From Celebrity Dog Walker To Celebrated Author: Following Your Dreams & Making Money As A Writer With Linda Sivertsen

Episode Number: 301

Episode 301- From Celebrity Dog Walker To Celebrated Author: Following Your Dreams & Making Money As A Writer With Linda Sivertsen

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From Celebrity Dog Walker To Celebrated Author: Following Your Dreams & Making Money As A Writer With Linda Sivertsen

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Award-winning, best-selling author, writing coach, former ghostwriter, magazine editor + podcast host, Linda Sivertsen, joins the Journey to Launch podcast to discuss her exciting journey from being a celebrity dog walker in Hollywood to becoming a celebrated author.

Linda’s podcast, Beautiful Writers, explores the “magic & mayhem of authoring & publishing books”. Interviewing the world’s most beloved best-selling authors to chat about writing, publishing, deal-making, spirituality, activism, and the art of romancing creativity. 

We talk about combating insecurity, the important questions to ask ourselves if we’re being too complacent in life and being prepared for the opportunities that are waiting for us.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • When to identify if you’re settling instead of challenging yourself in life
  • Practical tips to “get back” to your creative spark within yourself + guiding questions to ask yourself
  • Finding confidence in yourself, recognizing and acting on opportunities + paying attention to what you really want
  • How to ask the right questions to people in higher positions than yourself + cultivate social capital and communication skills
  • The magic of being grateful in the present moment while doing the work for your next step + more
I'm Listening to Episode 301 of the Journey to Launch Podcast, From Celebrity Dog Walker To Celebrated Author: Following Your Dreams & Making Money As A Writer With Linda Sivertsen Click To Tweet

Other related blog posts/links mentioned in this episode:

  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
  • Check out Linda’s book, Beautiful Writers
  • Check out my new personal website here.
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Linda Sivertsen 0:02

And it's in the movement. I think that the motivation comes that the ideas come the muse, whether you're a writer or whatever you're doing in life. Your guidance shows up and goes, Oh, she's taking this seriously. Now we can give her the good stuff.

Intro 0:19

T-Minus 10 seconds. Welcome to the journey to launch podcast with your host jameelah. So frogs as a money expert who rocks her talk, she helps brave juniors like you get out of debt, save, invest and build real wealth. Join her on the journey to launch to financial freedom in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

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Exciting news, we are giving away a copy of today's guest book. So if you want your chance to win a copy, go to journey to for more details. Also make sure you're following me at journey to launch on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to get the details.

Outro 2:08

If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journey to Or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. In the show notes. You'll get the transcribed version of the conversation, the links that we mentioned and so much more. Also, whether you are an OG journeyer are brand new to the podcast, I've created a free jumpstart guide to help you on your financial freedom journey. It includes the top episodes, so listen to stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources, and so much more. You can go to journey to to get your guide right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode.

Jamila Souffrant 2:51

Hey, journeyers I'm excited as I always am, but really, actually excited because today's guests, I feel like this is going to be a more selfish conversation for me, Lynda. But I know that whenever I do things like this, my audience tends to also benefit a lot. Because we're going to be talking about creativity and writing and making money as a creative and all the things and so today's guest is Linda Seaver sin, who I've been listening to so a lot of people say, Oh, I listen to your podcast. But let it's actually a podcast that I listen to because I've been immersed in the writing world. Thanks to me writing my first book this year. And Linda, I found you I think randomly by searching in Apple podcasts about writing books. And I was really interested in finding shows that could speak to the creative process. And you have such a good show. So Linda show is called the beautiful writers podcast. And her book, which we'll be talking about is also called Beautiful writers. But on the podcast, she always has these amazing writers and guests who come together to share like all parts of the writing industry from publishing to the creativity process. And I was really just elated when we connected online on Instagram at that. And you said you wanted to be on the show. So that's a very long, roundabout. Introduction. But Linda, welcome to the podcast.

Linda Sivertsen 4:13

Thank you, Jamila. I love your show. I love your show. I love learning about money. I've always loved learning about money. And I was super excited to be here. Thank you.

Jamila Souffrant 4:23

Yeah, well, since I'm reading your book, and I have a little bit bit of insight in your background, I do want to go back in history a bit, because you're successful in this writing field now, but it wasn't always like that. And I love how you frame in the book that you weren't willing to give up on the like the coffee and the things you loved while you were going through this process. And like finding yourself and establishing yourself as a writer. So can you take us back to a bit like you starting your career and what that look like.

