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Jeremy Weisz 7:31

Yeah, we’ll, we’ll talk about the impact of the book and some of the things with the book. And Chris, I want you to talk about your business and what you do in the book. But first, I’m just comment on what you were seeing with Vanessa, just to pick up on that conversation. First, you were making a couple of comments on what you were seeing with with her website,

Christopher Littlefield 7:52

but I just loved his you know, as an entrepreneur, as an author, as a person who runs works and provide services and resource for other people. When I when I got on Vanessa’s website last night, knowing that we were going to be on this panel together today. I just got on there. And I was like, wow, because as an entrepreneur, you see, you see a site. And then you also see what they’re doing on the back end, and the amount of work and the creation and the way to have different things that you’re selling or promoting on your site that support people as resources. But then also finding ways to monetize those those contributions in a way that bring people in you nurture relationship with them. And so when I saw that, I was just like, wow, this is brilliant, and how its organized, how its laid out, and then thinking, Wow, what an amazing resource people had over this last two years in a pandemic, and even bought beforehand, because people are looking for things that they can do and looking for support and what’s going to make their job easier. And that’s what I see on Vanessa.

Jeremy Weisz 8:47

Well, so Chris, talk about your business in what you do. And we’ll talk in a little about the book too.

Christopher Littlefield 8:54

Um, well, what’s really interesting, Jeremy is I want to find out where you saw that interview, because that is a really old video that you found. And I don’t even know where that was. I didn’t even know that was still online somewhere. So you did dig deep. My backgrounds international conflict resolution, and I used to work facilitating dialogues between Israelis, Palestinians, Indians, Pakistanis, Greek and Turkish Cypriots. That’s what I did, but you can’t make any money doing that. And then when I had a breakdown, with two of my conflict resolution partners, and the thing that transformed that relationship, and nothing else did was a simple recognition activity. And once that happened, I became obsessed with understanding the role of recognition in the workplace. And that interview saw was my initial research was interviewing people on the subway in Boston about the role of recognition the workplace, and they did over 400 interviews and the findings from that sparked my research on what is it that people want and need to feel valued in the workplace? How do we use recognition and appreciation to be able to do that and recognition appreciation as conflict prevention? And so I’ve spent the last 15 years helping managers understand what they need to do to build and maintain relationships. And so that was all of my work. And then when the pandemic hits, people were looking for resource I had been working and living remotely for a decade. And so when I saw all of my speaking business disappear on employee appreciation, what I did is I shifted into and I quickly wrote this book 75 team, militaries remote teams, published in April 2020. And it has just been one it is driven more business, to me and all of my goals of my business is to provide resources that people can actually use to build and maintain relationships.

Jeremy Weisz 10:40

And we’ll we’ll circle back with each of you in the impact of the book and how you use the book because this will be instructive for anyone I see. If you’re looking at the site I’ve Chester. And I’ve had Dorie Clark on the podcast too. So check out that episode. She’s an amazing author, as well. And so, you know, I want to go to you, Lisa, and talk a little bit about your business what you do.

Lisa Tener 11:05

Your I’m a book coach. And I would say at the time that I that I started to become a book coach, it was not sort of the the huge business it is today. There weren’t a lot of book coaches out there. And I, I kind of came to it a very circuitous way. I ran a nonprofit for 10 years, I’ve gone to MIT. So really, I had taken a lot of writing courses at MIT with amazing, amazing luminaries in the writing field. But but you know, was it sort of a typical path for an MIT grad, I would say, and then I ran this nonprofit was very burnt out and started having a family. And I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do. But I had had this idea for a book back at the nonprofit. And I actually talked to my board of directors into doing a job share for the executive director ship. For two years I job shared, worked on my book, and also took care of my health, I had something going on with my health that kind of led to the inspiration for that first book, The Ultimate Guide to transforming anger, which I co eventually co authored with a real expert, in anger at a cartoonist. And, and then, you know, I had my first child, and I knew I couldn’t continue doing the nonprofit worked. And I really was questioning, you know, where do I go with this? I was thinking a yoga class. And it was like this download of teach people what you taught yourself about writing a book, and teach people the five steps to writing in a state of flow. So I just started with those five steps. And I started doing these workshops at yoga studios and local places. And And what was amazing was that my people came to me and told me what they needed, because I was teaching these five steps for creativity, that people kept coming to me for books. And they wanted to know how to write a book proposal. They wanted to know how to write a book. And I had a big break when my former publicist, Rusty Shelton, said, You know, I was talking to Julie silver, the director of Harvard Medical School’s publishing course. And I asked her, I, you know, she she had invited him to, to speak. And he said, Do you want me to ask her? If she needs more people for the writing workshops? And I said, Sure. And that was many years ago. And so they haven’t had the course the past few years, because of COVID. But for 12 years, I was on the faculty of that course. And hopefully, it’s coming back. It was an amazing experience. And I met so many literary agents who become good friends, and of course, are the agents are, that are my go twos for many of my clients. And so it’s been an interesting journey, because it wasn’t exactly something I planned out, you know, and I’ve made business plans over the years. But ultimately, I think the business found me and my clients found me and so that’s been a really interesting way to do a business.

