As a part of the Morning Lazziness series about empowering women who are encouraging and doing incredible things with their ideas in society, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rebecca Morrison.
She specializes in mental health and addictions for all ages. She is just ramping up her social media use to not only address various stigmas such as infertility, same-sex parenting, single parenting, adoption, blended families, and disabilities in order to foster mental wellness. She started by writing a series of children’s books with a target population of age 5-7 (Canadian and American Pediatric society recommend to start having these difficult conversations at this age) to normalize the above stigma.
Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
The Path to being a writer stemmed from two twisted roads in my life that merged together one day. One path took me to be a Nurse Practitioner that specializes in and advocates for mental health and addictions. Over the last decade, I have come to see how difficult it is to address mental health as adults and the associated stigma. When you foster mental wellness in children it carries into adulthood and the stigma no longer has a negative impact. Now the other path was from my own struggles of stigma through infertility and an invisible illness.
At that juncture in my path, I combined my personal struggles and my professional experience to write a series of children’s books, the first The Search for the Magical Egg” that addresses common stigmas that they face and negatively impact their mental health with the objective of normalizing the stigma and fostering mental wellness in children.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
A. This is a very loaded question when it is directed at a nurse. Do you want interesting funny? Interesting shocking? Or interesting gross. Personally, the most interesting story was that in 2016 I had an ischemic stroke and was unable to read, write or speak. Makes being a writer a wee bit difficult but I persevered. I worked with the stroke team for a year to recover what I had lost and gained the knowledge that I have two language areas, not one, and as a result, am ambidextrous. I relearned how to write so that I could write.
What do you specialize in and why should someone choose you over your competitors in your field?
Because of my personal experience and professional experience I have been able to balance medicine and magic within picture books. If your gonna flip a coin by choosing me over a competitor, well I am on both sides of the coin.
What are the three things that mostly helped your online business succeed?
I did not know what I didn’t know and that is step 1. I can write books but I had no idea how to make them successful. So I attended an online course on how to promote your book through digiwriting and hire their team for 1:1 coaching. I wanted to promote my books and brand properly, right from the get-go so I recognized my weaknesses and reached out to the experts.
Next, I hired a person to help me create a strategic plan on what my brand is and how to show the media and society I am an expert in this field. Finally, I put in all the leg work to ensure I would be successful. I set 1-2 hours aside a day to work on all the aspects a writer needs to do to ensure success.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I have not published my first book yet, and thus still have not been successful or brought goodness to the world but that goal will be this fall when my book is complete and launched. I will have a resource page and monthly free newsletter for all my followers that will provide resources for those who want to address various stigmas.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are?
I am grateful to Wendy Dennis. She listen to my pitch and she recommended me to Barlow Books, my publisher, and subsequently, I am hiring her to help me with my strategic plan for my brand and books. I had no credibility, no publications, and could not get an agent. Without that connection, I don’t think I would be on the road to success.
What were your most important challenges? & How did you overcome those challenges?
The most important challenge is I didn’t know what I didn’t know. How do you get good at pitching to the right media outlet when you don’t know you need to write a pitch or how to write it or how to find the right media.
What’s your piece of advice for readers who want to achieve wealth and success in life?
In order to be successful you have to work hard, learn how to delicate the pieces you do not need to do for your business, and ensure that piece is in qualified and trusted hands. I did not have time to track down every email of every company or bookstore to pitch my books to but my retired father did. I trust him and he was available and free. You also have to pick yourself up when you fail and learn from it and preserver.
What’s your piece of advice for people who want to quit their 9-5 job and start a business?
Since I am starting my business now I have not quit my 9-5 job as I need the income to fund my business. I wouldn’t quit your day job unless your night job is thriving. That adds unnecessary stress to you and your loved ones which can negatively affect your performance as a business owner.
What is the biggest sacrifice you’ve made in starting or running your business?
By far the biggest sacrifice is time away from my family. We are not guaranteed time on this planet and I truly live in the moment and love each moment with them so I take it very seriously when I take time away from my loved ones for my business. There is a lot of short-term pain for hopefully long-term gain.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
1. Thousands of books are made daily. It’s not the book that makes it successful it’s the combination of promoting that great book.
2. Know you will have to dedicate hours of your time a day at first to be successful
3. You will require 20,000-50,000$ as an investment at a minimum for production, marketing, and promoting your book
4. Do courses in marketing and promoting your book
5. Hire a team to create your website.
What would you tell yourself ten to twenty years ago that you wish you knew then?
Well, first I would like my 20-year-old self to stop paying for birth control because I’m as infertile like a mule and use that money for IVF treatment and adoption fees lol. All kidding aside I would tell myself to never let fear dictate my dreams. You are your worst enemy.
Lastly, what do you think this world needs the most?
Oh man, this may take a while. This world is not balanced. We can see this in the environment, the weather, and in our societies. When anything is imbalanced it is not sustainable and eventually collapses. We do not need any more research articles on studies to achieve balance. We as human beings need to act. We need balance in our life, in our families, in our community, and in our world.
We just need to do the hard work now so that we collectively can be successful. If we don’t…..