How I Failed at Reaching My Financial Independence Goal But Found Financial Freedom Instead

Episode Number: 351

Episode 351: Why I Wrote Your Journey to Financial Freedom, Who The Book Is For & Behind-The-Scenes of Becoming A Debut Author

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Well, Journeyers, it’s finally here: “Your Journey to Financial Freedom: A Step-By-Step Guide to Achieving Wealth and Happiness,” hits bookshelves THIS WEEK! 

In this solo episode, I “spill the tea,” on what it was like writing my debut book, the behind-the-scenes of the publishing world, getting over self-doubt, and what you can expect when you pick up the book.

I also chat about letting go of perfection, why your dreams should be offensive, psychographics, the belief that the pursuit of Financial Independence is for everyone, and more.

In this episode you’ll also learn more about:

  • Who the target audience is for my new book, “Your Journey to Financial Freedom: A Step-By-Step Guide to Achieving Wealth and Happiness” 
  • How privileges and blind-spots of other personal finance educators and “gurus” pushed me to create a more relatable, authentically representative brand and book
  • The layout of  “Your Journey to Financial Freedom,” and how this book came to be in the world
  • Main takeaways for you from my experience spending 2+ years writing my life’s work and gifting it to you 
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Jamila Souffrant 0:02

Yes, the external things, sure they are important. We do need to measure them. It's part of the calculations and making sure we have enough. But there's this intangible thing that is not always measurable. That changes within you, and how fast you move through the journey or the opportunities that come to you start to occur when you open up yourself to this.

Intro 0:28

T-minus 10 seconds. Welcome to the Journey To Launch podcast with your host, Jamila Souffrant. As a money expert who walks her talk, she helps brave Journeyers 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.

If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journey to launch comm 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 in OG journey or 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 launch.com/jumpstart to get your guide right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode.

Jamila Souffrant 1:42

Hey, hey, hey, journeyers Welcome to the journey to launch podcast. Wow, this is an exciting time. So if you're listening to this when the episode comes out, that will be on December 6. I am right now experiencing one of the most exciting times of my life other than getting married, giving birth to my children. I have a book in the world. I legit have a book right now that you can buy out in the ether out in the world. And it's real. I know I feel like I've been talking about my book, Your journey to financial freedom for the longest now. I've been talking about it forever. And I've been telling you guys to preorder preorder, you know, preorder the book, if you know you're gonna get the book, eventually just preorder it in advance. It's so helpful for book sales and to signal to media to the publisher, to everyone that this is a book people want to read. And so in advance of the book actually coming out on December 5. So the book officially is in source December 5. And in advance of it coming out in December 5, I was trying to push and encourage you all to buy the book. And I've done some talks or episodes are mentioned why it's so important. But it really is important for an author, when you order books in general, and when you preorder, because everything that sold up until this point in the following week. So that puts us in I think the end of the end of day, December 11 count as your first week sales, meaning all the books that have been sold, even the books that were sold during the summer became available for preorder all that counts for sales. But now this feels a little bit different. Because you said of okay, you could preorder it and then now wait for it to be shipped on December 5, you can literally go and it's available now. You can get it shipped and receive it this week. And it's here. And I can't believe it.

So I thought this episode would be a more intimate episode, I want to share a few things with you. First, I want to share who this book is for and why I wrote this book, then I actually want to share a little bit of the timeline, you know behind the scenes of how this book came to be. It's pretty remarkable actually. And then I want to share some takeaways. So I always like leaving you guys with takeaways or things that can be actionable in your own life and your own journey. I know you like hearing from me and I do like sharing with you guys. But I always try to think okay, how can this be useful to you in your own life. So I do want to share some takeaways that I hope will be very helpful in what that in whatever endeavor you are embarking upon or in the middle of launching yourself. But let's go about and get back to the book.

Your journey to financial freedom a step by step guide to achieving wealth and happiness written by me Jamila souffrant Who is this book for? I spoke to someone very smart guy. He is an editor and another publishing house and he was giving me some advice and I took When we get this kind of advice when I speak to anyone, even when I was talking about the book in the first place of writing it, and even the brand journey to launch, people always say, Who is it for? Who is your target audience? You need to drill down, you know, how old are they? You know, where do they live? Like, what is this person's demographic of who the book is for, and, of course, or just who your brand is for. And I always like to say, you know, I'm not, I don't mean to be too delusional, I know that you need to be specific when talking to people. Because the more specific you are, the more focused you are on one voice or one listener, or buyer, the more you can resonate, and be true to that person you're trying to help. And then of course, if other people are interested in can learn from it, it will spread out to them. But if you try to talk to everyone that you speak to no one, I've heard it all in, you know, building this business, building the podcasts and writing the book, to me, Allah, Who are you speaking to, it needs to be this one, one person. And so the guy I was speaking to, he was very helpful, you know, he's very smart, and knows how books are sold, and how to sell books and all this stuff. And, and he was just like you who it has to be specific. And, you know, I am a person of many, I'm multifaceted in many ways. You know, there's this external me, obviously, that you see, right away, I am a woman, I am a black woman. I am an immigrant, you know, born in the beautiful island of Jamaica, raised in Brooklyn, New York, you know, there are some things you can see about me. And then here, when I talk, kind of my accent, which I don't think I have an accent, but some people have told me that I do that this is who I am, right. And so it is very clear, I hope that it's clear that I want to make sure that I am reaching people who really can relate to me in terms of someone who looks like them. So whether it's, you know, a young black woman, a person of color, immigrant, someone who I see as myself almost like my younger self in my early 30s, or 20s, or at some point, you know, I'm talking to someone like myself if I have to be specific.

