EP 318: Writing The 2nd Draft With Sell From Love Author Finka Jerkovic

Jan 26, 2021 | Creativity, Podcast, Product Development

In This Episode:

  • What Sell From Love author Finka Jerkovic learned from the process of writing her book’s first draft
  • How she determined what problem the book was solving
  • Why her writing process changed between her first draft and her second draft
  • Why writing the book was a “top secret” project

Planning is a learning process.

When we set out an objective, make a plan to achieve it, and then implement that plan, we inevitably learn key things.

We might learn that we don’t want to achieve the objective after all. We might learn that the path to achieve it isn’t what we thought it was going to be. We might learn that we need more help or different help, that we need to acquire a new skill, or that we need to adjust our implementation.

Making changes—even big ones—to our plan doesn’t mean we’ve abandoned it.

It means we’re learning.

All this month, we’ve been talking about working the plan. It’s January, after all, and I’m sure you’ve made some plans for this year!

I kicked things off by sharing a bit about my personal planning process and how I’m planning for both of my companies in 2021.

Then, I talked with Gillian Perkins about how she planned for the parental leave she took last year and what she learned about how she works in the course of implementing that plan.

Last week, I talked with Emily Crookston about how she’s learned to leveraged LinkedIn and discovered the way she wants to show up online.

This week, I’m closing out the series by talking about 2nd drafts—both literal and metaphorical—with the author of Sell From Love, Finka Jerkovic.

You’ll hear how it took writing a first, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink draft in order for Finka to learn what her book was really about and how it was going to serve her readers. You’ll also hear how she’s needed to find a second draft of what makes her feel satisfied and worthy based on her own values instead of the performance-oriented culture she was raised in.

And, of course, you’ll hear how Finka planned for writing her book and discovered her writing practice along the way.

Now, let’s find out what works for Finka Jerkovic!

Finka Jerkovic: Yeah. It was an interesting experience because some people will write a book and they'll tell the world they're writing a book. I literally, it was like a top secret project. And it was the safe container that I needed to create so I could be vulnerable.

Tara McMullin: Planning is a learning process. You've heard me say it before, and I am sure you will hear me say it again. Planning is a learning process. When we set out an objective, make a plan to achieve it and then implement that plan, we inevitably learn key things. We might learn that we don't want to achieve the objective after all. We might learn that the path to achieve it isn't what we thought it was going to be. We might learn that we need more help or different help, that we need to acquire a new skill, or that we need to adjust our implementation. Making changes even big ones to our plans doesn't mean that we've abandoned them.

It means we're learning. I'm Tara McMullin and this is What Works. The show that explores how small business owners are building stronger businesses without all the should's and supposed to's. All this month, we've been talking about working the plan. It's January after all, and I'm sure you've made some plans for this year. I kick things off by sharing a bit about my personal planning process and how I'm planning for both of my companies in 2021. Then I talked with Gilliam Perkins about how she planned for the parental leave she took last year, and what she learned about how she works in the course of implementing that plan.

Last week, I talked with Emily Crookston about how she's learned to leverage LinkedIn and discover the way she wants to show up online. This week I'm closing out the series by talking about second drafts, both literal and metaphorical with the author of Sell From Love Finka Jerkovic. You'll hear it took writing a first everything, but the kitchen sink draft in order for Finka to learn what her book was really about and how it was going to serve her readers. You'll also hear how she's needed to find a second draft of what makes her feel satisfied and worthy based on her own values instead of the performance oriented culture she was raised in.

And of course, you'll hear how Finka planned for writing her book and discovered her writing practice along the way. Now, let's find out what works for Finka Jerkovic. Finka Jerkovic, welcome to What Works. Thank you so much for joining me today.

Finka Jerkovic: Oh, Tara. I am super excited. This is probably one of the things that I've been looking forward to most this week is having this conversation with you today.

Tara McMullin: Oh, good. Me too. Me too. All right. So I know part of the story that we are going to be talking about today, but I cannot wait to get into all of the nuts and bolts details of how you wrote your book, how you worked the plan, how you made it all happen. But before we get there, I would love just to start off by having you tell us about the day you decided to write, Sell From Love.