Linda Sivertsen 4:54

Sure with me it wasn't coffee. It was organic orange juice. So I was just obsessed with health food. And so a health food is expensive, especially when you eat a lot of it. I'm a high octane person, I can eat $30 of oranges in a day and my ex husband, he was my husband at the time. I mean, he hated it so much the way we do that, but it anyway. You know, when I had the dream to become a writer, it was a lifelong dream. But I actually had a literal dream. As I was growing up, I never felt smart enough. So I just didn't think I could pull it off. I was from a family of super geniuses, my sister, my mother have photographic memories. I mean, the whole nine and I was like the fun athletic girl, kind of into woowoo stuff. I just people didn't take me seriously as an intellectual creature. And so it wasn't until I was a professional dog walker in Beverly Hills in Hollywood, and I'm walking, you know, 10 to 15 dogs a day, sweating in the summers and freezing in the winters. And I loved it so much, that I had a dream. And in the dream, I saw six books that I was supposed to write titles, format, structure topics, the whole I mean, it was really, really specific. And that gave me so much courage. The thing that saved me because I was married to an actor who was you know, he worked but not a lot. He wasn't a star. And here I am a dog walker, the thing that saved me was that I was so in love with the dream. I was so in love with the vision, I was so in love with the practice of learning to write and putting words together in sentences together, that I was willing to live, actually very simply. So we had at one point we had free rent in multiple guest houses. In one house. I was the maid and my husband did carpentry work in another house, we were the dog sitters for, you know, in one of the stories we were celebrity pet sitters for a guy who was going to rehab for six weeks and lived in his mansion for a couple of years. So I was just you know, in love with the creative process, which allowed me to be flexible.

Jamila Souffrant 7:04

I love how this love that you had. It came through so vividly in a dream. And you did say this actually had this in one of my notes for you about your friends in one part. Like if the story was said to you like we're concerned like you're not using your brain like your your your dog walking and doing this all this other stuff. And I think you just felt like they were trying to make you feel guilty. Maybe not on purpose, but about what you were doing. But you felt like you you were living a dream because you were walking dogs like you loved animals.

Linda Sivertsen 7:34


Jamila Souffrant 7:36

But there was still something else for you to do. Right. Like I still feel like maybe and you can clarify and help me with the timeline. But it still felt like even though you were enjoying walking dogs and doing that part of your life, you still weren't pursuing writing.

Linda Sivertsen 7:51

Yea. There was a nagging voice in my head after my sister said, you know, my friends and I are worried about you. You're so smart, but you're not using your brain. My ego was hurt at first because here I am. I'm walking Kirk Douglass dogs and Kiefer Sutherland's dogs and Catherine Oxenberg. I'm in the most beautiful homes in America. And I've got the keys and alarm codes. What do you mean, you're worried about me, I've just created an amazing business for a girl who doesn't believe she's very smart, like I was proud of myself. But her words really weighed on me because my whole life I'd wanted to be a writer. So it just just nagged at me. And so even though I still love the dogs, and I still love the job, and I was getting paid to exercise in beauty, it was just bothering me, like, am I wasting my brain? Is there something else I'm supposed to be doing? So I was actively asking that question.

Jamila Souffrant 8:45

So then I have to ask, How do you know? And this is what I have, like, how do you know when you're settling or not? Or when it is the right time? To leave one dream and go to the next stream?

Linda Sivertsen 8:55

That's a great question. And I get kind of excited to hearing it. Because first of all, nobody's asked me that. But here's the beauty of what happened. I was so in love with dog walking and my dog clients and the people behind those dogs. That I never had an ulterior motive. There was no master plan. There was no like, I'm gonna do this get to know these people really well and write a book about them like no way. I was just enjoy. And in the present moment, there was no scheming there was no planning there actually wasn't even any dreaming. It was just I was living a dream. So then when my sister said what she said and I had a couple of other prophecy things that you know I write about in the book with people who told me things like guru saying and and a Vedic astrologer who predicted my writing career when those things happen. I think it kind of coalesced into that literal dream because I was open minded people had been planting seeds. So right I wake up at three in the morning, I'd see these six books I'm supposed to write. Now I'm on fire because I had Inklings that something was coming. And now it's connected to my lifelong dream, which is to write. But I think the key is to be doing what you love. And even if you're in a job, that's a quote, unquote, job, I mean, I was picking up literally, I was at an animal excrement engineer for a living, and picking up hundreds of poops a week. So even if you're doing that, love it, love whatever you can about it, be grateful for everything that's happening. And then magic starts to happen. And I think that's what I tried to do with the book, beautiful writers, was to not only tell all the different magical things that happened to me, accidentally or on purpose because of my bigger than life thinking or because of my nose to the grindstone work ethic, or what have you. But all of the people that I interviewed all these big, best selling authors, they have so many magical stories, too. And I just wanted to remind us all that we're magic and to trust your intuition and where it leads you.

Jamila Souffrant 11:07

Yeah, and especially when I talk about financial independence or freedom on the podcast, and ultimately, what people want is a life they want time and energy freedom to be able to pursue, right, whatever it is within inside of them. And that looks different for everyone. Right? And yes, there are steps like there are practical things that you should do to get there spend less invest, make the smart money decisions, but so much of it, I believe, is intangible, like so much of it is it's like you can't wrap it up and give it a step by step process, right? Like, it's almost like you have to trust the person or trust yourself to be able to see things that other people don't see and go after things that you can't explain. And that's the kind of stuff I really like talking about, because I feel like it's that intangible, luck, faith, belief in God or a system bigger than that you can like do one plus one equals two. It's bigger than that. And I think what you're talking about how you started to see the steps for yourself and get confirmation that you are going on the right path is what I want people to unlock no matter where they are listening for their own journey, because maybe it's not being a writer, maybe it's being a dancer or composing music. Maybe it is something with entrepreneurship, but it's like, they may feel stuck or in place. And there are things that want to show them the way but they have to access that and trust that first.

