In this episode, Jess talks to Hilary Jastram, who is the founder of J. Hil Creative, which is a marketing agency that specializes in copywriting, editing and book editing. Hilary discusses her own special journey that took her from being a young girl fascinated with reading to a highly successful entrepreneur starting her own publishing company. She discusses the highs and lows of this journey and the importance of always staying true to ones self and making it a priority to always honor yourself!
- Hilary discusses the importance of having direction when writing, where is the story going?
- It’s so important to tell your story, and get your message out! Writing is a great way to document where you were and what you were doing at that time in your life.
- Honor Yourself!
Contact our guest:
Writer’s Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/268950474079872
Jessica Weaver 00:02
Hello money queens, welcome to Women behind the millions. I am Jessica Weaver, wealth advisor, Best Selling Author and founder of the woman’s wealth boutique. And we have a very exciting show for you today because I’m sure each and every one of you have one, at one point in your life thought about writing a book. And that might sound scary, it might sound overwhelming, hopefully exciting, too. So we are going to make your dreams come true. We have the amazing, very talented Hilary Jilstram with us today. She is a from Minnesota, a writer, author, a die hard word nerd. She’s a founder of bookmark publishing house, which specializes in Premiere book editing, publishing for Fortune 500 brands and the 1% superstar entrepreneurs. Bookmark was born out of the necessity when the inquiry she put out to help authors publish their masterpieces gained a ton of traction. Now it demands most of her time and she loves every single bit of it. She also hosts the right effing now podcast, I love that name. Because how many times are like I need to get this book out, I need to write this down. Just do it. Just do it ladies, helps you master writing, marketing publishing. I’ve been on her podcast, it’s a great podcast. So please tune in to it. And she is a dog and cat mom with three grown kids. One handsome, hilarious husband. As you can tell, she has a way with words. Thank you so much, Hilary for being on here with us, for the women behind the millions.
Hilary Jastram 01:40
Oh my goodness, it is my honor. Thank you, I just I just adore you. We have such a history together. So I’m just honored to be here.
Jessica Weaver 01:49
You feel like a friend that I’ve known my entire life. And even though we speak throughout the year, we just pick up right where we left off. And you’ve been a part of every one of my book processes. I mean, if you can see your video, if you’re watching on YouTube, on our blog, you can see all of my books, you’ve been a huge part of my book journey. And that’s what we knew we had to get you on here.
Hilary Jastram 02:11
Oh, well, I’m telling you what, though you are the ideal author, okay?So…
Jessica Weaver 02:18
what goes into becoming an ideal author?
Hilary Jastram 02:23
It’s accountability. It really is accountability, its ownership. And it’s wanting. I think it’s embracing every part of the process. It’s not just the fun stuff. It’s also like- I know, I’m gonna have to do this. It’s being open to learning what you don’t know that which I think is a superpower in anybody’s life really. You get your stuff done, and sometimes authors like they’ll just kind of like back away slowly.They don’t want to deal with it, but not you. You were like Nope, we’re going to go forward. You never missed a deadline, nothing!
Jessica Weaver 03:01
Yeah. So when you think about the, there’s a blocks of creative flow blocks, all of a sudden, you just do not know how to end the book. I remember that with my first book, like how the heck do you end a book. It was so overwhelming. Or when I would get the book notes back and I’m like, oh, and I have to reread what you wrote over and over again. There are some pieces that they’re not my favorite, I’m gonna admit.
Hilary Jastram 03:25
I think it’s safe to say it’s nobody’s favorite. Nobody wants their stuff back where especially you feel so good about it. You know, you’re like I did it, this is so great. And then your editor has the nerve to send it back to you. And it’s all marked up and you’re like, oh boy, but the best thing to do is to just go with the flow, go with the journey, go with what you need to learn. And there’s a reason there should be a reason for every edit. So there’s there’s none of these arbitrary edits that are like, I just want you to change this because…
Jessica Weaver 04:01
You’re not just messing with us ?