And what has always amazed me about journey's launch, and that I'm really proud of really proud of is that I have been able what I feel is to transcend some of those barriers or demographics. And really talk more to or understand the psychographics or the, the internal thing within us. That connects us all. And I don't know if it's because of the way I learned. And, you know, I'm the kind of person I can learn from everyone. I take what I need, I leave what I don't. And it's how I found out about financial independence, when I first started to listen to other podcasts and read blogs, I was listening to white men and reading blogs by white men, and sometimes they would have women and people of color, and I'd hear about them and then find their blogs. And it was amazing. But I was able to gather the information I needed, even if they didn't say it in the way that resonated or even if I knew they had blind spots about what they were talking about, because they just did not know. You know, they almost couldn't recognize their own privilege. Just like in some ways, it's hard for me, or it's would be ignorant for me not to know that I have privileges that allow me or give me blind spots for other people's experiences. But because I was able to learn and digest information and then put it in a way that I hope can speak to people who can relate to me. I think it gave me this almost what I hope and what has been true, I think is this language and way of talking about the journey to financial independence that transcends what we are externally or what we just look like or where we even from those things are important. Extremely important. But what I've found by the people who come up to me whether it's like at a conference at fin con or in real life randomly or people who contact me online is that yes my content definitely skews to women women of color black woman you know you we get each other you get it and I love that I you know I mispronounce my some words. I remember I can't I keep pronouncing probably still mispronounce, ask or ask. And someone on Twitter was like can you just pronounce the name like I had to comment someone on an Apple podcast review and then someone on Twitter believe it was well I can tell for sure it was a white man on Twitter. And he was just like, can you you know you I love your podcasts and content but you say the word ask wrong. And I was just Like, Oh my God. And like there's a whole vernacular behind why actually, people of color and black people actually say that word. Not wrong, but different than maybe someone else. Like I literally looked it up. And there's a whole article article about it. So anyway, there are things that I do and say, and the way that I speak, that I know resonates with my people. But I also know that there's something deeper, there's a deeper need and want in all of us, that transcends that. And I said, I see it when I went to fin con. And like I said, when I was meeting people in person that listen to the podcast, or just online, that I would have, while my content skews to women and people of color and black woman, that I had a lot of men that listen to me and follow my work. And then you know, whether they're with someone or not like they would maybe if they approached me, they're like, family men that said, I told my wife about you, white men, black men, men of all colors, people from all types of gender and fluidity that listen. And I saw it in real time, especially when I went to fin con this last time, and I was meeting people and giving out the bound copy of my book, how diverse my audience is.

So when the guy was telling me who you speaking to, you have to make sure you're telling them directly who it's for. And I was like, of course, you know, and I hope I've been able to do that. But I think why it's so hard for me to narrow down and say, Hey, this is only for a black woman, is because I know that this work can help more than just a black woman, it can help a woman of Spanish descent, it can help an Asian woman, it can help an Asian man, like I just I feel like this work. And I don't like being put into a box on who I can speak to. I think with that it goes to who this book is for.

So this book is not necessarily obviously for one type of homogenous person. Because we're so deep, we're so layered. There's so many parts about us, it is for the person who wants more for themselves and their life, you may be listening to this on a commute that you do not enjoy. You may be sneak listening to this at work, where the air pot in your air or at home, and you know something is missing. And you just don't know what it is. And you're at a crossroads. You're at a crossroads of your career and life. And maybe it's a big decision coming up, or life event coming up that you need to make soon or you just have, there's a feeling that you know something is happening, and you need to make a choice. You know, it could be that you're having children getting married something, there's an external event occurring, or rumbling, you can't put your finger on it. And at the same time, there is an internal pressure also bubbling up inside of you. And it's coming to a head you can no longer ignore the fact that you are not living the complete life you want for some reason. And while you may or may not be interested in money, you understand that money is a big factor in why you're not able to live this complete life that you want to live. You have to make a decision. And you need tools and you need guidance, you need the inspiration to make the dream you have in your heart or reality. This book is for you. This book gives you the framework and I hope from a voice that you connect with and trust. And to my best ability as much as I'm still learning on my journey. You feel that is a partner, someone may be a few steps ahead of you but is helping guide you to be the hero in your own story. I am not the hero in your story. He I'm the hero and main character in my own life. But you are the hero and main character in your own life. And maybe you feel overlooked. You feel that people don't see you as a main character. But you know that you are there's always been something different about you in meetings, maybe you you tend to gaze off or you realize that there's so much more that you have to give your family the world even your career.

