Is this it”?
On one of my business trips to Cebu in the Philippines, I had an epiphany. I realized had a deep disconnect with “real” people and culture. My life was someone else’s version of success. I had never really considered what was MY purpose in life? I decided to leave my husband, my career, my country and the life I knew, to travel the world and find out why I was here!
I traveled the world for seven years, mostly on a sailboat, learning about people and culture and who I was in the world. My life was fascinating – traveling from South Africa to Kenya, across the Indian Ocean, living on a desert island for 3 months, running a yacht charter business in Thailand and Malaysia and backpacking alone in Laos and Cambodia. By the time I had “circumnavigated” the globe, I had met my husband and settled in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. It was the most beautiful place in the world. It was time to write my story in a book and dig a bit deeper to figure out how all these experiences led to my purpose – the reason I set out in the first place!
So many people come to this place where they have a deep desire to write a book and share their story. The challenge for everyone is understanding “What does my story mean?” and “How do I dig out the clues of the events of my life to draw out the meaning and discover my life purpose?” In the process of writing my book, I held on to the vision of the end goal and started to draw on the creative skills I used in the past to bring products to market. After all, wasn’t a book a product?
The process I used is how I deal with complex projects. It’s a way to bring order to the chaos. As I started to develop this process and organize my life story, I realized I was creating a system. I could share this system with other people struggling with “How” to write a book! I had attended many of the “write your book in 30 days” training sessions and always came away feeling inspired and motivated, but with no real answers, no “HOW.”
The process is unique because I started with the end goal and worked backward, creating a chapter plan and organizing the content chapter by chapter. I found a way to transform the events in my story to connect on a deeper level how my experiences could help other people. I realized a good book is one that has a purpose driven story!
As I developed this process, I created the “InspireABook” system and started to teach it to other people. The results were amazing. I could help people connect their story to their purpose and show them how they could use their story to impact and help other people! Now, ten years later, I’ve inspired almost a thousand people to get their story out. The next logical step was to help publish them. In 2010 I founded Influence Publishing to do just that. I’ve become the industry “HOW TO book girl”
The clues from my life really came together 2 years ago when I was working on a book with an author about Dyslexia and discovered I had the gift. Dyslexia has given me a unique ability to look at complex projects and bring creative innovation to “how” to bring order to the chaos. I did not know “why” I did this, but I had allowed my unique innovative gift to systematize a “vision” and create a process to take the chaos out of a challenge. It was the traveling around the world that had given me the ability to trust in my own wisdom.
The dis-empowerment I felt by fitting into a “system” and having all my rights taken away from me in the hospital left me with the gift of empowerment. I started my publishing company in 2010 because I felt there were no publishing options that truly empowered the author. Today I use my innovative skills to look for new solutions for an old antiquated publishing model that does not work. I have published close to 100 books, several every month, and see how quickly the industry is changing. And the changes are not to the benefit of the author!
Influence Publishing keeps on top of these trends. Our latest project is changing the way authors do business with publishers. The new publishing model we launch this fall is a new paradigm where the author keeps 100% of the rights and 100% of the royalties, but with all the benefits of a traditional publisher who does it all for you!
I want to empower authors to understand the significance of selling their rights. It allows a publisher to change your content and wisdom, to fit it into a controversial money making box. Authors need to keep control of their wisdom. I intend to change the industry around, to motivate them to come back to the original purpose of books.
It is comforting for people of all ages to better understand how situations transpire and how they are resolved. We are always seeking the why.” as quoted in Psychology Today:
All the situations that had transpired in my life – the feeling of dis-empowerment in the hospital system, my career in product development, traveling the world and the latest discovery of the gift of dyslexia – were clues to why I do what I do today.