272 MINISODE Arlene Gale: Abundance Mindset
Arlene Gale is a bestselling and award-winning author who helps executives and entrepreneurs write books to build their businesses, and nonfiction and fiction writers build businesses around their books. She shares why successful entrepreneurs all share an abundance mindset, curiosity and a willingness to be wrong and ask for help. CEO of BookWritingBusiness.com, Arlene also has an eighth bestselling book out right now called Book Business Blueprint: Build Credibility, Stand Out from the Competition, and Skyrocket Sales by Writing Your Book.
Melinda Wittstock: Welcome to Wings, Arlene.
Arlene Gale: Hi, Melinda. Thank you very much for this opportunity.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, well it's great to talk to you. I want to kick off with what's inspiring you right now?
Arlene Gale: Wow. What's inspiring me is just I'm getting out and I'm getting into the world and doing networking and meeting people like yourself. I'm just inspired by the number of people who know things that I don't know, but are still so open and willing to share their knowledge and information. They're not threatened by sharing that.
I love the warm fuzzies I've been getting lately from the people that I'm meeting out and about who just want to share their brilliance and let me share mine. It's very inspiring.
Melinda Wittstock: It's very interesting, isn't it? That it seems to me we're moving from a scarcity outlook in the world to one that's of more abundance. Particularly for women, where we were so hardwired to compete with each other if we're of a certain age. Now that seems to be lifting. We've all realized it's just we all fly higher when we're flying together.
Arlene Gale: Exactly. I'm feeling that a lot lately. It's refreshing and … I don't know, refreshing … Warm fuzzies is the best way I can say it because-
Melinda Wittstock: Well, that's good. Warm fuzzies are nice.
Arlene Gale: Yeah, I like that, and to be with people who are willing to share. I love to learn, so that's the other thing is I'm a sponge. So I'm inspired by people who want to talk about their business and share their brilliance with me.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes. Well, I love that you said too that you love to learn and you don't mind not knowing things. Because I mean part of entrepreneurship is being accepting of that. Because I mean we're always learning something all the time. There's always change. There's always opportunity. And to be a know-it-all is to kinda close yourself off I think from the opportunity. So kudos to you for saying that and being like that. I think it's a really good example to everyone.
Arlene Gale: Thanks.
Melinda Wittstock: So I want to pivot around a little bit into some of the challenges that you have right now in your business. Because we all have them no matter what stage of business we're at, even, we add zeros … We go from five to six to seven to eight figures or whatever it is in your business and there're just different challenges. Right?
Arlene Gale: Oh, yes.
Melinda Wittstock: So, what are some of yours?
Arlene Gale: Well, I'm great at the written word, but I'm not great at math, so I can't keep my own books. I have zero organizer in me, so I'm not at all organized. I work at it really, really hard and still don't always get it right. I wouldn't do my own open heart surgery. I wouldn't repair my own car. But asking for help has been a challenge for me based on my background and where I came from and everything. But I've learned that's exactly what I need to do.
The more I do that the more, again, I learn, and the more I meet people who are so talented in other areas. So I've given up trying to learn how to keep my website updated for example. There are brilliant people out there who love that. I can spend two or three days messing it up and then they can fix it in half an hour. So why don't I just let them do it in a half an hour or an hour instead of me wasting my time?
Melinda Wittstock: Well, exactly. There are women and men out there who love to live inside a spreadsheet or inside Quick Books or whatever, right? So I'm a believer in that you double down on your strengths. You do the things that you love and that you're great at, that only you can do, and you hire the rest.
Arlene Gale: Oh, yeah, because you know what? We were not designed, I don't think, to do it all by ourselves.
Melinda Wittstock: No.
Arlene Gale: For some people that's a hard lesson and it's a hard thing to do. But boy, I sure am a lot happier and my business is a lot more solid because I freed up myself to do the things I love. And have handed off the things that I don't love and I'm not good at to people who do love those things and are good at it. So that's my biggest challenge is just learning and accepting to let go and then finding the people who are great in that space that I don't want to be in, or can't do.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, yeah. No, it's so, so important. All this, we need to hear this over and over and over again, so thank you so much for sharing on that.
Arlene Gale: Oh, you're welcome.