You know there's something else for you and you know that in order for you to achieve that. You have to get an understand and control and be flexible with your money. I believe this book is for the average person who is really and truly extraordinary in their own life. It's the average person's guide to wealth and freedom. It's for people not necessarily born into wealth. You didn't marry rich or win the lottery. But you know, you deserve all the things and you're willing to do the work. To get there, you're open about things you're you're willing to give things a try. You don't want your life to be governed by a spreadsheet or a budget, but you will do what you have to do in order to get to where you need to be. You want to enjoy your life, you don't want to put it on layaway, you don't want to put your joy on layaway, you want to be able to live. So the same way you didn't want to wait until standard retirement to travel or live that life that you're dreaming about. You also don't want to wait until you reach financial independence or early retirement, to live the life that you want. You want to find a balance and you're not sure how to do it. There's not a lot of people in your real life talking about it or encouraging you and saying that it's possible. But you just need some reassurance, you need some guidance, you need some steps. This book is for you.

Your journey to financial freedom. Right now, as of now, as of today. It's my life's work. You know, it's everything I've talked about on this podcast, put into a book that you can follow. I have so many people when you say Oh, I listened to your podcast, I've been binging. And it's amazing. And there's so much content. And it's like, amazing, it's great. But I really wanted and I hope that this is what you feel when you read the book that it condenses, and turns all the things that I talked about, and my unique perspective on reaching financial independence and what I call to be like the fun things I talked about, or just the frameworks like the five journeyer stages that you need to travel to to reach financial independence, or your Kwok lifestyle levels, figuring out what that is, putting all that on paper that you can follow and then create your own path. I get asked that a lot if you know financial independence is for everyone. And I really do believe the pursuit of financial independence is for everyone. I believe in the pursuit of financial independence, your life changes even before you reach the final destination, it needs to change before that it has to change before that, because the person you become the skills you gain. Yes, the external things, sure they are important. We do need to measure them. It's part of the calculations and making sure we have enough. But there's this intangible thing that is not always measurable, that changes within you. And how fast you move through the journey or the opportunities that come to you start to occur when you open up yourself to this. So as much as this is a outward, almost physical journey. Because you know, your external circumstances will change as you move forward on the path. I think it is equally an internal journey and the layers unfold as you get deeper and understanding what you want what you're willing to do. And so this book, it helps you explore that. So yes, I do think the journey to financial independence is some thing everyone should embark upon. No matter your starting point, I think it's even more important. If you're starting from a disadvantage if you don't come from money. If there's no one else around you that talks about this, I think it's even more important for you to be bold and try and be surprised at where you land.

So this book, yes, it's for my people, it's for the younger Jamila, who, oh my gosh, I would love to have a book like this breaking everything down. So yes, it's for the younger me. And it's really clear, you know, based on who I am and how I talk that is for the younger me, I would say that, you know, that young woman in her early 30s, who wanted something different for her life, who knew she wanted control over her time, but didn't know what to do or how to do it. This is the book I would have have wanted. This book is for her, you know, it's for that younger person, but I think that person who I am or what I was and what I who I still am, transcends whatever, whatever demographics that someone wants me to check off that who this is for this book is for anyone who knows they want freedom and independence and they want some guidance on how to get there, then it's not a typical finance book, I hope I hope I was able to allow you to look at things and view things a little bit differently inspire you to take action, but also it'd be practical. So I hope you enjoy when you start reading this book if you're listening because you already ordered it right. It's coming soon right? Because you ordered it. I hope you follow the steps the pathway and this is just the beginning.

So that A little bit about the book, let me give you a lay of the land of how the book is laid out. There are 13 chapters, and I broke the book out into four parts, because I wanted to best lay out a way in which you can use it as a reference guide. So once you read through it, you knew exactly where to come back to, to work on the areas that you needed to in the book.

So part one is all about the what, why and how of financial independence. It includes chapter one financial independence is within your reach the journeyer stages, the six essential components to work to reach FY, and the FY formula and how the components work together.

Part two is about creating your financial independence plan. So this is thinking about how you can assess your mindset and habits, how you can uncover your desired life goals and determine your gwoc level, setting your financial goals. And then finally, really exciting part of the book creating your financial independence plan. What does that initial plan look like?

In part three, we are going to execute your plan. So how do you work on the components? How do you optimize your expenses, increase your income, pay down liabilities and increase assets?

Part four is about enjoying the journey. So how do you stay focused and consistent on this long journey to independence, but enjoy it.

Then we have conclusion acknowledgments appendix charts, I even have a list of the podcast specifically mentioned in this episode, as well as there are some case studies, references and an index.

So it's a very comprehensive book. And well worth the whether you buy it for just under $30. Or you get it all at a discount, well worth your money to help change your life.

