Alison Jones, publisher and book coach, explores business books from both a writer's and a reader's perspective. Interviews with authors, publishers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, tech wizards, social media strategists, PR and marketing experts and others involved in helping businesses tell their story effectively.
Episode 344 - STOP with Sarah Sparks
'We are designed for acute episodes of stress, but what we're not designed for is chronic episodes of stress. That's stress after stress after stress, and that's what most people are living with, day in day out.'
Looking back, Sarah Sparks can see that her body was trying to tell her there was a problem. But she didn't listen: she kept on working crazy hours under immense pressure while trying to be the perfect new wife, and eventually her body stepped in to give her a message she couldn't ignore: she collapsed and was hospitalized with burnout.
Since then she's made it her mission to stop other people getting to that place, with her STOP model for combatting chronic stress. As she developed her model she realised the next logical step was to face her fear of writing: the result was an award-winning book.
Decoded with Phil Barden
Ever wondered why people don't immediately shout 'Of course!' and shake you warmly by the hand when you share your new idea with them? It's because we find new ideas hard to take on board, especially when they contradict things we've believed up until now. So how as a writer can you help people get past that initial negative reflex and take your ideas on board?
Marketer Phil Barden experienced this for himself, when he discovered that everything he thought he knew about advertising was wrong. In this week's conversation he shares how what he learned about how decision science transformed his own approach to marketing, and also how you as an author can help your readers take your ideas on board more effectively.
Episode 342 - Don't Fix Women with Joy Burnford
'How do I .. move from being a curator to a creator? That was a big shift for me, and I think I got there in the end.'
People often talk about the value of the finished book - for the author and for the reader. Less talked-about is the value of the process of writing: the connections you make as you research and discuss the ideas, the deepening of your thinking, the shift that you make as an author from consuming and curating other people's opinions to setting out your own.
Joy Burnford has been a 'curator of confidence' for many years, researching how women in particular build and sustain confidence at work, and developing her own in the process. But she realised that this is only one part of the equation: no matter how confident the woman, if the system at work is stacked against her, she cannot make the contribution of which she is capable. And when that happens, everyone loses out.
A fascinating conversation on gender equality in the workplace, but also on how writing a book doesn't just change those who read it, but its author too.
Episode 341 - Branding with Matt Johnson and Tessa Misiaszek
"Of course we want to predict, what's the world going to be like in 5, 10, 15 years? How can I, as a brand, put myself in an advantageous position to thrive in this hypothetical future? But through taking a human-based approach, we're going to ask a different, and I think complementary question: not what's going to change, but what's going to stay constant. And if humans are your primary customers, the most relevant constants are going to be the constants of human nature."
The science of branding is undergoing a revolution as we begin to better understand the neurology of decision-making. Matt Johnson and Tessa Misiaszek interrogate this new world of branding with a ruthless focus on what the implications are for businesses. You might love your brand, but if it doesn't mean anything to your customers, sorry, it's not a brand.
As well as this fascinating insight into the frontiers of marketing, we discuss the creative conflict (and the cocktails) involved in writing a book from two different perspectives, the challenges that presents and the reasons why it's so worthwhile.
Episode 340 - The joy of constraints
We don't live in a perfect world. If you're hoping to write a business book, I bet there's something that's getting in your way. Not enough time, lack of focus, morning sickness, a global pandemic...
We can't get rid of these constraints, but we CAN get smarter about them, and maybe even turn them into superpowers.
Get inspiration from:
Kate Nash on working with rather than against physical disability; Jenna Tiffany on the impact of the pandemic; Lucy Cohen on using whatever way of writing works for you; Jodie Cook on using time constraints for productivity and wellbeing; Em Stroud on using time constraints for playfulness and creativity; Bruce Daisley on the magic of TikTok for explaining complex ideas in just a few seconds; Felicity Dwyer on creating deadlines and accountability to get things done; Kara Tan Bhala on translating rigour into readability; Ian MacRae on using the book proposal document to create clarity.
Positively Purple with Kate Nash OBE
'We are not here to be inspiration. Instead [we] invite back those who feel inspired to think about what they're inspired to do as a consequence.'
From the moment her well-intentioned mother spoke wistfully about the possibility of her getting 'a little job' when she was afflicted by chronic rheumatoid arthritis as a teenager, Kate Nash has been challenging the narrative of expectations around disable people in the workplace. She's the founder of professional development hub Purple Space and the inspiration behind the #purplelightup movement that has turned some of the world's most iconic landmarks purple in honour of disability rights.
In this powerful conversation she blends the personal and the political to talk about her own experience, the complexity and diversity of disabled people's lived experience, the commonalities of the barriers they face in the workplace, and what it means to be a good ally for disabled colleagues. She also reveals her approach to writing a book which any writer, disabled or not, can learn a lot from.
How can I get on your Podcast?
I really like your podcast! Excellent information! Our President has authored a marketing book recently. How can I get him on your Podcast to discuss “Married to Marketing”?
Some good insights
As a non-fiction writer, I enjoy the guests and insights. Also nice to hear guests from around the world, given I am in America.
I love this Podcast because It is exactly what I am looking for to take my writing ideas to a higher level. The host is smart, insightful, motivating, and refreshing as she interviews authors whom have written business books from diverse genres and are amazing! I am binge listening to over 200 of the episodes and can’t get enough. I am learning so much from this extraordinary host and her guests who talk, with transparency, about their journeys that resulted in their book! I am often amazed by what people have gone through to overcome tremendous setbacks to achieve the goal of writing their book. If you are interested in publishing a book about what you do in your business then listen to this treasure and get inspired to get on your writing journey!