Miriam is a 5x bestselling children’s book author and the CEO of ML Publishing. It’s her absolute joy to work with other authors and watch their books empower children.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- How Miriam achieved a Guinness World Record on her blog
- Ways to grow your confidence to build your audience
- The importance of knowing your why
Listen to Miriam Laundry talk about audience building:
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- The Witch’s Sacrifice – K.C. Adams *
- I Can Believe in Myself – Miriam Laundry
- Chicken Soup for the Soul – Jack Canfield
- The Success Principles – Jack Canfield
[00:00:00] Ellie: Hello and welcome to The Writer’s Mindset podcast with me, Ellie Betts. Kristina is still here, but just hiding away hard at work editing The Witch’s Sacrifice and working on our patron exclusive series, HEALTHY HABITS.
[00:00:15] Ellie: We’re here to create a community of authors who persevere, are their most productive selves, and publish at a speed that they are comfortable with.
[00:00:24] Ellie: This week Kristina connected with Miriam Laundry to discuss how to build your audience.
[00:00:42] Ellie: Miriam is a five times bestselling children’s author and the CEO of M L Publishing. It’s her absolute joy to work with other authors and watch their books empower children.
[00:00:56] Ellie: I do want to say a big thank you to all of our patrons for your support. We couldn’t do this without you. As a patron, you get early access to all of our episodes, bonus content and our undying gratitude for supporting all of the work that goes into creating these episodes to inspire and motivate you.
[00:01:13] Ellie: And as I mentioned, Kristina has been working on a Patreon exclusive series called HEALTHY HABITS.
[00:01:22] Kristina: Just popping in to let you know, there’s a new episode of HEALTHY HABITS out now. The series is all about the techniques I use to manage my chronic health issues so that I can get more done and not feel like shit all the time. Because let’s face it, that’s how most of us with chronic illnesses feel on a regular basis. So far we’ve covered brain training, the best types of movement for us desk-obsessed writers, and our latest episode is all about the foods that will boost your focus.
[00:01:44] Kristina: You can get exclusive access to this new series on Patreon for as little as three pounds a month. Just think the price of one coffee a month could completely change your quality of life. That may sound melodramatic, but it wouldn’t be sharing these techniques with you if they haven’t already made a huge difference for my fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and more.
[00:02:02] Kristina: These steps are designed to boost your memory, help you focus, and even improve your resilience. If you want start adopting healthier habits today. Come join us over on patreon.com/writersmindset.
[00:02:13] Ellie: Did you hear something? I must be imagining it. I’m sure I locked up the dungeon. If you want to find out more, visit patreon.com/writers mindset.
[00:02:28] Kristina: With me today is Miriam Laundry. Welcome to The Writer’s Mindset.
[00:02:31] Miriam: Hi, thank you for having me.
[00:02:33] Kristina: So can you just give us a little bit of background on who you are and what you do please?
[00:02:37] Miriam: Yeah, sure. So I’m a children’s book author. I have five children’s books I have published and now I focus more on helping aspiring children’s book authors, fulfill their dreams and publish their own books.
[00:02:49] Kristina: You also happen to have a Guinness World Record. I’m really intrigued to know about this. Can you tell us what your world record is for and the story of how it came about.
[00:03:00] Miriam: Yeah, sure. Yes, I do have a Guinness World Record. The record is for the largest online book discussion in a 24 hour period. So I had over 24 hours people going on and leaving a quick comment. It was a blog that was opened, um, back in 2014. So we have the largest record for that. And it was all based on my the first book I Can Believe in Myself. We had people go on and write something that they can do something that they were going to go for after reading the book. So letting go of the can’ts and telling us the new can statement.
[00:03:33] Miriam: So how that started was, uh, that brings you back to 2013, when my first book came out. I was, I was inspired at the time, I really wanted to make a difference in children’s lives. I had just lost my niece to suicide and having four young children, this was all I was thinking about, and I didn’t want another family to have to go through the things we went through.