Finka Jerkovic: So I'm going to say I'm the type of person that over the last few years I've held a theme for the year. So I've had a theme of, say yes to everything. Then the following year, I had a say, a theme of say no to everything because yes can get you in trouble. So the day that I decided that Sell From Love was going to be a book that I would write or the book that I would write, it was really the year that I decided the theme was finished. And I've long had this desire and this goal to write a book. And it's been kind of hanging out there in the background. You get busy with life, clients.

We have a little farm thing that we do here on the side. And so it was like, oh, I really want to write a book. I really want to write a book. And when 2019 happened for me, that was the year that I committed that I am writing a book. Now I didn't yet know what the book was going to be called. I knew what it was going to be about, but I didn't know how I would actually position what problem will this book solve and what goal will help this book help people achieve?

But I knew that how I showed up in my life, how I showed up in my business, there were things that I could share with other people and how I work with clients that I can create this book, this body of work in a way that it can help more people.

Tara McMullin: I love that. So you'd kind of alluded to this in terms of the container of the book, but I'm curious now about the idea of Selling From Love. How long had that idea been gestating before you kind of landed on it as the topic for the book?

Finka Jerkovic: I'd say my entire career. It's interesting because it wasn't until I wrote the first version of the manuscript that I look back at it and I said to myself, of course, this is Sell From Love. And I think as a creative, I'll have 101 ideas and right after I come up with those ideas, I'll have more ideas. But it wasn't until I actually wrote the manuscript, the first one, which I called the... Anne Lamott she has that quote saying you got to write that first shitty draft. Well, for me, it wasn't that.

It was, I had to write everything-but-the-kitchen-sink draft in order to see what it is that I was writing about. And then once I saw that version, it helped me see that, oh, it was like it was a mirror reflecting back to me, this is a book about Selling From Love. And then from that point, it opened the door for me to go and write that first shitty draft which I had to do after.

Tara McMullin: Yeah. yeah. I love this. Okay. So how long did it take you to write that everything, but the kitchen sink draft?

Finka Jerkovic: That took me, I'd say three, four months at most.

Tara McMullin: Okay. And how did you tackle writing that? So first off, I totally relate to this needing to like vomit it, vomit everything you know, onto the page to figure out, all right, what here is valuable? What is the discreet piece that I'm going to pull out and then really kind of dig into? I totally relate to that. How did you even approach the process of getting everything-but-the-kitchen-sink out of your head?

Finka Jerkovic: Yeah. So I'm going to say that wasn't my... Writing, the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink version wasn't my first time doing it. The first time I did it, I've actually done it a couple of times before. So I've actually written 60,000 words twice before this version, but what happened? So you could probably say I've written this book a number of times, but what happened was I've never written a book before. Writing is a skill and writing a book is also a new skill that I really didn't know how to do. And so I had these attempts that I had made years earlier, but nothing came to fruition. And so because I was learning this new skill, because I needed to move forward from this version of this book so it can actually one day be a book, I had a coach that helped me.

And so I literally went and I hired a writing book coach. And so that was, I would say that was the difference maker this time because you had someone else who knew how to write, had this skillset looking in on my work, and honestly, she just always kept challenging me, go deeper, go deeper, what are you really trying to say here? And if it wasn't for that process, I would not have the book today. Now what happened was, three months into writing, so I started writing in April and I won't forget it, it was July 22nd. I'm in Chicago getting ready to do a presentation. And I had just submitted 20,000 words to my writing coach. And she emails me and she says, can you talk?

And I thought, wow maybe she's going to tell me how awesome these 20,000 words were. And I'm in Chicago getting ready to present in front of 300 people. And this is going to be the best sendoff right before I get on the stage. And I get on Zoom with her, and she says me with really kind love. I knew it was feedback coming from a place of love, but it was feedback that I thought I was going to getting feedback until I got feedback that it wasn't positive. She said, this is everything-but-the-kitchen-sink. And she goes, "You really need to figure what you're writing about here. And I need you to get clear."