Hilary Jastram 04:03
Not often no no, I think people need to understand that like there’s there’s always a reason for it. You know and the products at the end. That’s the focus. The focus has to be what are we collaborative, you know, the collaborative process and like, what are we reaching toward? It’s the product, it’s like any piece of marketing and I know that doesn’t sound very glamorous , or like swoony or any of those things that we we romanticize writing books and we should. But as your editor as your publisher, that’s not my job. My job is not to romanticize My job is to be pragmatic and say this works and this doesn’t because we are collectively here for the good of the products.
Jessica Weaver 04:54
I love that you said go with the flow with that because I think so many times we have this certain way it has to be in our mind. And then when you get an outsider’s perspective, well, this is how it’s gonna appeal to more people, or this is how it’s going to resonate with more people. Or maybe we need more of the story here and there. To be able to take in that very productive criticism, or feedback is very important. Because how many books do you think you’ve read over the years?
Hilary Jastram 05:23
Jessica Weaver 05:24
How many do you think you’re at right now?
Hilary Jastram 05:27
I mean, I’ve got to be at 1000 books.
Jessica Weaver 05:33
I would say easily 1000 books.
Hilary Jastram 05:35
Maybe 5000? I don’t know. Like, I can’t even I read hundreds a year now. So I mean, it’s gotta be maybe 19,000. I don’t know, it’s a lot, because I’ve always been a reader too.
Jessica Weaver 05:50
So even outside of work, you are reading all along. I do want to go into your past, growing up and everything. But just for this note, I would bet that when you see a book, you can tell right away? How it’s going to do how it’s going to land with the readers.
Hilary Jastram 06:06
Well, first of all, I mean, everybody says, don’t judge a book by its cover. But that is what we all do, right? That we pick it up and we go, what in the heck was this vision about, right? So there’s that piece of it. Pretty much, pretty quickly, when I get into the book, you know, I can see if work has been done for the reader. So where people go wrong, or they kind of go off the path is they’re like, I’m going to write a book, and it’s going to be for me, right? When when we do that, the reader knows that immediately. Then the reader says, hey, you know what? I know you didn’t write this book for me, you wrote it for you. So what’s in it for me? If it’s fiction, I’m going to take you on a journey, right? I’m going to abduct you out of your reality. If it’s nonfiction, I’m going to teach you something , I’m going to help you improve your life or something like that.
Jessica Weaver 07:01
Its that value that we’re getting back from it.
Hilary Jastram 07:06
Yep, absolutely. And how are we presenting that? Right? I tell people that you want to punch them in the face when they open the book and be like, Whoa, right? They’re immediately captivated. You know, that?
Jessica Weaver 07:19
Yes, I hear its so similar with social media, and I hear my one PR woman, she goes, you need a gut punch every once in a while. It’s like, You’re too nice, or it’s too nice, it’s too fluffy. Like, you need to get in there with that ME. And I tell our advisors at the Women’s Health Boutique too, like, every once in a while you need that gut punch to wake the people up and say, I do need your help. I am hooked onto this concept. The idea of how much work the author has done for the readers, I never thought of that concept, but its like marketing 101, when you think about it, right? How am I going to appeal to the readers? Same thing with social media messaging? How are we going to get the readers engaged? What’s the value, or exchange of value we’re giving?
Hilary Jastram 08:03
Yes, and we get a little lazy. I think social media kind of makes us lazy a little bit, it makes it really convenient to just hit that ‘like’ button or some kind of emoji or whatever. And then we we think about like- Oh, I only had to do this little bit, you know, and then so and so responded this way. And it’s not the case, I want us to keep working. I want us to keep kind of, you know, plumbing the depths of our minds and presenting what we have. I want us to keep trying, this is an art, book writing is an art. Writing is an art. We should always be seeking to elevate it. You know , so the reader has that experience.
Jessica Weaver 08:46
What a great perspective. Yes, elevating it each time. I always felt this, I always felt selfish writing my books, because it’s something that I really wanted to do. It’s silly, because the point of the books was to help other women and to get the message out to more women. But I felt (and I think this is the industry’s issue) I always felt it was taking away time from my clients. Right away they would go- well, how many hours a week are you doing this? What hours during business hours are you doing this? So I felt bad like I was taken away from my clients. But then when I looked back, each book forced me to become a better advisor because I had to find new strategies, new ways of running money or more ways to resonate with the audience around money, in fact it made me better advisor each time. It’s kind of silly to feel guilty over that.
