128: Alex Carmeli – How to Write 2 Books in Less Time Than You Think

The Power of Transformational Writing

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. Everybody else

Speaker 2: Thrown us here. Another episode of authors who lead today, I am so excited to have my dear friend Alex. Carmeli. Now we're going to talk to a great deal about how we met, how we connected, but what you need to know about her. She's such a hard worker. She graduated from Northeastern university in Boston in 2016 with of course as ambitious. She has dual degree in psychology, but being someone who doesn't like to follow rules and get a traditional job, she became a full-time personal trainer to make her own schedule controller a time to sit behind a desk. And she was determined not to let be ruined by a corporate life. And the exciting thing is she decided to give that all up and start her own thing. And that's how we got connected. We're going to talk a little about her books, about how she built this incredible community called we built killer teams.

Speaker 2: I'm so excited to welcome Alex, Alex. Welcome. I'm so excited to be here. Super psyched. I know, you know, what's amazing is that when we first met and I tried to trace it back, I was like, what's it from like a podcast interview? I was trying to remember when, so you could tell us where we connected, but one of the interesting things was, is that you're like, well, I leave before the sun rises income homes before the sunset, can we meet anytime after those hours? So that's not the hardworking person. So let's talk a little about where you were when you were working at the gym, you were working as a trainer. And when you decided that writing a book might fit into your plan of somebody who was trying to build something great. Yeah. So first of all, we actually connected, cause I listened to you on the smart, passive income podcast with Pat Flynn.

Speaker 2: And I absolutely fell in love with everything that you were describing and all the words that you were saying literally felt like you were speaking directly to me. So I looked you up, I found your Ted talk. So I started listening to your things. And at the time I was in a job where, like you said, I was working from 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM every single day where I was coaching clients, I was coaching managers. I was coaching and overseeing like multiple gym locations. So I literally had zero time for me. And I probably hadn't spent any time investing in myself for like probably four or five years. And so when I connected with you as well, I had so many ideas about leadership, what it meant to be a leader, how to develop employees the right way, how to coach. And I wanted to write a book because I felt like I had so much to say that wasn't just confined to fitness. And so you're able to help one hone on the ideas that I had and, and giving me a way to express those. So,

Speaker 3: You know, when I first met you though, I was a disaster where like I was all over the place. I was like really needing structure and really needing a space to invest in me. And that's what this book gave me.

Speaker 2: Right. You know, let's talk about that because most people believe that writing a book is difficult and there's truth to that, but it's not what they think. It's not the writing part. That's hard. There's really this internal shift that happens within a person's belief about who they are and what they're standing for. When you started to write this book, I told you, I remember telling this because I tell all my Heinz to be prepared for transformation. That's what I do. I help authors transform, and we're going to do it through a book, but really this is a transformational program. My job is to help you find the better part of yourself, the part you're going into. And you know, some people see it right away. Some people don't notice it later, but most people feel it shifting within them. Let's talk about that experience because if it were just, if I were just helping people write books, it would be so much easier to sell them a widget.

Speaker 2: But what I'm trying to do is help transform their lives and build a larger group of leaders. Let's talk about where you were. You know, you were working at the gym, you were very little time for yourself. I got to try to figure out when you even slept, but you didn't really sleep, but let's talk about that. That belief, that books can be transformational and transactional. You can create a book that tells people about stuff, which is good and useful how to get Instagram fans for gamble. It's a useful book, but a transformational book is something that makes you shift inside of what, what did you observe during the process of writing the book and what shifts did you experience?

Speaker 3: So, one thing that really resonated with me was when you said, if you're starting to shift and change in your mindset, in your behaviors, you know, that you're writing a really good book and that people are going to be impacted if you are going through that change. So in the span of six months that I worked with you and wrote this book, I went from, like I said, feeling extremely stuck, not knowing how to prioritize myself, never thinking about any of my goals, not thinking about what I wanted with my life. Not really even understanding why I was access to fast forward six months later, where I had launched my business, written two books and started to basically rebuild an entire lifestyle when I thought so much of that had to be 10 years away, 20 years away. And so the biggest transformation I went through was understanding, I think this concept of stand in fear, which is the second book that I wrote, but, you know, taking action, even when you are afraid and really understanding the roots of why you're afraid of something.

Speaker 3: So for me, the biggest thing I learned that was holding me back was that I was terrified that my environment was the reason I was a success. Like I was so scared that I was only a good coach, only a good leader because of the place that I was in. So how could I ever go and start a business? And when I started to understand that started to stand in fear, take action. Even when I was afraid, I started achieving all these things that I thought were so far down the line so quickly. And so I think I just started to shift as I worked through that, that book. Right.

