120: Juju Hook – How to Build a Personal Brand and Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Hot Flashes, Carpools, and Dirty Martinis

Speaker 1: Welcome to the authors who lead podcast. This podcast is dedicated to you. People who want to be inspired by authors leaders and the messages they share. This is such an important podcast to us because we help uncover what goes on behind the scenes. When authors are writing their book, we talk about the process. We talk about where they get big ideas and you can listen in on those conversations. We can't wait for you to join us. So let's get started. Hey everyone. Welcome back to another episode of authors who lead. I'm your host, the soul thoroughness, and I'm really thrilled to have, do to hook here, dude, you hooks in the house. She's here. She's a consultant, a coach, a speaker. And I love that. She says for more than a quarter of century, she's developed brand strategy for corporations today through online programs, live events, one on one coaching to do motivates and inspires and educates the primetime women, which we'll learn a lot about in just a few moments and topics related to business, life and relationships.

Speaker 1: She holds a BA in English and an MBA and a certified coach and yoga teacher. And she lives in San Diego. Like I had, I lived there actually for eight years with her husband and her son. You can find her@strategicdoodoo.com. We'll talk more about where you can connect with her. So excited to talk today about her book, hot flashes, carpools, and dirty martinis, the quintessential guide for turning middle life into prime time. Let's welcome her to show her welcome. I'm delighted to be here. Yeah, yeah, no, it's so great. When I get invitations all the time for people to come on the show. Not because I'm so great, but because people, when they're authors have to talk about their books, right. And the beautiful thing is, you know, I have to say no to some, some just aren't the books for the show. But when I read the title of your book, I'm like, yes, just, yes. My assistant usually goes over. The applications talks to me and I was like, no, Nope. I'll read that book. I have to please.

Speaker 2: Yeah. The title was a stopper. Everybody remembers the title. It's great.

Speaker 1: Oh, it's great. And the thing is, is because I read everyone's book. I really want to know that it resonates with me or, or I can connect with it some way. And though the hot flashes bar, I will totally understand. I knew what it intended to mean. Well, who was really

Speaker 2: Shortcut right? The time in life. Isn't it?

Speaker 1: Right? It's like, when you say that and it's in this time, you realize that anybody that knows, that knows what it's like to rush home, to watch the Brady bunch. Cause it was the only show at 4:00 PM or whatever. We all remember that we all had some sort of either cocoa pebbles or we had corn flakes. We all had the same cereal because there's only three networks. All of these things start to resonate with people.

Speaker 2: Yes. And phone on the kitchen wall and all that stuff.

Speaker 1: Remembering what a party line is, all the things that come with that time.

Speaker 2: Yes. Dublin, Ohio. We did. Yes.

Speaker 1: So great. Well, let's talk about this journal. Let's talk about, first of all, you know, your journey, I felt like the experience I had reading your book, it was that I could, I could see and feel your spiritual journey occurring right before my eyes, you know, the messy part of it. And I hope everyone understands spiritual journeys are pretty messy. Anybody who doesn't have one, probably hasn't had a spiritual journey for sure. But before we get into the ticks and before the topic of the book, tell me about, about why this book needed to come from you at this time. Because so many times authors have a different reason for expressing why this book needed to come out. Why was this a time to write it?

Speaker 2: So I have always been a writer. I've always wanted to write a book. I think for a very long time, I knew that I could write and I knew I had a command of language and I knew I was good with words and I wrote for other people, but I wasn't really sure that anybody would want to hear what I had to say about life or anything else. And just as I was approaching 50, 47, 48, I had a kind of, I guess, a breakdown, right. Followed by a breakthrough. I think that's how they usually come. That I wasn't feeling relevant that maybe no one would ever use for me anymore. And it was precipitated by a giant blowout with my teenage son when he was 13 or 14 at the time. And I was just was way too involved in his life, you know, and really kind of, I think skating by, in terms of my own potential.

Speaker 2: I had a career, I was a brand strategist for many, many years. I owned my own agency and I had just gotten to the point where everything had sort of run its course. And I, I hit a wall and through, you know, through this altercation with my son and his junior high school principal calling me out, right. He called me up that maybe I was a little overly involved in Christian's life. We had a big blow up before school. One day he climbed out the window, he ran away. It was pouring rain. You know, I loaded him back into the car, drove him to school and they quit course. They noticed right. He showed up sopping wet. And then that led to a phone call, which is what's going on at home. And, and you know, why does Christian feel so stressed out? And I kind of, you know, unloaded on my gosh.

Speaker 2: He won't do his homework. He won't do his work. What if he's just me yoga forever. Right? What if he just signs onto a life of nothingness? What if he just, you know, he never goes to college, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And the guy kind of stopped me and said, Hey, listen, you know, I don't know if I'd say this to everyone, but you and I are friends. I don't think this is about him. I think this is about you. And through the course of that morning in the mornings to follow, I realized that the things that I believed about the middle of my life from 50 on were not true, that they were things that ideas that I had co-opted from messages in the market messages, from the anti-aging industry, right. That wants to sell a solutions to a problem we don't have. And I just, I really woke up to the idea that this was my time that, you know, my son was going to leave and I was more qualified and more, more intuitive and more insightful and more ready than I'd ever been to do something really big. And then I, I couldn't hide anymore. So that's, that was what precipitated the book.

