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Show Notes:

Welcome to Hello Rebecca Ray, our collective home for courage, growth, and human to human connection. I’m your host, Dr. Rebecca Ray, human, clinical psychologist, author, and educator. I know only too well how fear, comparison, and self-doubt can stifle your potential. This podcast is all about brave and meaningful living, and how you can make your authentic contribution to the world today, and everyday.

Hi, lovely ones. Welcome to Episode 75 of Hello Rebecca Ray. Wow, three quarters of the way to 100. That’s an amazing place to be really. I didn’t really expect that I would even get to Episode 75. When I started this podcast, I wasn’t sure how it would go really. This episode is titled Four podcasts, Five books and 30 Lessons I wish I knew at the beginning of it all. And I’m recording this just a couple of days before my fifth book is being launched into the world, Small Habits for a Big Life. And I wanted to take some time to reflect on what I wish I knew at the beginning, when I had no idea how people ever get published. I really didn’t, I had no idea how to find a publisher. As it turned out, a publisher found me so if you’re thinking about sending me a message to find out how I did it, let me just let you in on the weird process that happened to me. So I built quite a big page on Instagram that I no longer run called Happy Habits, which was based on a program that I developed on positive psychology techniques of the same name called Happy Habits. That was my first foray into online business. It was a spectacular failure, not the program, the program was really good and full of very useful information. But the online selling was an absolute failure because I had absolutely no idea what I was doing at the beginning. And then I went on to operate under my own brand.

Once I got the courage to step out from behind the shadows of a brand and work under my own name. Then what happened was based on that big page, I actually got approached on Instagram of all places by a publisher that said to me, would you like to write a book and the, you know, eight year old, 10 year old inside of me who desperately wanted to be a writer when I was a kid jumped for joy and I said absolutely. But I actually thought it was spam initially, because she had an unusual name. And I thought oh, this is bullshit, as if someone would reach out on Instagram and just say do you want to write a book like this must be some ridiculous kind of opportunity where they expect you to pay to write the book or something like that. No, no, it was all real. It was a publisher in New York who called me from New York to prove that it wasn’t spam. And my first book Be Happy: 35 Powerful Methods for Personal Growth and Well-Being was born in 2018. And since then, I’ve gone on to write 4 more books, The Universe Listens to Brave, The Art of Self Kindness, Setting Boundaries, which is now I’m very excited to say a best seller in the self-help space in Australia. And my latest book, which will be out on the 28th of June, called Small Habits for a Big Life, which is based on techniques to overcome self-sabotage. And I want to take you through my thoughts because when I first started, there’s so many things that I did ineffectively, I think. I desperately wished that I had the problems that I currently have today. You know, I was just talking to my wife Nyssa yesterday, and I was saying that I feel tired and I had missed calls from, on my phone from my agent, my publicist, my marketing person, and someone that was also wanting to interview me for the ABC on my phone. And I said to Nyssa, listen to me whinging about feeling tired thinking about returning these phone calls when once upon a time I would have sat there and gone, a) what does an agent do? And how do you get one? B) oh you’ve got a publicist, do you? Oh, look at you and a marketing person and someone that wants to interview oh, what a problem. I was really just thinking get over yourself Beck, like honestly, these are problems that you once wished to have. And they’re not problems ordinarily it’s just that I was feeling a bit tired. But I really want to go through these lessons with you because if you’re in a place where you’ve been thinking this is just taking so long to come to fruition. You know, you perhaps you’ve put your work out online and you’re in a place as well where you were like me and trying to create for yourself a life that was more sustainable than perhaps the job that you were previously in, then I want to show you that, when you just stay the course, it really does happen. It just takes time. So, I want to take you through these lessons that I wish I knew at the beginning of it all in case, they’re relevant for you as well.

So, 30 lessons, here we go. Number one, you’ll fail more than you’ll succeed. But the successes get bigger and better each time. Now, like Happy Habits, which was both a financial and a time failure, oh my god, I spent so much time and money on that thing, money because I didn’t know what I was doing. So, I spent money making things so much harder than they needed to be simply because I didn’t know there was apps for things, I didn’t know there were platforms to host courses. I didn’t know that all of this stuff existed. And I certainly had no idea how to sell online. And even since I have become a little bit more savvy about selling online, there’s certainly more things that I create that don’t do well than the things I create that do well. But each time I go, the successes get a little bigger and better each time.

