Garrett: Hello and welcome to Eight Questions. I’m here with Honoree Corder, a writer, speaker and professional ask-kicker. Honoree is the best selling author of about 20 books, including Prosperity for Writers, Vision to Reality, and Successful Single Mom book series.
(If you prefer audio, you can listen to this episode on the 8 Questions Podcast)
Honoree, welcome to the show.
Honoree: I’m so happy to be here. How are you?
Garrett: I’m good, how are you?
Honoree: I’m awesome times bacon.
Garrett: That’s pretty awesome. Let’s launch right into it. So, you basically insisted I include the term professional ass-kicker. So, how does ass-kicker fit into your career and your life?
Honoree: Well, I want to say that insisting and then ‘professional ass-kicker’ makes me sound really mean, so we have to loop that in that I’m not actually mean.
Garrett: But don’t you think you can be if you need to be? If somebody needs that?
Honoree: Oh, yes, I definitely have that tool in my toolbox, for sure. But I don’t like to use it.
Garrett: Oh, no, nobody does.
Honoree: Only when absolutely necessary. A professional ass-kicker was the term that a few of my business coaching clients gave me years ago because they didn’t think that business coach or executive coach quite encapsulated all that I was doing to and for them.
Garrett: Well, it’s a good term. You do a lot of things. What does your daily routine look like?
Honoree: My daily routine looks like I get up at 4:30 in the morning, so that I can do some morning practices, a lot of Miracle Morning.
Garrett: That wake up time gave me a minor heart attack. That’s every single day, 4:30?
Honoree: It’s every single day, six days a week. Some days I sleep in but now sleeping in is 6:00. So, I have a reason for doing that, and that’s because I’m a Mom and I have a 16 year old daughter, so that 7:00 – 8:00 hour when she’s getting up and going to school is the time where I’m making – this morning I made her a waffle sandwich.
Garrett: A waffle sandwich? Okay. I think we need to add a question, what is a waffle sandwich?
Honoree: Yes, so it’s two waffles and then I make a fried egg and then I fry some ham or turkey or bacon and then mustard and a slice of cheese. That’s her breakfast.
Garrett: That sounds utterly incredible. I love it.
Honoree: I make her breakfast every day and so for those of you who are like you’re a bad Mom, high cholesterol, right, it’s kind of that special thing I do on occasion where normally I’ll make her a much healthier breakfast. But I’ve been not home a lot lately so I pulled out all the stops so I could get back in the good Mommy graces.
Garrett: Every parent does that. I came back from Austin and for three days in a row we watched movies every night. We’re normally trying to minimize the TV and all that, but when I came back from Austin after being gone for nine days, you spoil a little bit.
You’re like hey, I’m sorry I was gone, let’s be a little bit irresponsible just because I want you to continue loving me.
Honoree: Right. Let’s have some fun. I’m not above a waffle sandwich.
Garrett: All right. You have a very active community, I’m referring specifically to the Prosperity for Writers group that you have. So, how do you go about growing that community?
Honoree: It’s really been word of mouth. I stole out of the playbook of every single person I know and I’m in their community who’ve built successful communities on Facebook. So, Julie Huss and Mark Classen and Hal Elrod with the Miracle Morning community.
Every single one of those people were putting together a really strong community, and so I may be slow but I’m not dumb, so it took me a little while to start that.
But I wanted people to go to have a place where they could ask questions, get support and just have a place on Facebook where there is no negativity at all. It’s all positive, empowering reinforcement for the people that are members of the community.
I wanted that for myself.
So, I figured if I wanted it, then other people probably wanted it too. It’s really just been people telling other people and adding them to the group.
And I also say that you can shamelessly promote yourself, whereas in other groups it’s like no, you can’t do that. It’s all about this group and the problem that I see some writers have is owning their greatness and allowing prosperity.
So, if they have something that they want to talk about and promote, I encourage them to do shameless self-promotion in the group.
Garrett: Okay. So I think very few people would disagree that word of mouth is the best method of promoting not only a group in a community, but really anything.
Do you have any tips for encouraging your audience to use word of mouth, because I want people to spread my books through word of mouth? How do you instill a quality that makes them want to tell other people to join the community?
