Kajabi Entrepreneur Stories of Inspiration What's Working NOW for Author Jen Milius
Kajabi entrepreneur stories of inspiration and author interview with Kajabi hero, Jen Milius, selling memberships for writers. Entrepreneur stories of inspiration, stories of failure and success, overcoming fear, writing your first book and using clubhouse ideas inside.
1:05 What’s working now for Jen
1:49 The story behind TufFish™
5:08 Glimpse of Jen’s Kajabi site
6:14 How Jen is using Clubhouse to connect with writers
10:16 What a developmental editor does
12:39 Challenges Jen sees others facing with writing
18:31 What Jen wants to leave you with today
For the full transcript, see below.
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Connect directly with Kajabi hero & PBK member, Jen Milius at https://www.jennifermilius.com
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Then I would also, if I hadn't gotten something in a couple of days, I would start to send her a little jiffs of like a hungry fish because I told her, yeah, there's beta readers, but I don't want to be just a beta reader. There's beta fish fish sounds so much better feature fish. So I would send her, Jeff's going,
Hey, I'm hungry. Hey, where's the food. And then when she'd send me something, I'd send her happiest things. Or if it hadn't been for a while, I'd sent her once that looked like the fish was dying. This end more is in store for you today on this episode of open for business. As I sit down with PBK our entrepreneur and author,
Jen Milius and you talk about what's working for her right now in her business as we kick off 2021. All right, Jen. So let's dig in and really talk about like, what's working for you, you know, 20, 21. We've pretty much got a year of the pandemic under our belt. My goodness. But what's working like what's going really well for you right now.
Well, something that you helped me with toward the latter part of 2020, which is tough fish. So the tough fish is just something that makes my heart just super, super happy. And, and like you said, it takes all the things that made me, me and the things that I really got excited about and kind of each, they all kind of found their own space.
So it's a nice umbrella for a few different things that are going on. So you have to explain to people first, let's do the story behind tough fit to me. This is why it is so ideal for you and how you came to agree that it was a good name and what exactly is the tough fish? Well, it, so I'm an avid reader.
I'm a first gen who ever since I was a little kid, I was, I would take a paper over at standardized tests any day of the week in college, I would sit there with the dictionary, open it up just to find a word added in no big deal. And I always journal, I have been a journaler forever. So when I started writing my own books,
I started connecting with other authors and one particular author. We just developed an amazing friendship. We're really good business buddies were good friends, actually, even in real life. And, and she's just an amazing human. And she had asked me to beta read, well, a beta reader is something. Usually you do that for free, but it's someone who is just reading the book to give you feedback.
It's not necessarily pacing or showing versus telling or plot holes or character development. They might say, Ooh, a little bit more here. Or I really liked this, but they don't necessarily, they're not reading for grammar. They're just reading for, did I enjoy the story or is there something I might like a little bit more of or less of? And so I would read,
but I didn't really have a parameter around what that meant. I just read the way I, you asked me to help you. You haven't published this. So I'm reading and editing essentially going. This needs to don't tell me you're cold. Show me your cold talk. Show me by, you know, can I see your, my breath? They might crossing my arms and rubbing things up and down.
You know, am I, am I cold? You know, versus just telling me. And I would start to brainstorm with her about how to torment characters. And she would laugh that I was becoming the person who was helping to kill off or torture characters. And that her act, her editor for proof and copy and a line item, that line item,
that kind of thing was going it's okay if we save this one and she was like, but I'm like, but let's just help them grow just a little bit more. Let's just develop them just a little bit more. It became a playful joke with us, but it also, every time I would get a chapter, I would give her feedback. But then I would also,
if I hadn't gotten something in a couple of days, I would start to send her a little jiffs of like a hungry fish because I told her, yeah, there's beta readers, but I don't want to be just a beta reader. There's beta fish fish sounds so much better feed your fish. So I would send her, Jeff's going, Hey, I'm hungry.
Hey, where's the food. And then when she'd send me something, I'd send her happiest things. Or if it hadn't been for a while, I'd send her one that looked like the fish was dying. So, so it was intended to help create motivation, but she even said that it made it fun and it helped keep things moving. And then she told me,
she's like, you're really one tough fish and that kind of stuck. And then in sharing that with you, you just, yeah. I mean, just the expression. If everybody gets a chance to see this, then, I mean, it just kind of clicked. So that's where it actually came from the tough fish, The fish, I, it did.
It clicked in. And as you told me the story for the very first time, you know, we had been talking through different directions and different ideas. And I know as soon as I heard it, knowing you all the pieces immediately fell into where they were always meant to be. And it was like, okay, I can see this a month from now.