Speaker 2: And that's the thing I remember talking about is this is, this is for you first, this book is for you standing in fear in particular, because it's the thing you were terrified to do though. You were asking others to do it. And a lot of times we write a book because we have knowledge and people think that's the best kind of book. He has X amount of knowledge. She has this much experience. So that must be a good book. When my friend Richard Norton, who wrote the book, starting something stupid, which is a great book. He said, he learned from his mentor, Stephen Covey, which is experiences overrated. Some people have one years of experience. They repeat for 20 years. So experienced that already. You can be very talented, very experienced, being very successful without a lot of years behind you. And I think you're a good proof of that. That how six year success doesn't come from the number of years you're doing it, right? That's a misbelief, that's a misunderstanding actually. And it comes more from the work that you're doing, the words that you're saying, the action and input you're having. And I think that's why you're having such success with your groups. Let's talk about the books specifically. Let's talking about the first book and we'll definitely talk about the second one and tell us the title of the book and let people know about why you were writing that book.

Speaker 3: Yeah. So the first book was teacher ducklings to fly. And so this is, this was, I like to think of as a more transactional book as Azule describes, but basically all of my philosophies on coaching, how I think about leadership at the time that I was writing that book. And a lot of it is stuff that I teach in my programs now, but it's really all about how to go about coaching beginners, which I refer to as ducklings, because the beginning of a learner's journey, they are really fragile. You want to talk with them? Not at them. There's so many considerations that go into it. And so for me, it's sort of like a culmination of like my six years of spending like 15,000 hours. I think I counted. It's like 15,000 hours of coaching and leading. It's like everything in this little book that I put together. And the real, real reason too, that I, I started to realize I was writing it is because I wanted to get even clear about what I wanted from my coaching programs once I left my job. And so it ended up being the backbone for a lot of the courses that I have now, a lot of the coaching that I do now as well. So it's sort of like the launch of a business and the way that people could find me as well. Right?

Speaker 2: You create yourself incident authority from no, no one knew who you were. You were working in a gym working long hours, ridiculous hours, giving a lot, not being as fulfilled as you would like having differences of opinion about how things could go. And then you decided to write this book to help say, this is what I've gained, the wisdom I have. So your expertise counts from being in the field coaching for 15,000 hours or whatever number hours. It's a, it's a lot of support. But tell me about like for the listeners who don't know, when you think about this, I'm, I'm blown away. You invested, you know, some, even amount of money in this program to write a book. You weren't exactly certain, it's not a program about how to build a business. That's not what I'm teaching. It is the backbone. As you mentioned a business, because you're clearing your mind about who am I really in this world, you decided to take a whole year off, you saved enough money that you didn't have to work for an entire year. Tell us about how you made a decision. I bet you didn't tell us the reaction of your peers when you said I'm quitting and I'm taking a year off and I'm writing this book and I don't know where I'm going to go.

Speaker 3: Yeah. So when I joined your program, like obviously it was the first time I invested in myself in a while, but then I just sort of kept doing it in small ways. So I started getting up even earlier. So I, first of all, I fired a lot of clients. So I kicked out like all my clients from 5:00 AM to 9:00 AM. So I took a hit on some of my money in order to invest time in writing the book, exploring other options for the business. And I started spending, I think like every single morning, those early mornings, all my weekends, just learning and learning and trying to absorb and trying to work on myself. And I just had this moment one weekend where a kid, you know, I was sitting in the office, our office with my boyfriend and I just started crying. And I'm not as though, you know, this, I'm not a super emotional person.

Speaker 3: I'm a very logical person. And I was going through a course and I was just so excited by all the things I was learning and the thought of having to go back on Monday to a role where, and to be around people who didn't believe in my values was absolutely just crushing. And it was just this moment of like, if I don't do this now, when am I going to do this? And this wasn't even something I thought about for a long time, I just sort of looked at my boyfriend, my partner. I was like, um, I think I need to quit. And he was like, are you sure? Like, don't you want to like build up more? Like you aren't even, like, you don't even have a business yet. And I was like, no, I think it's the right time. So I went through and budgeted for like what I would need for food, rent, health, like everything. And I wrote everything out and I figured out, like, I could do this for a year, even if I made no money. Luckily that hasn't been the case. Luckily the business has taken off, but it wasn't a long thought out thing. It was this one moment where I just absolutely saw the path of like never being able to, you know, saw the path of just never ending like slavery. I should say to like this one corporate environment where like, I would never get to do what I wanted with my life,

Speaker 2: Powerful, my friend and fellow author, Scott Voelker calls it that take action moment. That moment where you just say, this is what I'm doing. It has profound shift in your life. I remember the same thing I decided I would write a book. It was my shift to it's crazy. It is the reason I teach what I do. It's like, it changed everything in me. It wasn't because the book was made millions of dollars. It was because the shift happened in me that I have something to say, and I know I can do this being good about how good the book is and what I was looking for. I was like, I want to change my life. And that moment

Speaker 3: It's so true. And I feel like maybe I'm making it sound really easy. But at the time where I was working, these people were literally my family. They were everything because I had it invested. Like I didn't have time to see friends outside. I didn't have time to see my real family. Like this was everything to me. And I had also just gotten a promotion where I was like now being promoted to like director status. I got a huge raise. And like so many people were expecting so much. And literally after I did this, like it changed the entire support system that I had in like a week, which was like even scarier than I think taking a year off to grow a business. So I think it definitely wasn't as easy as that moment as I made it sound too

Speaker 2: Right. Emotionally and deep inside, it was a huge risk and a big change. So let's talk about the change. So I think it was really fortunate is the group you were in. When we had those who are listening, I run coaching groups. So people join a cohort, they start together, they finished together and it was a really small group. I usually don't have some groups that small I made. I actually made an exception because I really wanted you to be in like morning was the only you like that time of day really worked for you or the evening. Sorry. And so I agreed, but that meant there only a couple people, but it actually been was a really amazing group. Like it was an incredible collection of people as all the, I mean, I feel that way about a lot of groups, but that, I think that was a special group in that way.