Number two, if it’s really what you want to do, please don’t give up. Because you might be walking away right before your own tipping point. You know, I’m a firm believer that there’s no such thing as an overnight success. The people that you see that are successful, that are doing the things that you want to be doing, are simply successful because they kept going. consistency and persistence count for so much more than some flash in the pan talent.

Number three, the tipping point is real. I didn’t really believe this for quite a long time, mainly because my tipping point seemed to take quite a long time to occur. So like I said, my first book was published in 2018. I first started selling online in 2016 I think, I started my Instagram page in 2015. And so we’re talking 2022 now, we’re talking seven years that it’s taken for me to really feel like I’m at my tipping point. I’m not saying it will take that long for you. I think one of the things I could have done much better is I could have gone and learnt from people that were out there doing it who could have saved me the time by teaching me the hacks and things that you can use to make the process much easier and quicker, which is what I teach in my mastermind Intentional Business now as well. But the tipping point is actually real and that, what I mean by that is you get to a point where you have created so much material, that it’s undeniable now. So it’s undeniable, my profile is undeniable. And so what happens now is, every time I release something new, there’s more interest in it. I have a TV appearance that I’m preparing for next week, I have a radio spot that I’ve got to do next week as well. I’ve also got several podcasts interviews, and three or four different written pieces that are being syndicated into major publications across the country. And this is just in the next week because I’m releasing a new book. So the tipping point happens. And once you get to that tipping point, this is when you get to a place where you can start choosing the opportunities that are most aligned for you. But if you give up too soon, you won’t make it there.

Number four, you can’t predict how it will turn out. And you know what, that’s a really wonderful thing because it leaves room for things to be even better than you can imagine. If you start out being really fixed in how it has to go, in how it needs to unfold, that you must make money from this particular course. Otherwise, it’s all over red rover. Then you rob yourself of the possibilities that could come towards you that you couldn’t possibly predict or even know as you learn along the way.

Number five, the work will get done whether you make a drama out of it or not. Speaking from experience it gets done more easily when you don’t bring the drama. I am a recovering drama queen. Oh my goodness, I used to make drama out of running books, used to make drama out of creating podcast. I used to make a drama out of just recording, showing my face on camera, oh my goodness, the drama, so exhausting. But honestly, it just gets done. And the more you do it, the more you build evidence in your brain that creates neural pathways that lead to self-belief, because you’ve just done it so many times that you know you can do it. I know, I can write a book now, I’ve written five of them, and I’m writing the six as we speak. I just know I can do it. So I can whinge about it and I can make a whole drama out of it and I can procrastinate and tie myself in knots over it, or I can just get over it and do the thing.

Number six, deadlines deserve respect, they really do. It makes everyone else’s job easier if you meet them. Now, if you’re working with a team, even if you’re just working with you and your audience, if you say something’s going to be ready, by the time it’s ready, you need to have integrity around that and fulfil on the things that you say you will fulfil on. And I imagine most of you are nodding, because this is how you operate as well. But what I can tell you is, once you get to a level where you’re dealing with publishers, I deal with publishers, I deal with Audible, I deal with some other stakeholders who are needing content from me, there’s deadlines for it all. If I just treated those deadlines as if they were suggestions, then what I do is I become more difficult to work with for them. And I also set everyone else back because they’ve got schedules that they’re working to. So, just out of respect for yourself, for your energy, and for the people that you work with and their energy, respect your deadlines. And this also means setting boundaries around deadlines that you know you can meet, rather than saying yes to a deadline, that is unrealistic.

