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Epiphanies on the Mountain

Something happened today I hadn’t planned. I climbed a Mountain called Mount Zas or Mount Zeus. I hadn’t planned to climb it; I planned to visit it.  I took the bus and, before I knew it, found myself plunged into the depths of the mountains. As the bus continued up its winding path, I was silenced both mentally and physically by the magnitude of what lay before me. I engulfed myself in that mental silence; that head space that London can never seem to afford me.

A woman who had been speaking to me in Greek the whole way there as I nodded along, signaled that it was my turn to get off the bus. I was the only departee. As I got off the bus and began walking towards the sign to Mount Zas, I suddenly felt so very small. Literally alone and minute engulfed in a realm of spectacular mountains that stood majestically like royalty. I noticed as I walked the windy roads, that to the right of me was the edge. Being the curious person I am, I decided to peer off and imagine what it was like to fall, before glancing up at the huge mountains surrounding me. It was then that I became aware of my vulnerability; my fragility. How small and minute I was and how, in the grand scheme of things, my life was just one of billions living on this planet.

I felt unsteady; rocked to my core.

 

Even though I stood on firm ground, I felt unbalanced, unstable as if I could be gone at any moment. Lost in a cloud of mountains.

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I had to refocus. The reality was. I am standing on firm ground. I’m walking on a thick, winding road. I wasn’t going to fall and if I did it would have had to have intentionally jumped only to land on a pile of rubble. I was completely safe. Although I enjoyed dabbling with the idea of a sheer drop and death awaiting, I realised that the where the attention flows, the energy goes. I’ve been walking most of my life. I know how to do it, I wasn’t going to fall and the mountain was not suddenly going to crumble because I was on it.

 

I had an epiphany that this walk was like life. You stay on the path; you stay the course. As I continued to walk, I found myself at the beginning of what looked like a hike. I had not planned to hike, in fact, I had no plans at all. I’d just jumped on a bus and headed to Mount Zas if only to witness it in its glory. I had no expectations.

 

The Greek man ahead of me greeted me with some cherries before pointing at my shoes, my beautiful sandals from Accessorize, designed for nothing more than beach walking! ‘No…flip flops,’ he said before pointing up at the giant mountain and gesturing the action of walking with his fingers. I got it. ‘A little bit,’ I found myself saying, using the comme ci, comma ca gesture.’ I hadn’t planned to walk up it but now I did!

 

As I began my walk, I could see a clear wide path laid out for us. It was an easy walk: rubbly and stony but nothing these sandals couldn’t handle. Then the clear path stopped and nothing more was carved out for me to follow just stones, rocks and a giant mountain. This must be the end, I thought, taking a knee. I sat down on a large rock and stared out at the giant mountains surrounding me. Strangely, I no longer had that fear I had on the main road. Although I was completely alone surrounded by the drops, peaks and troughs of the mountains, I felt nothing but gratitude, wonderment as I sat witnessing something that was so much greater than me, so perfectly created and steeped in natural beauty carved by the Creator of all things.  I was content with my journey as I sat meditating and soaking up the beauty.

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Having been alone for so long, my thoughts were broken by a German couple who passed me in my trance-like state. As they stared out and took photos, I waited for them to turn back and start descending down the mountain so I could return to my solitude. To my surprise, they began walking up the mountain up through the rocks following their own path.

 

I sat there amazed that no path was laid out and that the route was taken on intuition. After I let them pass, I began to ascend the enormous mountain. One foot in front of the other, through rocks, sharp stones, prickly bushes and dust. After an hour of ascending, I grew tired. I knew my sandals didn’t have what it took to get right to the top. They were pretty but had no grip or protection for the perilous rocks above. I considered walking back down but ahead of me was a dark cave. I could get there in 20mins. I could feel the walk getting harder and harder but I had to continue. The cave was my destination; I kept my sights set on that. My vision.

 

Upon reaching the cave, I felt a cool breeze emanate from it. Although pitch black and deathly silent, it welcomed me somehow. As I stepped inside, I felt the breeze on my face and an ancient dampness inside. I thought I’d heard silence before but I hadn’t. Until now, I thought silence was the absence of sound but that day I realised that real silence was the total and absolute muting of all life. Senses were acute as my eyes adjusted to total darkness, forcing my pupils to widen. For a moment, I embodied that cave, that solitude, that peace and that sense of oneness before scurrying out of the cave back through the shaft of light to the outside world.

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It was here I knew that my journey with this mountain had come to an end. I may be adventurous but there was no way I was making it up to the peak in my Accessorize sandals! I looked out in wonder at the giant mountains before me. It was just me and the mountain goats. Studying them for a period of time, I realised that they were nonplussed about ascending the mountain, getting to the top or achieving great heights. They were simply being. Perfectly content. They moved not like I would have expected them too though; they moved with the agility and confidence as they clambered confidently up and down that mountain stopping every now and then to chew on some prickly bushes.

It was then it dawned on me. I need to be more like those mountain goats. We all do. We can become so busy and so consumed with achieving more and more, we forget what we started out with. We forget to just simply be. We forget to appreciate what we truly are. Alive and well.

 

In life, I had been in such a rush to get to the mountaintop that I had forgotten to truly take in the view, to taste the air and embody the moment. Now that is Joy. Happiness is not always at the very top but right where we are.

 

The second epiphany came as I looked at my tremendous journey downhill. I realised that sometimes our lives are not carved or mapped out neatly and that we must find our own way. I asked myself if I had known how perilous this climb would be would I have done it? After all, I’d only planned to ‘go for a walk’.  Hell no, I heard myself say. But how many of us would never have attempted this life had we known the challenges and obstacles to come, how many of us would have embarked on journeys and experiences that would have tested us more than we could ever imagine and how many of us would have pursued what we really loved if we had known the hard work, effort and commitment it would have taken us to complete. And what does complete mean anyway? Does it always mean getting to the top or is every journey we take a blessing taken just at the right time? I may not have got to the top of this mountain this time, but I sure was glad that I had invested in those 3.5hours climbing. Why? Because I toned up, I pushed myself, I shaped up, I witnessed, I saw the greatest expressions of beauty in the simplest of things and, this time, this time, I didn’t see not reaching the top as a sign of defeat or failure but my depth of understanding that I knew my journey had come to an end.

 

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How writing a book helps build your business and career

People want to write books for many different reasons, personal ones, creative ones, even indulgent ones, but can writing a book be a good move in terms of your business?

Absolutely.

In this blog, we will be discussing some of the reasons why writing a book could be a turning point in your career and opening doors to opportunities you never thought possible.