Speaker 2: So much shift happened before people even finish writing their books, which is really a powerful thing when you're like, Oh my gosh, my life changing. What's going on with me? And I know it seems if you're thinking, Oh, it's just writing a book, not the way I teach it because I really want people. My job is to help the author transform. That's how I know the content will transform others. It's not words on the page. Just so many. If you go into a bookstore library, there's bazillions of books, those books, you don't have any idea of how they impact people. But I know if the author is impacted, then I know I've changed one person's life. And so that's why I focus so much on that. It's the counter intuitive approach to the writing books, which would say, find the market, find the niche, what can sell. That's true. That's an important way to build a book. It works, but what it doesn't do necessarily is give the person who's writing it, the joy and transformation they need.

Speaker 3: Yeah. And it's so true that shift to focusing on transformation versus like the transactional was, was so, so big because I think if I had focused just on the transactional, like I wouldn't probably wouldn't even be here with you right now. So it is,

Speaker 2: Yeah. We're coming up on a year soon that we've met right. First phone call. I think it wasn't November, December. It was late in the year. So it's close to here. Right? So, you know, you're making investments, you're making decisions. Let's talk about this idea of starting a business, because some people don't understand the power of a books and building a brand or business. How did you know that this notion of we built killer teams could work for growing and building something new? And we'll talk a little about what you do now in your business. How that became something from a book. You know, if someone on the outside said, this is someone who is a personal trainer, who's now coaching these people all over the country and sometimes all over world. How did that happen in such a short period of time? So I want them to be clear how you made decisions, because I think people think that it has to be perfect and that's not true, but let's talk about, we build killer things. How did you decide what was the next step as you were writing the book so that people can see behind the scenes?

Speaker 3: Yeah. So I think when I first started writing and when I first joined your program, like I didn't have any following, following. I don't even like how to say that. I didn't have people that were on my team. So to speak, who were going to read the book, buy the book, buy my coaching services outside of the field I was in, right. I was totally confined to just fitness. So I think the big shift was really in, like for me, whenever I've had a big change in my life, it's because I built the right community around me. So whether it be like a team of clients, whether it be like the right team of employees, like there's a lot of power and people who believe in a common vision and a common mission. And that's what I had so much success in my last role because I building teams that work for something bigger is what I'm good at.

Speaker 3: Like uniting people in that way. And so we built killer teams was born because actually because of the pandemic and I was hoping to build a leadership movement in person in Boston, that wasn't the case. So instead I decided, all right, I'm going to take this online. Instead I started aligning myself with the right people, other people who also had the same vision as I did for building movements, building communities. And then from there, I think people wanting to be part of a group that is there for support, gives them a space that they don't always have in their typical life. Like for me, when I was an employee, finding your space was what caused that shift. So when I, for me, like when you change your environment, everything changes. So creating group for me was in the hope that other people have that same shift, where they joined that group, they start to change their environment from joining our zoom calls, from getting on the lives, from doing the challenges from that group, they build their own third, a new support system through this platform. And then they can go through a similar shift that I went through.

Speaker 2: Right. That's awesome. I bet you, it was scary getting that first one person that first two people, but then it begins to get excited. Like, Oh my gosh, people are actually listening. People were actually like paying attention. What was it like when people are turning to you? Like tell me, coach, what do I do? I mean, I know you were coaching before. It's a different realm, but what was that like that initial shift where like this book and this form is actually growing.

Speaker 3: Yeah. Honestly, it's so different. Like coaching in person with people you built so much trust with is totally different than getting on live to a group of people who don't know, you don't care about. You don't believe anything. You have to say. So it's an entirely different trust-building process. So I kid you not. I think the first time I went live in the group and tried to do something in the group, it took me 40 minutes to even just go live. Cause I just sat there and was like, Oh my God, like, what am I even going to say? Like I wrote out every single word I was stuttering. I was anxious. I, it was horrible. And I had to do that every single time for the first month. And now it's literally like nothing I get on live. I do presentations all the time, but it was absolutely terrifying to talk to people you don't know, but eventually like you meet all these people in your community and you understand who you're talking to, but it is very hard at first. Right.

Speaker 2: That's true. That's so true. So let's talk about tell people what you do. What is your coaching programs? Like? What do you offer people and what is your community support look like?

