One Woman Can Change the World – Interview with Ronne Rock

One Woman Can Change the World – Interview with Ronne Rock

Ronne Rock is an author and speaker with Orphan Outreach. In her book, One Woman Can Change the World: Reclaiming Your God- Designed Influence and Impact Right Where You Are, Ronne uses stories of real women from Jamaica to Kenya to India to empower women to make a difference no matter where they are or their background.

044-Ronne Rock

Ronne Rock is a storyteller, truth-teller, hope-dealer. Her new book is One Woman Can Change the World: Reclaiming Your God-Designed Influence and Impact Right Where You Are.

Disclosure: Links may be affiliate links. If you decide to purchase any of these resources, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.


One Woman Can Change the World: Reclaiming Your God- Designed Influence and Impact Right Where You Are (Amazon link)

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Kay: Hey, Ronne, it is so good to have you back.  
[00:00:03] Ronne:   I’m good. And it’s just, I love your voice, so it’s just good to hear your voice.
[00:00:07] Kay: It is. It’s really great to sit and chat with you a little bit. We talked a long time before we ever turned on the record button, but good to catch up, Ronnie, you have written a book  But,  tell us a little bit about who you are.
[00:00:23] Ronne: Okay.
[00:00:24] Kay: a little about the book and then we’ll go from there.
[00:00:27] Ronne: Okay. Well, I am, I am Ronne Rock, and that is a legitimate name. Ronne is a nickname for Veronica.  but I’ve had it since eighth grade and it’s not going anywhere. I am a woman. I am a friend on the sister. I am an orphan. Both my parents have passed on an orphan,  a wife and a mom and a GG and a safe lap for Pearl, the rescue pup.
[00:00:55] And, I’m just a, gosh, I’m just a big old bag of. Feelings, most of the time. If you’re an Enneagram person, I’m a four wing three. If you’re a Myers Briggs person, I’m in E N F J that just switched to J from P. So now I’ve got feelings about that too. And, and,  I work. For a global nonprofit named orphan outreach.
[00:01:24] We focus on care for orphaned and vulnerable children in eight countries around the world, and a lot of the women that you’ll meet in the book, I had the opportunity to meet through my work. With orphan outreach. It wasn’t an intentional meeting, or I thought that the, the book would come from my meeting, those women, but they have taught me so much and I’m honored that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book.
[00:01:54] We’ll go back to support the ministries of orphan outreach. In fact, a little bit of money has already been provided to auntie, who is one of the people that you’ll meet in the book who lives in the Himalayas. The book itself is called, one woman can change the world, reclaiming your God designed influence and impact right where you are, which may sound like it’s going to be a really great self-help book for you to be a real tough woman, but it is.
[00:02:27] Anything about that. It is not a book about tips and tricks to help you be a really strong leader. What it really is, is an amazing group of women from around the world who are gentle leaders. They’re very gray, silver leaders who focus on who they are. And how they were designed from the very beginning and how God designed women from the very beginning to be leaders.
[00:02:55] If you look in Genesis one, God didn’t say he created man and then was going to be the leader. And then here comes Eve. Genesis one says that he created them, man and women, and he looked at humanity and said, wow, this is good. And so, and then he said. Okay. I want you to lead. I’ve given you, I have created this universe for you.
[00:03:23] And you know, God is, he’s not an idiot. He knew exactly what he was doing. Even his, he formed,  the heavens and the earth, and the way he designed it in stages in which he designed it to get it all ready for human life, to be able to live and thrive on it. And then he said, I want you to take the lead Now I’m Here, I want to walk with you.
[00:03:46] We are going to have great conversations. You are my own and we are in this together and I want you to lead. And so that’s what you’re going to read in the book. It is not as, like I said, not help self-help book, not a bootstrapping book. It is a reminder and hopefully a conversation starter between you and the Lord.
[00:04:10] Of who you are and his design and you and your identity in him, and then your entire story and how it has worked together. All how it has worked together to glorify him and to do good on this earth.
[00:04:29] Kay: Yeah, it’s beautiful. I, I’ve been reading it and, and just, you know, you take us on a, on a journey, and you just. You allow us to meet these incredible women who are, you know, they’re just, they’re living life. They’re there. They’re taking what’s been put before them. They’ve made decisions. I mean, it’s just amazing.
[00:04:54] It’s, And it’s reminded me too, of of women that I’ve met around the world and in the work that I do. But I think, you know, we’ve talked some on this podcast about purpose and calling and you know, what is it that God has called me to do? And then one of the earlier episodes that we looked at,  Oz Guinness, his book, the call, and he says, you know, there is no calling without a caller.
[00:05:20] Ronne: Yeah.
[00:05:21] Kay: And you talk about the Lord talking to these, speaking to us, and how often we see it kind of as a, well, if he’s calling me to this one thing, you know, then he’s asking me to give up this other thing. But you say he’s the God of the ampersand.
[00:05:41] Ronne: He is.  I will, I will say if you, if he came into my office, the first thing that you would notice is I do have actual literal ampersands everywhere. It is my favorite symbol and I don’t want that thing that looks like an E with a line through it. I want the curly, super wavy full out Amber sands.
[00:06:02] They’re on my wall. They’re on my desk. I have a pillow. I just think they’re beautiful. And I love, because the thing that I love about an ampersand, it’s not just the shape. I think it is a glorious punctuation. I just really beautiful. But what makes an ampersand so glorious as far as its place in our language is that it means and in itself, and.
[00:06:34] If you were to look at it means ant per se. And so you get ampersand that it’s and in itself. And so what it really says is it is going to connect to things, but it’s not going to diminish the value of either thing. So if this was the Ronne ampersand Kay show. Right. Then it would mean that they’re fully Ronnie’s here and fully K is here in both of their personalities and their gifts and their talents are here.
[00:07:08] That that ampersand brings in together unifies them and makes them. Stronger, right? Together, but it doesn’t diminish. And so when I look at God as he really is, the God of the ampersand is that he takes our story, right? It may be the story of our childhood, the story of a difficult time, the story of a glorious moment, the story of our time.
[00:07:36] If we, when we get married or when kids enter the picture or.  But it could be any of those things. And sometimes we have a feeling it’s like I want to be in ministry. But first. I need to have a career. I want to do something unique for the Lord. I’ve got an idea even of what it might look like, but first I have to raise the kids and send them off to school and let them get married.
[00:08:07] And then once all of that part of my life is done, then I can focus on ministry.  In God and in fact, in the story or in the chapters, you’re going to meet someone who actually felt that agony and really felt as if the Lord was saying, I have this new glorious thing for you. And that means that today it’s over everything that has brought you joy from a ministry standpoint to this day.
[00:08:36] Now give it up. It’s over. You got anything? And I’m not saying there are times that the Lord does. When he says, I’ve got a new thing. He really does lay something brand new in your lap at that distilled doesn’t mean that what has happened in your past all of a sudden diminishes and has no value. I really believe that an ampersand is inclusive, right?
[00:09:02] It’s not exclusive. It’s inclusive. And if you look at God’s story over and over time, if you look at stories in scripture, those stories are inclusive. They God add to a person’s life. He doesn’t say, okay, Paul, even a new name. Everything still the, his past, his understanding of who he was,  as a leader who he was, even as someone who hated Christianity, he still used that information.
[00:09:43] He was still a tent maker. He still used that vocation and he used those, cause God didn’t say give it all up, not ever going to do it again. He used those things in ministry, those when Jesus called fishermen, he didn’t say, you’re never going to pick up a pole again.
[00:10:02] Kay: Right.
[00:10:03] Ronne: Right? In fact, you find out that’s a first thing they went back to when I was like, well, I know how to fish.
[00:10:10] I guess I’ll fish. And Jesus never said, okay, you, you never gonna pick up a pole again. Matthew, I know you were a tax collector, but you’re never ever going to count a coin again. He just said, no. Your story wrapped around gospel purpose and wrapped around a beautiful redemptive destination becomes this incredible sentence filled with ampersands.
[00:10:39] Kay: Yeah. You know, I was thinking actually about this earlier this week, about the disciples and God, you know, Jesus. Calls them from fishing and he uses fishing terms to bring them in to the new thing. Fisher, I’ll make you fishers, man.
[00:10:57] Ronne: Yeah.
[00:10:59] Kay: And I think that it was something, I marked it as something to go back to and study more, because I really feel like it’s more than, he wasn’t just using the language that they understood.
[00:11:13] It was more than that. He was he; they were always fishermen, and they were always going to be fishermen,
[00:11:19] Ronne: Yes, ma’am.
[00:11:19] Kay: but now there were fishermen who encountered, encountered Jesus,
[00:11:23] Ronne: Yeah. It’s so, so often we look at our stories and we’ll say, well, the only way I could do something, the only way I could really do ministry or whatever, is it every part about my life? We have a tendency to look and say, well, if that’s a glorious future, then everything here stinks, right? Instead of.
[00:11:48] Saying, Oh wait, God is going to use what’s happening right now. He has gifted me even with a past that may not be a beautiful, what I consider a beautiful past. He is a God who makes all things new. He is a God who redeems.  in the book I talk about Joel two 25, which a lot of us will use a lot when we talk about it.
[00:12:11] God, he makes things new, and he heals and things,  that he will take years that have been ravaged. He will take years where it feels like he’d been wasteful years and he will show that those years were not wasted. Right. He will bring life to those. To equip you. And I’m not talking also about, Oh yeah, you’re supposed to literally go out and change the world.
[00:12:40] Wouldn’t that be fun? But few of us are ever going to be on a platform large enough to have a global voice. Right? It’s, what is it? Less than 2% of the global population actually is known by many, many people. That’s not the purpose of this at all. It is that we live in a world. Right around us, and that world might be our home, our neighborhood, our church, our community, our city, a people group inside are inside our community.
[00:13:16] A neglected group are hurting human being. That is the world that God places in front of us and says, okay, Genesis one, don’t you remember. You’re the Apple of my eye. I’ve equipped you. I’ve quit you. I just need you to trust me.
[00:13:38] Kay: Yep.
[00:13:39] Ronne: on this. I need you to trust me on this. And so,  but again, our culture and Kate, you and I both, because we work.
[00:13:51] In other global populations, there is a lot, there is a lot different between the culture that we live in the U S and the culture in a developing country. And it’s not just about socioeconomics. It is also about how time is viewed. I remember Kay, you talked about we are a, we are a time-based culture.
[00:14:14] One of the things you taught me. We’re a time-based culture. We thrive on filling a calendar and bragging about a bullet journal and showing how productive we are by how much we can accomplish in a day.  and God is not, he is not asking us to accomplish. Things. He says he accomplished in this. He accomplishes things through us.
[00:14:38] That means that we need to trust him to actually do that. Instead of us thinking, Oh, the only way a change is going to be made in my life or anybody else’s life is it better be big different than anybody else because, Oh my gosh, if, if I feel like, well, you know, I love to teach, but there are a million teachers.
[00:15:01] So what kind of difference can I make? Or, well, I, I’m a marketer. Me personally, and I go in, anybody can market. What I just told God is, you know what? I’m worthless. And pretty much everybody else that you designed with that gift is worthless too, because we’re not doing something that is so unique or so different that that will make us big.
[00:15:25] And,  and I make that confession. And in one of the first chapters of my book, it’s like I wanted to do ministry, but more than I wanted to do ministry, I would really want it to be significant.
[00:15:36] Kay: Yeah, we do. We do that. We are.
[00:15:41] Ronne: Yeah. I wanted to be significant. I wanted to be able to put my head on the pillow and go, dang girl, you did fine. And the whole time, the words like I, that’s my job. Just to tell you that you are fine. That’s not your job to try to convince yourself that you, that you’re fine. Fine.
[00:16:02] Kay: So we’re already significant because he created us and, and he has a purpose for us, not, not just.  that sounds almost limiting, you know, in this conversation, a purpose for us, purpose is a really big word.
[00:16:22] Ronne: It is, and then we try to limit it. Right? Well, his purpose for me must be this one thing instead of, no, his purpose for me is to, is to love him, walk with him, and then watch how he reveals gifts and talents and opportunities and things throughout the day in a number of ways. And to be actually pleasantly surprised by how creative he is.
[00:16:53] He’s a creative piece. I’m a pastor a long time ago, said that we are creative creations created by a creative creator, and it is a cheese ball alliteration, but dang, it’s good, right? It’s like, do I actually believe that though? Do I believe that I am a creative creation? That when he designed me, he designed me fully with his, he said, image and lightness, and it wasn’t just that I can look in the mirror and go, I guess God has freckles in the summertime.
[00:17:27] Wasn’t that at all?
[00:17:28] Kay: Yeah.
[00:17:28] Ronne: Right? He created us with the image and the lightness of the gifts that are manifest when he lives through us. He gave us a personality that cause he has personality, gave us emotion cause he has an emotion. Those things are not flawed in us. How we respond to them. And yes, I’m not discounting sin nature because trust me, it’s alive and well in this broken soul.
[00:17:56] And it’s very easy for me to go dark pretty quickly and get pretty selfish and and get pretty whiny. But in the midst of that, he still looks at us and sees us dressed in white as a bride.
[00:18:10] Kay: Hmm,
[00:18:11] Ronne: who is beautiful and has an incredible personality and has gifts and talents to be made manifest wherever she walks.

Proverbs 31 Woman

[00:18:19] Kay: yes, yes. We, we’ve heard a lot, especially women in the church about the Proverbs 31 woman. And then you, in this book, you, you refer back to her, but you’re also showing us living fleshed out Proverbs 31 women that may not look exactly like what we pictured. Can you
[00:18:47] Ronne: Oh, yeah. Well, for the income and I came, I came into, a passionate love of Jesus. I was a latecomer. It was the day after my 21st birthday. But one of the, I mean, I’m, one of the first things I’m told is like, Oh, Proverbs 31 woman, and it is, it is stated as this ideal of who we are supposed to be. Right?
[00:19:14] And we don’t, of course, we don’t give anybody the whole chapter. We only use about the last 11.
[00:19:21] Kay: Huh?
[00:19:22] Ronne: know, the 11 verses like what is the woman? And then you start reading it and it’s like, okay, so it Proverbs 31 woman, in order to be. A true Proverbs 31 woman, this woman after God’s own heart, this woman, everybody’s going to hold up and in the marketplace, they’re going to go and it’s going to say that she is finer than all the gemstones.
[00:19:44] Let’s see. Okay, Proverbs 31 more. She got her. Okay. She’s going to be she guests. She has to get up early. That’s a tough one right there. Okay. She needs to be married.
[00:19:55] Kay: Okay.
[00:19:55] Ronne: She has to have kids. She has to have her own business. She clearly must make her own goods to sell and her own store. So she’s not just buying stuff, but she’s also probably turning her own butter and then negotiating a deal at whatever specialty shops she wants him to be in.
[00:20:17] She has to be brilliant financially. She has to,  Be fearless in the marketplace. And so you look at all those things and you’re like, okay, so she is smart, always put together houses, immaculate, married with kids. No, I have failed before I’ve started. And half the women, more than half of the women who are in the book, are single.
[00:20:48] Kay: Yeah.
[00:20:49] Ronne: There are women in the book who don’t have kids. There are women in the book who don’t have husbands. There are women in the book who have never turned butter. There are women in the book who had never gotten a college education. Some of them have not even made it all the way through high school. So if we were to set, Proverbs 31 is a checklist of what idealism is for a woman after God’s own heart.
[00:21:17] Well, first of all, we would all fail.
[00:21:19] Kay: true.
[00:21:20] Ronne: would all fail then. It was never; it was never supposed to be that way. If you read Proverbs 31 from the beginning to the end, you find out. First of all, it was written by a dude and it was written by a dude cause he says, this is what my mom taught me. And it is a book about leadership.
[00:21:39] It isn’t a book about. Okay, let me, well, I really, this is the only woman for you and dad and I are just not going to approve until you find her. Right. It was not. It is a book about leadership that then it transitions and you realize that Proverbs 31 woman, it’s not this checklist. It is. It is. These character qualities. Of their character qualities and in that you’re like, Oh my gosh, it’s okay. So she tends to the things that are in front of her, she okay. She wakes up early. The reason why she wakes up early is because she wants to prepare herself for the day. So she, she gives time to the ward. She gives time to, to set the day and.
[00:22:37] And you know what, she is creative, but she’s creative. Not because she got to have her own business. Maybe she’ll want her own business. She’s creative because she’s receiving. She has a voice.
[00:22:51] Kay: Yeah,
[00:22:51] Ronne: and she’s not, and she’s not afraid to use her voice. She’s not afraid to negotiate. She’s not afraid to defend people, to stand for people.
[00:23:02] When it’s appropriate, she is willing to, nurture and care for people that are, her circle. Could be family, could be friends, could be coworkers, could be strangers, but she looks at people and is willing to provide care and to nurture. And so you, you look at, look at her. With the qualities that she pres presents instead of this tightly defined checklist that says, Oh, well, unless you’re married, you just a little off. Oh, no, kids. Well.
[00:23:44] Kay: Yeah. And then we exclude ourselves.
[00:23:46] Ronne: Right? Or, Oh, you don’t own your own business; you don’t have a cottage industry. Aw. Right. And so we discount and we disqualify ourselves time and time again because we use that. Should we use her as a point of comparison, which is sin, right? That there is, I have a friend, Rochelle APAR, and he’s written a great book called mythical knee.
[00:24:09] She talks about healthy comparison.
[00:24:12] Kay: Hmm.
[00:24:13] Ronne: Right off, I once was here and now I’m here. I’ve, you know, I’m in school, I’m learning. I’ve learned more setting markers, seeing where you’ve gone, and then the unhealthy comparison where our identities, we start to place value on our own identity based not on who God says we are, but through the lens of others around us.
[00:24:39] In Proverbs 31 that woman was never supposed to be a comparison point for us. Never.
[00:24:47] Kay: right. It can be, you can be an example without being somebody that, you know, it’s just held up as the ideal, the perfect, the perfect unattainable.
[00:24:56] Ronne: Yeah. We’ll always have people that are good examples for us that that fire up in us a desire to grow and things. If somebody is. If what is being fired up in us though is self-condemnation or condescension. Those things ask when we just gotta take it. The Lord says, you know that that’s vain imagination woman.
[00:25:21] Take it captive, put it in its rightful place. Be reminded of who you are and who you’ve always been.