And she saw that there was something in there, but I was just... I felt that it was funny. Writing for me at first felt like I was writing a lot to prove I was worthy of writing. And so there was this place that I needed to give a whole lot more explanation. I had to give a lot more detail. I had to tell the reader all the reasons why they needed to believe in this, or in this point that I was making. And she said to me, "Your readers are smart. You don't have to prove so much." And that was actually what was getting in the way of my writing. And so what happened afterwards was, thankfully it was July 22nd, I literally took the rest of August off and I didn't write.

Thankfully I was also on the road a lot I was busy. So I had a really good excuse. Like, I can't write because they're speaking and doing my training workshops and it was true, at the same time it gave me some breathing room. And then on Labor Day, September, I don't know it was 2nd or 3rd? I literally wrote an outline, a revised version of the chapters in a breakdown of the book. And I finally saw the book is like, oh, I'm talking about Selling From Love. Step one, you got to love yourself. Step two, you got to love your clients. Step three, you got to love your offer.

And then it was so easy then for me to break it out into these chapters, and I literally just started writing. And I would knock off a chapter every two weeks. And by the end of November, I had written the 12 chapters in a more cohesive, understandable like, oh, this is what this book is about. And that was the difference maker for me.

Tara McMullin: Got it. So I want to talk more about that, but before we get there, I'd love to compare and contrast how that was different from what led to the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink draft. Were you working from an outline originally? Were you kind of free writing and seeing what came out? What did the original plan for the book look like? Or was there a plan?

Finka Jerkovic: There was. I had a point to the book. I had the back of my book blurb, written out, which it all talked about not selling from this place of fear, being self-centric, from a preservation and not allowing ourselves to really step in that place of authenticity, empathy, and courage. But somewhere, I lost my way and it was that the big part was... I'm type A. very driven, very ambitious. I am a reforming perfectionist. I grew up in financial services and kind always being ranked, and rated, and performance measured. And everyone really always felt like they needed to prove that they were worthy to be in that room. And so I come from this not, I can say programming, but that was where my experience came from. So now all of a sudden I'm going to write this book.

I have to write everything I know about. And that wasn't what I needed to write about. I needed to write about what I knew about this one thing. And distilling the essential things that are most important for my reader. And that was the other part. After writing that first version, I got even clear on who this book was for. So when I was able to define what the book was solving for, and that was what that first one, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink draft was allowing me to do.

I had to write that one out first, and then I can look at it and say, oh, I'm solving a selling problem. I'm solving a selling problem where people feel uncomfortable with selling. They feel icky. They're feeling like they're pushing on something, that they're pressuring people to do something that they don't want to do. How could I teach them or show them another way? And that's what was Selling From Love was.

Tara McMullin: I love that. We're talking about writing a book, but I think this is applicable to any kind of knowledge product is that I think this process that you're articulating, a feeling like you had to get everything out of your head, kind of trying to prove yourself worthy in how much you could get out of your head and all the different ways you could back it up and convince people.

I think a lot of people have been there whether they've written a book or not. And so then the process of moving from that head space into a head space that is very focused on the reader, very focused on a singular idea, is a really helpful shift.

Finka Jerkovic: Can I offer an example of how that [inaudible 00:13:54] hit for me home. So what I learned through this process was, so we also, we have this little side business, so we have a little farm. We grow lavender and we make a lavender essential oil and lavender products. And so the product we make is very different from the book that I wrote, meaning it's a product it's, it's from lavender. It's not from me. And so it was really easy when I make a product for me to depersonalize that relationship. It's like, hey, this is a product. And I didn't need to prove that this lavender products is worthy. I don't need to prove that this essential oil is worthy or give you a bunch of backup around it.