[00:03:56] Miriam: So I just wanted to empower children. And that’s how I started writing. But this particular day, I was sitting at a conference, at a seminar, where they had us write our big, hairy, audacious goal. What is your big, big goal? And I wrote down, I wanted to empower a hundred thousand children to believe in themselves.
[00:04:15] Miriam: I don’t know where that number came from. I think he had us do a meditation before, and then you kind of just had to write your goal. And as soon as I wrote that, I have to tell you I was so overcome by fear. I dropped the pen. Like I was just like, why did I write that? Why did I write that? And I wanted to go back and scratch it and make it smaller.
[00:04:32] Miriam: But of course he had us turn to the person on your right, tell them your goal. Turn to the other person. And, you know, we had already vocalised it. I couldn’t go back. So it all started with that, wanting to empower a hundred thousand children to believe in themselves. And it just really forced me to think bigger.
[00:04:47] Miriam: You know, I, I did my calculations. I was visiting schools at the time. It would have taken, I don’t know, a decade to visit that many children. So it forced me to think bigger. And I asked myself, if I am going to empower a hundred thousand children, how can I do it all at once? And that’s when the idea of going for a Guinness World Record came to me.
[00:05:07] Miriam: That’s the simple part of it.
[00:05:09] Kristina: So going for the Guinness World Record was something you always intended to do that I wasn’t just, it happened almost accidentally.
[00:05:16] Miriam: Oh, no, no, it did not happen accidentally. I didn’t intend to do this before I set that goal. It was really a means to get to the goal, to empowering that many children.
[00:05:25] Miriam: And no, it took nine months of planning. It took a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication because I had to round that many people to do something in a 24 hour period. So it w it was quite a bit of work.
[00:05:36] Kristina: What was the actual planning process, like? Was it just you, did you have a team? How did you get schools involved?
[00:05:43] Miriam: Yes. Yeah. Okay. So, well, first it was just me for a long time, and then I thought I’d really need somebody else to help me. I hired my first assistant and her, and I just basically got on, on the phone and called schools. I figured, um, I had, you know, six to nine months to plan it, so I pre-registered people to participate.
[00:06:04] Miriam: So I would call schools and ask them who can participate? Can a classroom, can the whole classroom, can the whole school participate? And that’s how we would tally up our numbers. I would tell everybody I knew that this is what I was going for. I like taking courses, so at every course that I was at, I would tell people. I went to craft shows and had booths and it would say help us get a Guinness World Record.
[00:06:26] Miriam: So I pre-registered people for, like I said, probably six, probably about six months. But here’s the thing, the more people you tell and it’s not just help me get a Guinness World Record. Cause it wasn’t about the record. It was all about empowering the children. So I think when you have, when you have a vision, a big vision, you get the big people to come and help you.
[00:06:48] Miriam: So let me just tell you what happened. I was sitting at a conference and, uh, I gave my book to the people at that conference, sharing with them. Like I was, so I have to tell you that I was so timid. I asked for the microphone, I got up and told everybody, this is my dream.
[00:07:02] Miriam: I want to empower a hundred thousand children. And this is in honor of my niece. And somebody came to me after and he said, why did you pick that day? I had picked may seven. Because it fell during mental health awareness week in Canada. And, uh, that day rang a bell with him. That was an important day to him.
[00:07:19] Miriam: So this man actually helped me. He was very involved in a network marketing company. Nikeen is the company. And really by the end of it, Nikeen the Nikeen organisation helped me get this record. So they’d got all of their sales reps, all involved, all telling people. And I’m sharing this because when you have a big vision, when you have a big why. you’re going to find the people, the resources, everything you need does fall into place. Not, well, you know, you still have to do the work, but it all came together. It all came together .
[00:07:50] Kristina: That’s really lovely. And like you say, you still got to do the work and you also have to overcome like the fear and anxiety of that crazy number, right?
[00:08:01] Miriam: Oh, I have never been as stressed, nervous, like panic attacks, everything. But I had a big why. Right? Like I had that big vision. I kept thinking about my niece. I kept thinking about the children I would be helping, the families I would be helping. And that helps you overcome it a little bit, at least long enough to say what you have to say.