The Trouble with Women

[00:25:29] Kay: yeah. Yeah, that’s good. You, you, you’ve re, you’ve written in the book too, that the trouble with women is us. Yeah. Is it stemming from all that comparison that we do? 
[00:25:44] Ronne: really, it is. We get in our way
[00:25:48] Kay: Wow.
[00:25:48] Ronne: really get in our own way.  We. I would say it’s social. I’d say social media because I do believe that social media has a tremendous opportunity for good, but then it also has done a lot to harm us through ideals of influencers and and lifestyles and journeys. It’s very easy for us to look at a tiny box with a pretty picture and a few words and say, that person’s life is. Cool or more significant. She doesn’t, or she doesn’t know what life’s really like. She’s never gone through pain. Right? So we, we had those barbs that long before that. Their media has always. There’s magazines, there’s catalogs, and being a person in marketing and advertising, I can tell you all about glamour.
[00:26:47] The whole ideal of luxury advertising, right? That says you’re not quite good in life unless you have this car.
[00:26:57] Kay: yeah.
[00:26:58] Ronne: You are not caring for your family enough unless you have this kind of home or those things. So that comparison has always been. There, but it was, no, it was there, there Adam and Eve walking in God’s presence.
[00:27:16] Can we talk about this? He’s walking with them like literally walking, holding hands, talking about the day and what happens? They hear a whisper, a quiet whisper that says.
[00:27:42] You know, sure. Seems he wants to have a tight rein on you guys, keeping you in the garden.
[00:27:49] Kay: Hmm.
[00:27:50] Ronne: wonder. Right. So it is, and so we still. We still have those things like, well, I wonder what my life would be like. My life is like theirs. I wonder, you know? And so we have a tendency, then we start to lay just layers and layers and layers of self condemnation of,  that we, we claim our lives worthless.
[00:28:15] Kay: Hm.
[00:28:15] Ronne: claim our talents worthless. We say again, it’s the well, unless I’m doing something that is significantly different or unless I’m doing something that is impacting thousands or millions, I like just doesn’t really count for anything.
[00:28:35] Kay: Yeah. You give us some great examples in the book. You introduce us to all these women. Can you just tell us a little bit about some of the women in your book?
[00:28:47] Ronne: Oh wow. If I do, if I start crying, so, where do I start with the women? I’ll start with Florida century Risa because they were the women that wrecked me first, and you made them in the introduction of the book. You get to in your, and then they make an appearance at the end too, which is great. But. When I, I, as I said, I do marketing.
[00:29:13] And so I had been in the corporate world. I had decided to take the leap to ministry because I wanted to do something more significant with my marketing. I wanted to bring all my corporate expertise and help. So I,  moved over to work for a nonprofit. And part of what we got to do is to do mission trips, which I still do.
[00:29:40] And that’s again, I’ve met a lot of women,  on mission trips and then other forms of travel. But it was my first mission trip and I was going to lead it and it was great. I went through training; I got like five stars in training because I was really, really good
[00:29:56] at all the things,
[00:29:57] Kay: right?
[00:29:58] Ronne: because being an achiever, high achiever, I.
[00:30:02] I just want it to be perfect. And so I had everything down. I was ready to go, had my team, I was writing beautiful flowery things. It sounded, I was really trying to sound a lot like Ann Voskamp. I wanted to be really poetic, so you would be drawn to my words. We get to Guatemala; we go to this children’s home that had that the organization had never had anybody go to before.
[00:30:30] We get there. It is beautiful. Some side of a mountain. It felt really much like middle earth, sort of the range, just the environment. We get there. We have our bandanas and we have our games and we have everything planned and we are so organized and we bring so much stuff in duffels. And it’s, and that’s what I call it, the book stuff. We had stuff, we have all the stuff in duffels that we thought that, Oh, this is going to sound so bad that we thought that poor people needed right.
[00:31:09] Kay: right.
[00:31:10] Ronne: clearly we’re going to this third world country and they just don’t have much. So we stopped stuff in, doubles to come and make sure that they had everything they needed.
[00:31:22] And we went and we taught the kids. I got to the end of that. And then we were amazed how fast the kids were learning. We were just so proud of ourselves to Pat ourselves on the back. And these whole time, these two women, these sisters who had come with their dad from Mexico to start a ministry, and it was not originally going to be a children’s home, but,  
[00:31:47]But things changed when they got there and they realized that there was a need. So dad had passed away. It was the two sisters still running this place, and they were so quiet, and I would look at them and they’d have like the concerned look on their face standing in a corner of that. Oh my gosh, they hate us.
[00:32:03] They don’t try. They, if they just mingled, if they just knew how great we were, they’d be okay. And so we get to the end of that first day. I walked up to him so proudly, I’m like, Hey, we’re leaving. We’re going to go to our comfy hotel and is there anything that you need? And I don’t know why I asked that question.
[00:32:23] I don’t even can even begin to tell you w what I thought they were going to say. They’re really go like, Hmm, yeah, a steak sounds. Yeah. I don’t know that they looked at me really quietly and told me they had no milk. And,  yeah. And the floor fell out from underneath me because we had brought up duffels of stuff that they did not need.
[00:32:46] Kay: right.
[00:32:47] Ronne: Everything that we brought to them, they did not. We brought brats. Do you remember those little metal things?
[00:32:54] Kay: Yeah.
[00:32:55] Ronne: pipe cleaners. We brought the most random stuff in a whole lot of lice shampoo because we had been told, well, you know, it’s a third world country and all those kids’ heads are going to be filled with lies.
[00:33:07] Those kids were clean. Oh, that. So, like I said, just we were way late. I went into the bus where the team was; we bawled like babies. We pooled our money together, and we got them what they needed. And they first, the first thing they taught me was that I could come with my big self-made plans, right? And my assumptions of what I thought was wrong in somebody else’s life.
[00:33:33] And so then my preconceived solutions of how I was going to fix that life. And they stripped that from me in one day. And taught me that the only way I’m really gonna understand anybody’s story. This is to ask and then to listen and to be with them for a little bit, and then to find out what their real needs were.
[00:33:56] Both physical, if there was a physical need, but then also what were the felt needs that they have. What are things that they, I couldn’t have told you what it felt like to be Two women in a country that was not your own running a ministry that your dad started. I didn’t know the man is going to come and say today because I want it to be significant.
[00:34:22] So then over time, what they taught me was in one of was a doctor and one was a teacher and they left those professions. So it wasn’t, they were uneducated women. They chose to step into and they continue to use those skills and that expertise in his children’s home. But they,  they taught me about this God of the ampersand, right?
[00:34:48] They taught me about a God who is bigger than all of the great plans that I may have, and they taught me too to take a breath. And to appreciate what was around me at their children’s home. They have these, this flooring that honestly looks like a beautiful, intricate mosaic, and we were so impressed by it and then they said, yeah, we just got the scraps that nobody else wanted.
[00:35:20] The broken pieces. Cause we couldn’t afford beautiful things, but we could afford pieces of things. And so they took the mosaic and then themselves turned it into artwork and to this unique design. And I thought, how many times have I looked at something? And when it’s not boxed up in a bright, shiny bow, I think, Oh, it’s just pieces.
[00:35:46] Nothing good could come of that.
[00:35:48] Kay: Right?
[00:35:49] Ronne: That’s a waste. How much time are you going to have to take to figure that one out? And they, so they started this journey with me like, Oh my gosh, I don’t look around enough.
[00:36:01] Kay: Hmm,
[00:36:01] Ronne: to look around. There might be pieces that I’m missing, beautiful pieces.
[00:36:07] Kay: yeah,
[00:36:07] Ronne: that I have ignored because they weren’t bright, shiny, boxed up.
[00:36:12] Beautiful. And then they have this safe.
[00:36:17] Kay: Hmm.
[00:36:18] Ronne: was unlike any faith that I’d ever seen before. That was like, you know what? We’re going to, God will provide. He will take care of us. It’s okay when the time at the right time, when some somebody will come at the right time, a conversation will happen at the right time in me.
[00:36:40] I was the go-getter, like I’m going to initiate it. I’m going to get it all done. Right. Instead of instead of, Oh wait, I how many times I probably blown past a beautiful moment because I’m so, I was just hell bent on getting to the per what I thought was the perfect thing or the clever thing. How many times have I tried to take a problem and solve it with three steps?
[00:37:15] Kay: Yeah.
[00:37:16] Ronne: When the Lord was saying, you know what? It’s just you just step with me just following my step. That’s really all the steps you need. Doesn’t mean that you can’t be smart. He wants us to use our brains. He wants us to be creative. That I really thought everything had to be solved quickly. That it was going to be buttoned up, solved, done.
[00:37:42] You check off. Well, there’s that humanitarian problem done. I moved on and they; they had a faith that I hungered for.
[00:37:57] Kay: Yes.
[00:37:58] Ronne: They had a relationship with the Lord and I love Jesus and they had this relationship with the Lord. I was like, wow. They make me hungry for more of him.
[00:38:10] Kay: Yes. That happens a lot when we get kind of beyond our world here.
[00:38:15] Ronne: so, so there’s Laura century Suh in Guatemala there is,  there’s Lisa, grand Rapids, Michigan. You has an incredible ministry to teen moms and their babies. And her story started by being a teen mom and then realizing that everybody cheered for her to not have an abortion. And they all told her she did the right thing by choosing life. But then she had to walk the road of what choosing life meant, and she felt really all alone.
[00:38:48] Kay: yes.
[00:38:49] Ronne: So it wasn’t as a child who says, you know what? When I grow up, I’m going to be, I’m going to minister to teen moms. It was, I’m in crisis. I remember what it was like. I’m still walking road. I remember that pain and because I know what that pain feels like, I’m going to reach out to somebody else that might be walking that road.
[00:39:13] And it wasn’t that she started it thinking that she was going to have a huge ministry. It started with I am here and I’m willing to talk cause I know what it feels like.
[00:39:23] Kay: Yeah, yeah. And we ever looked at those simple starts, like you said, one step at a time following him.
[00:39:32] Ronne: Well, we, the Lord says, don’t despise the day of small things. Right. And we, but we want to HIG. You think, unless it is a big thing, then it’s not a bit, it’s not a good thing. It has to be big. It has to be bright, bold, super colorful. Ghana going to have a big launch and blow the roof off, and I will tell you, every single one of the women in this book will remind you that it starts with a nudge in.
[00:40:01] It starts with right where you are. You take one step. And then you take the next step, you take the next step, and those steps may happen just one right after the other. It might be Steph and pause and pause and dwell and set intent, and then a step. There’s Lucy, who she was in.
[00:40:31] Kay: Yes.
[00:40:33] Ronne: There’s none wanting to be a non. That was her life like she, her brother was a priest.
[00:40:38] Sister dad was just the thing that you did. She was going to be a nun. And so when she felt all of a sudden at 14 years down the road of sisterhood, she felt this; I need you to step away now. I just think I need you to step away. Not from, not from faith or anything like that. You’ve been faithful and stuff, but I have, I have something.
[00:41:05] Come here, come here. And she said, she literally said, it’s like she’s, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m so sorry. You don’t know what you’re talking about.
[00:41:20] Kay: Like, no, you called me to this. You can’t change it.
[00:41:24] Ronne: I’m supposed to be in this ministry and it has to look like this or else it’s not ministry. And so her story, I don’t want to spoil it for folks. It is a, it’s an incredible story, and it also shows that God doesn’t waste a thing. He did not take her from 14 years of sisterhood and burn it. It is so, oh my gosh.
[00:41:53] Kay: And he didn’t change his mind. Can you just brought her to the next steps, which she couldn’t see because we, you know, we have this, such a finite view of everything, and yet he’s outside of all that.
[00:42:08] Ronne: Yeah. He was like, Oh. He goes, Oh, you’re still a sister. We’re still married. I just need you to move from the convent now and again. Her story is phenomenal. There’s, oh, there’s Elizabeth who lives in Kenya. Oh, talk about a joy. Bring her, she’s great. She’s another one, and she’s one that thought that she had a million.
[00:42:31] She had a huge plan.
[00:42:33] Kay: Mm.
[00:42:34] Ronne: A huge plan, thinking she knew exactly what God wanted her to do as a social worker and a counselor. He turned that idea on its head, but it’s still using every idea that she came up with in her big plan that using them in a fresh way. there’s, Oh, there’s so many good. They’re just beautiful people.
[00:42:56] Kay: just going to have to get this book and read
[00:42:58] Ronne: I know you do, and then what I hope to do because folks are like, well, now what are you going to write another book? I’m like, I don’t know. You know what? I’m of an age. I don’t know if I’ll write another book, but I tell you what I want to do is I want to keep sharing stories because K is you ship, right?
[00:43:18] You read and it sparks in your mind. I’ve never looked at that person in that light before.
[00:43:26] Kay: right?
[00:43:27] Ronne: But I know somebody,
[00:43:30] Ronne: I know somebody who embraces God’s design like that. Now I just want to share those stories to continue to remind us all that we really are. His delight. We are. We are shaped physically and emotionally and spiritually in a way.
[00:43:52] Kay: yes.
[00:43:53] Ronne: that is that, that is a delight to him. He did not, there was a, there was a social media made that has gone or been floating around about the past week, and it’s like, you’re, you don’t annoy me. Love God, and I was like, it’s not like he created us and then went, well, that was garbage. What else can I do?
[00:44:15] Right? He didn’t. He still, and that is in the midst of us rejecting him, telling him we’ve got better ideas telling, you know what? We’ll call you when I’m in big trouble or all the things that we do that indicate our lack of belief. Right? We want to believe, but, but then we reveal the areas that we’re still struggling to believe.
[00:44:40] Kay: Lord, I believe, help my
[00:44:42] Ronne: Help my unbelief.
[00:44:44] Kay: prayer in the Bible.
[00:44:46] Ronne: yeah, so that’s the, like I said, that’s what I hope I want to be able to. That’s what I really hope this book does. I hope it starts conversations with us in the Lord and with us and others. I hope it opens eyes to help us see how the gloriously, we really are designed by the father.
[00:45:07] He did not make a mistake. We are not the exception. We’re not at an all saran. Women. We’re not an afterthought. Women, we’re not a, well, I dunno, somebody needs to pick up the trash. I’ll just make, make a trench, pick her up. Or,  we were designed from the beginning to be glorious. And we were designed from the beginning, man and woman to really harmonize as well.
[00:45:33] Kay: Yeah.
[00:45:35] Ronne: as in, in,  in just beautiful.
[00:45:38] Leadership of the space that we are given in this time that we are given.
[00:45:47] Kay: Yeah. That’s good. Just as we wrap up, I want to ask you a little bit about; I had asked some of my friends, you know, I told them I was going to talk to you and all they had was the title of the book, you know, and I asked for, so, so the big question was, what are the most useful tools or stories you use to inspire those.
[00:46:11] Who have you teach.
[00:46:14] Ronne: You know what tools and tips? Again, if, if I was teaching you how to have a really successful meeting. I would have some great tips and tools, and I at one point worked for general electric when I worked for NBC and the television network, and I can do a purpose process payoff and have a meeting started and finished in 20 minutes.
[00:46:36] I can get all those things down and teach you today how to do that. But when it comes to relationships. And the long road walking with other people and the suffering together, right? The compassion brains. I’m probably not going to have a lot of great three step tips, but what I am going to tell you is what I have come to understand time and time again when it comes to caring for other people.
[00:47:05] first of all, we care the most when we. Close our own mouth and listen first to what the true needs are, even if it takes a while for that person to express their needs. And Henry now and talked about, he and I will completely mess up his, his quote, but about what true friendship looks like and how suffering together with somebody and it is being quiet when they want to be quiet.
[00:47:35] It is talking when they want to talk. It is basically truly being empathetic to stepping into their lives instead of it being, okay, fine. I’m going to bring you into my life for a little bit. We’ve got 30 minutes. It is saying, no, I’m going to step into your life and I want to understand your life more.
[00:47:55] And so it is, it is taking time.  I’ve also seen it’s probably the best tool that any of us ever have, if you want to call it a tool to talking about what true transformation looks like in a life is, um, we can sit and I love scripture, but I will also tell you that there are times that we use scripture as a quick fix, right?

The Power of Sharing Stories

00:48:23] Instead of having the hard conversation. If somebody is in pain, let me spout a plat. I’ll else that a Psalm to you just to be here. This is, you know, what God says instead of saying; you know what? It stinks right now what you’re going through, and I don’t fully understand it, but I’m, I’m willing to listen and I want to walk the road with you.
[00:48:43] And then we’re both going to pray together about it and see what God tells us together as the walking this road. But this is what I do now. And I can say with confidence, I can tell you about what God has done in my life and the transformation that he’s made in my life, in certain areas, knowing that that is covered by the power of Jesus Christ.
[00:49:09] And so, and if you’d like, that’s revelations 1211. My testimony, testimony of our lips, of the transformation that’s in our lives. I can’t, I can’t tell you how to fix your life altogether, but I can sure show you what God’s done in mine[00:49:25] and I have confidence that Christ was, is and is to come the Redeemer and that will help overcome.
[00:49:38] Time and time again. Now when it comes to stories that I share, you’re going to find out most of the stories that I share, just personal stories about my life. It’s not like, well, let me tell you, I did this and then I did this and then I did this. What I’ve seen is that God is so gracious to speak to us in a variety of ways.
[00:49:59] In small interactions with other folks I use in. What you find in the book is that I talk a lot about what God has taught me at that through history or what he’s taught me through nature and things that that sometimes when you’re trying to share and help somebody taking it out of a personal. The story, I guess taking it from, well, you know, yes, I had to flee a bad, and this is what I did.
[00:50:28] I did these three steps, and it was all done. What I can also though, when the big story is, is to encourage someone to walk the hard road toward healing? I don’t know. For me, I might talk to you about two volcanoes in Guatemala. One that’s has is furious and just destructive. And then the other one that storm it, but the fire of the one actually fertilizes the soil of the other. And so the best coffee is on this dormant volcano that’s standing next to this really nasty mile volcano that has destroyed lives and homes and futures. And that reminds me of like, okay, no matter how that it gets, there’s a redemptive destination.
[00:51:19] Kay: Right, right. And I actually took. I highlighted apart from that chapter where you talk about those two volcanoes and I had a friend who needed some encouragement and I, I might not have been allowed to do this because it was a pre-released copy, but I snapped a picture of this paragraph at the end of that chapter.
[00:51:38] I
[00:51:39] Ronne: Hey, contract contraband care is still good care. It is. No, I that I’m, I’m honored by that, that story. There are several stories and I just love, I love how God’s, again; he speaks to us through scripture, but he confirms all, he confirms his truth in a sunrise, in the quiet of the sunset, in seasons, in,  The behavior of a baby.
[00:52:10] He just has so many. He’s such an excellent teacher and reminder of his grace and mercy and kindness and the fact that he does teach us he, he says that he is not gonna. He’s not gonna let us down. He says he’s the author and the Perfector. He is gonna finish what he started. He is really going to finish what he started in us.
[00:52:37] And so it goes back to that. If I really see myself as designed by him as a, as a beautiful reflection of his character and his grace and his mercy, and I know that he is not going to ever leave me or forsake me.
[00:53:01] Kay: right.
[00:53:02] Ronne: Then that gives me confidence when the times are not great cause he also promises in scripture that there’s going to be suffering, that it’s not going to be easy.
[00:53:11] And I would give anything to, if I was an editor right now,  a development editor, like in a novel, I’d be so stripping those things out of scripture and saying, I’m sorry. They just, um, they don’t advance the narrative. They just need to be stripped out. We’re just going to have a single narrative.
[00:53:28] But. Mmm. They’re there, which to me and what I pray that this book and just our lives in your podcasts. Okay. Or just reminders that he, he designed us with purpose. He designed us for purpose. He designed us on purpose. It was not an accident.  She has purpose is far bigger and far more imaginative than we could ever like claim to.
[00:53:56] And just to, to hold on to those things, to reply, say reclaim them because they were there. They’d been there since the beginning. I think we have, we’ve sacrificed so many because we, we don’t believe that he might actually love us that much.
[00:54:18] Kay: That’s some truth right there. That’s the hard truth. We don’t want to admit that, but we find it because it just kind of eats out in those moments.
[00:54:28] Ronne: yeah, and I’m still learning. I am no expert, man. I’m no expert, and I have lived with this book probably 15 times during the writing of it, and now the launching of it, like, Oh, there it is again. That’s okay though. At least I recognize it. Like, okay, that’s right. Holding on, holding on now, cause we’ve been through this before.
[00:54:56] I have felt this before and you’ve been here before. You’re here. So yeah.
[00:55:04] Kay: Yeah, and it’s going to be exciting to see what he does with this, this book, because I know you have, I, we, it’s been two years since we talked on this podcast. I mean,
[00:55:16] Ronne: That was well, two years ago I had John. Did I just,
[00:55:20] Kay: we talked about it and teeny, teeny, tiny bit. It was kind of like a mentioned that you were working on a book.
[00:55:26] Ronne: yeah,
[00:55:28] cause I had just, because at that point it was like, Oh my gosh, it’s a real book. It’s not, it’s not just the, my original idea, which was I’m just going to share these great stories about these women and I’m going to try to raise a little money with it. And yay. But it was the idea that it was actually going to end up being a book of transformation two years ago.
[00:55:53] I don’t know if I still believing it. I was just walking the road of realizing that, Oh wow, they’re, they’re just really Mark something here.  
[00:56:03]Kay: Yeah,
[00:56:05] Ronne: And. It’s been a vulnerable journey and it’s, and so it shall remain, but it’s okay. Right?
[00:56:14] Kay: yeah, yeah.
[00:56:15] Ronne: like, come on, I’ll take that. Bring your vulnerability to me.
[00:56:18] It’s fine, girl. I got you.
[00:56:20] Kay: he does. He, he’s good with that. Yeah. I tell us how we can find you on the, on all the internet things
[00:56:29] Ronne: All the
[00:56:30] Kay: well, maybe not. I’ll admit it. You know, all the, all the places because you, you,  it’s, you write wonderful words, words of encouragement and truth that are just always a nice sweetener for my Facebook feed.
[00:56:44] You know?
[00:56:45] Ronne:   you were kind, you know, I just, I have told people I am addicted to hope aye. Because God’s hope does not disappoint.
[00:56:54] Hope does not disappoint. And. I really, I see. When I see the future in a person or whatever, I always see a redemptive destination.  And for the longest time I tried to hide that because it felt, I don’t know, kind of felt.
[00:57:11] In some ways I thought, Oh gosh, it sounds like Pollyanna, but it’s not. It is not the, it’s not effortless effort. Bessant yay. It’s all going to be good guys. Stuff. It is this gritty hope that goes to war,
[00:57:30] Kay: Yeah,
[00:57:31] Ronne: That isn’t afraid to get messy.  cause that’s how God is, right? He is not afraid to get in the trenches with us.
[00:57:38] So,
[00:57:39] Kay: Well, that’s faith. When, when the Bible describes faith, it’s substance. So if you were, you know, if you look up faith and you try to, like, if you do an image search for faith, you didn’t get pictures of churches and angels and clouds, what you should really get as a Rock.
[00:58:01] Ronne: That’s true. Big Boulder. It’s got grit on it. Right.
[00:58:07] So,  I, it’s RonneRock pretty much everywhere. And that is R O N N E. Even though autocorrect will misspell it, it’s okay. And again, short for Veronica and Ronnie, the with the no eyes, just. Just to be different, I guess, but it’s
[00:58:28] Kay: Hmm
[00:58:28] Ronne: also on Instagram, I’m running Rock on Facebook, just slightly different.
[00:58:34] It’s running Rock, right? And that’s my author page. And then if someone wants to buy the book, one woman can change the world. The easiest way to do it, you can find it anywhere books are sold or you can go to one woman can change the And the links are all there. Everything is there for you to make it easy.
[00:58:56] But yeah, it’s available.
[00:58:58] Kay: All
[00:58:59] Ronne: buy it and  in, and it will be released
[00:59:05] Kay: Yeah. Yes.
[00:59:06] Ronne: the, into the homes of kind souls everywhere.
[00:59:12] Kay: Absolutely. For sure. And I’ll have those links in the show notes for, for everybody who’s driving and can come back later.
[00:59:23] Ronne: Yes. Do not use your phone right now to make a purchase. Yeah.
[00:59:31] Kay: Awesome. Ronnie, it’s always such a pleasure to talk with you.
[00:59:35] Ronne: Oh, this was so good. I wish we lived close to each other just so we could hang out and have coffee all the time.
[00:59:40] Kay: Yes, that’d be awesome. I’ll be right over.
[00:59:43] Ronne: Good.