Hilary Jastram 09:37
Well, I think the thing is not to chastise our feelings but to acknowledge them and then move on from them. You know, we can say well, I feel this way or I shouldn’t be feeling you know so much, I dont want to say- so much joy or pleasure from writing your book, but it feels like sometimes we get off kilter a little bit you are allowed to feel joy you are allowed to feel all the things that you’re going to feel when it comes to writing your book, the main thing is to come back to then writing it for the reader, right? So you can feel all those things, and you get to feel that joy and like I wrote this and it feels so good, you get to revel in that. It’s almost like when we do a pay it forward line, you know? And we feel like this feels so good that is this the reason I’m doing it, right, but we still get to exist. We still get to say, you know, in that kind of balancing act of it is I do it for me, and I do it for you, we want to put the reader first I do it for the reader. As a side result of that, I also get to feel pretty amazing about what I’ve done.
Jessica Weaver 10:52
Yes, you can see how this would apply in so many ways, its taking time away from my kids, its taking time away from my spouse to write this book, or from doing X, Y and Z , which is very true. But when you think of it, doing it for the reader, there’s so much more of an impact and kind of lights a fire under your ass to does there’s a bigger message out there than me just sitting in my office and avoiding people to write so, there’s a purpose behind it.
Hilary Jastram 11:19
Well, there is a little truth behind it. All those truths are okay too. You know, that’s a huge part of what I help people with is mindset. And women particularly, are very good at guilting themselves. And they’re very good at saying -I should be doing this and I’m not doing enough and, and is it bad that I feel good that I can get away from my kids for a minute and have a moment of sanity? No, you’re human. All of this is human. So let’s just acknowledge it. And let’s stay focused. It’s like when my kids were little, I have old kids now, when they were little, they would say I don’t want to do the dishes. And I would say Well, that’s great, but that doesn’t matter, because they still have to get done. So, we got to focus on the end task here and keep moving forward. That’s helpful, I think because it gives you permission to feel those feelings and not belabor feeling them, why am I feeling them? Should I be feeling them? Just feeling them. You’re human, be kind and compassionate to yourself through the process and just always.
Jessica Weaver 12:26
Yes. And if you avoid your feelings, I’m guessing you probably will start to avoid the task. Procrastinate. Instead of just letting them move through you, and then you get to move on.
Hilary Jastram 12:40
Right? And you know, and it’s kind of like if you’re on, I don’t like the D word- diet. If you’re on a nutritional shift in your life
Jessica Weaver 12:50
It’s called a shift. Good, good.
Hilary Jastram 12:52
Right. And then you screw up. And you have, you know, a bunch of snack size mounds bars , you know. And then I’m not looking at anybody, I’m just saying that can happen. We’re not going to sit there and go- Oh, I did it, this is terrible, I can’t move on and just browbeat ourselves, we have to just acknowledge it. This happened. What am I doing next? It’s the same thing. It’s the same thing with anything with procrastination. When I talk to readers about you know, or authors, rather, why are you procrastinating , what’s going on? We had this goal, it wasn’t met, you know what’s going on? A lot of times that is imposter syndrome. You know, and so we talk about those things sometimes that procrastination has nothing to do with, I don’t know if I would say not wanting to do it. But there are deeper reasons, you might feel like, I don’t deserve to do it. That kind of mutates into -well, I think it feels like I don’t want to do it, but at the heart of it is that you don’t even think you deserve it.
Jessica Weaver 14:02
I have to say I felt all of those things that you’ve just said the imposter syndrome, the I don’t deserve to do this, why me? I can’t do this. Who am I to write a book? And then women, especially if you’re talking about women in the millions, even our clients who have you know, millions, multi millions of dollars. They don’t feel like a millionaire. It’s almost like they’re still questioning it and they’re holding on to it so tight. So I can see now you’re writing a book, which, right? It’s a legacy piece. It’s like, Well, who am I to have this legacy piece. It’s amazing that you’re able to now coach them through that. Instead of it being this upper barrier, this block. Now they can push through it. I want to switch gears here, Hillary I want to learn about how did you get into this? Did you wake up one day saying I’m going to help people write books. I’m going to be the editor. What happened growing up? When did this all start?