[00:08:21] Miriam: Many times I broke down crying. I think that time when I got that microphone at that conference, I, you know, I would just start crying, but I had to do that. I had to overcome that. And in the end, of course, it worked out. Um, I aligned myself also with Canadian mental, I live in Canada, Canadian mental health awareness. And I was like, I was speaking everywhere, telling people about this and asking people to support me in this dream.
[00:08:45] Miriam: So it, uh, it, it did pay off. We did get the Guinness World Record and we empowered a lot of children doing that
[00:08:52] Kristina: That’s so cool. Were there any of those statements that really stood out to you that you still remember?
[00:08:58] Miriam: Oh, those statements like the, I can statements. I mean, there were things as simple as depending on, on who left the statement. Like a six year old would have left, like, I can ride my bike without training wheels. Like basically I’m going to go for it. That’s what they’re saying. I can do a Cartwheel. I can, you know, ask that girl out. This is a little bit older. I can make the volleyball team. It’s all of the things that we wanted to do.
[00:09:21] Miriam: And then for adults, I can leave my job. I can start a business. I can start, podcasting wasn’t as popular back then. But, you know, it’s all those things that we believe we can’t, and we just need to just switch that can’t to can, and then really just go for it.
[00:09:36] Miriam: I’ll tell you, I was in tears a lot when I was reading everybody’s I can statements and just that, it resonated with so many people. We had the book translated in several languages at the time for that to happen. Cause we had 26 different countries participate in this.
[00:09:51] Miriam: So yeah, it was a lot of fun.
[00:09:53] Kristina: Was there anything specific you did to, to overcome that fear and anxiety other than really focusing on your why, or did you find that was the biggest thing that really pushed you through when you were like, having a panic attack, or crying on stage or however it manifested for you.
[00:10:10] Miriam: You know, for me, it was definitely focusing on the why. I had, I, you know, I, I write things a lot. I had a lot of three by five cards that I put all around my house. My mirror, when I get ready in the morning and my bathroom. And it was just a reminder of why I was doing what I was doing. That really, you know, that really, really helped me because there were days when I, I had a lot of doubt, where I would think there’s no way I’m going to do this. Why have I been wasting, you know, eight months of my life doing this, it’s not going to happen. But those are the days where I definitely needed all those little reminders.
[00:10:45] Miriam: So understanding my why and reminding myself of that, that was the biggest thing. Then, you know, before that I always say a little prayer or a little, like just setting, setting the space in my mind that this is what’s going to happen. I’m just going for it. And I’m just going for it.
[00:11:02] Kristina: Take us to the day of that record then what was your process like and how did you feel and how did you cope with those emotions? Cause it must have been both very stressful and kind of exhilarating at the same.
[00:11:15] Miriam: Yeah, mainly stressful. It was 24 hours. So it was very stressful. So I had planned ahead of that. Um, I had hired a coach that was helping me think through it. Because I, I, I really needed some more planning, just, you know, not just me planning. So I had a coach, helped me through it. We organized three events. During that 24 hour period, I had a kickoff event, so I kicked it off at my children’s school. I had the whole 700 children in a gymnasium, all participating. So that was the kickoff and they were all then going to go to the computers and leave their I can, right? Their I can statements. Um, that was the first thing. That evening I had, uh, at a bookstore. I was there talking about it, the media was there and we would let people leave their comments. And then the final thing, the closing ceremony was at the local mall, and I’ll have, and I just want to share that the Guinness adjudicator was with me here the 24 hours. So it was-
[00:12:14] Kristina: Ooh, pressure.
[00:12:16] Miriam: Yeah the pressure, it was stressful. He was a really nice guy. So I, I have a home office, so he go to the hotel, do his things. And for a little bit of time, he’d come to my home. The stressful part was when we kicked it off at the school, I thought, perfect. Everything is set up, but there were so many people leaving comments that are our systems crashed, or our server crashed. And we had to quickly put on another server. Like this was just so stressful. And we basically didn’t know until the following day that the Guinness adjudicator wasn’t going to allow two servers. They could only count the ones from one of them. I know it was so stressful,
[00:12:54] Kristina: I know they have strict criteria, but I didn’t know it was quite that strict.