Being an expert

If you write a book on a subject that is linked to your career, this can be a fantastic way of establishing yourself as an authority in your field.  By writing a book, people are naturally going to assume that you know a thing or two about your chosen topic.

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Writing a book consolidates your position as an expert in your field.

It not only shows that you are serious about your profession but can help you gain respect from your peers and readers elevating your status and expertise. But don’t be fooled, anyone can write and publish a book and claim to be an expert! The content of your book still needs to be high-quality work, thoroughly researched and hopefully backed up by the experience in the field you already have.

Writing a book about the field you work can be a Launchpad for your business in a number of ways, let’s explore some of them.

Create a brand

Writing a book can be a great way of starting to build a brand in your business.  For example, perhaps your book has a catchy title ‘The XYZ Method’.  If your book is successful and well received, there is no reason that this could not be a catalyst for further work around the ‘XYZ Method’.

Grouping your work and products together in this way will help you become known for a particular type or style or work, and in turn, will help you build your brand. Perhaps the launch of your book would coincide nicely with a rebrand of your business to showcase this new direction?  Consider the bigger picture when you are thinking about writing your book, could you create a brand platform with the book as the anchor and you behind it as the authority?

 

Not only will creating a brand help you sell books in the first instance, but it could potentially set you up to build an entire product line of services. Have you ever heard of a product staircase? This is where you have an initial product which when purchased, through clever promotion and relationship development with your reader, could lead to the purchase of further products.  For example, perhaps you publish a book, then develop an online course further expanding on your book, which then turns into face to face training, mentoring services, coaching and beyond.

New opportunities

Sometimes in your career, it is easy to become static, doing the same thing and meeting the same people day in and day out. This doesn’t mean you don’t love what you do, but it can be hard to find new opportunities when you are moving around the same circles.

Writing a book is an incredible way of creating new opportunities for you and your business.

  • Through promotion and press you will be raising awareness of your services and expertise to a wider audience and from that, exciting opportunities may arise.
  • Perhaps you may be invited to a speaking event, someone may become aware of your book and feel there could be a joint working venture to be had.
  • You may be invited to sit on panels or be involved in projects because of your expertise.
  • You’ll meet lots of new people whilst promoting your book, expanding your network and have conversations that wouldn’t have happened without it. Through conversations, opportunities are born.

There is a theory called Planned Happenstance that suggests “that even if you don’t know exactly where your actions will lead, just by being active and doing the right kinds of things, great things can and will happen.” Krumboltz’s Theory

Increase Revenue

Now let’s be clear, we aren’t saying that if you publish a book you are going to be rich overnight (see more about that in our blog here), but publishing a book can lead to increased revenue for you and your business. This may be from book sales, but more likely will be through the increased opportunities that come with publishing a book.  Elevating your platform as an expert in your field, and becoming known for that, is an excellent way of being able to raise yourself into the next pricing bracket when it comes to selling your services.  Through your brand development and product staircase, you may also be able to generate passive income (for example online workshops).

Personal Development

It would be fair to say that writing a book can be extremely challenging, but ultimately, exceptionally rewarding.   Authors we know have often described writing a book as “a journey”, “cathartic” and even “cleansing.” Writing a book can be a brilliant personal development exercise, not only will you be learning new skills about how to improve your writing, it can lead to improved communication skills and through research, further increase your expertise in your field.

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“An investment in your personal development is the best investment you can make” –  Jim Rohn.

Writing a book and the opportunities that it brings may help you identify skills that you never knew you had. Perhaps you are a natural public speaker, excel at designing training or have a flair for marketing, you may not find out until presented with such opportunities off the back of writing your book.   Through developing new skills, you may be able to diversify your career in a way that would never have been possible before writing a book.

In summary, a book can be a very powerful tool for advancing your career and help you to stand out from the crowd differentiating yourself from your competitors.  Writing a book can act as a business card because just saying you’re the best at what you do isn’t enough these days, a book solidifies that claim. Thinking longer term, a book is your legacy and lives forever – imagine that!

If you are an expert in your field and have an idea for a book, why not book a free 30-minute consultation with Book Journey Mentor Daniella Blechner. Conscious Dreams Publishing offers hassle-free, bespoke and high-quality support to help you get your book published with minimal work. Working with a team experts we can help you get your book from pen to page and then even support with marketing and promotion to help you raise your visibility. We can’t wait to hear from you

 

Leaving a Legacy..the Extraordinary Alexander Paul

The only thing certain in life is that one day, we will cease to exist. Sounds morbid but this is indeed a true fact. I have been questioning our purpose in life and what gifts we are all here to bring. I believe we are all here for a reason and purpose and that we can make of our lives what we choose.

I have been recently inspired and spurred into questioning the idea of “legacy” by a young man Alexander Paul. A young man I have never had the pleasure of meeting, yet who has touched my life in such a profound way.

Alexander Paul passed away, aged 21, last year after being diagnosed with brain cancer. His dream was to publish a book and for his words to touch the world. Today I want to celebrate an amazing woman. Her name is Joanna Brown.

After she lost her son last year, she discovered a room full of poetry written by her hugely talented son. She contacted us at Conscious Dreams Publishing a few months ago expressing her desire for us to publish his collection of poetry.  Today we have birthed Climbing Clouds Catching Comets.

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Mother and son

On reading the manuscript, including a biography written by Joanna, the whole team were in awe of his talent. His poems range from humourous poems about chicken to serious topics such as mental health, depression, homelessness and police stop and searches, his battle with cancer and love for life as well as beautiful poems dedicated to his mother.

Alexander Paul was no ordinary 21 year old, although exuberant on the exterior, he suffered bouts of depression as a young man and became a mouthpiece for men with mental health issues and helped to fight the stigma against it. In addition to this, at  just 18 he spoke at The Houses of Parliament at a Tory Conference about the increase of stop and searches of young black males with no criminal record or just reason.

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Alexander Paul speaking ta The Houses of Parliament

We are all so humbled to have been part of putting together this masterpiece and fulfilling this dream for mum and son. This has been one of the most rewarding and eye opening projects yet. We are honoured and humbled.  I am full of love, admiration and respect for his mother. His poems and hauntingly powerful messages weaved amongst his poetry have shifted my perspective on life. We are all here for purpose and we are so happy to have been part of keeping his legacy alive. ❤❤❤

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Climbing Clouds Catching Comets is available for preorder now!

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Due for release 3rd June!

Interview with Usha Chudasama, author of Your Happy Child: 10 Proven Steps to Raising a Happy Child

Back in January, we began a series of blogs where we interview one of our Conscious Dreams Publishing authors. Kicking us off was the brilliant Zoe Bennett author of Networking Personified released in November 2017. You can read her brilliant interview here.