Melinda Wittstock: Still in the realm of advice, what are your top three go-to pieces of advice? Perhaps something that you'd wished you'd known when you were starting out in business or you've just learned along the way that you think everyone, every woman in business, every executive leader, every female entrepreneur needs to know right now? What are your top three go-to pieces of advice?
Arlene Gale: Wow, Melinda, you don't pull your punches do you? These are toughies. Well, because part of it they're tough because it really does get down into the heart of the matter. And the heart of who you are and who you want to be and how you want to do business.
One of the biggest pieces of advice that I can give, because I've learned the hard way, is that there's a difference between busy and productive. You know you're busy when you've run all day long and you've done things all day long and at the end of the day you're exhausted, but you don't feel like you got anything done.
Productive, I think is when you get at the end of the day and you still have that exhausted feeling, but you feel like, yeah, I didn't get everything done but I got the most important things done, and I feel good about that. So to me, productive means setting priorities. You can have 100 things to do on your to-do list, but if you get only five or six of those done, or even three of those done, at the end of the day when you collapse and you're tired, you can say, “I did good, because I did the most important things first.” So that's productivity versus being busy. So that's my first one, is to learn how to be more productive instead of just staying busy. That's exhausting.
The second piece of advice I think is just take action. Sometimes people spend so much time sitting around worry about, well, if I do this will it work? Will it not work? How badly can I mess it up? How badly can I succeed? Instead of worrying about all that just take action. Do something. Because very rarely are we going to take action that's going to be fatal.
If we think that it's going to be really, really bad so we don't do it, then we'll never know. If we do something, then we can stop and say, “Okay. Well, that was only about 20% as bad as I thought it was gonna be.” So now I know how to adjust. I know how to do things differently. Taking actions answers all of those what ifs, and what abouts, and how comes, and if only. Take action, and then fine tune and adjust, and figure out where to go from there.
It's all about forward momentum, and sometimes it's about the next best step. Even if it's just a baby step it's better than doing nothing.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, gosh, that's such important advice. So what's number three?
Arlene Gale: Oh, gosh. Surround yourself with good positive supportive people. If there are people that are in your wake who are constantly saying, “No, no, no, no, no,” you know what? Don't take that as a personal no. It's not that you did something wrong or that you're less than. It's not about you, it's about them. Sometimes no is not no because I just don't like, or no I don't want to work with you. Sometimes a no is just a not now.
There are people who will follow you and watch you before they will get engaged with you because they want to know that you're true to your word. And that you do what you say, and that you are all that. There are other people who just jump in blindly. You have to be open to all kinds of people who come in. But if people are constantly negative and unsupportive, or … I teach my kids, for example, don't tell me “No, that won't work.” Tell me, “Well, you know what? That's an interesting idea, but I wonder have you thought about this, or have you thought about that? Or can we tweak it this way maybe?”
I don't like no. No is a conversation starter … a stopper rather. Failure is you can't go anywhere from there, so brainstorm with me. Help me figure out why this is a bad idea. Don't just tell me it's a bad idea. I want to be with people who believe in synergy and believe in lifting each other up. And who want to be positive impacts on each other's lives.
Melinda Wittstock: That's beautifully said. So Arlene, for everybody out there who really, really has been procrastinating on writing that book that they really need to write, how can they find you and work with you?
Arlene Gale: Oh gosh. Well, I would love for you to go to my website. It's Bookwritingbusiness.com. If you go to the bottom of the homepage you'll find five tips for writing your book. It's a free downloadable guidebook. At the end of that there's a questionnaire with a call to action. If you fill that out you can even get a free coaching call with me. I'd love to connect and find out what you're writing or thinking about writing, or what's holding back. And how I can be one of the brainstorming support people in your lives and in your business?
So Bookwritingbusiness.com. You can find me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and it's Arlene Gale. A-R-L-E-N-E, and Gale's a little tricky, it's G-A-L-E. I know there's lots of ways to spell it, but G-A-L-E. I would love to talk to you about writing your book. Why you should write it, how you should write it. And how to do it in a powerful and profitable way.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, that's wonderful. Well, thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us today.
Arlene Gale: It's an incredible awesome feeling to be able to do that with you. Thank you.