I can see it six months from now. I can see it 20 years from now. I might not know the exact pathway, but Oh, it's tough fish. It is a thousand, 2000 per cent. And watching you that now start to create, you know, this pond for writers is just abs it's delightful. It's just absolutely delightful. So how,
how has that cause it is it's working. You're I mean, you're on clubhouse. You're chatting with people right left. You helped me with the open for business book. Like the pond is, you know, fish work whenever they do fish sleeping out of the water, jumping up the fish ladder, like a hopping pond to say the least, Oh,
well, thank you. So the pond actually is, has the tagline, if you will love swimming upstream while going with the flow, because sometimes it is a challenge to either get that story out or you have that story and now you need to get it into the market. So how do you talk about this book? How do you get it in front of people?
How do you have an event? How do you, if it's something that's appropriate for a speaking piece, how do you talk about it? How do you find those speaking engagements? So those are things that I can help with too. And so that's one facet underneath this. There's a membership for tough fish. So there's pieces like that. There's a mindset piece.
There's also accountability. Like here's the space come show up. Let's right. That's co-work so let's talk and get to know each other. And there's also spotlight opportunities. There are the new content to be going in based upon things that we're learning. If you say we need something, then I want to get that in there for you, or get a guest opportunity to get you in with the right people.
And there's also a podcast where we feature authors. So people who have published their books and they are courageously sharing them. And that, that's the thing that they have in common. It's not about the genre. It's not about the business model. It's really about the fact that they wrote this book and they're excited about it. And they courageously got out there and shared it and I want to help them share it.
And I want to help hear their story and encourage others because they did it and let's get other people doing that too, so that they want to talk about it because not all authors want to talk. And then like a video case or a podcast case. It's a little scary in some spaces, but I want to make that space comfortable so that they do get comfortable and they do have another vehicle to share their work.
And I love that. But common thread is people that have a book inside of them. They have something they want to say, it's not, I have a business book or I have this thriller, or I have this kid's book. It's the, I have this thing inside me because when you have something inside, you know, it like, you know,
it's there, but yes, that I have you having published multiple books, you know, all the things that go into it. And I think that also it takes away that overwhelming fear of, yeah, I have this thing inside me, but yeah, it's just going to die with me because I don't, I don't know what to do. I don't,
there's no one that in my, you know, world that understands this thing that I need to get well, and I love that you have brought together all of your corporate stuff, all of your entrepreneurs stuff, all of just your lovely, personal, you know, like you as a person. Thanks. Because it is, I mean, it's a long to write a book is a heck of a lot to actually get it out there into the world.
What is it that is like, cause I know clubhouse is working for you right now. So can you talk a little bit about that? Like just connecting with people and sharing with them. Cause I think that's working for you really well right now It is. I joined, I've only been in clubhouse a couple of weeks, but I joined and just decided to listen a little bit,
but then I stumbled across people saying, I'm trying to write a book or what's going on with that. And from the one-on-one services, the editing services that I can do, I can talk a lot about like, here's some things to think about as you are architecting your story because that's what a development or developmental editor does. They look at the big picture.
It's not about the cost of the actual grammar. I will point it out as a courtesy, not necessarily going and actually editing. Like you typically think I'm looking at the structure of the book and the flow and their holes and the messaging behind it. So those have been nice topics to talk about inside clubhouse, both supporting others in their rooms, but also I'm a fellow PBK or Julie Duffy.
She has a story a day may. And so we compliment each other with getting the story out and then how to talk about it. Once you have this and you want to move forward, we're kind of helping each other on the dancing of that, if you will. So we've been start, we started hosting. We're just kind of experimenting to see what comes up as we've been in a room together and having people engaged.
So it's been, it's been a lot of fun because you just, you don't know when you can help someone in that right moment. They heard that little nugget that was needed to unlock their next step, whatever that is. Yeah. It's the ability, especially now I think in the pandemic and you know, we are in pandemic fatigue at this point because we're almost a year in that ability to connect,
I think is so much more important. And I think it's really from the business standpoint, understanding that it's not about sending 50,000 emails, it's not about that monstrous movements. It really is. Who's in your pond. Who can you connect with? Who can you engage with? And there need to be an ocean. Like you really can make the difference in the small,
which you and I both know you drop a pebble in a pond. It will ripple out for who knows how far I'm sure some scientists could tell me exactly how far that one pebble could ripple it, you know, period, spades of water, but the, what do you see? Cause we've had me on when people are talking about their book, like when you've popped into different clubhouse rooms,
what are, what are some of the things that come up for people when they're talking about that? Sometimes it's, if they're writing fiction, sometimes it's a, Hey, I'm stuck with this particular how to get through this character writing. And so I will suggest things like shift the point of view, or maybe do an actual interview with your character, pretend they're sitting there,
how would they answer this? Why do you have this tattoo? Why, who is your best friend? And why, you know, tell me about what your favorite color is or what do you like to do when you're hanging out things that you might like have a real conversation with someone else. And when it's not fiction, one of the ideas that has helped me with my nonfiction book and what I see in others and the way I think is I use little post-its and we'll essentially do a Pomodoro,
but I do like 20 seconds, 20 seconds, 30 seconds, just every sticky gets an idea, brainstorm it out. What else is coming up for you about this topic? And then you can start to figure out from there is it, are there themes that are coming together? Is there too much information? And you really realize there's another topic I need to talk about and I need to explore that.
