Today we welcome Steph Petersen, author of The 5 Minutes to Happiness Workbook. Available on Amazon.
Stacie: Hi Steph. Thank you for joining us today.
Steph: Thank you for having me!
Stacie: Let’s start with a little about you, including your inspiration behind The 5 Minutes to Happiness Workbook.
Steph: I was introduced to the idea that we create our own experiences about twenty years ago when I took a course called Avatar. I remember being so amazed at how the exercises worked. Since then, I’ve studied and practiced Law of Attraction, spirituality, meditation, NLP, EFT, gratitude…you name it, I have a book or MP3 about it.
I had been trying to share all of this in an easily-digestible format. I wanted to create something to share my knowledge in a way that could help people. I drafted and tried a bunch of “programs” – step-by-step guides to put all of this information together. They were so time consuming that I couldn’t finish them. Finally I thought, “People are going to have to commit to making their own lives better, but what if they could do it for five minutes at a time?” I thought that was something people could manage, so I made it work.
Stacie: Now The 5 Minutes to Happiness Workbook is the first book you’ve published as far as I know. What challenges did you face as a first time author that you didn’t expect?
Steph: I didn’t expect to have to reformat the book twenty times after I finally published it! There are great resources on how to do this, yet I still can’t get the table of contents right. Also, marketing is tough without an email list. If you don’t have one, try EVERYTHING else to get your book in front of people!
Stacie: Writing a book is a much bigger undertaking than most people know. Did you have any tricks to help keep you motivated to see it through to completion?
Steph: Oh wow, yes, it is an undertaking. It’s frustrating because these experts tell you to just sit and write a book in a weekend or even a day. I always thought, “Great idea; if I had time to write a book every weekend, I’d pen a library!”
What helped me was to be OK with failure. I know the information I gave is good. If I die and the book is a flop, at least I published a book. What was surprisingly motivational, though, was staying up all night working on it. I literally sat from 8 pm to 5 am one night and knocked out as much as I could. I was so excited about how close I was to being done that I made time to finish it the next few days. (This is, of course, after having an outline and paragraphs here and there.)
Stacie: So now that we know a little bit about you and the journey behind the book, tell us more about The 5 Minutes to Happiness Workbook.
Steph: It is designed to empower you with the best bits of everything from meditation to self-evaluation to neuro linguistic programming. You learn a lot about yourself while doing this workbook. I can’t tell you how much your life changes when you are able to shed light on things about yourself you’re blind to. There are a lot of lists; the book is for people who really want to sit down and do something about their happiness.
Finishing everything in the book takes five weeks, but the steps build on each other. They also help you build habits. After the five weeks, you’ll continue to do the exercises you’ve been training yourself to become habit.
Stacie: What is the message you hope readers will get out The 5 Minutes to Happiness Workbook.
Steph: Your happiness comes from within you; it’s not dependent on the next thing in your life that hasn’t happened yet. This is just one of many resources that can help you get there.
Stacie: Based on your own experience, is there anything you have to say to others out there who want to write a book?
Steph: Steve Scott is a great resource for self-publishing. He has a blog, email list, Facebook page…look him up. Also, and I’m not just saying this because you’re interviewing me, Cover Design Studio is awesome. This is the perfect solution if you want a professional cover without spending a ton of money. It’s super easy….easier than getting a table of contents to be live! Beyond that, join the Facebook groups that let you post when your book is free (if you offer it free at all.) That was helpful for me.
Stacie: Thanks for the positive feedback–I’m glad we could help you. Would you recommend self publishing to others? Why/why not?
Steph: I can only speak as someone who doesn’t depend on book sales for income, and as someone who isn’t interested in going through a publisher. I would recommend self-publishing for many reasons, but the coolest thing about it is how much you can do with the final product. Use it to market another business or yourself. Build a career on it. Spin a new business off of it. Help others achieve their self-publishing dreams. There is so much potential one little self-published book can hold.
Stacie: Is there anything else you’d like to share about your book or your experience?
Steph: If writing a book isn’t enjoyable, you’re either writing about the wrong thing or you need to decide whether to table the idea or have someone else write it for you.
Stacie: Thanks so much for all of your insights today!
You can find Steph’s book here on Amazon.