The Creative Process, Balancing Business +Family & Overcoming Doubts W/ My Writing Coach Amanda Bauch- Part 2

Episode Number: 378

Episode 378: The Creative Process, Balancing Business +Family & Overcoming Doubts w/ my Writing Coach Amanda Bauch- Part 2

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The Creative Process, Balancing Business +Family & Overcoming Doubts W/ My Writing Coach Amanda Bauch- Part 2


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This week on the Journey to Launch Podcast, I’m featuring the second part of my discussion with Amanda Bauch, my book coach. In this episode, Amanda interviews me about the experience of writing “Your Journey to Financial Freedom” — from its initial conception and the creative process to how it feels six months after its release. We also delve into the book’s reception, its impact on readers, and explore the possibility of a second book and what I would do differently. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • The timeline and steps involved in creating the book, from the initial proposal to the eventual publication.
  • The struggles with doubts about the book’s structure and organization & the challenges of writing while also running a business and raising 3 small kids
  • What I learned during the process and how I would approach it differently in the future.
  • The importance of investing in professional help & having a support system including family, friends, and professionals in the publishing industry + much more

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Amanda Bauch 0:02

People are always going to be navigating financial challenges, and they're always going to be tools to help them on that journey. And so a book like yours is very ever great in that sense, but I also feel like that was part of the pressure you were feeling to get the book right, because you did want it to be something that could be used 510, 15 years down the road. And so you wanted it to speak to people now, but you also wanted to speak to people who happen to be discovering the book many years from now. T minus

Intro 0:33

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. 54321, Na,

Jamila Souffrant 1:03

hey, hey, journeyers, welcome to part two of my two parter conversation with Amanda Bach. You heard her in the first part that came out last week where we talked about more of the insight and back story and background of who Amanda is and the publishing industry. I thought it was a great setup to this episode, or this part of the conversation, where we dive deeper into the creation of my book, Your journey to financial freedom. You know, Amanda was with me through almost, you know, the entire creative process, helping me with the writing and editing. She even helped me, you know, the title and cover, and so I just feel like her kind of almost interviewing me and getting me to open up about the process and just share some insights about the book is helpful. I hope to celebrate the fact that your journey to financial freedom has officially been out now for about six months, and I just still can't believe that I'm a published author. If you want to check the book out, you can go to your journey, to financial that's where you can find out all information about the book. And I'm so excited for you to hear this conversation. 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 or 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 to 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.

Unknown Speaker 2:53

Okay, let's

Jamila Souffrant 2:54

hop into the episode. All right. I do want to kind of segue now into my book, Your journey to financial freedom, and talk a bit about that process. And this is kind of where we switched to you interviewing me. But really it's just a conversation because I wanted to, you know, we've had many conversations over the years of working together two years, yeah, and so what I want this to be is just like a candid discussion of the process of working together and then how this book came to be. Yeah,

Amanda Bauch 3:34

I love it. Let's go. So we've had a long relationship. We've been through many ups and downs, not only in the process of writing the book, but just in our actual, like real lives. And so it's interesting, you know, when I partner with authors just to be along, not only for the ride of the book publishing, but also for the your day to day life, and you know, all the things you're experiencing in the process of writing a book. And so, you know, I often will say, it takes a village to launch a book. Yes, you were the author. You were single handedly writing the book, but there's so many other players involved in it. You know, not just at your publisher, but your family, your friends, your peers. You know people who share the space, who are you know, maybe have already published a book and are able to mentor you during the process. And of course, when you are signed a book contract, the most important thing you are doing is actually writing book. And as you learned very much, it is not a sprint, it is a marathon. And even when you think you're done, you still are not done, never done. So I would just love for you, Jamila, if you can share with us, just describe what the process of writing the book was like for you, as far as you know, coming up with the idea, you know, coming up with the structure, actually drafting the chapter. So can you describe what that process was like for us?

Jamila Souffrant 5:03

Yes, yes, I am going to take a step back, because I did find some more information about like, the timeline I remember I did this post because I think it will be helpful, just like to show how long it kind of took from me declaring what I wanted to happen, and so I had wrote this tweet, or, you know, I put out on x about what I wanted my book journey to be, and I wrote, 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 very high overview goals, and broke down a lot of steps into one like sentence. But I basically started, or sent out my book proposal in October of 2021, and so I had started it actually in the previous year. In 2020 is when I took the leap to think about this book. And so even though the proposal was sent out in october 2021 I did to agents. I did sign with a literary agent very quickly. I had about five or six that wanted to work with me, thank goodness. And so I signed with the literary agent in November of 2021 and they were on it very quickly to then send my proposal out to their connections into the publishing context they they had. And so my book went to auction, meaning in december 2021, where I had multiple interviews at first, up front with publishers. I think it was maybe 12 or 13, and this was all on Zoom. So I guess back in the the olden days, people would come into the office. You can come back with me, Amanda, like when they were interested in author, that these would be in person, interviews or meetings. But for me, this was all on zoom over the course of like two weeks, meeting with all these potential publishers. And it was kind of like a mixed you know, they're interviewing me. I'm interviewing them to see what kind of help they will provide, or what they see this vision of the book to be, and by then, I pretty much had the skeleton of the book right. Like the proposal. The book proposal is like, it's like a business proposal, where you are writing out. Here's what the book is about. Here are some sample chapters. Here's how you're going to market the book. So all of that was mostly decided for already, but I also knew from my research that some sometimes that can change depending on who you sign with, and they may have a different vision, or you may change your mind a little bit about how you want to approach it. Yes. And so the book went to auction in december 2021, I previously talked about the publisher that I thought was best for me, who happened to also, you know, give a very healthy advance, which I was very excited about. And then, you know, I got to work kind of right away. So the announcement was made in Publishers Marketplace in January of 2022, so that's where, kind of, like, officially, if you get a traditional deal and it can be published in this, you know, the Publishers Weekly to show, hey, this author just got signed to by this agent to this publishing deal, and from there, I knew that I had to get to work to get this book into the world. Now, when I first signed with my publisher, I was assuming it would take, like, two years for the book to come out. So I was like, Okay, I have some time. So I actually thought my book would be coming out this year when I first initially signed so that would be 2024 I was like, Okay, maybe spring, you know, maybe even january, february of 2024 the book will come out. And I remember having more conversations with them after kind of accepting them to be my publisher, that they wanted out quicker than that. They were like, we think that this should come out, actually, in December of 2023 and I was actually scared, even though there was so much time between me writing the book and coming out, I also knew production wise, that they needed time to turn around anything I submitted, there was going to be a lot of editing and then like was I ready to submit and do a book that quickly? One of the things that I learned through my research was that, you know, the publishers mean well, and they want to help you, because I'm thinking, you know, you gave me all this money, so I'm I'm assuming you want this to also succeed, is that they're also very busy on their side with multiple projects. And so I said to myself, you know, I'm going to need to invest in help, because while I think that they are going to do the best they can, ultimately they're going to be busy. And this is my first time in this space, and I love to work with someone who can help me navigate it. And I remember asking my agents if they had recommendations for people, and you know, one of the first names they brought up was you. And we had, you know, a conversation, and I really just felt immediately connected. I liked your aura. I liked just I could tell that you cared about your work, and that was going to be really important to me. And I would say this now, knowing what I know now, looking back, there's so much I didn't know, even when talking. To you that if I wrote another book like our conversation and what I need, I think I'd be much more clear about the support that I really need going forward. But going back to our initial conversation, I just knew that my publisher would be busy, and as much as they said that they would be there, and, you know, sending your edits, I had no clue of where to start, because they now have secured me as their author, but they are now on to the next project. And so I was literally kind of like on my own. And so finding a coach, someone who I thought, who could help me through the process, kind of like the emotional support that it would take to bring this book into the world, but also an editor, which is really important to me, because while I enjoy writing, or I did enjoy writing when I was a child, I know that's it's different writing an actual book. And so I wanted someone who actually knew how to structure a non fiction book, how to edit one, and who could help guide me to what this book could be. So I probably didn't answer your question, because I kind of went on a like, a rant,