Linda Sivertsen 12:31

Yeah, that's beautifully said. I think that as we make steps toward our goal, we will get breadcrumbs along the way to show us if we're going in the right direction, and it's okay to go the wrong direction. I always tell my clients just decide you might have 50 book titles, just pick one, you know, you can always change your mind later. And it's in the movement, I think that the motivation comes that the ideas come the muse, whether you're a writer, or whatever you're doing in life, your guidance shows up and goes, Oh, she's taking this seriously. Now we can give her the good stuff.

Jamila Souffrant 13:10

Right. One of the things she also mentioned is about having good questions like reflective inquiry, so we can access creativity. So I feel like when I talk to anyone, right, they talked about when they were a child, they were so creative, you know, I was I wrote and read so much more as a child versus now. And how do people get back to that, like get back to the creative within themselves?

Linda Sivertsen 13:32

I think those questions asking yourself those questions. I mean, it wasn't until my sister said, I think you're wasting your brain that I started asking the questions. Well, what does that look like? And what could I be doing? And what do I love? What makes me happy? What lights me up? I mean, I'm a naturally high serotonin person. So I'm very blessed to that way. But the challenge of being high serotonin in high dopamine is that you can kind of do anything and be happy, I can live anywhere and be happy. I mean, you know, anywhere is is arguable. But when you're happy, I think sometimes you have to really, really dig deeper. Because you can stay way too long in a situation that isn't working for you, ultimately, or isn't your best option.

Jamila Souffrant 14:20

Right? For the questions that I know like not being complacent or even too happy in a way not that you can't be too happy. But settling there like there may be something else. When you look back at your career, especially when you were starting. What other questions did you ask yourself? Or how did you see opportunities where other people wouldn't have that helped you get further?

Linda Sivertsen 14:45

Oh, that's interesting. That's interesting. I think the the dream gave me a lot of courage. I think I'm a high confidence person and a very insecure person at the same time. So the insecure part took me was like, but I didn't get my college degree I quit early. I'm not smart enough those bullies from high school thought I was an airhead and made fun of me for my low SAT scores. There was that really scared, insecure part. But then the other part of me, the shoot for the moon over the top, Leo, kind of like, I'm living in Hollywood, and I'm walking dogs for celebrities, I can do whatever I want, like, what do I want? Just caused me to continually ask myself those questions. And then I think when you're in that inquiry, when things show up, that are the answer to those questions, like, really ask and you shall receive, you're gonna get those answers. When those things show up. Because you've been asking and you're paying attention, you can see them, you can take advantage of those opportunities. When the Academy Award winning songwriter calls the pet store I'm working at and says, I need a place to board my Huskies Do you know of a good place? I'm like, Hey, by the way, I'm a dog walker, and I love Huskies. He's like, How soon can you be here and I was there in two hours. And then I lived in his mansion for years, because I was paying attention to what I wanted. I was hustling. The more that we ask ourselves what we want, when things start to show up, we know how to take, take that leap.

Jamila Souffrant 16:26

And you said something and I can relate to it well, is that the insecurity coupled with like high confidence? That's totally me too. And the people who let the insecurity win in a way that stops them from moving forward, I want to maybe we can give some tips on overcoming that, or despite those voices doing things anyway. Because what I find is actually a lot more people that are successful are actually really insecure.

Linda Sivertsen 16:52

Yeah, yeah.

Jamila Souffrant 16:53

Or have doubts, but they're still doing it. So why can't you if you're like listening?

Linda Sivertsen 16:57

Yeah, you just go, you just do it anyway, I think I was very good at being disciplined with myself in the areas where I knew I could go off the rails. So one of the things was, I have less confidence when I feel like crap. So I don't allow myself to feel like crap for very long. So if I'm gonna have like a junk food day, it's one day, it's like James clear, he talks about don't do two days in a row, I do not. As a rule, I take really, really good care of myself, I exercise every day, and it might only be 10 minutes, I might just feel a dog walk down my neighborhood. But I move my body in the morning, I write down my goals for the day. So I'm not like haphazard, all over the place that eat really clean, I don't eat a lot of processed foods, and I never have. So I just feel good every day. And so that's a, that's a big difference. Because you take somebody who's insecure, and makes them feel like crap, they're going to hide in their house, or they're going to put themselves out there. But with a whole lot of mixed messages. And you know, whatever you put out comes back. So if you're putting yourself out there with mixed messages, universe is gonna give you a lot of mixed results. I didn't want mixed results. I wanted to kick ass with my very short life, my parents were dead early, my mom was dead at 59. My dad was dead at 67. I helped both of them as they were sick. And man, I'm gonna make the most of this one.

Jamila Souffrant 18:26

And it goes to show you that the physical things we want, right, like the results, it's things that seem tense, gentle, it's like what we're putting in our body. It's like, do we have the energy to see the opportunity and say, yes, if we're called. And that, to me is so important, and so overlooked even with the money, right? Like everything about money, whether it's like going in and having the confidence to negotiate your salary, or talk to your co workers, right, like if not having people that you could connect to at the workplace, who then can maybe recommend you for promotions, and all those things like, it matters how you show up. And so if you show up not feeling good, which can lead to how you're sleeping, how you're eating, that all matters in the process.

