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Invisible Stories: Write to be Seen
33 minutes | Jun 8, 2021
S3 E4 Listen to and Follow Your Inner Truth to Become an Author
Today’s Invisible Stories guest is Steve Disselhorst, the founder and principal of a consulting firm that specializes in personal and professional leadership development and consulting for diversity equity and inclusion. Steve draws on his MBA in marketing and his 25 years of experience in corporate America to help each client achieve their unique goals. He specializes in working with underrepresented communities, such as the LGBTQ community, people of color, and women. Steve is also the author of his memoir, Determined to be Dad: A Journey of Faith, Resilience, and Love. In this podcast, Steve and I discuss his journey to becoming an author, and how drastic life events led him to reevaluate and decide what he wanted his legacy to be. Ultimately, he decided he wanted to help other LGBT+ families. Steve delves into: How he learned to recognize his own value and worth and to overcome Imposter Syndrome and really focus on what he had to offer as a leader. The rituals and routines he developed to get words on paper for his first draft, even if it was a messy draft, and realizing he needed to add in all of the details: the good, the bad, and the ugly, to relate to his readers. The ways in which his book transcended his intended readership, and some of the incredible feedback he got from unexpected readers.
36 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
S3 E3: Build Yourself a Network of Supporters for your Author Path
Today’s Invisible Stories guest is the multitalented Elayne Fluker. Elaine is a coach, speaker, entrepreneur, and advocate and leader for women looking to grow their businesses. She is the author of the brand new book, Get Over ‘I Got It’, which launched in early May 2021. According to her book, too many ambitious women strive to accomplish all their goals alone, leading to dangerous levels of stress and anxiety. Elayne’s book teaches women how a strong support network and meaningful connections are crucial not only to long-term success, but to peace of mind. As a coach and advisor, Elayne helps her clients get over what she calls “I Got It!” Syndrome, clarifying their vision, growing their support network, and determining what that next chapter can look like for them. In this podcast, Elayne and I talk about empowering women of color, and her story-telling roots. Elayne gives us insight into: How she uses her platform to amplify the voices of women of color, particularly through her podcast Support Is Sexy. How she managed to overcome plenty of rejection when it came to her book, and to persevere and find herself a trustworthy publishing agent. She also talks about using her industry knowledge of publishing to navigate getting a traditional publishing deal. The methods she used to increase her wordcount and enhance the content of the book without adding fluff or filler. She added meaningful content by taking inspiration from the women she interviewed.
41 minutes | May 25, 2021
S3 E2 Learning to Adapt and Collaborate as an Author
Today’s Invisible Stories guest is speaker, writer, scholar, and facilitator Dr. Joy Wiggins, who, through the company she founded, promotes racial and gender justice through compassion and open dialogue to ignite equitable, empowering and transformative practices. Joy Wiggins is the co-author alongside Kami Anderson of the book From Sabotage to Support: A New Vision for Feminist Solidarity in the Workplace. As CEO of Joy Wiggins, PhD: Equity and Inclusion Consulting, Joy provides speaking, facilitation, and mentorship opportunities on the topics of power, privilege, racial and gender justice and liberation. She has spent the last 20 years working on understanding our cultural identities and perceptions of how we navigate the world through our cultural identities. In this podcast, Joy and I delve into the process she went through with co-authoring a book, coming from a mostly academic writing background. She discusses: What it was like to partner with seasoned author Dr. Anderson, and how she learned to adapt from writing academically to creating their joint book on intersectionality and female solidarity. How she was able to strike a balance between explaining concepts succinctly within her writing to guide her readers, while also learning to let go and not include every detail. The collaborative process of working with a developmental editor, and the flexibility that comes with getting to choose an editor. How Joy had to pivot in her ideas for a second book once COVID-19 hit, and how the pandemic has influenced the way she is researching and writing about women during this period of time.
43 minutes | May 18, 2021
S3 E1 - Turning Adversity into Advantage and Thriving During Disruptive Times
Today’s Invisible Stories guest is executive coach, public speaker, and author Gerry Valentine. With 27 years of fortune 100 leadership experience, Gerry is a trusted advisor to corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and high performing individuals of all kinds. His book, The Thriving Mindset: Tools for Empowerment in a Disruptive World, was published in March 2021 by Publish Your Purpose Press. In this podcast, Gerry and I talk about what it was like for him to publish his book during a global pandemic. He wrote the book prior to the COVID outbreak, but his work happened to be directly related to how to thrive through disruptive, difficult circumstances. Gerry discusses his emotional experience with writing, something he wasn’t expecting to have when writing a business book. We talk about: How Gerry rebranded his business and reworked his book so that it not only reflected his work, but also drew on more of his life, his personality, and his personal experiences. The ways in which Gerry drew on his personal experiences with adversity to write a book that would appeal to many people from all walks of life. How to take the words of destructive distractors, those people who sow doubt about what you can and can’t do, and turn it into fuel to push yourself to defy expectations. How Gerry changed his mindset about his dyslexia, recognizing it as a learning difference, not as a learning disability, and how despite the setbacks he was able to use this to his advantage when writing and understanding the bigger picture of his book.