It was an interesting relationship I had with that. When I created, again, a book is a product, but that product was created from the ideas and the experiences, and the events of my life and the work that I have been able to do in my own career and with my clients. All of a sudden, I personalized the product. And that was the biggest differentiator because all of a sudden I had this relationship, all these ideas are coming from me. These experiences are coming from me. I better prove that they're worthy. And that was like this biggest. And it's when I separated it, the book wasn't me, if the book did well, great, it had nothing to do with who I was, or the value that I bring in.

And depersonalizing my relationship to an idea was the biggest differentiator for me around being able to move forward. And I can see it whether I'm teaching workshops or training programs, especially for all of us that create marketing, or content marketing, or content where we're producing something, it comes from us. But I know for me, I can't make it about me, that it doesn't represent who I am, and it doesn't represent my value or where they nest as an individual.

Tara McMullin: Yeah. This may be a tangent and if so, I will totally cut it out of the recording. I just finished reading Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown. And one of the things that really struck me about that book was how sort of personal her perspective was in sharing the ideas that she has, and the ideas that she wants to amplify in the world, while also bringing in lots of other people's perspectives and also holding those ideas really gently, not making them about her. She is so injected into this book and into these ideas while also you see the detachment from the ideas and her, and she articulate that in a few different ways.

And I was thinking about just, literally just this morning, how interesting that is from an author's perspective. You don't always see that. And I do get that sense with your work as well. Where you're, I see you describing something that is from you, but isn't about you. And still you bring that incredible personal energy that you have, to the way you talk about the ideas, to the way you communicate, to the way you tie them up with a bow. Right? And so I don't know where I'm going with this, but I'm curious if that sounds familiar, if that seems right to you?

Finka Jerkovic: Yeah. Yeah. I think in my own experience, that's where when I think of a fear-based action is when I allow something that comes from me, whether it's an idea, a perspective, an opinion or an ideology, when I allow that to define who I am, because at the core of it, those are ideas, perspectives, ideologies. They're not who I am. And it's just the same as saying, I am my status. I am the things that I have. I am the things that I own. When we associate our value to those things, we actually diminish our worthiness.

And so like that author of Emergent Strategy, I wrote it down because I think I'm going to go pick up that book. It's one of those things that we can have personal experiences, we can have personal expertise that we want to share. What I know from my experiences when we personalize what people think of them, if they like them, if they agree with them or if they don't agree with them, that's when we get in trouble.

Tara McMullin: Yes. Yes, absolutely. Well, and I just want to call out too, that I think that this is such a relevant roadblock to working any plan. I mean, that's our theme for this month. Is work the plan. What does the plan look like? And then how do you execute it? And of course we're talking about a diverse set of stories here this month and how different kinds of people have done it. But getting in your head and associating a particular outcome with the success or not of a plan, and your success as a person or not, is a big reason we get stuck on actually executing the plans that we have. So I really appreciate you articulating that. You'll learn more about Finka's writing process and how she tackled writing the book in just a minute, but first, a word from our, What Works partners.

What Works is brought to you by Mighty Networks. When it comes to working our plans and realizing our goals, one of the biggest challenges is isolation. Trying to do it all without the support or input of others is a drag at best and a deal breaker at worst. And I'm betting exactly how this feels because entrepreneurship can be a lonely isolating endeavor. And, that you also know that your customers and clients feel the same way. They have changes they want to make. Things they want to learn how to do and ideas they want to explore, but it's hard to do it on their own. That's where Mighty Networks comes in. Mighty Networks makes it easy for you to bring your customers, fans, or clients together so they can experience the support of a community of people working on similar things.

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And so to the other podcasters inside the Standout Podcast Club. We also offer a round table discussion and Q and A call each month so that you can meet up with other podcasters, get your questions answered in real time, and learn new of the moment ideas for your show. Find out more about Standout Podcast Club by going to standoutpodcast.club. That's standoutpodcast.club. Okay. Let's get back, at least for now to the nuts and bolts of the actual writing process. You mentioned that I think it was labor day-ish. You rewrote your outline. You got clear on the 12 chapters and the structure of the book, and that allows you to actually write it much faster. Once you had that outline, how did you tackle the actual writing process? Was it start to finish? Did you jump around? What did that look like?