Our next interview is with the amazing Bestselling author and Child Psychotherapist Usha Chudasama. Usha published her book Your Happy Child: 10 Proven Steps to Raising a Happy Child with us also in November 2017 and her wonderful book became a bestseller the first week it was released.

Your Happy Child

Who is Usha Chudasama?

Usha is the Founder of her company Healing Feeling which she began because, throughout her career, one thing had always been present, her passion and desire to help children who have emotional, social and mental health challenges to learn preventative strategies to turn their lives around. Usha supports both parents and children and also offers well being and mental health training to professionals in her field. She works as a school psychotherapist, a freelance trainer and works with children, adolescents and individuals through both her private clinic in London as well as through her outreach workshops and throughout communities in London.

Accredited by the United Kingdom for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and registered with the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP), Usha is a Neuro-Linguistic Programming Master and trainer.

1. Usha, tell us about how you came to find out about Conscious Dreams Publishing?

Actually, I googled it! I had been with a publisher before but it hadn’t worked out and I was looking for a new one. I had the manuscript completed and a few people had mentioned Danni before, so I googled Conscious Dreams Publishing and arranged a consultation.

2. How far along were you with your book at this point?

I had finished the book so I had a finished manuscript. I just didn’t know how to do the editing. I have already had the book proofread and edited, but had to go through that process again as had Danni had her own editing team. I didn’t know where to go from there and I wasn’t sure about how to promote the book. It was at that point, and from speaking to Danni, that I realised that the book was a business and that is why I decided to go to the ‘Power of Your Story’ Workshop. After having the consultation, Danni has suggested that would be a good next step for me and my book.

3. What drew you to work with Conscious Dream Publishing and Daniella Blechner?

I think it was how Danni presented herself; she wasn’t pushy. She listened to where I was at in my journey and was very encouraging. I had lots of questions and Danni was able to answer all of them which felt good. Also, it was a personal thing; if I like the base of someone then I go with it. It was gut instinct. I felt a connection with her during our consultation. I actually didn’t research any more publishers after speaking to Danni because I felt that working with Conscious Dreams Publishing was the right direction for me and I trusted my gut instinct.

What Conscious Dreams Publishing Service did you use?

I did the full publishing and mentoring package, called The Complete Journey, with Conscious Dreams Publishing which included the ‘Power of Your Story’ workshop. From the ‘Power of Your Story’ workshop, I was able to learn about social media and how to use that. The workshop doesn’t do it for you, but it gives you guidance on what you can do so then you can go and implement it! You just need to go ahead and do it!

POYS Usha

Did the workshop give you the confidence to go ahead and try these things?

In some ways, yes it did. At this point, I had also just started working with Dean Williams from Exclusive Visions. (Dean is a Business Consultant who through his company Exclusive Visions helps entrepreneurs to grow their business). It was great having them both on board because if I got confused or worried about something, I was able to go back and ask them for their advice or guidance. The nice thing about Conscious Dreams Publishing and Danni, is that even though your programme is finished, you are still able to tap into Danni’s knowledge and ask questions. She is so helpful and generous with her advice; she doesn’t just say she will help, she really means it!

Usha, Danni, Dean

What was the most valuable support that Conscious Dreams Publishing and the experience of working with Danni gave you?

I would say that Danni was ever so patient. When you don’t know something or something is new to you, you are consciously worried about it. You suddenly have thoughts at 3 am, (not that I rang her at 3 am!) but every time I had a question, or if I was getting worked up or worried about something, she was always there, patient and reassuring. The other thing was having the book uploaded onto the right platforms and support setting up my own publishing brand name. That was a really good experience. With Danni, she is there for the authors and that is what I liked about working with her. She has the right team of people working with her, so if she didn’t necessarily have the knowledge, she could signpost you to someone who did within her team of professionals. Lucky, as because I was also working with Dean, I had great support between the two of them. The other nice thing was that both of them turned up at my book launch. Both of them! I really do value that and the support that they offered. It was like a whole experience, a whole journey with them.

What or who inspires you to write?

The thing that really inspired me? My daughter Lena. Everything I had done was tried and tested when my daughter Lena was 7, but everything started with her. There was a real penny-dropping moment for me when a parent stopped me in a playground and thanked me for changing the whole course of her family’s life. I had done some work with her son who had some anger issues and she felt that the change in him had such an impact not only on her child but on their relationship and the dynamic of their entire family. It was at that point, that I realised the importance of how much emphasis you put on your children and the impact it has on their whole life, their life as an adult and then the impact that has on their children. It was a real moment of affirmation about the work I was doing.

What advice would you have for someone who wants to write their book?

I would say if somebody wants to write a book, they either need to have a passion or an idea that has come from an internal motivation. That internal motivation should really be harnessed and nurtured. Just go ahead and do it! Even if you book impacts one person you will have done your job in the world and in society. Because that one person will impact 10. It will have a ripple effect. So go and do it!  There is a lot of personal motivations for writing a book. It can be very cathartic and therapeutic -you learn a lot about yourself- it is like a personal development journey. It was for me anyway!

Danni and Usha Book Launch

Daniella, you are quite specific about the people you work with and projects you take on, what drew you to work with Usha?

I loved the fact that Usha is passionate about what she does. She has a real mission to increase the well-being of children and enhance that parent/child bond. As an ex-secondary school teacher who is aware of the rise of mental health amongst our young people, I resonated with her book and message and felt that she had a very strong “why” and belief in the book’s impact.

As a person, Usha is very driven and determined. I love this quality about her. She is also humble and, at times, lacked self-belief. I felt that if I could get her to see how truly amazing she really is, we would be in for a great journey! I was not disappointed as I have watched Usha grow from strength to strength both in confidence and belief in what she is doing. Before the workshop, she had never done a Facebook live or delivered a keynote speech before so to see her gain confidence in her regular live shows and speak on stage with eloquence and purpose was a real treat! Consequentially, she went on to work with my partner and Business Consultant, Dean Williams from Exclusive Visions and it has been an honour to see her fly in the area of business too as it’s all linked! Working with Usha has been fab!

What did you enjoy most about working with Usha?

What I most enjoyed about working with Usha is her vision. It wasn’t just about the book but how her book will leverage her business and impact many. I loved the fact that her book would help position her as an authority in her field and open many more doors for her. Another key factor was her drive to continue to learn more and more. As a mentee, she was great as it meant as it pushed me to deliver more and see her fulfil her highest potential with her book.