37 minutes | Dec 16, 2020
S2 E13 Putting Passion Back Into Publishing
In today’s episode of Invisible Stories, I speak with award-winning author and owner of HALO Publishing International, Lisa Umina. Lisa founded HALO Publishing to publish the voices of authors around the world. Lisa created The Milo and Lisa Show after writing her first children’s book, Milo Finds His Best Friend. Her third book, Milo and the Green Wagon won the national Christian Indie Publishing Award. Lisa traveled and performed with Milo and as a motivational speaker all over. Writing led to her full-time career as an international publisher. Lisa blended a number of her different passions together (writing, speaking, comedy, and publishing) in order to create her business and brand. She shares her knowledge on the publishing industry, and how she helps authors to find their own voice and get it out into the world. Lisa and I chat about: Why it is so important for speakers to write a book and get it published as a resource for their audience. How the publishing industry has changed over the years, and why indie publishing and hybrid publishers are oftentimes a better alternative for authors. How social media has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for authors to market themselves and their books and brand.
38 minutes | Dec 9, 2020
S2 E12 Moving Beyond Inclusion with Dr. Shelton J. Goode
Today on Invisible Stories, I speak with Dr. Shelton J. Goode, diversity and inclusion specialist and president and CEO of Icarus Consulting, a veteran-owned consulting firm that specializes in helping organizations create inclusive cultures that leverage diversity and inclusion for a competitive advantage. Dr. Goode has also written four books, the newest of which is Winter in America: The Impact of the 2016 Presidential Election on Diversity in Companies, Communities and the Country. Shelton and I discuss how he goes beyond just inclusion in his books, and how he instills his own experiences within his works. Shelton offers wisdom on: How he took an already saturated market for DEI books, and created something new with his books. Why vulnerability is important, and why you have to do the work and insert yourself into your book to connect with your audience. How his experience writing and defending his dissertation prepared him for defending his writing with conviction and purpose.
37 minutes | Dec 1, 2020
S2 E11 Getting In Touch With Your ‘Why’ and Pushing Past Your Limiting Beliefs
In today’s episode of Invisible Stories, I speak with diversity and inclusion entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and author Bernadette Smith. Bernadette’s work in the field of LGBTQ+ Inclusion with her company, Equality Institute, has empowered businesses through elearning, consulting, and training in the field of DEI. Bernadette is also a prolific writer, and has published three books, relating to inclusion in both LGBTQ+ wedding planning and in business. Bernadette and I talk about our similarities when it comes to our businesses, as well as her solutions for writing and accountability. Bernadette shares: How her writing evolved from a very niche topic of Lesbian Wedding Planning to business-to-business inclusivity. Why it was so hard to write her first book, and why it was easier to write her subsequent books. How she utilizes dictation and compiles past articles and newsletters to form the content of her books, and why that could work for other authors stuck on a blank page. Her methods for overcoming her limiting beliefs, and her rituals for helping keep herself focused on her writing.
32 minutes | Nov 24, 2020
S2 E10 The First Step to Connecting With Others Is to Embrace Yourself
Today’s podcast is with Valerie J. Lyons, a career empowerment coach, power networker, women’s empowerment facilitator, and the author of Power Networking from the Inside Out: Where Your Career and Your Well-Being Meet. In this podcast, Valerie and I discuss her work in networking, and how it translated to writing her book. She discusses: Staying true to yourself in your writing, and how to embrace yourself for who you are. Adjusting to changing situations in both your writing and your life, and how to adapt and overcome. Why there is no such thing as work-life balance.
32 minutes | Nov 17, 2020
S2 E9 The Positive Impact of Your Book on Others
In today’s podcast I speak with the inspiring Rhodes Perry, entrepreneur, speaker, and author of Belonging At Work: Everyday Actions You Can Take to Cultivate An Inclusive Organization. With two decades of change management experience, Rhodes helps leaders from a broad range of sectors including government agencies, non-profit organizations, and corporations advance their diversity, equity, and inclusion commitments by building psychological safety, trust and belonging in their organizations. In this podcast, Rhodes talks about his journey to hybrid publishing, and how he found the support of the right people to be in his corner as his cheerleaders. Rhodes and I discuss: The importance of having pre-readers who he trusted and admired to give honest feedback on the book before it went out into the world. The unexpected and wonderful ways his book has resonated with readers globally. How writing his own story led to further connection with trans and non-binary audiences, and how by sharing his views on the topic, he has helped others who relate to his voice, his perspective, and their shared experience.
