Friday, 30 March 2012

Synchronicity and The 5 States of Success

Today we're proud to publish the audio book version of 'The 5 States of Sucess', written and read by Brendan Foley. Today he shares with us how the audio book came about...

On a stunning Tuesday afternoon – I met with a colleague of mine for lunch. Little did I know that this meeting would lead to me publishing an audio book. Some months previous to this meeting I had published The 5 States of Success as a paperback and eBook. It had launched with great acclaim and had quickly reached #1 on amazon.co.uk.

When I met Brian he asked how the book was going and confessed that even though he had the book, he hadn’t read it yet. (All too often this is the case as many authors will know!). When I pressed Brian a little further he very honestly said “I find reading these days really tires me, but recently I’ve started to listen to audio books and I love them”. This statement was to lead to an incredible trail of synchronicity.

Pondering Brian’s comments I started to become aware of all the people that either because of lack of time, interest or diminishing sight would enjoy audio books. I’ve also always prided myself on making my information very accessible to all, so that those with a visual, auditory or kinesthetic(feeling based) learning style would be catered for. The lack of the audio became something that I had to rectify.

I Facebooked my commissioning editor for my first book The Yin Yang Complex, a great guy called Eoin Purcell, and he said he had come across a small but impressive audio book company called Creative Content. I googled them and called Ali one of the founders. The rest as they say is history. Ali, Lorelei and I met in London and hit it off straight away.

Perfect synchronicity.

So in looking at this experience I can definitely say that all the 5 States of Success were at play; insight, connection, certainty, vitality and spirit. The state of insight in that I realized a gap in market, the state of connection in that I reached out to people that I knew could help, the state of certainty in that I knew both my book and I would be good in audio, the state of vitality which gave me the get up and go to do this  Finally, the state of spirit; which is all about purpose. I knew that if I could meet a publisher that understood that this work is about making the world a better place, that we would succeed!

As for the experience of creating an audio book – it is an art form.

I have nothing but respect and admiration for those in audio book publishing. It’s less glamorous than the paperbacks and hardbacks, but in some ways to me anyway, it’s more human. It’s like the difference between a phone call and an email – one has information and very little emotion and other lots of information and lots of emotion. I think this is what makes audio books so special.

So if you have read to this point thank you and now go and get yourself a copy of The 5 States of Success – I promise you will love it. Get it HERE.

Yours in meaningful success,

Brendan

Friday, 23 March 2012

It's all about you.....


 
A couple of years ago I won a prize on Twitter from Rob Garner, aka @robthewriter. He offered to write something for free - so I asked for a guest blog! It was so good, I thought it was worth reposting. (Oh all right! We've had a busy week commissioning new writers, so haven't had time to write one! But we do love this post...)

Rob Garner is a freelance copywriter who writes sales copy and ads for the BBC. He has also created new strategies and concepts for several advertising agencies. You can contact him at rob.garner@blueyonder.co.uk and follow him on Twitter.
 
What's the most important word you can use when writing?

What jumps to mind? What do you think the most useful word to include in your writing is? Go on, have a guess. ‘Free’ is a good one. A friend of mine loves the word ‘sale’. But I discovered an even better one ten years ago at a garden party in Gibraltar.

Imagine being abroad and trying to make small talk. It’s never easy, and it’s even harder with people you’ve never met before and are never likely to meet again, people who are much older and who have completely different interests from you.

That classic fallback - the weather - has only limited longevity and then it’s awkward pause time. What would you do next?

Fortunately, inspiration flashed into mind: ‘Who else are you with?’, ‘Do you like living here?’, ‘Where do you work?’, and so on. They’re not remarkable questions and, out of context, they do sound a little bit dull. But they were lifesavers. They sparked up conversations, which led onto other topics and banished silence into a corner to sulk. And, I realised, they all had one thing in common. Or, more specifically, one small word…

It’s so versatile, it works just as well in text. And it forces you to focus on your reader (or listener), which is one of the most important things you can do as a writer. But the question is, have you worked out what the magic word is yet?

If not, take a look again. I’ve just used it 13 times... - Rob Garner

Friday, 16 March 2012

What are your core values?


In an extract from their book “A Simpler Life”, Lucy McCarraher and Annabel Shaw give you an exercise to help uncover your core values.

Imagine you're at a party to celebrate your life: let’s say it's your next big birthday – so not too far away. The room is filled with your friends, colleagues and relations. People have travelled long distances to attend this event. You know them all and care deeply about what they think of you.

When the speeches start, three people speak about one or two of your greatest achievements or strengths.

The first person talks about your family and friendships: about the values that underlie your dealings with those closest to you, touching on the child you were, your home life now, your relationships with extended family and close friends.
The second person tells the audience what it’s like working with you – not necessarily just in paid employment, but also your contribution to the communities you live in or are part of.

The third speaker, someone who has known you a long time and whose judgment you trust, speaks about you as a person – the qualities that make you ‘you.’
What would they say? Imagine their appreciation of those things you’ve been most proud of in your life; but also their honesty in gently holding up your faults to the light. Can you recognize some of the core values that they believe are the guiding principles of your life? Do they mention some incidents or attitudes that you don’t feel are really in tune with your personal values?

This is different from knowing what you consider to be your core values because this time you have to imagine what other people think your values are, judging from your actions and behavior.

Do they come up with the same values that you yourself have identified in your list of six?

Are you happy with what they've come up with? Think about that for a minute.
Now let’s move forward to another party. This time it’s your 90th birthday, so there’s even more to celebrate - and time to have made changes.

What would you like those people to say now about your relationships, your achievements, your personal qualities?

Already you may be asking yourself how you should change things now to ensure that in the real future, at your real 90th birthday party, your friends are able to say what you would like them to.

The more conscious you are of your own core values and the way you live them – as opposed to the more general values we all hold - the easier it is to align your choices with what feels right for you. And feeling right or wrong is often a simple way of making a decision that reflects the authentic you. Listen to your gut feeling; it will usually tell you where your true values lie, when your rational mind can’t decide.

Lastly, here’s a quick way to put your values into practice. Within the next hour, do something that reflects one of your six values. Are you committed to helping others? Make an appointment to donate blood, or sign up to be an organ donor. Have you realized that you’re deeply dedicated to your family’s happiness? Leave work early and go home with a surprise treat. Do you want to promote green values? Refill your water bottle from the sink and don’t buy any more bottled water. Notice how living up to your values in simple ways will help you feel good and true to yourself.

Once you’ve gained a good understanding of where your true values lie, you’ll find it increasingly easy to spot where conflicts and complications can arise.
You’ll then be in a position to make simple choices based on your authentic and very personal values – rather than what others might wish or expect of you.

Your life – and the choices you have to make – will become simpler and more real. You’ll know in what direction you should be headed, what will enrich your life and what will not; what to say yes to and when to say no.

You see? Simple. – Lucy McCarraher and Annabel Shaw

Lucy and Annabel are also the authors of "The Real Secret - what to do when the universe hasn't delivered".