 

A Conscious Dream in London, by Claire Lockey

 

How it all began

Just over 8 months ago, I saw an advert in a VA forum I am part of giving some details of a lady in London with a book publishing company who needed some administrative support.

In order to respond, you had to email with the email titled ‘I see your vision’…and do you know what? I really did.

I was quite early in my VA journey and, at the time, still working in my normal paid job as a Careers Advisor.  I remember speaking to a business advisor who told me that working with someone outside of Lincoln this early in my journey was a bad idea and that I needed to find my feet more before taking such steps.

Do you know what? I just knew. I knew I HAD to work with this lady because after speaking to her on the phone, it was all I could think about. The opportunity, her amazing business, and the books she published. I wanted to be part of it.

I really believe that fate brought me to Conscious Dreams Publishing and so, in September 2017, Daniella Blechner and I took a chance on each other and we began working together.

We actually met!

Fast forward 8 months, on the 29th March, Daniella and I actually got to meet for the first time! I came up to London to meet Danni and her partner Dean at the book launch of his incredible book Master the Basics.

 

Through working with Danni, I have got to know Dean, and because Dean published Master the Basics through Conscious Dreams Publishing, I have had the pleasure of working on the promotion of  Master the Basics and seen the organisation and attention to detail that went into organising the book launch.

Master the Basics Book Launch

It is hard to put into words what an incredible evening the launch of Master the Basics was. From the moment we arrived and the friendly faces started to filter in, it felt like I was attending a family party or a wedding, certainly something to celebrate! The atmosphere, the feeling of love and genuine pride in Dean were clear to see by all.

The launch was organised to perfection; there was never a dull moment. The evening was scattered with testimonials, Q&A sessions and everyone was incredibly generous with their advice and the value offered to the audience.

A handful of Dean’s clients spoke about the impact Dean had, not only on developing and growing their business but on them personally. Dean has a magic about him, an infectiously positive attitude and the honesty, warmth, and challenge that he gives his client is the key to his success.

 

Dean is driven, motivating and inspirational, showing that even with challenges in life, you decide what happens. You decide what path to take and what frame of mind accompanies you on your journey.

I have never attended an event with so much laughter before. I left, my jaw aching from smiling and laughing so much and feeling totally and utterly inspired. Dean even gave me the opportunity to get up and speak to his audience about my own business, again just demonstrating the support and warmth he shows to everyone.

Master the basics photo group

If you would like to learn more about Dean and the work he does with his company Exclusive Visions, you can visit his website here!  Also, I would fully recommend grabbing your very own copy of the amazing Master the Basics.

From a book launch to a book idea

After attending Dean’s launch the Thursday evening, I was lucky enough to be attending the first session of the amazing Power of Your Story workshop with Danni on Saturday morning.

I have always wanted to write a book, I have just never really known what about. Since I was a child, I have collected beautiful notebooks, but I can’t always bring myself to use them. There is something about a brand new notebook- the possibility of what it could be filled with!  The pressure to craft beautiful words to fill the pages is almost too much, so they stay safely tucked away, stories remain untold.

My desire to write crept up on me like the sun creeping over a hilltop. Slowly, but surely it rose, the light of realisation filled me. I need to write. Working with Danni helped me realise that and after seeing her incredible authors achieve their dreams, I wanted to be one of them.

I initially was going to the Power of Your Story because I was already in London. I do a lot of work for Danni promoting the workshop and so it made sense for me to see what it was all about.  Little did I know, that after leaving Dean’s workshop on Thursday evening, I would feel so inspired that I would attend Saturday morning with a clear vision of my book!

It is like someone flicked a switch. Out of nowhere, my book came to me. In fact not only the book but a whole business strategy and plan helping me diversify my business in a way that I had been looking for.  Surrounding myself over the weekend with such amazing people filled me with ambition and motivation.

The Power of Your Story Workshop has been taking place in an amazing, creative bookshop called The Ship of Adventures. It is the perfect setting for the workshop; imagination flows throughout allowing your thoughts to roam free and ideas to be born in a safe and supported environment.

As the ladies filed in, there was an immediate hum of excitement and nervous energy in the air. The beautiful workbooks laid out on the table greeted us as well as a reassuring and genuine hug from Daniella herself, and then we were off!

 

Like Dean, Daniella’s passion for what she does is like a beam of golden light. So powerful, it hits you and lights up all surrounding it in its splendour. Her ability to question and gently challenge allows you to gain a clearer vision of your book and ultimately find your ‘why.’ She generously and whole-heartedly shares her knowledge with you because she genuinely wants to help you give birth to the book that you have inside.

In our modern lives, we juggle so much pressure every day. Our families, our work, and all our responsibilities – our minds are always busy.  Rarely do we allow, or indulge ourselves the time to put everything aside and focus our energy on something that we want to do.

The Power of Your Story allows us this space. It is simply magical. Surrounded by nine other women, hearing their ideas and their stories, I felt empowered.  I felt my worth and I felt capable.

I only spent three hours with the group as unfortunately, this time around, I was not able to attend the full workshop. What is for sure, is that I will be booking on to a full workshop by the end of 2018!

My advice would be for anyone that has a book idea and would like to make it a reality, The Power of Your Story is the perfect place for you.

If you would like to discuss your book idea with Daniella or would like any further information about the next Power of Your Story Workshop, please book your free 30-minute consultation with the Book Journey Mentor herself here.

If you would like to find out more about me and my services at Lockey PA, I would love to connect with you via:

LinkedIn

Facebook

Book Discoverability

According to the Guardian, in 2014 UK publishers released more than 20 new titles each hour, meaning the UK published more books per inhabitant than anywhere else in the world.  Book discoverability, it’s easy to assume then, is now even harder than ever.  In a sea of new titles, how do you get yours to stand out from the crowd?  How do you get discovered?

But wait… let’s think about this for a second – how many authors are actually ‘discovered’?

The dictionary definition of discovering is to ‘find unexpectedly’.  This brings to mind buried fossils uncovered by accident on a sandy beach.  Being discovered has a sense of being unearthed, found, and located – someone finding it.

fossil

So, with your book in mind, if being discovered if about people finding it, then we need to ensure it is in the right places in order to be found!

Is it all about the book?

It is easy to think when you are writing a book that everything is about, well, the book! And although a major (and perhaps the most important) aspect of the author’s journey, as without a book you have nothing to market – it is not the only aspect to take into consideration. Even if you have the most amazing book in the world – if you are not able to market this and make it visible to your readers to ‘be discovered’, then you are not going to get the sales and reach you desire.