Amanda Bauch 11:02

but yeah, yes, actually, you answered another question I had for you. You know, it's so funny, Jamila, and you're mentioning this, and I don't know if I ever actually told you this. I might have told you early on, but you talking about doing the proposal and pitching to publishers, triggered a memory that I had forgotten about over these past two years was that I loved your proposal because it was sent to us when I was still working at Harbor horizon, and we and we really wanted to sign it, but we knew we couldn't afford you, and I was very sad. And so when your agents reach out to me about you, I of course, immediately remembered your proposal, and was so excited. And I, you know, and so I messaged, you know, my former publisher, horizon, and said, You'll never guess what project came back to me. I'm so excited. And so there was much rejoicing over that. And I, I can't believe I completely forgot about that. I feel like

Jamila Souffrant 12:02

you might have quickly had mentioned that in the beginning, which I think it's just so funny how small the publishing world is.

It's very small. And I gotta shout out Megan Stevenson. So Megan Stevenson helped me. Basically wrote the proposal, to be honest. We I mean, it was my words and my ideas and thoughts, but I knew the theme that, if you're listening to this, is that I knew I had to invest in help to get me through this process, because I had a very lofty goal of getting the best publishing deal that I could, and I knew in order to do that, I needed the best proposal which could impress people like Amanda when they saw it. I needed the best agents to get me the best money, so I was willing to kind of put that money up front and pay people like Megan to help me write the proposal, and then, you know, to pay Amanda separately, you know, to help coach me through the process of writing the book. So I think that's pretty cool. That came back to you,

Amanda Bauch 13:00

yeah, yeah. Jamila, well, you know, and you mentioned just even hiring people. I mean, I think that's such an important part of the author journey as well, is knowing what your strengths are and knowing when you need, you know to to hire someone to help you. You know? Because I think sometimes authors might realize that too late in the process. And by then, I mean, it just sometimes a book needs to get pushed out, or, you know, something happens because they have gotten off track somehow, you know. And I will say, obviously, working with someone like me, or, you know, or someone like omega, let's be honest, it's not cheap, right? But I think obviously you could speak to this, you know, as to whether or not you felt like it was a good investment.

Jamila Souffrant 13:45

Well again, knowing what I know now, I would have paid you more so you could help me more.

Amanda Bauch 13:54

All right. Well, for book number two, sign me up, sister,

Jamila Souffrant 13:59

because that was, it was so, you know, it's a lot of work and understanding, like the difference between, like, copy editing and developmental editing. You know, there are so many different types of editing. And so if we're gonna get to the process of things, we were starting from our proposal as, okay, because think about it, like we had this, I forgot how many pages it was. It was. It was like, maybe, like, 60 pages or so of a proposal. And you know, my publisher, you know, having that initial conversation, even though I didn't sign a contract with them for another few months, we did have a conversation like, okay, so you can get started on your book now. And I'm like, uh, but what? Like, how do I start? And it's like, okay, follow your proposal. And that's we started working together around that time, and you were able to come in and tell me, okay, so let's look at, do you want to follow the structure of this proposal? How do you want to break it down? And I realized that I did want to change some things. I didn't want to structure it a bit differently, so that it felt like a complete guide. Applied, whereas, if someone did not know anything about me, they can come in and read it, whether all from front to back through, or pick up sections that apply to them and read it. And so that wasn't easy to figure out. And so all that was you kind of helping me and talk me through that, in addition to actually line editing, like some of the things that you know I was writing. And so in terms of, like, investment, you know, I always think that it's so important to know what you want your end goal to be, and then understand if it's a feasible goal. Like, I'm all for big goals and shooting for like the moon, but almost similar to someone maybe going to college and taking out like, hundreds of $1,000 of loans, it's like, what, what is your degree going to be in, and what is your profession? Are you going to be able to pay back those loans based on what your degree is in? And that's kind of like how I viewed my book journey is because I had a goal of getting a very good advance and hopefully selling through the books to earn back that money, that whatever investment I made up front would be worth it to get me to that point, and then my odds of getting to that point, I felt were strong based on, you know, what I saw my peers doing, based on the feedback that I was getting from the agents and then publishers. I felt like I am on track, and I have to take that risk or take the investment on in order to see and reap the rewards, right? Thank

Amanda Bauch 16:26

you. That's a wonderful response. And I feel like writing and publishing a book is similar to any other major life goal we have, is that you get out of it what you put into it. And I think that writing a book, certainly, you know, falls in that category, you know, and especially in the nonfiction space, you know, nonfiction readers especially have very specific expectations when they read a book, you know, I feel like with fiction, it's very different, you know, it's just more about like, whether it's a good story or not, You know, but with nonfiction, especially, there are certain conventions that need to be followed as far as like, how the book is organized, how the book is structured, how the book is written. And I think that when you have someone who's very experienced in helping shape those sorts of books and helping successfully edit or write them, that that can only serve you, you know, in your book, at the end of the day. So I applaud you, because, like I said, sometimes authors think, oh, I can do this. I don't need help. And then they realize too late that they they really did need help, and they wish that they had hired someone, even if it were just, you know, to look over a draft, even just once, you know, and say, say if it's working or not.

Jamila Souffrant 17:41

And I think also understanding your personality, and like you said, for me, my limitations to like understanding what I needed. So I remember very early on, even before, like years ago, I was I said, you know, I want to write a book one day, but I didn't want to deal with writing the proposal. And I had someone tell me, like, why don't you just have someone else write it? And I was like, Wait, why? Everything has to be me like I am, and I want to be a true author, where these are my words. I didn't want a ghost writer, ultimately, for the book. And the person was just like, but this is not the book that we're talking about. This is like someone helping you just get your ideas out so you don't have to stress about this upfront process. You can do the work that comes later. And I think that was, like, actually so helpful to break down, kind of like, my ego and separating that and understanding. For me, some people may choose to have a ghost writer or co author, and that's like, totally fine. But for me, I realized, like, you know what, I do want a lot more help upfront with the proposal, and then I do want hand holding through the book writing process, but I want to write the book. And so I know some people have asked, Did you have a ghost writer? Or why don't you just hire someone to write it? I think that is very expensive if you do it that way, which, again, I'm not opposed to investing in yourself, especially if you're very busy and you want to go that route. But for me, I held fast to my ego in that sense of, I wanted to actually the words in the book. Your journey to financial freedom to be my words that came through,

Amanda Bauch 19:10

yes, and I think that you said, you know that it's, it's very individual, right? What works for you may not necessarily work, you know, even for someone who's publishing, you know, in the space or a similar type of book, and you never know where you will be in your own process. Like I said, I feel like each book is very unique and necessitates, like, a unique approach in process. And every author is completely different and what they want or need out of it. You know, sometimes, you know, an author may just, just want or need the book to exist so they can use it to, like, book speaking engagements, you know, order, like, have it on their website, you know. So sometimes it almost operates more, almost like a calling card. So to speak for some authors, that's, that's the end goal, you know, for some authors, you know, they've always dreamed of writing. The book. And so they, you know, write, go about writing the book, you know. And then there are authors like you who already have, like, an established platform, an established business. And so the book just serves as, like, another means by which you can reach, you know, your target audience. And you just have another tool that you can offer to people to help them on their financial journey. So for you, your approach is very multifaceted, and the book is just one of those many facets that you use to reach your audience. Yeah,