Linda Sivertsen 19:08

No doubt.

Jamila Souffrant 19:10

Linda, can you talk a little bit more about your author, journey. So I know you're making a living in multiple ways now. But when you started, you know you're writing a book. So he talked about transitioning and making money with writing in different ways.

Linda Sivertsen 19:25

So when you're first starting out and you don't have any credentials, writing as a total money pit, I mean, just excruciating. Er, it was for me, so gave up the dog walking business because I've had the dream, right. And I'm going to be on Oprah and six. Well, let's make it nine months, right? So I have no clue. I am such a newbie. I don't know how long things take. I don't have any mastery over writing. So it's going to be a long haul for me to get my book sold. I don't know that. I think it's all going to be you know, miraculously fast. So I quit my dog walking job. And we moved out into the middle of nowhere, my ex husband wanted to live out in the boonies, we found a place on like 350 acres in northern New Mexico living off the grid. So we're like, let's go. So we're living in the middle of nowhere with land that we bought from a shaman. We're doing sweat lodges, with the local Pueblo people, I mean, whatever. None of that is high income earning. So the book ends up taking years to write. And I don't know about book proposals at the time I now that's part A big part of my business is helping people wrap their book proposals, but I didn't even know what one was. So I read a 400 page manuscript and send it off to an agent, which is not the norm, you're supposed to send a one page query letter to agents. And if they want to see it, then you send them a proposal and some sample chapters, I did it totally back afterwards, they send the 400 pages to New York agent who actually loved it signed me. And then he's like, Oh, so you gotta write a little book proposal. So then I gotta take another year to figure out what the hell that is. Study the best book proposals I could find. Write a book proposal, watch it get rejected over and over until I kept revising it, revise it finally got it sold. So meanwhile, I'm making $0 for years. And then the first book only sells for $5,000, which doesn't even cover the postage that I sent to the celebrities. I was trying to, you know, interview all those years. I mean, it might have covered that, but not not much, certainly no trips to LA. So I was one of those writers who was totally dependent on my husband's income at the time, which was not a huge amount of money. We lived off the grid, we had very simple. I think our monthly net was $2,000, which sometimes we barely made, but you know, he made it. Then when the books sold, I had a choice. It was like, okay, am I going to do this little dog and pony show? Am I going to speak on any stage that we'll have made because this was really pre internet, this was 1998. So the internet was there, but not like this. When somebody said to me, Lynda, you're at the top of Amazon, I didn't even know what that meant. I didn't even know what Amazon was. So there was no podcast with Jamila, where you and I could have this conversation. So my choice was like, I had seen many best selling authors through hearing their stories. I could sell books out of the back of my car and do start the small little speaking gigs, and build those up and then start getting bigger speaking fees, and then sell books at this speaking events. And that was kind of how everybody did it. Start teaching workshops. And yeah. So I looked at that, and I thought, Okay, I have a five year old kid. So I think maybe it was nine. By that time. I have a kid who needs me. I have a husband who's got an acting income, which is up and down, and a lot of times down. Is that legit? Like can I pull that off, and I knew I didn't have it in me. I had four dogs, two cats, I didn't have an Emmy. So I hung out my shingle, hey, I can edit your books. And I was slammed from day one. My first book proposal it was with Rhonda Britton, we co authored it sold for six figures in a bidding war in New York. She told everybody it was you know, because of Linda. And that happened over and over again. I think like my third or fourth book proposal sold for a million dollars at auction. And so I just became like the hired girl forever and ever. And I started ghostwriting books for best selling authors and started hitting the New York Times list with books that I had put my you know, my time and energy into and it wasn't until years and years and years later that I went back to my own writing but it was a long process.

Jamila Souffrant 23:54

You talking about your love for writing, and then having to make this decision kind of do I do I continue do I am I the star we we say that like if I'm the star and I write my own books, perhaps I will still get to where I want to be but it's an uphill climb it's felt like that's what you felt like and then there's no other way where you can help other people write books where it's like maybe you're not the star you're like the co star or behind the scenes right the

Linda Sivertsen 24:21

totally behind the scenes but it was consistent. And I could be a stay at home mom which is what I wanted and I could be with my dogs and I could be kind of incognito I'm not to look at me Look at me person as much as I do put myself out there to degree because you have to in this digital marketing age, but it's not really my inclination.

Jamila Souffrant 24:43

But it's nice to see though that

Linda Sivertsen 24:52

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And I don't know You know, I think many authors find themselves in that position. Do you bank on yourself? Or do you take your talents and give them to other people? And it's not an easy decision, I don't think for anybody. And fortunately, there are so many ways now to do all of it. You know, you gotta be careful. Like I There were times where I was just reading two books at a time, one for man, one for a woman. And that just really wore me down, like, you gotta be careful and pace yourself. But it's not unusual. You know, I think most books are ghostwritten.

Jamila Souffrant 25:27

Yeah, yeah, I'm finding out that, as I talk to more authors behind the scenes, I'm like, oh, okay, you didn't write that. But

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Jamila Souffrant 26:30

You're writing behind the scenes, so you're helping other people launch their books, seems like word of mouth is how you got your name out there, or you started to get a lot of clientele.