Being discovered

Being discovered as an author has almost a romantic feel about it, doesn’t it? Images of your book, the book you poured your heart, soul and probably finances into, gets unexpectedly discovered and overnight becomes a best-selling sensation and thrown into the spotlight. Within a week you are top of the bestsellers list, your book is becoming a movie and you are invited to red carpet events because everyone knows your name.

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This does happen, sometimes. Authors such as E.A. James and the Twilight series (you can read more about popular author’s journeys on our blog here.) come to mind. In reality however, only a tiny percentage of authors get ‘discovered’ in this way.

Building your brand

So, you could wait for this to happen.  Or, for the more productive of us, you could set about ensuring your book is as discoverable as it can be.  In order to do this, we need to make sure your book is in all the right places and is as easy to find by your ideal audience as possible.

We also want to ensure you build your brand, and your audience to become loyal readers because by doing this over the year’s your brand will become more well-known and edge you closer to the bright lights of stardom you may seek.  It means the next time you publish a book, you already have a following.

Being a successful author isn’t just about being an excellent writer, it is also about being about to promote yourself, your book and your brand.   You can read more about views of success on our blog Top Five Successful Self-Published Authors.

Some top tips

There are so many ways and so many things you can do to build your brand and promote your book that is can seem quite overwhelming!

Our advice would be to start with what you are comfortable with and go from there.  Each week try something new from the list, educate yourself and inform yourself by researching or seeking advice from the experts. Use your network to empower yourself and develop your skills!

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10 key things you can do to help your book be more easily discovered are:

  1. Reach out to people and other writers by being present (you can do this by commenting on social media in groups of interest, communicating and sharing value via your social media pages – encouraging people to follow you).
  2. Create a solid marketing plan for your book.
  3. Use social media (this one is incredibly important!
  4. Understand how to use hashtags, keywords and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to help your book be more discoverable online.
  5. Attend conferences and events to help expand your network
  6. Get involved (with local events, charities and groups)
  7. Build a list of subscribers to reach out to – do you have a website and send a newsletter? (Keeping your audience up to date is a perfect way to help connect with your readers and retain their loyalty.)
  8. Create an air of excitement – you need to start marketing your book way before it is published and released.
  9. Once your book has been published ask for book reviews to increase your books reputation and feedback scores.
  10. Know your audience
  • Who is your ideal reader and where will you find them?
  • How will you connect with them and ensure your book is visible to them?
  • How will you ensure your book is accessible to them?
  • How does your target audience tend to shop – online, bookshops? (By knowing this you will be able to ensure you position yourself in the right way and at the key times).
  • How easily are they influenced – reviews, recommendations?

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to promotion and marketing yourself as an author and building your brand, but don’t let that put you off!  Pick some of the points that you feel comfortable with and begin that way.

If you would like any more information about how Conscious Dreams Publishing can help you with building your brand and marketing please get in touch.  We have a brand new press release package to help your book be more discoverable once published! Get in touch for more details on info@consciousdreamspublishing.com

 

 

International Women’s Day- Why Do We Need It?

“Why do you women have a day for yourselves?” “If we are living in an equal society why do you need it?”

These are just two of the many comments I hear from both men and women every time 8th March rolls around.

Did you know according to The Women’s Equality Party,  forty-five years after the Equal Pay Act, for every hour they work, women still earn just 81p of every pound earned by men?

Did you know that on the top 100 grossing films of 2017, women only represented:

  • 8% of directors
  • 10% of writers
  • 2% of cinematographers
  • 24% of producers
  • 14% of editors?

Even more shocking, 97% of programs had no women directors of photography, 85% had no women directors, 75% had no women editors, 74% had no women creators, 67% had no women writers, 23% had no women producers, 20% had no women executive producers. (www.womenandhollywood.com)

Don’t get me started on the percentage of women in Parliament and Executive roles. I think it is fair to acknowledge that whilst there has been some progression in gender inequality, there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of bridging that gap of inequality. If we are not present or active in major decisions that effect this world or even how society sees women creatively such as in Advertising, TV, Film and Marketing, then, we have no say in how we shape this world and the perception of women thus, we still live very much in a “man’s world.”

 

International Women’s Day, is not about Global Domination (tee hee) it is about recognising the achievements and efforts made by great women before us who paved the way to bridging that gap and reclaiming our voice and position in society. It is about acknowledging their journey and also taking a moment to appreciate the path that they paved and using that to inspire our own paths and ignite our own Power.

Long gone are the days where women had to protect their identity and adopt male pen names or pseudonyms to be taken seriously in the publishing world. Today, we use our own names loud and proud.  Conscious Dreams Publishing is so proud to have worked with so many incredible women with powerful and inspiring stories and are honoured to give them a platform to have their voices and stories shared and heard.

In saying this, here are my Top Five Inspiring Female Authors

 

Dr. Maya Angelou

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of us”– Dr Maya Angelou

mayaThis is one of my favourite Maya Angelou quotes and one I frequently use in my talks. The late, great Dr Maya Angelou is one of my all time heroines. She, above anyone, knows the agony bearing an untold story inside creates. She became a selective mute for five years having endured trauma that would have broken many. I first heard of her after reading her first book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings at age 12. I will always remember the connection I felt as I read her experience of growing up in the Deep South, Akansas a city, sweltering in the heat of oppression and racism. It was reading this book that I first learnt of rape, lynchings, racist oppression and Civil Rights. She taught me that no matter what we go through in life, we ALL have the potential to gather our Strength and resilience and become greater than that which we experience. Upon reading I Rise, I admired her unapologetic defiance and pride and love for Self and since then, I read every single book she wrote from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings to A Song Flung Up From Heaven. Dr Maya Angelou, I salute you!

 

 

Anne Frank

“Despite everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart”~ Anne Frank

Anne-Frank

These are just some of Anne Frank’s powerful words. Anne Frank is, to me, an absolute miracle. At such a tender young age, not only did she possess the wisdom of an Old Soul but a pure and innocent heart.

Born Annelise Marie Frank in Germany 1929, Jewish born, Anne Frank moved to Amsterdam aged 4 1/2. In 1940 during the Nazi Occupation, she lost her citizenship, became stateless and found herself trapped in Amsterdam unable to escape from the horrors of the Holocaust. In 1942, she, along with here family, went into hiding behind her father’s bookcase for two years. Here, she found her dairy given to her as a a birthday present and recorded her experiences, thoughts and feelings during this time in her life.  Anne Frank and her family were arrested by the Gestapo in 1944 and she and her sister were transported to  Bergen-Belsen then Auschwitz  concentration camp where they died 2 months later. Her diary, The Diary of Anne Frank, remains her legacy.