Jamila Souffrant 20:31

I didn't write the book because I wanted to get more speaking engagements. Like, actually, like, I don't enjoy necessarily travel as much with small kids, just because of the production it takes to have to leave them and then coordinate who does what, although, when it's a great like opportunity and it aligns like, I love those I but, you know, I knew that I didn't want to be or use this as a leaping or Launchpad into, like a speaking career, you know, and I didn't necessarily want to, I didn't have, like, a lead in magnet yet, at least for like, a course or something else, like, strategically, okay, I'm doing this book so that way can funnel and be this money maker for me. Like, I really wanted the book to compile and to bring together the frameworks and the ideas and the voice of the podcast into another medium that would help people, right? And I thought, okay, the podcast has helped people, but so many people still don't even know what a podcast is. I was talking to one of my son's teachers because she found out that I had the book and then the podcast. So I showed her how to get the podcast on her podcast app. And so I just realized that the book is just a more accessible way for people to hopefully get the tools and be inspired the way that hopefully the podcast is has inspired people. Yes,

Amanda Bauch 21:54

yeah, I agree, you know, because, and I will say, you know, there and people consume information in all different types of ways, right? You know, I know, for my part, I hardly ever listen to podcasts because my attention span is about five seconds. And so for me to commit to listening to like a 45 minute podcast is not, I'm not going to get much out of that experience. But, you know, a book, I'll read books all day long. Obviously, it's what I do for a living. So, you know. So for me, while I might never listen, you know, extensively to someone's podcast, like I see they publish a book, you know, Oh yes, I will certainly, you know, if I'm familiar with them and I like their message, I will happily read a book that they have published. So we've talked a bit about where you were needing support. So do you want to, or are you willing to speak specifically about the actual process of writing the book, like sitting at your computer, carving out the time, you know, to actually put words on the screen, which obviously then became words on a page.

Jamila Souffrant 22:52

Yes. Okay, so the process, I had an idea of what I'd like the process to be. So, you know, in my head, I would set my alarm and get up at 5am and every morning, kind of like, have that time from five to seven, like, into deep work of writing and thinking and peace. And, you know, sometimes that happened, but I procrastinate a lot, and I'm not sure I never. I have not got officially tested for like ADHD and but I suspect that because it's very hard for me to focus. So even when I found myself with a large chunk of time, I had a hard time using all of it like I had to almost waste some of it first to kind of feel the pressure to then, like, get to writing. But even before that, I think one of the things that you helped me with, and that we established was before I could write, I needed to understand what I was going to write about. And the thing with personal finance, you know, I don't think I was, um, ignorant to the fact that everything that we mostly talk about with personal finance has been said before, like, and written about, about before. So it wasn't a matter of and I actually don't enjoy talking, like, constantly about the nuts and bolts of certain things. Like I don't I know that it's, it's, it's necessary. So, like a budget, talking about a budget is necessary, but it's not something like I enjoy and are assessed with

Amanda Bauch 24:21

it's not to talk about budgeting

Jamila Souffrant 24:25

and what you see I remember, and so I wanted to remember, like, ultimately, even, why the proposal was so well received by editors, and why I think my work in general is for people who listen and Connect is well received is because it's not what I'm talking about. It's like, the way that I talk about it, or the voice, my personal voice and experience and the vulnerability of it, when, you know, I say, like, I don't know either, like, sometimes what I'm doing, and I was like, Well, how do I write about it in a way that translates to be helpful? People to not have, I can't have everything in the book. And so I needed help with, like, structuring what that looked like. And I think one of the first things we did was, okay, let's, like, think about Table of Contents, like, because then we have something to work about and work through, so you actually know what you're writing. Because sitting down and just like, writing, for me, at least, like, I needed at a direction of, like, what is the topic that I'm writing about? And before we can even get to maybe the table of contents is just like the structure of the book. So I think first just getting to that point and breaking it down, and once we found, like a what I thought was a good structure, in terms of breaking out into the parts of the book. So just to quickly review your journey to financial freedom, I ended up like thinking about in a way in which, let's break it down into like four sections that will be helpful. And so four parts. And Part one was more about like the introduction of the concepts, like the major overview of the concepts, the what, the how, the why, of financial independence. Part Two was okay, but now that people have those definitions understand some of my frameworks. How do they then start to plan their financial independence journey? And that was more about planning. And part three was more about executing. So like, how do you do the things that I you need to do to get you to your goals, which is, earn more money, pay down debt? And then Part Four was about enjoying the journey. Once I feel like I had those big sections or big ideas, and then were we able to get down to chapters? That's when I felt like I could write to those points. And I think what was helpful for us is that we met weekly, and part of it in the beginning was just like accountability on Okay, I'm gonna finish like, this amount of pages of this chapter and sending it to you for general feedback. And so, like, having that back and forth on a weekly basis was very helpful,

Amanda Bauch 26:52

yes, and I'm so glad also that you brought up the topic of structure. I think what happens sometimes is that, you know, authors, if they are going the traditional publishing route, and they have a proposal, and the proposal has been submitted to accepted by the publisher, they think that that's going to be like the book. But that's not always the case, you know? And I just think back to when you and I had those initial conversations. I mean, I think we restructured the book like several times before we got to a place where we felt, yes, this is the logical progression, you know, for this. And we were, it was almost like a puzzle that we were trying to solve, and we could see the pieces, but we didn't have, like the photograph that showed us what the final puzzle was supposed to look like. And so we're just like, oh, this was like a tree. This goes to go with this tree part over here, I felt like that was more of what the process was like. But that's actually quite commonly the way the process is. And so, you know, just as people are aware, just because you have a submitted and accepted proposal, the book will still continue to evolve throughout the process,

Jamila Souffrant 27:57

yeah, and I was very lucky that, you know, in some ways, my publisher was they trusted me more than I thought that they should in terms of taking the reins. Because I'm like, Are you sure? I'm like, can you look at this like, Are you sure you want it this way? Like, and they're like, yes, go ahead. I'm like, I don't know. And so it was so hard because, like, you said, like, it was a puzzle, but this book could have been organized and written in many different ways. And that was what was so confusing, because I was just like, well, what is the best way? What is the best way to structure this? Like the puzzle could have been put together another way also. And so sometimes that led to doubt about the way I was structuring things. And then even, like, you know, should we, like, include this section here or there? Or do we even need this at all and at some point? So I just had to be like, you have to pick away and then go forward. And if you've come to a point where you feel like it has to be changed, you change it, but you're never going to start or get things done if you think it has to be perfect before you get going, yes,

Amanda Bauch 28:56

yes. And so that, that analysis paralysis, you know, could definitely be a hindrance when you're writing. You know, because you're it's all up here, you know, in your head, instead of, you know, flowing out of you, you know, like onto the screen or on the page, you know. And I remember you and I having these conversations, and me saying to you, you know, you can't edit a blank page. It's like, it's like, we can just dump it all out. It's like, we can, we can make something of it, but it actually needs to exist, you know, before we can improve it and make it what you want it to be.