Finka Jerkovic: So I'm going to just one step before that.

Tara McMullin: Sure.

Finka Jerkovic: When I first started writing and that was that first draft, I actually set a word target. That I would write 2,500 words a week. And it was beneficial to start with that because it helped me build a writing practice. And so I would literally noodle on an idea for two days, I would go and write about it. So do a big brained up for another two days. And then the next three days I'd spend refining it because I'd be sharing those pages with a colleague, a peer to read those pages for me. That was really good to develop a practice of writing. Where it got me stuck was I'd all of a sudden, because I had this target of 2,500 words, I felt like I had to just fill up 2,500 words and that's where everything but the kitchen sink happens.

So a practice of setting a word target I think is important and beneficial for us to get in the practice of writing. The next step, so when September rolled around I was writing now the second version of this book, instead of a word count, I gave myself two weeks to think through a complete idea, which the idea is what the chapter was about. And so I allowed myself a week to write half of the idea. And then the second week write out the other half of the idea. And literally that's all I did. The book is literally it's a process and it's step-by-step. In order to love your client or love your offer, you need to love yourself.

So I had to actually write that part first. In order to love your offer, you need to actually love your client because that's who's buying this thing that you're selling and you got to figure out how is it going to help them, and how's it going to transform their lives? And that's the second part of the book. And so the book really had a beautiful flow because I had a step one, step two, step three, and I just wrote with that. I also realized and learned the cure for writer's block.

Tara McMullin: Okay.

Finka Jerkovic: Oftentimes in the past I would get stuck. I get on my computer, or I'd open up my pages to write and there was a two-step process. If I was just flushing out an idea, I would actually write on paper with my hand, very important, because I would have that connection to the page. And my perfectionism wouldn't get in the way because I had to delete, or fix, or any of that kind of stuff. So when I would get on the computer and I'd actually write out the idea or the how to, or whatever it was that I was writing about, I would finish the last point with knowing what I would write about the next day. So I'd always leave the cliffhanger or the next step. So I would actually finish step one and step two, but I would leave step three till tomorrow.

I would never leave myself complete or finished. I would know what I'm writing about the next day. And then what was amazing by that, because in the morning, I'd write my day, my morning would end up writing. I'd always have this lingering thought of this next thing that I'd be writing about and I'd spend the rest of the day, whether I was out for a walk or working and it was amazing how all of a sudden, whether is my client calls, or a workshop, or something that I was working out, it's like, oh, that's so perfect. It's exactly what I'm writing about tomorrow morning. Right? And there was a serendipitous thing that was happening.

And so the next morning I get, and I write again. And so that was the flow that helped me write was giving myself space to write about an idea over a period of time, timing that for two weeks. And then the second piece was when I pick up the pen or the pay or the keyboard to write, making sure I knew what I was writing about the next day before I wrote.

Tara McMullin: I love that. I've heard that kind of thing described as engineered at serendipity before. And it sounds like you had a process, so it was, might've been serendipitous, but there was some engineering there too. I really love that. So personal question on that is I've been in a real creative flow lately. I have just been building stuff and writing stuff out the wazoo feeling super good about it, and just really feeling like I've got my mojo back in so many ways.

And I find myself knowing what I'm going to work on the next day and being excited about it. But I can't stop ruminating on the ideas, to the point where it's not just floating in the background, it's keeping me up at night. And I'm curious if you've had that issue and what you've done about it if you do.

Finka Jerkovic: Yeah. So there would be moments where I feel it was actually the energy that helps me get up in the morning to do the writing. It was like, you needed to get it off your chest. It's just like when that thing, I just got to tell that person, I got to get this off my chest. And that's literally how the heaviness of how creativity and all these ideas as we start tapping into them, how they come out. And that's the beauty of this. I think any creative expression, whether it's a writing, drawing, painting, making something with our hands, woodworking, whatever it is, we're all creating something.