Speaker 1: Yeah. And that was the moment I really fell into the book if that's a good way to express it because I, you know, there's water pouring on the floor. The in-laws are there from out of country. You know, you're a wreck, it's pouring rain. You're waking up your son late. And I, I mean this guy, every moment of the times, I tried to get my son out the door to go to school. And I was a teacher. So here was as a teacher and sometimes I was the principal. So I was the principal and my son hated school. So it was always about this, hated it. He was the runner. We call them runners when we were principals, that means they sprint out the door and they physically run out the school house. They would call me from another district. I'd have to go over, drive all the way and go retrieve him from wherever he ran to.

Speaker 2: Yeah. My son hated it too. And I loved school. I was, I was, I loved being a student. So to my husband. So, you know, that's another thing, right? Are you think our kids are going to be like us? And they're not like us at all their own humans and the older they get, the more evident that is. And, you know, luckily with Christian, somebody put a guitar in his hand, right, right around that same time, you know, he was so angry and hated school so much. And when I went off to do my thing, which Stewart challenged me to do, you know, go find something you're afraid of go do something. You're afraid of turn your attention away from him and onto you and let him figure it out and right about that same time. So we gave him a guitar and now it's five years later and he's been accepted to the Berkeley college of music in Boston. And, you know, went from total novice to majoring in guitar performance. And I would have never, that would not have happened. Had I not backed up and let him do his thing. So in that sense, that was a very happy.

Speaker 1: Yeah, no. And the truth is when we start to project forward, and this is what I learned book, we start to project our thoughts onto things and make them real. Oh my gosh. Portraits. And then everyone else around us.

Speaker 2: Absolutely. Absolutely. And as well as the meaning, we give things, right, this is good. This is bad, young yuck. This is right. This is wrong. You know, this is right for you. This is wrong for me. This is. And I think I just was really involved in a lot of that. And I think also, you know, the book was a journey for me. I went out and talked to hundreds of women, it to write it. And everybody believes some form to some extent, the live that I believed, which is the older we get the less for work. And I think women are plagued by that lie. I think it's told to us by a lot of people and it just, I found myself doing a lot of things in response to that lie. You know, I was drinking more than I should have. I was had a lot of nights that I was, you know, thought would fall into a bag of chips or a box of Oreos or, you know, whatever. And I just wasn't, I just wasn't in it. I wasn't, you know, I was kind of in that email, you, my ship has sailed mode. And since then, it's an entirely new experience of life.

Speaker 1: Yeah. And I, and I really appreciated the way you describe it in the book, because, and we'll talk a little about this because when you decide to show up for your book, meaning you're in it, you're not just talking through it. You're at the book, man. It takes some guts to say, how much of me should show up here? Maybe you've had practice cause you run communities. You've been coaching women, but for a lot of authors, that's maybe what's on the other end. And this is their first time like showing up at their,

Speaker 2: And I didn't coach or lead a group. After I wrote the book, I had an email list and I was writing into my email list. I was writing straight about, you know, straight branding, brand strategy for entrepreneurs, brand strategy for small businesses. So I wasn't really sharing a whole lot about myself until I recognized that that that was all of it. Right. And that really changed. The book really changed things for me because it allowed me, first of all, to identify a group of people who I wanted to serve and what my real purpose was. And so before the book I was, I did corporate brand strategy for ever. And since the book, I don't work with anyone, but women in midlife who are starting, who are building personal brands. And so my level of joy now is it is just at an all time high.

Speaker 2: So talking to your friends on the phone all day, you know, and their success is my success. And it's just amazing, but I would not have gotten there had I not had really had to bear it all in the book. And I think it's not just how much of you you show, but how much do you show the people around you who are a part of your story? Right? That's all part of it too. I told lots of stories in my shit, a of them seeing themselves the way I see them. And so that was, there was a real unfolding there as well. And it was just, it was really a galvanizing process for me.

Speaker 1: Yeah. And I tell people, I'm glad you're saying this because I want people to hear, you know, we're very successful. You had a career. So many people can mistakenly think that billing they're using their book to build their brand is about taking what they know, putting into book, to draw people to them. And I say, if you want the quickest way to keep people from knowing you is go talk about what you do. Yes. You won't show up. You'll talk about your expertise. You'll talk about what you're good at. And that keeps people really far away from who you are.

Speaker 2: Yeah. And it's a hard way to write a book. I want them to sit down, read book about what they know, right. It's not very motivated. It's hard to write a book. It took me a long time. It took a ton of hours and telling people, stories is something that I've always done. You know, I have a storytelling family and that really motivated me to come to the book to tell stories of strong women who I knew who were rocking prime time, but I call prime time. And that, I dunno, it kept the process really vital in a way. It wasn't like writing an essay or a report. It was storytelling time for me.

Speaker 1: Right. You're talking about this notion prime time. And it's obviously the focus of this work. Give the definition you have for while using this word. I think you could call it the primetime mission, help people understand where you're going with this so we can kind of frame the conversation that's coming from the book.

