Happy Saturday! As I opened my eyes this morning, I felt the urge to write. To share how I am able to change people's perspectives by simply sharing my story. I received an email yesterday confirming my talk in September on "Writing for Change", where we can engage people in Social Action through writing. It got me thinking, This time last year I was coming off the successful launch of my first book "Jennah's First Hijab", which is an fun, empowering and educational book on why girls wear hijab. I felt the need to write the book with so much intolerance in the adult world, if I could expose children to the positive side of cultural acceptance while they're young then we would have a bigger chance of changing the future. The book was well received with a 1000+ copies sold in it's first year. While the monetary accolades are nice, imparting change in the world was always the goal.
I'm sure you're wondering how I got here when just 4 short years ago, I was suffering from stress, anxiety, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. I was drowning in a life that on the outside looking in was perfect. Perfect house, job, kids, vacations, friends you name it I had it. With all that, I was so unhappy and unfulfilled, searching for the next yoga class, gym class or other distracting activity that made it seem like I was doing this inner work but I was really interested in the Instagram photo op. Let's be honest the power of a mean selfie can do a lot for the ego these days. I was ripe for change, ready to step into everything that I wanted my life to be, none of it had anything to do with serving myself. Writing my first book and ultimately my latest book "Not Without My Hijab: 11 Steps to Reclaiming Your Faith" was about the other person. It was about the Woman or girl who had started earnestly down a path that she thought would lead to her happiness and ended up unhappy and unfulfilled because she didn't know why she had started down the road in the first place. The more I promoted the children's book the more women I found needed me to write my second book. Most of them purchased the children's to take a piece of the inspiration and empowering vibe I gave off at a workshop or lecture, but they wanted something specifically for them. I wanted to write the book I needed when I was the book to be like talking to a girlfriend, her telling you the God's honest truth and then giving you steps to follow to move forward. They know they want change in their lives but don't know where to start, they have convictions but they aren't firm in them and they have faith but in other people instead of in God and themselves. I was determined to see these women through to offer them what I had found as a saving grace for me and see if it could help them. Just over a year later I have a tribe of supporters who are enjoying my journey and slowly peeling back the onion in their own lives and discovering who they are for the first time. While I set out on the journey to help others, I ended up helping myself in the process. Here's how.
1- It opened me up to a world of good.
In my past life I was egotistical and self centered. While these characteristics made me extremely successful at my job in sales and a lot of money it was not conducive to living my best life. I forgave myself which made it easier to forgive others and welcome them in. Relationships with people began to have more depth and conversations became more meaningful. I wanted to do more for others, help change their mindsets so they could have their own awakening.
2- I became an influencer and made a difference.
Despite being an extrovert my whole life, going LIVE for the first time on social media promoting my book and workshops surrounding my book was so frightening to me. The first time I did it I was mortified and was so unsure. When I received my first DM saying "I really needed to here that" I knew I had to keep doing it and that this was what I was born to do. I wanted to positively impact the lives of everyone I touched. Through the power of social media I have a reach that spans continents, my only goal was to impact the city I lived in. I became an influencer, able to persuade people with my truth and authenticity. I take this aspect of what I do very seriously! The reason I wrote both books is because I was tired of people who weren't really telling people the truth or giving people just enough to make their next dollar. I wanted people to have access to the same tools and resources I did, to live an authentic life that when they looked back 50 years from now they could be proud.
3- I'm now a GURU on my topic
I was already an entrepreneur before I started. I ran 3 successful businesses and had a successful corporate career prior to starting my strategic consulting business and writing my 2 books. In planning to write, launching and promoting my books on my platform helped me to find my niche. To find what I was good at and package it up for the masses. People starting flocking to me with questions on the topic, booking me to speak at events and tagging me in photos on my subject matter. I became known for all things hijab. I was even told by a PR agency that I made it easy to develop a PR campaign because everything I did in my business centered around my topic. People can't pay you unless they know what to pay you for. I always tell clients not to be afraid to niche down, if you help everybody you end up helping no one!
4- My creativity blossomed and my pockets got fatter
Theres something about writing a book that opens up your creativity , the more you research and increase your knowledge the more confident and convicted you become. As an entrepreneur it's easy to have one sided thinking focusing solely on the sales and profit side of the business was stressful. Constantly worrying about the bottom line, how much money are we pulling in. When I promoted the book I had zero and I repeat zero sales. When I focused on what the book could do for the reader, I couldn't keep it in stock. I became creative with ways the book could help people and it created more streams of income. When I focused on the book I sold the book, when I focused on what it could do for people, I created an empowerment apparel line, a blog, a series of workshops, a tour, a play (yes I said a play) a podcast and so much more. I currently have 7 streams of income that came from writing a book and only one is from the actual sale of the book. Imagine the good I can do in the world with the income that comes from it!
Now it's your turn. I would love to hear what type of book you're thinking about writing, email me firstname.lastname@example.org for some tips on how to get started.