Episode 12: From Writer to Author with Geralyn Gendreau
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Jason McClain: Welcome to Coaching Life Coach. I am your host Jason McClain, and your guide in the 21st century marketplace. We are here with Geralyn Gendreau and we will talking about pinpointing your niche, as well as how to get published, among other things.
Geralyn Gendreau: Bad habits really point us to the places where we have pooled our energy. They’re secret little passageways that lead to where our potential is hiding from us until we are ready to step into it.
I have to be in love with my client; I don't mean romantically in love, but when I fall into this place where I absolutely perceive the divine configuration of their being and anchor myself there… that's how I know I'm the one who can help them reach their fullest potential. And if that's not there, I won't take them as a client.
I always say, muggles aren't born, they are made. Now, anybody who has not read Harry Potter, looks at me totally flummoxed and goes, "What is she talking about?" But for anybody who has ready Harry Potter, there is an immediate recognition… one day I am going to make a bumper sticker out of that.
I call them pleasure disciplines, because to me there is nothing more satisfying than having discipline. And we are afraid of discipline in our world, but I really work with people to befriend discipline, because its power elevates their existence.
Jason McClain: Welcome to the show, Geralyn.
Geralyn Gendreau: Hi Jason. It's great to be here.
Jason McClain: Geralyn is known for here reverence, as well as for her irreverence. [laughs] I am happy to have you on our show today.
So, first of all, I would just love to talk about this idea of pinpointing your niche, and which you think is one of the things that makes coaches successful and has made you successful. Can you talk about what that is? What is pinpointing your niche?
Geralyn Gendreau: Well, coaching, if you just think about the idea of coaching,
where does it come from? It comes mostly from athletics. So, a volleyball coach doesn't coach somebody in ice-skating; and gymnastic coach doesn't try to go around a football field.
So I am a psychotherapist by licensure and training, although what I do is coaching, because I know that there is a big difference between psychotherapy and coaching. So I've chosen to identify with the coaching movement because I feel like it develops peoples potential more than it addresses their past and their pathology.
I did graduate school and after six years of basically learning how to jump through hoops, I learned to be a professional hoop jumper.
Jason McClain: Alright!
Geralyn Gendreau: I just pretty much looked at the field and thought, this isn't it. This isn't what I'm looking for. And I became -- at the time I was involved with the mystery school initiation that really taught me how to be a sleuth. So, I started looking -- by that I mean like a Sherlock Holmes -- in the psychic and psychological and personal and spiritual development arena.
Jason McClain: OK.
Geralyn Gendreau: So I started looking for what were the things that really worked, and I used my my own body mind as an instrument and basically went after my own shadow material in the places where I was broken down, addicted, insane - heal those, and those really are the issues that I work best with in people—the the things that I've taken on myself. Where I've taken on the Lucifer in my own consciousness is where I can most help people deal with their own, you know the places where they're not functioning at their optimum, and where they know that there's really some hidden energy there.
I'm working on a book right now called The Beauty of Bad Habits. Because I think, bad habits really point to the places where we've kind of pooled our energy, you know, the secret little passageways that lead to the places where our potential is hiding from us until we were ready to step into it.
Jason McClain: That's fantastic. One of the challenges I have with the psychotherapy community is that they really do study the pathology and the illness, but there is very little study going on about health and achievement. What is it about human excellence and how do you do that? But no one has studied pathology better than the psychotherapy community. That's for sure. [laughs]
Geralyn Gendreau: Exactly.
Jason McClain: So then, why is it important to find your niche? Can you talk a little bit about the importance of that for a coach, in terms of a business strategy.
Geralyn Gendreau: In terms of business strategy, it's a pretty obvious that if you want to find your population, the people that you can work with, you've got to zero on in it. And that's what I did. I, you know I worked on myself, I worked through my own demons, found a way to befriend those little jeremiads in my own personality, and a lot of people suffer from the stuff. The word addiction is very overused. I reserve it for when I’m talking about chemical addictions, either alcoholism or mind-altering substances, artificial mind-altering substances. I don't hold the belief that you can get addicted to natural substances. You can get out of balance in your use of them, yes. Your pleasure circuits can get fixated. The language you use has everything to do with how you treat something. If I had believed in the addiction treatment model and in the 12-step recovery model which I utilized for years to help me recover a fuller sense of self, but then I had to grow beyond it. Because if I had stayed there, I would still be going to eighteen 12-step meetings a week.