[00:12:59] Miriam: It is very, it is very strict. They have to check on everything, right? They have to do their due diligence and make sure that every, every comment was true. So this closing ceremony, I’ll just explain that a little bit. So I had reached out to the local mall, asked them if I could do this. So here’s the thing people do want to support you and your vision.
[00:13:18] Miriam: The mall said yes, they gave me this whole area to use. They set up a stage, set up chairs. It didn’t cost me anything. I then found some sponsors that helped with some of the costs because we had face painting and a magic show. I wanted to make it an event for parents to bring their children have fun, and then find out if we made the Guinness World Record.
[00:13:40] Miriam: Cause I didn’t know up until the moment the adjudicator got onstage, I really didn’t know. So talk about stress. And, and he did get up there and he said, yeah, he couldn’t count both servers, but, we had 103,000 people participate, with a one server counted 33,000. And that was enough to get us the record.
[00:14:01] Miriam: Yeah. So it was, it was exhilarating. It was exciting. We had, um, people from Canadian mental health association there, books were being sold and donated to the organisation. I really don’t know how I overcame all the fear. I think that when it was all done and said, I cried and cried and cried, and I think I slept for days.
[00:14:22] Kristina: I’ll bet. I mean that much buildup and then you achieve it. It is quite overwhelming emotionally. I think isn’t it?
[00:14:32] Miriam: It was so emotional because it was, it was nine months of hard work. And like I said, the last 24 hours, having the adjudicator here was stressful. It was stressful.
[00:14:43] Kristina: How long did it take them to kind of validate it before they gave you the results?
[00:14:48] Miriam: So let’s see it closed up 4:00 PM, at 6:30 he went onstage. So not long, not long because it was all virtual, right? Because it was all virtual. He was able to tell. And I think he already knew from the beginning, they weren’t going to take any comments going to the one server, but that’s okay.
[00:15:06] Kristina: Yeah, exactly. You did it. And that’s what counts, right?
[00:15:09] Miriam: Yes. Yes.
[00:15:10] Kristina: So what techniques did you find the most successful for growing your audience? Both in terms of when you did the record and since then, because obviously things have changed a little bit on the internet.
[00:15:21] Miriam: For sure, for sure. What techniques, I’ll say that I did not realise that this was a great marketing thing that I did.
[00:15:28] Miriam: I really wanted to do it because that was my goal to empower children. But this gave me a really good start because I had people pre-registered, those people stayed. A lot of them stayed in my email list. So I was able to keep communicating that really helped me also get into schools and have more of a speaking engagement more speaking engagements.
[00:15:49] Miriam: I would say, you know, like I’m going back to grassroots techniques would be that I shared with everybody what I was doing. I was unapologetic about that because I had no other choice. I had that big goal, I wanted to reach it. So I, you know, it was word of mouth first and then, um, finding people to support me like that organisation, Nikeen and like, that was just so amazing because they started interviewing me in their big team meetings. They had a big conference with thousands of people. And the one man that was supporting me, got on to talk about what we were doing and getting people to pre-register. So I’m going back to grassroots, like just share, shout it from the rooftops, tell everybody what you’re doing.
[00:16:31] Miriam: If you also, yeah, I think about having a message that’s important and having people rally behind you with that message, that that would be what I’ll say.
[00:16:42] Kristina: Have you got any tips for finding your message or kind of mission? Cause it’s one of those things that sounded like a really great idea, but like it took us a few episodes of The Writer’s Mindset to get going, for example. It’s not always as easy as it sounds should we say.
[00:16:57] Miriam: No, it’s not as easy as it sounds. But you know, whenever we do something, I think it’s really good to, to just go within us and to figure out why do you want to do this? Like, what is the real reason? And not just like surface stuff, but like really get down to it.
[00:17:13] Miriam: And for me, it all came down to losing my niece and not wanting that to happen, even though that’s not really talked about in my books, to me, if I empowered a child, if I taught them early on that they could do things, that they can overcome difficult situations, then that would help them later. So, I would say for, for your listeners, figure out why you’re really doing something, but, but go deep.