Speaking to Connect with Your Audience – Interview with Aurora Gregory

Speaking to Connect with Your Audience – Interview with Aurora Gregory

Public speaking is one of the best marketing tools you could ever hope to employ. Aurora Gregory coaches speakers on every aspect of the speaker life. In this interview, she shares tips for virtual speaking opportunities, and more.

Ep. 43 Aurora Gregory

Key Takeaways

  • Public speaking is one of the best marketing tools.
  • You can have an audience any time you want.
  • This new season creates opportunities.
  • There are ways to translate the live experience to a virtual one.
  • Tell stories.
  • Make eye contact.
  • Create a meaningful experience for your audience.

Get Picked: Tips, Tricks and Tools for Creating An Irresistible Speaker Proposal

by Aurora Gregory & David Pitlik (Amazon Link)

Here’s an earlier interview with Aurora, about public speaking and the fears every entrepreneur has to face –

Tap the “+” below to open the transcript


[00:00:00] Kay: Hey Aurora, thank you so much for joining us again on the podcast. How have you been.
[00:00:06] Aurora: Okay, it’s great to be here. Thank you so much for inviting me back. And I’ve been really good. It’s been, a busy season,  an exciting season, certainly there’s lots going on in the world, but, it’s also created a lot of opportunity to go for things to, you know,  to bloom and prosper in my own life.
[00:00:21] So I’m, I’m, I’m very doing very well.
[00:00:23] Kay: Oh, that’s good to hear. Very good. Now, Aurora, you, you coach people with public speaking and you, I mean, you’re like one of the go to people. Well in the industry, you know, people from corporations kind of leaders are coming to you for advice to how to present their ideas on, on stage. But the stages recently have been a little hard to come by haven’t they?
[00:00:49] Aurora: They, you know, they have, and I they’ve been hard to come by. Some of them have. I’ve slipped away and some of them are just changing venues. So,   obviously we’re,   at this recording where, you know, in the middle of,   kind of all managing this kind of pandemic and COVID-19, and it’s changed a lot of, a lot of things for speakers.
[00:01:08] And so  what I’ve really noticed is that,  Most of the events, lots of events are at least in the immediate future have moved themselves to a virtual platform,  which I’m very encouraged by,  in a season like this, a situation like this, it would be so natural to just want to just cancel and just everyone kind of throw up their hands and say, you know what?
[00:01:27] We can’t do it. We’re just going to let it go.  other events,  that have been scheduled for where we are in this, in the calendar and the spring season have moved to the fall. And I’m again, encouraged by that, because that means people are hopeful that things are going to get better and we’ll be able to gather,   again, and then others are also, you know, contemplating hybrid events.
[00:01:46] And I think that is really going to be something that we’re probably going to see more of in the future is events that. Perhaps limit the number of registrations number of people that can attend, but then they’ll make a virtual ticket available. So while it on the face of it, and certainly when everything first started to change.
[00:02:06] I think it was a very scary time for a lot of speakers.  certainly on the corporate side, things were changing rapidly, but for individuals, speakers,  authors who were speakers,  even pastors churches, you know, there was a lot of change immediately and it was, and it was scary and then slowly, but, you know, very progressively, everyone seemed to get their footing.
[00:02:27] And one of the things that. I adopted for myself at the beginning. All of this is well, what does the season make possible? And I think a lot of speakers have really what I’ve been able to see is speakers that have leaned in and look for were possibilities and opportunities to continue to serve the audiences that they really believe they’re called to serve.
[00:02:51] And that’s been. That’s been just super encouraging to me. And it’s been wonderful to come alongside speakers and coach them and encourage them,  help them kind of sort out ideas,  validate the things that they want to do. So,  lots of opportunity, even, even during times of great change, there’s always lots of opportunity.
[00:03:08]Kay: Yeah. I always love to hear people say that because I think that’s where a lot of times these, these are the places in history where we make big leaps. You know, somebody discovers something, somebody changes the way they do something. And sometimes that’s just a, seems like a small change or it might seem like a big change at first.
[00:03:26] And then it kind of seems small. And then you look back years later and you go, wow. That’s when everything shifted.
[00:03:33] Aurora: It’s very, very true.  I have a,  a dear friend who has been a,  corporates. Presentation skills trainer for probably close to 30 years. All of his, all of his offerings have been live and in person. So when everything started to change,   his calendar cleared quickly. And, I had talked to him about trying to, adjust his, his offering to offer things that were either virtual or to, put together digital trainings that.
[00:04:01]could be done through a video course and he was really resistant to it. But then when all of this happened,  you know, it took a couple of weeks to kind of like absorb the shock and then saw that this created opportunity because his calendar had cleared, he had plenty of time to lean into.
[00:04:19] Okay, well, what would my virtual offerings look like? What do my trainings now? How would I deliver them virtually.  how do I, how, how would I translate my materials that way? And he’s been able to do that and has been able to rebook some of his business,  through a virtual channel and that wouldn’t, he wouldn’t have ever considered it, had this situation, not, not arisen.
[00:04:40] And so that’s exciting that it’s exciting to see people like him do things like that.
[00:04:44] Kay: absolutely. How, how has it changed what you do in the way that you do your work?
[00:04:49] Aurora: So for me, it’s really been about,  coaching speakers,  to pitch themselves differently is one of the things that I, one of my strengths is helping people form and shape their pitches so that they can pitch themselves for speaking gigs and land those stages. And so while the pitches for the most part, the same, what you now have to try to communicate as a speaker is.
[00:05:15] How do you, how are you going to be able to connect with that virtual audience that you would have maybe had a meet and greet after your presentation at a meet and greet table or how the live Q and a, like, how are you going to translate that and how are you there to help. The event planner, the event, presenter,  manage that digital experience so that the audience really gets something that’s deep and meaningful.
[00:05:42] it is, it is absolutely possible to create a meaningful,  engaging experience online it’s possible. But you have to think about that. And so that has to get kind of translated into your presentation, your pitch materials, so that they understand what you’re there to bring. And then the other part of what’s really changed.
[00:06:00] For me is how to help clients understand the, the differences, the nuances that they have to be sensitive to when they’re presenting in a virtual environment is very different. So kind of present in a room.  you can’t really see your audience all the time.  you feel a little lonely in a room. And so how do you bring that same energy that you would have brought to this from the stage,  to your, to that virtual experience?
[00:06:26] So that the audience is just as nourished by what you have to offer?
[00:06:31] Kay: Right. That’s good. Yeah. It’s hard. It’s hard on both sides of that. I think it’s hard for the presenters and it’s also hard for people, especially if, you know, if your zoom meeting number four of the day, or, you know, if your speaker number. three or four or five or seven or whatever in your virtual event, it’s just so hard to keep people focused on that screen.
[00:06:54] And it’s, I mean, it’s physically hard on the eyes. It’s, you’re sitting, you’re in so many things working against you.
[00:07:02] Aurora: There, you know, are things that work against you there, you know, the things that you can do to engage people, but you’re so right. And the whole idea of, perhaps in,  in your live presentation, you might not have used slides. In your presentation a lot, especially maybe motivational speakers, you maybe use slides or you didn’t use very many and they may not have had as much,  you know, much to them visually as a virtual presenter.
[00:07:28] One of the things that is you have to be super sensitive to is your audiences. You’ve gotta be able to give them something to see on the screen and it’s got to change, or you do end up with what we call the glaze factor. They just kind of glaze over.  you’ve gotta be able to change the slide.  anything you can do to ask questions, to engage them, maybe even during your presentation, if you’ve got a polling feature, say you’re doing a webinar for someone and they’ve got a polling option.
[00:07:56] That’s available to you ask your audience questions,  as you go, as opposed to waiting until the end, those types of things are really, really important.  because you know, your audience can drift. It’s so easy to get distracted by whatever’s on your desk and feel like you’re multitasking, almost like listening to listening to some radio program while you work.
[00:08:16] And, as a speaker, you want to be able to. To lock them in. And so that’s really something that we talk about,  when I’m coaching folks and helping them manage that virtual experience.
[00:08:27]Kay: but I love that you’re talking about opportunities. I mean, what even. Yeah. We mentioned that all these events getting counseled and everything, and then a lot of them getting pushed and, and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of calendar acrobatics still to come as, as we
[00:08:44] start
[00:08:44] Aurora: way to put it. Yes. Calendar acrobatics
[00:08:46] Kay: That’s a, you might as well make it sound fun.
[00:08:48] Right. You know, so we’ll just, you know, as all these dates are getting, getting moved around,  but you you’ve, you’ve used the word opportunity so much. And that’s one of the things I love about you is, is that you are a bright side kind of person, you know, but, do you think that there might even be more opportunities for people to break into speaking these days?
[00:09:12] Aurora: you know, I, I, that’s a, that’s an interesting question. And I, and I really do think that there, that that’s true,  because live events are either going to be either, either not possible or they’re going to be limited.  and we can talk a little bit about some of the limitations that I’m hearing from, you know, kind of the event industry.
[00:09:31] More and more is going to be shifted to the virtual experience. And so,  I think you’re going to see a lot more,  opportunities and calls for speakers, for things like speaker for, summits on various topics. people who,  have member communities or. You know, we’re hosting live events.
[00:09:48] I know I was supposed to be a speaker at a live event in Orlando.  this week I was actually supposed to be in Orlando this week. And if, you know, obviously it was canceled. And so the event planner made the decision. He decided that,  he had 25 speakers that were supposed to be presenting this week.
[00:10:04] And he asked us all for kind of a five to seven minute, little snatch of what we might be offering.  At the conference and he put it all together and it became this five and a half hour live summit that he ran on Facebook and it was awesome. And, you know, I enjoy putting together, something special for his audience and it was great to be part of that group.
[00:10:28] I think we’re going to see a lot more of that and that, that creates opportunity.  you know, some of us have speakers. Might not ever have considered a virtual event, we might not ever have considered pitching ourselves for,  for a summit type event or, or even considered, offering our own, you know, our own training, our own mini events.
[00:10:47] We might not ever have considered that we might, some of us have made, been resistant to doing Facebook live because we just liked the live experience so much more. And so what the situation, the audience can’t see that vacay just pointed at hers.
[00:11:03] Kay: Yeah, I did. That was
[00:11:04] Aurora: we’re recording this over zoom so we can see each other and she just kind of pointed at herself.
[00:11:08] And so, you know, for those of you who have been resistant to zoom, one of my, one of my spirit courage moments, Is that as a speaker, you can have an audience anytime you want, and that’s called live streaming. So, you know, this situation, this season creates opportunities that are not just, you know, I don’t want anyone to think that the, the opportunities that present themselves are just kind of stop gaps for right now.
[00:11:34] They’re just what you do right now, until things get back to normal, these could be very meaningful.  Additions to your speaking business, to your author business, to your entrepreneurial efforts.  I’m, I’m a big believer that public speaking is probably one of the best marketing tools you could ever hope to employ because it gives you the opportunity to.
[00:11:58] Navigate or to,  expose your business and your, what you have to offer to the greatest number of people. At one time you can network from a stage and now we’re losing, using the word stage very loosely. You can, now you can network from the stage.  In a way that you couldn’t edit at a live event, if you went to a conference or even, I always use this example.
[00:12:19] If you went to a chamber of commerce mixer in your local town or local city, and say there were 125 people at that event, it’s. It’s virtually impossible for you to have a meaningful conversation with even half of the people that are there with 75 people, you can’t do it. It’s, it’s, it’s physically impossible in the, in the amount of time that you have there, but from the stage, you can share who you are and what you offer in a meaningful way.
[00:12:49] With countless people and they get a chance to know you and the ones that are very interested in what you have to share. They kind of separate themselves right after that presentation and come up and engage with you. And now you have a great set of folks that are interested and that you are interested in knowing, and that you can now begin cultivating a relationship with, and that happens on the stage.
[00:13:11] It doesn’t, there’s just not a,  a more,  You know, better be great bang for your buck type of marketing tool than public speaking.
[00:13:22]Kay: I think what we do a lot of times, you know, like when I pointed to myself, when you started talking about,  you guys should have seen that one day, I’ll start to EnVideo recording of the podcast. But because of this, I, you know, I’m not used to being on camera. I’m actually used to being behind the camera.
[00:13:39] Part of my background is as a camera operator. And so it’s just strange for me to be on the other end, but. doing the Facebook lives and stepping out. I think one of the things that people think is besides the whole mechanics of it, or how do I look? And all of that is what qualifies me to be a speaker.
[00:14:01] Aurora: that’s right. That’s right. And you know, one of those, I think we all get nagged by that question. What qualifies me to fill in that blank? What qualifies me to be a trainer? What qualifies me to make designer cookies? Like what? Qualified, like whatever your entrepreneurial life, what qualifies me to be an author?
[00:14:21] Whatever your, your, your thing is whatever has been pressed on your heart or whatever your gift and talent is that you want to put into the world. We all get nagged by that question. I deal with it. And I know that, you know, the,  the mindset folks call it imposter syndrome and all of those, all kinds of things.
[00:14:38] Great things that you can Google about it. And I know for me is, you know, when I was, you know, struggling with that question and when it, and when it crops up for me and it, it never fully goes away, it just kind of comes in in a different way, because it takes a different form. I always have to ask myself, my, my, my retort is always, well, why not?
[00:14:56] You. Why not you, and there’s really not an answer to that. There’s no reason why it can’t be me. And I would encourage all of us to really lean into that question, especially, those of us who were people of faith and, believe that the Lord has a calling on our lives to,  put the things that he’s gifted us with, the talents that he’s allowed us to develop and cultivate to put those into the world, to help people.
[00:15:25] Why not? You,  you can’t let the nagging,  insecurity, keep you from moving forward. be willing to lean and skip past that, to push past that trusting and believing that if the, if the vision for that was, was placed on your heart and mind to do that, God has gone before you, and that he has cleared your path and the path may not be, you know, may not be completely clear as to how it’s going to go, but he’s cleared it.
[00:15:54] He’s gone before you, and he has something for you and he wants to use you to deliver something to others. So. I, without going too deep into that, on the VAT trail, I just want to encourage you. Don’t, you know, don’t, don’t be discouraged by that nagging voice, just, you know, kick it to the side and keep it moving.
[00:16:14] Kay: Yeah. There you go. and anybody that’s listening to this podcast, I think you know that you have a calling, you have a purpose; you have a message. So this is part of it.
[00:16:27] I think anybody with a message sooner or later, you’re going to be in front of a group, whether it’s five people on a zoom call or 10 people in a Bible study. Or thousands of people, my first ever Sunday sermon that I ever preached, what’s the 3000 people.
[00:16:44] Aurora: Oh my goodness. Doesn’t Jesus. Have a great sense of humor. He says, like he says, come on. Can I got something for you to do?
[00:16:53] Kay: I had like two days to prepare for that, because I was traveling with a group of people who were all very talented and experienced speakers and Bible teachers. And we were in Uganda and  they said, Oh, kale, speak this Sunday. And I was like, looking around for like another K or something. And it’s not that I didn’t.
[00:17:15] I knew at some point I was going to be on a platform. I just didn’t think it was going to start like that.
[00:17:21] Aurora: right.
[00:17:21] Kay: You know, I needed, I need to pay my dues. Y’all don’t be throwing me in front of all these people right now, but it was wonderful.
[00:17:31] And, and, uh, you know, it’s, I always tell people I have more trouble probably speaking to a dozen people than I do to a thousand.
[00:17:38] So I don’t know. We’re all different.
[00:17:41] Aurora: Well, I think, you know, and I think in this season, and as people try to approach,  you know, this kind of virtual experience that I think is probably the, You know, one of the great challenges is when you’re in front of an audience,  you feel like you can develop a kind of a quick rapport with them and, and kind of draw some energy from them in the virtual experience.
[00:18:04] you kind of have to come with that energy,  or figure out a way some other creative ways to develop it.  I think this is one of the groups that I have. I have, I have prayed for deeply and have really seen grow in this season is pastors because they, you know, live off of the live audience, speaking experience them as speakers.
[00:18:26] And so now they don’t have that, or they have very few people in the room. And so they’ve had to really kind of lean in, you know, one of the, one of the tips that I give speakers who are struggling with that is. As you get ready to approach your, your presentation is to really have some clarity around a person.
[00:18:45] It may be someone, you know, it may be someone that is commenting as part of the marketing of the event that you’re going to be speaking at, or if it’s a professional development experience that you’re going to deliver, but to think about. A person or, or, or a few people get them locked in your mind and even perhaps see them and see them at the camera as you get started so that you can get into your routine, get into a rhythm of speaking.
[00:19:14] That’s really, I think for all speakers, the hardest part is the start and getting into that rhythm. And I think if you can do that, It’s important. And then I’m going to, you know, tell a little bit about the tip that you gave me before we got started, which is to remember to smile. And Kay showed me, took a picture of her camp of her computers that up, and she’s got a little sticky note near her camera with a, she just took a magic marker and drew a happy face on a yellow sticky, and put it right there to remind herself to smile and to come with some energy.
[00:19:46] And I think that’s great because, smiling. inspires energy and enthusiasm. So, do that and, and, and look for that, but, but see your audience, see the people that you’re serving and speak to them, you know, speak to them and it will help you so much in trying to get past, as you develop a comfort level with speaking in the virtual world.
[00:20:11] Kay: I think we’ve seen that. I’ve seen on social media, some pictures, you know, from pastors and churches that they’ve, I think one of them had puppets sitting in the seats and, you know, they brought in the props from the kids’ ministry and preaching to the puppets and then another one had,  had printed out photographs of people.
[00:20:28] From the congregation, you know, and put them in the chair, as I thought. That’s awesome to think that out ahead of time now I need my end to be thinking specifically.
[00:20:39] Aurora: about these people. Yeah. It’s so true. And that what’s great for them is that, you know, generally they’re seeing the same people weekly, maybe twice a week or more so that they can, they, they probably even have an idea of like, Oh, okay. Ken and Aurora, they sit over here on Sunday. So let’s put their pictures over here cause that’s where I’m used to seeing them.
[00:21:00] but I think, I think that’s, that’s such a great idea. And you know, even if you could, if, if you, as a speaker are able to do that, if you have,  Any kind of insight into the audience that’s coming. You know, if there’s been a Facebook group, for instance, that’s been created for your events, grab those, you know, those little thumbnail everybody’s profile shot tape, some of them up around you so that you can see them and, and engage with them.
[00:21:23] There’s there’s so there are ways to translate the live experience to a virtual. You’re just going to have to think about it. You’re gonna have to be creative, get all the, what is it? My cousin of mine says, get all of your frustrations about the situation, get it all out your system and then lean in, but you know, allow yourself to feel all those things are feelings are real and genuine, but get it all out.
[00:21:47] And then say, Oh, and then ask yourself, okay. Now what am I going to do? What does this make possible? What can I do to create a meaningful experience? Because you’re still a speaker and that’s still the foundational goal of what it is that you want to do is to create a meaningful experience for your audience.
[00:22:05] Kay: Well, let’s lean into that a little bit. Just I’m whether it’s, you know, in the new situation or, or just, you know, there, there are. Timeless truths to what it takes to connect with an audience as a speaker. What are some of those that we can keep in mind? No matter the situation.
[00:22:23] Aurora: Yeah. Whether it doesn’t matter what kind of speaking experience I don’t care if, and I certainly count this as a speaking experience. I don’t care if you’re updating your manager across a table, across the desk. One of the best ways to engage an audience and draw them in quickly is with a story is to start your presentation with a story.
[00:22:45] everyone loves a story. Everyone loves to know. You know, well, what’s going to happen. There’s a particular speech that I give,  related to my personal testimony. And I, I start that presentation with,  with the story, even before I even introduce myself, I kind of let the audience kind of settle in and I realize I’ve got their attention.
[00:23:07] And without any introduction of who I am, I start the story and I talked for about two minutes and then I pause. And then I introduce myself and then I take them into my presentation. Every, every topic that we have to talk about should have a story that we can offer our audience so that they can see themselves.
[00:23:31] In the context of the topic,  there might be characters or people that you can speak to that allows them to see. Okay, who am I in this story? And I think that’s what you really want to be able to do. And I, it it’s, it’s certainly powerful. In a live presentation. One could make the argument that it’s almost essential in a virtual experience because as we talked about trying to engage that audience and hold them, everyone always wants to know how the story ends.
[00:23:58] And if you’re holding them and weaving your story in with your content, you can get them to the end and wanting to, you know, and bring them to the end of the story, whatever it is that you’re wanting them to come away with, that’s going to be that masterful ending.
[00:24:12]Kay: So we’re using story. We’re using eye contact work. We’re connecting with the audience in all kinds of ways, every kind of way that we can think of.
[00:24:21]And we’ve said earlier that public speaking is powerful, powerful marketing tool. What makes it so powerful?
[00:24:30]Aurora: you know, it’s a couple of things.  One is. Kind of the, the, the volume of one to many that ratio of being able to communicate one to many,  two is the impact that you can make,  in, from a stage. You know, when you take the stage, your goal is either to train or teach,  motivate or encourage. Those are essentially the things that you are going to be trying to do from the stage.
[00:25:03] You’re a motivational speaker. You’re probably more of a motivator or encourager. If you were offering a service or something that you teach people to do, obviously you’re training or educating people and what makes it so powerful is that people come to hear a speaker because they want those things.
[00:25:22] They want to be trained. They want to learn something. They want to be encouraged. They want to be motivated to do something. And as a speaker one, because you’re on the stage and you have the microphone you’re immediately viewedd as someone who has knowledge and authority. Everyone believes everybody who believes the person who’s at the microphone and, and that’s a good thing.
[00:25:44] so you have that powerful position of being able to. To to offer that from the stage you have the power to make,  to make a life changing deposits into someone’s life. Even if you’re talking about your business, even if, you know, I love to, you know, that the example of, of even just a cookie designer and someone who creates beautiful cookies,  when someone has the problem of, gosh, what am I going to do for my five-year-old’s birthday to make it special?
[00:26:08] That’s a problem. And they’re looking for a solution and you’re here to educate them on how a cookie can do that.
[00:26:15] Kay: That’s right.
[00:26:16] Aurora: So the power of public speaking is that you are able to bring what people are desperately looking for a solution to a problem that they have.  you’re able to bring that to them from the stage.
[00:26:31] You’re able to either give them something in that immediate moment that they can take and apply and solve their problem, at least in the short term, or you’re able to, to show them. I know what I’m talking about, and you can do this thing and make a difference, or we can work together and we can make a magical difference, a meaningful difference, but you’re letting them know they’re not alone.
[00:26:54] The solution exists to their problem and they can have it. They don’t have to stay in the place that they are. And there is nothing, I don’t think more wonderful than being able to offer that to people, to make a life changing difference. And then to hear later, Hey, I did what you said and it made all the difference.
[00:27:12] I know that one of my greatest joys is when I hear that someone either heard me or picked up a copy of my book, get picked, used the tools. Created a great speaker proposal and got picked to speak. And I get a message from them saying, Hey, I did what you said. And I got picked, I got the speaking gig.
[00:27:33] There’s nothing like that.
[00:27:35] Kay: Yeah. Yeah, it really is. I, I recently asked on my Facebook page, what if I were to teach a class? What, what should I teach? And it’s funny because I used to, I taught for one year and a little private school, and one of my former students was the first person to respond to that question. And she, she, it was kind of, you know, with a wink she’s like geography, because that was the topic.
[00:27:59] That was what I taught.
[00:28:03] Aurora: but what a meaningful, what a meaningful impression that you made on her that she’s still not only remembered you, but remembered the, the topic that you taught.
[00:28:13] Kay: Yeah.
[00:28:14] Aurora: think that’s fabulous.
[00:28:15] Kay: Oh, it made me feel great. I mean, it just totally made my day. That was actually this morning. It just, I was,  you know, I had to run out and tell everybody in the house.
[00:28:28] Aurora: That’s awesome. And we can have those same experiences as a speaker. When we use that as a marketing tool in our business, you know, marketing is not, it’s not a bad word. It’s about building relationships with people who are already looking for what it is that you offer. That’s it. That’s what marketing is.
[00:28:45] It’s not there. Doesn’t have to be a sleaze factor. You don’t have to be smarmy. You don’t have to be constantly selling, selling, selling. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about building your relationships with people who are already looking for what it is that you have to offer them.
[00:28:59] Kay: Yeah, you’re just delivering what people need
[00:29:01] Aurora: That’s right.
[00:29:02] And your help making it easy for them to find it.  They’re already looking, you’re just wanting to make it easy for them. And, you know, public speaking as a part of that, there are certainly lots of other tools that are out there that, you know, we all use and deploy and I’m okay. I know you’ve got some, had some great guests and we’ll continue to have people who talk about all of those other things, but, you know, that’s, that’s what you do.
[00:29:23] When you, when you decided to get up on a stage is, is get out there and help people find what they’re already looking
[00:29:29] Kay: Yeah. Aurora. That’s awesome. You’re always so encouraging. And I love that we’ve talked a lot about opportunity, but there’s a previous interview that I did, gee, almost two years ago that you and I talked about the fears that people have about public speaking. So I will link to that in the show notes. I’ll link to,  Aurora’s book.
[00:29:53] I will,  Put the link to connect. You can connect directly with Aurora and see all the wonderful things that she’s doing and in her business. And do you have some just parting words of encouragement for us? I know we’ve all, you know, everybody’s still trying to figure things out. And,  I think that public speaking world is kind of, it’s, it’s a great place of opportunity and I just.
[00:30:21] You know, you’ve, you’ve got so much good to say.
[00:30:25] Aurora: You know, the public speaking world is,  is, is not falling off a cliff. If anything, it is sprouting new opportunities. It’s sprouting new ways for,  for expansion it’s, it’s, it’s providing new ways for all of us to connect with our audiences. And you know, right now, obviously we’re all living, you know, at the time of this recording, we’re living a shared experience, but the truth is.
[00:30:50] We have experiences. We have a change of circumstances in our personal lives that affect our plans.
[00:30:56] Kay: Wow.
[00:30:57] Aurora: For all of us, we need to recognize that just because something has changed the course, it doesn’t mean that the destination has changed. We still have a plan. We still have that calling that we need to fulfill the message that we have to give the ability to use public speaking as a way to, to draw others to us,  to draw those that were meant to help.
[00:31:22] Into our world, it still exists. So I just really want to encourage everyone to look for what the season makes possible. There’s, there’s always an opportunity within.  within the challenge,  I finished a Bible study,  just a few weeks ago. We studied the book of acts and the epistles that kind of run parallel to, to the church in its early years.
[00:31:45] And the theme of the of the Bible study was unstoppable and how a God’s unstoppable message was, um, was sent around the world by his unstoppable people. For me, that was such a meaningful message to embrace at the beginning of the study, which was last September. And then as we came into the end and all the world was changing,  it was just such a reminder that what God has for our lives is unstoppable. We may have to change. Course. We may have to adjust. We may have to deal with, you know, being on a boat that feels like it’s about to be shipwrecked, but if this is the message and the calling that you have on your life, then it is unstoppable. And so lean into that. Look for creative ways,  use your community, develop new relationships,  but don’t be stopped because that would be the greatest tragedy is that you would somehow be stopped from what it is that you feel you’re called to do.
[00:32:42] So that all leave us all with that, that encouragement. I know I have to encourage myself with that sometimes. And, um, and, and I think it’s important whether it’s a global issue or whether it’s something in your personal life, do not allow yourself to be stopped.
[00:32:57] Kay: Truth. Thank you so much, Aurora.
[00:33:00] Aurora: thanks. Kay. It’s great to be here.