Jason McClain: Alright.
Geralyn Gendreau: But I know that I'm not addicted to anything anymore. My pleasure circuits are generalized and for the most part, pretty balanced. And that's where I focus my work, is on people who are suffering that one, because I know it inside out.
Jason McClain: And you can find those people?
Geralyn Gendreau: I am very very specific about how I find those people. I mostly work with people in the entertainment industry and professional athletes. So, I look for those referral sources who will bring those people to me.
Jason McClain: Great. Can you speak a little bit more to that. How - first of all - how specifically would you recommend someone, at a level that they can understand is beyond their specific, your specific challenges that you overcame, and therefore were then able to speak to you and assist people with. How can they define their niche, and then how can they go after those prospects that will be great referrals sources?
Geralyn Gendreau: Well, in a sense the way it has unfolded for me is to just get absolutely crystal clear, what I'm doing, who I am, and what I can offer. I spent a lot of time designing this lifestyle makeovers business - I have been conceiving it, and structuring it for almost a decade. The idea first came to me a decade ago, So I talk a lot in my work about seeing, and seeding the future. See with your eyes and seeding, like in planting a seed.
Jason McClain: Great.
Geralyn Gendreau: It has... Things don't happen all at once. People want to go to a 12 week coaching class and get certified and come out and have a practice in no time at all. I got licensed 10 years ago and for 10 years before that, I was a hands-on body worker and yoga teacher. So it's not an overnight process. You don't get certified, hang out a shingle and collect...
Jason McClain: [laughs]
Geralyn Gendreau: ... clients immediately. You have to spend some time developing yourself. So, what was the question?
Jason McClain: The question is how specifically can someone go about designing their niche? What steps can they take?
Geralyn Gendreau: You know what I think is most important, in how I run my practice really, is I don't treat anybody. I find a way to work with them individually, usually first through a phone consultation, or they meet me at a talk, they see me do Rumi. I’ve spent a lot of time on stage doing estatic poetry, and I have an encounter with someone and if there’s a certain sparkle between us, and they want to work with me, I trust that. I absolute trust my body to tell me who I can and can't work with him. And quite frankly, if I can't fall in love with my client, I'm not their coach. I have to be in a place, and I don't mean romantically in love, but I fall into this place where I absolutely can see the divine configuration of their being. I anchor myself there and that’s how I know I’m their coach—I’m the one that can help them reach their fullest potential. And if that's not there, I won't take them.
You really have to be willing to turn clients away to find the ones who are really your clients.
Jason McClain: At the very least, there is an opportunity cost in taking on those clients that don't feel right.
Geralyn Gendreau: Absolutely.
Jason McClain: And I know, every time I have felt like it was not the right client for me either, not only the work, but for me personally, it has never gone... It doesn't serve them. It doesn't serve me. It doesn't serve the world. So what does it make possible for coaches who design their niche, who go in, determine what it is they are offering is, and who they can most help? What does it make possible in their business, their lives, and for themselves personally?
Geralyn Gendreau: Well, I think what it makes possible is that you can trust what you know. I don't walk around the world feeling anxious. There were years, I remember being completely obsessed, throughout the 90s, with trying to name my business.
Jason McClain: [laughs]
Geralyn Gendreau: In fact I had about six or seven different names I went through. Starting with when I was 21, I called it Inner Fitness Institute. Somehow I knew then what track I was on - that I was inwardly fit in my 20s. I had a lot of work to do to get where I was balanced. I think really what it makes possible for people is that they can live their own potential, live their own innate divine design. And when you're living that, the clients for you are magnetized to you. They find you. Just last week a book… one of the things I do is ghost writing and editing books… and somebody e-mail me early this week. He said, I have a very rudimentary website. It's not fancy at all. But he got to it. He saw what I was talking about, and knew immediately I was the person to work on his book.
Now, he said that he found me through Craig’s List, but I hadn't posted on Craig’s List in months. So we still don't know how he actually found me.