Speaker 2: Yeah. So right back to the facts that those of us who know who Josie and the Pussycats are right, and had had a phone in the kitchen when I buy advertising on behalf of my clients for many, many years. And the cost of advertising, the value of advertising is directly related to the time that runs and prime time is the age of 11 time slot. It's the time slot when all of the best shows air it's when sweeps weeks happens, it's the most expensive advertising you can. It's the widest audience. So the shows that make it onto prime time, they're the best and midlife for women is prime time. Like this is our eight to 11 time slot. You know, we're done that. Our bodies are done mothering, whether we've had children or not. We've mothered every woman. I know his mother, all kinds of stuff.

Speaker 2: And everything's shifting, you know, we go into midlife as in general with our parents alive and our kids, you know, at home and in the careers that we started, if we have careers and we leave midlife with none of that, you know, generally we're we'll care for our parents or, you know, watch the ends of their lives and watch our kids walk away. And you know, a lot of us come to the end of 25, 30 year careers. And there's this big question about what's left. And if we perceive it as a time of loss, then that's exactly how we'll experience it. If we perceive it as an opening to show up for our best shows ever, then that's the way we experience it. And so I have a primetime policy online, you know, about a thousand women who are all in prime time. And I have a private group called the prime time cut of women who are really going next level with their brands. And I just am getting an absolute kick out of watching these women I'll step into their, their biggest shows to be the star.

Speaker 1: Yeah. I love the way you described that, that prime time. And it was really great because you are a great storyteller. I love the way you told that initial story with your son. I love the way you talk about your grandmother. I love the way you talk like the learning you have in retrospect, this is, I think one of the, if I'm going to use this book as an example, so many of my authors who are writing books, it has a message. It has a real clear, this is the things I want you to do, but also feels memoir, which is hard to do when you're trying to tell the story. But you did a beautiful job here. And how did you know what to include? What not like, what was your process like went from idea. Like, I think I have an idea like that moment where your son splits out the window to like starting to put words to a page. What was the process like when you uncovered it? Where were you at? In the very beginning?

Speaker 2: I think that the process for me with the story telling was aided a little bit by the fact that I was a copywriter for so long and an ad copywriter, because one of the things, you know, when you tell a story or you write a piece of ad copy or a website, is that you're essentially taking people from a to B, right? And you ask the question, what do I want for people? What do I need this to achieve? And so with each and every story, I was really attempting to make a point to drive a point home about lies that women have been told about midlife. I call them the lies that bind know, six lies that we all come to believe in some form or another area I'm irrelevant running out of time. Or I have some kind of extenuating circumstances that prevent me from doing this right.

Speaker 2: Or I'm running out of, I don't have any more capacity. Like we're light bulbs, right? At some point we're just burned out. And I had women in my life who were the antithesis of every one of these stories. Right. They could disprove every one of these beliefs. And so deciding what to include in the story is really all around what you need in the person on the other end of field. And the, I think the details, a little details that we include, at least for me, are those sensory details that put the person on the other end in, you know, into the moment. So, you know, what does it sound like? What does it taste like? What does it feel like? You know, what's going on inside your body. And so it's start to finish, you know, what do I want people to know? What's mindset shift. I want them to have. And then what details do I include to get them to have the experience?

Speaker 1: Yeah, that's great. And what you said is what shift do I want the reader to have? A lot of times when I work with others, because they've had such a transformation, that's probably why they're showing up through the book or they're in the middle of their transforming. They asked the reader to go really far, maybe 180 degrees. And I say, well, that's a long way to ask somebody else to go.

Speaker 2: I had a little bit of success. You need folks to have a little bit of success is what you need, because once they have that success, then they'll follow you anywhere, right. You need, when you need wins in the book and any reason for people to keep turning the pages. And I think that, I mean, I've read books and you've read books too. That are where it's just too hard. Right. It's too much. Or I don't think I can do it for me. All I really wanted from start to the end of the book was for women to realize that they're not losing value as they age that now's the time. This is it right. Step up. And I, it's funny, I had a coach at the time who asked me, how will, you know, if the book is successful? Because like everybody else, I'm pretty hard on myself.

Speaker 2: And I had a lot of that imposter syndrome stuff going on and you know, am I really enough? And is anybody really gonna read this? And he said, how, you know, if the book is successful, do you have a number of books you want to sell or something like that. And I said, I will know it's successful when a woman who, I don't know, buys it for her girlfriend and says, you need to read this. And then I'll know. And I launched my book in October. And at Christmas time I had a whole bunch of women who said, can I buy books for my friends? And when you sign them and that's when I knew, okay, I got them for me to be right. I got somebody to have the shift. And that really set me on a trajectory for a whole new career.

Speaker 1: Yeah. And that's the thing, that's the magic shift. When I tell people, look, if you, as the author, don't make a transformation, how do you expect someone on the other end to

Speaker 2: Exactly. And what's the point of reading it? What's what would be the point of continuing to turn the pages if there's not something really in it for you, right?