Speaker 3: Yeah. So for me, right now, I'm helping leaders, mentors and coaches build their purpose-driven teams. So what I help them do is unite their customers, their clients, and people who believe in their social mission into one like incredible community. So helping them bring everyone together and build that space for them. So the biggest shift that I teach and that they go through is that we move from a really transactional way of doing business or building teams to a transformational way, sort of like what you're describing, what we talked about earlier. But instead of focusing on the benefits, like the paycheck, the commission that they make, the hour they get when they spend with you, instead of focusing on that, we focus on the journey that you take them through. So for me, the journey that I take my clients through is going from a leader or a coach to an empowered community builder who knows how to start a movement, who knows how to build a team that works for a cause that's bigger than themselves. So that's the biggest shift that I teach in my courses and in the challenges that I do in the groups, I have a variety of ways that I teach it. Awesome.

Speaker 2: Let's talk a little bit about the writing process, because I know that a lot of people are listening in this was as something new for you. Let's talk about from idea to publish. What was it like? So first of all, you came with some ideas. It wasn't like you didn't have any ideas. Most people have some ideas. Let's talk a little about the process of deciding which the idea was, what it was like, what you were thinking and feeling during the writing.

Speaker 3: Yeah. So I, I did have an idea. I knew leadership was always the space that I wanted to write in, which is why I was attracted to your program. Authors who read. So I always knew it was, it was leadership, but getting to the actual idea took a lot of time knowing I, there were so many moments where I was like, this is the idea. No, this is the idea. So there was a lot of that. I think what the biggest aha moment that that might help is, you know, we spent three to four months, literally just trying to gain clarity on like who it is. We're actually talking to. What's the transformation they go through. Like what's the, before what's the after, how do they change as they read your book? What style do you want to write in? Like there were so many things along the way that made me realize as we went through those exercises, like, I don't actually know what I'm writing about as much as I think I do. Like I thought I did. So I think that the most important thing was knowing that like words are really easy. Like it's easy to bang out 2000 words, but they could be absolutely terrible having a really, really good idea. That's transformational, I think was the biggest thing. I hope I'm answering your question in this way.

Speaker 2: Yeah, you're doing great. So let's just give people a sense because they rarely have people not finished books in my programs, but I also rarely don't have people finish two books within the one period that we're writing. So you finished two pretty much during the program. We did. So tell people about the process. How did you manage to get two books done in six months when a lot of people even getting one done as a challenge?

Speaker 3: Yeah. So the, I wrote the first book teacher, nothing stuff. Like I said, we spent the three to four months, literally just getting clarity that as soon as I quit my job or had my last week, we went away on vacation to visit my boyfriend's family. And I spent the entire week just writing the book and I finished it an entire week, like the first draft. And it just came out of me because I was just so ready. And I had just spent so much time. I spent the last month in my job just talking about all these concepts, prepping my teams. And it just felt like it just had to come out. Like, I think it was the combo of like leaving my job, wanting to close that chapter and spending so much time gaining clarity with you that it was just, it was just there in my mind.

Speaker 3: And so clear that now all that was left to do was just put it on paper. And so after that, and one thing you've always said is like, books are born in multiples. So after it was able to get all of that stuff out, I started to realize, I don't know if super powers the right word, but maybe it is, I'll say super power of quote, unquote standing and fear, which is, I started to realize like why I was having more, you know, uh, so much success was literally just because I was taking action, understanding what I was afraid of and doing it anyway. It was such a small thing, but it was the reason that small thing was the reason why I was able to do so much in a short period of time. So then that second book helped launched me into the next phase of my

Speaker 2: Right. I want to make it clear. So most people don't realize that I make people not right for the first couple of months, which is really feels uncomfortable. Like, wait, we're running out of time. Azule like, when are we going to actually write? And like, to your point writing, isn't the hard part. It's what we were led to believe because we create patterns in our work, right? So in school we're like we put off the paper to the last minute, even if we're good at writing, we just like the night before we have this dread within us, that writing is hard. And we forget, you know, you know, you wrote a paper that was supposed take you six weeks at night. Like, why do you think you made it hard on yourself? Because you procrastinated you cause block. What if we can unblock all those things that people call writer's block before you start to write, then when you go to write, you have turned on the funnel and here comes a book.

Speaker 2: But most people try to fix that during the writing. And it's a little bit too late to do it in my opinion, because you get in your head, you start doubting, you start seeing somebody else with a book just like yours or somebody else doing this thing. You start doubting all these things. So the preparation we do is really mindset, transformation. Getting you prepared to be the leader that the book's going to call you to be. That's definitely what I was there with you. I was like, Oh, this is like a really good student. And everything that I teach is coming to life right in real time. Who right before our eyes.

Speaker 3: Yeah, no, that's great. And just to reiterate, like, I was definitely not any different, like when I first started, like even before I invested in really writing the book, working with you, I used to sit on my computer for like 20 minutes and I would just stare at the word count and it would be like 100 words, 20 minutes later. And I'm like, Oh my God, like it's only a hundred words. Like you've got to be kidding me. Right. And so I went from like barely being able to write a hundred words in 20 minutes to just having this book spill out of me in one week's time. Which like incredible.