[00:17:37] Miriam: What if you’re not able to do that, what would happen? And really hone in on that. That’s really important. And I think that’s going to help you identify what your message is and what you want to share with the world. It may take some time. I use driving time to quiet my mind and to, I’m not great at meditating. I’ll just say that right now. I have four children, so I tend to fall asleep when I meditate. But driving and turning the radio off allows me to think. And I just ask, ask yourself those questions. Why are you really doing this? And, and figure that out. It’s just asking yourself over and over again until you find the answer.
[00:18:12] Kristina: Yeah. And I think sometimes as well, you might kind of innately know it, but not have kind of vocalised it to yourself. Like there might be a pattern arising that you don’t yet know is there. Like it’s only when I started my third series, I realised that it was a pattern in what I was publishing. Even though they are different genres.
[00:18:31] Kristina: Like you wouldn’t think a fantasy series is going to have something in common with women’s fiction and romance, but it does because it’s all about connection and the support of your family and your found family and the people who really do care about you. And that’s a message that I like to provide in my books and my readers really get out of reading them.
[00:18:51] Kristina: And I didn’t, like I said, I didn’t realise that was a pattern until I must’ve been, I don’t know, 10, 15 books in, at that point before I, I really consciously noticed it. And it was probably because one of my readers mentioned it.
[00:19:08] Miriam: Yeah. It’s, it’s like you start uncovering the next thing, but it also brings you to your bigger purpose, right? Sometimes we have to just trust and jump in and realise that we will figure it out as we go. Even if it is so many books in and so many people that you’ve shared a message with, right? We refine, we refine, I think, for our, for our own selves also.
[00:19:29] Kristina: Yeah. I think that can be a real pressure to feel like you have it all figured out before you publish that one book, or before you attempt to do something new or challenging, but actually it’s the act of doing that book or doing that challenge that is really what helps you to learn and grow rather than just kind of sitting and reading and studying about it. That doesn’t get you as far as just diving in.
[00:19:52] Miriam: Absolutely. Yeah.
[00:19:54] Kristina: Also that scarier.
[00:19:55] Miriam: It is because we have to trust. We have to trust and jump in, but we will figure it out. I always tell my, I tell my team, I have a team of five now, and I always say it’ll all work out because it always does. Even if it’s not supposed to be in this way, we will figure it out and it’ll work out. It’ll work out in the end. I mean, we’re still here because it keeps working out, right?
[00:20:17] Kristina: Yeah, sometimes you just have to be open to the fact that things probably was go how you expected them to, but be open to the fact they may also go better.
[00:20:26] Miriam: Exactly this or something better.
[00:20:28] Kristina: Yeah. And yeah, I think that’s certainly something I have noticed, um, in terms of the authors I talked to who were early on in their careers and then the people we interview, and the people who were further along in their careers say like, things aren’t going to go according to plan.
[00:20:42] Kristina: But if you’re flexible and you don’t have this very rigid definition of success, you can achieve your wildest dreams, but you’ve got to let go first.
[00:20:50] Miriam: Yeah, absolutely. Did that, did that answer your question? I’m trying to think back to your original question. Was it about the audience? What was that?
[00:20:58] Kristina: Yeah audience building tips.
[00:20:59] Miriam: Yeah. I feel like I went kind of that way. Cause that’s, that seems to be pressing in my mind these days, you know, figuring out my why. But audience building tips, I would say it’s definitely about relationships. It’s about building relationships with people with your audience, but wherever you are, like I mentioned, I love learning, so I go to these conferences and building a relationship there has really been beneficial for me.
[00:21:24] Miriam: I started off that first seminar that I referred to, I went to a Jack Canfield’s event. Jack Canfield is the author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books and he’s got some other books. And I started building a relationship with him. I would go back to his courses. he was a great supporter of the Guinness World Record. And then also, um, building that relationship helped me. So it’s not an immediate thing, I’ll say that, it takes years. But later when I, when I wrote my fifth book, I reached out to him to be my co-author and he said, yes.
