"Some days it feels like an emotional connection with the people who need to hear it. And those are good article days... it's a great pleasure when people write back saying, Oh, that just hit the mark for me today. That was exactly what I needed to hear. Did you write it just for me? And I'm like, No, I wrote it for me, but I'm glad it helps you."
Zoë Routh has been writing all her life, but she still wrestles with imposter syndrome, titles, and days when it just feels like a chore. Luckily for us, she's learned a lot of really useful stuff about how to deal with all of that, and she shares it generously in this week's conversation, along with some insights on dealing with difficult people and what happens when we get outdoors.
The best business books include powerful stories that get across key points in a memorable, engaging way. What if we could make those stories accessible to more people, more easily? That's the vision that prompted Shuhrat Ashurov to create Storypack, a microlearning app that gives people in business access to a library of stories from business books and also encourages them to add their own.
Shuhrat talks about how he personally recognised the power of story-based learning, the difficulty of getting people on board in the early stages, and the way he and the team have worked with authors to extract the various types of stories in their book from the context of the book so that they can stand alone and reach more people, more easily.
Whatever the future for business books, this is surely a part of it.
'Failure can be quite a deceptive word... misadventures feels like a much more forgiving word that allows you to go off and try stuff.'
Gayle Mann and Lucy-Rose Walker have supported thousands of entrepreneurs in their work with Entrepreneurial Spark and beyond, and if there's one thing they've learned it's that the reality of being an entrepreneur is very different from the version portrayed on social media.
By encouraging entrepreneurs to share their misadventures and how they coped, they hope to end the conspiracy of silence: you're not alone, and you will get through this.
They also learned a huge amount about writing a book and hosting a podcast along the way, which they share with hilarious frankness here!
"Being open to the journey of innovation of your own book is really important..."
Someone told Elvin Turner as he prepared to write his first book to expect two things: first, that he would have a ton of new ideas, and second, that as he forced those ideas onto the page, they would simplify, and simplify, and simplify.
Turns out they were right, and Elvin revelled in the 'IP generator' that his book Be Less Zombie turned out to be.
In this fascinating conversation we talk about zombie companies and the importance of embedding innovation, but also about how that process plays out in writing. And we also muse on just how late a manuscript has to be before it's REALLY late...