I need to open that up a little bit more. So doing that little exercise and just getting everything out and seeing it can help you start to arrange and think about what makes sense. And then, but a lot of what I hear is the fear and a sense of is this, am I good enough? Is this going to be red? Is this w is it fun anymore?
Especially if I'm even writing from a business standpoint and I have to write so much copy, cause even those conversations have come up. And the way I look at that is first off, if it doesn't feel, if you feel like you've written, whatever, it is always take a break, put some space between you and it. So whether it's an email that you've worked on and you really want it to feel like it's you,
and if you're excited about it, then just put some space between when you wrote it and before you send it, or if it's a manuscript, you're working on a book, you're working on, definitely put some space, get some other eyes on it too. And if it's not someone like me, find someone who you do trust, who has the expertise that you're looking for to kind of,
to help you unpack that and to look at it. But you want someone who will understand your vision and help you get there. And who's also encouraging you. You don't want someone who's constantly tearing it down without helping you show how to build it back up or offer creative solutions to what you're looking for. And so finding the right kind of mix in there.
But if you, a lot of times, I just see people was just saying, how else can I get this moving? And the biggest thing I would say is to keep, but remember that if the idea was given to you, it's supposed to come through you. And then I believe that you have what it takes and to just, just write for yourself and explore that.
And, and don't worry about writing with a Stephen King, says writing with the door open. So right with the door closed the first time, meaning you just write for you and then you can write with the door open. And that's when you're going back through and editing, you're really looking at it differently. Or you get more people to look at it,
who you trust to give you good feedback. But with everything I don't share all of it's stuff that I've written. I sometimes it's just there for me to figure out. Sometimes it comes through a lot later. It just needed to be written today, but it doesn't show up until three months from now or a year from now. So it's a lot of times it's just trusting that you need to start and to take the pressure off of having the perfect first draft and to allow what comes through as it comes through.
And don't worry if it's perfect. It's about getting it out first. That is it's so wise because I know this is now open for businesses. Now the third book that I've been a part of and the first one, my husband, Chris and I, we just wrote, like, we wrote it and we got it out there because we needed to get it out there.
And then I don't know, maybe six months or a year later, he wanted to write a book and his, his is grueling written just for our children. Well, you know, you get to wipe the poopy butts having to look it up on Amazon folks. Yes. It's there. That's awesome. Did we publish it or did he publish it?
Yes. Is it available for purchase? Yes. Do people buy it? Yes. But he wrote it just for KIPP and tad just to tell them stories. And I think that is, it doesn't have to be a New York times bestseller. I know I struggled with that. I was like, Oh, it's just, nobody's going to really care. Like it's not going to be that good.
And won't it be embarrassing if it's not over, you know, top 10 over here. And what you're saying is right. Like you write it for you. Like you got the idea, you have this thought, you have this desire. It's like, okay, all I have to do is honor, get the book out and then I'll help it along its journey,
whatever that journey is. Even if, you know, in Chris's case, if it stopped with Kip and tad, it's all it was meant to do. Like right. That's it. So they can pick up a book when we weren't here anymore. And that I think is what you do. You do so well, you know, even with open for business,
you know, you would send me those little notes, like, Hey, how's that intro going? Hey, do we have this? And I'm like, yes. Okay. Yes, we got to got to do that. We got to do that because I couldn't do it for myself at all. But the one thing you would want to leave our listeners with today,
I would say that when you know that you want it, this is something more that you want to share and be out in the world to think about how you want your reader to receive it. Like thinking about that reader. Cause there's a story arc both within fiction. And non-fiction, it just depends upon how you are using that. But to think about that,
when you're going back through the book from that editing from the now I'm really trying to move it somewhere versus just that first draft. So think about that and to keep it in mind as you're moving through it, but to explore your writing, to allow what comes through to trust that you have what it takes. And even when you might hear some criticism or someone says,
Hey, you know, what are you, what are you doing? Whatever, you know what that's, it's, you're going to hear it. And to remember that it's okay. And in the sense that if it was right for you to do, then it's right for you to keep going. And that's okay if it's not for them, but it's okay for you.
And to keep sharing that story and to put yourself out there because it is so worth it. And your story is deserves to be shared and only you can share it. There's only one you with your gifts, strengths, and talents and personality. So you have to share that story. So, so why is so simple? And I know I am thrilled that we could have you on today and everybody make sure if you have an idea,
you have this thing in you that you feel like, Oh, I need to get this out. There. Connect is Jen. She is one tough fish, but she is the kindest Martist fish you will ever meet. And thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Jen, for joining us today.