As founder of Bestseller in a Weekend® and The Book Funnel, Alicia Dunams has helped 1000s of entrepreneurs, executives, and small business owners become leading authorities in their fields by writing books and eBooks to create a platform for speaking, media appearances, and leadership opportunities.
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3 Key Points:
- The path to success is definitely NOT smooth.
- VALUE your relationships and DO NOT disconnect from people.
- Make sure your life is in order—this is the FIRST step to entrepreneurship.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [01:01] – Alicia comes from Manhattan
- [01:15] – Her entrepreneurial journey started 16 years ago
- [01:33] – What got Alicia into the book business was writing her own book in 2007 – Goal Digger: Lessons Learned from the Rich Men I Dated
- [02:11] – Success is NOT a straight line
- [02:28] – Alicia spent $30K of her own money to learn how to write a book
- [02:42] – Alicia hired a lot of people but no one taught her how to monetize
- [03:11] – She looked at the New York Times Bestseller list to observe how authors monetize their books
- [03:43] – Alicia decided to put up a seminar, “The Wealthy Girl Summit”
- [04:05] – She asked Laura Ling to speak at the seminar and Laura said, “YES”
- [05:03] – If you don’t ask, you will never know
- [06:03] – One BIG and Unique Value Bomb: You need to pre-market your book
- [06:26] – Create a process and a community
- [09:07] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: “I’ve been in a lot of relationships and I haven’t been consistent in that. In 2014, I sabotaged a romantic relationship I was in for 5 years. We broke up, the engagement was off and I moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I wasn’t focused on my business anymore and I was playing catch-up.”
- [12:12] – Make sure your life is IN order
- [12:59] – Invest in relationships
- [13:13] – Connect with people
- [13:46] – Alicia’s life was never about the journey, but the results
- [14:35] – Relationships are scary because we get hurt
- [15:00] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? I have a new video show, “Go Deep”, and my new program, “Authoring Leadership”. Alicia is also excited about The 2nd Wealthy Girl Summit on March 31, 2017 in Los Angeles.
- [18:15] – To learn more about Alicia go to IAmAWealthyGirl, AliciaDunams, and BestsellerInAWeekend
- [19:17] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “Nothing”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Safety is the new risky”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “Getting eight hours of sleep every night”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Tiny Scanner and Rev
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – Disrupt You –
- [20:39] – Connect with Alicia on her website, Twitter and Instagram
- [20:59] – Pray and move your feet
Alicia Dunams: Absolutely, I’m on fire!
John Lee Dumas: Yes! As founder of Bestseller in a Weekend and The Book Funnel, Alicia has helped thousands of entrepreneurs, executives, and small business owners become leading authorities in their fields by writing books and e-books to create a platform for speaking, media appearances, and leadership opportunities. Alicia, take a minute, fill in some gaps from that intro, and give us just a little glimpse of your personal life.
Alicia Dunams: Absolutely! I’m sitting here in Manhattan Beach, California, loving life. I have so many amazing stories to share that fills in the gap of what you just announced. Obviously, it all got started; I would say my entrepreneurial journey got started about 16 years ago. I’ve been an entrepreneur for 16 years. I had to think back on when I had a corporate job and I had a corporate job pretty much for about six months of my entire life. I’ve been an entrepreneur my whole adult life other than that stint.
Really how I got in the whole book business is writing my own book back in 2007 called Goal Digger: Lessons Learned from the Rich Men I Dated. Yes, it is. Through that process, I mean, I can get started, writing that book was really a lesson in entrepreneurship, in social media, in marketing, and starting a business. It all came at the same time and our biggest lessons, we often don’t know what they’re gonna be. I can tell you this: success is not a straight line. It’s making a series of decisions and that taking you on a journey.
One of those decisions, I would say, is writing a book, launching a book, launching that book back in 2007, and really seeing okay, wow, I have a book out there. I spent about $30,000.00 trying to figure out how to write a book and putting – and that was my own money. I know you did a crowdsource for The Freedom Journal, but back then, I just thought I’m just gonna source it myself, which I did. I hired a lot of people: PR, agents, etc., and one thing I noticed is they helped me in terms of writing a book, the publishing, I had a publishing consultant support me, but no one really taught me how to monetize. So, I was $30,000.00 later, spent the money, started to do some T.V., some cool stuff, some T.V. and radio, but then I’m like how do I really monetize this thing?
It really started in the following: I looked at the New York Times bestseller list in 2007. I said okay, what are women entrepreneurs doing on the New York Times bestseller list? At that time, it was Loral Langemeier, Christine Comaford, and Marci Shimoff. So, I took a look on their websites to see how are they making money, how are they monetizing, and really what I saw is they were doing seminars, they were doing coaching, Christine Comaford was doing consulting in Silicon Valley.