Number seven, you can’t do it all by yourself and nor should you. Now sure, you might start off by doing a lot of the things yourself when you first start out because money, right. But what I can say is one of the risks if you don’t operate with a view to bringing assistance on as soon as you possibly can, is that you’ll often get to a stage where you burn out before you’ve had the chance to reach your tipping point. So if you’re in the online business world like I am, there are so many moving parts behind the scenes. And I certainly don’t sit here as someone that does it all. I couldn’t, there’s no way that I could and retain my psychological well-being, I would be burnt out very quickly. So I have assistants that work with me that helped me manage my community, they do all the backend stuff on my website, they do all the linking for me, they send out my emails for me, so that I can simply focus on doing the stuff that only I can do in the business, like writing the books and creating the podcasts, etc, etc. I also have a bookkeeper, I have someone that helps plan my marketing. Like I said, I have a publisher, I have an agent, I have an accountant, I have a graphic designer who I work with not all the time, I would love to have her on full time, but not quite yet. And I have people in the seats in my business who are experts in doing the job that they do, so that I can focus on doing my job because I’m an expert at creating the stuff that I create. So please don’t think that somehow you’re going to reach the tipping point by doing it all yourself, that’s very unlikely to happen. Instead, what I want you to think about is creating a team of support around you, even if it’s just one person that can take some of the work off your plate initially, so that you can stay in your own lane to create the stuff that is important to you and to your audience.

Number eight, recording audio is much harder than it looks. My wife will laugh as she’s editing this podcast and she hears me say this. When I first sat down to record some audio for those of you that don’t know my wife Nyssa Ray, check her out on Spotify. She is the most wonderful singer songwriter, also the most wonderful human ever. But one of the things that I took for granted is that you just rock up to a microphone and speak right? If you’re a singer, you just rock up to the microphone and sing right? No, wrong. It’s much harder than it looks. So there’s such a thing as morning voice where you’ve got phlegm. If you drink milk prior to recording then all of a sudden that makes it makes it much harder to speak You can end up reading so that you sound like a robot. It’s quite an art to make your recording sounds like you’re having a conversation over coffee and I learnt all of these things by being too big for my britches, as my Nan would say and rocking into the studio thinking this will just be so simple and finding out that it’s not. So I have a lot of respect for all the singer songwriters out there and all the audio performers out there as well. Just a heads up if you’re planning on starting a podcast.

Number nine, less is more. I also learnt this the hard way. As someone who is committed to over delivering, I always over deliver when it comes to my content. One of the things that I’ve learnt and I’ve also learnt this because I’m a content consumer as well, I love reading books, I love listening to Audible podcasts, I love listening to other people’s podcasts when I have time, and succinct podcast episodes and succinct books, blog posts, captions, whatever it is that you’re writing, reach your audiences more deeply than waffle ever will. So please know that. Please don’t think that you need to justify your price, or you need to justify the value of whatever you’re creating by making it long. It doesn’t work like that, your audience will appreciate it ever more, if you make it succinct, and to the point, because we just don’t have time for it anymore.

Number ten, the sustainable version of your work, your creativity, your business, your output in general, is only the version that works for you. So that means it’s not what I do. Don’t listen to me. Well listen to me, but then go and try it out for yourself. Because what works for you might not be what works for me. And what works for me might not be what works for you. For example, you will very rarely see me working past about 4pm in the afternoon. Most of the time I finish at three, all my writing gets done in the morning, it’s very unusual for me to write after lunchtime. And that’s because I have a morning brain. It’s when my focus is brightest, it’s where my concentration is most powerful. And it’s when my creativity is most available. So I want you to think about that. What is the sustainable version of your work and your creativity and your output in general. Because it’s not what the person next to you is doing. It’s what works for you. And you might need to try a few different schedules before you find your own rhythm.

Number eleven, repurpose! Everything, everything, everything. It’s really important that you get this because what you create once can be used so many times over. And I’m not just talking about, you know, you might Google repurposing content and come across a blog post that tells you that you can repurpose one piece of content into 10 different pieces of content for other platforms and that is true. But I’m also talking about understanding that everything that you right actually fits somewhere for everything that you do thereafter. So I just told you that Happy Habits, the programme that I created initially was a waste of money and time, it wasn’t a waste, but what I should say is it took me so much more time and money than it would take me today because I made a drama out of it and I spent so much money on it, just not knowing a better way of doing things and also I didn’t know how to sell online. So I definitely did not recoup that money back. But in some ways I did because so much of that content that I created for Happy Habits, including research that never actually made it into the programme ended up going into books that I later wrote, stuff that I’ve created into blog posts, stuff that has come up as social media posts that I’ve used it in podcast episodes, it’s been so incredibly useful. And the same happens for everything that I create as well. It always gets used in multiple ways. So please maximise your time and energy and creativity by not ignoring the multiple uses for what you create today for what you’re going to do tomorrow.