Jamila Souffrant 29:32

And two, because I, you know, I'd write and I'm like, What is this like, you know, the first draft or the first sentences that I'm just like, this is not, in my opinion, at first, like this is not good. Like this feels very not the dreams of what you know, you think like sometimes that you're writing, and sometimes it did flow. Sometimes there were things that I wrote, or I would see you edit something back, and I'm like, wow, I wrote that like that. That's actually impressive. But then some. Times I'd be like, what like? I don't I'm not feeling it like there's not fireworks coming off of, you know, the keyboards as you're writing. I never got necessarily into that full state. Sometimes I wouldn't realize that something was good until I had space from it and read it again. But in the moment, it didn't feel like I was doing that great. And even now I'm still, it still doesn't feel like I wrote a book, because I was like, so in the trenches that, you know, it's like, hard to see the progress. I mean, obviously I wrote the book, it's like, it's there, but it felt really like I still can't believe I got through all that and wrote, like, so many words. Because it did feel like it was so much like hard work, especially the first and second drafts, and then ultimately getting to where, getting it to where it needed to be,

Amanda Bauch 30:44

yes, and so, you know, so that, you know, because it was a very long process from the time we first met, you know, and started even just talking and thinking about the overall structure of the book, to when you actually had, like, a complete manuscript, you know, that was Golly. That was, how long was that? Was that about a year it took for that? Was it that long?

Jamila Souffrant 31:08

It might have been. All I know is that the major deadlines always happened, like, right before, like a major, I don't know, event like, I think my first deadline, my first draft, was due to the publisher before my birthday. Yes.

Amanda Bauch 31:23

And we agreed that that was fortuitous, yes,

Jamila Souffrant 31:27

right? And I was like, wow. Like, I need to get this done. So it gave me, like, a hard deadline to get it done and think my like, the other final draft was like, right after spring break for my kids. So yes, it took a while from the initial draft to the even just going to the publisher for them to review it. Yes,

Amanda Bauch 31:42

so it like so, you know, as we discussed, it's a marathon. It's not a sprint. You know, I once a while do work with authors who crank out a manuscript in a very short period of time, but typically those authors are full time writers. They're not entrepreneurs. You know, oftentimes they don't have small children that they're parenting. You know, there's lots of ways a book can come into the world, but I feel especially for authors like you, who you know do have very complex lives with a lot of moving pieces. You know, that's where the support really becomes critical, not only just for the physical work of you know, sitting at your desk or wherever you choose to work and cranking out the writing, but also just for the mental and emotional support too, which I think is really important, you know, to have someone who understands what you're going through, you know, and isn't like, Oh, stop being a baby. Just get over and write your book already, you know, like someone who understands how hard it is, how hard it is to do what you're doing.

Jamila Souffrant 32:46

Yeah, that's why. So the support with the writing itself, and then this, even the support with the kids having that was important, because at the time when I was writing, my youngest was not eligible to go to after school. She was too young. And so I remember like, saying, like, I need help because they get out pretty early. And so I'm like, even if you know, I get to the races, like going with writing the book, like, there's so many other things in my business still that needed to be done, which, by the way, I also let go of needing to do extra things in my business. So for me, I did still do the podcast, but I wasn't really doing much else. I wasn't showing up online as much live, you know, like facing, like the audience on social media. And, you know, I had to feel okay with kind of feeling sometimes like left behind a bit in terms of whether that was opportunities or being visible to where, oh, like, Wow, I wonder if that opportunity would have came to me, if I was more out there. And so I was like, you know, it's okay, I'm doing the work behind the scenes. So with that, I knew that I needed help with the kids. So getting a babysitter to help pick the kids up and keep them for a couple hours was very important during that time, I remember having my sister come on board. She had some of the flexibility to do that, which was very helpful. You know, the summer months, like, they had to go to summer camp because there was no way if they were home. And, you know, I had these deadlines in the summer to to write that I could keep them entertained and then also write. So, like, just even outside of, like the professional help, it was just like, I need help with these kids. I cannot, like, possibly do that this work and feel like I'm being a quote, unquote, attentive mom if they are around and I can't be

Amanda Bauch 34:34

there. Yes, well, you, you were very you very wisely invited a lot of people into your village to support you while you were writing this book, you know. And the thing of thing about writing a book is it's, you know, I feel like it's sort of like pregnancy in a way, you know, it's like you have a due date, but it feels like the longest nine months of your life, like, especially at the end, but at the same. Time. It's like, you know, at some point there it will be done, and then you can, like, pivot and, you know, get on with your life. But when you're going through it, no one can tell you anything, you know, it's like, you're just, you're just looking at, you just had the date circled on the calendar, and you're like, Okay, it's like, this is when everything will change yet again. But like I said, if no one has ever gone through that, you know, sometimes it could be hard for them to understand so often, I think I know even this is the case for me. You know, I was a voracious reader growing up, and obviously that has continued into my professional adult career. But even before I worked at Harper Collins, I don't think I really had a full appreciation of everything that goes into one book. I mean, I tell you, especially after we're here at Harper Collins, like I would walk into a library or bookstore, and I would just look at it in a whole different way, you know, because everything has to be decided on, you know, from like the cover to the cover, or the color of what they call like the case, which is like the actual physical book that's under it, you know, the type of paper, you know, all the different font styles. It's like someone actually had to think about those things and put some like thought and intentionality into it, you know. And obviously that was the case for your physical book as well. Do you mind we talk a little bit about the actual book, the cover and the design a little bit? Yeah, let's go. So it's very funny, you know. And I also want to just talk about titling the book. Actually, can we? Can we preface all this with talking about titling the book? Yeah, so in the proposal, obviously you have like, a title and a subtitle decided upon. However, can you tell people were listening about the process of actually titling the book? For example, is your book title, the final book title the same as it was in your proposal? Or did it evolve throughout the process. And so what did that look like for you? Okay,

Jamila Souffrant 37:04

so the original title, well, in the proposal, at least, was your journey to launch. And so, you know, it's kind of similar to what the final title ended up being, which is your journey to financial freedom. I think just having my podcast in the title, like they felt was just going to be easy for people to pick up to but I even have the subtitle that we originally had, so it was your journey to launch, build wealth, enjoy life and find financial freedom. But I also knew, like that wasn't going to be the end title. It was just like something as a placeholder. You know, I definitely did envision a catchier title, like, I always wanted to have one of those titles where it stood out, like, maybe not even understand, but it would make someone want to pick the book up that end the cover. And so doing my research, you know, I remember I came across this interview, I think it was with Tim Ferriss and atomic habits writer, James clear,

Amanda Bauch 38:01

yes. James clear, yes, you and I talked about that. It's fascinating.

