Birthing a book baby with Kate Toon

Welcome to the Meet-the Author Series, a short series where I will be chatting to authors to talk about their experience writing their bestselling book.

In today’s episode, I’m joined by Kate Toon, to talk about her experience writing multiple books, including her upcoming new release.

The title of this episode sums up the pain and joy that comes from the process of writing a book.

Guest Bio

Kate Toon is a down to earth human on a mission: to demystify the realities of running a successful online business.

Her StayTooned group of companies include the Digital Masterchefs, The Clever Copywriting School, and The Recipe for SEO Success. Through these, Kate’s helped more than 10,000 other businesses demystify digital marketing, grapple the Google Beast, and grow their overall success.


Kate is a renowned speaker, podcaster and author, and was named Businesswoman of the Year and Training & Education Provider of the Year at the national My Business Awards. She also runs Australia’s only dedicated annual copywriting conference, CopyCon. And all this from the Toon Cave in her backyard, accompanied only by her very own CFO (Chief Furry OfficeDog) Pomplemousse and assisted remotely by a team of talented sub-contractors.

Kate Toon Instagram >
Kate Toon Facebook >
Kate Toon Website >

Transcript

CLARE:

Today I’m chatting to Author Kate Toon about her experience writing multiple books, including her most recent book. This episode we called Birthing Your Book Baby, because it sums up the pain yet joy that comes from the process of writing a book.

Hello and welcome to The Clare Wood Podcast. This is your weekly dose of all things money to help you intentionally create a profitable business and a life you love. I have the difficult conversations about money so you can make more money with ease. Each week I share how you can use mindset and the practical foundations of finance to elevate your earnings without sacrificing the things that are important to you because you can and should be making more money.

Don’t forget to grab your copy of Intentional Profit via the link in the show notes for today’s episode and come along to one of the book events. These events are called the Prophet Parties, and you’ll get to meet me in person, have networking with amazing business owners, and get the chance to have a live and interactive workshop about profit to help you grow your bottom line. Details to join the profit parties are via link in the show notes for today’s episode.

Welcome back to The Clare Wood Podcast. Kate Toon off-air, I did say to you we should start pushing record because we will start talking. And inevitably that is what happened.

Kate Toon:

25 minutes later we actually pressed record.

CLARE:

And to be honest, I could have kept jabbering away, but I thought let’s push a record. Let’s bring this conversation to the air. So the reason why I’ve invited you on the podcast, I have recently published my very first book, Intentional Profit and God damn, it’s been a like far out brussels sprout. And what I’ve decided to do, I’ve been doing this Meet the Author series, and I’ve been chatting to some of my business friends about their experience becoming authors and just sharing the ups, the downs, the downs and the benefits of I guess creating a book. So maybe for anyone who doesn’t know you, could you introduce yourself to the listeners?

Kate Toon:

Yes, so my name’s Kate Toon, and I guess my role these days is as a Digital Educator. I’ve got three different lines of business. I teach copywriters how to be better copywriters. I teach search engine optimization, and then my core brand, the Kate Toon brand is about being a business mentor and digital marketing coach. So helping small businesses and E-commerce stores use digital marketing in an intentional and smart way to drive their profits. So yes, not too far removed from you, but more focused on the digital marketing side of things.

CLARE:

And you are already a published author?

Kate Toon:

I am. I’ve published, I think, oh, how many books have I got? One, two, I’ve got three books. So my first book was-

CLARE:

Can you see that just actually happened? How many books? Oh my God.

Kate Toon:

Well, honestly, I’m a bit all over the place because as you said, I’ve just birthed my business baby and well, I haven’t finished birthing, I’m still pregnant with my book, so it’s still yet to come out. So I’ve got book brain, book baby brain. So my first book, I remember going to someone’s house and on his shelf, he had all these copies of his own book and it was a poetry book. And this was before I was really into copywriting. I was writing a lot of short films and poems and I was a creative writer, I saw, I thought. And so I thought I’d love to have my own published book of poems. So I wrote, it’s called Gone Dotty. I did a Kickstarter esque campaign. I raised the money for the book. It was only about three grand self-published.