[00:21:59] Miriam: So, because I built that relationship, I was then able to borrow his audience, if you will, or share in our own audiences that I talk about him and, you know, he talks about me. But it also, I think that’s one of the that’s one of the, the ways to, to build an audience is to buy relationships and also borrowing each others.
[00:22:21] Miriam: You know, finding people that are doing similar things or that have similar beliefs and asking, like, for example, can I be on your podcast? Can I blog for you? Um, those types of things. Can we get on Instagram and do an IG story then IG live together?
[00:22:34] Kristina: One of my clients, um, trains people on how to be better at social selling and social media as business. And, um, yeah, they are very big on educating people on the fact that once you start using social media for a business purpose, you don’t suddenly stop being human or treating your followers as if they’re human. You are still a person selling to another person. And so relationship building is still really important to that being successful.
[00:22:58] Miriam: It’s everything. It’s everything. I mean, it’s the one thing I, it’s one of the things I want to teach my children, right? It’s not, it doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s all about relationships. It’s all about sharing what you’re doing, finding the people to support you. It’s you learning about what somebody else is doing and supporting them.
[00:23:15] Kristina: Yeah, exactly. Are there any marketing techniques you’ve found to be less successful that you probably wouldn’t give another go?
[00:23:22] Miriam: I don’t know. I don’t know. I think it’s really good to try a lot of marketing techniques. Um, I mean, I love email marketing. I’ve just started with text marketing. This is our brand new thing. Cause that’s where people are headed when we offer free trainings, getting people’s cell phone numbers, just to text them reminders. That really helps. So I’m, I’m dabbling in that right now. What is something that’s not as successful anymore.
[00:23:49] Kristina: We get paid marketing as an example, a lot here.
[00:23:53] Miriam: As not successful?
[00:23:54] Kristina: Yeah. I think some people, if they get it right, it’s like gold dust, but because it’s so hit and miss and also you have to be on the right platform for your audience, then it just can be such a time sink that if you find something like email marketing or being on podcasts or just being human on social media, more successful, it’s usually the first thing to go, because like I say, it’s the most expensive thing and it’s the hardest thing to get right. Cause you’ve got to juggle all those key words and the audience and the graphics and…
[00:24:25] Miriam: you’re absolutely right. And it’s, I think it can be successful. We’ve started also, um, playing around with paid ads, but it’s so expensive. It’s so expensive. Like that would be a last thing to do. The first thing is to organically share and market yourself. I think there can be success in that, but like you said, you have to find… I wouldn’t, so here’s thing, I wouldn’t do it myself because I don’t know enough about it and I don’t want to make all the mistakes. I would hire somebody. I think it’s always good to hire a coach, hire a professional to help you with that. It will cost you more. But in the end, I think it’ll be less than if I was trying to do it myself. So I won’t say that it doesn’t work, but I’ll say that it’s super expensive.
[00:25:07] Kristina: Yeah, I, um, my career started off because of paid ads in the summer of 2019, but I think I just got very lucky because my cost per click was low, it was a genre that I’d been writing for a few years, but it only started to regain popularity, and I made my first book free. So it, and there was already four or five in the series. So I just kind of hit this perfect combination and if I do that now it wouldn’t work because there are more copies of the book in the world and also cost per click is a lot higher and the targeting is not as good.
[00:25:41] Miriam: Yes. I mean, everything has changed the last, how many months of, of doing paid advertising? Yes. I am not an expert at that for sure.
[00:25:50] Kristina: Yeah. It’s definitely very different and it moves very quickly, which is another reason that it can be murky waters, shall we say?
[00:25:57] Miriam: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I love email marketing. I always, uh, I tell my students, that’s the first thing you should do if you know, so I help children’s book authors. I always suggest having that last page to be about the author and offer them, offer your reader something to get to your website, to leave their email address so that later you can, you can continue building that relationship. Offering them value for a long, long time before you ask for them to purchase your book or to, uh, when you have your second book or to find, you know, to help you find a speaking engagement. Definitely you want to nurture, nurture your audience, but I love email, email marketing, because that’s something that you own. That’s something that you can, you know, continue to build that relationship.