Jeremy Weisz 14:10

No, Vanessa, I’m gonna have you talked a little about how you’ve used the book and the impact of the book. But Lisa, first, what are some, when you think of just a few big mistakes people make in the process of writing, and then putting it out there? What do you see?

Lisa Tener 14:28

Yeah, so I’m going to preface this by Everybody’s got their own process, and I’m going to tell you what works most of the time, but you really do have to listen with it. And I have an exercise I called me your muse. So we could ask your inner inner knowing, you know, go to your inner guidance for answers. But I would say that often a big mistake is just starting to write and having all these slips of paper, and and so really have people go back and start with what’s your vision? What do you want this book to do? And who are your people who’s it for It may sound really simple. And of course, as business people, when we write a business plan, that’s where we go. But a lot of times people, people skip some steps. And I’ve had really experienced business people. I had a executive recruiter at the sea level, he was writing a book. And he had three different book ideas. And only one of them was really the book that met his business goals. But he thought that was too simple. You know, it was everything he knew. And he was maybe, you know, thinking everybody knows this, I’m not sure. But he had all these other complicated ideas that really weren’t putting move the business forward and the way he wanted. So you know, it sounds simple, but it’s like a mistake a lot of people make even really smart, experienced business owners.

Jeremy Weisz 15:46

I love that. Go ahead, Chris.

Christopher Littlefield 15:48

Yeah, I’d love to jump in. So one of the things in So Vanessa and I actually are here and connected, because I think we both participated in one of Lisa’s courses. And just to piggyback on what she shared, you know, when the book that I published is not the book that I originally came to Lisa for, and I’m still working on that one. But what I got out of it’s funny, because as Lisa was saying, the meet your muse, and the activity and the guide that she has, I can still remember. And I was living in Chile at the time, getting leases packet, printing it out sitting in a Starbucks for almost five hours straight realizing, Oh, I guess I should ask myself these questions first. And then literally getting a structure to take all of these thoughts that were spinning out. And I still remember having cards on the table in front of me of all the chapters in my book. And having that structure is what allowed me to actually move through the process and actually get something on the page where before it was just so overwhelming, because it broke down the process. And then I was able when I did decide to write the book there now to literally look at this and be like, Oh, okay, here’s the structure, why am I writing it? What’s the purpose of it? What are the sections? How is it going to fit together? What’s the organization, and that gave me the ability to pull the book that I did together together in like two

Jeremy Weisz 17:02

months. I love that. And also, it’s like, what you said, Kristin? And Lisa, what you said is, sometimes we’re so close to us, it seems simple, but it’s a revelation for someone else. Right? And so, you know, like you said with that executive, it, that’s just what they do. So it seems easy. seems simple, but someone else from the outside wouldn’t think that. Vanessa, what about you with the the process? Because I know you’ve done some work with Lisa as well. That was helpful.

Vanessa Levin 17:33

Yeah, I think everything Chris was said, Chris said was applicable to me too, because I had no idea where to start, like I had all these ideas in my head. And I did not know like how they were going to come out in the end, right, I didn’t have any structure. And I didn’t know the process, I was extremely unfamiliar with the publishing world. And I think that was super important when I worked with Lisa, because she really explained how the publishing world worked to me. And it made so much more sense then because I was entering this unknown realm, all I had ever known was the inside of public schools. And so that was a completely foreign world to me. So she helped explain things, break it down. And then like Chris said, she had this structure that really helped me get the information out of my head, because I had all this information in my head. But I didn’t know what shape it was going to take. And so again, I spent, just like Chris said, I spent time, you know, following her methods. And she just everything just made sense in the end, and I don’t think I could have achieved what I did with the book without her expert help. So

Lisa Tener 18:54

you go ahead and chime in. So Vanessa had the pressure of a book deal, she had a book deal from Wiley. And she had to get that book done in record time. And so when we’re working under that kind of pressure to we really can’t afford to make mistakes. And so there it gets really important that you’re writing the right book from the start. So we really get clear on that book, concept and structure before you start writing. And I think that’s just so key, because it’s so much easier to write and to make sure what you’re writing is something you’re likely to use in the book. If you’ve got that detailed structure to work from.