The next thing I want to talk about in this episode is more about how this book came to be. So I've been approached in the past, especially when I first started about writing a book. And I always thought I might be a writer when I was growing up. Because I'd love to write my mom thought I'd be a writer. And, you know, as you get older, you sometimes let the things that excited you or have an interest to you die out. And so no different for me writing just didn't wasn't something I did much of in fact, I started journey to launch as a blog where I was writing blog posts, but I found that to be very cumbersome, and just a lot of pressure to get a blog out every week and I switched to a podcast because I thought that was easier. It's easier, easier for me to talk into a mic and just get the words out that way. So in the beginning of my journey, I would come across people, you know, me just starting out, I met a lot of people who were writers in the personal finance space who had books. And eventually I did think, okay, one day I'll have a book, but I don't know, I had some independent publishers, or hybrid publishers approached me. The one that I remember, wanted me to write a book about financial independence, but they already had the idea what they wanted it to be, they just wanted to know an author. So it wouldn't necessarily be my book, it'd be my name on a book. And I was so early in my career that I just did think it made sense. And here and there, people would email me saying, Hey, are you interested in writing a book, but it just didn't feel like the right time? Fast forward a bit the pandemic in 2020. And I knew around that time as things had slowed down for so many people. And we were forced to really think about what we were doing with our lives. I figured that the next step for me after the podcast was to write a book.

So I do what I usually do when I'm interested in a topic, I immerse myself in that world. I did that about with financial independence when I first found out about it, meaning read all the blogs, listen to all the podcasts, I kept clicking on the hyperlinks, meaning I went deeper and deeper into the interesting things that sparked my interest and started to learn more I made this goal or something I want to learn about a reality. I found mentors, virtual mentors in my head and observed from afar. I did that with the podcast. I did that with finding financial independence. And then so when it came to me wanting to write a book, I said, let me learn all the things and see how other people were doing it. And so I started to listen to podcasts that talked about publishing books. I started to talk more to my friends that had published books started to watch other people launch their books started to learn about the difference between going independent so publishing your own book, not going with a top five publishing house. And basically fronting and paying for a book yourself and doing it all on your own and learned about how different would be if you worked with the publisher, and I knew pretty quickly that did not want to write This book by myself, I wanted to get a book deal.

So I wanted to be paid to write the book. And that's essentially what happens when you work with a traditional publisher. There are a lot of steps involved. And it's a long process. Typically, it can take two to three years, from even when you sign a book deal or have a proposal, meaning your almost like business plan for the book you want to write, to actually getting the book out into the world. And I figured that the timeline I was on that, if I was gonna go the traditional publishing route in 2020, that my book wouldn't be out until 2023 and 20, or 2024. So even though I don't feel like I would have been ready to market or put my book in the world in 2020, I was thinking ahead about where my life could be in 2023, or 2024. And it felt like the right moment to have a book in the world.

One of the first steps in getting a book deal was I needed an agent. So agent is someone who represents you and negotiates on your behalf and brings your work to the publishers to get you a book deal. But in order to get a agent, you need a proposal. So I had reached out to an agent that I learned about on another podcast, and sent them an email like, Hey, I'm considering writing this book. I didn't have a proposal yet. But I thought, you know, do you feel like you would be able to represent me as by wrote a proposal. And I remember, they responded very nicely. And she said, you know, you have an amazing platform. And I think this book would do well, but I'm not the right agent for you. So you know, I will have to decline. And I'm like, okay, that's fine. I love to actually I love when people say no, and like the boundaries and just being honest with why they can't do something. So I took that as a sign that you know, there's something here, I just have to get a proposal together. And I remember, when I was thinking about writing a proposal, I was so hesitant on doing it, because I didn't want to want to write it, I didn't want to have to do all that work, to write a proposal. So basically, the business plan for what the book would be. Part of my issue was that I had so many ideas, and the book could go in, you know, I knew it was gonna be about financial independence. But how would I lay that out? How would I get all the information that's in my head and in the podcast, into something that people could understand and follow along? So I didn't want to write a proposal. But I it was suggested to me that why don't you have someone help you write it? And I was like, Wait, I don't want, like, I should write it. I should struggle and get through this. And if someone writes a proposal for me, or helps me with it, how will I eventually know to write the book and I just had so much resistance to me not writing the proposal. But the thing I knew is this, I knew I wanted to write my book, because I know people have Ghost Riders. And you know, there are a lot of people who had their authors, they have their name on a book, but they didn't write the book. And so when it came to deciphering or figuring out what was important to me, I knew ultimately, I wouldn't want to be the one to write the book. But in terms of having to write the proposal, it was fine if I didn't write it, but I collaborated with someone to do that.

Did my due diligence and research. And I found someone who has a track record and impeccable track record of helping people write proposals and getting book deals. Her name is Megan Stephenson. And I reached out to her, booked a call with her understood her process and hired her to help me write the proposal. And we met or I met with someone she used to work with, on a weekly basis to get all my ideas into what could be a proposal. And then eventually I worked with Megan directly. And she came up with a pretty amazing proposal. Now I had to pay for this upfront. But I knew what I wanted to do. I knew the goal that I had set for myself. And I knew she had a track record for helping people land, multi, six figure deals. And I knew that I could be one of those people. And so I was going to take the steps to put myself in the best position to do that.

So I started to work with Megan on my proposal and 2021. And I put a tweet out into the world. Because I love declaring what I hope will be things that come true. And so this is what the tweet said. And I posted this on July 3 2021. It says I'm looking forward to finishing my book proposal, securing an amazing literary agent, signing a significant deal with a top publisher, and then writing a book that will not only be a best seller, but a perennial seller.