Jamila Souffrant 38:08

We did. He talked a bit in his episode with Tim Ferriss about titles and how there are certain structures of titles. And like, you know, one structure of titles, like, there were, like, four ways in which New York Times bestsellers are titles that were really good, like, it was, like, structured in one of four ways. And one of the ways was, you know, you usually put together two words that you don't typically see, but give you an idea of what it's about. So something like atomic habits. Like, you know, you know, the book is about habits, but you typically wouldn't put atomic in front of habits. And so you're curious to me to know what that means or for our work week. And so it's like, you know, it's really makes the reader think, What do you mean for our work week? And so I was thinking, like, what can I, like, name this book so that it's catchy? And I remember coming up with all these iterations and combinations and even putting it into, like, you know, the the AI apps to, like, figure out, like, give me some suggestions to get my brain working. And we also talked about it. I remember sending you, like, a couple of ideas and sending it to my agents. They also had, you know, just like, their input that they wanted to give. But I just couldn't, like, find a title that, like, I really loved, and I remember actually, with your journey to financial freedom, I felt like it was just like, so, like, boring. I was like, It's such, like, a like, a boring name for a book, but it is very clear on what the book is about, and it does match my brand. So even though it wasn't like, you know, the moment where someone, like, puts on the wedding dress and they're like, Yes, this is the one like it felt very much like, all right, this is the best that we're I think we can do. And we're running out of time that we need to pick a book. Things are moving forward on the production schedule. And I think coming up with like that subtitle, a step by step guide to achieving wealth and happiness, to clarify what the book was about, was also like, a big thing. And I. Which, I think it was the best that really encapsulated what the book was about. And so we went with that one, yes,

Amanda Bauch 40:06

yeah, the process of titling and subtitling a book could actually be very excruciating. And so I think, you know, when you land at a title and you know it's right, I think that generally, there's a tremendous sense of relief there. And I don't think there's any right or wrong title for a book, necessarily. I mean, I think because, like you said, I think so much of it is has to do with how you're positioning the book in the market, you know, and just how well it aligns with your particular brand and your messaging. And I I think that where you landed with your title is subtitle is very much aligned, you know, with the work you do and your philosophy about financial freedom, especially, and just making it accessible for everyone. And so I think sometimes a title just needs to communicate, you know, clearly, and that's exactly what yours does. So thank you for sharing a little bit about the background as to how you landed on that final title and subtitle. And of course, you know, a big part of the title of subtitle also parlays into the cover design, which can also be very excruciating process for the book publishing, you know, and even just talking about whether or not you're going to be on the cover was a whole conversation. So I sure, I'm sure, that people would love to know how the cover came about.

Jamila Souffrant 41:28

Yeah, so I initially did not want to be on the cover when I thought about books that were perennial sellers and were timeless and were more thought thinking books that led with, you know, you know, that were big ideas. The person that wrote the book wasn't on the cover. It was, you know, it was words. The cover was still nice, but it wasn't the actual person. And usually, I thought that if a person was on the book, it's usually a celebrity or someone who's very recognizable within that space. And I honestly, for all that it's worth, and as much as my publishers supported and me being on the cover, I just didn't feel like I was that recognizable or I needed to be on the cover. And, you know, I did realize and recognize the importance of like, people seeing my face on the cover. I remember I pulled my audience and kind of asked them that question, and then a lot of them said, You need to be on the cover. We want to see your face. And I kind of it's similar to, kind of me being on the podcast artwork. But the difference there is, I felt like podcast artwork can be changed overnight or in an hour. It's not permanent, but a book and printing a book like It's like permanent. It's different. And so part of me didn't want to exclude people who had maybe were simple minded enough to think that just because a black woman was on the cover that these ideas couldn't apply to like a wider audience. But I also knew the importance of people seeing a black woman on the cover for a book like this, so that was one of the reasons why I did consider it. And really what pushed it over the edge, where I did end up saying yes to it, is that my publisher and my agents were just like, listen, people don't often get acts to be on the cover of their book. You might as well go for it. And then also my kids, and they're very young still, and so for them, like, yes, they can read my name on the title, or read the words, but them seeing their mom's face, I think definitely was something that I knew would be special to them. And I said, why not? So that process of saying, Yes, I want to be on the cover, but the final cover, I have to love it. So maybe the title, like, I was not like, oh, like, this is the best title in the world, but I wanted to at least, like, love the book cover. And that was my other fear. Is that for you know, most people, when I feel like they're on the cover, I don't necessarily like how the cover looks, and so that's just, like, a personal thing for me. So I was like, okay, am I going to be too picky with what this looks like? But they were very open to me having, like, my own stylist, so Elsa, if you see the cover, it's very bright, but Elsa helped pick out the wardrobe. Who's my typical stylist for like events or just big things that I'm doing. So being able to hire her, and also I had to come out of pocket a bit to pay her, so they had a certain budget for what they were going to pay for the cover shoot. And so there are certain things that I wanted, and I said, Okay, I'm not going to budge on the stylist, because I think that's going to really impact what the books look like. And then, you know, they had their photographer and makeup in here that I kind of lean more on their expertise to have, but it was really important that they understood that I had to really love the cover for it to go further than it just being the photo shoot, and they did agree on that. I don't know what would have happened if I saw the final I didn't like it, like, if that would have been, you know, some contention. But, you know, I remember being very nervous. I had braids in before the cover shoot. And so for black women and their hair like it is a big deal. Feel. I knew I wanted to cover though, since it was permanent to have my natural hair, and so I remember, like, knowing that the cover shoot was going to take place maybe, like, a week or two weeks out, and I still, like, had braids in. I was like, Okay, again, I got to take my hair out. Then I got to go get like, a, kind of like a haircut, because my hair needed to be shaped up. Like it was a just thinking about, like, all these things had to be done before the shoot, and then doing that to be prepared for it. But I remember having my sister there to help with just like movement. She's a dancer, so I like felt confident having her on set to help me, and it being a very like, actually chill day, like I really enjoyed the shoot, because everyone was so positive on set. And then again, because I had Elsa as my stylist, I knew that like she would be able to pick out looks that worked. And so the final book cover you see, you know, we had iterations even before you what you see now, I think I did an Instagram post that showed like what the publisher sent me, and even like Amanda, you and I like, that's why I loved having you on my team behind the scenes, because I'd have conversations with them, and then I would be like, Okay, Amanda, like, what do you think of this? And you would like, give me ideas and points where I didn't even think about or know that I could push back on. And so ultimately, I knew I wanted the cover to be bright. I knew I wanted the cover to emote like happiness, and so that when someone saw it like their mood hopefully would shift. And so with those parameters in place, I think we finally got to a point from the initial like submission of what they thought the cover would be to what it is. Now we got to that ultimately, yeah,

Amanda Bauch 46:37

thank you for explaining that process so well. And it is a process. And, you know, sometimes it does take, you know, like, two or three iterations, you know, before you have a cover that you like. And I've certainly involved cover design processes where we'll go along and we'll be we think we have it, and then all of a sudden, we're like, either the author comes like, I'm sorry. I just really am not loving this cover, you know, or we internally try to get people's responses, and sometimes, like, the sales team might be like, yeah, we're not gonna be able to sell that cover to our accounts. You need to fix it, you know. So there's a lot that goes into the actual cover. I mean, everything from the fonts and how the fonts are placed, like, where, what we call the hierarchy, you know? So where your name is and how big it is, where the title is, how big it is, you know, there's lots of variables involved in that. You might get, like, six versions of like, quote, unquote, the same cover, but they have different arrangements of the title, subtitle, you know, different font styles, different colors, you know. And I will say, you know, for many of the peers in your space, I think that your book is unique in the sense that it's a very unique color, even if you go into like a bookstore, when you look at the finance space, most of the books understandably tend to be shades of green. You know, because green elicits money. I remember even when you were doing your cover design. I don't know if you remember this, but I had photoshopped, like your cover, like, onto the little shelf, just to see how it looked, you know, sort of sitting there among its peers and yours just, I mean, that orange, just like topped. I mean, it just jumped right off the shelf. And I felt like it was, it very much like encapsulated you and your joy and your energy, you know, and is, you know, very whimsical, but not in a immature way, but just in a, you know, embrace the journey. You know, it's, it's part of your messaging. And I feel like the final cover, where we landed, very much evokes that joyfulness. And it doesn't look like, you know, economics textbook or something you know, that will, like, you know, dissuade people from wanting to pick it up and look at it. And so, yeah, so the cover, the cover design process, is a lot of fun. And I think sometimes I just think it's always interesting to see how your concept translates into like a creative person's mind. You know, when you're thinking about working with like a cover designer, it's just always interesting to see how they translate you and your message. And quite frankly, most of your peers are on their cover as well. So I think your publisher was probably right in saying that, you know, sorry, Jamila, you're going on the cover, whether you like it or not,