Jeremy Weisz 19:34

I’d love to hear some comments from each of you on self publishing versus not. Right at least you’re smiling cuz you probably get this question a lot.

Lisa Tener 19:44

Well, that for sure. And yeah, I’m speaking at a Writers Conference and a couple months on the topic, but also because I traditionally published my first book, a lot of my clients traditionally publish, and then a lot of them also self published. But I, I decided to self publish my most recent book, The Joy of writing journal. And, and, you know, it’s it’s been interesting because it’s a huge indication for me and I had only myself before that traditionally published. And there were things I didn’t know there were mistakes I made. But but it is a really wonderful process to because you have all this control, I decided to do it because the book has these QR codes. And that was something I knew I wanted people to be able to when they’re journaling on this 30 day adventure, be able to take their phone, you know, and suddenly be watching a video where either I’m sharing some inspiring tips to that for them. Or my favorite videos are actually just where people are reacting to the prompt. Some of them are famous writers, New York Times bestsellers, some of them are just young people just out of college, a real mix of people responding the prompts, it’s really fun. And that kind of level of engagement I didn’t think publishers necessarily going to go for. And I felt an urgency to this book to like with COVID, people needed some way to needed ways to tap into their creativity, but also feel connected at the same time. And so I didn’t want to wait, I knew that traditional publishing is going to take longer. So I’m really glad I self published this book. And it’s been really fun. And I’m also still recovering from some things I didn’t know and try to figure out. Okay, how do we deal with that? So it’s been a real education to and humbling for someone who’s an expert in book writing and traditional publishing.

Jeremy Weisz 21:42

I’m gonna circle back to that in a bit, Lisa, because you mentioned QR codes, if there’s other things people should be thinking of putting in their books that they haven’t thought of before. But, um, you know, so Vanessa, what about you? Self publishing versus versus not?

Vanessa Levin 21:58

So my first book book I self published? And that was a think in 2010? Don’t look it up, please, Jeremy, it’s terrible. If you can’t find it on my website, is oh, I’ll

Jeremy Weisz 22:12

find it. I’m Chris in Beirut. No.

Vanessa Levin 22:17

No, it was, it was very stressful for me to self publish, because not only was I responsible for creating the content, then I had to figure out how to format it. And then I had to figure out the self publishing platform. And there were just a lot of unknowns. And that really, that whole process took me way longer than than writing a book for a publisher, because they do a lot of the heavy lifting. And so my first book still sells, and people still buy it, but I’m not proud of it. Like I am the professionally published one. Now, of course, 2010 was dinosaur years in the internet time, you know. So things probably have changed a lot since then. And I don’t think I regret writing either one of them. I think each of the different avenues has different things, different benefits and things to offer

Jeremy Weisz 23:11

to the author. Chris, what about you? Um,

Christopher Littlefield 23:15

yeah, and one thing is, every time you pull my my setup compared to the other two, I’m like, Oh, my God, I need to update my website. Um, so I you know, what, this, I will go with a traditional publisher for the book that I had planned to write originally, this was a quick pandemic pivot. And I just had some resources into I had already written kind of a lead magnet with some team building activities. And then I thought, hey, could I pull this together? And then I use kind of the same structure that I had used with Lisa prior, pulled it all together. And this was self published, but I self published it. But I used it as a practice launch for a book I’ll do later. So I self published it did on Amazon use a methodology from a guy who had seen before about becoming a best seller, I followed that strategy mimic to the tee. And then I used my network, and the same launch strategies I’d seen from other people. And it just did very well. And it’s like, I don’t mind like, I look today. And it’s I’ve already made $21,000 in revenues in a year and a half just on book royalties. Right. And so I launched it the same way. And I got that momentum going. And so I did the video, I did everything else that I could to launch it launched, it had a whole strategy around reviews, anything like that. And so it was very, it did very well. And it’s, you know, it made me question do I want to go with a traditional publisher in the future, because I have less freedom. But it also has been just an amazing additional stream of revenue and also an amazing way to bring people into my work because I have a list sign up in the book, have a lot of freedom over that, to be able to decide what goes into it and what doesn’t.