So I wrote that because I was in the process. And the proposal wasn't done yet. I didn't know what would happen. But I wanted to put myself in that mindset that all the things I predicted in that tweet would happen. So my proposal was completed in around the summer or late early fall of 2021. We sent the proposal out to a few agents that we wanted to have represent me. I had about five or six agents who are interested in representing me based on In my platform, and the proposal, I got it down to about two agents separate from that different literary agencies. And I eventually went with the agents, because they will actually have two agents on the same team, they co agent with me, that also had a track record for getting amazing deals and working with people within my space in terms of business and personal finance. And I selected them, because I knew that I could have the best chances to get the best deal. And something that you won't really know unless you're in the publishing world, is there a keyword for the type of deal you can get as a author, and when they announced deals, they have these key or buzzwords that kind of signify how much you get when you get a book deal. And the reason why I knew what these code words were is, again, I immerse myself in this publishing world, and heard people talking about, hey, when they say this, this is what it signifies. So I'm going to give you a little t.

So you can decipher some of this if you come across this. But when publishers market deal report, so usually publishers market this is where they talk about book deals. So you see author have a book deal announced it usually announced in Publishers Marketplace, and sometimes they have key buzzwords, to help you know the type of deal the author got in terms of money. And when someone says they got a nice deal, that means they got between $1.40 $9,000 If someone says they have a very nice deal, they got between 50,090 $9,000 If someone got a good deal, they got between 100,250 $1,000 If someone says they got a significant deal, they got between $251,000.04 $199,000. And if someone got a major deal, that's $500,000. Plus, this is just the standard of what these buzzwords mean, when an author says, Hey, I got a very nice deal. Or if if you see an announcement, and it has these words in it, and it says this author got this kind of deal, it says they got a very good deal. That's what those buzzwords mean. And essentially, that is your advance, the publisher is paying you this money upfront to have you write this book.

Now you don't get the money all at once you typically have the money broken out into 1/3, or one fourths, and you get it based on timeline or time periods. So let's just say you got $100,000 advance, you that deal might be worked out that you get $25,000 upon signing your publishing contract $25,000 on submitting your final, last edit to your publishing house, you get the next $25,000 When the book actually comes out, and then you get the fine when the hardcover comes out. Because typically your hardcover comes out first. And then you get the following $25,000 In a year, maybe when the softcover is released. So you don't get the money up front. But she usually breaks out into 130 or 140, depending on your contract. And know that money is important because it signifies that if a publishing house is giving you a lot of money, they think you're going to sell a lot of books, so they have a lot of faith in you. And you have demonstrated to them that you could sell the book. Now there is a whole I think I would have to do a whole nother episode on the real workings inner workings of what it's like to go with a traditional publisher and the pros and cons to that as I am well within this process now. But I say all that to say is when I said that tweet, I made it very clear that buzzword for me in my tweet was I wanted to sign a significant deal with a top publisher. And so the significant deal again, that ranges between $251,000.04 $199,000 I wanted that kind of advance. I selected my agent, I knew that agent had a track record of getting those kind of deals. And they sent out my proposal in the fall of 2021. They sent it to a bunch of publishers. And I had about 12 publishers want to meet me who wanted the book, which is pretty amazing as a first time author, because you can set on a proposal, you can get an agent who believes in you, once you send out your proposal, they send it to their contacts, and there's crickets or they don't they're not interested or there's no one who wants to take you on and you have no offers. I had about 12 I think 11 to 12 meetings with different publishers and imprints of those publishers because they wanted my book.

So when that happens when you have multiple publishers who want your book, it goes into what's called an auction where everyone has to come to the table with their best deal with their best and final numbers or you know, and it runs the price up basically runs up what's your advance gonna be because you publisher A is going to bid, let's just say 10,000, publisher B's going to bid 20,000. And they'll keep going rounds and rounds until we get to a final round and the top person wins that you want to accept. My book went to auction and 11 publishers bid on my book, when it came down to it, and the final round, I selected the publisher that I thought believed in the project the most, they also gave me the most money. And yes, it was a significant deal. Meaning that's the type of deal I got. I think even my agents were surprised that I got the type of deal I got. And what was really even more poignant in this is that I didn't mention this, but the publisher that I ended up going with, so I am with an imprint called Hanover Square press, which is under the big publisher house HarperCollins. And that editor before I even had an agent emailed me and said, Hey, have you thought about writing a book? And I remember, really clearly because I was like, Okay, here's another nudge that I should write a book one day or soon. And I said, I responded and said, uh, yeah, you know, actually, I'm considering writing it. I'm actually working on my proposal now. And this is when I was beginning of working on the proposal project part of it. And so when it came time to submit my proposal to different publishing houses, I made sure to tell my agent, hey, this publishing company, this, they reached out to me before I started working with you guys, but let's, let's submit the proposal to them also. And would you know, that that same publisher, and oversquare, press, they were the ones that came with the most money. And when I had the meeting with them, the reason why Peter who runs the publishing house or is runs that imprint, was interested in me and sent me the emails because someone within his world and his team listened to the podcast. And it just felt full circle that the publishing house and people who emailed me and wanted to work with me first, before I had any representation, still came back to the table with the most money. And I really did feel connected, or at least that they believed in the project, and me, which is very important.