Honoree: The only thing that really comes to mind is that I ask them to invite the person that they know who’s a writer who wants to make more money as a writer, or have more abundance as a writer, or go full-time as a writer.
Then I try to provide an environment that they can’t help talking about.
Garrett: That’s awesome. That’s interesting, and it kind of ties in with a little thing that we’re doing after the time that you and I, and a bunch of others spent together in Austin, is that – and it sounds like a click bait article but it’s that one weird little trick.
To spread word of mouth is that just asking can be very effective, and we’re going to be trying that.
We’re going to add a thing in Sterling and Stone to all of our autoresponder sequences, at least some of them right off the bat and see how it works, of a few emails in just going hey, do you know somebody else who would also appreciate the stories that you’re reading? Why don’t you invite them to get a free book as well, just like you did when you signed up.
That’s one little thing that not many people think of doing.
Honoree: Someone that does that very well is John Vrooman who founded the Front Row Foundation, and he has the Front Row Factor Podcast.
At the end of the podcast he says who do you know who would love to listen to this podcast, share this podcast with them today.
I kind of go okay.
Garrett: That’s very cool.
Honoree: Because when I hear that because it’s an embedded command. Share this one with someone today is an embedded command, and people will take action if you phrase it in the form of a directive.
Garrett: Exactly. So, for the Prosperity for Writers, Facebook seems to be, from someone who is not a member of that community, although might be in the future, Facebook seems to be the primary place where people hang out. What led you to choose Facebook as the primary hangout space?
Honoree: That’s where I’m primarily hanging out.
Garrett: That’s where you hang out.
Honoree: That’s where I hang out. Who’s more than six inches away from their Smart Phone right now? I dare you to call yourself out. Nobody.
Garrett: I think I’m about 13 inches. I always put it on the next desk so that I can’t just pull it out all the time.
Honoree: So that’s a real thing, is that we’re connecting with people that we knew a long time ago, and we’re connecting with people that we just meet, all of it on Facebook. Everything is on Facebook right now.
That’s the main thing, although I have a teenage daughter, as I mentioned, and she’s now on Snapchat. That’s where all the cool kids are now. But also on Instagram.
Honoree: The only place that fills the void or the space, or provides the space for hanging out right now I believe is Facebook. If there’s something else I don’t really know about it.
That’s not specific to like Goodreads is a place where readers hang out and some authors hang out. And some people don’t really like it, but a lot of readers hang out there, but Goodreads is not a place where the whole world is going every day to tell and to see.
Garrett: I’m so glad that I’m on Snapchat because you basically just said that I’m a cool kid, because I’m on Snapchat. That’s tremendously validating. Thank you for that.
Honoree: You’re welcome. Any time.
Garrett: Does that tie into a general philosophy of social media for you where do you really only do social media if it’s a social media that you spend time on, or do you try to make inroads on social media that don’t necessarily come so naturally to you?
Honoree: I try them all. I’m curious about all of them. I’m interested in all of them.
Some of them I don’t resonate with as much as with others, but I’m pretty much an early adapter. I had a Myspace page.
Garrett: Way back in the day.
Honoree: Way back in the day. And then there was Twitter, and I remember where I was when my daughter’s babysitter said well, I’m on Facebook with my friends and I was like what’s Facebook, because I remember that day. And thinking oh, how cute, the high school kids are on the Facebook.
And then here we are, all these years later, still utilizing it as a business tool and as a personal tool, and I think they’re very interconnected, especially with what we do.
Garrett: I don’t remember where I was when I first heard about Facebook or Twitter or any of that. One day it was just there, clinging to my leg like a dog in heat. And my life has never been the same.
Honoree: It’s odd. I can’t say I knew where I was when Kennedy was shot, so I can say where I was when I found out about Facebook.
Garrett: Why does that sound so terrible? I need to process why that seems so awful.
Honoree: I don’t know.
Garrett: I don’t know where I was during many significant events. It’s about my kids. My memory is just terrible in general. So, it’s pretty much I just remember where I was when my kids were born.
Honoree: Hopefully you were with them.