Boom. I had my little book and it was such a thrill. And then the next book is a kid’s book. It’s called Wobbly Jim. It’s an illustrated book. I worked on it with an illustrator Will, and again, we raised about $10,000 on Kickstarter, we self-published. And then the next book is another self-published book called The Misfit Entrepreneur, which in 2017, it was kind of where I was at with my business. And that one’s done well. I think I’ve sold just over 4,000 copies. It’s taken a long time. But all of those were self-published. Sorry, that was a very long answer to a short question.

CLARE:

No, that’s fine. I think we might need to elaborate on the business baby being pregnant thing, just in case people who are listening are like, what is she talking about?

Kate Toon:

What is she talking about? We were talking before the podcast because both of us have got our new books coming out, but we’re already thinking about the next one. And it’s so bizarre because it is sometimes a painful process and it’s like childbirth. As soon as you birth the kid, you kind of forget all that and you just think, oh, I’d like to do that again. We’re fools. We’re gluttons for punishment.

CLARE:

It’s ridiculous. It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in business so far. Not so much the book, but all of the other bits and pieces that have come with it. And literally, the book isn’t even actually launched yet. It launches next week at the time of recording this podcast. And I’m already, I’ve got the title for my next podcast. I’m thinking about it. So it’s true. It’s like we’re just suckers for punishment. But it’s like that you get your beautiful little baby and you are like, oh my gosh, it’s so cute. Let’s do this again. So tell me about the book that’s coming out.

Kate Toon:

So my new book’s called Six Figures in School Hours, How to Run a Successful Business and Still Be a Good Parent. So it’s not necessarily my story, but I think one thing I’ve done well over the last 14 years since I had my son is not have perfect balance between my business and my family, but do a pretty good job. I’ve managed to make a really good amount of money in a very short amount of time. I have a good relationship with my son and it’s all my productivity hacks, my money hacks.

They’re not really hacks. I hate the word hack. They’re like tips. It’s also a lot around mindset and readjusting your attitude towards parenting and parent guilt and then about communication, how to talk about these things with your partner, with your kids, and also self-care, the importance of looking after yourself. So I’m really excited about it. I’m at the stage where I’m about to submit it to the publisher. So it’s been an arduous process, but hopefully we’ll be out around June 27th is my published dates.

CLARE:

How exciting. And are you launching the book for presale?

Kate Toon:

Yes. So be going up on Booktopia and Amazon, I think towards the end of April, I think. I’m not sure. I need that date from my publisher. And I’m doing all the things. I’m sure we’ll talk about some of our tactics for getting the word out. But we’re talking again before the show that it was a big thing for me this time to find a publisher because I’ve a couple of times and the big issue with self-publishing is, yes, you get total control and you get all the money or most of the money. The difference when you’re with the publishers, you get hardly any money whatsoever. But the distribution was a real problem for me with Misfits, getting it into bookshops. Bookshops take books on consignment, which means that you give them to them for free and then they pay you if they sell them. And obviously I’m not famous. People aren’t going to be rushing into-

CLARE:

You’re pretty famous.

Kate Toon:

No, they’re not. Rushing into Dymocks to buy my book. So that was my goal. My real goal with this book was I wanted to have the thrill of walking into an airport bookshop and seeing my book. So better blooming, get an airport bookshops. Otherwise, it’s all been for nothing. If

CLARE:

If you’re Kate’s publisher and you’re listening to this…

Kate Toon:

Yes, Leslie, get me in an airport. She just needs to get me in one. It could be like 

CLARE: She might just go and put them in the airport, just be like, yes.

Kate Toon: Y

ou know what, with Misfits, I used to sometimes carry copies of Misfits in my bag when I was traveling, put them on a shelf in WH Smith, take a photo of them and take them off again, just so I can imagine the thrill of it. So I sound pathetic now, but it’s a big dream for me because I am a writer. I started as a copywriter. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. All of this nonsense that I’m doing now, this whole business, this empire I’ve created is really just a stop gap to earn enough money so I can stop doing it and write real books. So that’s all I want to do in life is write books. The stakes aren’t high at all. No pressure. But that’s why I’ve written this one.

CLARE:

Now that you’re at the stage where you’re nearly submitting it, how are you actually feeling about the book right here, right now?

Kate Toon:

Good. Look, I started writing on the 26th of December and what is it now? The 7th of March. So I haven’t had a long time. It’s about 84,000 words. That’s a lot to pump out in a short period over school holidays while running my business and launching my big course, which is a big job.

CLARE:

And being a Mumm.

