Have you been running from what God’s plan is for you?
In this training, Sharon is going to share with us how focus and accountability helped her stop running from herself and doing God’s plan for her.
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Running from Yourself
Shelley: So in this episode, I want to position the spotlight on one of my members, Sharon Buck. Welcome, Sharon.
Sharon: Hi, Shelley.
Shelley: So excited to have you back.
You were recently on the podcast, and I wanted to have you on again. I want you to share some of your success with Author Audience Academy and what you’ve been doing.
I’m just going to share your bio really quick.
Sharon has been writing professionally since she was in high school. That’s awesome. She’s ghostwritten five books, six on her own, and is currently working on her 3rd fiction novel in the Parker Bell Cozy Mystery Series.
She just completed her first Christian book, “Invisible Scars: Stopping the Self Punishment.”
I have to tell you, Sharon truly has a sense of humor. She sent me this other bio, which I could have read, but it’s just a little bit longer. Go to her website and read her bio. It’s funny!
Her website is SharonEBuck.com. Also, check out her books and some of the things she’s doing. She has a great way of integrating her humor into marketing.
So, Sharon, I’m excited for you to share. You talked about how you wanted to share a little bit about focus and accountability.
And this episode, we’re titling it “How to Stop Running from Yourself and Finally Achieve Your Goals”. So share with us a little bit about what that means for you.
Sharon: Like you said in my bio, I’ve been writing professionally since I was in high school. I have also written throughout the years, but really did not know until I was a little bit older than you; back in the day, you know.
There weren’t that many role models out there. There weren’t really very many women that were actively making a living by writing books, fiction or non-fiction books, especially outside of the traditional mainstream publishers.
So, I always had everything on the back burner. I was writing as a travel writer for a couple of years. I made my living doing that which is nothing you would have never heard of.
They were trade magazines, but they paid well, so sure, why not? Then I always had other jobs.
The last couple of years I started refocusing on what I wanted to do, which was really just writing. I had come across you several years ago. I don’t even know how I found you, to be honest.
Shelley: Probably, somewhere online.
Start of a Journey: Focus
Sharon: Yes, somewhere online. It was like you had all this great content out there, and I was like, “This is amazing! Who is this girl again?”
I was on one of your newsletters probably for a good 16 to 18 months, and then things changed for me. Then I found out about you and I felt like God said, “Join this group.” And I was like, “Oh man!”
I talk to the Big Guy upstairs much like I do with everybody. I was like, “Are you serious about this?”
And what happened was, I really got this impression that I should sign up with you. So I signed up with Author Audience Academy, A.K.A Triple A. So I got in there and, literally, within the first 24 hours, I was like, “Whoa, this is exactly where I’m supposed to be at this particular point in time.”
I just really integrated very well within the group. For me it was like, all of the sudden, this massive door opened for me. I was like, “Focus, you really want to do all this. You want to get back into writing full-time and make a living at doing this.”
Your group helped because you had all these great resources in the Members’ Area. I can just go through and pick and choose one from column A and column B and I could get all these information.
I was like, “Eh, I’ve been doing this for a while. Maybe she knows some stuff I don’t know.”
The first or second video I watched, I was like, “She really does have a couple things in here I didn’t know about!” I was like, “OK. This is awesome.”
So I really started focusing more and more on what it was I really wanted to accomplish. It was like, “She’s got 90-day plans. I can live with this!”
I’m not very good at a year, two years, or five-year plans because I may or may not have ADD. I’m diagnosed, let me point this out. I have the attention span of an ant. But with 90 days I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
So I went through making 90-day plans.
Then I put something out one day, probably the first couple of weeks I was in the group and you said, “Do you have a prayer team?” I was like, “No.” I got a prayer team put together pretty quick, actually.
Shelley: Awesome, love it.
Sharon: I had one fall out because she didn’t want to pray the way I asked her to, which was OK. We’re still really super good friends. I want to point this out, we can be friends, even if she’s not on the prayer team.
Then I started really focusing on what I wanted to do. I actually have my 90-day typed out and started going through it. Then I felt like God said, “OK, you need to make this bigger,” and I’m like, “Really? I think this is big now.”
And I was asking myself “Who am I?”
But I started focusing more. I guess, about, the first 30 days I got an accountability partner, and it made a huge difference. We meet twice a week for one hour, or sometimes a little less. We go over, not only the writing but the marketing. We check if we are staying on track, and then, of course, we talk about Godly stuff, as well.