It is a muscle that we practice and it's the muscle that when we use, it actually rewards us with more creativity. And so, yeah. There were a number of nights where it was, get up three o'clock in the morning and you're kind of busting because you got to write things down. There were moments where I said, you know what? I'm going to wait, and I'm just going to try to sleep, and I'll leave this to the morning. And I'm going to say, there are a couple of those moments where I regret I did that. I wish I got up and I wrote it because damn those are good things that I forgot by the time morning came.

Tara McMullin: Totally, totally [inaudible 00:28:57]. Why didn't you just get up?

Finka Jerkovic: Because I need to sleep, but I also need to write. I don't know.

Tara McMullin: Oh man. Yes. The creatives perennial problem. Except for him, he's a really good sleeper. Anyhow. Okay. Let's talk about the revision process because this is one, I don't think a lot of people think about, they think about the challenge of cranking out 30, 50, 60, 90,000 words, but they don't think about the challenge of revising 30, 60, 90,000 words. So how did you tackle revising the manuscript once you had it?

Finka Jerkovic: Exactly. I was one of those people. I thought just write the book and then it's done. And so I'm going to say what I've learned and so far this is my experience of where I'm at in my journey of writing a book, is there are three acts to writing or creating a book. One is writing the book. Two is editing the book. Let me say editing and publishing the book kind of go hand in hand. And then three is the promoting and getting the book out there. So I did think I was done when I was writing.

I didn't really realize I needed the editing process and how much went into it. And developmental edit, the grammar and the line edit. And so for me, it was hiring those resources because I've read this book a gazillion times and the book went through a developmental edit, it went through a line edit. It went through another line edit. And so I'd say the book was edited more times than it was written. So I'll say that. Yeah.

Tara McMullin: Tell us what a developmental edit is. Because I know what it is, but probably a lot of listeners don't.

Finka Jerkovic: So the developmental edit is important too. They read the book, they don't go and fix your grammar mistakes. They don't fix your spelling or any of those things. It's the core of the idea and is it clear? And sort of the outline and the design of the book. So you remember when I first talked about the book, I put everything in the kitchen sink and I had shared so many personal stories. When I wrote that second draft, I actually pulled out a lot of those stories. I negated them. I literally depersonalized the book at that point. Then I gave that draft into a developmental editor and as she went through it, she said I love the stories that you share about yourself and your experiences when selling. It makes the book come alive and it's more personal.

And so she said, "I need to hear more of those stories." And so that's when I went to rewrite the book and then I put me back in the book. But as an interesting relationship with the book, there was first, like all of me, I was so embraced that this was my idea. And I had to prove it. And I had to put all these stories in to that draft that I wrote. The next draft was take all of me out and totally depersonalize to eventually getting to a book where it had a bit of both. It had me and my personal stories and my experiences, but also my clients and industry and things like that. So and it was interesting. So the other edit that I had to go through, I actually, I had four readers in mind as I was writing the book, and they were a real people.

So for me, when you do exercises like ideal client avatar and things like that, they're hard when I'm making up a person, I literally have to think of a person you're that person. And so I had four people. And so I gave the book to four people after I rewrote it with the developmental editors feedback and they read it. And again, feedback I got from them was, I love your stories. That was when I totally connected with the book because of the stories you got to share. And so that was a really good validation of that piece as well for me. So that was another part of the book, writing process that you don't really consider.

And then those beta readers, so four people, four different perspectives take their feedback. And this is the choices that as authors and creators of our work you get to choose which feedback is like, okay, that's valuable feedback going through that feedback for all four of these different readers and saying, yes, I want to include that. Or no, I don't want to include that. That's not where this book was going but that's important information.

Tara McMullin: I find the editing process often to be very confronting because people are giving you their feedback and they're saying, this is not clear. And I'm like, what do you mean it's not clear? Like you said, I've gone through this how many times? Of course it's clear. And I think you're probably way more mature on that than I am, but I'm curious, sort of what your emotional landscape was, what your mindset landscape was around the editing process and how you left yourself open for that kind of feedback and sort of the iterative process of moving through that phase of the writing process.