Kate Toon:

And being a Mum and just-

CLARE: Partner.

Kate Toon:

… Having our floors replaced in our entire house, which was… Life. I imagined I’d be sitting in a cottage in the mountains with a fire writing in a roll neck jumper. But I literally have written bits while sat on the toilet. It’s not glamorous at all. So look, I feel like I wish if I did it again, I would plan more. You have to submit a chapter summary and I just made stuff up. I don’t really think about it. Oh, I’ll have a chapter about this, chapter about this. And then once I started writing, I was like, I don’t need that chapter. That’s a stupid idea. Oh, I don’t have enough for that chapter. So I would definitely plan more because I feel like I probably missed bits, but I wonder if you’d always feel like that. I wonder if anyone gets to the end of book and goes, that’s perfect. I don’t know. So I feel pretty good. I’m terrified. Terrified of what my publisher’s going to say. Because it’s not necessarily the book I promised.

Because the idea is Six Figures In School Hours. And I think people will be expecting, oh, if you do this, this and this, boom, money. But it’s not really about that, is it? Earning six figures, seven figures, 29 figures, it’s usually about loads of tiny changes that you make to your mindset, to your productivity, to the way you sell yourself. It’s not one big thing. So I’m hoping that the publisher kind of is okay with that.

CLARE:

And can see the story, can see the vision.

Kate Toon:

Exactly.

CLARE:

Well I guess that’s one of the advantages about that of working with a ghost writer, it was almost like this sounding board. And I know we got to the end of the book and I’m like, I think that whole chapter sucks. And I’m like, “Am I?” And she goes, “Oh my gosh. I was thinking the same thing.” And it was just having someone who was intimately involved in the book, a publisher is not in the nitty-gritty of the-

Kate Toon:

No.

CLARE:

… Thinking and the detail like we are. But I got to the end of my book and I have to admit, I had a massive sense of anxiety. I got to the end and I was like, “Oh my gosh, you haven’t included this,”-

Kate Toon:

What if this is crap?

CLARE:

… “What if it’s crap?” I should have included more about this or-

Kate Toon:

I know.

CLARE:

… Should have included less about that.

Kate Toon:

But that’s the second book’s for is to fill up all the bits missing. But so I had the same issue. I didn’t have a ghost ride, so I wrote it, but I had a group of readers, so my mom and dad were the first readers and they just cleaned up my mess because I’m just rage typing on the toilet, two o’clock. And they just made it make sense. And were like, “Maybe”-

CLARE:

Can I just stop you? Just one sec. How do you actually type on the toilet? Do you have your laptop with you?

Kate Toon:

Laptop. I carry my laptop everywhere. I have my laptop in the bath, man. I’m glued to my laptop. So my dad would go through it and go, “Maybe this page could have one full stop on it.” And I’m like, “Yes, good idea, dad.” So they went through it first and they were great at going, dad was brilliant at not understanding anything, so anything I put in there, any slang or idiom or any terminology, he was like, “What does this mean?” He just understood nothing which was fantastic because then I was like, all right, okay. Then I had my mate, Erin Huckle read it, and she’s a PR person and a copywriter. So she was really good at just doing, “I think you could talk about this here. Oh, I didn’t get this bit.” And then I had another two readers, Lauren and Bronwyn, and Bronwyn was quite really, I don’t know, both of them were great because they were like, “This bit’s crap.”

But then they were also like, “This bit’s hilarious.” And I needed that. So they were a right balance of good and bad. Then I’ve sent some of it to an editor. At first he started to mad edit it, and he was stripping out all my voice and everything, and I was like, “Bill, calm down.” So now he’s just doing light edits and then it’s being pre-read. But I think it’s a really important point that you made there that the publisher isn’t going to be in the nitty-gritty, that’s for you. And the truth is as well, it’s a hard one because most people buy a book based on the cover, the blurb and the promise. And how many times have you bought a book and opened it up and it’s pretty shit. Really sorry to swear.

But it’s not what you deliver, you’d already bought it by then. It’s too late, isn’t it? And yes, reviews make a difference, but a lot of books are bought on shelf appeal, not on reviews. And it’s an interesting thing, how good does it have to be? Some of the best books out there. Now, some of the big books that everyone’s reading, I’m not going to name any names because it’ll be slander, but you get the book and you go, “Really, this book could be summed up in two paragraphs.” The whole ethos of this book is do small things, don’t be a get, enjoy the process. That’s the whole book in one line. But you’ve already bought it. So it’s interesting. I’m babbling like a balloon, don’t worry, I don’t do this in the book.