Number twelve. Co-creating with the universe might sound woowoo but it’s how I get my books written. So one of the things that I’ve really found works for me is to imagine that I’m co-creating with the universe that is sending me ideas as I create. This is an idea that I got from Liz Gilbert’s book Big Magic where she talks about the genius. So she talks about sitting down, her job is to sit down at her desk and show up for the work. But it’s not her job to create the ideas. That’s the geniuses job. So she works with her genius. And that means on some days when she shows up, she’s done her part, the genius might be there, might not. So she might end up with, you know, 200 words rather than 2000 words. But at least she shown up, and this is how I work too. So I get into a place where I’m writing a book, and I will sit down and just take a moment to myself, where I will say in my head, I’m here, and I’m ready and I’m available as the vessel for the message that needs to be in this book in this particular chapter in this paragraph to come through me. Might sound woowoo, but it takes the pressure off my shoulders, and I’ve been able to somehow, I want to say magically come up with ideas that I otherwise swear I would never have come up have guessed sorry, come up from,  or come up with more to the point I told you or recording audio was hard. Because it enables me to work from a place of being open, rather than a place of being closed and tense. So give it a go.

Number thirteen. Mind mapping is a really powerful tool for getting from point A to point B. So one of the things I want you to think is if you’re stuck on how a project is going to look, then I really encourage you to just grab a piece of paper and mind map the major topics and then the sub-topics. This is how I plan out all my books, all my podcasts if they’re a series, so I plan out all my audible podcasts like this. And I also plan out anything that’s going to be you know, kind of any more lengthy than, say, a blog post. Mind mapping really helps me particularly if I’m planning a big book, I did it for Setting Boundaries. And that mind map changed form about four times before I landed on the final format that I was happy with. And even then once it got to an editor’s desk, we ended up cutting a third of it. So always be prepared that there’s a way that your work can be tightened. And so I just want to encourage you to use that technique. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with a process, start with a map first.

Number fourteen. The way to write a book is to write it, not just think about it. Now I’m talking to you, if you’re the one sitting there going ohh look, I really wish I could get the book out of my head, the one that I really want to write, the one that my 80 year old self doesn’t want me to pass on without having written. But how do you write a book? It’s just so hard. Look, yes, it is hard. But it’s not hard in the way that you think. It’s simply hard because you have to show up to the desk and write the words. So there’s kind of nothing to it other than mapping it out and then sitting down often enough that the words come out. So please take it from me, the way to write a book is to actually write it, not just think about it, get that out of your head and onto the page. That was Henry, my Weimaraner, if you heard that dog shaking, his ears.

Number fifteen. A good editor is worth their weight in gold. One of the things I love so much about being traditionally published is that I get access to professional editors who are just absolutely brilliant and make my work look so good once their hands have been on it and once they’ve tightened it up. So, please know that if you’re thinking about writing a book, even if you’re thinking about self-publishing, never ever scrimp on editing, it’s such an incredibly valuable process for your book to go through. It gets to connect with you and receive the wisdom from you that they are looking for.

Number sixteen. The quicker you get over your camera shyness, the quicker your audience gets to connect with you and receive the wisdom from you that they are looking for. As someone who hid behind a brand, hi, it’s me. I just can’t say this enough, your audience want to see you. I used to be super camera shy and very shy about putting myself out there until I realised that people receive from me what they need to receive more quickly and more deeply if they see my head. So, I kind of wish that I really hadn’t gotten over that years and years ago, but it’s taken me until the last couple of years to understand the value and the meaning behind that.