Speaker 1: Yeah. And I thought you did a beautiful job of helping me feel like I had to turn the page. And also that there was something in it for me, even though I'm not the ideal reader, obviously I wouldn't be a member of the community as a man, but what I was in for his connection to being a father or being a parent, and then the connection to being like, is this, it is this really? This is it. This is how it felt. You know, I say, get up and my body decides it gets up when it wants those kinds of feelings.

Speaker 2: Yeah. I know me too. Things are a little creakier than they used to be, but that's all right. I owe them up.

Speaker 1: Right, right. Right now getting up from the couch, I have to act like I'm my own yoga instructor,

Speaker 2: The little beetle. He's like, I'm on my back.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Well, there's some great moments in your book and I don't wanna give it all like, cause I want people to read it, but there's one spot where there's an exercise where you have the reader look into the mirror to say these words, Hey, gorgeous. And I think it's a powerful moment for the reader where I think they're deciding, I think, am I going to believe this woman? Or is she full of it? Am I going to stand in the mirror and say this BS? Or I'm not? Because that, to me, I was reading. I was like, you're a lot of books. Try to say, do this, do that. I'm like, no, this is a call to arms moment. A they're going to believe this shit or you're not.

Speaker 2: Yeah. Or suspend your disbelief long enough to try it, try it out. Yeah.

Speaker 1: And that's, I felt like it was a perfect spot in the book to call them to that. You had given him enough confidence. You had to give enough evidence that, Hey, I'm your wounded leader here. I'm not perfect. I'm not saying this stuff's easy, but I felt like it was a beautiful spot where you have the, tell us about why that's such an important moment for someone to look in the mirror, be able to say those words, do you have other parts of it too, but help me understand or help the listeners understand why that moment seems to me, it seems so critical for the next move for someone who's trying to accept who they are.

Speaker 2: So I didn't, I didn't invent mirror work. It came from Louise hay, hay house publishers, who was just an extraordinary human. I think the reason that it was so critical for me at the time, at that time in the book, is that everything moving forward was about seeing something in yourself, right? It was about, about being kind enough to yourself to give it a try. And what I know about most people is that we're not, we are not naturally kind to ourselves. So we are brutal to ourselves. And in order to move forward, in order to make that prime time shift, we have to be willing to take a chance, right? And the chance is that a not I'm going to screw it up or people aren't gonna like me, if I'm successful or I'm gonna make an ass of myself or, you know, people are going to say, who is she to do whatever.

Speaker 2: And I know that in order for me to make the shift, I really had to change my relationship with me. I had to be able to, I had to be nice to me. And so I started to, I had, you know, ketamine for myself, which is gorgeous. And I still do this. Every time I walk in the bathroom. Every time I walk past a year, I look in the mirror and I say, Hey, smile, and say, Hey, or just like loves you. Right? And I think the two aspects that the three aspects of that number one, really being able to see yourself, right? We don't do that. We don't look at ourselves. It's confronting to look at yourself in the mirror. Talk really is a very strange experience for a lot of people. So to look at yourself, but also to label yourself in a way that's positive.

Speaker 2: And we were so often look at ourselves to find what's wrong. What do I not like about myself today? What do I need to fix? And I really am a firm believer that, you know, through my own spiritual journey, that there's something wrong with. You don't need to fix anything. There's nothing wrong with, you're not broken. I hear a lot of people say that I'm broken or this is messy. And I, and I don't really buy into any of that. It's not helpful for me at all. And then the third part is life. Life loves you. And I think the idea that there's an organizing power to the universe, whatever, however, people see that or view that and that it's working in your favor. If you'll lean in there's I just had a conversation with my son about this, and there's kind of two ways to go through life.

Speaker 2: You know, one way we go through life is believing that everybody's doing the best they can with what they have to work with at any given moment. And I really believe that. And if you believe that you get over stuff a lot faster, you can forgive people a lot faster. You can let things go a lot faster. You can move on a lot faster. And if you go through life believing that everything's hard and everybody's out to get ya, then it's a different experience. So, you know, Hey, gorgeous life loves you. It's just a reminder to me every day that, you know, I'm all that and the universe has my back. Yeah,

Speaker 1: No, that's great. I think the people that I've met that have had such who glow with joy, regardless of what's happening, have these kinds of practices, beliefs. That's why I thought it was such a pivotal moment.

Speaker 2: Yeah. And I didn't always feel that way. I was a very depressed young woman. You know, I was clinically depressed for a long time. I was, I attempted suicide when I was in high school. I had spent a long time and weeks in an institution. My senior in high school, I was very, very dark young woman. And not now.

Speaker 1: Yeah, no, I could tell now I can feel the vibrancy in the book. I thought it was really difficult or at least it is for me to capture who you were in the beginning, because that's not who you are and tell it that way. And then show us later on who you are and show up differently. That'd be a great job. One of the moments where I felt like the bright spot started to show up, as we start talking about this connection to deep, actual, broad, doing this meditation and making the deep realization. And I hope everyone's listening that we are not our thoughts.