CLARE:

And you can look at it through so many different lenses. Well, because I got to the end and then got the copy and then I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I should have gone deeper into this.” And then it’s like, but there’s got to be a line somewhere where you’re not giving an entire course into a $2,000 course away in for your $30 book. So it is really, really hard finding that balance between having something that adds value. And I know that my book is a lot thinner. I felt like a bloody Roche roar and pace. I’m going to be honest. And I got the copy and I was like, that is so thin. But then a few people said, “Clare, mate, it’s a book about prophet. No one wants to read a bloody,”-

Kate Toon:

Well, this is it, my date, 4,000 words. And my publisher was like, “Make sure you keep it to around 70.” So she might drop out 15,000 words out of mine. So it’s different for me though, because mine isn’t a course-

CLARE:

Yes, I know.

Kate Toon:

… It’s not what I actually teach. I teach SEO, I teach copy and I teach business, but it’s not exactly what I do. I could have written an SEO book, I could have written a copyright book, but couldn’t be bothered, to be frank. Who wants to read an SEO book? Geez, I don’t. And I’m an SEO. So mine’s a bit more anecdotal, a bit more narrative, a bit more, I remember that time when this happened and blah, blah, blah. But Lense is subjective. We know with podcasts, shorter episodes do better. Shorter posts do better.

Sometimes the longer post do better, if someone’s into it. I don’t know, it needs to be thick enough. The other thing is if it gets too thick, it goes up in the postage. My last book was too thick, it waived 256 grams, but I’d charged everybody the shipping for 250 grams and suddenly I was down $3 a book. So that-

CLARE:

$2 a book.

Kate Toon:

But that added up. And I was poor then. So it was a good book. You don’t want a heavy book, you want a light book.

CLARE: T

here’s lots of things to learn there, isn’t it? And when I think about the most impactful books that I’ve read in my life, they are so different. Some of them are quite action oriented, some of them are just this story that you just walk away from. You’re like, God, I love that book. Somewhere hilarious. But not really a lot of content or value. And so I guess creating a book is such a vulnerable process, isn’t it?

Kate Toon:

It is. It’s really hard. I don’t read business books. I can’t bear them to be honest. So it’s ironic that I’m writing them. My favorite kind of self-help book is this one I’m just showing Clare, Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff. And it’s all small stuff. You can see how doggie it is. But mostly I read novels. So for me the story is really, really important and the narrative and the flow and the cadence and all of that. But then obviously I’m trying to disseminate information and advice as well. It’s really hard. It’s raw and you’re sitting there constantly. You have moments where you’re like, “This is okay. No. This is good.” And then the next day you’re like, “This is awful. Why am I even writing this book? Who’s going to read it? It’s embarrassing. Oh my God, it’s so bad.” It’s such an emotional journey.

CLARE:

Yes. And then when you-

Kate Toon:

This is why most people don’t do it, Clare. Most people don’t do it. Did you see my meme, this stat? I think I’ll love this, I want to find it. I saw a meme and obviously we know all memes are 100% true and I live my life by quotes on the internet. But it said this, “Your friendly reminder that out of 97% of people who decide to write a book at some point in their lives, only 3% finish the manuscript. Only 0.06 make it publication. Writing is hard. Always, always take pride in what you do.” Boom.

CLARE:

There you go. I think there’s an extra level of vulnerability about it because when it’s out there, it’s just out there. And I know that I’ve found some major booboos in my book already, like I’m talking accounting booboos, which is really not cool. But that’s the thing, some people are going to have that copy and whereas something like a podcast, you can go pull a podcast off-air. If you later go I probably shouldn’t have said that. You can pull it down, you can tweak it, you can edit it. With your book, people got the hard copy in their hand.

Kate Toon:

It is print. And that’s terrifying. I used to work in print in advertising, so I once published a catalog for a big conference at Birmingham at NEC 10,000 copies. And I spelled extinguisher wrong on the front cover and no one noticed. And they had to go out. And this is the sort of thing, and I’ve got some financial stuff in mind, also super conscious of cancel culture and saying the wrong thing or using a joke that’s no longer PC and being ripped a new bum hole for that. That’s why we need these lines of defense and readers that read through it and go, “That’s a bit harsh. Don’t say that. That sounds weird.”