Hilary Jastram 14:58
Oh my goodness. I was your typical book nerd growing up, my mom would take us to the library and she didn’t drive. So we walked, we walked like the six blocks it was or whatever. Now I know if I live six blocks from a library that would be like heaven. So we lived so close, and then literally we would come home with just stacks and stacks of books. And she was like, go, go, go ahead, you know, get get as many as you want. Yeah, she was she was incredible.
Jessica Weaver 15:30
So she was a book nerd as well. Was the whole family? Or is it something that you bonded over?
Hilary Jastram 15:35
Yeah, I would say the whole family was a book nerd. My grandpa was a book nerd. He had these bookshelves by his chair, when you’d walk in, you’d see these bookshelves. And he had like Clan of the Cave bear all of those books. He had some Stephen King books in there, stuff like that. So we would always go up to the cabin every year and one year, and I must have been like, I don’t know, 10 years old, or whatever. He was reading Stephen King’s It. And that is an immensely fat book that is just, and I said, Grandpa, what are you doing? Can I read that book when you’re done? And he said, You sure can kiddo, even at the tender age of 10.
Jessica Weaver 16:19
That’s an intense, aggressive book.
Hilary Jastram 16:21
it’s a very intense, aggressive book. But the whole point was that let’s support these children. It wasn’t just me, these children who are hungry for knowledge, and they they want to know more. And I fell into these worlds like Clan of the Cave bear those books. I could not get enough of those. I vacuumed up a whole series.
Jessica Weaver 16:43
it’s almost like a mini vacation for yourself. Right? You’re entering this new world, this new history, period of time. Yeah, it’s almost like you’re putting your mind on vacation, and you’re just consumed in this new world.
Hilary Jastram 16:55
Yes. And so it started as like a joyful reason for a vacation. But then my childhood took some kind of twists and turns and we we lost a house and there was a divorce, and there was poverty and things of that nature. Then when I was older, there was bullying in high school.
Jessica Weaver 17:16
Thats a lot of trauma for a young girl for you and for your family. How many siblings did you have?
Hilary Jastram 17:27
Two – at the time. So my older sister and I are, we’re 22 months apart. We were like teenagers when everything started to go down in flames.
Jessica Weaver 17:37
You’re old enough to be aware of what’s going on?
Hilary Jastram 17:41
Oh, yeah, but you know when you’re not happy as a teenager.
Jessica Weaver 17:46
That’s tough, yeah.
Hilary Jastram 17:47
Thats tough. And you know that as a mom, because you don’t, you can see more insight into yourself when you were younger, even as your children grow. You can go back into your own childhood, and you can say- Wow, that, that makes sense that I did that, you know, and I don’t, I don’t ever use excuses. I’m never like, Well, that happened and I had to do it. But I can say that made sense, I had limited information. So I mean, all my whole life is all about forgiveness, love and compassion. I’m not even kidding you. Like I don’t do anything else. But the books were always an escape. I got into theater, I got into doing some of that sort of writing. I wrote books, mostly fiction, when I was in high school. And I always wanted something to do with books, it didn’t know what it was going to be. Then I got married and then I had kids and then I worked in a public accounting firm for a while and I worked you know in …
Jessica Weaver 18:57
Very different space than where you are now.
Hilary Jastram 19:00
Very different space and that was back when you had to wear like hose. You know, you had to wear like nylons to work and I would be like, Why am I torturing myself every day?
Jessica Weaver 19:10
That reminds me of the Spanx book, you know the story of Spanx and the hosiery department ,the whole hosiery industry, I should say, and the change of that. Okay, so you’re working there- How long did you work in the accounting firm for?