Jeremy Weisz 24:54

Yeah, and I want this the next topic I want to talk about which is like how you use the book, as far as impact in your business. So, you know, Vanessa, I’m gonna go to you in a second. But just to piggyback on what you said, Chris, talk about that how you’ve used the book, because you mentioned lead magnet. And for anyone who doesn’t know, you know, it’s basically, you know, exchanging something as very high value for someone for an email so that that person can actually communicate with you. So talk about how you used it, as far as the book is a lead magnet for your business and some other ways you’ve used it. Do you want yeah, Chris? Yeah, go Yeah, keep Yeah,

Christopher Littlefield 25:33

I have, you know, when I when I put this out there originally, so now it’s got momentum. It’s one of the best sellers and remote team building. I don’t like the word team building, but I knew people would be searching for those resources. So that’s why I named it that way.

Jeremy Weisz 25:47

So I, for me, the

Christopher Littlefield 25:49

book is acted as a reason there’s actually my lead magnet up on the screen. But I use this as a way as it’s a simple access point for people. So people are looking for resources right now. And then they find me through the book. And on page, like two or three of the book, there’s an opportunity to sign up and get free downloads that come with the book, that would be on the other page, but you get free downloads for the book. And so I’m having two to three people sign up every single day who have purchased the book. And it also what’s interesting is that I can tell when people are looking for it based on book sales. So I know in September, all of a sudden, I get a whole ton of book sales. And then I have list signups the next day, and then I have the same thing in January. And Vanessa, I see you nodding your head, it may be the same, there’s like certain times a year where all of a sudden people are looking for it. And that also lets me know what content I need to publish on HBR or on Forbes on then because I know what people are looking for. And so it’s been great. And then I’ve also I run a workshop called hybrid leadership playbook around the content of the book. And I did that probably 50 or 60 programs last year. And that was the biggest revenue generator I’ve ever had for my business as a speaker and a trainer.

Jeremy Weisz 27:03

So people can get to know you, they can get the book and say, I really liked this, I want more of Chris and then hire you for whatever else they need you.

Christopher Littlefield 27:11

They read it and then they want their people to do it. But they know that if they you know, and a lot of people will buy the books, I can tell because I’ll sell 150 books in one day, and I have given out to the business and then I’ll get a whole bunch of signups. And then what they’ll want is okay, we bought them the books, but we don’t know if people are going to read it, then we want to give them an experience to actually learn that and then I end up coming in as a speaker for those companies.

Jeremy Weisz 27:34

But Vanessa, what about you, what how you use the book, and what’s been the impact on the business?

Vanessa Levin 27:42

Well, I use the book in a number of different ways. The primary way is as a vehicle to lead to my membership site. Because I believe that in my experience teachers, you know, they want information, they want ideas, they want to learn, they want to be current in their knowledge. And we can give them that and, and I give them that in many, many, many different ways, whether that’s on the blog, or on my podcast, or you know, in the book, however, they want to take that information. But the what they really need help with, in my opinion, is putting all of that information and that knowledge and those ideas into practice. Because what it looks like in action is is, you know, a completely different thing. And that’s what I found, that teachers really need. And so I started a membership site in 2016. And that has been really the driving vehicle in my business because now I provide not just all these resources that you see on the screen that are they’re going to solve problems for teachers, they’re going to help them do their jobs, and do them well. But what they really need is more training and support and coaching in how to put all those things into action. And so that’s what we used the book for was a vehicle to provide them with this much needed and requested and sought after knowledge, but also to let them know that if you need help putting all the pieces together, then the membership is the place to go. Because the topic of the book is early literacy. And anyone who’s ever taught little children knows that that’s such a huge and difficult thing to teach young children. And so the natural next step for readers of the book is to join the membership.

Jeremy Weisz 29:37

Yeah, if you’re looking at the video, you can see what Chris was talking about the amazing breadth of resources she has here on her page, pre dash k pages calm I mean you can see all these amazing resources here for teachers or for families alike. Right. Talk about the membership site for a second, what have you found has worked, what have you found has not worked over the years with the membership site?