Speaker 1 49:25

right? Hi, Jamila, here, host of this podcast and author of the book, your journey to financial freedom, a step by step guide to achieving wealth and happiness. Just a few years ago, I was in a job I didn't like, with a long commute, feeling stuck, I knew there had to be a different, better way. Then I found the pathway to financial freedom and financial independence. Today, I have more money, options and freedom than I ever thought was possible. And in my book, Your journey to financial freedom, I'll show you how you can achieve that too. You'll learn. How to spend and save responsibly, all while enjoying that spicy Margarita and exercise of guacamole to determine where you are on the journey and evaluate your spending and saving goals accordingly, quit your job, retire early or reach financial independence. My book your journey to financial freedom, a step by step guide to achieving wealth and happiness, is out now and available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and more, you can leave and listen to the audiobook narrated by me. Go to your journey to financial To get a free bonus when you order the book and see all the places to buy it once again, go to your journey to financial

Amanda Bauch 50:42

I owe think it's interesting how so you're working, you know, for a year, sometimes even two years, on this book, and then the day finally arrives when it's an actual physical book that exists in the world. And it is one of the most exciting, but also one of the most nerve wracking experiences, because it becomes very real in that moment based on the timeline, which, as you said, it took a few years, you know, from the time you initially said, Oh, I'd love to write a book. And you found the agent, got the proposal, got the pub deal. Now the book exists in the world. Not only how did you feel like when you actually were able to physically hold the book, but now that you're six months you know away from that moment, how does it feel to be like a published author who has this book that exists and can be found in places like Barnes and Noble and that people are buying from Amazon. Like, how does it feel to be like a published author, officially published?

Jamila Souffrant 51:47

Yeah, so I think going back, I really tried to temper my expectations about what I thought the book would do. You know, I do feel like, for me, at least, there felt to be like pressure to, like, sell a lot of books based on, like, the expectation of the publisher, which for me, was based on my advance, because I'm assuming they want me to sell a lot of books because they gave me, you know, a great advance. And so I tried to control what I could the marketing like is probably just a whole another episode of like marketing a book, and how much work goes into prepping for a launch, and the work it takes to do that, and how hard it is to actually sell a book. And so I quickly realized what I would have loved, like being on the New York Times and like being a breakout seller and selling through, like all the first run prints, I realized that I had to be just a bit like realistic, and then also patient with the process, because I had to go back to my initial goal, which was I wanted it to be a perennial seller, like a consistent seller. And sometimes that takes time, right, right? And perennial means, like, it is selling over time, and selling, you know, consistently over time. So when I kind of stepped back and realized that the reason that I wrote the book was because I wanted this to be another form in which it could inspire people, and so the feedback was going to be important. So outside of me being proud of it wasn't going to be helpful. That was how I wanted to measure the success of it is that when people actually do read it, did they find it useful? Or, you know, are people able to apply what I have said in the book to their lives? And so far, like that has been the case that has been like the feedback that I've gotten, and so being like six months out from that moment, but then continually to see the feedback come in. It almost makes it feel like it's just ongoing. So, yeah, there was that one day, but it does feel like an ongoing process of unfolding. Because I know that, you know, as much as I feel like you know, Amazon selected it as one, you know, the one of the best non fiction books in December, the month that was released. And, you know, I got definitely great reviews from editors. It was more of like, what does the audience think? And that, to me, is ongoing, because, like, there's some people are still discovering it, and some people don't even still know that it did exist. And the other thing that I thought was interesting is that actually, my book was in, like, Barnes and Nobles, like, a week before the actual release date, which I thought was, I never knew that was like possible, yes, yes. So I thought that was interesting, because it wasn't like that one day going in, like this, the book came out December 5. So it wasn't like going like, December 5 or sixth, going in and being like, Oh, look at it. It was like, I was actually able to experience that moment a week or two before. And so it's not that it was anti climatic. It was more just like it just felt this was a natural progression of what was happening. And it didn't feel like everything was bottled up for one big moment. It just felt like a lot of small, big moments happening over time,

Amanda Bauch 54:56

yes, and I think that you discovering it in bars and a whole week before that. After release date is sort of, it's sort of a micro moment of what it is to be a published author. Obviously, you know, there are many authors who only ever publish one book. You know, there are authors who publish many books, especially for the first book. You know, I think that your perspective, that you know you want it to be a perennial Seller is a very healthy perspective. You know, somebody's in the publishing industry will refer to that as what we call evergreen titles. You know, it's like, we know that there are certain books that will just be a flash in the pan the Tiktok video that went viral, you know, or they just happen to be in the news for some reason. But then there are books like yours, where it's a perennial topic, people are always going to be navigating financial challenges, and they're always going to be tools to help them on that journey. And so a book like yours is very evergreen in that sense. And correct me if I'm wrong on this, but I also feel like that was part of the pressure you were feeling to get the book right, because you did want it to be something that could be used 510, 15 years down the road. And so you wanted it to speak to people now, but you also wanted to speak to people who happen to be discovering the book many years from now. Yeah.

Jamila Souffrant 56:13

So even though my ideas of what a big idea book was was that the person wasn't on the cover, I still wanted it to be a big idea book with hopefully interesting concepts that would if you picked it up five years from now, say, oh, that's like a that's a nice way that she put that, or that's a different way that I can now look at this topic. And I never thought about that before. So that was very important to me, and probably what helped me up a little bit so me saying that I want to make sure that the book is impactful, and I care about the reviews, is also me understanding that not everyone is going to like the book and that it's not for everybody, yes, and not putting too much stock also in in the opinions of other people. So I think, like initially, just like me being satisfied with it is like the most important thing. Because I'm thinking, okay, so if Oprah calls me tomorrow, you know, or some big, I don't know, platform that really can help set this book, and I really have it, you know, sell millions of copies. If that happens, and one person has the power to change the fate of the book, is that what I'm waiting for? Is that what I'm going to base my happiness and contentment for like, or can I feel that before that happens, and be content and happy with what I've done? And so I've gotten to a place where I'm content and happy with the work that I've produced, and at this point, like I'm going to continue to talk about it, continue to usher people to buy it, and I hope people still buy it. But I just realized that I can't focus too much on the end result that I can't control anymore. Yes, you

Amanda Bauch 57:46

know, I always tell others, it's like you can only control what the words on the page. It's like, you can't control how people respond to those words. And I know some of these authors will get discouraged when they have maybe not so great reviews of their book, you know, and I always encourage them and say it's good to have people who don't like your book and like and especially when you're even talking about things like Amazon. Frankly, sometimes when you see like, a book only has five star reviews. I mean, that's very suspicious, you know, because it's like, are they review farming? Are they buying positive reviews? If they're more equitable, then you know that people are having authentic responses, you know, to the to the book, which I actually think is better. And frankly, like you said, not every book is for every reader. Well,

Jamila Souffrant 58:33

it's funny you say that, because on Amazon, well, one, I'm just like, Can more people actually review the book publicly? So by the way, if you have read the book, if you have the book, yes, please go review the book on Amazon. You can go to your journey to financial that takes you directly to the Amazon review page, and that will take you a few minutes. And you can also go to Goodreads. You can like and search my book. But funny enough, my Amazon reviews are pretty positive. I don't want to jinx myself, but they are actually the five stars you talk about, like, I think one person gave it a four. So, like, someone could look at this and be like, hey, is this, like, real? And my good reads review, I think, is definitely the more critical of, uh, side of things, which I don't mind, because I almost think it's like, The Good Reads readers are actually like they read, like, that's what they do. And so they're very much more critical, which I don't mind, of the book, and then Amazon is more like they're shopping for everything there, and so they're going in and maybe just giving their honest opinion, which so far has been good. I think what I've learned, and this might have been one of your questions, which is funny, because I thought this while I was writing it, but I think I know for sure now, after it's been out, and the reviews that are more critical of it show me who this book really is. For

Amanda Bauch 59:46

100% it really clarifies your audience.