Linda Sivertsen 26:41

I think what happened was a couple of the books I wrote for other people with other people I should never say wrote them, because you don't write by yourself, you're still getting reading their journals and listening to their speeches and brainstorming with them. And there are sometimes editing things back and forth. So it's a definite collaboration. But one of the guys I've wrote a book for hit the New York Times list. I said to him, you know, I'd like to teach, I think I'd like to do a workshop, maybe an online workshop that, like the module six module course, that was all really new. I said, you know, I'm losing my house, my husband's just had an affair he's failing. I was 2008 with the market crisis. And I said, I'd like to design a course if I do. Would you be willing to promote it on your list. And he had a 200,000 person list. And at that time, that was major. And he said, Sure. And so it took me three months to write the sales page. So I write the sales page, he sends it to his list with the subject header, the secret weapon behind my seven figure book deal. And he sends it out. And that course because of his promotion, saved to my house, and allowed me to put my kid through college. Now, not the whole tuition, but it got me started. And then I thought, Oh, so now I'm teaching an online course. Somebody said you'd now you have to do in person courses, too. And they said, charge $5,000. I thought $5,000 That's highway robbery, like, how could I ever charge that much money and they said, use our beautiful house and records for free? Charge $5,000 and start your business. And I thought, okay, and they said you announce it on your first your second call. So the six call course I announced this workshop on the second call for $5,000.05 people signed up instantly. So now I had $25,000 I wasn't expecting and teaching that retreat was so I felt like the house was floating. Felt like I had been reborn. It was the most fun I've ever had in my life. And so now I've done 90 of them.

Jamila Souffrant 28:54


Linda Sivertsen 28:55

I do in Carmel now and online, but I've done 90. So Decisions.

Jamila Souffrant 29:00

decisions, but also have like the gall and the confidence to ask for help. Right like so this person that you wrote the book for? I mean, there's many things maybe you could have asked for instead of helped me launch or promote this business. It could have been like another favor. Sometimes I think we may have access to someone or know of someone of someone. But do we ask the right questions that will get us the best yield or yo net bang for our buck. were you considering something else? How did you have the confidence to ask him that question? How did you know that was the right question?

Linda Sivertsen 29:35

That's a really great point because I always say you have to be so specific in what you ask for because nobody who's successful is sitting around thinking all day long. How can I help Jamila be super successful? How can I help Linda? But if you go to them with a very, really well thought out question, Hey, I'm doing this six module course, would you be willing to send it to your list? I'll share 50% of the proceeds with you. That is a very specific, easy thing to answer yes or no. And I've always done that. Like, I remember when Leeza, gibbons had her talk show on NBC, the Leeza Gibbons show and my book, I was writing the book proposal struggling to get it sold. I wrote her a letter, and I said, Would you be willing to say that if I get a publisher, you will consider doing a show around the book? And she said, that is very specific, I can see how to do this. And yes, she was promising, you know, nobody was gonna throw her in promising jail if she didn't follow it, follow through, but, and she did, she ended up putting me giving me an hour talk show devoted to my first book.

Jamila Souffrant 30:55

That's incredible. And my wheels are turning about, like, I was like to see how I can give people and even myself, like practical takeaways right to do. And I want to note that you done things with the people that you already asked question, you know, you're asking favors up, and you're making sure it's a win win for them, too.

Linda Sivertsen 31:13

I was going to say you always have to show them how it's a win win for them. So it's Lisa, I said, I could bring on this, this and this celebrity and they could talk about this, this and this, like Catherine Oxenberg had never talked about the incest within the royal family that had totally jacked up her childhood and made her believe MC, but she was willing to talk about it in my book, and she was willing to talk about it on Lisa. So Lisa could then see the ratings.

Jamila Souffrant 31:37

Yeah, yeah. So it's almost like you finding what and this is what it's like social intelligence and social capital like building that regardless, right? Let's being a good person in general, and giving your gifts to the world and to people, but then creating and keeping those relationships. And then once you have those lines of communication, like you said, sometimes it's just an acquaintance. Or it's someone you know, that you may know, it's like, okay, but what is it that you want to accomplish? Or what are you working on? Like, what's the next step in your life that you're looking to achieve? Is a new job? Is it writing a book? Is it something else? And then thinking through? What is that specific question, I can sit down and maybe you got to brainstorm it, right? And sit down and write out all the questions and say, who in my life could potentially help me with this answer?

Linda Sivertsen 32:22

Well, and I think it's now so easy to like, back in the day, when I was starting my writing career. I happen to be in the right location for a dog walker, I was in Beverly Hills in Hollywood, I'm working at a pet store, I'm sending out flyers all over it, you know, to the most beautiful homes in the world. Ultimately, I got a testimonial from Kirk Douglas, I put that at the top of my flyer. So that made getting other clients easier, right? Always trying to, you know, make people feel safe. But nowadays, what you do, if you're not going door to door in Beverly Hills is you go to people's workshops. All of this is investing in yourself and investing and career. We don't really believe in or know of many instant overnight success stories. For the most part. It's a net like you were saying it's about networking. It's about providing value. It's about what can you do to make something or when when you need something, but somebody else needs something, too? What can you bring to the table that makes it so that you both feast?