34 minutes | Nov 10, 2020
S2 E8 Engaging With Your Audience and Connecting With Your Readers
Today’s Invisible Stories guest is Dr. Steve Yacovelli, also known as “The Gay Leadership Dude” is founder of TopDog Learning Group, a learning and development, leadership, change management, and diversity and inclusion and consulting firm. Steve is also a renowned speaker, podcaster, and author of Pride Leadership: Strategies for the LGBTQ+ Leader to be the King or Queen of Their Jungle, and the accompanying Pride Leadership Workbook. In today’s podcast, Steve shares insights on the writing and marketing process of his book, and how he took one idea and turned it into a massive branding strategy. Steve and I discuss: Why it is so crucial to market early in your writing process, and how to bring your audience along for each step of your journey. How you can use Scrivener to store ideas and develop your manuscript. Why publishing timelines can take longer than some authors expect, and how PYP uses the PYP Academy to guide authors on their journey to publication. Why he decided to do a companion workbook for his book.
32 minutes | Oct 27, 2020
S2 E7 Leveraging Fears to Make Intentionally Brave Choices
Today’s podcast is with Heather Vickery, professional leadership and success coach, founder of Vickery & Co, and host of the podcast The Brave Files. Heather is also a motivational speaker and author of Gratitude Journal: Shift Your Focus and Grow Grateful: A Gratitude Journal for Kids and Families. Through her story of personal bravery, perseverance, and resilience, Heather inspires audiences and empowers clients with the tools they need to live bold and meaningful lives. In this podcast, Heather and I talk about: How she set goals and deadlines for herself and found the motivation to keep writing. Why writing her second book was easier for her in many ways, and what she learned about the necessity of focus groups for her work. How she learned to practice her own advice to others, and to leverage her fears and turn them into intentionally brave choices. Why having a published book increases your clout as an expert in your field.
32 minutes | Oct 20, 2020
S2 E6 Opening the Doors to Your Past and Reliving Buried Emotions
In today’s podcast I speak with the incredible Lamont Robinson, supplier diversity professional, entrepreneur, founder of Robinson LaRueCo Consulting (RLC), and author of his biography, TransformNational: Journey of a Bastard, which details his personal experiences in overcoming challenges on Chicago’s violent West Side to achieve success. In this podcast, Lamont offers insight and wisdom to those authors working to craft their own memoirs. Lamont discusses: How he was able to work through the trauma of his past and stay true to himself and the stories of his family. How he was able to channel his experiences and utilize how others perceive him to create a brand for both himself and his work. His own methods for immersing himself in his past and overcoming others’ judgement to stay true to his memoir.
39 minutes | Oct 13, 2020
S2 E5 Learning to Get Over Imposter Syndrome with Jennifer Brown
Today’s podcast is with award-winning speaker, and diversity, equity, and inclusion expert Jennifer Brown. She is the author of two essential books about diversity and inclusion in the workplace, titled How to Be an Inclusive Leader: Your Role in Creating Cultures of Belonging Where Everyone Can Thrive and Inclusion: Diversity, the New Workplace & the Will to Change. In this discussion, Jennifer and I talk about two of our favorite topics, marketing and entrepreneurship, and how it relates to wrestling with authors’ self-doubt. Jennifer Brown reveals: How she overcomes feelings of imposter syndrome in order to market herself and her brand, and to reach a wider audience. Her experience as a keynote speaker, and how she is able to get her words to relate to and be accessible for people of all backgrounds. Why it was important to her to include her own story within her books, and why hybrid publishing can be a faster track to success.
35 minutes | Oct 6, 2020
S2 E4 You Are Exactly Where You Need to Be In Your Writing
Today’s guest on Invisible Stories is Monica Kang, founder and CEO of Innovator’s Box, a company dedicated to creative educational workshops and consulting with the goal of helping all professionals hone their creativity to solve problems in the face of change and complexity. Monica is a renowned speaker and educator, and the author of Rethink Creativity: How to Innovate, Inspire, and Thrive at Work. In today’s podcast, Monica and I talk about allowing yourself to take your time on writing your book, and how she leveraged her unique perspective to create a book with mass appeal. She shares: How she used her unique perspective as a dual-language speaker to consider the perspectives of all her readers, and how to market her book to a global audience. How she overcame self-doubt and recognized good writing is hard and that sometimes you have to challenge yourself to go deeper and get to the heart of the writing. Even if she could change the past, she wouldn’t, because it has brought her the experiences and learning she needed to grow and write the best book she could.