[00:26:42] Kristina: Yeah, same. Um, when you write your emails, do you write them aimed at the parents and the guardians and the teachers, or do you write them more geared towards the children or is it a combination?
[00:26:51] Miriam: It would be for the parents. It would be for the parents. Yeah. Cause it’s not the children receiving.
[00:26:56] Kristina: What sort of stuff do you share? Do you like focus primarily on your books? Do you talk about your personal life, your business? How do you decide?
[00:27:04] Miriam: Yeah, yes. So now I focus more. I mean, my audience is now the authors. But, so that’s what I focus on. I have my email list segmented so that I still have schools, and librarians, and principals, and parents on one side. So for them, I’m looking at, um, I’m sharing, parenting tips, I’m sharing great books that I come across. Those are the types of things I would put there. I remember the one email that did really, like one of my best emails was like just, um, things that I do with my own children.
[00:27:35] Miriam: They’re now teenagers. So I’m talking years back when they were younger, for example, um, it was the start of summer and we would sit down and write our goals for the summer, like goals as to what things did you want to do that was fun? What did you want to do that educational? You know, a little stretch goal also.
[00:27:52] Miriam: So things like that. But now for my, um, for my students that want to write children’s books, I’m sharing a lot of writing tips. I’m sharing about other people’s stories, inspiring stories, those types of things.
[00:28:06] Kristina: Cool. One question we ask all our interviewees, and it’s always interesting to see what people say, is what’s one book that changed your life?
[00:28:15] Miriam: Yes for me, I’m gonna, I’m gonna stick with my, with my buddy Jack Canfield’s cause his book really did. So, um, it’s called The Success Principles, How To Get From Where You Are To What, To Where You want to Be. And you know, that’s when I first started going to seminars about 10 years ago and, and everything was so impressionable on me because it was the beginning, right? I feel like at the beginning is when we grow the most. So this book teaches you six, I think, I think it’s 68 different principles, how to be successful in life. And we’re not talking just monetary, but just in general, how to live a happy life things. Things like taking a hundred percent responsibility for your life, letting go of the complaining, the, you know, all of those things, uh, how to set your goals, how to discover what you want, how to lean into challenges, you know, all of those things.
[00:29:07] Miriam: So that would be the book that I would say changed my life. It was going to those seminars that, that helped me understand more about myself. And it was like, the next thing was being discovered, right? The next goal, the next thing I wanted to do. Um, so definitely the success principles.
[00:29:27] Kristina: Was there any one of the tips in there that you kind of knew would work if you could adopt it, but that you found a little bit challenging to kind of get your head around at first.
[00:29:38] Miriam: Yes. Well that first one, the first principle is take a hundred percent responsibility for your life. And, you know, initially you think, of course I take a hundred percent responsibility for your life, for my life. But when, when I thought about it more, how can I, I kept thinking, how can I be responsible for everything that’s happening to me?
[00:29:59] Miriam: You know, we tend to blame, we blame our parents, our upbringing, the government, the rules, you know, all of this. If we were to take a hundred percent responsibility, then, then we are responsible, right? Like we are responsible for changing. Even if our parents, if we feel we, our parents did a horrible job raising us, it’s up to us now to take responsibility and change that. To do better, to learn better, right? To put things into practice. The government, if you don’t like the way they are, well, what can you do? Can you write letters? Can you rally around that? Can you move to another country? So we have to take a hundred percent responsibility.
[00:30:37] Miriam: I would say that one was the hardest one to really embrace. I wanted to take like 75% responsibility, but no, we are responsible for everything that happens to us. it’s not everything that happens to us. It’s how we react to what happens to us, right. That that’s where our responsibility is really played out.
[00:30:57] Kristina: Yeah. When I was diagnosed with chronic pain, um, the I’ve forgotten the name. I can’t remember the muscle joint specialist, the words going out in my head. She said two things that I’ll never forget. The first one is that she couldn’t help me. After a three month wait, I had to go back to my GP to get any sort of help.