Fundraising Freedom, Interview with Mary Valloni

Fundraising Freedom, Interview with Mary Valloni

Mary Valloni has helped thousands of individuals and organizations overcome the lack and scarcity mindset to fund and fulfill their missions. Her award-winning book is Fundraising Freedom: 7 Steps to Build & Sustain Your Next Campaign.

Interview with Mary Valloni

Talking about money

While many of us shy away from conversations about money, Mary tackles the money issue straight-on. How does she know the money problem can be overcome? She’s done it. In a recession.

“Let’s just start dreaming, because there’s no reason why money should ever stop anyone from fulfilling the vision that God has given to them… If money is your biggest problem right now, I’ve got something to tell you. That can be overcome. We can tackle that. That is easy on the scale of what to overcome.”

Mary Valloni

Mary’s enthusiasm and her joy are contagious. We need more people like her. One of the big problems for fundraisers, especially in ministry, is that we do it alone. So, Mary teamed up with Mike Kim, a top personal brand and marketing expert. They created Fully Funded Academy, which helps missionaries get – you guessed it – fully funded.

The process for missionaries or nonprofits of any size is similar, following the seven-step framework laid out in Mary’s Fundraising Freedom book.

Our focus in this interview is on mindset, because during a crisis it’s easy to assume people aren’t going to give. But that’s not the case!

“This is not the time to freeze and to slow down. This is absolutely the time to innovate and to  figure out what is what, go back to the foundation of why you created this thing in the first place, and realize that your vision has not changed one bit. We are just going to do this a little bit differently.”

Mary Valloni

What can we do right now?

Mary’s top advice right now? Communicate frequently, because that’s what friends do. Now is the time to check in on our supporters, to see how they’re doing, and to ask for their advice. Share the wins, even the little wins. There is a lot of bad news these days, so your good news will get noticed. “We all need each other. Some people are going to have the finances; some people are going to have the passion, the time commitment to go and do the physical work. But we are all in this together.”


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Tap the “+” below to open the transcript



Hey, Mary, thank you so much for being here.


Thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of the show.  


Let’s get to know you a little bit. What is it that you do for people?


So I am a fundraising coach, consultant and trainer. That’s what I tell people. I basically just help them. Help ministries and charities raise money. So I’ve been doing this for, well, I feel like forever. I was the one who was raising money through candy bar sales and elementary school, you know, and moving up through selling stuff in high school, going on those marketing or business trips, and then ended up college mission trips and other stuff that I was raising money for. 

But it was during my college years that I really felt a call to help people raise money and help others with that. So I started working for Special Olympics, the ALS Association and the American Cancer Society.

And during my time at the American Cancer Society, I had put on this signature fundraising event that net a half a million dollars during the great recession. And during that season it was like one of those moments where everybody started to kind of lean in and say, what the heck are you doing?

Like how did you raise a half a million dollars in new money in the middle of a recession? And so that’s where I started pulling apart the pieces to what we did and why we were so successful and that ultimately turned into the content that I share in my book, Fundraising Freedom, and what I teach.

You know, I have just a variety of ways, consulting and coaching that I do to share that with other people.


Fundraising Freedom: Seven Steps to Build and Sustain Your Next Campaign, because this is the book that I give people when—I have people that contact me all the time—they say, “I want to start a ministry. I want to start a nonprofit,” and that’s the book. I say, “Go get this book.”

This is your starting point.


Awesome. Thank you.


It’s that, and Henri Nouwen’s book, The Spirituality of Fundraising. Those are the two, the two books.


That’s a good one too. That’s, yeah, it’s always funny because I do have my face on the cover of the book, and I always love when nonprofit ministry leaders have the book and they take me on flights all around the world, and you know, they’re, they’re raising money in remote locations. I’ll, yeah. All over the place.

So it definitely, it works in the United States, which is where I wrote it and thought that this is really the group that it was going to attract, but it has definitely, um, been able to help a lot of ministries around the world. So thank you for passing it along.


Yeah, well, people are people everywhere. And I think a lot of it, so much of it, it’s not really all about money. It’s, it’s about us as human beings.  It’s  And I’m not talking about like a trick, you know, psychology tricks. Like people think fundraising, psychology, tricks, you know, push that button, you know? But—it’s a lot of fundraising really is in our heads.


Yeah, absolutely. Well, and we’re all raised with a different mindset around fundraising, and so, and just around money in general. You know, like I’m the youngest of seven. I grew up with very little money. Like, I mean, everything was hand-me-downs. Money. We didn’t; we didn’t. You know, we lived in an apartment; we didn’t have a lot of stuff.

And so, but I, in the book I talk about how, uh, my best friends were all, they all came from very wealthy families. And so all of a sudden now I was, you know, hanging out at their pool and I was in there driving with them. And they’re convertibles. And I was wearing their hand-me-down clothes, but it was like the name brand stuff.

And I was like, you, you know, you don’t have to live with little or not have access to those things just because maybe you were raised that way. So there are a lot of things that I’ve learned throughout the years. But in the area of fundraising, my favorite thing is just spending so much time with people who have money, you—you realize very quickly that they are no different than you. Like, we are all human. Just like you said, like some of us, I, you know, we all have different giftings and some people are really gifted at business and, and making money. And then there’s other people who are really extremely gifted at ministry and serving people, helping people.

And typically, that doesn’t come with a huge paycheck. And that’s something that I have been on a mission to end. Is that I, I really do believe that we all deserve—we all deserve whatever God has for us. And so I, I do believe that he has an abundance for all of us, and that there’s no reason why our ministry leaders should be living in poverty or feeling that way.

So yeah,  there’s a lot that comes with that money topic, which I actually—I love it because money gets into those deep conversations pretty quickly. So when people do share with me, okay, we’re trying to raise money or this is, and I’m like, “Awesome, let’s, let’s dive in.” I love tackling that ‘cause I’m like, “Let’s, let’s just start dreaming because there’s no reason why money should ever stop anyone from fulfilling the vision that God has given to them.”

So that’s where I’m like, money. If money is your biggest problem right now, I got something to tell you. That can be overcome. We can tackle that. That is easy on the scale of what to overcome. Now you got other issues how much you focus on those things. So yeah, we can take on…


Yeah. And that’s, it’s such good news to hear that, you know? Oh yeah. That’s a problem that can be fixed.


Oh, yes, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. And we, we are in this place where it’s like; we think that some things are possible and then we think things, some things are absolutely impossible. Like there’s no way that that could ever happen. And so what happens, we don’t even try. Right? Don’t even try, because we’ve already made up our mind that that’s impossible.

And that’s where I’m like, man, when it comes to, you know, just our faith and what we believe in, I’m like, okay, scripture says that we can move mountains, like move mountains! That’s kind of a big thing. So I’m like, I’m pretty sure that the impossible, you know, that’s kind of kind of his thing. So I definitely think that it’s absolutely something that we…


Absolutely. Yeah, I’m with you on that and I, and I. I know you because you’re part of the, well, you, it’s you and Mike Kim are that you have the Fully Funded Academy that you do just for missionaries. And, I got to be; I think among the first, maybe the second group in it.


Yeah. Our first crew. Yeah, we opened it February of 2018, so wherever you landed in that mix. So it’s been a couple of years now,


Yeah. And that’s amazing because you do, you walk through these seven steps that you lay out in your book, you’re walking this group through those steps and, and teaching some of the skills and everything. But it—again, going back to the mindset—we did the workshop last year together, and the very first thing you got up and you said, “Okay. Let’s deal with the stuff in the head right upfront first thing.”


Absolutely. Well, because I didn’t realize how big that was until I started working with more and more missionaries and ministry leaders. And you know the, one of the things that I did on a work on a just a webinar training that I did with Mike when we first met, we did this training and I remember a mutual friend of ours, Nora, she works with Wycliffe and;  she said that the comment that I made that really changed everything was, “What are the lies that you’re telling yourself?”

You know, and we just started knocking down the lies. It was like, you know, that we should live in poverty, that we shouldn’t have nice cars or a nicer home, or that we should eat at certain restaurants or have certain clothes or whatever. The thing is that’s all very materialistic. I get that.

But at the same time, who’s telling us that? You know? Like that is a lie that we’ve been told, and there’s such a culture that’s been created around, “Oh, we should be living in poverty.” And now I’m not saying like, live lavishly and don’t take care of other people and be a jerk, you know, like, I’m not talking about that, but, but just calling out the lies on what we’ve told ourselves. And just the stories that we tell ourselves over and over and over again, you know? Because I was the same way. I’m like, I don’t want, if I, if I drive that kind of car, then people are gonna think this sort of thing. And then that’s gonna—and then we’d like, go on this rabbit trail of, you know, what they must think of me. And now all of a sudden I’m a bad Christian. And I was like, Ugh. Like that is not how this should be.


And that’s fear of man, too, which isn’t something that we’re not supposed to have. And so we cling more tightly to the “I’m not supposed to have money,” which is actually rooted in a fear of man. Than we cling to the truth of God.


Well, yeah, and it’s like in our program, Fully Funded. All these missionaries that have gone through whatever they’ve been through. They have been so hurt. I mean, a lot of them have been really hurt by the church, by things that have been said. And so I understand where the fear of like, well, I don’t want to post that vacation because I lost three supporters the last time I did that, you know?

So I understand where that’s coming from and we’ve all been given our lot in life.  I mean, I worked for the American Cancer Society.  You’re not going to find a picture of me smoking outside the building and be like, I mean, number one. I’ll never and have never smoked.

But, but that is so counter to the organization itself that it’s like there are certain things that you align yourself with a certain kind of image, and I get all that. But the money factor; this is something that is, yeah, definitely rooted in a lot of different places. And you know, somebody maybe who had money didn’t provide, there’s just lots of different things that are going on in our heads. So yeah, I try and knock that right at its knees right at the beginning cause I was like, “Okay, let’s dream a little bit, you know? Let’s talk about what you actually need, because you’re already saying, ‘well that’s not even possible. I couldn’t be fully funded or I couldn’t raise that kind of money for my charity.”

You’ve never done it before. So you can’t say that it’s not possible, or that it’s, you know, you can’t. You’ve never even written the number on a sheet of paper, let alone tried! You know?  So it’s like, I mean, when I raised that half a million dollars with the American Cancer Society in that first year, I had never raised a half a million dollars in a single fundraising event. The previous event that I had done was $25,000.