Jamila Souffrant 59:49

It does. And I'm like, if I write, you know, another book or do something again, it even clarifies more on what's next.

Amanda Bauch 59:56

Yes, it needs to be the one star reviewers want your next book. Like, your next book will be written specifically for them,

Jamila Souffrant 1:00:04

or just like the three so, you know, like the the ones that give it like the lower stars, you know, their gripe would be, there's nothing new here, or, I know all this already, and then the ones that actually love it, or give it a five is, you know, a lot of that the review is like, wow, like, I thought about this differently, or it gives these steps. So sometimes the people, the people that really love it, are saying the opposite of what the people who really didn't enjoy it say, which is, like, I learned so much, and it's given me these steps, or broke down this concept, like the five guac levels, or, like the five stages, like I really enjoyed thinking about it in that way, but it got me thinking, why I would love everyone to be able to, like, pick this up. We already know that when you do that and when you write a book for everyone, then it just becomes, like, noise, a bit like it doesn't talk to anyone. And I think my book really is for the beginner or even intermediate, like journeyer, like the more advanced person that knows it all, who's been there, done that and kind of like, has it all together, unless they just love my voice and work, like, may not get much new things from the book if they're not open to, like, some of the concepts that I'm talking about. And again, why I wrote the book and felt compelled to write the book and start the podcast was because I was writing it hopefully for someone like myself who didn't know this concept of financial independence existed and wanted someone to explain it in a way that got them excited to make changes. And so I did. I've learned that, since the book has come out, like, Okay, this is, this is, like, the market or the target for this book, not the person that thinks they know it all and like they maybe need more advanced concepts and details on specific investment advice, but this won't be the book for them if they're looking for that. No,

Amanda Bauch 1:01:46

and I think it's and that's like I said, so that's why I say to authors as well, you know, sometimes they'll say, Well, who is your target audience? Let's say, let's focus for everybody. And then, of course, I'm like, Whoa. Okay, let's back it up here a bit, folks. You know, because I always say, you know, if you've written a book for everyone, that you've written a book for no one, I think for your book, especially, you know, I think that it's good that you have paid attention, you know, to how people are responding to it, because it not only lets you, it lets you do two things, right? One, it lets you know that you 100% hit the target with what you intended to do with the book, which is how people who are just starting out on their journey and just need to better understand like the concepts and have some tools that they can apply. But you also know now that this was is not a book for people who are more advanced and are further down the road. And so that, of course, gives you an idea for the next book, which is to present more advanced, you know, concepts and tools and processes that can help people who are a little further down the road, which I think is wonderful, because sometimes it's hard to come up with a concept for a second book. And, you know, and there's always that constant fear of the sophomore slump, right? You know, it's just pretty well known, not only in book publishing, but also like the music industry, the movie industry, you know, they always say the sequel never does as good as the original. And so I think that that's a legitimate concern. And so I think because of how people are responding to this first book, you are already gaining so much valuable intel on who the target audience for your next book could possibly be, especially in this day and age with our, you know, economy being a little volatile, you know, and a lot of people are just really struggling to make ends meet. And so I think that's one of many reasons why your book is just very important right now. But at the same time, lots of people recognizing the struggle, and there are, there's just a glut of financial independence, financial freedom, and just, you know, nuts and bolts like budgeting and managing your money, types of books on the market. I of course feel that your book is very unique, and I have my reasons for thinking that, but I would love for you to share what specifically it is about your book that sets it apart from all of the other books that it shares space with on the shelf.

Jamila Souffrant 1:04:08

I think I mentioned before that the personal finance space, like, there's but so much like new information you can present, even in the advanced topics, like, there are just, like facts, like mathematics behind like, what works. You know, like everyone is aware they need to increase their income, pay off debt, save like, I think we all know those things. And so what the theme, or the concepts in my book, what I aim to do, what I hopefully did, was to just present them in a different way and put together the puzzle pieces for people where it makes the steps clearer. So not only kind of bridging that gap between general personal finance, like, Okay, you need to learn how to budget and, you know, I don't talk about credit score as much, but just like financial health in general, I think the next realm, or where I straddle, is financial independence and this big idea, concept of. Being financially independent from a job and doing work you love, or, you know, just enjoying your life. And so I think it bridges the gap between those two parts. Like it's a little bit more advanced and just like basic, hey, this is how you budget and save to buy a house, or here's how you, you know, can never work again, and you should go gung to be financially independent, it kind of gets in the middle of that, but then also heavily talks about not just like the what and definitions, but like the internal why and motivation behind it, touching upon like the mindset and the internal beliefs and habits. I think are so important within this space that some people, just like, don't touch, like, it's either they go in the methodical route, and very much, like, A, B, C, D, and then sometimes people go the very high kind of, like, you know, never too spiritual, but like, there's just, like, a overview, heavily on mindset, and you can create Your own universe, thinking like manifesting, sort of, yes, yeah, where I do think there's a, like, a bridge or medium in that, like, I think the practical and magical and spiritual work together. And, you know, hard work and preparation is like, you've luck, right? And so how do you break that down into finance concepts that people can understand and get excited about and feel motivated to accomplish, like their whatever dreams they have for them. Wonderful.

Amanda Bauch 1:06:29

Thank you for articulating that so well. I do think it sort of sits in that very unique space and it, you know, for your target audience, you know, there's something there for the people who just want the spreadsheets and the checklist, you know, and the very tactical, like nuts and bolts tools that they can use and leverage on their journey. But then there also is the sort of you know, that they call the genre self help. I prefer the phrase self improvement. And so for the people who do want to do some inner work around their ideas and philosophies about money. You know, there's something there for them as well. And I think one thing that you did so well in the book is that you showed people that whether they're aware of it or not, they do oftentimes have emotional attachments or connections to their money. And so I think that you just do a really good job of allowing readers to have an opportunity, not only to do the nuts and bolts work, but to also go on like an inner journey as well, you know, and just allow their idea of what's possible, even for them financially, to sort of evolve to a place where it can really inspire them, so that when things do get really challenging, as they do on any journey that they they're motivated to keep going and are inspired on the path. So I just think you did such a wonderful job with that.

Jamila Souffrant 1:07:55

Thank you.