Jamila Souffrant 33:26

Oh, I love that so that you both feast is not just one. And it's also this idea of not being afraid of rejection and no. Right? So if you would have went to him? And he would have said no. Or maybe you think well he think differently of me or something. How did you get over that? Because I know that keeps a lot of people back from asking the questions and going for it.

Linda Sivertsen 33:47

Oh god, I had some really really funny stories about that in beautiful writers because I fell on my face so many times. There were so many times I was grandiose and over the top and ill prepared and so embarrassing. I mean, I just like I won't give them away here because they're really in the context of the story. But they're, they're ridiculous. So I think I wasn't afraid to be ridiculous. I just had that grandiosity, that foolishness of youth. And I really was on fire for my mission. So my mission wasn't just to be a writer. My mission was to change publishing and to help change the way people source paper. So I'm a tree hugger. I'm a girl who grew up with forests. And I've never actually talked about this anywhere but whose family part of my family was killed by a logging truck. So my grandfather and my father's Little sis five year old sister were killed in an accident where a logging truck wiped into them on a rainy day. And I have always been obsessed with saving trees. It's like my biggest passion and life goal. And so I was so motivated to make stories that were good enough and entertaining enough and to connect with author's who could really move the needle environmentally, that it was like, Okay, so I'm gonna look like an idiot who the hell cares if I do something over the top? If I send a funny letter to a celebrity with a big bag of cookies and say something outrageous, they're not gonna hate me, they don't even know me. Who cares if I lose the interview? I don't have it anyway. But maybe I'm gonna make them laugh. And maybe they're gonna call me up and go, You know what, that was the funniest thing anybody's ever done, which they have, they've called me and said that, and then I get the deal. I get the interview, I get the deal. So I'm just not afraid to be outrageous.

Jamila Souffrant 35:36

And it speaks to tying your purpose and why into something bigger than yourself. I think I did read this recently, in the book, your book, beautiful writers, that when it's such a big mission, when you make it bigger than yourself, then if the failures don't matter, because you're like, God, the universe is conspiring in your favor anyway. So you're just like, You know what, that was a lesson. That was a reason that's a stepping stone to something else. And, like, I truly believe whether you know, it's true or delusional, in a way, it just helps your motivation. It helps the momentum helps you keep going.

Linda Sivertsen 36:11

Yeah, I don't care if it's delusional. I love magical thinking. I mean, I'm a super practical person, I pay my bills. I don't lie. I'm loving. I'm dependable. I've been on a long path. Like there's no overnight success in my journey. It's a long slog. So because of all that, I'm okay with magical thinking, I'm okay thinking that what I do matters and that it's going to make a difference and that I was born for a destiny. And I'm also Okay, letting myself off the hook. If I can't wake up for that destiny, because I am worried about a litter of puppies were raising or I really, my husband needs me and I want to take a week off and be with him or my kid is coming off the deep end and he needs support. I'm okay slowing down my path. Always. Always I'm there for my people. I'm there for my animals. But in the I trust in the long run. I trust that all of this dreaming and planning and lack of sleep and, and high octane energy all these years, all the discipline I've had to get here, I trust that all of it was for a divine purpose, just so don't even question it. So if I don't make my goals, oh, well, I never ever like dog myself. But I try. I try.

Jamila Souffrant 37:32

And you talk just now about you're in it for the long haul, like the marathon? What advice would you give to like, let's say someone is having a moment? Or they have they're having something that's successful happening, right? It's that they could capitalize on but it's they don't, you don't want it to just be like for a moment or a sprint like you want this to help in long term ways. Right? So whether that's you get a book deal, or you get featured on the show, or you get that compliment from the boss in the meeting, right? Like, what are some ways people can keep those moments like, have them feed into the bigger moments, right and compound?

Linda Sivertsen 38:10

Yeah, it's all about the fundamentals. Man. It's all about the fundamentals. Like, what makes you feel good every day, so that you're gonna keep getting up and you're gonna keep doing it, you're gonna keep doing the work, you're gonna keep showing up. So I've had a lot of highs in my career, and I don't, I don't dwell on them long. I celebrate them briefly. I categorize them. They're on Instagram. They're in my story, so I won't forget them. But, but I still got to wake up the next day and keep doing the work. So I just focus on All right, what's today? I think, you know, my sister was telling me one time my sister's a Vedic Astrologer. And she said, there are people people's charts either have moveable planets, or stationary plants. And I don't know anything about this. But I will say most of my plants are stationary. I think she said, they're not moving around. So my ex husband changes whoever he's with, like he's like, when in Rome do with the Romans do? I'm not like that. I'm like, when in Rome do what Linda does. Like I always kind of do the same thing wherever I am. So I think you have to know who you are. And if you're a when in Rome, do with Roman Tsar person. Wow, you got to really figure out what your North Star is. And if and when you're in Rome, don't get off track, like really wrangle yourself in and try to make sure that if your nature is sending you haphazardly all over the place, get back to the fundamentals. Get back to your footwork. It's like I used to know a football player who was losing his edge and an older football player said to him, get back to your footwork. You've forgotten how to throw the ball so that it's dependable to do the things that make your life solid. And then you can dream on the page or you can dream and you know, whatever. field it is you have but you got to be solid.