That’s a big jump.


Exactly. So I went from, yeah, thinking that $25,000 was the only, you know, that’s the most I could ever raise with one single fundraiser. And then all of a sudden I’m raising a half a million dollars. Well, the only thing that changed was the organization.

And I walked into that organization and I went from, Oh, I’m now working for a billion dollar nonprofit. Oh, this is a big deal. Like now all of a sudden I have this higher expectation of what’s possible for the organization. I was like, that is a mental thing. That was me just looking at the organization and based on their branding, based on my counterparts.

And then they also told me when I was hired,  you know what? Every fundraiser who comes on with us, um, they are responsible for each raising a quarter of a million dollars. And so they had gotten it in my head from day one, and it was like, you hired me. And I am responsible for raising $250,000 now. That was not the goal.

They told me to raise 50,000. And I’m like, Whoa, you just told me that every fundraiser is a quarter of a million. So I’m not going to come in here and raise a $50,000 fundraiser, I’m going to go raise—so I immediately jumped in. I’m like, this is a billion dollar nonprofit,  we’re trying to cure cancer here, kids!

We can’t raise 50,000 and just get by. Like I’m trying to raise enough money to cure cancer. We’ve got to do something! So we actually set a million dollar goal during the recession. And that’s where I tell people that could have been a failure. That could have been seen as a failure that we, we asked, we all rallied around a million dollars and we only raised a half a million dollars.

But I was given a $50,000 goal and we ten-X’d it. So it’s all about your head and like, okay, whatever direction you want to go with this, this is the glass half full or is it half empty?   That’s up to you. But that’s why I always tell people, if you have a half a million dollars, raise—like we’re going to be talking about a million.

If I’ve got a million to raise, I’m gonna be talking about 5 million or 3 million. You know? Based on your experience, how many people, especially missionaries and other ministries and nonprofits in general. They will get to like 50, 60, 70, maybe even 80% to their goal, and then all of a sudden fizzles out and dies because you set your goal at the exact dollar amount that you need and people mentally, they want it; they want to win.

So it’s like win, win, win, win, win, and then all of a sudden you’re stalled. It just stalled out. So that’s why I always, it’s just a fundraising tactic, I guess is just the fact that I’m like, set your goal higher. That way when you get halfway there, you won.

  I think that we just are like, well; we don’t want to be inauthentic.

Yeah, but I mean let’s just say I raised a million dollars. I still had a place for that million dollars. That would have been absolutely incredible. But you know what? Half a million’s darn good. I was pretty happy with that. You know? So, so I think that sometimes we just set the bar too low and, and then we mentally knock that down on top of it saying, well, we couldn’t, gosh, we’ve never done that before.

Why would we ever be able to do it now? Yeah. So, but I’m, I’m big and what I teach inside of all the stuff that I do is I always encourage people if you don’t know anybody who’s done it, it’s hard to change that mindset. So, especially for missionaries, whenever people join that program and I say, well, okay, my, my task for you, and step number two, I want you to get to know the missionaries who are fully funded.

You don’t even have to know them by name or, I mean like know them personally, but   you know that they’ve done it. And I cannot tell you how many people cannot name three fully funded missionaries. So why do we think. That we have a problem and why people are not raising the funds that they need is because they’re not surrounding themselves with people who are actually doing it and they don’t know anyone.

So then I’m like, okay, now I’m on a mission to make sure that all of you know at least three people and have a circle that can come around you. So you’re like, well, if they can do it, I can do it too. And that’s such a mental barrier for so many people. If you don’t know somebody who’s been there, you know, it’s hard. Hard to get there.


Yeah. Because what we’ll do then, I know in ministry or in what, you know, fill in the blank, whatever nonprofit you’re you’re in, we tend to think we’re the special ones that can’t raise the money.


Yeah. Yep. Yeah. And that the or you know that, yeah. There’s all these excuses. So in the season that we’re in,  I mean, come on, there’s always an excuse. And when I was raising my half a million during the great recession, all my counterparts, the people that, you know, we’re used to raising a lot of money, they all were using that as their excuse.

And they’re like, well, the economy is so tough. And you know, they used to give us this kind, now they’re not. And so there’s just a lot of reasons for why you’re not doing well. And I’m like. No, you’re not. You’re not special. It’s like we all are fighting the same challenges we all are having to go up against, and I think that that’s why, like right now, during this season, when people are losing jobs or they’re having to reinvent their businesses or reinvent their nonprofits, I love this time.

This is so much fun for me because I’m like, so many people have phoned it in for so long. Then they just, they don’t know how to adapt very well, and so you have to be able to, to modify what you do for the season because in the end, your vision has not changed. The work that you have been called to do is still the same.

Who cares if you do it in a building or you do it on a video screen or you do it over the phone or whatever, like you’re still called to do the same kind of work. So that’s where I’m like, I don’t give any of my fundraisers any excuses because we just have to modify the game plan. You know, we still are going to work.

Our seven steps that I teach that is not change, but we’re going to shift maybe the way that we talk to people and the way that we approach it, and we’re just going to be sensitive during the season, but, but we need to be that way all the time. And that’s why I’m like, you don’t want to immediately jump down somebody’s throat to ask them for cash. That’s bad business anyway.   

You have to make sure that it’s a good fit, and that this is something that they actually want to hear more information about, you know? So there’s a whole lot of stuff that goes into that as well.


Well, and I know so much of it is relationship building and when you have a relationship with people, you know, you go through good times and bad times together.


Yes. Yeah, and I, I use the example a lot of where; you know when you are, let’s just say you’re driving in a car, you get in your car and you’re driving down the highway and all of a sudden you get a flat tire. And so, okay, you pull over on the side of the road; you pick up the phone and you call a loved one, a spouse, a friend, a family member, a parent, somebody who’s going to help you.

And you call them and you’re like, I’m stuck on the side of the road. I got a flat tire. And you’re like, ah, you know, not able to this. Change it real easy, but you call them and what is the response that they have on the other end of the phone? I’m coming for you. I’m, I’m sending a truck. I will be there.

Sit still. I’m coming for you. And that’s how every relationship should be with when somebody is raising money, is that when you’re on the side of the road and you need help. You’re raising money for whatever that need is or whatever that opportunity is. You have built such a strong relationship with that person that they’re like; you need help.

I’m here. And if you have not built a relationship   number one, you wouldn’t feel comfortable calling them. Like, I mean, I’m not, I have the phone and call somebody that I haven’t talked to in 10 years that feels uncomfortable. No, they’re not going to be like, you’re aware. Uh, why did you call me? You know?

And that’s what so many of our charities are doing with people, is that they’re calling strangers or you know, Hey, I went to high school with them like I knew them a long time ago. And I’m like, yeah. Yeah. And why should they care about your work right now?   

That has nothing to do with them. So that’s where a lot of the teaching that, both myself and my business partner, Mike, you know, we lean on is just building relationships,   putting yourself out there as the expert in a certain, in whatever field you’re in, and really delivering value to people so that they know, Oh, we care about the same thing.

And so you’re going to take care of me, I’m going to take care of you. And now it’s a win, win relationship. It’s a mutual relationship that goes back and forth and that’s where, like with pastors and ministries and like, you know, whatever it is, when a church, you know, funds a missionary, there is a vested interest in that, that this person came out of our ministry and so we want to take care of them.

We want them to succeed because we care about the people that they serve. Serve. So there’s this mutual beneficial, relationship. But that’s when, yeah, you start calling on people who are like, I don’t care about kids in Africa. I mean, they’re, I’m sure they’re great. Like, I’m, you know, we should care for orphans and widows, but that’s not my thing.

Like, I care for, you know, people who are in the foster care system in the United States. Awesome. You know? So that’s all still good, but that’s where we have to, really meet people where they’re at. But yeah, relationship relationships, it’s the key. It’s the key to everything. Okay. Okay. I don’t care. Okay. You run up his family like, I mean, come on. Love people. Well, they love you. Well, and that’s true. It goes a long ways.


Yeah, I know. And, and it was, another program I had, uh, I don’t know if it’s a—I don’t even know where I got it—a book I read or something. And, and the question was not just what do you want from your donor? What do you want for your donor? And that really changes your thinking. It changes it from just the transaction to more of that relationship.


Well, and many people, especially when it comes to, um,  some sort of nonprofit, they, they feel like as the organization; you are the beneficiary. You know, so like you, when I got your money, I won. But we forget that the person who has the money, who’s giving, they also went to and if I was called to the marketplace which I am right now, but like being called to the marketplace means that you will make money. You know that you’re going to get a decent job, you’re going to get paid, for your, the work that you put in. But that does not mean that I care any less about the mission field. It just so happens that God called me into the marketplace. So as a marketplace leader, I’m still compelled to want to be a part of the mission field.

So you’re helping me. So as a charity,   you’re helping me fulfill something that I already want to do and I already feel convicted about. And I’m sitting journaling about God,   how can I be a part of something bigger than myself? How can I be a good steward of the, of the money that you’ve given to me?

And so those are the kinds of questions that are going through the minds of a donor. And now. The, the nonprofit, the charities side, it’s your job to figure out how do I get them from point a to point B and get them to actually know that we’re an option, that I, I’m a solution to their problem.

You know? So, so that whole process, I think that we forget that they actually have a problem that we can solve. You know, I spoke to a guy yesterday who   he is in the marketplace and he is just. I mean wrecked, he’s wrecked about orphans. And so he adopted a child.  There’s just so much stuff that goes into that.

But he, every single day he is thinking about how do I help orphans? How do I help orphans? You know? So they’re sitting at home. And so, but that’s where, you know, the job of getting our message out there and just being really, truly authentic and genuine. And, and. Being available for people to have those conversations.

So yeah, so a lot of that, there’s the process that I teach back to that. It’s not rocket science. It’s no different than what you would think for a church or anybody else’s that you, you have to get your name out there. You got to figure out how to be known, and you just can’t do it. More, more of that so that you’re, you’re known by that group of people who would be interested in the work that you’re doing.


Right. And it’s not always a good fit, like not everybody’s going to give to your particular charity or your particular ministry, and that’s okay.


Yes. And you don’t need everybody. You don’t need, if everybody loved you, you would be in trouble. You can not handle that much love. Okay?   You cannot handle that many people chucking money at you.   That is a problem. So, so you only need, and I often for especially missionaries that we work with them, yeah.

What are we talking about? 50, 60, maybe a hundred okay? Maybe a hundred people that we’re talking about that could give to the work that you’re doing. And then when you’re talking about charities, and larger ministries. I mean, maybe we’re talking about 500. You know? Yeah. That seems like a lot of people, but   that’s 500 people in a world of eight bazillion like, I mean,   you don’t even need a tiny fraction to care about the work that you’re doing; you know?

So that’s where I tell people, you have a lot more power, to be intentional about who you let in. So if you can just flip the switch on that and back to that mindset shift. If you start, the glass is half full and now I’m like, Ooh, I only need 50 people. What do people do? I want to partner with?

What think people do. I want to give them access into the work that we’re doing now. It’s a whole different story because now it’s,  it’s exclusive. It’s by invitation only. They feel very special that you chose them, but as soon as you mass like put something on social media or you just talk it out to, you know, on your email list and you just send everything to everyone.

People are like, it’s the whole bystander effect.   Oh, somebody else has got that. Oh, somebody else will take care of them. Yeah, I’m sure they need that money, and I’m sure they’re doing good work, but I don’t need to be the person who gives them the money. So you can see why so many people struggle to raise any sort of dollar amount because they’re just.

I hate to use the word vomit, but you’re vomiting on everybody, your message. And then everybody’s like, well,   that was gross. You know, like that was, you know, and you, you do turn people off then and now all of a sudden it’s like we are so desperate. And that desperation, just like relationships. If somebody is desperate, you’re like, Oh, you’re going to show up at my doorstep and I’m not sure I want to hang out with you.

You might ask me for money. That’s really what we’re trying to avoid here. So yeah.


And give people, it’s like you said earlier, people want to be part of a winning team. They want to help you across the finish line. They want to be right there with you going across the finish line, and I was thinking about even,   here we are in the. You know, we’re in this stage of the Corona virus where some States are starting to open up and we’re all in these various stages of some, some partial quarantine and coming out all this stuff.

But you think about what’s happened over the last couple of months where people are making masks and people are. Driving by hospitals and Hocking their horns and congratulating healthcare workers and grocery store workers and all of these people that have worked so hard and doing things for one another, taking groceries to, to neighbors and feeding people that have lost their jobs and, and it feels good to do that.

Part of why we’re doing it is because it’s the thing we can do to feel good about ourselves right now.


Yeah, well, and we are hard wired. So care for each other. I mean, yeah, we want to take care of each other. We want to find a way to help. I mean, if you look at a natural disaster, like a hurricane or a tsunami or something like that, people flood organizations with money because they feel helpless and nobody wants to feel helpless.

They want to feel like they’re in charge. They’re in control, and so they step up. And it is beautiful.   I mean, that’s why whenever I see comments or, you know, I know I’ve gone on a bit of a rant here or there on,   just,   people say, Oh, our charities must be struggling right now. Oh, I’m sure they shut down.

And   all those fundraisers. Do you know? Everybody just put, push, pause, you know, just don’t do anything. And I’m like, are you stinking kidding me?   that is the last thing that is happening. You know? And maybe  some people are shutting down because they’re freaking out and they’re freezing right?

But for the ones who are innovative and the ones who are,   really looking at, Hey, our vision and our mission matters are people still need us. They’re the ones, I mean, they’re, donations have increased. They are, you know, doing their fundraisers virtually. They’re creating, you know, just about a week or so ago, they, um, uh, the whole giving Tuesday idea, you know, so that, that had come out,   it’s about eight years old and  that it’s giving Tuesday lands right in the middle between black Friday.

And,  Small business Saturday and that all that stuff. Well, they did this   giving Tuesday now day, and so they’re just like, okay, we’re going to do a giving Tuesday. And um, one organization called be the match. They raised one point $5 million on that day. They have less than a week. To pull this thing together.

Okay.   don’t say that. Oh well they’re a big organization. They had, it’s like, no, no, no.   they pulled this thing together and it was all by zoom video and they did all their, they brought in some of their past recipients. They brought in some, you know, and it was, it was incredible. They hit the news cause what’s the news talking about?

They’re all talking about the virus, you know, positive. Good news is, is definitely gonna make the media. So I just, I really want to encourage anybody who. Is a nonprofit or works with the ministry that   this is not the time to freeze and to slow down. This is absolutely the time to innovate and to,   figure out what is what, go back to the foundation of why you created this thing in the first place and realize that.

Your vision has not changed one bit. We are just going to do this a little bit differently. And you know, everybody’s trying to figure it out. So, uh, taking action is never a bad thing. So I was like, do nothing. Just do something. Talk and engage your donor base, you know, start talking to people about how they feel.

And I’ll give you real quick one piece of advice that I have given to, I’ve been on a lot of calls with a lot of ministry leaders and nonprofit leaders as well as just, um. The fact that don’t ask for money right now. Okay? Like I’m saying, Oh, money, you should this, fine. But I’m like, don’t, I’m saying don’t verbally ask for money right now.

Ask for advice. Okay? So   the whole statement I often say is if you ask for money, you’ll get advice if you ask for money. Yeah. Or I mean, if you ask for advice, you’ll get money. Okay. So if you ask for advice, people will immediately their mind back to mindset. Their mind goes right to, they need money.

I mean, you don’t have to ask it. They’re going to immediately be like, okay, you’re, you’re asking me for my advice about how should I be fundraising during the season? And they’re gonna turn around and say. Okay. That’s a good question. How should you be fundraising? And they’re going to mentally start to say, well, how would I want you to reach me.

So they’re going to   dig to the back of their mind and they’re going to be like, well, if, if I were in your shoes, how would you know?   how would I want you to, you know what? I want you to call me, but I want you to send me a letter. What I want you to check in on me, because you know, Hey, nobody’s really been checking in on me.

And that’s true. It would be nice if I got something from my favorite charity,   so they’re going to start to give you advice and then immediately their head’s going to go, you know, they’re going to lean towards the, and I should probably give them money. I mean like, cause we, we immediately need to go towards, okay, how can I help you?

And then after I figure out how can I help you, then I can start to think of how can my friends and family, how can my contacts, how can others that I know help you? But if you asked me to like, Oh, could you introduce me or could you connect me to these people and I have not given to you, I’m going to feel really uncomfortable.

So you can see how this is all just human behavior of how we respond. So yeah, ask for advice and you’ll get money. Ask for money, and you’ll get



Yeah, that’s, it’s so true.


Is it? I do it all the time. People will ask me for money and I’m like, do you know what I do? And I hate to, I need to be like that, but I’m like, why did you not ask me for my advice?   start with that and then I’m going to totally tell you how to ask me for money. When I give you advice, I’m going to tell you how to ask me for money.

You do that and then I am like butter in your hands because I will, and I can’t tell you how many of my students they have so totally turned my teachings on me, you know? And I’m like, I, that’s why I have to work harder because I got too many people I got to give money to because they’re actually doing what I, what I



you love it.


I know it’s so hard to resist. You know,   I tell people all the time that I’m like back to the, you know, when you’re on the side of the road and somebody needs your help, well, the way that you get them to, to continue to, to   be in relationship with you is you actually communicate.

And so a lot of people, you know, I’ll say, well, how frequently do you talk to your donor base? They’re like, well, I send out quarterly newsletters, or,   we send out stuff every now and again the end of the year and whatever. And I say, how frequently do you talk to your friends and family? And they’re like, every week.

And I said, why are you not communicating with your people every week? You, you communicate with the people you love, your friends and family every week, but the people that you give to your organization, to your ministry, you’re going to talk to them quarterly. And then tell them that you love them as much as your friends and family and your call them friends when you’re like, no, you weren’t.

Not friends, not really friends because friends talk to each other every week, you know? And that’s where I think churches really do have the leg up up on stuff is because there’s a service every week. So there’s consistency. So when you say, Hey, we’re, we’re a church family, that is true. And it was, it does feel that way because you are doing life together and you are communicating every week and you’re praying for each other and you’re connecting.

But yeah, when, when we get into this, you know, Oh, we run an organization and they’re like, Oh, we want these people to give to us. I was like, no.   if you are not communicating more frequently,   why should they, why should they come to your rescue when you need help?


Yeah. Well, it’s all part of that cycle, right? So I don’t send out a newsletter every month because I feel nervous about asking for money because the only thing I can think to say to the people is to ask them for money because I’m not building a relationship. You know, when instead I can just be sharing, sharing with them what’s, what’s going on.


Yes. And that’s what I, some people get nervous when I’m like, Oh, you should be talking. You should be sending out an email,   once a week. That is gold standard. Right?   that’s what we teach is that it’s   weekly communication is the ideal, but don’t send out. The newsletter weekly.

That’s it. That’s too much work. Nobody’s got time for that.   nobody’s got time for that. But if you pulled back,   and just sat for one moment about what was one thing that happened in the last week that really moved me as a human really meant so much to me and made me think to myself, I’m so glad I’m doing this work.

And if you can get that one story, that one feeling down on paper to say  this happened and it may seem small. It may seem insignificant, but you know what? It just reminds me that we’re making a difference. And now all of a sudden the outsider who’s giving,   a donation who’s just getting cash, now all of a sudden it’s like.

I get to celebrate that one little thing that happened, no matter big or small,  and maybe it was a baptism or maybe it was a life transformation where they got a job and they got an apartment and they’re on their own, or they got out of this really awful domestic violence situation, whatever the big or small thing is.

  I get to say that. I was a part of that. And right now I sadly, and I don’t want to   hit on this, you know, make anybody feel bad. But we are, the leaders of our organizations and ministries are sadly so selfish that we would keep those stories to ourselves. And that we would be like, Oh God, that was such a great experience and thank you for letting me do the work that I’m doing.

And we just like, that was awesome. And that was so warm and fuzzy. And then we don’t tell our donors. And you know, so I just, that’s the thing.   instead of being like, Oh, I’m bothering them, and   Oh, who wants an email in their inbox?   flip the mindset,   you know,   shift the thinking on all that.