Hilary Jastram 19:23
It was like two years. But it’s really funny Jess because when I worked there, I had my core job responsibilities, but I loved writing so much that I was soon heading up the newsletter team, the local office, then I got into like the national office. I started doing everything in writing that I possibly could outside of an accounting firm and they were like, are you still gonna fax this for me or make this copy? And I’m like, I’ll fit it in okay, I guess. It just kept going from there. You know, I went back to school, majoring in marketing and advertising, which has greatly helped with the positioning of the books. Yeah, yeah, it’s, I have to tell you, I’m going to tell you a little secret now. And this is something that I hope never gets out, but I’m gonna put it out there. I never graduated from college. I never did. I got one year away, one year, I was that close! I had a cumulative 3.9 GPA. I was just kicking butt. And then I had to have massive knee surgery. After that, they said, you’ve taken out too much in student loans, you can’t come back. So I took what I had learned, I had already done my English, I had already done my core, you know, whatever. So I mainly had interning left to do. So I took what I’ve done and I went out and worked at a marketing firm for a while. And then I worked at a large regional furniture company doing their marketing. It was like 10 minutes from my house, and I could take the back roads and I could have coffee and listen to music.
Jessica Weaver 21:19
How old are your kids at this point?
Hilary Jastram 21:21
Oh they were like teenagers. Yeah. tweens and teens. So everything’s going along just fine, and that’s when I got sick. I was like, what?? I did it right. I finally did it right. You know? I didn’t march into a decision without thinking about it. I actually went back to school, I did it right. I sought out this job. I fought for a good salary, I fought for good core job responsibilities, and then I got sick. And now we know it’s a mess. So I’ve been in business now for seven and a half years. We started as a marketing firm, and then the books found me, so I I did everything I possibly could to work, right?
Jessica Weaver 22:11
Sure. You’re at that point where I’ll take anything that’s going to put money in my bank account and food on the table, help anybody. It’s interesting when you fell into books, and right at the same time, what was happening in the self publishing space for books? That was very right. That alignment and catching we can’t wait that marketing wave.
Hilary Jastram 22:34
Oh, my goodness, I couldn’t have planned it any better. I mean coming into this. So you know, we started as ,I should say I started as, there was no “we” back then I started as
Jessica Weaver 22:44
Yes, you’re HR, you’re the you’re the editor, you’re the operations manager, payroll.
Hilary Jastram 22:51
I was all of it. It was like Hello, this is the accounting department. Yes. So yes, to your point, it was anything to put food on the table, because all of a sudden, we lost that income. It was a really amicable parting with this company. They saw me get sick before their very eyes. I couldn’t walk down the hallway, without holding on to the wall.
Jessica Weaver 23:18
Oh boy , that must have been horrible. Like you said, you had all this momentum building and I want to point this out – there’s so many times in our careers where we have this amazing momentum building, and then something with your health hits or COVID forces you to shut down, right? You’re like, why now, but clearly, that was not what God had in mind for you. That was building you for that spot. But it wasn’t that direction.
Hilary Jastram 23:44
It was not. And he was holding a spot for me. You know, he said, Listen, I’ve been trying to tell you for a long time, this is your direction. And I did not listen. I did not listen- because I let my fear answer for me. So I would just say no no, I need a full time job and I need benefits and I need all these things, right? And we get pragmatic when we look at our lives, right? We rationalize.
Jessica Weaver 24:11
Oh yeah, we rationalize it, and I was to say what we’re leaving my father’s firm, right? I would say these are all the reasons I should stay, they well outweigh that one reason to leave and create something special.