[00:31:13] Kristina: And then the second one was that the people who manage the most five years down the line with the people who tried to keep living their lives and doing as much as they possibly could. Well, that’s not very helpful, but it’s a start. And then I spoke to the doctor and the doctor basically said that she could give me this medication or that medication.
[00:31:29] Kristina: And one of them might have a negative reaction to you in the past. And the other one came with a side effect of liver damage. And I don’t really want to risk that when I’m at the time, I was like 27. I didn’t want to risk that when liver problems run in my family. And, so I had to take control of my life and my own pain to be able to do all of the things that I do and to be at basically go, okay, the NHS has almost failed me and not really told me anything I don’t already know. And then go and do my own research.
[00:31:59] Kristina: It was scary, but that educational path has led me to where I am now. And actually I am stronger physically and mentally because I went on that journey.
[00:32:10] Miriam: That’s so amazing. That’s so great. You took a hundred percent responsibility and found your own way, right? And you got stronger in so many other ways. Oh, I love that. I love that. What a great example.
[00:32:23] Kristina: Thank you. It is one of those things, like I didn’t necessarily want to, and some more things were kind of like, I happened to find solutions from late-night doomscrolling on Facebook. But I embraced the fact that anything could help because I didn’t know what could or would, and I knew that the state I was in was unsustainable if I wanted to achieve my goals in life.
[00:32:43] Miriam: That’s so inspiring. Thank you for sharing that with me.
[00:32:46] Kristina: Thank you. It’s one of those things I like to talk about it. It’s not fun to talk about chronic pain. It’s not a sexy topic, it’s not a fun topic, but it’s just so important to be like, you can take control of your situation no matter how terrible you think it is. And you can find the solution, but like you say, you have to take a hundred percent control and responsibility.
[00:33:08] Miriam: Yes, it’s, it’s not, so that is such a great example. You know, you, you are not the only person that this has happened to you. Like there’s other people with that illness, but some people will, will let that define them. Some people will let that be it. But you took so much responsibility that you chose to see it in a different way and have grown so much from that. So it’s not what happens to us, it’s our response to what happens that really will determine the outcome.
[00:33:35] Kristina: Yeah. One of the things that really kind of motivated me was that when I was in the local newspaper, a lot of the comments were, I have fibromyalgia and it’s destroyed my life. I have fibromyalgia and the pain gets worse every day. And a lot of the people get diagnosed when you’re 30 years later than I did. And I just thought well, if it gets worse every day, I’m in big trouble. And then my next thought was that will not be me. And I was just determined to not spend the rest of my life suffering and feeling terrible every single day, because that’s not a life.
[00:34:01] Miriam: Well, that’s inspiring. That’s so good.
[00:34:03] Kristina: Thank you. So if our listeners want to find out more about you and your books and your coaching, where can they go?
[00:34:10] Miriam: Yeah, they can go to my website, it’s miriamlaundry.com. Miriam is M I R I A M, Laundry like it sounds L A U N D R Y.com. So the one thing is I’ll, I’ll speak to anybody out there who wants to write for children. If you feel stuck, if you feel like you don’t know where to begin, or you just need some motivation. I have a blueprint that I offer my students. That in and hour, you can write the outline for your children’s books. So if you’re interested on that, on that go to miriamlaundry.com/blueprint, and we’ll send that to you.
[00:34:47] Miriam: So for me, my goal started as wanting to empower children and really thinking about my why focusing on my niece and how we had lost her. But I realised quickly that I could only put one book out a year, every two years, that’s what I was doing with my family, life, and everything. And then I quickly realised that if I helped other people share their own children’s books, together we can empower a lot more children and a lot faster.
[00:35:14] Miriam: So that’s what my focus is now, helping aspiring authors write, publish and market their own books.
[00:35:20] Kristina: That’s so lovely. We will include that link in the show notes as well. And I have to say we are big fans of outlining here because it makes the entire writing and editing process infinitely easier and faster. Definitely do go and check out that blueprint if you haven’t already. Thanks so much for joining us. This has been really helpful and inspiring.
[00:35:37] Miriam: Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.
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