Jason McClain: [laughs] That's great.
Geralyn Gendreau: So there really is magic and miracles in the air when your so aligned with your own infinite self, when you're walking that line between the seen and unseen worlds, so elegantly, like you are a tightrope walker, and you know that it could all go to pot in minute or it could all shoot to the stars in a minute. And you are comfortable with that, your clients will find you because, you're living the life of a true wizard. And that's what everybody’s looking for.
I always say, muggles aren't born, they are made. Now, anybody who has not read Harry Potter, looks at me totally flummoxed and goes, “What is she talking about?” But for anybody who has ready Harry Potter, there is an immediate recognition and one day I am going to make a bumper sticker out of that.
Jason McClain: OK. Right, Geralyn. We are going to take a short break to support our sponsors. I am here with Geralyn Gendreau. You are listening to Coaching the Life Coach. I am Jason McClain, your host and your guide in the 21st century marketplace, and we will be right back.
Jason McClain: Welcome back to Coaching the Life Coach. I am Jason McClain. I am here with Geralyn Gendreau. Actually I am going to stop hammering your name. What should I call you?
Geralyn Gendreau: You can call me GG. People call me that.
Jason McClain: I am going to call you GG. Great. And we are here with GG. And we were talking about pinpointing your niche before the break, and I want to talk about - you know that work you do with lifestyle makeovers, it sounds very interesting and very comprehensive. What is this lifestyle makeover?
Geralyn Gendreau: Well, it's kind of poetic or a graphic way of talking about when I offer as an alternative to a drug and alcohol treatment or standard approaches toward addictions, and the kinds of breakdowns that a lot of us suffer in the modern world, because we haven't really got a foundation of self-esteem, and that even the word self-esteem is an indication that something's missing for a person. Because a person who really, truly lives in their essence doesn’t have self-esteem. They just sparkle. So, that's the kind of psychobabble that points to the fact that we are really a crumbling culture, that culture hasn’t provided us with a solid foundation which permits you to live your potential.
So I designed the program very very specifically for the person's needs, and it's... I work very differently than most people do. My clients don't come see me for an hour. We usually start with a one hour consult, and then we’ll do a three-hour intensive, and then what I offer is a three-day intensive or 21-day intensive. And I often go and move into their guest room, clear out their refrigerator, get them up in the morning doing yoga, meditating. I watch how they live their life and basically do a lifestyle fengshui, to get them in a flow.
The reason I developed this, I think it was Dean Ornish, one of the authors I interviewed for the anthologies that I did with Elite books, who said something to the effect that—I think it was Dr Ornish—that when people change incrementally they sometimes are less successful, because they don’t get that jolt of juice that comes with making the massive change in your life. So that when you just feel a little better, you are not as motivated to do something as when you feel tons better.
So I always say, and I didn’t originate this: it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. Now you and I both know how fast three weeks goes in this day and age. So if someone dedicates himself to making one significant change in 21 days, they get something that in the Buddhist world is called “lungta”, or wind horse. It's that, it’s like you become a Pegasus, and you get wings and you can fly, because you can harness your essential energy, and then you’re up and out of it. Because you’ve risen out of the ashes of your own life.
So I’m basically someone’s yoga mentor. I come in and I’ve done - I am a very serious yogini. I have practiced for over 20 years and fiercely disciplined. I call them pleasure disciplines, because to me there is nothing more satisfying than having discipline. And we are afraid of discipline in our world, but I really work with people to befriend discipline, because its power elevates their existence.
Jason McClain: Wow, I think I should not another question there, on that one, leave that one untouched. And speaking of discipline, we are going to take another break to support our sponsors. I am Jason McClain, your host here on Coaching the Life Coach. I am here with GG, and we will be right back.
Jason McClain: Welcome back. I am your host Jason McClain, your guide in the 21st century marketplace. I am here with GG, and we are going to talk about publishing, and just talk about what you do in terms of publishing, and why it is important for people to get published, and we will talk a little bit about the Harvard. But first of all, when you say publishing, do you mean books? Do you mean hardcover books? Do you mean both? And why is it important?