Speaker 2: Right. And that's, that's the shift. That's the shift we're trying to make with people. It's like the thing they think that's blocking them has nothing to do with writing. And I've taken people. Who've never written a book or self recruited people who were told they're terrible at writing people that said I hated writing. And they wrote these amazing books. They're like, how did you get me to do that? I hated writing because you, you were taught, you were supposed to learn how to write. My belief is no one needs to learn how to write. Yes. If you're a second grader, you don't know how to make letters. Sure. Writing. But even if I went into a kindergarten class that I've mentioned this many times and I handed out that line paper, you know what the picture at the top of the line paper at the bottom, that Brown paper and gave them grants.

Speaker 2: I don't know if they even do it anymore because now everything's computerized. But when I taught elementary school, I could tell a group of kindergarten, we're going to write a story. Everybody pick up your favorite tool, Kranz, whatever I said, we're going to begin. When I say go, you write your story. They would all write a story. Even though they don't know how to make words. And I would go around the room and say, Billy, what's your story about my stories about flying dinosaur. His name is Bob and they have an incredible story. I'm like, that's a great story. But what you see is scribbly lines. Nobody can recognize the problem is we spent too much time trying to tell people how to write the truth is everyone knows how to great. We spend too much time telling them there's no wrong way in a right way. And if you follow this process, it's good. If you don't, it's bad. So people have beliefs about writing. So my job is to unblock all the things, the conscious beliefs that we have in someone conscious about what writing is and what it isn't. And once you can clear, I don't have to teach him how to write. I didn't spend time saying, this is how you write. I spend all my time on blocking the things that kept you from writing.

Speaker 3: And it's funny that the same skill sets of like getting clarity on what you're doing, getting rid of a lot of those limiting beliefs is the same ones that I then carry over before. I'm going to give like a presentation. It's the same ones I use. Like before I get on live, it's the same ones I use to develop a challenge now. So like for me, the book writing process, again, wasn't just the book in and of itself. It was teaching me how to think in a way that was so different from before and in a way that like I could challenge myself or I could say like, okay, is that, is that really the real reason why I think this is happening? Or is there some other underlying reason, or am I missing something? What would my ideal person actually think of this? So it gave me that framework for how to evolve my thinking and carried over to other places, which is why I think what writing a book in this way does for you too.

Speaker 2: Right? And the very fact that once you have this skill, it sort of, at first seemed like a bad way to go. Like I'm training people how to write it so that they don't need me again. And it's sort of like, no, because I'm giving you a skill. I'm giving you understanding. So the truth is you may not ever need me again. And that would be, in my opinion, my success is like, what if you never need me again to write a book? That's what I've observed. People write multiple books. You know, sometimes they only have one book they want write, but when they do, they're like, it's not that I don't need, I might need as well for clarity, like help me figure this book out. But the truth is they have the skill to go forward and create to be the creative that they've been wanting to be and feel confident they can do it.

Speaker 3: No, it's true. But the best leaders teach people how to think. And it's, it's sticky and sustainable. So you're definitely doing your job super well.

Speaker 2: Thank you. I think it's the thing that I tried to teach when I was a teacher is stop trying to teach people what to learn. Just show them how to think, show them what's in their head, what they already have. Don't try to fill it with any more stuff. They don't need more stuff. Don't tell them that this course of history is important. Prove the point that they need to understand why it could be, not that it is or isn't because what if it isn't? What if it's just your belief that this is important? What if it has nothing to do with them? So help them think. But it's really counterintuitive because most of us spend our time in school, learning information, stuff. Even those of us are really good in school. Actually, those of us who are good score, you're really the best at memorizing passing through that and letting it go because we realized that was useless.

Speaker 2: So my job is to teach differently. And that's the thing I got from kids. I realized kids know how to write. I don't need to teach them. They just need the freedom to do well. I'm super excited to have you here. So, so much has happened since we started working together a year ago, multiple books of business, alive, your personal life, the joy I see in you like the confidence that you have, the resolve, that this is not just going to work, that it's only going to get better. Your goals have grown from what they were to what they're going to be, what they are now, as you think about this writing process, because those of you you're listening, Alex is just like you she's sitting in the job, something she was good at, but didn't necessarily love exactly thought she should do something more. So there's nothing, Alex, would you agree? There's nothing particularly special about you. It wasn't like you had some magic pill that you took that you went from having idea to having a thriving.

Speaker 3: Honestly, I, and I say this openly, because I think the only difference between people who are successful aren't it is just that they're action takers. So I don't see myself as particularly special. I didn't have any particular advantages going into this. It's literally just that I decided to stand in fear and take action even while I was afraid. And so I literally the most average person, if that's in my home, anything special or differentiating,

Speaker 2: We are extraordinary. I think you feel average, which is good to know, but let's talk about stead and fear the book, the second book. So stand in fear was a book. I think that was a little more challenging in the fact that it wasn't about the principles of coaching or leading teams. It was more a personal connection to action taking and doing things. Why stand in fear? Why did you feel like that book needed to come? And of course, like I said, they always seem to be birthed together, uh, books, hang on and they want to, they really do want to be boring. They want to come out into the world, but why stand in fear? Why is that a book that you felt like you had to write?