Speaker 2: We are not our thoughts. And I have spent, this is a, this is more where I've done more work on this than anything else in my life. You know, I discovered Depok, right? It's like he couldn't, he couldn't find a more poppy entrance into a spiritual journey. My husband told me I needed a little less deep pocket and a little more to pocket that time, really into it and Yon he's my husband. He gave me for our anniversary, a trip to Costco where I live now, actually I can see Deepak's venture from my backyard is really funny. He bought me a week meditation week with Deepak Chopra and 500 other people, 400, 500 other people. I think y'all thought it was going to be deep pockets, but it really changed me. And I think I do a lot of work in the three principles, which is similar, but just this idea of consciousness and that we are not our thoughts.

Speaker 2: Our thoughts come to us, which is why we say, you know, it occurred to me, right? They happen to us, our thoughts, and we really have a choice about how we choose to experience then. And if we get on the train and ride the thought out of the station, and then we're going to act on it where you do something about it. And the one thing that I know about thoughts is that they're especially insecure thoughts. They're not based in truth. They're not based. In fact, for every thought that we have, there are a thousand other alternative thoughts that we could have. I'm not talking about facts, just thoughts. And so, and they're transient. They always go away. So if we can learn to just sort of see things and not wrap a big story around it and not validate the thoughts with the feelings, right? That's another thing that happens. We go, Oh, I'm thinking this. And I feel crappy. Therefore, this must be true. And it's horrible feedback loop. It's none of it's true. And that was, I think that's the most freeing thing that I've learned in all of my adult life.

Speaker 1: And it's been a freeing journey for me as well. And in my spiritual journey, sometimes my husband and I will have a fight and he'll, he'll get upset. And he goes, man, sitting in chair, he just says, it reminds me, there's nothing else happening. But my butt's connected to this chair and I'm sitting here. I'm not any of these feelings or thoughts are going on. And just, ah, and then when you realize that's all there is all the rest is beliefs. The things you're thinking that have nothing to do with who you are, what's really going on.

Speaker 2: Right? It's like, I talked to all these people and I work with all these women who will say to me, you know, I thought I was past this. I thought I had moved on from this. Let's say insecure thinking, it's not going away. It's going to keep coming back and coming back for the rest of your life, especially when it's time to do something harder to go next level or to try something new and you're not going to defeat it. There isn't a, you know, there's no practice to defeat it. You just have a recognize that it will, will come to an end and it doesn't have any yeah. Just noise.

Speaker 1: Yeah. The same thought is I'm a horrible dad. Can you come, can be accompanied by it. I'm an amazing dad. Or you choose which one you want to hang on to. If you choose to have any of that,

Speaker 2: Neither one of them are reality. Right. I'm a dad. I mean, we just go with that. You can be pretty sure it's true. Yeah. So it doesn't really matter. Who's I mean, whether it's Deepak Chopra or Byron Katie or Eckhart Tala or, or, you know, the three principles are, it doesn't matter. Everybody's, you know, getting into Buddhism. It's, it's all the same idea, which is that it's our thoughts that make us suffer. Our thoughts caused the suffering. And even if there's no change whatsoever in this situation, if you have a shift in the meaning that you are subscribing to the situation, you will suffer less, you will experience less pain.

Speaker 1: Yeah. What do you find working with these women? Obviously you've made a huge shift from working in the role you were in, in your business agency to leading women. What's one of the common things you observe that women show up with when you're working with, when they first start with you like this, this seems to be a common baggage that people are bringing that. Now you can see probably more plainly that you didn't see yourself at some point, what are those things? So that the signposts that you start looking for when you're really one, you know, a woman's ready to make the shift into that. She's standing in this blind spot.

Speaker 2: I would say the biggest thing that I see is what Steven Pressfield calls resistance. So, which is my favorite book, by the way. And I've read it zillion times, right? Is that I often refer to it as the Monday, Tuesday swing. So women will come to me and they'll say, Oh my gosh. I mean, generally I work with women in one of three situations, either they're in a, in a job or in a business where they're, they want to Uplevel, like I've been, I've been going at this rate forever and I want to Uplevel, right. Or they want to have someone else see them. I want to aging or producer, or I want to get onto stages. I want to be accepted. Or they have some dream that they've never lived out. And very often it's a creative dream. So I finally want to design the jewelry or do the painting or write the book or whatever.

Speaker 2: Right. And this happens in midlife, get, we get called to greater contribution. And so what will happen is on Monday, they'll come out of the shoot and they're like, Oh my God, I'm freaking genius. Right? Like everybody needs to know what I have to say. And this is going to be amazing and I'm going to do this. And they do all this planning work and they get started. And then on Tuesday they wake up and it's like, whose idea was this a stupid idea? Right? I'm an idiot. And the swing from one day to the next is so dramatic. And their resistance is so strong, right? Because your brain is just, your ego is just screaming. Don't do that. That's not safe. Let's get your name. Your brain loves certainty. And even if life stinks, even if we're not doing anything, as long as your brain, certain that we're not going to do anything tomorrow too. It's fine. As soon as you engage and start to make those moves, the resistance is just amazing. I would say that every single woman who I work with has that swing at one time or another. And if you can recognize an advance, it's going to happen, then you can be aware and you can even about it. Right. And I still have it too. You know that everybody has it that Monday, Tuesday suede met. I'm amazing. Oh my God. You know, I'm a piece of crap. Right? It's happened like this. Yeah.