Jamila Souffrant 40:03

Speaking of like, just mentioned a football player, or we've mentioned some names in the book or names on the podcast of famous people, or well known or established people in whatever field and so I feel like especially from listening to your podcast, that like, I'm always just like, amazed at sometimes your guests, I'm like, Oh my gosh, like, I feel like you know, every major writer that whether they're on the New York Times list, or just their books have been turned into movies, I'm just like, you seem to just be really good at people or with people. And so I think it's a skill that a lot of us can use or work on. So what are some tips or advice you'd give to being more of a social person to be able to have these relationships?

Linda Sivertsen 40:44

That's a great question, because I'm very friendly. But I am really introverted. So, as a kid, I didn't like joining groups. When we were in college, I didn't party hardly ever, like, my best friend would go to the bars and then come home and tell me about it, I would surely get the football game. But then I would go home and watch The Love Boat with my parents. And my boyfriend would come over to my house to say hi on his way home from the party like, so I'm not a party girl. And I'm a one on one person more than anything. You know, what really helped me was the dog walking business because I was getting a crash course, in hobnobbing with really successful people, like on a world stage. And I was seeing I was learning a lot about success and what it really entails. And I saw how insecure these world famous people were, I saw how plagued they were I saw their addictions I saw, it was like, Whoa, those people are no more magical than anyone else, except for the fact that they just keep going they keep showing up and they bolster themselves up and like to doll. And so I think that was really really good for me to see. I also got a crash course in dealing with difficult people I saw how to deal with divas. When I was a ghostwriter holy crap I wrote for a couple of divas, male and female. And it was really, really challenging. And I learned, you know, I used to work at Nordstrom and college and I learned that the customer's always right. So people can't upset me. I don't get angry. I don't even think I lose sleep over it. Like I just and my ex husband was a who he was intense. And I just learned early on like, anybody's mood is not because of me. That's their own deal. The complaints, they may be screaming at me or the tantrum they're throwing, or the insane deadlines that they're trying to push on me. None of that is my problem. That is their deal. And if I hold to me, and I take care of me and I communicate lovingly what I need, I've almost walked off ghostwriting jobs many times where I've said, Nope, not doing it, or where a huge celebrity has his assistant call me and say, We want to give Linda this big job. And I know it's gonna save my house. And then I say What are the hours and they say anytime he can call you at three in the morning, four in the morning? I go nope. And they're like, What do you mean? Nope, sorry, not working for him, and I hang up. I just know that I'm going to be okay. So even when I'm needy, and you know what I found? Every single time I've needed money every time and it's been so many times. If I don't take the one job that's being handed to me, and I hold off because what they're asking for is some form of abuse. I always get some better the next day. I always do. So I'm not saying everybody quit your job and you're for sure gonna get one tomorrow. But man, who it if you're if you're in an abusive situation a lot of times holding holding to your guns and saying no, bring something better.

Jamila Souffrant 44:00

Speaking of money, how has your relationship with money changed over the years and starting? I'm assuming you're more financially secure than when you were starting out. But then just having more money now that you have more assuming that you do? Has that changed your perception? Or has it alleviated any fears you might have had before? What is it like now as you evolved into someone who has more success? What does that feel like now? And then how is your relationship with money changed over that timeframe?

Linda Sivertsen 44:31

When I was broke broke when my ex husband and I were living in a little shack that was illegally zoned which was fine with us. We were renting because we had 654 dogs and two cats and we needed an illegal place. So the landlord wouldn't turn us in from those days to now. What I did was constantly learn about money. So I knew I had to change my mindset. I knew that I was raised with a lot of abundance and Getting a lot of poverty, poverty consciousness. At the same time, my parents live beyond their means we had a beautiful life. We went to the ballet, we went to the opera, we had long branches, live music in the house, it was a gorgeous childhood. And when my mother died, they were in a lot of debt. And she was very, very upset about it. And her life insurance had to pay off that debt. When my dad died, the market had just crashed, he was on margin, his millions of dollars was lost. So I'm from a family, I guess you could say of dreamer, gamblers, and there was a lot of devastation there on all fronts. So I was raised, seeing both the beauty of abundance thinking and the danger of not reining it in. And I have all those tendencies myself, I love nice things I love to give, I'm super giving, I give a lot of money, even when I don't have it. So I've had to be very, very careful. And I think learning about money all along helped. When I was a magazine editor, I would interview financial people, I interviewed Suze Orman and she taught me about putting my dollars all nicely in my wallet in order and not being haphazard with things I invested in an IRA when I was young, I had a college thing set up for my son when when I was young. So I set things up early, knowing that I wasn't very good with money, and I had to have some structure or I was going to be super screwed, like my parents were. And overtime that's helped. I mean, my IRA has just grown and grown and grown like, wow, you know, I put in the maximum I'm supposed to every year in some some years, barely get it in, you know, it's due October 15, this year, October 17. But some years, I get it in on the 14th, like the day before, but I get it in, and I always get it in so it's gotten bigger and bigger and bigger. And I work hard for that. My new husband, he's financially brilliant. And so I no longer have to pay a mortgage, which is so nice, you know, for years and years. Wow, that was so hard to do everything put the kid through college, I was single mom and pay the mortgage. And and and now he owns our house outright. So I don't but I help you know, pay for the gardener. I'll pay for the maid when we have a, you know, a paver. I do I do a lot of stuff. But I don't have the same financial pressure I had when I was single. I don't know that many people talk about this. And I don't know. It really matters. What your partner does. You know, my partner is very smart financially, he doesn't waste money. He's very, very smart. He has some money not to price out things, but he's still careful. He's taught me a lot about being careful, more careful. I don't know that I'll ever be financially careful. But I never even used to look at price tags and weigh things out. And I'm a lot smarter now because of him. So I think to answer your question, in a short way, the best thing I ever did was just keep learning about money. And even your podcast. You know, I've been listening to your podcast a lot. I learned so much from your guests. I learned so much from you. Yeah, it's mind blowing. I feel like we can never stop learning about money.