Speaker 3: Yeah. So the first book was like we said a little bit transactional. I did talk about myself and I did talk about the transformation I went through, but it felt like there are a lot of pieces about me and about my journey toward being a leader that were left out that needed to be said. And one thing I did in the first book was I, I used to edit myself out of everything or like, I wouldn't tell people what story allowed me to understand what, you know, different concepts or different coaching principles that I had. I would just give the principal. And I think there was, even though the book I really do love, I think there's a layer of like depth and vulnerability that was missing that you get from this next book. And so this book I feel like is, is the transformation that I went through in order to start taking action, even when I was afraid. Right. And the first book is like my knowledge, the second book is the transformation. So it just felt like I was somewhat missing that. So it felt like it needed to be written down.

Speaker 2: And I remember during the process, there was a moment where I think you had an epiphany about what was holding you back in the book and the breakthroughs that you were having in the moment, which is really, what's great about having a group program. Is it fortunately you and I had a lot of time together before we did the group because the group was still forming. But what I observed is those subtle shifts that you happen when you accept this book is for me first, the standing and fears for me, it's not just for everyone else, because then you don't have to sell the book. You just talk about it as it is. It's like true it's cause it is what happened. It isn't a book about stuff. It's a book about you and your transformation and the transformation you're helping them to get into. What was that shift like when you found that in your book for yourself? Honestly, it

Speaker 3: Was very difficult. One thing throughout the book writing process is like, you start to live the concepts even deeper. And so all of the scary moments that I was going through when I was bringing up past scary moments, I was reliving those past scary moments that I didn't stand in fear in or needed to. I started to become more aware of the scary moments in my life that I didn't even realize were there, that I was avoiding either with my family or at my job or in my business. Like I started to feel those even deeper. And then I was being asked to, you know, write them down and experience them and then think about them even more. So it just felt like there was this mix of like reflecting on what was their feeling, them in the present and an even more deeply thinking about them. So going through that process, just like, it's almost like going through the transformation on steroids where you like really feel every part of it.

Speaker 2: Yeah. I love the way you described that. It's like going through it on steroids because you're, you're, it's like the words are coming through you and an onto the page. It's just a reflection of what's happening. It's not like you're thinking. And that's the hardest part. I tell people don't think in your head, think on the page because that's where you start to observe things that you only, you think your, you know, your thoughts because you're thinking of them. So I must know them. But when you revealed themselves to yourself on the page in a really vulnerable way, then you start to, Oh, that's what I'm thinking. Is that why I'm here? Because that's why I'm struggling. But it is a vulnerable place. It's different than what we're taught in school. Right? We're taught in school, get a thesis statement, get your points beginning, middle end.

Speaker 2: It's this long, it's five pages in high school. It's 10 pages in college. You know, like it's really formulaic and no one reads papers like that. No one's inspired by that kind of work. Are we dig through dumpsters looking for textbooks? Oh, here it is. Right. We don't get taught about life. We get taught about information and the truth is information is abundant. Schools are still surprising to me that exists because they don't prepare you for jobs in life. They're just information. And since information is free, my wonder is why are people so going to schools? You know? But the other thing is you have to learn to do something with it because your degrees don't equal success. They used to like everyone knows, especially if you're in middle of this pandemic. If you're listening to this, that, well, I had a degree, I had a job, I have skills, but those skills can be swept away in an instant. And now you're left with you. And I think that's the thing that's amazing about you is you, even before people were struggling, you decided to put yourself in a space where this was going to be a challenge for me. I don't know how many get out of it. You didn't create, you create a little bit of a safety net, but really the safety net was really thin. It was like a, year's not a long time to write a book, start a business, find your pathway and build a following. And yet you've done it.

Speaker 3: Yeah. You put that so, well, it was definitely a, it's definitely been a challenge, but it's, uh, gave me the life that I've always wanted. And now I know that like, whatever it is that I do want, it's literally an action step away. And just to keep taking those steps,

Speaker 2: Right. Did you fail during those times? Did you make mistakes?

Speaker 3: I definitely made mistakes. I don't see it as failing anymore. Like failing is like, there's an end to something. Someone asked me this question recently, like, what are your biggest failures? And like, I couldn't answer the question. And I realized it was cause like, I don't think about what I'm doing is it there's an end point. Like it's literally just a misstep along the way, but me making a mistake or failing is just illuminating. Like what step I shouldn't be taking? And I can just shift direction. So yes, there's been mistakes, but I never think about it as like a failure.

Speaker 2: That's great. That I think is a beautiful way to think about this. Any of this work is that we're afraid to fail. So we don't. So he takes safe steps. So we succeed. People think that success is the path to freedom, to something bigger actually has nothing to do with successes. Just something, one of those steps in between like a step. If you think about a staircase, a step is only useful. If you move your foot onto it, like it doesn't do any good to have steps, unless you're willing to take those steps. They're just a staircase and they, they can lead to nowhere or they can lead to the perfect spot. But if you don't go onto the, how will you know, we are a great example of one of the students. I'm sure you've always been told you're a great student, but the student that you're great at is not the work that it takes to write a book, but the students are making a shift in your own life first. So that that shift can help others. Because if you didn't make this shift, it'd be really hard to prove and challenge other people that this is possible. Yes,

Speaker 3: For sure. Well, I hope that this story does inspire other people who were just like me, not even a year ago to take really big actions.