Finka Jerkovic: Yeah. It was an interesting experience because at first the book, as I wrote it... Some people will write a book and they'll tell the world they're writing a book. I literally, it was like a top secret project. And it was the safe container that I needed to create so I could be vulnerable. And so I think that's the, in that moment, it was only a hand selected few people that were privy to the book. My writing coach and a couple of people in our writing group that were going to say aloud, or I felt safe enough to share the book with. And it was like, I needed to develop a relationship with the idea of Selling From Love and the content of the book and what it was sharing in order for me to love it.

I had to actually write it. And if I shared it too soon to get feedback or that editing process too soon, and some, and I wasn't firmly in a posture of belief in this body of work, that that feedback would bruise me, hurt me and possibly derail me from finishing this book. And so it was important in my process not to open it up to too many people. I didn't share the book with my husband until literally it was in print. And I didn't want him to read the pages. I didn't give it because he wasn't my audiences. So if you give me feedback, it's not going to be relevant feedback because this book is not for you. You're not the type of person that would read this type of book. So I was very selective on who can read the book.

And then when it came to the beta readers, it was the same thing. By that point, I had written the book, I was on my fourth draft after the developmental editor, I was more confident in my work. I had belief in this. And so by the time I released it to get feedback and that editing, I'm like, I'm okay with.... You guys just tell me how do I make this better? But I know this idea has legs, and it's going to walk, it's going to run. It's going to do something in the world. I just now need your feedback to how I can I make it better? And so there was this willingness to get feedback from a place of, I don't need you to tell me this idea is a good idea I know it is, but I need you to tell me how do I make it better. And that made the difference this time for me.

Tara McMullin: Hugely helpful. Thank you for sharing that. Okay. So I know that you are really just at the precipice of starting the promotional piece of the plan now. Can you give us just sort of like a quick overview of what you have planned and how you are planning to execute that plan?

Finka Jerkovic: Yes. So the book is not just a book. I really wanted the book to be something practical that people could use immediately. And so I love ideas, but I love ideas that we can put into action even more. And so the book, I really wanted to make the book away where it was people that can come together who love this idea of Selling From Love. There's a community that comes with the book. And so when I think about spreading the word of the book, it's not about my voice that's going to spread this message. It's actually going to be a collective group of us that are going to be going out there and spreading the message. And so I thought it'd be important to... So that's part of the promotional plan of the book, as well as the book comes with a interactive workbook that you can, once you get the book, you can download it on my website as well as a self and love test.

And I love the test. So what the test teaches you is, are you Selling From Love? Or are you selling from fear? And then it helps assess where is that missing link? Do you need to love yourself more? Do you need to love your client more? And do you need to love your offer more? My hope is that these tools will help the promotion and the sharing of this idea more than the promotion of it. It's not about selling more books. It's not about selling more stuff. It's actually, how do we create? And so I think that's when I think about the purpose of this body of work is how do we share this idea? We are already in just... There's just so much fear in our system right now.

And we need more kindness, authenticity, empathy, love, and when we can show up in that way and sell in that way, and market in that way, and that's really what I'm looking to practice. So my next step is... I don't know if the next book will be Marketing From Love? I will see what that is like. Or Promoting And Selling Your Book From Love. That might be the next step, but I see that as I'm going through this process, I continue to anchor in how do I do this from love? And so that's the plan. Do I have time to share experience of what happened with the book and how I got-

Tara McMullin: Yeah.

Finka Jerkovic: Okay. So when the book came out, it really did well. I didn't expect it to do well. So this is the thing. I'm a believer of selling in this way and fear can get any one of us, even the person that teaches the work. I'm a human being. And so the book did well, it hit. Even that first week, it was an Amazon bestseller. It's been in the hot new release ranking number one. And it's in that top three category. I didn't expect that. And what happened? All of us, I didn't know what to do with that. Like, what do I do with this? I didn't expect this. And then all of a sudden this happened, I started thinking to myself, how do I keep it there? I'm afraid of what happens if it drops. Right? And so it was so subtle.