33 minutes | Sep 29, 2020
S2 E3 Sharing Your Struggles Can Help Others Overcome and Reach Their Potential
Today’s podcast guest is online business brand and marketing strategist Nikki Groom. Nikki is the founder of the Movement Makers Mastermind, which is a small business incubator for women business owners, as well as a podcaster and author of A Power of Your Own: How to Ignite Your Potential, Uncover Your Purpose, and Blaze Your Own Trail in Life and Business. In this podcast, Nikki and I discuss the love-hate relationship that exists for authors writing their first book. She offers her insight on: How she overcame her own doubts about her writing in order to serve a greater purpose by inspiring other entrepreneurs with shared experiences. The benefits of working with a writing community as a support system. And how she walked the line between getting blunt feedback and critiques from others, while still staying true to her vision and her mission.
38 minutes | Sep 22, 2020
S2 E2 Finding the Right Editor for You and Your Book Makes All the Difference
Today’s podcast is with Robyn Vie-Carpenter-Brisco, a spiritual life coach who utilizes the “5 Priciples Of Joy” to unlock her clients potential and inspire them toward growth and fulfillment, through mindfulness and manifestation techniques using stones and crystals. She is the author of Let's get stoned: Using Stones and Crystals to Create a Life That Rocks! In this podcast, Robyn and I jump right into questions of editing and writing in a way that realizes your true purpose. Robyn shares: How she switched gears mid project and wrote the book she feels she was meant to write instead. How she learned to trust her editors and let them do their job, and how to recognize the fact that editors are hired for a reason: so writers can focus on writing! Why Hybrid Publishing was the right track for her book.
34 minutes | Sep 15, 2020
S2 E1 Achieve the Life You Want By Being Yourself
Today’s Invisible Stories guest is Kristin Andree, a business strategist, speaker, podcaster, and author of You're Not for Everyone: But, You Can Be For Everyone. Kristen specializes in working with folks that own businesses, financial advisors, and powerhouse women looking to scale up their businesses and generate growth. An engaging speaker, Kristin’s goals are to Coach, Challenge, and Empower her clients. In this podcast, Kristin and I delve into the details of how to market yourself and your book. She advises listeners about: Never compromising who they are, and to instead capitalize on their strengths to build an intentional life for themselves. The benefits of engaging with a beta reader group and other publishing professionals, which helped make the publishing of her second book a better, more organized, and streamlined process. Marketing themselves and their book using calls-to-action and online and social media marketing.
32 minutes | Jul 14, 2020
S1 E13 Using Your Natural Artistic Gifts to Think Differently About Your Book
On today’s episode I speak to Tony Ferraiolo, author of Artistic Expressions of Transgender Youth, volumes 1 and 2. Tony has dedicated himself to both promoting competent and respectful health care for the transgender community, by educating providers, and advocating on behalf of patients. He also trains educators on providing a safe and respectful space for transgender children in a school environment. In this episode we discuss: Stay in the moment. Mindfulness is a powerful tool. Write a sentence a day, that’s how you start. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks, just write for yourself. They are your words, and they matter. You’re not in this alone, get a support system around you. It can be a mental health provider, a writing partner, or even a Zoom writing friend. Enjoy the episode!
36 minutes | Jul 7, 2020
S1 E12 Creating The Time and Space to Impact Communities Through Your Words
On today’s episode I speak to Dr. Maysa Akbar, Author of Urban Trauma. Dr. Akbar is a clinical psychologist and board certified in child and adolescent psychology. Her work is centered around the impacts of trauma within urban communities. Her company, Integrated Wellness Group, is a behavioral health clinic in Connecticut specializing in culturally competent care and addressing racial trauma. In this episode we discuss: Start by sharing with small groups, then build up your confidence and start sharing with more people. And write it down. Converse around your story. You’re the only one that can hold you back! Not the time, not the people, not the naysayers, not the shame No one’s going to be able to narrate and dictate your life better than you. Those people don’t live in your shoes, those folks don’t know what you’ve gone through or how you’ve overcome. Enjoy the episode!
36 minutes | Jul 1, 2020
S1 E11 DIG Deep and You’ll Find Clarity
In this episode we discuss: We can move our pain. Through our story, and through sharing our story with other people, and finding meaning in it, we can transmute pain. Having a dig word, a truth that you are operating and acting within creates a different vibe even if the topic is the same. By acting within the bubble of your dig word, you can add all new meaning to a topic you are speaking or writing about. You as you are, are never going to exist again. That’s the coolest thing about my job is extracting these operating systems from people and getting to their truth and just knowing, this is never going to happen again. Having a safe space where you can let your guard down, be vulnerable, and create and share, is a prerequisite for writers. Enjoy the episode!
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