Garrett: Yes, I was right there, having my hand broken by my wife. That’s where I was.
Honoree: That’s where you should be. Amen.
Garrett: So what would be your top productivity secret, as a very productive person who has your finger in a lot of pies, what one weird trick lets you do as much stuff as you do?
Honoree: I subscribe to “No” is a complete sentence. I put bumpers and boundaries and guidelines around what I will do with my time and what I won’t do with my time and I stick to it.
I was listening to another writing podcast this morning and…
Garrett: Honoree, you wound me. No, of course I’m kidding.
Honoree: I know, but I listen to all of yours, all of them. I’m 2X because there’s so many. But I listened to another one and the co-host was kind of saying well, why can’t this guy just call me back, not a text, not a phone call.
And yet I heard another productivity expert say if I responded to every single person who sent me a text or an email or wanted something from me, I would never get anything done.
That would take an entire afternoon to respond with “No, I’m not interested in that” or “No, I don’t have time to read your manuscript and write a review for you” or “No, I don’t have time to give you free advice” or “No, I don’t have time to answer this question for you.”
So, I just don’t do a lot of that.
I have an assistant. I’m one of those people, you have to go through my assistant.
I do that because I have so many things that I want to get done and yet I can’t say yes to everything, and I want to have time to make the waffle sandwich.
I want to have time to watch movies with my family in the evenings and on the weekends.
So something had to give.
I had to get more and more protective with my time, and then I have things that I like to do that some people would consider time wasters, like watch TV or read fiction. Not that we would call that a waste of time.
Garrett: Definitely not.
Honoree: Definitely not. We encourage that behavior. So that is my reward.
Garrett: I just want to say, the waffle sandwich is one of the best closed loops I’ve ever personally encountered on this podcast. Bringing it all the way back to that, that was two thumbs up.
Honoree: I’m a highly paid professional.
Garrett: And I think that “No.” is a complete sentence is such and important and understated truth because I try to respond as much as I can and then sometimes I just cannot.
And I always feel bad, and yet this is one of those things that I feel bad when I do it, but I also reach out to some people sometimes, creators who I really like.
Maybe I want to have them on this podcast. Maybe I want to see if they’d be interested in doing a project together. A fair amount of the time I don’t even get a response.
And when I’m sending the message I’m like oh, of course, I understand. They must be so incredibly business, of course they wouldn’t be able to respond to every email, and mine is one of the ones that fell through the cracks.
Honoree: They might be busy getting a massage. It might not be that they’re so busy. It might be that they just have lots of things that got on the list before you did.
And so let me close the loop on “No.” is a complete sentence, and requires no explanation.
Garrett: Right. Exactly.
Honoree: You don’t have to say “No, I can’t do that because…” and then give a reason. No. I’m not able to do that. And these are my six favorite words, are you ready?
Honoree: That does not work for me.
Garrett: I like that. That’s good. And again, that is something that as a person reaching out, I’m totally fine when other people are that way and I am working on trying to be okay with doing it myself. That’s a very good tip.
Honoree: Me too, and I think one of the challenges that I see people have, is that they feel obligated to people that they don’t know that are asking them to take up their most precious resource, which is their time.
When you recognize that, when you’re on the flip side, let’s say, when you’re doing less of the asking and getting more of the asked, then you realize why some people never got back to you.
It wasn’t an insult. It wasn’t I’m ignoring you because I don’t like you, or I’m ignoring you because you’re not worth my time. It’s just that we’re already using all 24 hours of our day.
At some point we have to draw a line.
So that’s how I get a lot done, is I don’t say yes to anything without saying no to it first. My first response is always no.
Then I get more information. No, I’m not going to do that, and then I’ll think about it and do some research and contemplate it.
Garrett: Maybe come back around.
Honoree: Yes, or if somebody gives me a really good reason. I recently said no to something I know I absolutely wasn’t going to do it, and then the next day someone said whatever happened with that – and I’m going. I got snookered in.
But first response was no, I’m not able to make that happen, no, I don’t want to make that happen.
I would rather pull my finger nails out with pliers than do that. No.
Then I got more information and made a different decision.