So, I said okay, it looks like I’ll put on a seminar and that’s what I did. I go that’s gonna be my path to wealth, is putting on a seminar, and I’m gonna call it Wealthy Girls Summit. So, what I did next was pretty cool. I said okay, let me call these three women and see if they’ll actually speak on my stage. So, I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. This is me just kind of pulling stuff out of the air. So, I called Loral Langemeier first. I had a friend who had her phone number, who coached with her. I called Loral Langemeier and I said, “Hey, I just wrote a book called Goal Digger and I want to do a really powerful seminar to inspire women to make money so they can create impact in the world. Will you speak on my stage?” She said yes!
So, what I found was writing a book was really a powerful entree into a world of influence, really creating that circle of influence where you’re able to access people maybe that you didn’t have access to before. So, with her ‘yes,’ I went onto Christine Comaford, who said yes, and then I went onto Marci Shimoff, who said yes, and then through that process had a summit, Wealthy Girls Summit, a few months later after I launched my book with those powerful women and additional ten other speakers. So, that was a really great lesson in if you don’t ask, you will never know. So, I’m a firm believer of being a master asker, asking people, because that’s the only way you get what you want in life.
John Lee Dumas: I love that story because a lot of people ask me, Alicia, they’ll say, “John, what’s the best part about EOFire,” and I’ll say I get to talk and connect and build relationships with successful entrepreneurs literally every single day. You’re episode 1,547, Alicia. That’s 1,547 conversations I’ve had with awesome, exciting, motivating, enthusiastic people. Fire Nation, when you do things like write books and you reach out to interview people because of those books or do summits or podcasts or web shows, whatever it might be, you’re getting a chance to connect with amazing people to build your influence.
Now, Alicia, I want you to get specific here for a second. Obviously, writing books and everything that goes along with that is an area of expertise that you have. But what’s one thing that us as entrepreneurs don’t know that we probably should in this realm?
Alicia Dunams: Absolutely. So, one thing that you should know is you get pre-market your books. So, a lot of people feel that they really start marketing their book after the book is written and I say no. I want to bust that myth. You get to market your book before you even put pen to paper. Here’s some ways to do that: you want to really create a process and create a community around your book writing. So, instead of writing a book in a bubble, if you will, write a book in community. Write a book and share what your titles are.
I have my clients do like Facebook Live and say something like, “Hey, you guys. I have a couple covers of my book. I would love for you to check them out and join my Facebook group where we’re going to be talking about my book and the book writing process.” Then people go and they join the Facebook group and they get to vote on the particular covers. So, it’s really building community and really creating the environment of anticipation in terms of people really rooting you on, getting excited about your book. What you’re doing is really fostering the community of your first book buyers.
Now, you obviously did that with The Freedom Journal where you did a crowdsourcing campaign and really were taking people’s ideas as part of the creation of the book. So, that’s a perfect example. Whether you crowdsource, whether you’re just crowdsourcing ideas around the title, around the book cover, around your back of the book bio. I’ve had clients who’ve put their bio on Facebook and they’ve had an old English high school teacher edit it for them. So, hey, how cool is that? And maybe questions that you can have in your book or people you should interview. So, make it a crowdsourcing type of process and then through that, you’re pre-marketing your book and setting the stage for your book launch.
John Lee Dumas: See, I love all of this, Fire Nation. Market before you launch. So many people are like, “Okay, my book’s live! Why aren’t people lining up to buy the book?” It’s because nobody knows about it. You haven’t marketed your book. You haven’t taken the time, energy, and effort to create buzz, to create that launch. I’ve been marketing for the last two months The Mastery Journal because here Alicia and I are chatting, it’s actually in November, this interview is going live in January, but I’ve been marketing The Mastery Journal’s launch now for two months. So, by the time that it actually launches on January 23rd, get your markers out, circle that date on your calendar, you will know about it because I’ve been marketing about it for four months by that time.
So, it’s so critical to realize the opportunity that you have as an entrepreneur. There’s no rule books to follow, that you have to wait until a certain date. Start today.
Now, Alicia, you and I have got to hang out multiple times. We were just actually hanging out a few weeks back at Amy Porterfield’s great B-School event. That was a blast. You and I have had dinner together with Lewis Howes in San Francisco before. We’ve seen each other over the years and I know that you’ve had a great entrepreneurial success story, but you’ve had some struggles too. What I would like you to share with us right now is what you consider your worst entrepreneurial moment to date. Tell us that story, Alicia. Take us to that day.
