Lynnecia S. Eley is a career-driven entrepreneur, wife, and mother. Born and raised in Miami, Florida, she is an award-winning University Assistant Dean and Adjunct Professor that is committed to excellence, dedication, and caring for others. Known as the Confidence Doula, Lynnecia is a best selling author and coach providing guidance and support to help women and young adults feel self-assured in their abilities to Birth with Purpose.
Lynnecia is also the founder of Two Queens Media, Black & Ivy League, Inc., Soigne’ + Swank Magazine® and Eta Rho Sigma Sorority, Inc. – all brands that promote and support community growth in business, education, and the media/publishing space. She is a Certified DISC Personality Analyst and Business Coach. She received her bachelor’s in business management from the University of Phoenix, earned her executive master’s in program and portfolio management from Georgetown University, and holds many professional and graduate certificates.
First things first, how did you develop an interest in writing?
I’m an academic at heart. My love for learning and creative writing was an early interest. I wrote poems as a kid and I learned that I was so much better at writing my words than speaking them. I had the desire to share, but also had a fear of public speaking. Writing helped me to get my thoughts out on paper. I also used it as a tool for narrative therapy.
As a young adult I used to struggle with anxiety and attachment issues. Chapter two of my book is titled “Write it down, don’t hold it in” as an introduction to journaling and an easy way to get started in using writing to identify your life’s purpose. When you put your thoughts on paper, you open yourself up to processing everything that has been backlogged. You allow yourself to empty your mind, and bring clarity to how you are experiencing your life and going after your goals.
When did you realize you had a story that the world needed to hear?
Birth with Purpose started out as a blog post that grew into an article intended to be published in a business publication. After letting a close friend read the article and receiving feedback of wanting more, I turned the article into an eBook. I shared that eBook with 5 women and they all responded with wanting more and requesting worksheets or exercises to unpack the steps that I was giving. This is when I started to realize that there were more entrepreneurs out there that were struggling with a need of finding a personal source of value and how to look within and ask questions that inspire growth and a reason for going after a true passion.
What was the writing process like, did you come up with your title first and build around it or did the manuscript come first?
After realizing I did in fact have a book inside of me, I shifted my mindset to positioning how I will use the book. The book I wanted to write was going to be geared to target entrepreneurial-minded individuals, by teaching them that success in their business comes from within, which will lead to my ultimate goal of being recognized as the business confidence coach that every entrepreneur needs. I did not start with a title, I started at the end with writing my own book review from my ideal reader’s point of view.
Once the manuscript was done, the book went through at least 3 different title changes and finally through a conversation with my business bestie and writer of the book’s Foreword, she said “this is going to help so many people birth their purpose” and I screamed “THAT’S IT!”, and that’s how Birth with Purpose: 5 Steps to Drive Your Passions & Fuel Your Purpose was born.
What is the message behind your title?
The title of my book is derived from one of Joel Osteen’s sermons “Pregnant with Possibility”. The time leading up to the birthing process of a child is generally 40 weeks from conception. Birthing your idea into a business can also take just as long or even longer. It’s very important to understand and truly identify with the conception of your ideas already being purposeful; so confidently go forward and “Birth with Purpose”.
Birth with Purpose is a guide to help find what drives your passions and fuels your purpose as an introduction into discovering your life’s calling and finding the true desires within that drive your behaviors as a being and specifically as an entrepreneur. God has given us all so many tools that lend to our potential, our gifts, talents and of course our ideas. We are all born with passions that make our hearts smile. Identifying those passions and then doing the work to fuel and birth our true purpose is a journey. It is the nature of how you identify your purpose that helps in making each and everyone’s journey an adventure.
Can you share 3 takeaways you would like women to takeaway from your book?
The 3 main takeaways from BWP is to 1. Look for your passion and it will find you. Start with a self-audit of your happiness. If you want to find your true purpose, then you have to start by getting to know who you are – look within yourself, deep down behind those walls that you swore you will never unhide again. 2. Pursue your purpose and you will feel fulfilled. The fire of our passions carries both energy and discomfort. The key is to use the discomfort as a motivator and the energy as fuel. When we are connected to our roots and our soul, passion rises quickly and pushes us to rise to the next level of life. Anything where the totality of who you truly are is absorbed in the doing, requires passion and leads you to your purpose. And 3. Launch that business, even if it’s not perfect. Avoid the perfection trap when you are going after your dreams, you want to try to avoid making grandiose plans. You don’t have to find the one perfect passion, but instead, you just need to follow the clues that drive your heart’s desires. Step back and look at what you can do today, and then pick what excites you.
At any moment during your writing process did you experience writers block, what tips do you have for overcoming it?
During my writing process, I didn’t experience writer’s block. Instead I battled with not feeling like I had what it took to teach someone how to identify their purpose. I allowed myself to be overcome with imposter syndrome and not realizing that I’ve always had the potential and the confidence to step out of my status quo and completely walk in my God-given purpose. While writing this book I overcame self-doubt, fear and procrastination.
Take me through the first moment you held your book in your hands, what did that feel like for you?
It felt like pure joy coupled with shock and awe! I self-published on Amazon during a summer when there was a huge lag in authors receiving their publishing copies. I received a call from one of my best friends and she asked “where are you?”. At that moment I was turning into a Walmart parking lot and she said pull over. I did and she met me in that parking lot with an Amazon Prime copy of my book. The first time I held a physical copy of Birth with Purpose was also the first day I signed an autograph copy. We were loud as we jumped, hugged, praised God, and cried so much in that parking lot that a gentleman pulled over and wanted to join in on the celebration. It was surreal!
What would you say was the most challenging part of your writing process?
As a business coach and cheerleader of women pursuing their dreams, I acknowledge that the thing that makes me great at coaching is the connection and experience I have to the areas of help and transformation that I provide. The most challenging part of finishing this book was getting out of my own way and overcoming imposter syndrome. Imposter Syndrome is an enemy, especially among black women. I struggled with finding inspiration, support and confidence to share the struggles that I had to overcome to pursue writing in the genre of self help.
What key tips do you have for marketing your book and getting it out to the masses?
The biggest piece of advice I can give about marketing your book is to flaunt your credentials and experience. It’s not going to be all about the book, instead many readers are going to want to know your “why” for writing the book and the problem it’s going to help them resolve. Also, if your genre is self-help, readers are going to want to hear how the advice you’re giving has helped you and that’s what they will identify with. Next, I would encourage authors to get used to talking about your book every chance you get. Yes, email blasts to your lists and social media campaigns can work well too, but connecting readers to your book in everyday conversation is word-of-mouth marketing 101.
You can also host author chats, read-alouds, book signings, and showcase your book at vendor shows and pop-ups.
What audience is your book written for?
The primary audience for Birth with Purpose is entrepreneurs who have an idea but don’t know where to start, and small business owners who are within their first 3 years and are stuck moving to the next level. My typical reader is a woman who has the desire to start a business, but lacks the confidence and accountability to pursue her dream. She is passionate about an idea, but doesn’t know the strategies to take that idea from her heart through implementation and deliver it to the world. She is stuck, she is afraid, she is doubtful. She needs inspiration, teaching, empowerment and support. This book will help her realize her potential and build the confidence needed to step out of the status quo and completely walk in her purpose. She will overcome self-doubt, fear and procrastination.
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