Vanessa Levin 30:10

Oh, goodness, I think what really works in my membership site is to provide teachers with professional development training, just like doctors or attorneys need to have continuing professional development credits to get to maintain their licenses. Teachers also need that same type of training. And so I provide them with that, but it’s specific to the age group. And that’s what teachers don’t have in their jobs in their elementary schools, right, because that’s usually I focus on pre K, or pre kindergarten, which is children ages four to five. And those teachers that are in those situations, they go to a lot of professional development provided by their school district, but very little, if any, actually is aimed at their age group that they work with. And so they’re just completely left out in the cold, which is what Google told me back in 2001, right that these teachers don’t have anything, they’re just told, Oh, you’ll you know, you’ll it’ll work, just don’t worry, just fix it for pre K, you know, and it’s not actually young children’s brains don’t work in that way. You can’t just adapt down equation, you know, fractions or multiplication down to preschool, easily. So the video trainings have really, really been a driving force in the membership. And in 2016, video webinars and trainings and that kind of thing, we’re not the norm, I would say maybe they were kind of emerging. And of course, in 2020, we know that they are the norm. And they’re not just the norm. They’re the expected now. So we’ve had a lot of success with the video trainings, and then also a community, because teachers really lacked community. They’re there in these four walls, all day, every day with these little people. And there’s very little interaction with other humans, especially with other teachers, because the other teachers are trapped in four walls with all their students. And so there’s not a lot of opportunity for collaboration, bouncing ideas off each other sharing insights. And so we have a community as well. So we have all the resources in our membership that teachers can take one off use however they want. But if they really want to hone their craft, and they take the video trainings, and they engage in the community, and that’s what makes the whole thing kind of come together. Yeah, that’s,

Christopher Littlefield 32:42

it just occurred as you’re talking. It’s also teachers that are choosing to want to develop better. And they know that that’s not what most teachers are always surrounded by. All right. Well, district, so they’re also getting, they’re also meeting people who are actively looking at being better teachers, which is really cool.

Vanessa Levin 33:00

Yes. And I think that every teacher out there could probably benefit from, from Chris from you coming to their school district and helping out their administrators. Because right now, teaching is not a happy, fun, uplifting place to be working. So very appreciated. I know right? Amazing.

Jeremy Weisz 33:22

There you go, Chris, you have a new line of business right here. It’s funny, because when you’re talking minutes, it reminded me of why I bought the book. And Chris, I think you’ll appreciate this never split the difference with Chris Voss is because, you know, people buy it for all sorts of reasons, business reasons, negotiation reasons that people wouldn’t heard of it. It’s a he’s an ex, FBI hostage negotiator. And I bought it because of my kids. Like, it’s sometimes I feel like it’s dealing with, I’m not gonna say a little terrorist, but like, they refuse to do certain things. Like I’m not going to put this on, I’m not gonna do this. I’m like, I need to read this book. It was for parenting as actually why read never split the difference. So, Chris, I know you like the conflict resolution side you is like, that’s why that’s why I got it. So talk, Chris a little bit how, you know, the impact, as far as you were saying, for for Lisa, what are some things that I know you’re doing a lot now what is on the docket for the future of what you want to do with the book or the business? For me or for you?

Christopher Littlefield 34:28

Well, I think for me is right now I’m working on on the next book. But I think what I’m doing now is building the platform to be able to launch that the way that I want. And so right now, my book that I wrote is to keep that momentum going. I’m regularly writing articles in HBR and Forbes that link back to the book. I send out a newsletter, my newsletter The nudge, which I send out every two weeks with resources that are always linked back to the book. And then that for me is a feeder into the greatest thing for me before The in 2019, I did 120,000 Miles going to speaking engagements, and I lived in Chile, you know, my wife used to work for the United Nations. And that’s why we were down there. So I was flying back and forth. And the most amazing thing is that in the pandemic, we moved back to the US and it left now live outside DC. I didn’t, I got on a plane once last year for an event that was booked in 2019. So now I’m running the same programs for more than I used to charge beforehand. And I don’t fly. And that’s absolutely amazing. I can do two programs in one day from this office and never leave. And so this area of remote team building, which is really just how do we build and maintain relationships, regardless where we are, is going to be a stream of business for me in the future. But I also now setting up or there will be a time where we’ll transition back and to make sure that I’m a resources for people then about how do we nurture culture appreciation, regardless of work in the office, or working

Jeremy Weisz 35:55

in a hybrid model. And so at least I want to circle back with what you were saying with the QR codes and other things people can be doing with their book. And I was reviewing, I was looking at, I’m going to pull up in a second. One of the, the bullets on this page stuck out to me which you talk about the secrets of compelling writing. Okay, so this is if you’re looking at it’s at least a This is Lisa’s program. And I was just like looking through this, this amazing page. And so there you are, right there. So talk a little bit about that. Secrets to compelling writing.