And just think for a moment that I am actually being extremely selfish by keeping that feel good, warm, fuzzy to myself and not saying   man, you guys. Should be celebrating that warm fuzzy with me and yes, I got to see it. I got to feel it, but I’m going to do everything in my power to get it in writing or get it in a video or a picture or something on social media.

Some way that I can communicate with you what happened and how you made a difference in how we did this together. And I think that that’s where getting back to being   truly authentic about   we are a body.   we all need each other. Some people are gonna have the finances, some people are gonna have the passion, you know, the time commitment to go and do the physical work.

But we all are in this together. Equally, no one is better than the other. And that’s what I like. Good. Get the selfish, like the, I, I.   I often tell people,   if you could just get on the way,   you could just scooch a little bit, God could do some really awesome stuff here. Like, you know, and so I think that we, it’s so personal.

It’s so like, Oh, I don’t want to look like I’m being, you know, unkind or that I’m taking up their time, or that I want their money. Like. Shift that completely and start looking at it from their perspective that they, they wouldn’t have signed up for your newsletter. They wouldn’t have asked to get more information.

If they don’t want to hear from you, unsubscribe. They don’t want to hear from you, stop following you on social media. Like they have an option to tune you out. But they said, I want to hear from you. So that is our job to make sure that we speak up and that if they don’t want to listen, that’s their choice.

But it’s our job to be obedient, to share those stories and to share, uh, the updates with them. So I hope that that’s, yeah, a little, a little bit of a shift to just think about things differently and just kind of get out of our own



Yeah, that’s huge. That’s huge. Because I think if we can get just even just that one thing, like forget all the tactics and the, you know, the, how many times do I need to post and just just shift that mindset and we would do so much better at raising the funds to do the things that hello, that God has called us.

To do so God has called us to do something, then it’s worth, it’s worth the effort. It’s worth making the mindset shift. It’s worth doing things that at first are going to feel uncomfortable and until we get out there and realize it wasn’t as scary as as we thought it was going to be.


Well, and I think that we feel like we have to tell all the stories that we have to tell all the updates, all the information, and that’s where I want to give you permission to not tell every detail, because people just can’t consume that much information. So, you know, you got it. Asked, are you somewhere along the line, you moved into the role that you’re in because piece by piece you started to see things and you’re like, man, I really feel like I’m supposed to be doing this.

But nothing ever happened in one moment where it was like, Oh, like everything. You just learn everything about that cause you, you know, felt totally compelled to give your life over to that kind of work. Like, I mean, it was gradual. It was one story. It was one thing where you’re like, Oh my gosh. This is amazing.

I think I want to do this. Maybe I should quit my job. Maybe I shouldn’t eat it. It’s like, and it’s just, you’re, you’re slowly growing into that and that’s really what happens with anybody who financially gives to anything.   they see something, they start to gradually build a relationship, and I wish I had a magic, you know.

You know, PA potion or whatever it is to tell you that, Oh, if you post this on social media this time at this day, and this is going to be, it’s like we, I have seen God do crazy things where   he will like wake people up in the middle of the night and I tell this to all of my students. I was like. He wakes you up in the middle of the night and   and then all of a sudden you get a phone call or you call someone, you’re like, I don’t know why, but I feel like God’s telling me that I’m supposed to be a part of what you’re doing, or I’m supposed to double my donation.

I mean, during the Corona virus, I, we have a student who’s in South Africa and we jumped on a zoom call together and we were talking and he said he had two people. Wake up in the middle of the night and like, God said that I’m supposed to double my donation to you. I don’t know why. I don’t know where the money is going to come from, but I’m supposed to give you, and you know what?

He didn’t do some perfect social media posts. He didn’t do anything perfect. He just, he, he made his message, we know, and he built relationships. He did all the basics that we’re talking about here. And you know, he just. Don’t ever know what’s going to happen. I’ve had some crazy things happen off of silly things that I posted.

It was like that happened because of that. It was just like, that doesn’t even make any sense. I couldn’t ever replicate that if I tried. So, so that’s what I wanted to just give everybody permission that you do not have to be perfect and you don’t need to   you know, give all this. Yeah. Information in the sequence.

So that’s whatever. It’s   just, you know, you follow God’s lead, you’re truly authentic, but you do communicate frequently cause that’s what   friends do.


Well, that’s, I love it because that’s what friends do. That’s, that’s all you need to remember. Uh, out of this. And about out of this podcast today, right. Just communicate because that’s what friends do. That’s how you,

that’s how you raise the


Yeah, that’s right. And like this, I mean   you and I have known each other for a couple of years, but   every now and again you just   pop into somebody’s Facebook feed and every now and you’re like, Hey Mary, you want to come to this? You want to do, and I do the same with you.

Hey, we’re hosting this workshop. You want to come, you know, at any point you can say, no, I don’t want to go.   okay, like that’s fine.   no hard feelings   If you don’t come to something that I invited you to, Oh, well,   I hosted that birthday party. Oh, Kayden show up to the birthday party. Now I’m going to just sit and feel like the most awful person ever.

It’s like, no, like no friends. You don’t go to everything like you continue to invite. You continue to tell them about the great stuff that’s happening and sometimes they. Are free and available, and they’re like, yeah, I’ll show up to that party. Okay, great. You know? So anyways, I just think if we really kind of dumb this down a little bit back to just, this is just human behavior and how we’re wired to do life together.

And so people are going to lean in if you’re really clear and you can tell your message. Well, so I do encourage people obviously just know what you want. And then just who asked for it, like, you know, I mean, nothing’s, you can just knock on as many doors and just say, you know what? We’re trying to do this thing, and I don’t know if you want to be a part of it or not, but I just don’t want to make sure that you know that you’re invited


Yeah. It feels good to be invited to,


Exactly. And then you can say no and or, yes. And be like, Oh, I was chosen. They thought about, you know, that feels really, that feels really good. So anyway, yeah. But yeah, back to, yeah, we just need to do what friends do. That’s, that’s really what it all comes down to.


Yeah, that’s for sure. Mary, thank you for saying yes to my invitation to be on


Absolutely. Thank you for saying yes to joining my fully funded Academy, so it was beautiful. Yeah, and I mean, and if people, you know, if you’re sitting there and you’re, you’re like, I don’t know how to raise money. I don’t know how to do any of this.   reach out to me   I want to be your friend.

So I would be happy to help walk with you. And I think back to, you know, sometimes you just need to know that somebody else has already done it. You know? And once you know, like, Oh,   I’d love to run that marathon. Well, I’ve never run it before. Well, find somebody who’s run it. And magically, it just won’t be that hard.

So, you know, I’ve raised a lot of money. I’ve raised millions and millions of dollars, and so I, I, there’s a process and it’s not hard. It doesn’t cost you a lot of sleep. So I’d be happy to teach you how to do that.


yeah. And she’s an awesome teacher. And,   I will have the links where you can connect with Mary on the show notes at  dot com and so, Mary, thank you so much.


Yeah. Thank you. I appreciate it and good luck to all of your listeners and whatever. I know that you guys are all a part of incredible charities regardless of whether you’re running them or not. So thank you for the investment that you guys make in those ministries and organizations, so thanks.

Thanks, Kay.

What do Ghostwriters do? Interview with Nick Pavlidis

What do Ghostwriters do? Interview with Nick Pavlidis

Ghostwriter. Sounds mysterious, doesn’t it? In today’s show, Nick Pavlidis unpacks what a ghostwriter is, what they do, and who can benefit from hiring one.

Interview with Ghostwriter Nick Pavlidis

Nick used to practice law, but he wanted more control over his time, and more time with his family (you can hear more about that in our earlier interview). He became a skilled ghostwriter, and now he’s teaching others the craft and business of ghostwriting.

His mission? Nick says, “I help people help people.”

What is a ghostwriter?

Ghostwriters help create written content, often without a byline. That content might be a series of blog posts or articles, or it might be posts for social media. It could be a book. “Basically we’re creating written content and positioning it to make a connection with a desired reader for a greater purpose,” says Nick.

The difference between a good book and a great book is not the information. It’s really the presentation.

Nick Pavlidis

Why hire a ghostwriter?

  • Saves you time, so you can focus on the things you do best.
  • Publishing consistent high-quality articles, blog posts, and social media posts helps build authority and trust in your industry.
  • Having a book establishes you as someone who is knowledgable, and opens doors for you. This is especially true of you want more speaking engagements.

Writing is part of it, but positioning that content to make a connection is something else. This is a special skill. The ghostwriter does more than take your words and ideas, and rearrange them on the page. The skilled ghostwriter understands how to deliver your content to the reader in an effective way.

A skilled ghostwriter can do this for you:

  • Gathers the information and organizes it in a logical way
  • Creates structure for your story
  • Brings expertise to both writing and presentation
  • Makes your content easy for Google to index

This skillful organization and positioning helps your audience find you. It strengthens connections and help keep your readers engaged. Ultimately, by hiring a ghostwriter to create quality content, your message can help more people.

The ghost writer doesn’t come in to just help you write a book. If you go to a professional ghostwriter, you get a professional work product.

Nick Pavlidis


Tap the “+” below to open the transcript


Hey Nick, thanks so much for being on the life and mission podcast this week. How have you been? You were on the show a couple of years ago.

My pleasure, Kay. I’m honored to be here. I love what you’re doing. You know, I’m a big fan of you, so I am just super excited to share some time here. I’ve been doing well. I know it’s been a couple years since you and I at least spoke in this setting and, I’ve been in my business, staying positive, having fun, choosing my own adventure. And lately I’ve been trying to set aside time to help others follow their own dreams, especially as it pertains to ghostwriting, which is something we talked about last time, right?

Yeah, that’s awesome. Thank you so much, because you are such an encourager and it’s really, really great to talk to you, just about all kinds of things. But lately we’ve been talking a lot about ghostwriting. And you have launched your ghostwriting school, and that’s one of the big things I want to talk with you about. But first, if we just let people know who you are and what you do, and then we’ll go from there.

Sure. Yeah. Well, I have a wife and two kids and I was a lawyer.  So I’m a lawyer, turned ghostwriter, and now I spend, I like to describe what I do as my ghost writing business evolved and grew as helping people help people. So if you go to, I help people help it’ll redirect you to my website.

Just as a reminder to me that what I am doing through ghost writing and through teaching and through connecting with people, is finding people who have a positive message to share, a positive impact to make on people and helping them connect with the people who need their messages, either through written content or other forms of content in such a way that they are able to reach more people, impact more people, and put a positive  spin on the world, no matter what is going on around them. So most of it’s through ghostwriting.  

Like you mentioned, I launched Ghostwriter School. I opened the doors for a few days for that. And so I’m helping people. I help clients get books and articles written to share messages of inspiration, accurate information and stories to encourage people to make a positive change in their lives. So everything I do is centered around that concept of helping people, help people.

Love that because that’s what we’re about here. Life and Mission Podcasts. That’s it. You’re living, you’re doing what you do, but you’re doing it because there’s another purpose. You’ve got a strong why behind what you’re doing and that’s helping people.

Yeah. Yeah. And it’s super fun because,  with ghost writing, especially, I tend to help people who are talented speakers. They might even be talented writers, but they are there. Talented communicators in some form, podcasters, public speakers, coaches, consultants,  but they either don’t have the time to write or they don’t have the writing talent.

Some of them don’t have either, but they have positive information, positive stories to tell really helpful stuff. And if they were to do it themselves, best-case scenario, it would pull them away from doing their core. Piece of their message or their business. So it would, it would unplug their marketing for their business if they took the time to write their book or they’re not talented at it, or they don’t have the desire to do it because it’s a lot of work.

And on the other side, there are people who they won’t listen to podcasts, they won’t watch YouTube, not because there’s anything wrong with it. It’s just not their style of learning. So through ghost writing and getting it an article. And or book form. We help them reach an audience that’s not going to reach their core business function.

There’s, they’re not going to go to a conference and hear their keynote or they’re not going to listen to their podcasts, but they will read an article. They will read a book. So there are some people who just want to read books or just want to read articles and they won’t listen to podcasts. And there’s some people who only want to listen to podcasts and won’t reach a book.

If you’re only sharing your message and sharing your story in one place, you’re missing out on helping a whole group of people who need your story, need your teaching, need your information.

That’s so true. I mean, you have to, it’s kind of like learning to speak different languages and so you’ve kind of have to speak. You know, but that’s the language of video, the language of a book, the language of podcasts. It’s whatever way your audience receives what you have to say and the more languages, so to speak, that you can communicate in the better off everybody’s going to be.


So,  this ghostwriting, kind of like you say, “ghostwriting,” and people kind of lean in and sometimes they get a little funny look on their face. Right. Because we don’t, it’s not really something you hear. You hear people say, I want to be a writer, I want to, I want to write a book. You actually hear that a lot. But ghostwriter is not something we hear a lot about. So can you unpack what is a ghostwriter? What does a ghostwriter do?

Yeah. So we,  we help create written content. Sometimes that’s as simple as social media. I don’t do as much social media content, unless it’s someone who does, who’s already working with us for books and, or articles. So I’ll do social media associated with that. So I don’t tend to do as much as that.

But basically we’re creating written content and positioning it to make a connection with a desired reader for a greater purpose. So we have worked with people. Either from scratch where we, we design a book together; we design what the book’s intention is going to be, or the articles or the series of articles we,  interview content out of them.

We do some research. So we’re basically creating a written piece of content that is helpful to our clients to share a message, to spread a message, to build their business, to tell their stories. And there are some people who just would never get that book. And then. They would never get the book out.

They’d never get the articles written and everybody, everybody kind of gets hurt by that. The people who need that content that we talked about who won’t have access to it, the people who would continue to struggle. So we help not just write the content with them, but we help design that content as being experienced in how the written form of delivering information can create momentum for people. So basically we design written content. We help gather the information that we need to get that written content, whether that’s through someone’s keynote or a course, or a YouTube videos or podcasts, or creating it a new through interviews. And then we put it in a written form in such a way that it connects with people because the art of.

Writing when you don’t have your hands to wave around or you don’t have an inflection that you can use with your voice or pace of voice to deliver information. There is an art to writing. There is a bit of a science to it as well, so we create content and position it, not just with the words, but even position it on paper through paper, how it looks on the on the written paper, on the written page and how it looks on the screen.

To attract to the right people, to keep them reading and to deliver both the message and that momentum, that motivation for them to make some improvement in their personal professional lives and want to connect more with our readers. So we do,  you know, with ghost writing, there’s this perception that you’re just writing a book and someone else’s name is on it.

There’s a lot more if done well. There’s a lot more that goes into it. That’s really that design to say, Hey, listen, just like you would with a coach of an NBA team, put your teammates in the – put your, your team members in a position to succeed. We do that through content. We help coach the content out of the clients, and we position it in simple to understand functions.

So their words. Are just presented in a way that puts them in a better chance to succeed in making a positive impact on their reader and in,  in growing their authority, their business, their audience.

So let me make sure I understand so. It’s almost like you’re, you’re taking the – you’re almost translating the person’s message from, say they’re a big, they give a lot of speeches and so they have this great idea that they spread through speech and now you help them translate that into a written format, which is really it’s such a different medium.

It requires different requirements and they may just really rock that speech. They may be getting thousands of dollars to go stand in front of a crowd and speak. But they sit in front of that computer to go type that book and they don’t know where to start. Maybe, or, or they can kind of get, get it to a certain point, but it’s just not working. Or, you know, like you said at the time, but it’s, yeah. You have to wear a lot of hats to be a ghostwriter. Right.

Yeah. And it’s, and, and the thing about ghost writing is it’s not about the information, it’s about the presentation of the information and how you do it. Whether you do it through stories. There are a lot of books where you can, you can almost tell when something was, was either written by someone who’s not, who, who doesn’t have that same storytelling or that,  that nuance style of presenting written information, whether it’s.

And what I mean by that is sort of a writer who’s just coming into the project with the mindset of, you tell me what to say and I’ll write it. That’s not a ghost writer. That’s a transcriptionist. Essentially. That’s just a, that’s a,  almost like a commoditized,  way of looking at things. Or if it’s something who’s, that’s self-published, self written, nothing wrong with that, but by someone who’s just trying to get the information down.

This is a book about this.  And the difference between that and someone who takes the approach of, I’m coming to this as a professional ghost writer, designed to help you tell your story or deliver your information in such a way that it makes that deep connection. So when we do it, we and when teach to do it, we teach to do it through story.

So because the difference between a good book and a great book is not the information. It’s really the presentation. And the great books do two things differently. Number one is they, they help the, the reader gain the confidence to move forward. They give them that they give them that motivation that, wow.

Chapter two told this story of some person who had a similarly positioned to me or I resonated with in some way, achieving something I want. So they resonate with stories. So we tell multiple stories, little stories, anecdotes, pop culture, stories, reflections.  it’s not always, doesn’t always have to be that the author.

Experienced every single piece of it, but the author as an expert is someone who can tell a story about something they saw on the news or some, someone they met or someone they helped. So we build the books. We build it in such a way that. The way we first learn about the ideal reader and what they want to achieve or get out of reading this book and then why they haven’t.

There’s something about themselves. They believe they can’t lose weight because they have bad knees or something about their environment. They believe they can’t be a good leader because they don’t have final authority. They’re just an entry level or an assistant manager, or there’s something about the subject matter themselves. They believe that. You know, this,  the art of,  of content is just something for intellectuals or for professors to argue over. And what we do is we, we, we lean into those objections before we get started and we identify stories that show people. Who have those objections, overcoming them. So it might be someone who tells a story about, Hey, let me tell you about Nick.

“Nick used to struggle. He had bad knees his whole life, and he just accepted that he’d never be athletic. So he just decided blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” And then you just show Nick who had bad knees, and then the person who’s reading it, you don’t just say, “Don’t worry. If you have bad knees, you can do it.”

That’s not very motivating. That’s good information, but it doesn’t give Nick confidence or the reader confidence. But if, if the reader says, “Wow! Nick had bad knees his whole life, I got bad knees, maybe I can just try what Nick tried.” And that gives them the confidence, because they do that. So that’s the first thing they get is confidence.

And then they get, they become more competent. Not because you’re showing them the beginning and the end, but you’re showing them the middle and you’re showing them small pieces that they can say, all right, if I just try these one or two things or three things, if I do these three things every day, I’m going to be able to move forward, or I’m going to be able to achieve it.

So it’s not just the information, it’s how you act, you’re actually giving them the small steps that they can do right away. And you’re actually giving them the connection, the motivation, and the confidence that they can, that they themselves can do it. By leaning in and understanding the objections that people have and then telling stories that help people resonate with someone.

Cause if you’re just telling the author’s story, then the reader has to resonate with the author in order to get that confidence. If the author is telling other stories as well, then there are many opportunities for the reader to make a connection with someone and gain that confidence that, Hey, if Nick can do it by can’t dire, if Kay can do it, why can’t I?

Yeah. It has to be some way for that reader to see themselves and in that book, succeeding, doing what? The goal, whatever the goal of the book. Yes. Yeah. So that’s a great skill that,  the ghost writer brings, like, and, and really, you know, it’s the same as the author of any book. It’s just that you’re taking it, you’re working with the person whose name is going to be on the book, but you’re doing all that, all that work,

Yeah. And for that ghost writer, it’s not just the art. The ghost writer doesn’t come in to just help you write a book. It’s to help you write a better book. So if you go to a, you know, you go to a professional, like a professional ghostwriter, you get a professional work product.

Right, right. And I’ve heard you talk about, you know,  writing sometimes as is bought and sold almost like a commodity, and it kind of goes to the lowest bidder. And that’s not. That’s not what we’re talking about now you’re, you’re really talking about buying, not buying, but hiring services of a craftsman to help you produce something of great value to other people.

Yes. Yeah, absolutely. A book you can be proud of, not just a book or article or whatever is,  Just to have, just to have a book, because a lot of people will say, Oh, I’m a public speaker to get on these stages, virtual or otherwise. They want to know that. Where the one thing that gets us stand out is that if we’re an author, because I’m competing against people, especially now with a lot of, with the, when the, when the world’s economy gets flipped, there are a lot of people who will go into consulting.

A lot of new businesses will get started. A lot of people with messages to share, a lot more people with messages to share who are going to be sharing them. And one of the ways to stand out is having a book, but if you have a book that it looks like a pamphlet or a book that’s just a bunch of information, you send it to someone and they flip through it, they’ll look and say, wow, this seems like a lot of information.