Number seventeen. It’s not about you. It’s about your message. And I’m telling this for you, if you’re, if you’ve been approached to go on somebody else’s podcast, and you’re going to be interviewed, if someone’s asked you to write an article for them, if someone is approaching your work and wants to publicise it in some way, and you’re panicked about it, imposter syndrome has kicked in, and you’re thinking, oh, do I know enough? Am I good enough? You know, the good news is, it’s not about you. It’s just about the message. And your message is valuable. You just need to get out of your own way.

Number eighteen. Don’t devalue your work. If others value your work, while you’re over here, devaluing it, there’s an energetic imbalance that will always keep you feeling unworthy. I really want you to step into self belief. And the way you do that, is by stepping up to the worthiness of what you do, to knowing that what you do matters. Now, in my experience, this just takes time, it takes time gathering evidence from your audience who love what you do. So just keep doing it.

Number nineteen. Social media is the way the world operates right now. And so, if you have an online business, you need it. Find a way to use it to reach your people that doesn’t cause you anxiety or overwhelm. Social media is such a block for so many people, and it stops them from getting their work out there in a bigger way. So I want you to just find a way to use social media in a way that fits for you, in a way that’s consistent, doesn’t have to be every day just needs to be consistent. If it’s three times a week, it’s three times a week, if it’s Instagram, but not Facebook, fine. If it’s TikTok but not LinkedIn, fine. Just do whatever it is that fits for you, so that you can actually use it to your advantage without becoming anxious over it. I also highly recommend using the unfollow button and the mute button. Incredibly useful tools.

Number twenty. Batch, batch, batch, please batch, batch your content. As I’m recording this right now, I’m actually recording four episodes in one day. I’m about after I finish doing this, I’m about to create 20 social media posts, batch your content, set aside time so that your time is most effective, so that you’re not doing tasks that tear your brain in 15 million directions. Because you’re doing them every single day. It will save you time, it will save you energy.

Speaking of time, number twenty-one, time block, time block, time block. I’ve done an entire episode on time blocking because it’s such a powerful technique for me. But essentially, it just means building your schedule based on your values so that the things that you value actually get done, rather than consistently watching your time being used in small ways, but less meaningful ways. So for me, that used to be oh, my goodness, I’ve got so much to do. But I’ve got a book to write and the books not getting written. Now the book gets written first, and I fit in everything else around it.

Number twenty-two. Finding alignment is an ever-evolving dynamic with yourself. Please understand that. Your relationship with your business, your relationship with your creativity, your relationship with yourself is constantly evolving. Please give it space, to change, and to improve and to become who it is that you want to be.

Speaking of who you want to be, number twenty-three Be yourself. Be yourself. You know, the thing that I’ve noticed over these years of doing this work is that authenticity is contagious. The more authentic I am about where I’m at, the more comfortable the people are that receive my work. And the more comfortable they feel to be themselves as well. And it means that I don’t have to work hard on being some version of myself that I’ve created. Because I simply know that when I did this interview last year, I was exactly who I am. So therefore, I just get to be exactly who I am today. I don’t have to over create something.

Number twenty-four. When you’re being interviewed, remember that your message is waiting to be heard. And all you need to do is get out of the way of yourself so it can come out. So if you get invited on someone else’s podcast and you’re panicking thinking, oh my goodness, am I going to answer the questions properly, rather than overthinking your answers, instead, I want you to think about getting through to the listener. It’s about the listener and what the listener needs to hear from you. It’s not about you. I find that concept really freeing, it allows me to sit and relax and trust that the message will come out of me.

Number twenty-five, speaking of trust, trust. Trust that there’s time for everything. And I mean time for everything in your day as well. Don’t work 12 hours, 15 hours, don’t work ridiculous hours in a day. There’s time to walk the dog, there’s time to read a book to your child. There’s time for everything. Trust that the money will come, because it will, trust that your message is the one that your audience needs.

Twenty-six. Be patient, it takes a while for the universe to create what it is that you’re working towards. This is possibly the lesson that I’ve hated most, because I have a PhD in impatience. Can’t stand things not taking the time that I decide that they should take. But when you can allow yourself to trust and therefore be patient about what’s unfolding, I promise you, it will be better than you ever imagined.

