Today, I feel physically and mentally drained – I recorded my audiobook.
For those of you who follow me regularly, you will know this is not a statement which comes out of my mouth easily. I usually pride myself on being the Duracell bunny, always having energy and positivity in abundance.
As I type, my motivation is at a peak, but I feel like my energy has been zapped. Let me explain why.
Yesterday, I started recording the audiobook version of my best-selling debut book, Secrets of Successful Sales
As a dyslexic, writing the book was one of the biggest challenges I had taken on in my life. The struggle trying to get the words out of my head and onto paper was at times downright heartbreaking, and many tears and tantrums took place in the year from when I decided to write until I finally had the first paperback in my hand. This could not have been achieved without the help of Kiya Newnham, who regularly had to metaphorically tie me to a chair and made me write and double check the content. You can read all about that here.
To reach Amazon best-selling status with over half a century, 5-star reviews in 2 months is something I am incredibly proud of. I think lots of people would happy with this achievement. But I’m not lots of people, I am always looking for the new ways to make things better and to get my teaching to the mass market so I can improve the fate and fortune of entrepreneurs and salespeople all over the world.
According to The Good E-Reader Magazine, audiobook is the fastest growing segment of the digital publishing industry, with a total of 2.5 billion dollars in sales in the US in 2017. The biggest consumers of audio books are younger people with a whopping 48% of all consumers being under the age of 35.
Based on these statistics, it’s a no-brainer that Secrets of Successful Sales both for educational and commercial reasons has to be available as an audio version. But, as a dyslexic who struggles with reading, there lies another challenge. Yes, you can get an actor or voice over to read the book for you, but some of the main reasons people love The Entrepreneur’s Godmother is for my authenticity, Scottish humour, passion and energy which is hard to convey in someone else’s voice. Someone did suggest Ashley Jenson, but they were not forthcoming with the cash to pay her, so it looks like it is down to me.
Yesterday, I took to the recording studio with Taylor Jones, CEO of Hello Management, young hotshot record producer, working with some of the world’s top music talent and a best-selling recording artist in his own right.
It is reflecting my time in the studio that has led me to write my top tips in this blog.
1. You can do ANYTHING if you put your mind to it.
Reading has always been a struggle for me, I can remember always faking illness in Mr. Scaremonger’s English lesson when he did the round the class, out loud book reading sessions. People with dyslexia struggle to get the words from the page to their brain then to their mouth in the correct order. They have a tendency to either miss out words or see words which are not there, in some cases the words appear to dance around the page.
I have 42,000 words in my book and the audiobook must reflect the written copy, so I have to focus, focus, and focus even more to concentrate my brain on reading the words that are on the page, not what my dyslexic brain sees.
2. Don’t be afraid to screw it up
Man, oh Man, who knew reading could be so hard, take after take, after take! The recording was not as straightforward as I had anticipated. I loveeeeee live video recording and thankful it loves me. I pride myself on being the one take wonder when I do live interviews, but following a script or in this case the words in my book was a different ball game. There is no room for maneuver, it has to be ‘word for word’. But, every time we had to retake, it made me more determined to get the next take better, and as we continued to record, we were getting longer unedited sections.
It’s ok to screw up, use a growth mindset to find the positive, don’t be defeated, YOU CAN DO IT.
3. Work with an expert
I was introduced to Taylor Jones and his brother Kyran, by my buddy Ben Towers and straight away knew I wanted to be working with him on my audiobook. Taylor is a very highly respected and sought-after producer in the music field, having just spent most of this year in LA working with household name brands. His schedule is very busy, but another lesson in life is good things are worth waiting for.
Working with an expert in their field speeds up the process. At 24 years old Taylor is the age of the target market for the audiobook so could bring great insights to energy and annunciation required to make an engaging book.
4. Manage your expectations
My glass is always brimming over and sometimes my over-enthusiasm leads to not managing my expectations properly. When planning the recording, I was hoping we would be able to record the book in one day. Who was I kidding, it took a year to write and I know it only has 159 pages, but most people are taking longer than a day to read it. How did I think I could record my audiobook in one day? Always budget for more and it’s a bonus if you spend less.
5. Everyone needs support
Working with Taylor was an absolute pleasure, he was supportive and even after many takes, he kept his patience and reassured me I was doing a great job. He also showed genuine enthusiasm for the content of the book.
One of the frequent pieces of feedback I get about being The Entrepreneur’s Godmother is it’s like having a “Cheer Leader” in your corner.
Everyone needs a Cheer Leader in their life, surround yourself with people who genuinely love what you do and want to see you succeed.
So, why am I physically and mentally drained? To me being an entrepreneur is a bit like being an athlete.
Yesterday I pushed my boundaries, I went out of my comfort zone, I took myself to a place I never thought I could reach, not only reading out loud but reading out loud to what I hope will be millions of people.
I BROKE MY PERSONAL BEST!!!
It wasn’t easy, but by putting my mind to it, sticking with it when I screwed up, working with a supportive expert, I now have lots of audiobook in the can.
What’s your biggest fear? Only by confronting it can you push yourself to get to your personal best.