Because you can’t see it yourself. You’re in it and little turns of phrases that you and your close audience get, other people don’t get. And the book spreads you to a wider audience. And we know that having any kind of profile people start slinging poo at you from the back of the monkey cage. Once you’ve got a book, it’s so easy to leave a nasty review on Amazon. So easy. This book’s awful. Who does she thinks she is? And of course we ignore the 100 nice reviews and just read the negative ones. So that’s why people don’t publish books because it’s exhausting, terrifying, expensive, vulnerable, and you don’t make any money out of it. So why would you?

CLARE:

Well, because it had been prefaced to me again and again and again that you don’t make money out of a book. So the way for me, because I’m all about profit, I was really thinking, how does this then become part of my sales funnel? So mine has been done very… I was like, I need to bring in this many clients. I need to solve as many courses and then I recover the cost of the book and then the rest is cream. But that’s something that I found shocking when I first heard it. I was like, “What do you mean people don’t make money?” So do you want to explain that a little bit for, because obviously some people do make a lot of money-

Kate Toon:

Of course.

CLARE:

It’s professional authors out there. JK Rowling is rolling around-

Kate Toon:

Well she’s doing okay.

CLARE:

… With her $100 bills.

Kate Toon:

I love that. Oh, she’s a bit of a questionable character at the moment. But she did take herself off the richest list people list by donating so much of our money to charity. So I thought that was pretty cool. But yes, of course you can make money, but I think you have to sell at scale. So when you self-publish, you obviously pay all the costs, the typesetting, the pre-reading, and then you’re paying for the book to be published. You can get it print on demand or you can get boxes sent to you. And depending on how sick the book is, you’re probably talking eight or $9 per copy of the book. And then you’ve got to get it out there, you’ve got to post it to people, you’ve got to promote it. And all those soft costs, the marks and costs add up as well.

Most self-published books sell about 100 copies if we’re honest. You can put it on Amazon, you can put it on Kindle, but still. So self-publishing is a big investment. You get more of the return. You get all of the return, but it’s still a luxury to be able to do that. It’s an indulgent. With publishing, publishing, if you get picked up and given a contract, sometimes you’ll get paid for a book. That’s probably going to be more if you are a really well known person. Most publishers have a little bit of a hybrid model where you invest in a number of books, maybe 1,000 books, then they handle all the type setting, the pre-reading, whatever in the distribution. And then you get a dollar 50 per book that’s sold. So you’ve got some copies for yourself, but generally you push the copies that are in bookshops.

So it is an expensive exercise, but then lots of things in business, you don’t get the exact return. Facebook ads are expensive. Having a podcast is a huge investment of time and energy. Speaking at conferences, most people don’t get paid, huge investment of time, energy, travel, whatever. So anything that’s about, for me, brand amplification, building your brand top of funnel is always expensive and always a bit of a gamble. This truth is though, and we know this in our business, that if you have a book, you are just taking a little bit more seriously. This is something about a book that we super respect as a human race, that if you have had the capacity to put your ideas in a book, you must be pretty, must know what you’re talking about. So it’s a difficult one. There are high costs and then returns are sometimes difficult to measure exactly, I think.

CLARE:

Do you know what’s so funny? It’s the people who’ve come onto the meet author series, this is the same thing that keeps going.

Kate Toon:

Oh really?

CLARE:

Everyone’s like, “It’s exhausting, it’s expensive, you make no money, it’s this, it’s this, it’s this.” But yet, we’re all doing it. So let’s maybe talk about-

Kate Toon:

The why’s.

CLARE:

… The what is the reason? You did sort of say then one of them is that people take you more seriously. What are some other pros of writing a book?

Kate Toon:

Look, I did make money with my first book. I sold nearly 4,000 copies. I definitely covered my costs. And the thing for me is it’s a bit like a podcast. If somebody spends time reading your book, say it’s an 80K word book, it’s going to take them at least a week. Hours and hours. That’s hours and hours you are spending with them intimately a voice in their head. You cannot buy that. You can do all the Facebook ads in the world, but if someone has read your book and invested all that time, they either love you or they hate you. And all good marketing is divisive anyway. So not everyone’s going to like you, but those who love you, they’re going to love you. They’re going to think you’re funny. They’re going to get your jokes, they’re going to trust you.