Okay, let's see, send out my proposal in October, sign with my literary agent in November of 2021. My book went to auction in December 2021. And then I got my deal, you can say in 2022, the earlier part, I got a significant deal. In 2022, I announced it, and then I began working on the book. Now I thought my book would originally come out in 2024, it takes a long time. That's the one thing if you go the traditional publishing route, it takes a few couple years, you know, from writing the book to editing it to getting it printed. And as I started to go through the process, they came to me and said, Hey, we actually want this book to come out in 2023, December 2023. And so that shortened my timeline a bit in terms of getting everything together. The other thing that I did in terms of investing in myself, or what I wanted to do was I hired a book coach, Amanda, who is amazing, I need to have her on the podcast at some point. And she served as a real coach and helped me get through my fears of writing a book. She also worked in the publishing industry. So she was able to help edit the book, and help give me structure or help suggest the layout of the book. I mean, she was amazing. And if I write another book, I hope to be able to hire her again to help me and coach me through the process. Because there was some points where I looked at what I was writing and thought there was no way this is not going to work. How do I create a masterpiece out of this unformed clay that looks a hot mess, and she assured me that we can get it done. And we did get it done. And so it took me a while you know the write the book and if you followed me on Jamila souffrant, especially in the summertime, it was the hardest in the summer to write because I like and love going to the beach and not working. But I had deadlines to meet. And eventually I met my deadlines. I got it done and and submitted my book earlier this year. So right at the end of the summer, I submitted my final draft in 2023 for the book to come out in December in time.

You know, I spent so much time writing the book, going through edits. And of course, looking at the book. Now when I read it, I'm like, Oh, I think I would have done this differently. There's always going to be something you could have done differently. And anyone who has written a book will tell you no matter how many people Got it, there will be mistakes there, you know, there will be grammar mistakes, there will be just massive misses in terms of mistakes on calculations. And that's in the book, you know, and I've learned or I am going to have to learn to let go of that. Because while an if I would have not released the book or set, it had to be perfect, completely perfect, that book would never be released. And I had to really think back into my intention of writing, not just a best seller, hopefully, but a perennial seller. And that knowing that just being able to get the work out there, to the best of my ability is enough. And it has been a true labor of love, even the marketing part of getting this book out. It was one of the things that I knew was the hardest, it is the hardest thing guys to sell a book, you know, you would think selling you know, a product is about what 25 $27 hardcopy if you don't get a percentage off. But, and of all the knowledge that's in a book, it's the hardest thing to actually get people to buy a book. And there's a whole bunch of reasons behind it. But selling a book is not easy. People typically put it off, or there's some guilt around buying a book and not reading it. So they just rather not read it. And then it becomes okay. You know, yes, there's a book, but it's the person gonna read it and apply what they want, and what they need and what you're telling them to do in the book, there's so many things around why people hesitate to buy books. And you know, while the book is fairly inexpensive compared to a course, or a coaching call or program that you would typically pay and you're getting someone's frameworks and their life work in a book that's under $30. For some people, $30 is a lot of money, right? And so you have to be just sensitive or just aware of that. And so the marketing part of that was, you know, interesting, it's so far has been my favorite part of the process, because what I've found is that I put in so much work upfront in connections, you know, I've had the podcast for so long to 2017. And I have had all types of my friends on this podcast, supporting their projects and their books when it was coming out and meeting people. And so it was pretty cool. Now when it was my turn, or is my turn to put my thing into the world to kind of turn around and say, Hey, I have a book coming out. Can I come on your show? Or would you mind sharing this with your audience and I got such great, amazing feedback. And people who wanted to help me because of all the work that I helped them, you know, when it was their time with the project, even when it came to getting endorsements for my book. So the other thing that you'll see with books if people you turn to the back of my book, you'll see all the people that I asked to give me endorsements, that means like, hey, people within this space that would say this is a book you should read and everyone that I reached out to said yes, Tiffany le che the budget nista Farnoosh Torabi of so money and the healthy state of panic, her latest book, JL Collins, the author of The Simple Path to Wealth, and one of the blogs, I first started to read, Aaron Laurie, the author of The broke millennial series, grant, so ba TA, author, author of financial freedom and creator of Millennial Money. bolos couldn't be author and founder and CEO of clever girl finance, even Brandon, of the mad scientist podcast. And this is the first podcast that I started to listen to. He gave me his endorsement, but it was he sent it in too late to be included with on the jacket of the book. But these are people that I literally started to listen to or read or I knew about them before they even knew I existed. As I was just an observer from the outskirts, you know, when they say you can either be in the arena or in the stands. And at one point I was in the stands as someone who enjoyed their content, but decided I was stepping into the arena when I started journey to launch and put my hat in the ring to make a difference and to have a say in this space. And so now these people are my colleagues and friends and willing to support me. So this has been the most fun for me. Because I'm able to connect again with people and to share my work with them and their audiences, which is pretty cool. All the media contacts that I've created and just the craziest stories. If it didn't happen to me, I would almost not believe it's true, right? And I shared this before but me going to Disney World and the lady that sat next to me randomly and I start talking and to find out that she worked at Good Morning America. And I've been on Good Morning America three times. I'm hoping when you listen to this podcast, it would be awful more time because you know, that's the plan to go back on that day the book comes out, but we'll see if that happens.