Number twenty-seven. If you find yourself stuck in your head, change your geographical view for a quick reset, go for a drive. If you can, grab a weekend away. Even if it’s just one night, go and look at something different, go out for lunch, take your laptop and go and work from a cafe. There’s nothing like changing your geographical view for being able to shift your mindset and to retrigger creativity as well.

Number twenty-eight. There’s never a good time or a perfect time to get it done or even to start it in the first place. It will get done when you make time for it.

Number twenty-nine, this is super important. You won’t be for everyone, because none of us are. And so for those that push back on your message, or your price or your way of doing things, I want you to see them as the gift that they are for helping you to align more strongly with those people who are your people. So initially, you might take it personally it might really hurt. But those people are actually doing you a favour. The people that unsubscribe from your list, they’re doing you a favour by making room for the people that really need you. Release them. Make space for the people that are your people.

And finally, number thirty. Replace scarcity with possibility every single day. Every time scarcity shows up, and you’re being led by fear. I want you to make a conscious choice to be led by courage instead. Because it’s the courage that helps you to continue contributing to the world in the only way that you can.

And that’s it lovely ones for 30 lessons I’ve learned after four podcasts and five books. If you want to grab Small Habits for a Big Life you can from all good bookstores and online retailers. And I’m very excited for you to get your hands on it. I’ll catch you very shortly for the next episode of Hello Rebecca Ray.

Lovely ones, thank you so much for listening to Hello, Rebecca Ray. If you got something meaningful from this episode, then the most meaningful thing you can do is jump on over to wherever you listen to your podcast episodes and leave a review. Because it’s those reviews that help this podcast stay here. Make sure to subscribe and if you’re generous enough to share this episode, thank you so much. I love seeing your shares on social media. So please tag me, catch you next time.

List of the 30 Lessons:

  1. You’ll fail more than you’ll succeed, but the successes get bigger and better each time
  2. If it’s really what you want to do, don’t give up because you might walk away right before your own tipping point
  3. The tipping point is real
  4. You can’t predict how it will turn out, and that’s a wonderful thin because it leaves room for things to be even better than you can imagine
  5. The work will get done whether you make a drama out of it, or not. Speaking from experience, it gets done more easily when you don’t bring the drama.
  6. Deadlines deserve respect. It makes everyone else’s job easier if you meet them.
  7. You can’t do it all by yourself and nor should you.
  8. Recording audio is much harder than it looks.
  9. Less is more. Succinct podcast episodes and books reach audiences more deeply than waffle ever will.
  10. The sustainable version of your work, your creativity, your business, your output in general is only the version that works for you.
  11. Re-purpose everything.
  12. Co-creating with the universe is woo woo, but it gets my books written.
  13. Mind mapping is a powerful tool for getting from point A to point B.
  14. The way to write a book is to write it, not just think about it.
  15. A good editor is worth their weight in gold.
  16. The quicker you get over your camera shyness, the quicker your audience gets to connect with you and receive the wisdom from you that they are looking for
  17. It’s not about you. It’s about your message.
  18. Don’t devalue your work. If others value your work while you’re over here devaluing it, there’s an energetic imbalance that will always keep you feeling unworthy. Step into self-belief.
  19. Social media is the way the world operates right now. Find a way to use it to reach your people that doesn’t cause you anxiety or overwhelm.
  20. Batch, batch, batch.
  21. Time-block, time-block, time-block.
  22. Finding alignment is an ever-evolving dynamic with yourself.
  23. Be yourself. Authenticity is contagious.
  24. When you’re being interviewed, remember that your message is waiting to be heard, get out of the way of yourself so it can come out.
  25. Trust that there’s enough time for everything. Trust that the money will come. Trust that your message is the one that your audience needs.
  26. Be patient. It takes awhile for the universe to create what it is that you’re working towards.
  27. Change your geographical view for a quick reset.
  28. There’s never a good time or perfect time to get it done, or even to start. It gets done when you make time for it.
  29. You won’t be for everyone. None of us are. For those that pushback on your message, price, or way of doing things, see them as the gift they are for helping you to align more strongly with those people who are your people.
  30. Replace scarcity with possibility every single day.