That seems like that, it won’t give you as much help as if you have a book that actually, because of the content and the presentation and the flow and the, and the cover presentation, all that stuff because of that. Yeah.  it’s a page Turner and I tell people, one of the simplest things you can do to improve your writing is to put more subheadings and don’t go more than 700 or a thousand words tops without some visual element on the page.

If you’re just flipping page after page after page in a book, and it’s just straight. It’s straight text, especially if it’s one long paragraph, then the reader’s brain is going to get tired because there are two things that go on in people’s brains when they’re reading. One is the mechanical side of things.

Getting the stuff from the page into your brain and then the application side of it where it’s understanding it and how to move forward with it. If their brain is working really hard for the mechanical side of it, they’re going to get tired and they’re going to say, all right, maybe I’m going to put this book down, and then what they do is they try flipping forward to see, all right, well, how much longer do I have to go before I get to a natural stopping point?

I do that all the time.

Right? That’s like 10 or 12 pages. You say, forget it and you just stick a bookmark and you say, I’ll just figure it out. If it’s one or two pages, then you say, all right, I’ll read to the next image or read to that great out quote, or I’ll read to that next subheading, and then you get to that point.

And many times people will say. You know what, let me just see if there’s one or two more things and they flip forward again and they say, Oh, okay, we’ve got one more page and it’s the end of a chapter or one, two more pages, and it’s another section. And in this section, the subheading looks really interesting.

So let me just read this, another one. And you could get someone going through for an hour or two going through, and that’s what makes it a page Turner is that presentation. It’s that craftsmanship to a book.

Yeah. And so that’s one of the skills, one of the many skills that that ghost writer is going to bring into it. And it’s not just, we’re talking a lot about books, but I ghost writer also is, you know, write your blog posts or write longer form articles for your, your business. all kinds of contents.

It’s not just limited to books. We have writers that are producing content. I did a workshop the other day on,  How, how local businesses could use content marketing,   Or it gets a little specialized, but you do have to know how to do it right versus just kind of flinging a lot, a lot of information out there.

Yeah. And that presentation for,  for a, for an article is really, really important to, people have less patience with the articles than they do with a book because the way we look at content, we’re used to looking on Facebook feeds and Twitter and LinkedIn where even. If the content is,  even if the content is long, it’s, it’s shortened.

And then you have to click more to see. So when you’re looking at a page, you see a person’s name and you see a little bit of content. Maybe you see an image, then you see another person’s name. You’re the way content is presented to us. It naturally has this, these breaks in it. So what we do with articles is we, we make it skimmable, which means we have, we, we don’t go more than 300 words tops without a subheading. So even if you’re telling a story and you’re still, you’re not doing a “three ways to write a blog post” type of post, even if you’re telling a story, then you break it up visually and you give almost little teasers for why people should keep reading. So if you’re telling a story about something that you lost, then you might say.

And the first one is, you know, that time I lost whatever, but I would actually flip it around and say and turn it to a lesson or something else. Make it about the reader. Because that time I lost is about you. So if you say something to the effect of, you know, how to find your lost earring or whatever, and then you sell your story,  at the beginning, and then the subheading, even if it’s just a story about an afternoon that you lost your earring, the first subheading might be,   you know, look behind your ears or whatever.

And then some little quirky thing. And then later on down the road, it’s,  Giving up right before you strike gold or whatever, and then when someone just looks on the page, they see, you know how to find a lost ring, look behind your ears that never give up or whatever. They see some sort of message, or just about to give up or strike and gold.

Then that. Just that it’s quote unquote journey of the subheadings makes it more attractive to the person on the page. And just like they do in a book, they might read a section and then say, you know what? I’m tired, but you know what, this next section is just short. Let me just read this next section. And then they read the next section and then you, you’ve drawn them in and then they see that, that, that T’s that subheading and that tells them there’s something interesting following it and it keeps them reading to the end.

So there’s that art in that presentation. In both the written form online and articles and magazines or whatever. And there’s the written form in longer form in books, for sure.

And more of us are reading content on our phones. So you’ve got this little tiny spaces, narrow space to fit all that in. So if you have a big wall of text, kind of all coming at them at once.

Nick: Yep.

You know, it just is too much work to read. So just knowing things like that is, is golden. So from this standpoint, if somebody says, I have a message, and  I need to get it out to people.

What’s the advantage to me then of hiring a ghostwriter to do all this for me?

Well, part of it is the effectiveness of the writing. So, a skill to ghostwriter will know how to present it, to get people who land on your page, to be able to  enjoy it and like you and want to do more with you. Another part is that when it’s done really well. It can attract people to your page. So a ghostwriter, a really talented ghost writer, has a skill of intuition,  and that they will intuitively know why or what would lead someone to your page.

What are they likely to be searching on Google when they’re in need of your message, in need of your services and need of you. And they will design posts with your content to match those types of searches. So if someone is searching for leadership, for example, they might say, you know, how to communicate better, or how to motivate my team members or something like that.

And so instead of saying, instead of designing a post that says,  , if the title is something to the effect of being positive in the workforce or being positive in the office, no one, probably no one really searches for something like that, perhaps. But if the answer is being positive in your office and the post is how to communicate with your team better, and one of the, one of the ways to do that is to be positive.

Then the post title of. How to better communicate with your team members or how to motivate your team members is something that they’re going to be searching for. So what the ghost writer does is it presents it in such a way, not just on the page to make people who land there naturally,  connect better with it, but to present it on the page in such a way to get more people to land there naturally by writing it and designing it and presenting it using.

The technical side of how blogs are written, and that’s through sort of a, it’s sort of like in Microsoft word, if you were to do bold and capitalize and things like that, there are ways to better connect your content with Google search engine in particular by instead of making things bold by tagging it.

As a heading or a subheading, and that tells Google that, Hey, this post is really about communication in the workforce, or that tells Google, Hey, this post is about whatever your topic is, so the ghost writer will not as present it in such a way that makes the content stickier, but they’ll present it in such a way that communicates with Google to get more people to get your website more likely to show up over the longer term when people search for information like yours.

Yeah. So yeah. You’re not talking about these little tricky tactics that, you know, we used to, you know, if you remember, people used to put all their keywords at the bottom of the page and all that, and that’ll get you, that’ll get you off Google really fast. But understanding, you know, that you’re writing for a real reader, and Google is actually looking at your page.

You’re scanning it and saying, is this for a real reader, and what would that reader be looking for? What’s the answer that this provides? Or a real person and, and then of course real people are going to type something into that search bar and they’re looking for an answer to a problem and understanding that is probably nine-tenths of it right there.

Absolutely. And these are simple changes for a ghostwriter, but for, for a businessperson or a speaker or someone with a message to share, to have to keep up with all the things that go into it. It’s not their business. So for me, I like to bring in experts when I pretty much do anything.  And I can design a website, but I don’t. When I opened up ghost writers school, I brought people in to do that technical thing because I know that my skills aren’t as good as theirs. And there are little nuances that can make a big difference in a way that matters to reaching people. So I won’t run my own Facebook ads.

I’ll have someone do that. Even though I understand Facebook ads, because they changed their algorithms, they change their reviews; they change their specs; they change everything so frequently that I can’t keep up with it and still be a world-class writer. So I try to find the people who do that all day, every day.

And who’s. Right income really depends on them doing it well to do it, because I know that they know that their kids will get really skinny if they don’t do it really well. So I like to,  bring in experts as much as I can for whatever parts of the project aren’t part of my core competencies or core offerings, even.

There you go. So then let the subject matter expert be the expert in their subject matter, and then let the ghost writer be the expert in the writing and the presenting, the writing and, and the message out. And then. Let the other people come in and do their job. And then you’ve got a really nice team and a nice presentation for your information and your business has a much better chance of going farther and being successful.

Yes, and it really helps, especially if someone is looking to build thought leadership or someone that has a higher value offering, because if they’re able to do, first of all, typically my clients just, they love what they do. And what they do is not right. They help people in some way so they get more fulfillment out of it and they’re able to serve more people because they’re, they don’t have to take time away to do the writing, and they’re able to serve people better because the more they do it, the more they learn and the better they get.

So that positive momentum, just by outsourcing. One little piece to them. It’s a big piece because it takes a lot of time. It takes more time for them to do it then than a lot of the things they do that make a bigger impact, so they’re able to outsource something that helps them in several ways. But in addition, it gives them more time to fill up their pipeline and more time to serve their pipeline people and their clients.

And it makes them better at what they do because they get more practice hours because they’re not taking practice hours out too. Right.

Yeah. That’s good. That’s good. Well, what, what should somebody do? Okay, we’ve got two groups probably listening to this right now. People that say, ah, I need a ghostwriter because I’ve wanted to write a book, and I didn’t know where to start, or I didn’t know what, what to do about that. And then you’ve got another group going.

Ghostwriting. I love to write, but I, you know, I, that’s, that’s me. I love the writing part in the, in the technical, how to, how to position it and things. And I love learning different things, which is another benefit of being a ghostwriter. So,  what’s the, what’s, what’s a step that somebody could take for each of those.

Yeah. If you’re looking to get into ghostwriting, the best place to go. I have a free guide on my website, ghost writer, it’s pretty much the only thing on the website is here’s your quick start guide and then you click, you stick in your email and I email you a PDF. It’s 10 pages long or something like that.

It might be longer than that, I don’t remember, but it walks through all the things that I would do if I were first getting started in ghostwriting. And then you will, , you’ll be able to, it’s marketing. It’s hard to find clients, all sorts of really good stuff there. So I would go there, ghost writer, if someone’s looking to hire a ghostwriter, I’d say the best way for them to do it is to connect with you.

Cause I know you are really talented at writing, and you’re growing your ghostwriting business. And if they connect with you and you’re not a good fit, you and I collectively can help find them. Someone.

That’s right. Yep.  All right. So, all those links that Nick talked about, they’ll be in the show notes  you’ll find that  at and Nick, thank you so much for being with us today and demystifying the world of ghostwriting for us.

Nick: Oh, my pleasure. Okay. Thanks for having me.

Life and Business Success with The Small Biz Mama

Life and Business Success with The Small Biz Mama

Kristin Ingram is a Small Biz Mama. In this interview, she shares how she’s able to run multiple businesses and enjoy family life. Plus, tips for launching your successful online business!

This is a great time to start an online business, but the overwhelm can be a powerful deterrent. In this interview, we’ll cut through the clutter with the basics you need for online success. In this podcast, you’ll learn from Kristin’s experience about:

  • How to be realistic about using the time you have
  • How to build authority online
  • How to launch a course

Kristin Ingram is the Small Biz Mama

Kristin is a Small Biz Mama. She owns two businesses, a tax and consulting firm and a digital media company. In 2019, She founded Bookkeeper Training School, where she helps moms create a full-time income while their kids are napping as virtual bookkeepers. She has worked with small businesses for almost 20 years. She is blessed to work from home with her husband Jeffery, as they raise our son Erik, who is 2 going on 20.

Connect with Kristin at

Tap the “+” below to open the transcript


Kay: Kristen, you are amazing. I love following what you’re doing on all the socials and, and you know, I just see you popping up here and there with great advice. And then I see, you know, family pictures and I know that work life balance is a big thing. And I know it’s a big thing for a lot of our listeners, can you tell us a little bit of all the things that you’re doing.

Kristin: Okay. So yeah, so I think it’s funny because talking about work life balance, I think when I tell people all the things I do, they’re like, there’s no way that she has balanced. But I’m going to start off by saying, before I tell you all the things that I don’t work more than 25 to 30 hours a week. Okay with all the things.

So here’s what I do. I teach full time at a university. I teach a tax to graduate and undergraduate students. I have a CPA firm where I have clients all over the country. I do tax and consulting work primarily for online businesses.

Kay: Okay.

Kristin: I have a course called bookkeeper training school, which we have almost 250 students in now.
I’m also a mom of a little. He’s two. His name’s Eric. My husband Jeff is with me as well, and we’re both at home, so we kind of trade off on, child raising, which is so cool. It’s so fun that we get to do that together. And, I also have a site called accounting and focus where I provide accounting tutorials for college students who are taking accounting courses. So we do a lot of stuff.

Kay: Yeah, you do. And you know when I think accounting, of course, I’m thinking that’s a lot of concentration and everything has to be exact. And then you’ve got so many things going on, but one of the things you’re doing as well as you’ve got the Small Biz Mama, right? You’ve got your own podcast, which, guys check it out. It’s, I mean, your episodes are like 15 minutes.

Kristin: Yeah. We try to keep them super short. Yeah. Cause they’re mama’s right? And so I want it to be something you can listen to in the shower. You can listen to when you’re doing the dishes, you know?

Kay: And you’ve got this great, kind of like a mantra. It’s like, “We are busy mommas who love our kids and we do any from them. We are the home based business that make this country move.” I mean, it goes on. I love it. So, let’s start with the mom. And grow into kind of how that works with the business, I just know that’s going to be the number one question. So let’s start there

Kristin: Yeah. So I mean, the biggest thing is to be realistic about the time that you have. I think that there are a lot of moms out there that they want to start a business and they get into it and realize that this is a full time job. How am I going to balance that with my kids? And so the reason that I’m able to do as much as I do is because I automate as much as I possibly can.

I delegate a lot. You know, I say no a lot, and I’m really focused on how many hours I have in the day to actually get work done. And right now with my current schedule, I’m at about four and a half hours a day that I’ve got for work. And some of those hours are what I refer to as unfocused hours where you know, my phone is ringing a lot. My email is dinging a lot. Eric is going, “Mama, mama, mama, mama.” So I have to divide my, to do list into my focus time and my unfocused time. If you have kids, you know that there are times where you might be able to respond to some emails while your kids are talking to you in the background. Or maybe you’re cooking dinner and you’re able to read an article that might help you be a better business owner. Those are my unfocused tasks and I keep those separate.

My really focused time in the morning, I make sure I’m not checking email during that time. I’m not on Facebook during that time. I’m really dialed in to what I need to do during those hours, because there aren’t that many of them.

Kay: So don’t fritter away your time doing those kind of scattered things that you can do when you don’t need to focus, to do those tasks. That’s great. I do a lot of learning with podcasts. Anyway, that’s a great errand-running thing. Or doing other things.
Kristin: Absolutely.

Kay: That’s not just for moms either. It’s for dads, for anybody. I mean, I think a lot of people are dealing with this for the first time now in the middle of this coronavirus stay at home time and people are seeing how hard it is. But also I think there are a lot of people discovering how really wonderful it can be.

Kristin: Absolutely. I think, I mean, we’ve been doing this for a long time. I retired my husband, at the beginning of 2017. So we’re blessed. We’re running about three years that we’ve been doing this together full time.
It was actually funny because we made the decision to bring him home. My husband and I had been together for, at that point we had been together for 16 years. And we didn’t think we could have kids. You know, we just thought as the two of us, we were kind of building this business has like a travel, you know? We’re going to travel and speak. I think I spoke at Launch Out three times in 2016. And he left his job and we think we got pregnant like that week.

Kristin: And so it completely changed our entire plan, right? Because I’m like, well, we’re not gonna be traveling and we have a baby coming. We had to pivot and change the trajectory of our business and where we were going with it, but it’s awesome to be able to go and have lunch with them every day and to be there when my son wakes up from his nap and have breakfast. I talked to all these people that and they’re constantly running.

Kristin: And even now, with the with the pandemic, because they have to get to their desk at a certain time, to start the day. And they’re trying to homeschool and work and, and it’s like we don’t have that rush in our lives. It’s such a wonderful blessing to just be able to be.

Kay: Yes, it, it truly is. I remember, years ago, I had a job interview. And it turned out to be a two and a half hour drive. It shouldn’t have been, but the traffic; and that was typical traffic. There wasn’t anything wrong. It was just that was normal traffic for that distance, for that, that specific place. And by the time I got to the interview, I had decided I didn’t want the job. Practice interview. You know, if this is going to be five hours of my day in commuting. I think about the impact on the family. No, I can’t, I just can’t.

Kristin: Yeah, that’s not doable. And I think a lot of times, we forget when we’re trying to calculate. When I talk to moms and they say, “I’m interested in being a bookkeeper, but you know, I need to make this much money.”
And when I say, “Okay, well how much do you pay for your work clothes? How much do you pay for commuting? How much time do you lose for commuting? How much do you spend on fast food because you’re busy? How much do you spend?” I mean it was funny because one of the things I keep hearing from people is, “I can’t believe how much money I spent eating out,” because they’re not doing it anymore.

But when you add it up, and then daycare. The average family spends $13,000 a year on daycare for one child. One! That’s craziness. So when you start to add it all up, a lot of people are realizing, “I’m not even making any money working, right?” Because it’s still expensive to go out, and then the time lost. So when we start to dig into those numbers with people, they realize that they don’t have to work as much as they thought, if they work really smart. And they cut back on those costs for working.

Kay: And the stress level goes down, which is huge. I have followed you recently as you launched a new thing. And that was your bookkeeper training school. It’s for the moms that you’re talking about right there, right? That are making that switch. And they’re saying, “Okay, I do, I want to, I want to try and figure out a way to stay home. Now what can I do?” So tell me about the bookkeeper training school and how you came to do that.

Kristin: It was actually, about a year ago. I was at my, semi-annual mastermind meeting. So I’m in Julie’s _ mastermind group. It’s called Digital Insiders, and she has business owners from all over the world that descend on Hartford, Connecticut twice a year. I’m the CPA in the group, so everybody’s coming up to me asking me about bookkeepers. And I didn’t have anybody that I trusted enough to refer out to people. Kay: Oh yeah. Kristin: And then we were on our way home, one of the nights of the mastermind. I’m going through my Facebook feed, and there was a woman talking about how she was crying in the parking lot of her son’s daycare because she was dropping him off for the first time at six weeks old. Because she had to go back to work. And it’s like I never had to experience that with my son, because we’ve always been home with him. Both of us have been home with him, and it just kind of clicked.

Like, what if? I’ve been teaching small business owners how to do bookkeeping for almost 20 years. And it’s your average person. A lot of times I’m teaching the wife. Right? So somebody has a landscaping business or an electrical business, and their wives are doing the bookkeeping at night. So I’ve been doing this for 20 years. And I thought to myself, “What if I can teach these moms how to be bookkeepers?” You know, because I’ve even taught Jeff how to do this for our business. He does a lot of our bookkeeping during tax season, for my clients. What if we teach them the system that we put together, which is highly automated, very quick, and really, really profitable? You know, you could make a full time income while your kids are napping.

And that’s how Bookkeeper Training School was born. That’s really, that’s our tagline. We help moms create a full time income while their kids are napping. Now I have former college students of mine in the group. We have dads in the group. We have retirees in the group, because of the message of creating a full time income, you know, everybody knows the kids don’t nap very long. You know, what? Maybe two hours a day.

Kristin: So if I hadn’t created an income in two hours a day, like everybody kind of understands what that means. That’s where Bookkeeper Training School, kind of where we got the idea. It’s funny, because I’ve been in Julie’s mastermind for, it had been two years at that point. Every six months I’d come in and be like, “Look, I came up with this idea!” And she’s like, “Nope, that’s not it.” And I’d be like, “Okay, what about this?” And she’s like, “No, that’s not it.” And so we came back the next day and it was actually my turn to go. And I said, “Okay, I’ve come up with this thing called Bookkeeper Training School, and I’m going to teach moms how to create a full time income while their kids are napping.” And she went, “That! Go make that! Go do that! Like, right now, go, go do that!”

So we launched it in July. I just kind of posted it on my wall and said, “Hey, I’m going to build this course. Do you want to come with me?” We had 40 people sign up. Kay: Oh, that’s great. Kristin: Yeah. We built the course. We launched it again in January, and we had over 175 people join.

Kay: Boom. Oh, that’s awesome.

Kristin: So, it was a great launch. We have a great group of folks in the group. Like I said, I’ve got young moms, I’ve got older moms, I have people who are fur moms. I’ve got dads, I’ve got retirees, I’ve got college students. So I really target moms, but then we brought a really diverse group of people into the group. And it’s just, it’s, it’s a blast. I do a live call with them every week and answer all their questions and it’s like the highlight of my week to do that with them.