Speaker 2: Great. And it's a big commitment. I appreciate you doing so I think the part of it being the big commitment on your part to be a part of a program that's six months, that's a big investment means that you were committed to it. And the commitment paid off. Like I used to not, I take a little, if I could find a course for $37 or if it were free, I would take it, but never really had the results because the truth was, I didn't feel like I took much of a risk. It was free. I didn't do anything. But like when you put something behind it and you're like, Nope, this is what I'm committing to. You see results. I'm sure you saw that with clients in the gym who committed to training versus someone who just had a membership. Like they could go when they went in and they didn't go, it didn't matter. No one noticed them. But when you're committed to a coach where you're committed to somebody, you feel like I want to, I want to do this. I'm not gonna let them down. I'm surely not gonna let myself.

Speaker 3: Yeah, no, it's, it's so true. Like when there are stakes invested, like you show up in ways that you wouldn't have before. So for me, it was, you know, leaving my job like four hours earlier, one night, a week and rushing on the train during prime time to make it all. And usually like literally running across my apartment building to make it exactly by 6:00 PM, the neighbors that I was crazy. Um, but yeah, that's when you, that stake in it, then, you know, you work a lot harder than you normally would. Definitely true.

Speaker 2: And I gotta be honest. I never, almost never make exceptions to what I teach. I usually only teach in the middle of the day, but there was something about you. I was like, I don't know. Like there's just something that I think is important for me to do this even in class, because you don't do them in class. I know, but I'm going to do it anyways. And I'm so glad that it's made all the difference in my life. And I'm certainly grateful that it's made a difference in yours.

Speaker 3: Well, I'm grateful that you made the time for me.

Speaker 2: Yeah. It was amazing how my friend, if you can give any advice to someone out there listening, thinking, I want to write a book. I should write a book, but I don't know if I should. What advice would you give them going forward?

Speaker 3: So I would say you don't have to have the answer before you write the book. If you are feeling and experiencing something, then that's probably the reason why you are the person to write the book. And as you write, you start to learn more and figure out what it is that you need, because those same things are going to be what other people people need. So I think for my friends, I listened to, and even from my community who wants to write a book, they feel like they need this big answer, this big solution. And I don't think you do. I think you just need to be really aware of, you know, what, either a problem that you're having or something you're passionate about and then just start doing and start aligning yourself with the right people. Start changing the way you're thinking. And then you'll have this powerful transformation from there.

Speaker 2: Right? Great advice. Where can people find you if they want to learn more? Of course share both of your books here in the show notes. So if you go to author really.com/podcast, you'll find this stuff at where would we know more about you, Alex and the work you do?

Speaker 3: I think that the best place to find me is in my community on Facebook, we build killer teams. So you could search that. It's just facebook.com/groups/we build killer teams. That's the biggest way I would say to connect with me, but I'm also on Instagram. That's another good place to connect with me. Just add Alex Carmella.

Speaker 2: Awesome. Well, it's been a thrill. I'm so glad. This is, I've been looking forward to this interview for a while. Just so people are going to realize, and also for you and I to reflect about wow, so much has happened in a year. So incredible. Not just in the world out there, but the world in here. So thank you, Alex. It's such a pleasure.

Speaker 3: So it was so great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Speaker 2: Of course. My pleasure. Thank you so much for listening and all those you do. Listen. We appreciate you. I always appreciate your kind and honest reviews. Go ahead, go there, leave one. Be honest. I can handle it, but I want to know that, that your listing and also make sure you share anything that, uh, that you've learned in those comments. Let other people know why this could be a useful pocket for them because the more people will subscribe, get them delivered into your inbox every week. The more times you listen, the better it is for us, because it helps people know about our podcasts. So thank you so much. And we look forward to hearing more from you all. Thank you for listening again, to another episode of authors who lead, we appreciate you being here and we hope you subscribe.

Speaker 1: 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 book.

Alex Carmeli is a leadership consultant, coach, and the author of Teach Your Ducklings to Fly and Stand in Fear. She guides leaders, mentors, and coaches on their journey to building purpose-driven teams that drive income & impact. She also speaks on topics such as team building, leadership, and personal development in her leadership community, We Build Killer Teams. Alex strives to live her life by the mantra “if you’re not growing…you’re shrinking.”

Alexi graduated from Northeastern University in Boston in 2016. Being someone who doesn’t like to follow rules, and get a traditional job, she became a full-time personal trainer, to make her own schedule, become a controller of time, and to sit behind a desk. She was determined not to be ruined by corporate life.

