As a psychologist, Tony Crabbe was fascinated by our habitual response to the question, 'How are you?' 'Busy.' Every conversation and every observation of human behaviour seemed to point to a constant sense of overwhelm, and he saw it in his own life too.
'I had this growing gnawing sense that I was failing to be the dad I wanted to be, failing to have the impact in the career I wanted because of this busy-ness. As a good psychologist, I went to do research and I thought "What can I learn from great psychology that will help me on this?"'
What's particularly interesting from an Extraordinary Business Book Club perspective about this book is the way it mixes research evidence, human stories and practical application so effectively.
'I wanted to write a book that took research from really great studies but applied it to something, a user problem that people were really grappling with. I made it practical... academically robust, but at the same time deeply simple and practical.'
If you like me are interested in that tricky balance between academic research, engaging stories and drawing out the 'so what' in your book, this interview is pure gold.
A landmark episode this, with one of my all-time podcasting/writing heroes, Joanna Penn, who started her The Creative Penn podcast before the term was even invented. Her new book The Successful Author Mindset brilliantly demystifies the process of writing, and in this episode she shares how she's overcome her own demons of fear and self-doubt - demons that are shared by every writer, but which feel so uniquely our own.
She gives some great tips for pushing through the resistance, especially the special kind of energy required during the 'saggy middle', which I personally found invaluable, and on finding your 'voice'.
If you're struggling with any aspect of your writing, this is a great episode to pick you up and give you a whole load of practical tools for making things better.
In this week's episode I chat to John Bond, former MD of Press Books at HarperCollins and founder of Whitefox, which provides publishing services to authors and publishers, about how publishing has changed over the last few years, where it's going, and what that means for authors.
'Writers are getting more impatient and more entrepreneurial... they no longer find it acceptable that there's a process that traditionally involved finding a publisher, maybe via an agent, and that a year to 18 months later that book would see the light of day... It's a very exciting time to be producing things and connecting with people that might want to read them.'
This week's guest is Dr Penny Pullan, author of Virtual Leadership: Practical Strategies for Getting the Best Out of Virtual Work and Virtual Teams, and one of the winners of my recent 10-day Business Book Proposal Challenge!
Penny describes how she fell first into the world of virtual working and then into writing books about it, and shares some great tips for fellow extroverts who (like me) wilt at the thought of sitting alone in front of a screen for hours.
The Extraordinary Business Book Club is 20 episodes old! To celebrate, this is a 'best bits' compilation, with some of my personal favourite clips from the interviews so far. From structure with Michael Bhaskar and Karen Williams, through the marketing funnel with Bryony Thomas, lean authorpreneurship with Brant Cooper, and metaphor with Michael Neill, to the story of what happened to Natalie Reynold's first draft, which still makes me feel slightly sick.
If you're new to the Club, this is a GREAT place to start.