It has turned into a friendship, but the important thing is the accountability. In a very gentle way, sometimes a 2X4 is taken because I’m kind of loquacious.
“Sharon, seriously, you’re getting off track here.”
This has really helped me define and redefine my focus and keep me really on track to what I’m doing. Right after I joined with you, God gave me an opportunity to write full time and do my marketing full time.
Another one of the key things that I’ve learned on staying focused is, writing even though the writing is tough, intense, and emotional. It is, particularly with this Christian book I’m writing on, and I know you’ve experienced this as well.
Writing and Marketing
Sharon: But you also have to do the marketing. You’ve got to market. You can’t just write, you have to market. And that’s constant tweaking, it’s not just, “OK, today I’m going to put out 15 Twitter posts and 16 Facebook posts, Instagram, and whatever else.”
You’ve got to focus and you’ve got to have a plan. That POA, Plan of Action, is what’s critically important.
So when I started defining and redefining, my whole mindset started to change. I asked myself, “What are you really focusing on?” That was it. Then I realized, in essence, in many ways, I had been running from myself for a really, really long time.
I have been, and I am a professional writer – someone who makes money for their writing. But I wasn’t as focused on it as I needed to be. That’s what being in your group, watching your videos, and taking your training has been.
It’s been worth every penny, if we had half penny measures, I would say that. It’s been incredible for me. I’m probably one of your biggest advocates on the training because it’s made such a huge difference.
The other standpoint, which is intangible, is it is Christian-based. I did not know, within my spirit, within my soul, how much I desperately needed that. I am serious when I say desperately needed that.
I am a solid Christian, but I can tell you that my walk with the Lord has gone way up really, really fast. My growth has been phenomenal.
This all layers in together, but when you add it all up, I stopped running from myself. I don’t think it was fear- based, but I wasn’t being honest with myself on what I really wanted to do to get where I wanted to go.
Shelley: Yeah. You have just mentioned so many really key things. Do you want to finish what you were saying and then we can break it down
just a little bit?
Key Things to Achieve Your Goals
Shelley: I love what you said about focusing and really being honest with yourself. When I have members go through Plan It Day it takes some time and it takes some effort, I understand that.
But what you’re doing is you’re getting underneath all the stuff, like, “What is my core motivation? What is my core goal? Where is it I want to be? If this is where I want to be, how do I get there?” Then making that plan of action.
Accountability, I love how you mentioned that. Did you meet your accountability partner in Author Audience Academy?
Sharon: I did. I put it out on the group when you were talking one day about “Do you have an accountability partner?” I put it out there and, do you want me to say who it is?
Shelley: You don’t have to.
Sharon: This person I met, I am so blessed. I am so blessed. We met, we talked and she was in the process of moving or doing something, I forgot now exactly what. It took us about three weeks for us to hook up.
I was pretty adamant when we were going back and forth. I was saying, “Hey, I’ve written a number of books. I’m not interested in talking with a newbie. If you are, God loves you, but you’re not where I need to be. I need someone who is really going to hold me accountable for different things like that.”
We hit it off, and it was just incredible.
Shelley: I love hearing that. Sometimes those things happen behind the scenes. I didn’t even know that happened, but I pray for that. I want that to happen. I want those types of relationships to form in Author Audience Academy.
So the accountability, not only that I offer every week right now in our accountability group, but you also have that personal accountability. Then, you were talking about really starting to take action in that focused way, growing spiritually, and hearing from God. God was saying, “go bigger. Go bigger girl!”
Sometimes we’re just so busy, and we’re not focused, to even hear from God. So you’re getting that direction from God, where to go, and how to move forward. I just love, love, love that.
I really have seen a transformation in you. I know you’ve taken a lot of coaching programs, and not every coach is the right fit for everyone. I know I’m not the right fit for everyone. I’m just so thankful that you have come at this time, you’ve gotten a ton of value, and you’re taking action.
You’re seeing results. You’re getting more books done and you’re selling books, is that correct?
Sharon: That’s correct! I’m doing that. People are recognizing me for who I am.
Let me jump back to being focused. One day, I wrote in the group that I was having problems with something, and the group is tremendously supportive. I love this group. And it’s without being the “ooey gooey” Sister Sally the Pious.
It’s real people who have really good ideas on things. One of the things that I said, “I can’t figure out why I’m not doing this.” You said, “Where does the resistance stem from?” I went, “Whoa!” I still get goosebumps on that one Shelley.