Geralyn Gendreau: Well I do mean both and all of the above. I think the most valuable thing about getting published or writing a book, and these days you can do an interactive e-book. They are fabulous marketing tools, but mostly, again it's about discipline and it's about crafting your identity and because there's so many people coaching and so many people offering help, you want to clarify what you're good at and there's nothing like writing a book to get that down. I was, as I said, a practitioner for about 15 years, almost 20 years, before I got published the first time. An article I wrote called, “Vital Catastrophes.”
Jason McClain: [laughs]
Geralyn Gendreau: And when I was invited -- it actually should be called “Igniting the Veil” and it will be one of the first chapters in The Beauty of Bad Habits.
Jason McClain: [laughs] But it was named “Vital Catastrophes” before?
Geralyn Gendreau: My publisher and I sat around in his living room one day, and he came up with a title, and it was just interesting enough with that edge between the reverence and irreverence, that we went with it. But that was published in one of the anthologies. I had the good fortune after -- I am actually a natural writer. I always was a writer, I always enjoyed writing, I always kept a journal, and my publisher saw me at a dance one night, at Sweat Your Prayers, and he pretty much grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and dragged me, kicking and screaming, into his anthology projects.
And the bottom line about why to get published, besides clarifying what you offer, is that what I noticed, once I was in print, was that my clients took me much more seriously. And one the things that's good good currency between you and your client is when they see you as an authority. Because when you are really an authority in their mind, they are much more likely and much more able, to take your advice, to following your instructions.
What, really what I conceive of the coaching relationship is a mentoring relationship. You are mentoring someone into areas that they haven't gained mastery over, that you have. So when you have that in print, when you have validated your own process, by doing the work and the discipline of writing and getting published. And it's a jungle out there. How to get published is anybody's guess, quite frankly. I can help people write a book and do it all the time. I helped some 15 or 20 people go from being a writer to being an author. I do ghost write books. I edit books.
We have a write-a-book program. You can e-mail me and put write-a-book program in the subject line, and there is actually a course that you can take. It shows you exactly how to develop your ideas into a book.
Jason McClain: Did you say going from a writer to an author, is that what you said?
Geralyn Gendreau: Yes.
Jason McClain: Can you talk a little bit about what that process looks like in terms of the steps involved?
Geralyn Gendreau: Well, basically an author is a published writer. So it's a threshold really, that you cross. It is a kind of initiation because everybody wants to be an author. People come up to me all the time, and say, I am going to write a book. And I am like, yeah, you and everybody else. You want to be on Oprah too, right? So a lot of times, when I meet with a client, I feel that my first job is to talk them out of it, because people often have very unrealistic expectations about what writing a book is going to do. It's going to shoot them to the top of the New York Times bestseller list and all of these other things.
And usually I talk to people about writing a book, self-publishing and then having really good $17 business card, that they can go out and get doors opened with. Because you can, once you are published, you can open doors with it. Now there's -- we could do a whole another show on the benefits of self-publishing versus looking for a publisher, mainstream publisher. The publishing world right now is really a wide open frontier, that with e-book publishing, with what's happening with the explosion on Internet, with the publishing world itself kind of, very much like the music industry.
There is the principal five main big publishers, and getting into them is like trying to scale the castle walls. It's... No, not that anybody shouldn't take on that gauntlet, but it's quite a gauntlet, and can take years of your time and energy before you get there, unless magically, you have a story that is so [swish sound]. You know, I'm not going to diminish anybody's chances, but it is, in and of itself, a type of initiation. But one that you really will get a lot of benefit from.
Jason McClain: You talked a little bit, earlier in the interview about, kind of said it in passing, how an e-book can be a tremendous marketing tool. Can you talk more about that?
Geralyn Gendreau: Sure, there is, I heard this - I don't know the person directly, but apparently there is a man in, I believe a business out in Canada, got a 39 page e-book on a subject, I won't say what it's about, but it's a hot topic and I heard, the rumour I heard was that he was making $10,000 a month passive income from this e-book, from people purchasing it online. Now it's great to have alternate streams of income that keep you afloat that way. The thing with something like that is to, you know with the reality TV and the way our world and markets come and go, if you can see into the future to something that you're a particular expert at, and release a book.