Hilary Jastram 24:22
Yes, yes. We get bogged down. We think that’s our story. We go- well, this is my story, and this is how it’s supposed to end because I said it. But we deny ourselves these opportunities for learning and discovery, you know? I’ve gone through this so many times with the MS and exacerbations and up and down and all those things and each time I just have to ask myself what am I supposed to do with this? Not why is it happening to me because it can happen to anybody. Honestly, you know if I had all my problems to choose again, I would choose MS over a spouse dying from cancer, I would choose MS over my home burning to the ground, you know, with precious people and you know, all of that, right? We choose the devil that we know and we know that. So there wasn’t any time to think about it to you know kind of assimilate what’s going on here, there was no time there was only time to make money. So I just was like, I gotta make money. It’s through those connections. One of my clients had written a book he had self published and he had written multiple books, and I looked at his books. Because by this time, I had written one book. So I had written a novel by this time in 2004. In college,
Jessica Weaver 25:57
Oh, wow! Okay, so you’ve written in college
Hilary Jastram 25:59
Long, long time ago. My English professor took us on a field trip and he said, I want you to pick a person here in the crystal courts in Minneapolis, and write about them, you’re gonna write one chapter. I wrote about the grayest man I could find he had a gray suit, he had like a gray pallor, he had like a gray pants, like gray hair. This was gray, right? I don’t know why I zoned in on him, but it made him a serial killer and so I wrote that chapter and he said keep going, and I did. So I finished the book he needed.
Jessica Weaver 26:33
Your professor needed to know what was gonna happen.
Hilary Jastram 26:35
He did! This is before you know, investigation discovery, and behind the scenes and all of those things. The book was about the serial killers wife and like, why did she pick him? And how could she pick him? And how could she trust him and what kind of relationship, right? And it was, it was loosely based on kind of exercising some of the demons in my life of the people that I don’t know any serial killers, but I do know some very, you know, narcissistic malignant people. And so you get that out, you got to get it out somehow. Right?
Jessica Weaver 27:11
So that was your release. That’s fascinating. And it’s crazy, because we started this conversation about Stephen King. Here you are, writing in college, bringing your life into it.
Hilary Jastram 27:25
We do yeah, that first book, they say the first book is about its really about you, it tells you a lot about yourself. So if you think about your first book, you know, and everything that you’re sharing, and I think of your first book and I’m like, oh my goodness, you know, you didn’t have children then.
Jessica Weaver 27:46
Yes, felt like a baby at that point. And some of our advisors, they like to read my books in sequence and see the changes in , the evolution of Jess, even the covers. And I think that’s such a cool part about books. Is its documenting where you are at that time in your life. What you’re talking about, what you’re teaching. If it’s a how to book, educating, what you’re experiencing the stories around you, it’s almost like this time capsule. I never thought about until we had this conversation, and it’s critical to document that.
Hilary Jastram 28:23
Yeah, you have it all. You have it all documented. I mean, it’s crazy, because you can see the succession you can see, you know, decisions you make, like I remember you talking about your dog.
Jessica Weaver 28:34
I know, we’re big animal fans. Yes. Our Dukie who he was a mini dachshund was eight pounds. He broke our hearts because he had back issues twice, and we had to put him down. But I do want to go back to your book. So what got you into the books? This gentleman he needed your marketing help with his previous book or his current book?
Hilary Jastram 28:57
Well, I read his books, and I told him I want to redo them for you. He said- Okay! When I wrote my first book, I had studied for a year with a New York Times Best Selling editor. I had just paid money out of my own pocket, and I took an intermediate fiction class and I even did a little book reading at this class at the loft in downtown Minneapolis, which is a big hub for creative people, right? And writing escpecially. It’s an incredible place, Incredible. So I had this training under my belt and I had helped some of my friends, not for any money. Some of my friends would be like- Hey, I’m gonna send you my book, can you read it? Can you give me some feedback on it? So I was slowly getting into that world and this editor I worked with said- You could do this, and I thought, no, I can’t. No, you can do it , I can’t do it!
Jessica Weaver 30:02
Take the compliment Hillary!
Hilary Jastram 30:05
I know, I’m working on it, I’m a deflector, right? Alot of women are gonna be like, yes-that’s me, I’m a deflector. We’re not comfortable, you know, receiving compliments about ourselves. So, in any regard, I approached this gentleman and I said, you know, I want to redo your books, and he said-Yep, okay. I had done a little bit of work for him before, I had done like a press release for him and stuff like that. By the way, people don’t ask me to do that, okay, because I don’t anymore.
