Welcome to the Author Audience Podcast. In this episode, Giving Birth to Dreams, I share why I’m so passionate about helping others write, publish, and marketing their books.
I know you’re busy; therefore, each weekly episode will be around 15-20 minutes in length.
Author Audience is a podcast for pastors, ministry leaders, and Christian Entrepreneurs – Christian business owners, Christian speakers, Christian authors. I’m on a mission to help YOU reach more people with YOUR message. You have God-given gifts and a messages to impact the world. Therefore, it’s time to let your light SHINE!
Each episode will be packed with ACTIONABLE training, spiritual inspiration, and encouragement for you to write, publish, and market your books. However, this podcast is not just about how to publish a book. It is so much more. Episodes also includes topics on online marketing, social media marketing, product creation, coaching, speaking, etc. My passion is to help you connect with your audience in the best way possible.
Get access to my video training on my ASCENT method for FREE here:
Enjoy the podcast! It’s my hope that these episodes are bring you on step closer to reaching more people with your message.
What others are saying about Author Audience:
“I belonged to a self publishing group on Facebook and found it to be overwhelming. I deleted myself from the group because I found Shelley’s program to be straightforward .” – Lucille Zimmerman
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Godly Gain Segment:
Each week, I share a Godly Gain segment for entrepreneurs who want to keep Christ at the center of their business.
Today’s scripture: “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” – Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT)
Thanks for listening!
You ROCK! I appreciate everyone of my podcast listeners. If you have a specific question for me, submit it here: www.shelleyhitz.com/ask
“Even the weakest light can hold back the darkness.” – Unknown
It’s time to let your light SHINE!
Can’t listen right now? Read the transcript below:
My name is Shelley Hitz, author of over 35 books and the list keeps growing. I’ve coached thousands of authors through my books, training programs, online events, seminars, and more. I’m best known for inspiring those around me to take action.
So if you’re an action taker, you’re in the right place. I believe you have a God-given message to share with the world. The question is, ‘Are you ready to shine?’
It’s time for the Center Stage Spotlight. This is where I share trainings and strategies to help you grow your business or ministry through writing and publishing books, marketing online, and creating products and services to sell on the backend. I’m not just about books, but so much more. I’m here to help you connect with your audience in the best way possible.
Today’s podcast is episode 00, titled Giving Birth to Dreams. So before we dig into the upcoming training I have for you on Procrastination to Publication, I want to set the stage for you and share a little more of my own story, and why I’m so passionate about helping people like you.
How It All Started
Honestly I never considered myself as a writer and never dreamed of being a published author someday. I know that 80% of the people say they want to write a book, but not me. I always wanted to help people. I went into the healthcare field thinking I was going to be a nurse or a doctor, and I ended up becoming a physical therapist.
As I was practicing physical therapy, I began to speak professionally on the weekend and on my vacations, with my husband. I would take the girls, he would take the guys, and we would speak to them on topics relevant to them.
My heart was to share with teen girls how to find their true beauty in Christ. As I was speaking with them I realized that I wanted to have resources to share with them after that 45 minute or 1 hour session was finished. So I made a website, FindYourTrueBeauty.com.
I’ll never forget the day in 2008 when our friend, and ministry partner, Phillip Telfer of MediaTalk101.org showed us his self-published book, ‘What Wouldn’t Jesus Do?’ When I held his paperback book in my hands I was impressed, it looked and felt great. That day became a defining moment, not only for our ministry but also for my career.
“I could do this,” I thought, and I had to find out more.
For the next few months I researched everything I could about self- publishing, and by the end of the year, I was a published author for the first time with my book, ‘Mirror, Mirror, am I Beautiful, Looking Deeper to Find Your True Beauty’.
I was a speaker before I was an author, but with recent advancements in technology anyone can get published in print, e-book, and audio formats. People started asking me, “How did you publish your book?” And little by little, God began to lead me into what I do now, which is helping others publish and market their books as an author coach.
I practiced for 12 years as a physical therapist before I took the big leap in 2011 and completely resigned my job. That was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. To give up that regular paycheck, the respect that I got in my career, and to really do what I felt God was calling me to do.
Once I resigned at my job as a physical therapist, my husband and I set out in an RV and planned to speak all across the country in youth events, conferences, camps, and everything, just kind of started drying up.
It was confusing because I quit my job so that we would have the ability to travel and speak full time but then all of the sudden the doors slammed shut. I was struggling and wrestling with God thinking “God, what is going on?”
But you know how they say hindsight is 20/20?
When all those speaking engagements stopped coming in, and we couldn’t even get people to bring us in to speak for free, we were like, “OK, what do we do now?”
That was in January 2012, just a few months after I resigned my job. We were living in the RV in Florida and we decided to spend New Year’s Day with my grandparents. We were watching football, having fun, sitting on the couch—I remember it vividly. I was checking email on my phone when I saw an email about a Kindle publishing course and I showed it to my husband and said, “I really feel like I’m supposed to do this.”
2012 was a prolific year for us. Yes, we published a few books before, but speaking was our primary income at that time. However, it flip-flopped.
We published 23 books that year. Wow. I don’t even know how exactly that happened maybe because it was a matter of we needed to pay the bills, and that year publishing began to pay the bills more than speaking.
We began to make thousands of dollars a month in royalties, and it was my first taste for the power of Kindle publishing and publishing in general. My books have been downloaded for free over half a million times on Kindle alone as of the time of recording this podcast, and that’s a powerful way to get your message to more people.