She understood the importance of gratitude when she wrote “dead people receive more flowers than living because regret is stronger than gratitude” and despite her awful circumstances believed in the beauty of this world “Look at all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” To still believe beauty still remains and that people are inherently good at heart is both inspiring and powerful beyond measure. Anne Frank, I salute you.

 

Malala Yousafzai

“One child, one teacher, one book can change the world.” ~Malala Yousafzai

malalaMalala is a force to be reckoned with. She is testament to the fact that we should never confuse age with courage. Born July 1997, Malala is a Pakistani Human Rights Activist and well known for advocacy for the education of women.

Born in Mingora, Khyber, Pakhtunkhwa, her family ran a chain of schools in the region and she was inspired by her father, Ziauddin’s humanitarian work. He promised Malala that she too would go to school and have access to education and treated equally in his home.

Growing up in Swat Valley, often called the “Switzerland of Asia,” Malala shares Ziauddin’s love of learning. She spends her childhood playing outside and exploring new worlds in books. However, in 2007, Taliban militants take control of Swat. They ban many things — like owning a television and playing music — and enforce harsh punishments, including public executions, for citizens who defy their orders. In December of 2008, the Taliban issues an edict banning girls from going to school. (www.malala.com)

In 2009, she began writing a blog for BBC Urdu about her experiences living under the Taliban regime and feelings about her school closing down. she writes under the pseudonym Gul Makai to prevent the Taliban from discovering that she, a girl, is the author behind the blog and to protect her identity. After reading Malala’s blog for the BBC, The New York Times features Malala and Ziauddin in a short documentary about their life and fight to protect girls’ education in Swat.

However, the critical acclaim put her life in danger and she was later shot by a masked Taliban gunman who asked for her by name before shooting her in the neck, shoulder and head. Despite this, she survives and despite fear of retaliation she speaks out against injustice and publicly campaigns for girls to go to school. July 12th, 2012, was the day she first speak out publicly after her attack in Nov 2012, and this is now called “Malala Day”. In 2014, she was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in recognition for her phenomenal work in campaigning against inequality and setting up schools for women affected by gender inequality and poverty all over the world! Malala Yousafzai, I salute you.

Today, I ask you who inspires you and why and how will you inspire others?

 

Daniella Blechner

www.consciousdreamspublishing.com 

Crowdfunding – What is it and why it is useful?

You may have seen us mention Crowdfunding a lot recently at Conscious Dreams Publishing.  However, this isn’t something new to us. Daniella Blechner,  Founder of Conscious Dreams Publishing used crowdfunding to raise the money to publish her own first book – Mr Wrong.   From there, the idea for CDP was born and two years on, the business continues to thrive and has published over 28 books with plenty more on the horizon in 2018.

So what is crowdfunding?

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In simple terms, crowdfunding (or crowdsourcing) is a way of raising finances for a project, by asking a large number of people for a small amount of money.  Together people invest in an opportunity, usually in exchange for equity, dedications or a certain number of the products for example.

The fundraising is predominantly done online and thanks to the continued rise of social media and the numerous platforms that individuals can utilise, the reach of campaigns can be enormous, especially when people share on their network.

Why do people use crowdfunding?

When you have a business idea or a project to fund, and you cannot finance this yourself, there are only really a few options available to you.

  • Bank or family loan
  • Investment
  • Crowdfunding

Options 1 and 2 can often come with lots of tricky clauses and you are then still financially liable for the sum you borrow. This can be a lot of pressure to put on yourself when your project is still an idea.

What are the benefits of crowdfunding? 

There are lots of benefits to crowdfunding which include:

  1. Lower financial risk

Crowdfunding allows you to raise the money you need without putting your personal life or belongings at risk.  If your idea does not work, people have understood that risk when investing and unlike a bank loan, you do not need to pay the money back.

  1. Giving you a platform and helping you to build an audience

When you use crowdfunding to raise funds for your product, you are simultaneously also building a community and support network around your idea.   If people have invested financially in your product, they are also going to have invested interest to see how it grows and develops once launched or on the market!

This community will be 100% behind you and want your product or idea to succeed and so will more often than not act as your virtual cheerleaders!  They also provide you with a sense of accountability, giving you the energy to ensure you reach your goals and achieve your dreams – after all, they believed in you right?

  1. Timeframes

Crowdfunding campaigns usually have a funding goal and your project will have a time limit.  When people see that you are up against a deadline, this urgency may help them make more spontaneous decisions to invest.  Once they have made that investment, they will then want to help you reach your goals so that they do not miss out on their rewards (depending on how you set up your campaign).  In all human nature, there is an underlying desire to succeed

feedback4. Feedback

When launching any product it is important to do your market research and gauge how much interest in your product there might be.  Your crowdfunding campaign allows you to do this – if people did not believe in the product, then they would not invest!  The success of your campaign will help you validate that your product or service is something that people are interested in.  You can also utilise the skills of your funders by asking for feedback and involving them in processes and choices you have to make.  It can be a lonely road as sole trader or entrepreneur, crowdfunding gives you access to a new team.

Where do I start?

Although crowdfunding is an excellent tool for some, it isn’t always suitable for all projects or ideas.

Also, a crowdfunding campaign can take a lot of work. Your campaign needs to be engaging, visually appealing, well thought through and promoted. It would be naïve to expect people to invest their hard-earned money into anything that looks or feels half-hearted.  If it looks like you couldn’t be bothered, why should they be?

As someone who has used crowdfunding herself, Daniella has excellent knowledge of what a successful campaign looks and feels like. In the years since her campaign and the launch of Conscious Dreams Publishing, Daniella has honed and developed her marketing and social networking skills, something critical to a successful campaign.

If you are thinking of setting up a campaign for your book or project and would like some support why not contact us and take advantage of a free 30 minute consultations?  You can book one here.

9781912551101Want to see an example of a crowdfunding campaign? Check out our author Ionut’s campaign currently running – he is asking for support to help bring his book LIVE.LOVE.DREAM alive.

You can read more about his campaign on our blog.

When learning about anything new, our best advice is to start with research! Here are some great starting points for you to find out more about crowdfunding and the different platforms you can use:

www.crowdfunder.co.uk

www.indiegogo.com

www.youcaring.com

www.kickstarter.com

Will You Support Live Love Dream?