Alicia Dunams: It’s interesting; it just shows that your life is not in a bubble. I would say probably my worst entrepreneurial story has to do when I’m having trouble in my relationships in life. So, one thing I’ve looked at is I’ve been in a lot of different relationships. That’s like romantic relationships and I haven’t really been consistent in that. I’ve looked into that and this being fearful of intimacy and what that looks like in my business as well. So, people have said that I’m intimidating and I’ve even heard, “Oh wow, Alicia, she’s really intimidating.”
I would say that one thing that’s been really supportive of my journey and that maybe being fearful of intimacy and connecting is really learning how to be connected and intimate with people. That’s really been huge in my business, in my coaching business and my consulting business. It’s been really huge. So, I went through a huge breakup a couple of years ago –
John Lee Dumas: Well, let’s hear that because I want to hear one specific story. I want you to take us to that moment, Alicia. What was the day? What was the year? Walk us through that story.
Alicia Dunams: Well, in 2014, I’d basically been an entrepreneur for 16 years and I’ll just say in terms of my personal life in 2014, I basically sabotaged a romantic relationship that I was in for five years and was engaged. We broke up, the engagement was off, and I moved from San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles. This is where it really impacted my business because I wasn’t focused on my business anymore. So, I feel that almost sabotaging my relationship that I was with, which was a perfectly fine relationship, and it gives us pause to look at what are we sabotaging in our life and why are we doing it? Is it because it’s a distraction so we can’t focus on the powerful stuff we can do in the world?
So, when I moved from San Francisco and moved to Los Angeles, I was really playing catch up, so I was behind. This kind of rebuilding my life and my personal life really took away from my business and it was really a huge distraction. When I look at people who are really successful, usually they stay – they’re in relationships, strong relationships, both in business and outside of business. So, it made me restart. It made me have to start over versus growing something that was really strong already. So, I don’t know if that was specific enough without going into too many details.
John Lee Dumas: Well, there’s never such a thing as too many details on EOFire, just a little FYI, Alicia, for your next story. But I really want Fire Nation to take away from this is you really just need to make sure that you have your life in order. You need to make sure that you’re eating right, that you’re sleeping right, that you’re exercising, the nutrition, the food that’s going in your body, the relationships that you’re having, everything has to do with your business. Everything is gonna intertwine, especially in today's world where we are our brand. We are our story.
So, we need to make sure, Fire Nation, that we’re just looking at our overall picture. There’s no such thing as these independent little silos that people love to do. They say my business is here, my personal life is here, this is there, this is – no, you are your business as an entrepreneur so just embrace that. So, that’s my big takeaway, Alicia, from your story. What do you want to make sure Fire Nation gets from that worst moment?
Alicia Dunams: Absolutely invest in relationships, be an integrity, absolutely be vulnerable, be transparent, and one huge takeaway I got from this is really connect with people. Really connect. That’s one thing that I learned with my clients and even doing a whole – I did a whole workshop dedicated from this kind of loss of intimacy, loss of being fully distracted in this moment, and really connecting with people. I called the workshop Freedom Through Intimacy and I did this as an experiment and a stretch, something to stretch into. Because I was so net-net, I was so results oriented my whole entire life, I was never about the journey, I was all about that results.
When I was focused on the result, I wasn’t focused on the nuances, the relationships, the highs and lows, really honoring all of those levels of life. So, it took me to do some really powerful stretching in those areas and today, in terms of my relationship with intimacy and being connected with people and really going deep, which is the name of my new video show is Go Deep, is going deep with people and not being afraid.
So, I think a lot of entrepreneurs hide behind their computers. They hide behind their iPhones. They don’t want to connect with people. Numbers are safe. Mathematical algorithms are safe, but relationships are scary because we get hurt. When we get hurt, we build up walls, and when we build up walls, we disconnect from other people.
John Lee Dumas: Alicia, you mentioned what you have going on right now, what you’re kinda fired up about, Go Deep. Let’s kind of bring things to present time and let’s talk a little bit about that. What are you really excited about in your world today?
Alicia Dunams: Oh, my goodness, I have so many things I’m excited about. First of all, I do have a new video show called Go Deep, which is intimate interviews with today’s influencers. Super excited about that. That’s weekly.
John Lee Dumas: Little side note here, Alicia. If you want to fly down to Puerto Rico to interview me, absolutely.
Alicia Dunams: I’m there! A couple of other things I’m super excited about, I’ve been doing Bestseller in a Weekend for years. I’ve been helping business owners and entrepreneurs write books, become bestsellers. One thing that I realized through that process is that the book writing process is transformational. I’m someone that’s really focused on leadership, developing my own leadership and leadership in others.