Kay: Oh, that’s wonderful. And then now when somebody asks you who you’re going to refer, you’ve got over 200 people now that you can refer them out to. That is huge.

Kristin: Yeah. And if, if anyone in your audience needs a bookkeeper, they can go to small biz and they can hire a bookkeeper right from there.

Kay: All right. Did y’all hear that? You need a bookkeeper? Now? You know where to go.

Kristin: Yep.

Kay: and I’ll also have that link in the show notes. Another our listeners are also saying, I want to create a course. And you had a launch and you got 40 people. I talked to somebody the other day, you know, in a Facebook conversation, and they were saying, “I only had two people sign up.” And the person leading the conversation said, “Great, teach those two people, everything you know, and then launch it again!”

But starting with 40, that’s why I said, “wow, that’s awesome.” That actually is a really good launch. And then you multiply it of course, and as you keep going. I think that fear of what if I launch something and nobody shows up? That’s a huge fear among, I think, every online entrepreneur, especially people stepping into this space for the first time. What do you do? I’m not talking tactics, but in general, how do you prepare people to say yes. Once you have found that thing, or maybe it’s finding the thing is the key. But if you could speak to that.

Kristin: Yeah. So I think what happens a lot of times, and this happened with us, is that you come up with an idea and you’d say, okay, this is the thing, and then you create it. And you launch it to the world. Then if only two people buy, or one person buys, and I had this happen before. We tried to launch a tax course a couple of years ago for small business owners. I had one person buy. I said, okay, this is not the thing. Right. This is not the thing.

So I think the biggest thing is not to get too attached to your idea. Okay. And don’t build it. If you’re going to launch a course, that’s anything more than like two or $300, don’t build it first. Sell it first. The first time, you sell it. We did this with Bookkeeper Training School. The first time we sold that, we told people, “Here’s the schedule. This is how we’re going to release the content, but I haven’t built it yet.” So we were completely up front with people, and we sold it for a significant discount because we were building the course. They took it, and we sold it. I talked about it for a week, and we did the whole open cart. We did a sales page, but we treated it like it was a launch.

And I think what happens a lot of times with people who are building courses, or selling any sort of any sort of product for the first time. I see this with authors all the time. “I wrote a book, look! Buy my book!” And you never hear from them again. “I don’t understand why nobody bought my book or bought my course or bought my thing.” You have to talk about it all the time. All the time. I am so tired. I had this conversation with somebody, about a week ago. They were selling an online service. And they’re like, “Well, I don’t know how to get people to sign up.” I’m like, “Do you talk about it all the time?” All the time. I go live every single day on my Facebook page. I chit chat with my followers and I mention Bookkeeper Training School, or I talk about a book or talk about something that we’re doing. Every single day. We email multiple times a week. We post multiple times a day.

And you know what one of my mentors told me is, if they’re not sick of your face, you’re not live enough. You’re not out there. If you’re not getting unsubscribes from your list, you’re not emailing enough.

Kay: Ooh, yeah,

Kristin: Okay. The goal is not to keep everybody on the list. The goal is to get the non-buyers off the list.

Kay: Yes.

Kristin: Right? So when I got that, when I really started to think about it that way. You don’t want people that are in a little about you to follow you. You want raving fans to follow you. Right? So if you think about like, think about like your favorite celebrity or your favorite preacher or your favorite person to listen to. There is not enough content that that person could put out to make you happy, right? I’m like that with Brendon Burchard, there is not enough content that that man can put out to make me happy. That’s who you want to be for your followers. You want to be that person. They’re like, Oh my God, she’s live. Oh my God, he’s live. I got to go watch it.

Kay: yeah. They’re going to turn on the notifications.

Kristin: Let me go get it.

Kay: Yeah.

Kristin: You want to be that person for people. You don’t want to be the, well, I’m going to put stuff out every once in a while and then I got to apologize because I have had emails for three months. You don’t want to be that person. You want to have the raving fans and that’s how you do it. You have to be out there. Those are people who make money. Sell it.

Kay: Yes, of course. You know, the next question is, okay, if I’ve got to post every day now that’s the pressure again, right? But what do I say? What do I do, to create all of this content? I think that also is the next terrifying wave that washes over an online entrepreneur.

Kristin: So we use Slack in our business, but you could do it in a notebook or I have this big, mixed media notebook on my desk. I have a planner that I carry around with me. I’ve got Evernote on my phone. Anytime I have an idea for something, I write it down because I think during the day we have lots and lots of ideas, but then the moment we want to post, or the moment we want an email or whatever it is, we can’t remember what to say.

Kay: Yep.

Kristin: Right? So if I keep a running list of what I want to talk about, and it could be, I think sometimes we think that we have to talk about our topic all the time. And people want to do business with people they like and trust. They cannot learn to trust you if you don’t let them behind the scenes a little bit. So, you know, a lot of what I’m posting on Instagram is pictures of my son and pictures of my family. And Hey, I went out for a walk and I’ll look, it’s cloudy, but I’m still out here, you know, Hey, look, I’m doing an interview with today. Huh? You know, it’s, I think we overthink it a lot. Right? And I think that it’s, it’s really important to understand that you’re not doing this content for you. You’re doing it for for your followers. I think especially men have this issue that they’re like, well, I wouldn’t look at that. I wouldn’t want to watch that. But you have lots of people who do.

Kay: Yeah.

Kristin: So it’s not about what you like, it’s about what your audience likes.

Kay: Yes. Yes. That’s a that was a really hard one for me, and I’m still learning that one. You know. Part of it is I just do the things I like, but I also need to do the things that, especially what do my audience likes. But guys tell me, what do you love? Give us more of , fill in the blank for me and you’ll get it.

Kristin: You know? And it’s really funny because I think so for, if you are going to launch a course. Okay, are you’re going to launch anything? The best thing that you can do? And I got so much response to this when I sent it out. You send out a very short email, right? And this is kind of the beginning of like, Ooh, what’s she doing?

You know, what’s he doing? Very short email. Hi, I’m working on a course about blank. If I had to put one thing in that course for you, what would it be? And they will tell you. I had so many people who wrote back to me on that, and that really helped us figure out what needed to be in Bookkeeper Training School.

It was interesting because a lot of the answers had nothing to do with bookkeeping. Like, I don’t know how to run a business. I don’t know how to market. I don’t know how to manage my time. I don’t know how to manage my money. So we built all of these bonuses around Bookkeeper Training School to deal with all of those things. So ask. Ask what they want.

Kay: Yeah. And you have to have that whole package. And that’s one reason I wanted to have you on. I mean, I know you’re a CPA and, and like, I could ask you a lot of accounting questions and I could ask you a lot of bookkeeping questions. But you launched a course based on the thing that you know backwards and forwards.

The things that are obvious, I think Brian Dixon, he’s going to be my guest in a couple of weeks. He always says, “The thing that’s obvious to you is like miracle to somebody else,” you know? And so we, we as creators, we have the curse of knowledge, right? We know everything. So we don’t think there’s a lot that we can talk about. So all of those things around the things that people really have the questions about, they don’t know to ask for the things that we’re thinking about teaching.

Kristin: Right.

Kay: Expert kind of things. You know, they expect all that to come. They expect to run into things that they don’t know about, but then the other stuff is the really scary stuff that keeps them from doing it.
I talked to so many writers that want to get the word out about their book, but they have no idea how to do it. And they get stuck on “I don’t know how to build a website.”
Kristin: Right

Kay: Or “I don’t know how to schedule my posts.” Well, okay. You can learn that. So, that’s one reason I wanted you to come in and talk actually about creating a course. Because you know what? So, so think about it. If you’re listening, think about you. Just what is it that you know, that people ask you about?

Kristin: Right. And it’s funny because when I teach my undergraduate tax course at the university, the last class, because my students all know that I do all this online stuff and I make money online, and they really want to know how to do this. So the last night of class, I say, okay. You know, if you’re not interested in this, you can leave.
But everybody who wants to stay, and I teach them the pillars of online business. And that’s what I tell them. There is something that you know how to do, that enough of the population does not know how to do, that they would pay you for it.

Kay: Yeah.

Kristin: So find out what is that thing, you know? And go out and do that.

Kay: Yeah, and I think the other thing that gets in our way is, we think we have to have a thousand people taking our course for it to help us make a living, or for it to be successful. I’m making air quotes. But you really only need what you need. I mean, you figure out what, what do you need to charge for it? What’s the value of what you’re teaching?

Kristin: Great.

Kay: And how many people do you need to sign up? And I think that that number is a lot smaller than a lot of us think it is.
Kristin: I mean, just run the numbers. If my course is this much, how much will I make if I have 100 people or 200 people? Right? Or 500 people?

And I think that the biggest mistake that I made, and I think a lot of entrepreneurs make this. Go do something. I don’t care what it is. Go, go drive for Uber. I don’t care. Go do something and save up some money and run ads.
Once you know that you have a course that people want, right? So you use, use your small audience, build your course off their feedback, and then once you have that, run ads on Facebook. Because we could not have done as well as we did without running an ad campaign.

We got the initial 40 in July, just off my own thing. And we’ve got some other people who bought, over the six months until the year ended. Then we sunk some money into ads. We got 6,500 people on our email list running ads. We got 3,500 people in a Facebook group running ads. And we got 175 people to sign up for our course.

Kay: That’s awesome.
Kristin: And it can take forever to organically build an audience.
Kay: Yes.
Kristin: At some point, if you want to reach new people and really, really scale, you have to run ads. You have to.

Kay: My dad used to always tell the story of a CEO riding with a young up and coming executive. They were in a train, and the young guy really wanted to make an impression on the CEO. So he said, “I’ve got this idea. We can, we can boost profits if we cut costs,” and he wanted to cut the marketing. And, the CEO, you know, sees, yeah. The guy is young, he doesn’t know. So he’s going to teach him, and he says, “All right. Do you think you think this train is going fast enough?” “Yeah. Yeah. It’s going, it’s a good speed.” You know? It’s like, “Are we going in the right direction, and at a good pace?”
“Yeah.” “That’s great. Okay, well let’s toss the engine. Let’s, we don’t need the engine anymore.” Right? “No, we need the engine!” But it’s the same thing. That was my great marketing lesson, I think as a teenager, that I got from my dad, and it’s still. That’s the one I go back to. You have to have marketing, I don’t care what you do. You absolutely have to have marketing and you’re so right about that.

Kristin: You absolutely have to have marketing and you’re so right about that. And have realistic expectations. Do some research on what realistic conversion rates look like. Because This is really down and dirty, but for us to acquire a new buyer for bookkeeper training school, it costs us about $50.

So if you think that you’re going to spend $20 in ads on Facebook and get 80 people to buy your thing, that’s not going to happen. That was one thing that was really eyeopening for me, cause I, I’ve been doing this online thing for like 12 years.So to figure out, you know, what are realistic numbers for people opting in for people, watching and buying. And it’s really important. You can do research and there are people that talk about this online that are going to give you that information, but really understand what’s realistic before you throw in the towel because the numbers are a lot lower than you think they are. You know, I think most people think like, okay, if I put up an opt in, and I put up a free thing, 90% of people that land on the page are going to sign up for, no, no.
If you’re getting 50% you’re doing really, really well,

Kay: that is good. Yep.
Kristin: So you have to be realistic about how many people you have to get into the, you know, the top of your sales process to get the number of sales that you want.
Kay: Right.
Kristin: Really, really important.
Kay: Yeah. And that’s it. Just the realities of, of business. I mean, that’s whether you’re in a walk-in store, you know, a physical place or, or online, not everybody’s going to buy everything. Not everybody’s going to follow the process like you want them to. And if you can get an idea of what those numbers are, it’ll lower your stress level and really inform your actions, and you can take the smart actions.

Kristin: Yeah. Well, I’ve been saying that to my business. My, my bookkeepers too, like, you know, you know, I, I didn’t get any new clients this week. I’m like, well, how many business owners did you talk to? Like two. Okay. We need to do more than two. Right. You know, I mean, you’re gonna, you’re always gonna have people who say no, and so the thing I pushed my bookkeepers to do is to get an answer.
Yes is best. No is awesome. No answer is not good.
Kay: Right.
Kristin: So we just want to have a definitive answer. Are you going to hire me or not? Yes or no, and, and keep moving forward. In any sort of sales process, you need to talk to way more people than you think you’re going to need to.

Kay: And keep showing up. You know, we talked earlier about all the content, creating all the content and being there until you think everybody’s sick of you. But, that was a big part of even you getting that first 40 in your course and building that whole thing. That was part of the success was you are showing up. Long before you ever had the ideas, so don’t wait for the idea. Just show up with what you’ve got because you, you’ve built, you have authority. Like if somebody has an accounting question, I’m going to send them to you. So, you’re actually, this is great go-to resource you’ve become the authority. How do you become the person that people send people to you?

Kristin: So I think for me it was, I mean, like I said, I’ve been doing the online thing for like 12 years. Right? And so one of my online pet peeves, okay. And, and I tell my bookkeepers this, if people ask a question online and you can give a short answer, do it. Because one thing that drives me crazy is when you have people that say, PM me or I’ll PM you. Because typically, when those posts are in a big group of people, and you PM, there’s all these other accounts that go, oh PM me, oh I’ll help you.

And I just put in the answer, Oh, this is what you should do. Or this is what my clients do. Or, you know, this is what I generally recommend. Remember, that might not be the answer for everybody. Right, and you kind of put that little disclaimer in there. What I find is that people, there are other people will read that post and reach out to you, right?
Because they’re like, Oh wow. She gave the answer know she’s really helpful. And so you become like the defacto authority in that area. And so I found like sometimes I’ll respond to a post like that and I’ll have seven or eight people, not the original poster, contact me for a consult.

Kay: Yeah.
Kristin: So you may get, if you do the Oh PM me thing, or I’ll PM you, you might get one person to react.
But if you’re genuine with your attitude, you freely help people. You’re going to, it’s going to come back to tenfold. And so that, that’s always been my advice on that. And I’ve been doing that for 10 years, one of the things I did is, when the, when all of the SBA loans started and IDL and PPP and all the acronyms, I was out there all the time, Hey, this is what’s going on with the loans. This is how you apply, this is how you do this. and I’ve. I’ve had other people reach out to me to talk to their groups. And so, like we’re, we’re kind of estimating that I’ve probably reached about 5,000 businesses just through organic reach online.
Kay: Yeah.
Kristin: And so that’s really, really cool, you know, to do that.

Kay: And when you, when you keep spreading it out there, you just, you just keep showing up. That’s what we keep saying. Keep showing up and build that thing is it’s that know, like, and trust. So the other people that are, that are saying PM me, they’re trying to jump straight to a sale and they haven’t built the know, like, and trust. They haven’t let people get to know them. They haven’t given them a reason to like them.
Kristin: And they haven’t shown their value yet.

Kay: Exactly. And so it’s kind of like the whole dating thing, you know? It’s like, no, you do not jump ahead. So yeah, that’s huge. That’s huge. What, you know, because we’re coming to the end and I just, I always want to give people, if you’re listening and you’re saying, Oh my gosh. This is great. I’ve got some ideas rolling around right now, but I don’t know how to get started. What’s, what’s the first thing people need to do to get started? If they think, think, Oh, I have, I have something I can start to do online.

Kristin: So I think the first thing is to start talking about the topic online and see what kind of traction you get. And when you do that. So let’s say that you start a Facebook page and you start talking about your thing. Share it out on your personal profile, right. Share it out in other places, because I think sometimes we put things out there and we’re like, Oh, it was crickets. I’m done. I’m done. You have to do a great show up on a regular basis. Talk about your topic and see if you can see if you can generate some traction, but give it, give it two months. Going out on a regular basis, you know, pretty much daily talking about your thing and introducing yourself to people and getting out there and see what happens.
Kay: Yeah.

Kristin: But it is, Rome was not built in a day, and this won’t be either. Be patient.
Kay: Yes. And like you said earlier, you kept coming back to your mastermind group. Is this it? Is this it? I’ve got a great idea. Keep doing that because your, your people will tell you if it’s it or not. And you’ll know. So Kristen, thank you so, so much. I think you’ve helped a lot of people today as you, that’s, I mean, that’s what I know you for doing.
As as we close, just tell us again how people can get a hold of you because if they need accounting, they need to go to you and if they need bookkeeping school, they need to go to you and then we’ll have some other resources as well.

Kristin: So is the best place to reach us. You can find our podcast there. You can hire a bookkeeper, you can become a bookkeeper. You can connect to all of my social channels. is the best place to go.

Chickening IN: From Fear to Courageous Faith, with JJ Gutierrez

Chickening IN: From Fear to Courageous Faith, with JJ Gutierrez

Sometimes a single word or phrase has the power to change the course of our lives, and “Chickening IN” is that word for JJ Gutierrez. This little twist on a familiar phrase launched JJ into a transformational journey from fear to faith. Her book, Chickening IN: From Fear to Courageous Faith, 8 Pillars of Transformation, is a practical guide to defeating fear and doubt. I spoke with JJ in February, but her message is especially needed today.

JJ says, “We all have fear. But some of us have a lifestyle of fear.”

Chickening IN represents a lifestyle shift. It’s the transformation that takes place when we face our fear and confront it with the truth. In JJ’s case, a simple comment from her daughter was the catalyst for life-changing action. And it gave her a word to share, to help bring this lifestyle change to us. During our conversation, JJ shared her own story of “chickening in”, the eight pillars of transformation, the ways fear lies to us, and examples of how people in the Bible experienced and overcame fear.

As she walked her own journey out of a lifestyle of fear, JJ developed the eight pillars of transformation. These are practical steps to overcome fear.

The 8 Pillars of Transformation

  • Facing Fear
  • Stepping-up to the Plate of your Life
  • Taking Calculated Risks
  • Traveling Unknown Roads
  • Embracing your Uniqueness 
  • Pursuing your Dreams
  • Doing it Afraid
  • Faith the Difference Maker 

In her new book, Chickening IN: From Fear to Courageous Faith, 8 Pillars of Transformation, JJ goes through all of the pillars. In our interview, she went into depth with the first—facing fear.

Internal Conversations with Fear

There is such a thing as healthy fear. That’s the fear that keeps us from touching a hot stove or running out into the highway. Fear’s rightful role is to alert us to real danger. However, fear can also become a lifestyle, where the conversations in our minds make unlikely worst case outcomes seem like certainties. Fear lies. Fear exaggerates the negative possibilities and undervalues the positive. In the interview, JJ goes over the different types of lies fear tells us.

Your fear knows exactly what buttons to push.

JJ Gutierrez

JJ says the voice of fear seems to know just what buttons to push to send us into a spiral. “It knows exactly what to tell you, and it’s very personal.” It can be subtle, nudging us to “small” lies, or step back when we really want to step up, or plunging us into worry and worst-case scenarios. That’s when we get wrapped up in fearful thoughts and “what ifs” that make the frightening things seem inevitable. Once we’re caught up in the spiral, it’s hard to see what to do or which way to turn. But there is a way to change the conversation.

Learning How to Change the Conversation

The key to changing the conversation with fear is inviting God into the conversation. ” Instead of having a conversation with fear,” JJ says, “we want to turn that conversation to having a conversation with God. And that is the key. That’s the key differentiator.” Allow God to speak truth to the fear, because most of the fear that holds us back is built on lies.

JJ gave the example of three friends. One has a negative impact on you. Another has a positive impact on you. And another has a neutral impact, or no real impact either way. As we bring our fear to God, it goes from being negative to being neutralized. That time with God, conversing with Him, grows our faith, and that impacts us on the positive side. That shift, JJ says, can cause us to move forward “So that we can make decisions that will lead us to start overcoming that fear.”

Faith is being able to say, “God, I am terrified.”

JJ Gutierrez

Overcoming fear is a process. One step follows another, with small, sometimes imperceptible forward movement. That first step of faith, saying “God, I’m terrified,” invites Him into the conversation. As He speaks truth, we are able to take those practical steps we need to take.

How many times have you “chickened out”? Chickening IN is an invitation to a lifestyle of courage and faith.


JJ Gutierrez, Courage Challenger and Mentor –
Get the book (affiliate link): Chickening IN: From Fear to Courageous Faith, 8 Pillars of Transformation
Find JJ on Instagram and Facebook