Lisa Tener 36:39

Sure, I you know, I would say almost all the secrets to compelling writing that I learned, I learned when I was at MIT, in one particular seminar with Frank Conroy, who was at the time the director of the National Endowment for arts and literature. And the next year, he went on to become the executive director of the famed Iowa Writers Workshop. And he was such an amazing teacher when it came to the craft of writing and particularly revision. And so, you know, one of the things he taught us was very visual, he said, You know, I had a professor, who would just take the first three pages of anything you gave him and throw it in the garbage. Because, you know, you always start with a lot of stuff that that’s not really starting at the heart of it. And even though he didn’t do that to us, which I was very grateful for, he did show us that visual, and it’s just remained in my mind. And so you know, it’s fine to sort of work yourself up to the beginning of the book, you know, often we need that first cells to get into it, but then really look at how compelling is that beginning. And it probably isn’t as compelling as you think. So find those moments of real tension. And that that can be with a nonfiction with a, a more prescriptive book to most of the books I work on are some are usually prescriptive, as opposed to like a memoir, or completely narrative. And, but But you know, you want to start with a really powerful story. That’s what brings people in, sometimes a very powerful statistic can do it, too. So that’s the beginnings. I would say also, you know, we always hear show versus tell, but you know, what does that mean, and it and it really means that trust your reader, you don’t have to tell them the emotions, you don’t have to tell them what to think. But, but give them the clues that are going to really bring it to life. And so that’s, you know, you’re sweaty palms when you’re nervous, right, or, you know, some action, but, but really bring things to life. And the other thing that really brings to life are your verbs. And when we talk, we often use passive verbs. And we use our voice, the tone of voice and the energy we give to our voice, to give life to that when we say, you know, he is amazing, you know, we’re giving energy that that is, but you don’t have that on the page on the page. It’s your verbs and it’s your very specific verbs. So he went doesn’t have a lot of energy and it doesn’t really tell me what’s going on he went to the store, but he ran to the store gives me a little more information, and he sprinted to the store really starts to paint a picture. So those verbs are going to be your best friends and it doesn’t mean you’re going to do that in your first draft don’t even worry about that stuff. The first draft is about getting on the page getting into flow. But when you go back really look for those verbs that are going to paint a picture and every time you have a was or is or a hat or has just circle it and then see how you can change that. You know the way you use

Jeremy Weisz 39:49

the burbs, I’d love to get one tip from each of you on what’s a must to include your book from like a marketing and business perspective. And at least since you’re just talking You mentioned QR codes, right? Um, what are some other things that people can do? In their book? Yeah,

Lisa Tener 40:08

well, certainly, I mean, stories are huge and important. Just telling people information is usually not that helpful. But the other thing I would say is a, I like to make a book experiential. So I like to give people exercises, I like to give them something they can do that can create transformation on the spot. So for me, that’s a big one is experiential exercises.

Jeremy Weisz 40:33

Vanessa, what about you a must to include in someone’s book, too, for a business, looking at from the business perspective. For me, it was

Vanessa Levin 40:43

those personal stories, I knew from the get go that I really wanted to include them, I didn’t really know how to craft a good personal story. So that’s what Lisa really helps me with there. But I know that as teachers, we often read a lot of professional development books that are just really their textbooks. That’s just another nice way of saying it. And most of those do not use personal stories. And I had read one prior to signing my book deal that did in everyone that I knew that read, it said it was the best professional development book they ever read, because the author used these personal stories, I knew I wanted to do that. And I just needed help on how to craft those, those stories to make them compelling, because, you know, I would write one, and it would be like, very flat, but then I would follow Lisa’s formula, and then it became it came alive. And that’s one thing that people tell me about Teach smarter, is they really appreciate the personal stories, they make the content seem much more

Jeremy Weisz 41:47


Lisa Tener 41:49

And I add a little something on that, too. So with the personal stories, you know, it makes it much more readable, entertaining, and enjoyable. It we learn better from stories. And then there’s also the aspect that right away, you’re creating some social proof, you know, if you’re telling a story about your you’re using this technique or or how this impacted you. That’s that’s one area and of course, includes stories about your clients, because that’s going to show the difference that you can make for the reader as well.