Hello everyone!,

Do you have a dream but you have put it on hold due to lack of finances? Don’t let it hold you back! A while ago i wrote about ways to raise money to support your dream and next week we have an insightful blog coming about how to crowdfund. Crowdfunding is an excellent and effective way to raise finances to fund your project, initiative, idea and, in this case, book. Not only die sit build your audience and bring awareness of your project or cause but it offers so much to the giver too. The contributor offers a donation in exchange for rewards. what could be better than that!

We are currently working with a talented young man who have an exceptional life story. It is humbling to hear how he turned his life around after facing homelessness, abandonment and living in an orphanage in Romania. He is now an Inspirational Speaker and Coach who has written a book called Live. Love. Dream. As soon as he came to us, we knew his book would be part of Conscious Dreams Publishing’s repertoire.  We are now halfway through the process, however he needs assistance with funding the publication, printing and distribution of his book. Now, I don’t want to tell you too much of his story as it is always better coming from the horse’s mouth. please watch his video a and check out his campaign below. It would be beautiful if you could contribute something or even share his campaign with his friends. we will make an effort to support you with any crowdfunding campaign you may do in return and, as we said, there are some awesome rewards! If you cannot contribute, there is another way you can help and all will be explained at the end of this blog.

 

Ionut’s Story

 

Support Ionut’s campaign

Project Aim: To inspire and empower people to Live. Love and Dream through sharing my personal journey of overcoming abandonment & homelessness at 14.

My name is Ionut Iulian. I came home one day at fourteen years old to find my sister crying in the kitchen.  Both our parents had left and they were never coming back. At ten,  I worked in agriculture and no longer went to school so we managed to survive with the little I made undetected by the authorities for three months before we were taken off to live in an orphanage. I felt abandoned and so alone. There were many points I wanted to give up, but there was a voice within me that transcended the all the  others and that was that I was not born to simply survive but o serve a greater purpose to others.  My debut book, Live. Love. Dream was written to serve those who may be living in doubt, who feel like giving up and for those who believe they have a greater purpose for their lives but don’t know where to start. I have everything I need in my toolbox to inspire and empower others to step into their greater purpose and conquer their mindset, however, I need your support to give birth to my book, Live.Love.Dream to do so.

About my Campaign

Live. Love. Dream is a powerful and inspirational true story that will transform people’s lives forever. By helping them to tap into their potential for becoming the best person they can be, my book will encourage them to love, to dream and to believe.  I would like to help equip people emotionally to get through difficult times. I have done this in my book Live.Love.Dream and I am here to ask you if you would like to help them too.

About Ionut

14f62aa8d0ddce299911bf31956af1948bc5691cMy life started with a difficult childhood living in a very poor family in Romania where I had to overcome adversity and many personal difficulties. I became an orphan at the age of just fourteen when my parents abandoned my sister and I.  As a result, I became financially and emotionally responsible for us both.  This was a lot for such a young person to cope with and the years that followed bought feelings of fear, rejection, low self-esteem, poverty and social integration. My life could have taken a number of directions at that point, easily following the path of poverty and alcoholism of my parents.

Although traumatic and confusing at the time, I now look back on these times as the foundations that helped shape my youth and form the man I am to write this book today.  Without the series of events that unfolded, I would never had met the people who mentored me and helped me realise my potential through encouragement, kindness and support.

As a result, I was able to change the course of my life and submerse myself in my education which bought its own opportunities of travel in Europe. My confidence increased, my ambition grew stronger and my reason for living became clear –to become someone who would help others, and be there for people that needed help and support like I had.

Today I work as a motivational coach transforming the life of others and helping them to see the potential in themselves and the others around them with a view to living a happier and more fulfilling life.

The aim of my book is to help people realise that they are in control of their own minds, and that each are very unique with unlimited potential just waiting to be realised. The key to unlocking that potential is through self-discovery, training our minds to think differently and overcome any life obstacles that we face in a positive and meaningful way.

Do you know who you really are? 

Are you a person of action?

 Are you the kind of person you want to be around, or have around you?

These challenging questions we are often too busy to really ask ourselves are all covered in the book along with many more chapters and topics discussing how you can understand and face your fears, understand yourself more, change your life and inspire others to do the same.

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How will my money be used? 

I feel passionate about sharing my story with others and inspiring and supporting them to make positive changes to their lives so that they are more fulfilled, able to take control of the direction of their lives and create  success in their own right.  In order to publish and promote my book and share my story I need £2000.

The money will go towards:

  • Editing
  • Proof reading
  • Typesetting
  • Design
  • PR and Marketing
  • Publishing
  • Distribution
  • 10% of the funds will also go to a Romanian Orphanage – a cause very close to my heart as I spent a great deal of my childhood living in one.

What will I get for my money?

In exchange for your generosity, all contributors will receive rewards based on your donations from one dedication on my book to up to 3 months coaching programme.

But why should I donate?

I am passionate about the work that I do and I want to share my message with others to help them through difficult, dark and lonely times. Live.Love.Dream is a book that shows people that no matter how dark days can be, there is always light to be found. It is whether we are open to receiving the light that is the key.   I KNOW I can help change people’s lives and help them overcome adversity because I have done it myself.

If I am able to publish Live. Love. Dream I can help equip people with the tools they need and inspire them to overcome adversity and difficulties that they face. By doing so we can help the world to become a better and kinder place to live, spreading peace, love and harmony. YOU could be a part of that.  TOGETHER we could offer this support to people who need it.  You can donate as little as £1 and as much as you like. Every little helps!

What makes me qualified to motivate others?

  • Lived through and overcame years of personal adversity and challenges
  • Currently work as a motivational coach supporting people in transforming and living happier lives
  • I design bespoke and personalised coaching plans for individuals to help them overcome their own challenges
  • I am passionate about working with and inspiring young adults to achieve great results in life

I can’t afford it right now, how else can I help?

The aim is to get this campaign to reach as many people and raise awareness about this book so we can help as many people as we can so every share helps, every tweet and every shout out. Please share this with your network and spread the word. Collectively we can all play a part in transforming the life of another. Be that change 🙂

 

 

Please do support Ionut’s crowdfunding campaign by contributing to and sharing the link www.crowdfunder.co.uk/livelovedreambook 

 

Another way you can help is by pledging a  share on social media. All you have to do is pledge here to agree fora message to go out on your behalf telling people about the campaign. It couldn’t be easier. Please click below here to pledge. It’s FREE!

 

Pledge my support

 

All thanks to you in advance for your kindness and support may it rebound ten-fold back to you! We will keep you all updated and, of course, you will be invited to the launch!

Have and remember, if you have a dream, don’t ever let finances hold you back!