Speaker 1: Yeah. I'm glad you described it as the ego is, job has this place has keep you safe in harm's way. But that's really, really good it's role. And sometimes people, I have to do this where I say, Ooh, I see you. I see myself thinking really stupid thoughts like that. Like, who are you? What are you was like, Ooh, I see you. I see you thinking there. And then it goes, Oh, you saw me. And it scrambled, like I approached it in the light and I was like, good is left. It's it's gone for now. Like I know it's not

Speaker 2: Right. This is the other thing I think that people get really caught up in is what am I going to do about it? Like I've got to do something. And I do think there's benefit to state, to physical state change, right. To, you know, taking a walk or shaking it off or whatever, but that doesn't always work. You know, there's, there's nothing to do other than to see, Oh, I'm stuck in thought. And to know those thoughts are going to go with, I'll go away.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah. That's such a great point. And you talked about this, the Steven Pressfield book, the war of art and that resistance. That's the thing. I always tell others because authorship, for some reason it shows up really strong.

Speaker 2: Oh gosh, it's a gutsy thing to do to write a book. It really is. And I liked that he also do the work, which I read before every project that I started. And he's just, he really is amazing in the end. You know, he talks about that day that he decided to go pro. And that was a really moving thing for me that, because he was a writer for a long time and it like became a truck driver. Right. Because he was writing, became a truck driver. And I think we all have things that literally things that would change our lives that we deliberately avoid doing because the danger just feels too high. And it's in the danger is the, that's all the juice. Right. That's where it's all at. So I think recognizing resistance and it's not always just thoughts too. Sometimes we don't realize we're thinking it. And all of a sudden we got laryngitis right here. We trip walking out the front door or, you know, whatever. Everybody knows how it works.

Speaker 1: Right. Yeah. And I think that's the whole point of, you know, I tell authors when you get, like, you start thinking, Oh, maybe I wrote the wrong book. I should start over. That's the resistance. You're on the right path. It's not the sign you're running.

Speaker 2: Yeah. And you know what? I couldn't, I had to not read my book as I wrote it because of that. Like I, I used the writing madly technique. And so I would write and write and write. And I outlined my draft. My I outlined first and I wrote sections of the outline, but I never read them again until I was done with the first draft, because it took me 50, 49 years to write the first chapter. And I would have just edited it every day for the next 50 years if I was given that opportunity. So I knew I couldn't do that. I knew I couldn't. I knew that I would say, Oh my gosh, I'm writing the right wrong book. And so when I went back and read the first draft, there were whole sections of it that I didn't even remember writing.

Speaker 1: Great. Could you start doing it? Like you're driving? Like how did I get home?

Speaker 2: Yes, exactly. Like that. Yeah. Yeah. What just happened here?

Speaker 1: No, I tell them, I tell people that, like I said, look, number one, it's not your fault, but you weren't trained to be a writer. You were trained to be an editor in school where like, what grade do I want? I want a edit today. Or I'm a B student I'm going to work in, edit it to be, but we don't just show up. How do I want to show up here and be vulnerable rod be truthful. No, I want to get a grade. That's for the professor. We rarely write for anybody outside of that structure. So we're really good editors or at least to whatever extent we want it to be. So the problem is we attach that to writing. So what I've observed for writers, and I'm glad you shared the experience of writing and not looking back sort of feeling is that your creative brain has no limits. It doesn't know anything was wrong. It has no idea of time. It doesn't feel like it's done anything wrong. That's what's great about creative brain, the analytical brain, the editor brain says, wait, stop. This is not good. This is bad. This is it. Its job is to fix those things. And if you have them work in concert, that's how books never get finished. It's like a professional rinse cycle.

Speaker 2: Totally true. And what I did, interestingly not. So my goal was just to write my first draft in six weeks and to stay in my creative brain. And so, and I was very fearful and I had a coach at the time and I made a deal with her from an accountability partner standpoint that every night before I went to bed, I would choose a space in my house to write and set up a little ritual. So I would clear the space and put candles there and set up my laptop, made it look really pretty. You get excited for the next day. And then I went to take a picture of it and send it to her and say, tomorrow I will write here and then would get it in the morning. And you know, sometimes I was on my balcony sometimes as at the kitchen table. Sometimes I was on the couch or the TV tray. I mean, I made a thing of it every day, but the idea was to wait, I would, I woke up, I, you know, lit, lit the candles and you know, settle, you know, whatever it was, intention. And, um, just started to write.

Speaker 1: Yeah, that's great. I tell authors, you know what? Writing, isn't hard. It's the belief that writing is hard. That's hard.

Speaker 2: Yeah. It's showing up in the chair. That's hard.

Speaker 1: Yeah, absolutely. So one of the things I did cause like one, I couldn't trust me in the computer. Cause every time I said the computer, I would launch into some research mode, which I thought was

Speaker 2: Yes. Got to Google. Got a couple. Yeah, yeah,

Speaker 1: Yeah. What's that quote. So I decided to write it by hand, long hand, which I was like, and I told myself, write in pen so you can erase and just go and then you have to type it in later, but that's not writing. That's just transcribing. That's how it felt. And I would do due dates with myself. Look, Hey, I would sneak into hotels and pretend like I was a guest who

Speaker 2: I have heard people do. I have heard people say that I, I'm not great with being out of my own element. And like, I knew that and I tell myself all kinds of stories about how much time I need to write to and how much space I need. Right. Like my husband tells me that by the time I'm 60, I'll have to quit my job because it'll take me half a day to line up my pencils on my desk. The thing gets worse with every year. Right. Like I gotta have everything just so, and I'm like, God, I can't write if there's dishes in the sink and I can't eat, you know, you tell yourself all this crazy stuff, right?