Jamila Souffrant 48:20

Never, never can. Right? And it's not about just you know, earning money is one thing, but how do you translate and turn that money into wealth or options for yourself? Where it's fleeting, right? It's providing a sense of security. And I love the comment about the spouse or the partner, or whoever you're coupling yourself with that is very important. It's one of the biggest financial decisions you'll make. And so yeah, thanks for being just real about that and bring it up. Because, you know, some of the things I've been able to do, it's because, you know, and I know not everyone has this, but I have a partner who is financially sound. And when I quit my job, right, like we could be honest insurance. And so like things like that matter. And it's good to be transparent about because while maybe you're you don't have that maybe you haven't met your person, maybe you don't want to meet a person like that. You want to be that for yourself, hopefully, maybe shine a light on if you're not in a situation that's financially beneficial for you or at least healthy, that you start making plans to put yourself in a better position.

Linda Sivertsen 49:22

Well, I was intentional about dating Larry, because before him I had been with real dreamers, financial dreamers, who they overspent we over borrowed, there was just not a lot of like real financial fiscal responsibility. And so I when I made my list of what is the type of person I want to draw in, I thought I want a man who makes more money than me because my experience had been when I made more money than the men I dated. They ultimately were attracted to that at first. That was really cool. In a cool, wow, she's not gonna bleed me dry. But then I found that at least in a couple of instances that I can think of there was some real resentment, it was hard on them. I think that our culture is so hard on men to think that they have to be the breadwinners, they have to make more than there are women, that these two men I'm thinking of, they felt guilty about it. And they resented that they made less than me. And I thought, gosh, I can't, I can't win, I have to make this money to save my kid and me from this horrible disaster 2008 and the divorce, which was so expensive, and I'm working so hard, and now I'm being penalized for it. Now, I'm like, in trouble because I make too much money. And not that I had a ton of money, mind you, I had so much debt, I was just making money to, you know, kind of catch up to zero. And I was being penalized for it. And I thought no, no more. I said, for whatever my karma is with men, I have trouble in this area. So I need to find somebody who makes more money than me. And so when Larry and I went on our first date, he said, What are you looking for? And I said, you know, I want a best friend as did he. And I said, I want what my parents had, which was like true love, like getting my dad would get giddy talking about my mom, my mom would get giddy talking about my dad, they were married almost 40 years, they were in love. All their problems notwithstanding, they're in love. I said, That's what I want. He said, Me too. And I said, and then this is like first or second date. And then looking at his beautiful home, we're in the backyard in the in a hammock, just talking second data. And I said, I never want to pay another mortgage. Because really, I said, yep. I said, if we get a second home, me and whoever, I'll maybe I'll help with that one, but I ain't paying them the mortgage. And I said that as a line in the sand. Because I knew I over give, I knew I overdue, I will always do the bulk of the chores in any house I'm in because I can't, I can't not do it. I will always be cleaning the floors, I will always be doing every dish. I will make every frickin meal. Don't make me pay for the mortgage. And boy, he heard it and I had

Jamila Souffrant 52:09

Wow, talk about asking for what you want and being real with what you want. You know, like forget what sounds good. Forget what society is tell because you know, it's kind of like I'm not gonna say what I really want because you know, that's not PC or it's not like what, you know, the person wants to hear, but maybe like, we'll work to that. And it's just like, wow, and not every person you know, has to want what you want it right. You can want something totally different. But it's so important. To be specific and clear. You may just actually get what you want.

Linda Sivertsen 52:36

Yeah, I'm like, I'm not playing this game anymore. I'm not gonna be all things to all people do everything and then be hated for it. Sorry. No, I want you to step up. You're gonna pay the mortgage.

Jamila Souffrant 52:45

Linda, I can't believe we're at like this conversation was amazing. And I really believe this is gonna help a lot of people. Please tell everyone where they can find more about you the book, the podcast, everything.

Linda Sivertsen 52:58

Thank you so much book B. Oh, okay. Ma Ma has all the links the beautiful writers podcast is the link is there. Beautiful writers, all the links for buying the book are there, all my programs are there.

Jamila Souffrant 53:12

Thanks so much again, Linda.

Linda Sivertsen 53:13

Ah, so fun. Thank you love.

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