Like, for example, the Heroes show, where people have superhero powers. If you know a lot about power dreaming, right at the time when that show gets released, and you get your e-book on the Internet, and they all start googling power dreaming, and you've placed the Google ads, and you are the first one that comes up, and it comes to what they call a squeeze page, where you get their e-mail address and then it goes to another page where they are invited to buy the book - that kind of thing happens all the time, and that's why I say it's a wild frontier there.
So I am in the process myself, educating myself about how all those things happen, and again trusting the thing not to do, is to you keep yourself up all night, stressing about how to do it. But to set a very clear intention. And I knew you work this way, and when you have a crystal-clear intent and your intent is something that's for the good of the whole, you feed that seed. You plant the seed, you water it consistently, with your intentional focus and passion, and then you wait where the coincidences and the strange synchronicities pull you forward to that goal. And that's how I'm approaching this whole e-book thing right now.
A friend of mine has a new multimedia e-book portal she's launched. She's worked with Marcus Allen and “The Way of the Peaceful Warrior” Dan Millman. So she knows she's doing. I've got her on my radar. We are looking to do a launch next month. There's a lot going on and those people in those connections will magically show up, once you declared your intention and really held it strong in your own mind.
Jason McClain: Perfect. Thank you, thank you. You have to take it down a couple of notches. It's funny, I don't watch television. I haven't watched television for years. And so, there is a whole swathe of popular culture references that I miss, but I read about popular culture a lot, and know how it is impacting our community, our environment, our culture, America and the world at large.
And one of the things I know, they were talking about a certain TV show, I don't remember which one. It was incredibly popular, because they called it, ripping it from the headlines. So they would take whatever was newsworthy, and they would write an episode that had - essentially the themes of the episodes were ripped from the headlines. And, of course, one of the things, you know that I am just trying to do with my articles, I am writing one right now, called, “Imus in the morning is pimp sheikh”
Geralyn Gendreau: [laughs]
Jason McClain: [laughs] You know, Imus just got canned for that whole Rutgers basketball team thing. And writing that article simply because, certainly I have got something to say, but because people are searching for that right now on the Internet. So it is a marketing tool, and it's a way to speak into what's happening in the culture.
Geralyn Gendreau: It's funny you should bring that up, because one of my clients who counts on me to get things straight for her, just called me yesterday morning, and said I must see this. And I am like, “What? Like you I have never owned a TV in my whole life except one two-week period when my mother gave me one for Christmas and it took me two weeks take it back. So I don't live with the TV. I don't watch the TV, this stuff. But I do trust that what I need to know will trickle down to me.
I mean, I heard about OJ, about a week and a half after the incident, but I get information I need, and you can bring anything on the Internet nowadays. That's the beauty of what we have access to through the laptop. You can always find what you want to know. But once you get into this kind of thing, there are publicists and all kinds of people that have their finger on that pulse. I used to get notices from my publisher daily - this show, they are doing a show on this and they want an expert on that, and so it went. Once you get hooked in, you plug in, the publicists will provide that information. So you don't have to do it all. I mean that's the thing about this, that there are people that specialize in every area and there are people that know exactly when and where to put that article up and what to write about.
But again, writing is a discipline. What used to take me sometimes three days, now takes me like an hour and a half. But it's like anything. You got to work the muscle and develop the mental pathways. And that's why when people say, I want to be a writer, and I asked them, when was the last thing they journaled or wrote something - they say, oh, in college. I put them in one of my basic writing groups because, there is a skill set, there's a whole thing you got to learn, in order to become a writer.
Jason McClain: And there is a mindset to it, really. There is a zone you have to get into. It's a whole zone unto itself.
Geralyn Gendreau: Absolutely.
Jason McClain: To pump out an article or certainly a book. Great. Well, before we go, first of all we are going to take one more break, and give you guys, the listener's some information, and then we are going to talk about one final organizing principle. I am Jason McClain. We are with GG. [laughs] And I am your guide in the 21st century marketplace. You are listening to Coaching the Life Coach - Strategies to get your transformational practice, and we will be right back.