So, I just launched a new program called Authoring Leadership and it’s really a team building collaborative process to support people, whether I go into corporates or non-profits, support people in really developing vulnerability through storytelling and writing collaborative books. I’m super excited about that program. I’m gonna be working with girls who are getting out of sex trafficking. These are girls from 11 to 17, and again, it gives them the opportunity to write a new story.
Veterans, I’m also in discussion and going into veterans’ organizations as well and supporting veterans in writing their story, a way to get past post-traumatic stress disorder because writing and expressing and storytelling, vulnerability, very powerful at breaking down those walls I was talking about before and really being able to connect on really deep levels with people and heal. So, very excited about Authoring Leadership.
Something else I’m excited about is I started off talking about Wealthy Girls Summit, that was my first entree into the seminar world. I am doing another one, I’m launching the second Wealthy Girls Summit on March 31st, 2017 in Los Angeles and I’ve got some amazing, powerful speakers including Lisa Leslie of the WNBA –
John Lee Dumas: She can dunk, by the way.
Alicia Dunams: Absolutely, she can. She’s the co-author of the book From the Court to the Boardroom and her co-author, Bridgette Chambers, is gonna be a speaker as well. Also, I have Jackie Christie will be there, of VH1 Basketball Wives. I have New York Times bestselling author, Nicole Lapin, who’s gonna be speaking and amazing, powerful female entrepreneurs who are going be supporting women. It’s all about creating that networking, essentially as you’re talking about, networking with people so you increase your net worth to increase your impact in the world.
Because we gotta admit to it, the more money you have as an entrepreneur, the more jobs you can create, and the more impact you can create in terms of charitable giving and creating initiatives and just giving back in a whole new level. So, those are the three things I’m super excited about.
John Lee Dumas: Wow, love all of those things and we’re gonna hit this up again at the end of the show. But just real quick, where can the listeners go to find out some more details about this stuff?
Alicia Dunams: When it comes to Wealthy Girls Summit, you can go to IAmAWealthyGirl.com and to find more about myself, AliciaDunams.com, and BestsellerInAWeekend.com.
John Lee Dumas: Love it, and again, we’ll link all that up in the show notes, Fire Nation. We’ll be mentioning to again at the end. I love what you’re doing, Alicia, going in and really talking about the PTSD that veterans deal with. That’s personal to me because I’m a veteran, I went to Iraq, I came back, I dealt with PTSD, so I know how serious that can be. There’s just hundreds and thousands of veterans that are dealing with this. If they could just have the right conversations, if they can just get the right information, it doesn’t just have to be as bad as it is for so many right now. So, thank you for that.
Again, Fire Nation, Authoring Leadership, Go Deep, just a couple of the things that we’ve been talking about so far. Again, we’re gonna be having everything on the show notes page. We are going to crush the lightning round after we thank our sponsors. Alicia, are you prepared for the lightning round?
Alicia Dunams: Yes!
John Lee Dumas: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Alicia Dunams: Nothing was holding me back from becoming an entrepreneur. It was my only choice.
John Lee Dumas: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Alicia Dunams: Safety is the new risky.
John Lee Dumas: What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Alicia Dunams: Getting eight-hours-plus sleep every night.
John Lee Dumas: I’m obsessed with that, by the way. If I don’t get eight hours of sleep, I’m like what am I doing? I need eight hours of sleep. What’s an internet resource like Evernote that you can share with our listeners?
Alicia Dunams: I love Tiny Scanner, which is an app, and Rev.com.
John Lee Dumas: If you could recommend one book, what would it be and why?
Alicia Dunams: Oh, Jay Samit, Disrupt You. It’s about the disruption economy and, again, being risky.
John Lee Dumas: Love it! Had Jay on the show, such a great entrepreneur. And Alicia, I want to end today on fire with a parting piece of guidance for Fire Nation, the best way that we can connect with you, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Alicia Dunams: Absolutely! So, you can go to AliciaDunams.com to find out more information and BestsellerInAWeekend.com and you can find me on Twitter and Instagram at @AliciaDunams.
John Lee Dumas: And what’s that parting piece of guidance?
Alicia Dunams: Parting piece of guidance is pray and move your feet. It’s not all about just hoping. You’ve got to take action.
John Lee Dumas: Move your feet, Fire Nation, both figuratively and literally. I’m standing up right now and I’m moving my feet. I’m walking in place. I’m moving. Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with and you’ve been hanging out with AD and JLD today, so keep up the heat and head over to EOFire.com, just type ‘Alicia’ in the search bar. Her show notes page will pop up with everything that we’ve been talking about today. Best shows notes in the biz, time stamps, links galore to everything we’ve been talking about.
Of course, Alicia’s headquarters is over at AliciaDunams.com. Go check it out, links to everything from there. And Alicia, I want to thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, girl, we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flipside.
Alicia Dunams: Thank you.
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