You’ve got authority, you have a relationship. That is why I do it. Also, from a slightly more less egotistical point of view, I really think my book’s quite helpful. I really think it could help someone move from point A to point B, stop them feeling crap about themselves, give them encouragement, give them a light at the end of the funnel, as I like to say. I think that’s really important. And also, I don’t know, it’s ego things. It’s opening the box and smelling the book. It smells amazing. You’ll smell weird, I think. Remember you saying it smelled weird? I don’t know. Someone said that on a thing. It smells weird. Maybe it was me.

It’s profile raising. It leads to speaking gigs, it leads to podcasts. It’s weird. I don’t know, there’s lots of positives. Also, the process of writing a book, although hard and difficult is anything, it’s running a marathon which, a half-marathon I’ve done, you discover an awful lot about yourself in the process, how you respond to pressure, whether your ideas really stand up and what you need to make them stand up, who you are. It’s a lot. So it’s a really great personal development course that you don’t have to pay for, but you do have to pay for.

CLARE:

Don’t have to pay for.

Kate Toon:

And we were talking that you’ve had coaches and you’ve been on retreats and all that kind of stuff, and that’s expensive. You’re going to a retreat, it’s three and a half grand to eat muesli in a farmhouse in Kangaroo Valley. And yes, you meet some great people, but it’s a lot of money and writing a book is probably the cost of 10 retreats. But I feel like you learn an awful lot more about yourself from that process. It’s a bit more lonely and isolated and there’s no muesli, but you learn a lot more.

CLARE:

That’s right. Knowing muesli, unfortunately. And I have to say, I’ve been blown away by how many opportunities it’s opened up for me in terms of… When I launched my new course, I’ve rebranded my whole business and my course, the Profit Academy Foundation. I’m like, “This is awesome.” There’s no way I could go to people and be like, “Hey, I’ve got a new course. Do you want to put me on your podcast and talk about it?” People are like, “I don’t really care.” Whereas when I’ve got a book, I am having people constantly reaching out to me saying, “Can I please have you on my podcast?” I had Emma Isaac from Business Chicks sent me a DM and said, “Do you want to present a masterclass to the business Chicks’ community?” I’ve been begging for years to have an opportunity like that. And this is the stuff that happens when you have a book.

It’s that opens doors up for you and people are happy to shout it out.

Kate Toon:

Hasn’t happened to me, Clare, so I might need to get your list.

No, so Emma Isaacs hasn’t emailed me. But I think that can happen. It depends as well. Your book is perfectly pitched, it’s very clear what it’s about. There’s a definite read this and you will be able to do X. And I think that’s a very businessy business book. And I think if it’s got a real benefit like that, mine’s a bit more intangible. So that’s why maybe Emma Isaacs, if you’re listening, my inbox is open. But I think it does and it gives you a bit of confidence because again, by the time you’ve written the book, whether your ideas are good, you’ve really examined them and flesh them out and you’ll never be short of stuff to talk about ever again. You could stand up and talk about profit for three hours without stopping now. And that’s gives you confidence I think as well.

CLARE:

Absolutely. So you can make money off it if you Kate Toon, I’m hoping that mine will break even someday.

Kate Toon:

It won’t necessarily. The way I look at it though, Clare, is that line of business, that line in my zero account may not break even, but the ripple effects to selling courses, to selling resources, that is where you make the money. So I think it’s really important not to claw back the money from the book, but to see it. Do you ever go, how much money have I spent on social media in the last three years? You’ve not got a line in your zero covering that and you’ve not got a line in your zero covering your podcast. You’ve been doing this podcast of ages. We did it back in the early days when you were in a cupboard and I was in a cupboard. You don’t measure that. So why do we put so much pressure on books to be financially viable? We don’t need to. It’s part of the marketing mix.

CLARE:

100%. And I think it’s such a powerful, powerful tool. To your point, there’s some pieces of content that just go a lot deeper. And I do think that a book is one of those things. So with your book, you said you learned a lot about yourself. What’s been the biggest thing that you’ve learned in writing this last one?