Jessica Weaver 30:41
Your focus is all on the books now. What is your process, I want to get into how people work with you. Let’s say the listeners , the Money queens listening right now, they have an idea, or they have a book. Alot of times, and I’m sure when people find out what you do they go, I have a book in me, I need to write a book. Everybody has a book inside of them. Or it’s maybe it’s even written? When do they engage you? What is the process like with you? This is a pretty loaded question. Right? How involved are you with the process, I’d love to go into that now?
Hilary Jastram 31:18
Well most authors that come to me have not written a word. They come to me and we start working together when they have an idea.
Jessica Weaver 31:28
Is it better to come to you with just an idea versus having something pretty written and established?
Hilary Jastram 31:34
Sometimes, yes, and especially if you don’t have an outline. If you don’t have an outline, we stop whatever we’re doing, wherever you are in the stage, we stop that because we have to know where we’re going. We have to have some defining strategy or blueprint. So many people will sit down and they’ll go, I sat down, and I wrote today, it was so great and I feel so good. And I’m like, okay, but where are you going? Why did you make that decision? Does it make sense for what you’re about to do over here? You know? It’s critically important that we do those things. So that’s where we start, we will go right back there. I’m not going to take something that doesn’t have a strategy behind it, especially if it’s a nonfiction. If somebody’s like, I wrote this book here and I don’t really know – I just got to put it out for my company. I’m like- Well, hey, that’s great, but you wouldn’t do that in any other piece of marketing would you, for your company?
Jessica Weaver 32:37
No, as you said, there’s got to be a direction, right? Even for us with managing money, there needs to be a direction, we’re just not saving and investing to save and invest. There’s a point to it, a process behind it. It makes sense that a book should be where you’re guiding a reader along the path.
Hilary Jastram 32:54
Yes, and so think about your book, too, if it’s nonfiction and geared towards your company. This book is the longest and most intricate marketing piece you will have. So that’s how we have to approach it, we have to chop it up into little pieces and we have to say, this piece leads into this piece, to this piece and this piece. It has to make sense. At the same time, it can’t be everything is relatable, because some people go I’m going to transition into this and this and this and this and this, and you go but it doesn’t relate. You know, we can make anything relate, it has to make sense. So people come to me with an idea. We flesh out the idea, I do everything I possibly can to create a no pressure environment. We’ll usually stop ourselves before we get started if we put on too much pressure. They’ll be like, I’m not sure when that took place- I don’t know if it was 1987 or 1988. I’m like, listen, that doesn’t matter right now. What matters is to go back to what you were talking about earlier, is flow, right? Get it out. You want to purge that book, from your system and then we’re going to go in and we’re going to move those pieces around. Everything can always be moved around. We have all the time in the world to edit, you are not going to take the first result that comes out of you and put that for sale, right? It is not going to be in the marketplace. We’re going to go through it numerous times until you feel thrilled, not good, Thrilled. I can put my stamp on this, I want to talk about it, It’s awesome. Then we know that we’ve done a good job.
Jessica Weaver 34:44
There’s so much that I want to tap into from what you just said. When you go into talking about the purpose of it and I know you’re starting to work with my cousin who’s a disabled veteran and he was so excited. He wants to get this book out and he messaged me right before your meeting. He goes what should I do to prepare for this meeting? I said like, well, what’s the purpose? What do you want to get out of having this book? Because as you said, it is, it’s the biggest marketing piece that you and the most time invested marketing piece that you will put into. What do you want to happen from the book? What do you want this book to launch you into? Is it speaking? Is it selling courses? Is it to build credibility? Get more clients? What is the purpose? What is it leading for you. And I was just interviewed on another podcast -Retirement Inside Out. We didn’t talk one bit about retirement, Hilary, we’re just talking about books. In branding, to me a book is a way for people to spend hours with me, but on their terms and on their time. So they could be in their pajamas cozied up by a fire, on the beach with their kids running around them, drinking a glass of wine. Its completely on their own term on their own time how they want to do it and it’s also a leverage play because now I get to be with 1000s of women at once. This is going to sound raunchy, 1000s of women at once, without it taking any more my time up. Ideal situation! Okay, so thank you for tapping into that, because that is a huge piece, especially for these women who are listening, they all have a powerful story behind their transformation, their journey. Let’s talk about legacy now. How much of a book can be a legacy in creating an impact? Even just creating something, I think we’re missing so much of that creative side of us, in the day to day world now. How can women start to tap into that creative side and start thinking about the impact that they want to have in this world?