Jason McClain: Welcome back to Coaching the Life Coach. I am Jason McClain, here with GG, and we have been talking about how to get published and what it makes possible for you. Before I ask her one final question, first of all I want to encourage you to go to the website, PersonalLifeMedia.com, there's two l's in PersonalLifeMedia.com. I am your host and your guide in the 21st century marketplace. My name is Jason McClain. You can reach me at [email protected] And if you want transcript of this show or any other shows on Personal Life Media Networks, again go to the website. If you want to ask about this show or any other show I have done, either with Coaching the Life Coach, or Evolutionary Sales, please comment on the blog. And you can just go to PersonalLifeMedia.com, click on Blogs, and you should see me there, in Coaching the Life Coach, or Evolutionary Sales. And the person who has the GCS question of the week will get a gift from IFrogz.com, it's I-F-r-o-g-z.com, which is customized covers for your iPods.
Geralyn Gendreau: [laughs]
Jason McClain: [laughs] And so, before the break, we talked about publishing, and I would just like to ask you one more series of questions. First of all, what services do you provide?
Geralyn Gendreau: All of them are described in my website. You can look at GeralynGendreau.com, and if you can't spell my name, it's a bit challenging [laughter], go to Lifestyle-Makeovers.com, with a hyphen. Lifestyle hyphen Makeovers.com, and there is full listing of my services. I do everything from ghost writing books to -- one of my clients calls me his dominatrix, but I am not in the sex industry. [laughter] I just help people get over whatever bad habits it is that is draining their energy. So that can take many, many different forms. For the coaches out there, for the people who are interested in getting published, I run writing groups. I just started one called, The Beauty of the Deadline, so that in three months you can go from being a writer to an author.
I do men's groups, The Table Round is a unique kind of men's group, led by a woman, and also women's circles, The Magdalene Sect. A lot of my development came through some downloads I received in the 90s. Long before the da Vinci code came out, I was introduced to the idea of the Magdalene codes - real mystery school initiation. And we are, my partner Tony Sheving and I, he is my business partner, are developing the Devotional Intimacy Mystery School, as a online deep exploration into this, the inner tantra, the inner exploration of the masculine and feminine, the anima and animuses, as you called it.
Every man has an internal feminine and every woman has an internal masculine, and really harmonizing that is what makes and dynamite relationships possible, and we really work with people to -- I called them, I don't like the words that people use, boyfriend, girlfriend, lover, none of them works for me. I talk about creative dynamic pairings. When you can start forming those with your colleagues and your business partners, and really being in balanced relationship there, then you can reach for the highest relationships possible and that's my favorite work to do.
You know, we live in such fast-moving, changing times, that I think one of the most important things I've learned, and like to pass on to others is the ability to live in chaos with some sense of order. And one of the other things I wrote in the introduction to Healing the Heart of the World, my associate Tony Sheving and I coined the term “kaleido”, to refer to this newly emerging capacity in humans. We are evolving into a new form of human. I really think that enlightenment is an evidence really that a different kind of consciousness is emerging and I think of people like Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie as early mutants—they are the ones who found their way into new territory.
So one of the things I think one day I might be quoted for this thing I said in Healing the Heart of the World, that our world is no more round than it is flat. When seen kaleidoscopically the earth looks far more like a flat flowering seat of life than a globe. Because we are really multi-dimensional critters. You know, we have aspects of ourselves, we're not just body, blood, flesh and bone, mind where so much more sophisticated than we ever imagined and when you embrace that magical possibility, and allow it to draw you forward and allow your future self to draw you forward. That's one of the things that I really work with people on, is transcending time. The past, present and future, are kind of folding and looping wormholes over each other, and you really get into relationship with your future self, and let that self pull you forward.
Jason McClain: Thank you so much for joining us. That’s Lifestyle-Makeovers.com.
Geralyn Gendreau: Yup.
Jason McClain: Great. Thanks, GG. I am Jason McClain, your host and your guide in the 21st century marketplace. You are listening to Coaching the Life Coach - Strategies to Grow Your Transformational Practice. Join us next week, when our guest will be Caterina Rando, and we will be talking about the value-added marketing. Thanks for listening and thanks for joining the Personal Life Media Network.
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