But to randomly in Florida, sit next to someone and strike a conversation, we both don't know who each other are. And it just comes out that she worked at Good Morning America. And I'm able to tell her, Oh, that's interesting. And we talk, I share my work and I share that I've been on and who booked me, she knows those people. She sees them every day. Like, things like that when I think that I'm not doing enough, or I think that things might not work out. And yes, I do have doubts still. Things like that, remind me, girl, you are on the right track. And I can't tell you how many more times that has happened in my life. And just in this process of the book, where people, there's someone that I know, that's a close proximity to someone that would be so helpful, or someone that wants to help with the book. And so now here we are, it's December 2023. And it's been a long time coming, even though I didn't intentionally start my book, writing and publishing journey until 2020. I do feel like it has been written it was in the process before I knew it was just like your journey to financial independence. In general, it's happening, whether you are aware of it or not. And it's time, it's time. And you know, I let go of the external validation that of course, would be lovely to get to hear that you love the book. And for it to be a best seller and to make lists that I mean, that would be amazing. But what I am holding on to dearly is, how I feel, and how I feel about the work, how I feel about what it took to get here and being proud of me no matter what anyone else says or thinks about it. And who gives me flowers, I don't like it. Yes, it's beautiful to get flowers from other people and acknowledgement from other people. But I need to get myself the flowers, I need to acknowledge how far I've come. And how I've broken down barriers or proved not only other people wrong, but even myself wrong in what I've been able to do in the last few years.

I do want to share some takeaways that I hope right now can be helpful to you on your journey. Whether it's writing a book, starting a business, going ask for that raise whatever it could be in your life that you are looking at, and thinking about doing or in the middle of doing to help encourage you. I think one of the biggest ones is learning how to lean on internal validation. And while you do need external people and help you cannot do it alone, your journey, you have to be able to be your biggest cheerleader, even if sometimes that hater voice comes up in your head or that doubt comes in, it's normal. But fighting through that or making amends and friends with that voice and saying, Okay, I hear you. But we're not doing that right now. Because if you know who you are in whose you are, wow, the external validation is great, you know, ultimately, is how you feel about yourself and your work because sometimes not everyone gets it. Not everyone understands you. Not everyone wants to understand you. But you work to understand you and work to give yourself the flowers and internal validation. That's my lesson one. The other lesson, our thing to reflect upon is that when it's your time, it is your time. And it's never too late to be who you could have been. I know we have often regrets about what we could have done differently, or how things could have been different if you made different choices, whether your life or finances. And there are a lot of things I could have done differently, or I can do differently. Now that might give me a different result. But what is for you is for you. And it's never too late to start or early to start. And sometimes you don't know the right timing. Sometimes it's not a know that you should be disappointed in. It's a not yet. And it's to put yourself in a better position down the line. If I would have taken maybe the offer even from the publisher that I initially went with, if I would have answered that email and said yes, I'll work with you. I would not have gotten the amount of money I got from my book deal. If I would have say yes in Michigan initially to the first email that was sent to me, or going back several years writing a book that a random publisher sent to me that they just wanted my name on this, my life would look different. And even if so there if even if there are opportunities right now that I want that don't happen. I know it's for a reason. And to trust that and to trust that the timing will be the timing. And what is for me it will be for me and we are not here by accident. I truly believe that. And I've been reminded time and time again, when I had those doubts. Like, listen, you are, you're right. Just just you've done the work you by simply existing and doing your best and being a attempting to do well in the world, you've done enough, you don't need to prove yourself anymore. And so I want to give you that to guess there's hard work to be done. And you do have to put some effort in. But know that your time will be your time. And it will come when it's meant to come. Tomorrow, thanks things that I jotted down that I want to share with you.

Sometimes it's okay to not share your dreams with other people. Or I would say, there's so many people who cannot fathom the things you want to do. Because they can't do it. They haven't seen someone do it. Or they just don't think you can do it. If I would have went around asking people about, hey, how do I get a significant deal, like a top at the top range of that range I mentioned earlier, as a first time author, I mean, someone told me my platform wasn't big enough to get the type of deal I wanted. They say oh, you need like at least 100,000 Instagram followers and millions of downloads. And while I have a decent amount of followers and a decent amount of downloads, it's not the top, it can surely be a lot bigger. And I was told you won't get that type of deal. Or you think that you're going to be able to quit your job that you know, I don't, I don't typically listen or follow any of those people in terms of what they're saying. But I just know so many people sometimes actually mean well, but they're so analytical because the odds did not work for them. They weren't in their favor, or they just can't imagine it. And if you go tell those people, your ideas or your dreams and you share them, they will undoubtedly have an issue or tell you why it can't be done. Even though I remember talking to someone who wrote a book, and this was in the middle of my process. And I told them, you know, we were talking candidly about selling books. And they were just like, I cannot believe you got that book deal. You know, you know how many books you have to sell to make that advanced back. So the thing with advances are, you have to pay your publisher back, they're giving you money up front, you have to pay it back before you see a penny of any money or residuals or sales from books. So unless I'm able to sell a lot of books, I won't see another penny from my publisher.