What We Discuss with Alex Carmeli:

  • How writing a book became transformational for her
  • Writing her first book which helped launch her business
  • The decision to build her online community
  • The writing process
  • How she managed to write two books in just two months
  • Dealing with failures and mistakes

[02:53] Writing a Book as a Transformational Process

Alex felt she needed structure and space to invest in herself

Writing a book is difficult. But it’s not the writing part that’s hard. It’s this internal shift that happens within a person’s belief about who they are.

Writing a book is a transformational program. If you’re starting to shift and change in your mindset and your behaviors, you know that you’re writing a really good book. People are going to be impacted if you are going through that change. 

In the span of six months that Alex worked with me in writing this book, she went from feeling stuck and not knowing to prioritize herself to launching her business and writing two books. 

The biggest thing she learned that was holding her back was that her environment was the only reason for her success. She then started to understand how to stand in fear, take action, even when she was afraid. Working through the book, Alex just started to shift.

[07:22] Writing Her First Book

The book Teach Your Ducklings to Fly was more of a transactional book which contains all her philosophies on coaching and how leadership was at that time. It’s a book targeted to coaches who are teaching beginners, which she referred to as the ducklings. 

The book was a culmination of her six years and 15,000 hours of coaching and leading. 

Upon leaving her job, the book ended up becoming a backbone for a lot of her coaching courses that she currently has. It somehow prompted the launch of her business. 

Alex began investing in herself even in small ways. She started getting up earlier and fired a lot of clients to free up her space for writing her book. She invested time in writing the book and began spending every single morning, and all of her weekends, just learning and learning and trying to absorb and trying to work on herself. 

The thought of having to go back on Monday at work and be around people who didn’t believe in her values was absolutely just crushing. And so she faced with the moment that if she didn’t do this now, then when? So she decided to quit her job.

Luckily, the business has taken off. Because it wasn’t something she thought out for long. It was just that one moment where she saw the path of neverending slavery if she kept working in a corporate environment and not being able to do the things she wanted to do in life. 

[16:21] Building Her Community

There’s a lot of power in people who believe in a common vision and a common mission. 

We Build Killer Teams was born because of the pandemic. She was hoping to build a leadership movement in person in Boston. So she decided to take this online. 

She started aligning herself with the right people who had the same vision as she did. And then from there, she naturally attracted people who wanted to do the same. From that seed of hope to change their environment, they got to build their own support system through the platform.

In-person coaching is different from online coaching. It’s an entirely different trust-building process. 

Today, Alex helps leaders, mentors, and coaches build their purpose-driven teams. She helps them unite their customers, their clients, and people who believe in their social mission into one incredible community. She helps them bring everyone together and build that space for them. 

Alex focuses not on the business itself, but on the journey that she takes her clients through going from a leader or a coach to an empowered community builder, who knows how to start a movement and who knows how to build a team that works for a cause that’s bigger than themselves. This is the biggest shift that she teaches in her coaching program.

[21:59] The Writing Process

Alex knew leadership was always the space that she wanted to write in. But getting to the actual idea took a lot of time knowing.

We actually spent three to four months literally just trying to gain clarity on things like:

  • Who are you talking to?
  • What’s the transformation they’re going through? 
  • What it’s like before the transformation and after the transformation?
  • How do they change as they read your book? 
  • What style do you want to write in? 
It’s easy to bang out 2,000 words but they could be absolutely terrible. Having a really, really good idea that’s transformational was the biggest thing. 

[23:41] How She Managed to Write Two Books in Just Six Months

It was all a combination of leaving her job and wanting to close that chapter of her life – and spending so much time getting clarity. And everything got so clear for her that there was nothing left to do but to put it on paper.

Alex began to realize her superpower of standing in fear. 

She felt she was having much success because she was taking action and she was understanding what she was afraid of and doing it anyway. It was a small thing but that small thing became the reason she got to do all this in such a short period of time. So then, that second book helped launched her into the next phase of her journey.

[26:35] Breaking Free from Limiting Beliefs

When Alex began writing, she used to just sit on her computer for 20 minutes and just staring at the word count from 100 words to still 100 words 20 minutes later. Then she spilled it all out in one week’s time. That was the shift. 

The thing people think that’s blocking them has nothing to do with writing. But it’s all those beliefs around writing.

We all have these beliefs about writing that stop us from actually writing. And it’s that moment of clarity when you’re cleared of those beliefs that transformation happens.

[33:19] Writing Stand in Fear

Writing this book was transformational for Alex. There’s a layer of depth and vulnerability that was missing in the first book that you get from this book. And she felt it needed to be written down.

One thing throughout the book writing process is you start to live the concepts even deeper. 

Alex found herself reliving those past scary moments that she didn’t stand in fear and needed to. She started to become more aware of the scary moments in her life she didn’t even realize she was avoiding – whether with your family, at your job, or in your business. 

Going through that process, it’s almost like going through the transformation on steroids, where you really feel every part of it.

Episode Resources:

Teach Your Ducklings to Fly

Stand in Fear

Connect with Alex Carmeli on Instagram @alexcarmeli

Alex Carmeli’s leadership community: We Build Killer Teams

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