 

Daniella

www.consciousdreamspublishing.com 

 

Ionut and DB
Ionut Iulian and Daniella Blechner (Founder of Conscious Dreams Publishing)

Interview with Zoe Bennett Author of Networking Personified

Here at Conscious Dreams Publishing we love working with our authors.  Each author brings their own set of skills and expertise with them, and we love to help them achieve their dream of publishing their books.

2017 was such a successful year that we wanted to showcase some of our authors and their books and give you an insiders look into how their book was born, and how Conscious Dreams Publishing worked with them to help them bring their book to life.

We are going to start off with Zoe Bennett, author of Networking Personified. Networking Personified is a fantastic guide to the world of networking and will help you know your USP from your elevator pitch and help you develop the skills you need to make valuable connections that will help you develop your business.  This isn’t just another manual, this book is a journey; a journey to finding the inner, assertive, assured and more confident you.

23559454_10157604013339988_2097395995811035808_nWho is Zoe Bennett?

Zoe Bennett is the author of Networking Personified, the first in a series of books Zoe plans to write discussing the world of business and the key skills needed by the modern day business person.  Released in November 2017, Networking Personified got to Number 3 in the Business Life category on Amazon nestled along with a TED talks publication, a hugely famous and well established brand!

Zoe owns a Personal Development Training Company and is also an International Inspirational Speaker known as the ‘Motivational Queen’. Zoe believes that ‘through adversity breeds success’ and after going through a traumatic time in her own life, including the tragic loss of her father, wants to share her message. That message is that when life overwhelms you and you cannot see a way of succeeding, you can find the inner motivation, strength and strategy to ensure you are successful even through the toughest times.

In this blog we will be finding out a bit more about Zoe, her book and also all about her journey with Conscious Dreams Publishing!  Thanks to Zoe for taking the time to answer our questions!

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Zoe, tell us about how you came to find out about Conscious Dreams Publishing?

It was as simple as a Facebook friend tagged me into one of Daniella Blechner’s Facebook Lives!

How far along were you with your book at this point?

I had already written Networking Personified at that point, in fact I had written it a year previously! I finished the book in summer 2016. The book only took 2 weeks to write, but the year following had been spent editing and getting things just right.

That was quick!

I knew I wanted to write a book. Everyone expected me to write a book about my life. It didn’t make sense for me to write about my life unless you know where I come from, the people that created who I am.  The series of books I hope to write will build that story, and then hopefully I will write the story of my life. There is a build up to everything and I want to map things out so people understand where I come from and see how I have worked to get to where I am, that I haven’t just appeared overnight.

What drew you to work with Conscious Dreams Publishing and Daniella Blechner?

When I saw Danni on her Facebook Live she looked like she had an honest face. Anyone that knows me knows that I only work with people, and associate myself with people, that are honest.  I just had a good feeling about her. Some people you meet try and hold information close to their chest, they don’t give much away.  Danni was so generous with the information she was offering, giving such good value, that I knew if she had that much to give for free, she had a lot more to give later on.

What Conscious Dreams Publishing Service did you use?

I knew exactly what I needed from Danni, it was just a case of telling her my brief and seeing if she could do it. I am so busy, I just didn’t have the time to do the online inputting of the book and the formal bits. I could have done it, but it was a case of I had a lot of other projects on and I needed to utilise my time elsewhere.  The work I needed doing with the book utilising Daniella’s skill set and expertise, it made sense to outsource it to her. It is all about good time management skills!

Zoe Book launch 2What was the most valuable support that Conscious Dreams Publishing and the experience of working with Daniella gave you?

The most valuable support was that I knew it was in safe hands. I knew that once I handed things over there wouldn’t be a lot of back and forth, to and fro. We were very honest of what we expected of each other and there were no blurred lines whatsoever.

I was hugely impressed with Daniella and her quality.  She expressed to me that everything she does, she wants to make sure is excellent quality.  It gave me reassurance that she felt my book fell into that category! Obviously you write your book and you think it is good, but it was nice to know that she felt the quality was there and that she would take on the project and work with me.

Danni just ‘got’ the business side of things.  Some people pretend to be genuine and some people are.

“If you walked into a bookshop and there was a genuine person shelf, that’s where you would find Daniella”.

What or who inspires you to write?

My inspiration comes from my father, he was the King of networking. I am pretty sure he invented networking!  People would gravitate towards my father, hang on what he had to say and it was like poetry in motion to watch.  My dad taught me about business and how to build relationships. He inspires me in all that I do.

Now a word from Daniella Blechner, Book Journey Mentor and Founder of Conscious Dreams Publishing about working with Zoe.

Daniella, you are quite specific about the people you work with and projects you take on, what drew you to work with Zoe?

What drew me to Zoe AKA The Motivational Queen was her infectious energy.  I love to see people full of passion and driven by real sense of purpose and this is exactly how I would describe Zoe. When she contacted me telling me she wanted to publish her book, I felt the drive in her voice.  I love that her book, “Networking Personified” is not just a guide to networking but that she focuses on the importance of connection and relationship building as opposed to business card collecting. I love that she is passionate about teaching people the importance of offering value to others and giving first as opposed to taking what you can get from networking opportunities. I think connection is a value that can often get missed and I really honour that in Zoe.

Having attended Zoe’s book launch in October, I had a chance to see first-hand how much she is loved and how much of a connector she really is. Zoe builds bridges between people, she connects people and despite being such a busy woman, she always has time for people. I later learnt that this is an attribute instilled in her by her late father who was very much a connector too and taught Zoe the importance of community and working together. I admire that in Zoe and know that her book can help many others who are unsure as to how to act in what can be the daunting world of networking.

What did you enjoy most about working with Zoe?

What I loved about working with Zoe is that she, like me is no no-nonsense. We both had the attitude of “let’s get this done” and things were seamless in that process. Zoe is intent on getting things done properly and was prepared to take our advice and expertise and invest in having a book of quality which meant taking on board editorial advice and being realistic with time frames.

Zoe was swift to respond to us which is key as communication and meeting deadlines is a two way street in the publishing process.  I also loved Zoe’s humour and focus; it’s great to work with someone who knows exactly what they want and has humour to boot! As I got to know Zoe more, having attended her book launch I resonated with her desire to empower and motivate people to overcome adversity through having overcome some of her own traumatic challenges in her own life. After tragically losing her father, who was murdered, Zoe remains strong in her conviction to help other people and use her energy to make a difference to other’s lives. She is strong and resilient and my type of woman!

I wish Zoe all the best with her book Networking Personified. She has worked very hard on creating a book that can transform the way you network forever!

This blog was written by Conscious Dreams Publishing Virtual Assistant Claire Lockey, you can check our her website here