Speaker 1: Yeah. I've the junk drawer has never been cleaner for sure.

Speaker 2: Clothes were color coded. And my, my silverware. But you know, I think if you set a goal around, I knew I was going to have an editor. I knew I was going to have a proofreader. Both of them, I hired before the manuscript that, and that was another thing that I did was to build myself a few werewolf pages where it was like, okay, I spent money on this and I've engaged other people on this. And I might not show up for myself, but I'll show up for them and I'm not going to throw the money in the garbage. So I, you know, I knew that if it was just like a werewolf ride at midnight, I'll eat my friends and family if I don't have a cage. So I did build myself somewhere with cages and it worked for me and I would recommend that to people.

Speaker 1: Oh yeah. I think that accountability is really key. I like you, I told people, it took me 24 years in 30 days to write my book, 24 years of Fred about it. And 30 days to actually sit down and do the work. And the thing was, I was going to this event and I, I didn't have anything to take as an entrepreneur event where it's like, you're on the hot seats, the mastermind, you talk about your business. And I didn't even have an idea. So I had this book idea. So I wrote it 30 days. Like I can't show up with nothing. That would be like the worst embarrassment to show with nothing. It was a good accountability. And I just broke it down to pieces. How many words I need to write each day? And it was miraculously easy. It was the thoughts that it was hard and the belief and the worry and the doubt and the starting and stopping.

Speaker 1: So you did such a wonderful job. And I know that we're coming here to a close, I want people to understand sort of through the other side, when you're helping women who are kind of in this place, kind of find their, I would say, find their primetime bliss. It just felt so true when I got to the end. I'm like, God, this is so true. This is so good. Like how did I, like, there's so many things I like, this is exactly what I needed to hear. Where do you bring the readers towards the end here? Like, it's one of the, I felt like it's a magical moment. There's a few spots in here, but where for you? Was it the magical when we felt like, I think I got her here, the reader,

Speaker 2: I think, you know, it's interesting now too in the way that the world's moving. But I talked about my friend, Johanna, who I, I just love so deeply. And she became an activist over the course of, you know, through prime time and really made this tremendous shift away from I can. So I must write like, I'm really good at this job. And I make a lot of money at this job. And so this needs to be the most important thing in my life to, I must because I can't look away. Right. I have to March, I have to do these things. I have to show up because I cannot look away. And I think the level of meaning that it brought to her life, you know, toward the end of the book, it's just really a place that I wanted women to be emotionally. And so, I don't know.

Speaker 2: I think for me, that's a really pivotal, it's a pivotal place in the book. And I think right now there are so many people who are feeling that way about dicta, all kinds of different things, right? That they, that this level of contribution that we make the call to contribute at more meaningful levels gets louder as we get older. And if you don't answer the call, it's very hard to live with yourself. It's very hard not to regret it. And most of the women who I work with are at that point, like they're hearing the call and they don't know how to respond. And that's what I helped them do is, you know, what's your message. What's your essence. You know, how do you, how do we get you to a point where you can feel comfortable in that message and comfortable and delivering a comfortable being out in front of your business. So it feels good instead of terrifying.

Speaker 1: Great. I think it's such a great way to reflect on how it helps shape and change people, particularly women. It's such a wonderful read, uh, such a great book. Of course, I thought of many people who recommend this, I just don't want it to be offensive. Like, Hey, here you go. You might need to be cautious as a man. I do that, but I did feel really inspired by it. So I don't want you to think that. I, I say that with every guests, I try to be as honest with guests as possible, how it impacted me or what I'm thinking. A hot flashes, carpools and dirty martinis is such a great book. We'll list it up here in the show notes, tell people how they can connect to learn more about you. It has many women listening, going. I think I need a little more to chew.

Speaker 2: Yeah. So I have my website is do you do hook.com? If you go to free.prime time, juju.com, there's always little freebies there. Whatever's going on. I think the one that should be up when this airs is the essence of influence, where I teach women, how to step into an archetype so that you can show up every day and write or blog or speak or whatever it is, that's at the front of your brand, social media, whatever. And yeah, those are, those are two places where you always find me on my website and there are the free spot is that there's always getting

Speaker 1: Amazing to do. This has been such a lovely conversation. I really am. I felt like I got to know you. I feel really honored to have a fellow traveler on this spiritual walk. We call it life. It was such a, such a gift. Thank you for being a guest here on I'm. Sure. Thank you for listening again, to another episode of authors who lead, we appreciate you being here and we hope you subscribe. So you get this delivered to your device every week. And if you haven't left us a review, please do so. It really helps. And if you have a book in your heart, you've been wanting to write a book. Please go to authors who lead.com and join us on this journey of becoming a published author.