And it was about a week of this emotional anxiety that I went through of, what will it say about me when the book is not a no longer hot new release? What does it say about the book if the book is not on a bestseller list. And you see how fear crept in, I was afraid it would drop its status and its initial recognition. And then just going back to my work and saying, this book doesn't say who I am, my worthiness, there's a key message in this book. And I know this book is a long haul. It's not something that's here to make a bestseller list. It's here to make change in the world. If a symptom or by-product of that, it hits the bestseller list, that's wonderful, but that is not my goal.

And so I'm going to go back to when we think about planning and goals and what our theme is here. Is I have an agenda. I have a plan, I have an intention for what I want this book to create. And then I got sidetracked because it did well. And it could have taken me off on a whole other tangent, but coming back to my plan, my intention and my goals and my vision for this book was what I needed to come back to. And so we're going to have these things that are going to knock us off a little bit and figuring out is it time to pivot? Or is it time to just stay the course and deepen in what you're already planning to do to move forward?

Tara McMullin: That is a phenomenal place to wrap up this conversation. Finka thank you. I have one more question. The question that I ask everyone at the end of the episode, what are you excited about right now?

Finka Jerkovic: I'm excited about sharing this message about Selling From Love. I am super excited. Just helping give people another way to sell work, lead and be in the world. Especially as when we think of 2021 being upon us, being able to consciously make decisions in a way that feel good to us, and good to the work that each and every one of us need to do in the world right now.

Tara McMullin: Amen to that. Finka Jerkovic thank you so much for sharing how you worked the plan to turn Selling From Love from an idea into a book. I really appreciate it.

Finka Jerkovic: Thank you Tara so much for having me here.

Tara McMullin: What have you already learned by working your plan this year? As we approach the end of January, it's a perfect time to review the month, take stock of what you've learned, and decide how you're going to adapt your plans. Think of it as a second draft. The first few weeks of the year, we're finding our groove and digging into the projects we've been excitedly planning for a while. That's the first draft. Now it's time to edit, revise and evolve so that you are working a better version of your plan. Next month, you can do the exact same thing. In fact, we've developed a nice little monthly review framework that's part of our stronger business playbook inside of the What Works network.

And I thought I'd share it with you this week. It's completely free to download, no email address or phone number necessary, just type, explore whatworks.com/monthlyreview, all one word, into your browser and it'll pop right up, download and print it out, or just use the questions to review your month. Some months it'll be a joy to review what you've done and what you've learned. Other months, it might feel a little more painful. And those months are important to review too. Again, go to explorewhatworks.com/monthlyreview, all one word, to grab the template completely free. Then get to writing your second draft.

Find out more about Finka Jerkovic at finka.ca and grab Finka's book, Sell From Love, plus a number of other curated selections at explorewhatworks.com/books and you'll support local bookstores when you purchase. Plus you can find Finka's podcast, Sell From Love, wherever you listen to What Works. Now, if you love the in-depth conversations we have here at What Works about building a stronger business, you'd fit right in at the What Works network. Every day, we're diving deep into the nuts and bolts of what it takes to build a stronger business today. From marketing to sales, to management, to planning to inclusivity and leadership.

When you join, you get access to conversations like these plus the stronger business playbook, a comprehensive toolkit for building a stronger business, a global community of experienced small business owners, our monthly deep dive on a topic key to your small business and our support events. The What Works network is your hub for tools, support, and guidance for building a more sustainable and effective business. We're accepting new members for a short time, go to explorewhatworks.com/network to learn more and join us. What Works is produced by Yellow House Media. Our production coordinator is Sean McMullin.

This episode was edited by Marty Seefeldt. Our production assistants are Kristen Runvik and Lou Blaser. Next week, we're starting a series on nurturing the relationships that are key to our businesses. Relationships with customers, partners, team members, ourselves, and even our businesses until then keep doing what works.

Host of What Works

Tara is a podcaster, small business community leader, strategist, and speaker. She’s been helping small business owners build stronger businesses for over a decade.  

Tara McMullin, What Works Weekly Newsletter

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