He wasn't being a hater, in my opinion, he just couldn't fathom selling that many books and how I got the deal I got. And I'm like, Well, I'm glad I didn't talk to you at the beginning of my journey, because I wouldn't have even attempted, or I would have had so many doubts about what I could do. And so there's some times where you're talking to people who can't see the vision or can't do it for themselves. If they see you doing it, it's not going to be helpful. So you got to be really strong to be able to tune that out and go to the people who are doing it. That's what I did. I look to the people who I knew were getting amazing, significant major book deals, I knew it was happening, I looked at the people who were making a full time doing this podcasting, having a personal finance, business, building brands, who was who were doing successfully. in all areas of life, I look to the people who Okay, and not everything, just because someone is successful doesn't mean that it's perfect, okay, but it's doable. And so look to the people who are doing the things that you want to do or even beyond, you know, things that you don't even know that you can do, but they're doing it. That's who I like to surround myself with even even if I don't know them in person, but virtually, or in my head. That is what I'm looking for. I'm not talking to the people who don't have a clue about what I want to do, who will deter me from doing that.

The last thing is your dreams might be and should be offensive. It can be I mean, I know some of the things I want to do is are offensive to people in terms of how dare you dream so big. Like I want to do a TED Talk. TEDx Talk would be fine. You know, so if you know what a TED talk is, that's, you know, the big brand, Ted. And you know, there's usually TEDx talks. So they're smaller talks at smaller venues, which is amazing. It's an amazing accomplishment to get on a TEDx stage. And then there is a TED Talk. That is the main conference, the big stage. And I remember thinking to myself, you know, that's fine, a TEDx talk, but I want to do a TED talk, you know, and not to sound ungrateful that if I got offered a TEDx, you know, you might see me doing it if to do a TEDx talk. But my goal is to do a TED talk. And for some people that might be offensive, like, Who does she think she is? You know, how many people don't get to do TED talks, who are better speakers, more qualified, have all these things. But for me, I want to do a TED Talk.

That's my goal. And so Don't worry or mind if your dreams are audacious or big or offensive to other people because it's not based on other people. Your journey is your journey by yourself even though you will have community and family and friends and you can't do it alone ultimately, but it's truly up to you to follow whatever Northstar is within your heart.

Wow, this this episode got a lot longer than I thought it would be. But I hope you enjoyed the almost, you know, day, the week of launch of my book. If you're listening to this, and you bought the book, let me know I'd love to reshare so tag me on social media, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, I am on tick tock. If you started reading the book, share with your family and friends just the same way I started this little podcast and grew it I used to say, share this podcast with your family and friends. Word of mouth is how we will start the movement. And this is how now I'm encouraging you to share the book if you want to bought the book. Thank you. If you're about to buy it right now. Thank you, but read it, I want you to read it and apply what you're learning to your life and to see changes. And I want you to share this book with your family and friends. Pick it up at your local library if you can't afford to buy it. Buy it for a family member or friend. This is the perfect time. Now that we're in the holidays as a gift and share with me all you can because I love hearing your feedback. leave a review on Amazon before I used to ask all the time, leave a review on Apple podcasts.

Now I'm going to say please leave a review of the book on Amazon and Goodreads. This is how other people find the book. But with that, if you want to see how I'm really doing in real time, come follow me at journey to launch and Jamila souffrant thank you so much for joining me on this journey. There's a part of me that feels the best is really yet to come. So stick with me. And until next week, keep on journeying journey years again, go to journey to launch.com or your journey to financial freedom.com To get your hands on the book, your journey to financial freedom a step by step guide to achieving wealth and happiness.

Outro 57:14

Don't forget, you can get the episode show notes for this episode by going to journey to launch.com. Or click the description of wherever you're listening to this and you can still grab your jumpstart dive for free to help you on your journey to financial freedom by going to journey to launch.com/jumpstart. If you want to support me and the podcast and love the free content and information that you get here, here are four ways that you can support me in the show. One, make sure you're subscribed to the podcast wherever you listen, whether that's Apple podcasts, that purple app on your phone, your Android device, YouTube, Spotify, wherever it is that you happen to listen, just subscribe so you're not missing an episode. And if you're happening to listen to this and Apple podcasts, rate review and subscribe there. I appreciate and read every single review number to follow me on my social media accounts. I'm at journey to launch on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And I love love love interacting with journeys. They're three support and check out the sponsors of this show. If you hear something that interests you, sponsors are the main ways we keep the podcast lights on here. So show them some love for supporting your girl for and last but not least, share this episode this podcast with a friend or family member or co worker so that we can spread the message of Journey to launch. Alright, that's it until next week, keep on journeying journeyers

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