That one is huge, and I put that up on my computer. I had it up there for almost a week and it was like onion layers being stripped off or peeled off. It was like a blooming onion where you’re just peeling those suckers off.
It was huge, that was when a lot of stuff started massively changing for me. I’m sure you probably didn’t think twice about it. You just tossed it out there, but for some reason, it connected with me off of that.
Once I really started looking at where the resistance was coming from, I would say probably 95% of the time it’s not on a tangible level. It’s a spiritual level where the stuff is coming from.
If you keep peeling back, for me, I started getting some of the reasons why I was running from myself instead of progressing forward as fast as I wanted to, and so on and so forth.
Shelley: That’s powerful when we can get to the root. Even I, myself, invested in life coaching last year to really work on some of my own stuff. We all have stuff, wherever we’re at. I’m still growing, still learning, and still going through the process.
It’s also about being coachable. And that’s the thing. When you are in a group like that and you feel the freedom to share. Then you become coachable, and you just grow by leaps and bounds. I’ve seen that so much.
You’re such a valuable part of our group, and I appreciate all your input.
So as we close down today on this training, I hope that everyone got a ton of value. What would be a take action tip that you would have for our listeners today?
Take Action Tips #1: Commit to Write
Sharon: I actually have three.
The first one is to commit to yourself. You may say, “Oh, I’m committed to myself.”
What are you doing to, in essence, prove that and then reaffirm to yourself that you’re committing to yourself? Are you committing 20 minutes a day, an hour a day to writing?
I really think it has to be on a daily basis. You do have to schedule time for yourself about three times a week, every other day, or something. You’ve got to commit to yourself, otherwise, so what? If you get the book done, great, maybe this, maybe that.
You’ve got to make some kind of commitment to yourself that you are a professional writer, that’s really what it comes down to.
Take Action Tips #2: Commit to Market
The second thing is, yes, you have to write, at least three times a week, but you also have to commit to taking three different marketing actions, at least three times a week. You’ve got to market It’s not just, “Oh I’m going to write for three days. I don’t like to market, I’ll put that off.”
How are you going to give glory to God on whatever genre you work in? How are you going to give that glory? How are you going to get your message out?
Even for a lot of time, I thought that writing funny wasn’t that big a deal. You know what, if I can make one person laugh every day, that’s worth it to me.
Shelley: Yes it is. You’re entertaining, you’re lifting their spirits, and you are encouraging. I love how you integrate your humor into your marketing.
Just a side note, check out on her website her “Sad Book Diaries”. They’re hilarious. I love how you’re being yourself, and you’re letting your personality through.
It wouldn’t work for me, but it works for you because it’s you! I love that. I love that you’re letting Sharon shine through your marketing even.
Take Action Tips #3: Have a Goal
Sharon: Absolutely. The third thing is you need to have a goal. You do!
That’s why I like the 90-day Plan-It goal. Yeah, it does take time, it takes a lot of time to sit down and do that. For me, I had to commit pretty much four or five hours to sit down there and really do it.
It’s very easy to write something down on a superficial level, but it’s another thing to go, “Yeah, can I really do this? Am I really going to do this?”
When you start being really honest with yourself, that’s when you know you’re starting to get there. It’s a constant because every day is fluid. You’ve got to constantly look at that, at least for me. I have to look at it every day to see if I’m on track, not on track, what’s working, and what’s not working.
Sometimes what I thought would work doesn’t really work at all. Things that I call a throw-away, that’s where I get the sales. You never know.
Shelley: It really is trial and error. We have to test, track, and tweak. I always say that a lot. I have my little thing here that has my 90-day goals in it.
It’s just so important to just be open though because it can change like you said. There are things that work, things that don’t, and yet you’re taking consistent action. That’s what I hear from you, take consistent action.
Schedule it. Schedule your writing and your marketing. Take consistent action; whatever works in your schedule. Some people are doing it full time like you while some do it part time.
Whatever you can fit into your schedule, consistently do something every week that moves you forward towards your goal.
So Sharon, where’s the best place for people to find you online if they’d like to connect more with you?
Sharon: My website SharonEBuck.com, or you can do Sad Book Diary. I have a different number of domain names that lead into that.
Shelley: Awesome! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I have truly seen you have a transformation, and I know the rest of this year it’s just going to continue.
You’re just on this momentous growth, and it’s so exciting to see that. I love that you’re sharing now with others. So thank you so much for being on this podcast.
Thank you to everyone for listening and for tuning in. Until next time!
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