Jeremy Weisz 42:22

It’s kind of what you’re saying show versus tell that story actually just shows people, you don’t have to kind of describe the process, because you’re describing it by telling the story. Chris, what about you,

Christopher Littlefield 42:33

I would say know your reader, and what they’re looking for when they’re coming to get your book, cuz mine was specifically remote team building activities, I cut out all the fluff. So there’s very little reading, somebody can get through the whole intro in maybe 15 minutes. And then here’s how to choose the activities. And it was very specific, I remember asking one of my potential readers as I was writing the books, it was gonna be 101 ways he’s like, I don’t want 101 ways, I want the five activities that I’m going to be able to use and how to decide which one’s going to be the best right now. And I restructured the book after interviewing him because he was my ideal reader. And because of that it was making it and then also, for a business side, make sure you’re showing people that you’re more than just an author. And so for mine, it’s letting people know that I’m a speaker, let them know that I have that resource and then giving away for them to be able to connect early on in the book where they’re going to sign up for my newsletter, or they’re going to realize there’s downloads that they can get, or they realize that there’s videos that I that I have on YouTube, to letting people know how to do that. And I think the last thing I would say the biggest mistake that I made is I launched a Kindle book before I had the print version ready. And I probably lost about $10,000 in sales. Because I did only one version when I could have just because I didn’t know I launched the Kindle version. And then I did the paperback version. And because I would have had those two ones ready. And then the last thing I would say is just people think that writing is the hardest part launching is the hardest part. Right writing is the easy part. Having a team behind you to get it out there and continually get it out there once you’ve

Jeremy Weisz 44:18

done it. Yeah, I love what you say Chris about customer feedback. I mean, once you get customer feedback you put in the hands of your ideal person, they’re going to tell you exactly what they love and what may be missing. So I love that piece. I want like one last question for each of you which is along the lines of books I want to hear some of your favorite books. It could be business it could be not. Before I asked it I love for each of you to point people to where they can find out more about you and to learn more. Lisa start with you. Where should people where should we point people to go to learn more?

Lisa Tener 44:57

Well, they can just come to the homepage And that’s a really good place to start. And there’s a free course that that gets you right at your book. And you mentioned bring your book to life and that programs on there under the the write a book tab. But that that is coming up soon some people are really excited about writing a book, that’s a good place to visit to. And favorite books, I would say Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert is a real favorite. And it is about the creative process and the writing process. And she tells such extraordinary stories and tells them so well.

Jeremy Weisz 45:37

Um, Vanessa, where should we point people towards? I know, have your website up here, but what should they check out? Well, I

Vanessa Levin 45:45

think this page that you have up,, you can find just about everything there. Our membership isn’t prominently featured, because we really want to make sure we attract the ideal person that we can serve. So it’s kind of it’s layered within there, not prominently feature. But that I think is the best place to go because you can find all my socials, my podcast is featured there at the top, the book is also in there. So yeah,

Jeremy Weisz 46:14

right. And then what are a few your favorite books. Um,

Vanessa Levin 46:19

I tend to read a lot. So I’m going to list one of my most recent favorites and that was Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian. I really love his writing style. And I currently live in Massachusetts. And so the whole Boston connection was fascinating to me. I don’t read a lot of business books just because I’m a teacher and I find them boring.

Jeremy Weisz 46:44

Very cool. Chris, what about you, where should we point people towards

Christopher Littlefield 46:49

you can find the book on Amazon 75+Team Building Activities for Remote Teams and also my site which is and then my two books that I recommend the most and I am in the business world, which would be Conscious Business by Fred Kaufman, which is a book I absolutely love. The first three chapters should be required reading and then 15 commitments of a conscious leader and I am going to blank on the author’s name but I can see it over here on my shelf. Those are two of my favorite books, which are just really breaking down leadership and being a conscious leader into kind of the simplest elements and I absolutely love those books.

Jeremy Weisz 47:27

Well, I want to be the first one to thank all of you for joining me on this and sharing your knowledge with everyone everyone check out their websites check out Inspired Insider check out Rise25 And thanks everyone.