Not only that, I’ve actually sold books. We’ve sold over 103,000 books the last time I checked which was last fall. God is using this to provide for us, but also to expand our ministry and expand our business in ways I never thought possible.
My first book back in 2008 was written over the course of the year, and it was from different articles on my website for teen girls, FindYourTrueBeauty.com.
My recent book, Procrastination to Publication, I wrote it in one week. It’s because I’ve been able to develop systems that help me with that process. I have developed a method called the Ascent Method, and if you would love to learn more about that you can get my free training at AuthorAudience.com.
I believe God has given each one of us gifts to share, and messages to impact many. I saw, in even a greater way this year, how God has called me to help give birth to your dreams.
Giving Birth to Dreams
In 2005 my oldest niece was born. My sister lived in the same town at that time and invited me to be in the delivery room. I was still working as a physical therapist at that time, so I was sitting on pins and needles all day.
I was calling over and over, “Is she here yet, is she here yet?”
I just wanted to be there so badly to see her being born. I got off work, I raced over to the hospital, and I walked in the room just as the doctor was saying, “Here comes her head.”
I was able to watch the miracle of my niece Lauren being born, and to this day I say, “Lauren, you waited for Aunt Shelley, didn’t you?” Because it was one of the highlights of my life thus far, watching that miracle of birth.
I always looked forward to when I would be giving birth to my own children. However, that has not happened for me at this time. My husband and I have not been able to have children.
In December 2013 I had a miscarriage and it was devastating. I’m older, I just turned 40 this year, and I thought maybe that was my last chance. All of 2014, I pretty much walked through numb, emotionally.
You might be able to relate to what I was feeling if you had a significant grief in your own life. I was grieving the loss of what may never be. I walked through a healing process gradually over that year.
It was at the end of 2014, I remember it was the last service of the year at our church that I had a breakthrough. I sensed God saying, “Shelley, it’s time to move on. It’s time for a new season.” I was ready.
A few weeks later I launched my new program, Author Audience Academy. One of the things God showed me was that He will use me to give birth to dreams.
I may never give birth to my own children, but He’s using me to not only give birth to dreams, but also to books that impact many.
His purpose for me is so much bigger than I ever imagined, and I want to help you not only give birth to your dreams and goals that God has been prompting you to do in your business and ministry, but to help you give birth to books with powerful messages.
My Podcast Segments
Each of my episodes will have a Lights, Camera, Action segment where I will give you a Take Action Tip. Your Take Action Tip today is to get out a note taking device, or your paper and pen, and write out some of the dreams that you have, or the things that you felt God prompting you to share with others.
What kind of messages, whether it’s a message from your business in teaching people other skills, your testimony, or it’s on a certain topic, what kind of messages do you have to share with others? Take out that pen and paper, or that note taking device, and write down at least three things right now.
Finally, I am a follower of Christ, that’s who I am. I am a Christian speaker, I am a Christian author, I grew up as a PK—Pastor’s Kid. I have known what it’s like to be in ministry since my husband and I were missionaries in Belize for two years from 2002-2004. So, my heart is especially to help pastors, ministry leaders, and Christian entrepreneurs like me to get your message to more people.
Therefore I want to end each of my podcast episodes with a backstage pass, or what I call a Godly Gain segment. This is for those of you that want to keep Christ at the center. It’s really the heart and the motivation of what we do and why we do it. It’s not about us, it’s about him.
In each segment I want to share a scripture, something that we can apply to our walk with Christ as we write books, grow our business, market online, and reach more people with the message he’s given us.
Doing it for God’s Glory
This week I want to share the theme verses for my business, Author Audience.
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
This is where I get the theme, “Let Your Light Shine.” This is where I get the theme of being able to display and to share the messages God has given us.
If you haven’t used BlueLetterBible.org before to do a word search of the original language in the Bible, I encourage you to check it out. For these verses I looked up two different words, and the first word was SHINE. The Greek word for SHINE is LAMPO, which reminds you of the word LAMP. It means pretty much what you think, to shine.
Strong’s definition says it’s a primary verb, so it’s a verb, an action word. It says, “To beam, radiate brilliancy, give light and shine.” I just love that, to radiate brilliancy. That’s what I encourage you to do as you write your books, grow your audiences online, your platform and create products and services to share with others.
Now, the other thing that was really interesting was the word that you’ll find for GOOD DEEDS or GOOD WORKS; “let your good deeds shine before men.” That word is ERGON. I used to be an expert in ergonomics when I was a physical therapist, and ERGON means, “to work.”
I thought it was interesting, the outline of biblical usage, it says, “business employment, that which anyone is occupied.” So this is our business, this is what we do as our employment, “let your good deeds shine before men.” It’s interesting, because then it says, “any product, whatever, anything accomplished by hand, heart, industry, or mind.”
When we create a book we’re creating a product. It’s something that’s been accomplished by hand, whether it’s typing out or writing out, and God wants to use that work of our hands that he does through us to give glory to him. If you look back at the verse again:
“In the same way, let your good deeds [ergon: your work, your business, your employment, your products] shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
Our ultimate goal is that our work, our books, our products, the things we do on social media, will bring glory to God. I don’t know about you, but that gets me excited. I just got chills.
That is one reason I’m so passionate about helping you get your message to more people, so that you can live out Matthew 5:14-16.