Juju Hook is a consultant, coach, and speaker. For more than a quarter-century, she developed brand strategies for corporations. Today, through online programs, live events, and one-to-one coaching, Juju motivates, inspires, and educates PrimeTime women in topics related to business, life, and relationships.

After launching a successful online branding program and blog at 48 and developing a following of more than 50,000 fans, Juju Hook launched her book, Hot Flashes, Carpools, and Dirty Martinis: The Quintessential Guide for Turning Midlife Into PrimeTime. The book targets an audience of middle-aged women hungry for tools to help them re-invent themselves and answer their call to contribute in a new way.

You can find her branding blog at StrategicJuju.com and her program for PrimeTime women at PositivelyPrimeTime.com.

What We Discuss with Juju Hook:

  • The impetus behind writing her book
  • The decision to show up in her book
  • What is PrimeTime?
  • The power of self-affirmations
  • We are not our thoughts.
  • Signs women are ready to make the shift
  • Juju’s book writing process
  • Listening to your calling

[02:55] The Impetus Behind Writing Her Book

When she was approaching 50 years old, she had a breakdown followed by a breakthrough. She had an altercation with her son that caused his son to climb out the window and run away under the pouring rain. 

She managed to drive her son to school and the school noticed he was soaking wet. This caused the school’s principal to call her out. Juju was so concerned about her son being worried about not doing his homework and being mediocre forever. 

Juju realized that what she believed about “the middle of life from 50 on” were not true. And she woke up to the idea that it was her time and her son was going to leave. She was more qualified, more intuitive, more insightful, and more ready than she had ever been to do something really big. She couldn’t hide anymore. And so that was what precipitated the book.

The anti-aging industry wants to sell solutions to a problem we don’t have. 

Juju’s book was a journey for her. She went out and talked to hundreds of midlife women and almost everybody believed some form of the lies she believed to some extent. Women are plagued by those lies. But the older we get, the less we get worse. 

[09:21] The Decision to Show Up in the Book

Before the book, Juju was writing all about branding, brand strategy for entrepreneurs, and brand strategy for small businesses. She wasn’t sharing a whole lot about herself.

And the book changed things for her. It allowed her to identify a group of people she wanted to serve and what her real purpose was. Now, her level of joy is at an all-time high.

It’s not just about how much of you do you show, but about how much do you show the people around you who are part of your story.

Juju was motivated to tell stories of strong women she knew who were rocking primetime. And that process was very vital for her especially that it was storytelling time for her.

[12:14] What is PrimeTime?

A lot of us come to the end of 25-30-year careers, and there’s this big question about what’s left.

If we perceive it as a time of loss, that’s exactly how we’ll experience it. If we perceive it as an opening to show up for our best shows ever, then that’s the way we experience it. 

Juju has a group online called PrimeTime Posse, of 1000 women who are all in their prime time and a private group of women who are really going to the next level with their brands. She’s just elated to see these women step into their biggest shows to be the star.

[15:00] Sorting Ideas for Her Book

When you tell a story or you write a piece of ad copy or a website, you’re essentially taking people from A to B. And you ask the question, what do I want for people? What do I need this to achieve? 

Juju attempted to drive a point home about lies that women have been told about midlife such as:

  • I’m irrelevant.
  • I’m running out of time.
  • I have extenuating circumstances that prevent me from doing this.
  • I don’t have any more capacity. 

Then she included the sensory details to get readers to have the experience. She wants women to realize that they’re not losing value as they age and that now’s the time to step up. 

[20:23] The Power of Self-Affirmations

Talking to yourself in the mirror allows you to look at yourself. Talk to yourself and also label yourself in a positive way. Then remind yourself that life loves you because the universe has your back.


There are two ways to go through life – (1) believing that everybody’s doing the best they can with what they have to work with at any given moment and (2) believing that everything’s hard and everybody’s out to get you. 

If you believe the first one, you get over stuff a lot faster. You can forgive people a lot faster, you can let things go a lot faster, and you can move on a lot faster. 

[25:16] Overcoming Self-Doubt and Insecurity

We are not our thoughts. And especially insecure thoughts, they’re not based on truth. For every thought that we have, there are 1,000 other alternative thoughts that we could have. They’re transient. They always go away.

Learn to see things and not wrap a big story around it. Not validating the thoughts with the feelings is very freeing.

Insecurity is not going away. It’s going to keep coming back for the rest of your life, especially when it’s time to do something harder to go next level or to try something new. And you’re not going to defeat it. You just have to recognize that it will come to an end and it doesn’t have any meaning. 

It’s our thoughts that make us suffer and that cause suffering. Even if there’s no change in the situation, if you have a shift in the meaning that you are subscribing to the situation, you will suffer less and you will experience less pain.

Episode Resources:

Get to know more about Juju Hook on www.jujuhook.com or follow her on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. Join their Facebook Group PrimeTime Posse.

Juju’s branding blog StrategicJuju.com and her program for PrimeTime women at PositivelyPrimeTime.com.

Link to her book on Amazon: Hot Flashes, Carpools, and Dirty Martinis: The Quintessential Guide for Turning Midlife Into PrimeTime

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