Hilary Jastram 36:48
You know, I think it’s honoring what you want to do.
Jessica Weaver 36:52
Oh, that’s a great way to say it Honor, give youself honor.
Hilary Jastram 36:56
Give yourself some honor. Part of honoring means that you’re honoring the commitment that you made to yourself at the same time, right? So we know anything gets done through consistency and that’s very important in a book. And now, it’s important in this aspect, too. But what’s more important is that you’re choosing yourself, right? Sometimes we get bogged down and we say well, I can’t choose myself, right now, I have to get dinner on the table, I have to do this, I have to engage in that right? I have to do that. Right? My car blew up whatever the case is. You have to come back to the base of self always, what are we doing for ourselves? How are we honoring ourselves? If part of that has to do with telling your story, or has to do with sharing yourself, you are not going to feel satisfied. The second that a book or any sort of writing sinks its hooks into you, you’re done for , you’re going to be haunted, it is not going to leave you until you do something about it. You can’t outrun it, you can’t out eat it, you can’t out exercise it, you can’t outdrive it, you can’t out anything it, it will find you because it’s in those quiet moments when we can’t run from ourselves anymore, that we go, this is what I truly want. You’re going to have those moments, but what do you do with them? So you have to honor them, you have to make time for them. You have to say this is a regular part of my life, right? When I don’t do those things, you know, I suffer not just from a business perspective but from a human perspective, because I’m denying myself and I’m giving myself that message. You are denying yourself, and you are taking something away from yourself and you’re not loving yourself in that moment. So women who feel this, it’s okay, if you’re overwhelmed. It’s truly okay, if you’re overwhelmed. How would you have a frame of reference for what first step to take? It doesn’t come from reading a book, it doesn’t come from talking to an author. You may get some insight from that. But there’s some industry knowledge that you’re not going to have because you haven’t gone through it. Jess you know this because when you do your first book, there’s so many questions of , is this right? Am I doing this right? When do I do this? Why does this feel weird? This is weird, right? Am I the only one who’s ever done this?
Jessica Weaver 39:37
Thats the impostor syndrome as we were talking about before. Very true.
Hilary Jastram 39:41
So, you need a guide to help you along that path. You need a trusted person where you can go, I’m able to breathe, I’m able to not think about this. I know this person over here is gonna think about this for me. I don’t have to think about it right now. The biggest thing is give yourself that gift. If that’s something that you want to do, you can do it. I used to write at night when my kids went to bed. I’d be like, okay, everybody’s going to bed. And I was a single mom at the time. So I’d put them to bed, I would clean the house, I’d do the laundry, because I can’t do it while they’re awake. What’s the point of that? Mess? Right? So I would do that, you know, and then I would find that time to write. And it was a commitment to me, it had only to do with me , didn’t have to do with anybody else. What a fantastic gift to give yourself, it doesn’t have to do with how your house looks, or are you raising your kids, right? Or your in laws or your husband or whatever. It is a gift solely for you. And when you pour into you that way, you’re telling yourself I am worth it. And so that overflows into other areas of your life.
Jessica Weaver 40:59
I think that’s a perfect place to end. We could talk forever on this topic. How can you honor yourself ladies who are listening , men/ women who are listening. How can you honor yourself? Prioritize it , have that accountability-all of that goes into it. And to get your message out because the world needs to hear it, the world needs to hear your message. Thank you so much, Hillary for sharing all of this. Where can people find you , or go to you to get help when they’re ready to get going on that book? Where can they find you?
Hilary Jastram 41:29
They can find me at bookmarkpub.com
Jessica Weaver 41:29
Oh, so simple. So easy. Thank you again, Hillary for being here. We’ll have to get you back on because there’s more to come with writing your legacy, making an impact, getting your story out there, so much! So thank you Hilary , thank you Money Queens for a listening to us. Thank you all for supporting the show Women Behind the Millions.
Hilary Jastram 41:53