Amanda Bauch 1:07:56

You're very inspirational. Jamila, well, I'm part of that is telling your own story, right? You know? Because I think that's another thing that you do very well, is you relate to your audience as a fellow journeyer. You're not some guru who sits up on a mountain, you know, and dispenses advice like I have it all figured out, people. And if you can climb the summit and reach me, then I will share my wisdom with you so you too can live on the mountaintop above it all. It's like, No, I am down here on the ground, you know, with you all fighting the same battles, making the same decisions, like doing the inner work as well. And I think that's part of one of many reasons why your audience, you know, just gravitate towards you because you're just like a very authentic, relatable voice in the space.

Jamila Souffrant 1:08:46

And I did want to make sure that came through. So telling a bit of my personal stories intertwined with the practical information people could apply was very important. I didn't want to do too much of it, but I understood, if I'm going to be on the cover, then it should also there should be a narrative from me where you can understand and hear my voice as you read it, especially like if you knew me already from the podcast, you could say, oh yeah, that's Jamila talking. Or if you didn't know me, it was that okay. How do I get the person who's just like picking this up that has no clue who I am to kind of care about what I'm saying that helped them? And it's funny because one of the reviews that I did have on Amazon, the person started out it ultimately was a good review, but they were like, she talks about herself a bit, and that was like, the first time I heard, like, someone almost complaining about how much of my story was in it. But here's why I think it's so important to be good with the work you do. Because that didn't bother me at all, because I knew, like, I was like, that was the point. Like I had, like, me being in it was non negotiable, and I knew, for me, at least, I didn't think it was too much. So like, even hearing like feedback like that, I was like, Oh, I got it right, because it's the least enough to where most people so far haven't been complaining about it. So it feels very aligned with the way I run the podcast. You know, my. My personal life is interjected, and then also, kind of, like the practical things that I talk about,

Amanda Bauch 1:10:04

yes, no, and I, I personally didn't think there was too much, you know, it didn't feel like a memoir, you know. But we did talk about like we said. It's like we, you know, I remember having those conversations about how, how much of your personal story should you include? You know, where should we include your personal story? You know, when I do think it's important, because, like I said, it's very easy, you know, to present yourself as someone who already has it all figured out, you know, but to be authentic and to share your the more vulnerable aspects of your personal journey, I think, I think it's just really important, and like I said, and it helps people see, you know you once were, were where they are now, and so they can see what's possible and have a better sense of that for themselves based on, you know, their knowledge and awareness of you and everything that you've done to get where you are. And I just think it's, I just think it's helpful, thanks, and very relatable. All right, so you know, we have spoken a little bit about what book number two could possibly look like. And so are you willing to share with us now that your first book has officially launched into the world, if you've started thinking about a second book yet, and if so, what that book could possibly talk about?

Jamila Souffrant 1:11:20

I feel like I'm still coming like, off of like, the adrenaline and emotions of the first book, and still, you know, gotta be honest, you know, there's still some insecurity. As much as I talk about that, I am happy with the end result, and really do feel like, proud of my work. There is still a bit of like, is it good enough in terms of for commercial success? Like, was it good enough for the publisher to come and ask me to do another one? Because maybe they're just like, ah, we thought you were going to do way better than this. Why would we give you another deal or another person? Right? Like, that's part of not, not a fear. Because, you know, I don't know that I want to write another book yet, just because it feels so close to just finishing that process. But there is part of me that says, but would someone actually want me to write another book? Right? And I don't want to just like, go out like a book, just because, like, if I do write another one, I really do want to feel like called to it, and feel like I have something important to say. And so part of me wants to kind of like, this ramp, and I don't know how long it's going to take, you know, I do want to see this through. I was told that, you know, the best way to sell a first book, or to move on from something is just, kind of just focus on something else. Like, not that I'm obsessing, but, like, not thinking too much about how this book is doing and sales, but more about, okay, what can I continue? What work? What can I do to push my work forward that still feels good and authentic and kind of like, instead of just like, standing still and waiting for what has happened already to unfold, like, how can I continue just to move forward? So with that, I, you know, I don't have plans necessarily, for a second book right away, but I'm not going to say it won't happen or never. I think I'm open to it. And sometimes I think, like, will it be a finance book? But then I think my work is so closely related to finance right now. Like, how could it not be? Then maybe it will take a couple, like, just some more space in my life and more developments in me to grow so that I have something else to share or teacher give to an audience that can actually help them like so maybe I gotta, I have to live a bit more and live life and do more things to do that.

Amanda Bauch 1:13:26

Yeah, and I think that that's wisdom. I'm not a fan of publishing a book just for the sake of publishing a book, especially a second book, like we talked about the fear of the sophomore slump. But I do think you know, you really do have to be inspired and feel like you have something valuable that you want to share with the world. Because books take a lot of words, and if you're going to fill a whole book, you know, it's like you have to have a very well developed, fully realized concept to share with the world and and sometimes that does take time, you know, for that, for that to come through. And so I know, I, I obviously, personally feel like you definitely have at least one more, if not two more books in you. Jamila, so I'm excited to see when inspiration strikes and what that second book turns out to be. Oh,

Jamila Souffrant 1:14:19

thank you. Thank you.

Amanda Bauch 1:14:20

You're welcome.

Jamila Souffrant 1:14:22

Amanda, I just want to thank you for coming on the show. Not only like being one of my biggest support system, I don't think I could have written this book your journey to financial freedom without you, like all your support and help, and even like coming on and spending all this time chatting with my audience, I think you know, just shows like, how dedicated you are to this work, and your work matters. And so I just want to thank you for bringing the best out of me. I love that I can still text you now about a question that I have, or like, Hey, this is like, what does this mean? You know, and you share, like, your wins with your clients, and like, what's going on in your world. So I just love that relationship. So I just want to say thank you for helping me with this whole process. You're very

Amanda Bauch 1:15:05

welcome. One of my other favorite sayings is that, yes, we may be in the publishing business, but we're truly in the relationship business, and I feel that you know, the greatest successes in publishing come from when authors just have really strong, meaningful relationships with everyone that touches their book along the way. And so I am just so grateful, and still remain thoroughly humbled to have been invited to be part of your publishing process. It really is an honor and a joy for me, and I'm just really grateful that that comes through, you know, in the way that my authors respond to me, and just the ongoing relationship I have with many of my authors, it's just, you know, they're not only my clients, they're also very dear friends, as you are to me,

Jamila Souffrant 1:15:54

oh, please let everyone know where they can find out more about your work and what you Do. Yes.

Amanda Bauch 1:16:00

So the best place to find out more about me and the work I'm doing is my website, which is, so Amanda B as a boy, a, U, C,, and on that website, you will see the fabulous Jamila highlighted because she gave me an incredible, mind blowing testimonial about her work with me. So you can also, of course, like Jamila said, find out about other authors that I have worked with, and you know some of my career highlights, and also what type of work I do, and how you can reach out if you're interested in working with me.

Jamila Souffrant 1:16:37

Thank you so much. Amanda, all right, thank

Amanda Bauch 1:16:39

you, Jamila.

Speaker 1 1:16:42

Don't forget, you can get the episode show notes for this episode by going to journey to or click the description of wherever you're listening to this and you can still grab your jumpstart guide for free to help you on your journey to financial freedom by going to journey to

Speaker 1 1:17:02

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 podcast, that purple app on your phone, your Android device, YouTube, Spotify wherever it is that you happen to listen, just subscribe so you are not missing an episode. And if you're happening to listen to this in Apple podcast, rate review and subscribe there. I appreciate and read every single review. Number two, 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 journeyers, there 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. Four. And last but not least, share this episode, this podcast, with a friend or family member or coworker, so that we can spread the message of Journey to launch. All right, that's it until next week. Keep on journeying. Journeyers. You.

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