Kate Toon:

I think that I can make myself sit down and write. I’ve sat down and write 5,000 words in one sitting in an hour and a half so I can write because I’ve moved away from being a copywriter, haven’t had a client in four years. And I write obviously everything for my business. Every post, every comment is me. That’s the one thing I won’t let go of. But you do doubt yourself as a writer. But I feel I can write, I feel I’m quite funny. That sounds a very arrogant thing to say, but the comments that have come back from people are often that it’s laugh out loud, they’re nearly weed themselves and things like that. And for me, I want to make people wee. Not think, but just wee. So that’s been really important. And also I think that I’m blooming, determined and persistent.

If I say I’m going to do something, if I give someone my word, I do it. Even if it’s hard. Even if I don’t want to, I turn up and I do it. And I think that’s been a big thing in my business as well. So it’s tested my metal. What do they say? A woman is like a teabag. You don’t know how strong she is until you put her in hot water. Writing a book is the ultimate hot water and I’m proud. I’m really proud of myself as I’m sure you are of you. It’s a big achievement. So I’m proud of myself.

CLARE:

There was something that you said just then… I know what I was going to ask. Did you learn anything about being a parent in the process of helping people to-

Kate Toon:

Balance.

CLARE:

… Be running their six figure business in six hours a week? What sort of came up for you?

Kate Toon:

Well, I literally wrote in the conclusion that this book, I needed this book to write this book. Because my son is 13, it’s very different to when he was little, but it’s school holidays, managing that guilt of, and we went on holidays at Brisbane and every morning I had to get up at 5:00 AM write some of the book and then be ready to go down and have breakfast with them at 7:30. So massive time management staff, managing guilt, managing mindset, managing money because I wasn’t able to put as much time into my real businesses at the same time. So absolutely, it was an absolute test of all the recommendations I make in the book. But also I guess the big one as well is from one to five, being a parent, it’s just a bit crap.

You’re not going to set the world on fire. You can do your best, you can survive. Not necessarily sure you can thrive unless you have a partner that’s really doing the majority of the parenting. For me, I really didn’t take off until my son went to school and then now he’s a teenager. I’ve got the flip of it because now I’ve got so much more time to work on my business and I wish I could just take him to the park, but he doesn’t want to go to the park because I’m embarrassing.

So I worked hard when he was little and there’s always a bit of you that’s going to regret that, but then you can’t just sit there and look at your kid for five years and weave and make cookies. You can’t. So you have your business and you feel guilty about it. It’s not making any money and you’re exhausted. And I think that’s just a phase you have to go through. And I think I’m at a different phase now and it’s so much easier. So I want to give people hope. It does get easier. There are ways through and don’t give up. Don’t give up.

CLARE:

That’s so motivational. Well, I can’t wait to get a copy of the book and I’m sure the listeners can’t as well. So I will put the links to your website and social so that people can keep an eye out for when it comes live. Any last words of wisdom that you want to share with the listeners who might be thinking about launching a book?

Kate Toon:

I think-

CLARE:

Having a baby.

Kate Toon:

Having a baby. Having a book baby. Look, I think really the time spent in the planning, working out your pitch, what’s this about, spending the time working on your chapter summaries, who your audience is, what your comparison books are, all of that stuff is not stuff you have to do if you self-publish, but you should do it because you’re actually testing your idea and seeing if it’s strong enough.

There are a million books written about business and parenting and money. Why should yours exist? And don’t get to the end of that and go, actually it shouldn’t exist because it’s already been written before. Everything’s been written before. I went into Glee bookshop and I was like, bloom and egg, there’s so many books, why would anybody write another one? But we want to read again the same thing again, again and again and again and again and again. So I think really examine your idea and make sure it stands up, but have the self-belief that the world needs your book because one person reading that you could change something really important for them. And as I said, it’s the most fantastic personal development that you will ever do for you and your business.

CLARE:

I love that. So the common theme that’s coming through is it’s absolutely terrible, it’s stressful, but just do it anyway.

Kate Toon:

Pretty much.

CLARE:

I love it. Well look, thank you so much for coming on. We always have a great chat and all of the details to get in touch with Kate will be in the show notes for today’s episode. Thank you for tuning in.

I hope you are feeling inspired and excited about what is possible for you when it comes to money. It takes a lot of time and energy to create a podcast. So I’d be very grateful if you could take the time to hit subscribe, write me a review and share any of your favorite episodes with your audience on social media. The more people that we can reach, the more people we can empower to earn more in their business because you can and should be earning more money.


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