A lot of times I hear people, and I’ve done this myself, where you’ve said yes to something and then you’re thinking if only there was a valid reason for me to escape from where I am right now, I would give it.
Garrett: Oh, for sure, for sure.
Honoree: And yet we’re stuck there because we can’t just leave. So, I try to put as many stoppers, because then that’s an hour I wasn’t writing a book, or I wasn’t spending with my family or any other thing that was on my list of priorities.
Garrett: And it’s very interesting where if you default to no, and I’m probably somebody who defaults to yes maybe a little too much, but if you default to no and then you change your mind and you say actually, I will do that, people can be pretty appreciative of that.
If you default to yes and then you say oh, no, actually I can’t do that, people are much less appreciative. So, there’s definitely some validity and some value to that sort of view point.
What does your “corporate structure” look like? I know you have an assistant, as you just said. What else have you got? What else do you do? How do you manage the various pies that you have fingers in?
Honoree: Wow, so are you asking do I have an SCorp, or are you asking who do I have on my team?
Garrett: Who do you have on your team? Probably a much better question in the first place, so let’s just say that.
Honoree: Do we want to have a legal conversation? We don’t, boring, end of podcast. No, we can’t discuss that.
I don’t like having employees, so everyone that works with me is their own boss.
I outsource everything, book covers, editing, proof reading.
Garrett: Even your assistant?
Honoree: Even my assistant. I made her form her own company, yes.
I encourage self-employment as much as possible for freedom purposes. There’s lots of freedom in being your own boss.
I’m a businesswoman first and foremost, so I come at pretty much everything through that filter.
Garrett: All right. I want to delve more into this because this is super interesting to me and I’ve actually never heard this before. So, can you please walk me through, you’ve just finished writing a new book, you’re going to publish it. Who do you interact with along the way and how are they their own individual people who are also working for you? This is interesting to me.
Honoree: My assistant then handles the handing off of the book to the editors. So, the book goes to the editors and then it comes back and I go through the edits. Then it goes to the proofreading, same people. Goes back for that one more, the line look over. And then it goes to the formatting and comes back.
Christina is my assistant and she’s handling the manuscript at every point of the publishing.
Meanwhile I have already gotten the book cover commissioned and then Christine then handles making sure that it’s available in all the formats that we need, because there are different dimensions and requirements for every platform, whether it’s an ebook or…
Garrett: I don’t know anything about that.
Honoree: Right. Just so you know. Every single platform has its own requirements so you need several different types of book covers.
Garrett: For anyone who doesn’t get the joke, I used to actually format books for Honoree. That’s why it was so ha-ha funny.
Honoree: Yes, and you design book covers and you’re amazing, but now you’re big time so you don’t have time for that stuff.
Garrett: I’m my own man. Now I hire people to do that shit for me.
Honoree: Was there a hair flip right there?
Garrett: I totally did a hair flip. I don’t have very long hair, but I flipped what I had.
Honoree: So that’s pretty much it. I have my ISBNs I bought in a block of a hundred so those are at the ready on Booker. So, we just log in and get an ISBN for everything. Some people say you don’t need them, but I don’t know that that’s entirely the case or will always remain that way. I don’t want to be going and getting ISBNs for different formats for hundreds of books at some point.
Garrett: And your assistant, I know I met her and I can’t remember her name, what’s her name again?
Garrett: Christina, wonderful by the way. So she’s her own company and her company bills you for the hours that she worked?
Garrett: Wow. I’m sure there are some people who are reading this who say oh, I’ve heard of this before. This is entirely new to me. So pardon me for quite intrigued.
So why don’t you describe to us in general, you do different types of creation. You write for yourself. You write your complete own books. You work with Hal Elrod. You have a number of different things that you do. Do you have a favorite type of creation and if not, what are the pros and cons of working in the different ways?
Honoree: I do write my own books and I am Hal’s business partner in the Miracle Morning book series. What that means is I am the producer of the books. I have ghost written a couple of them but now I oversee the entire production, including the ghost writer, if there is one.
I’m making sure that the books are done on time and meet the quality specifications.
And working through Christina, so some of that does get delegated to make sure that the back cover copy is written, and the book covers are finished, and they’re uploaded onto the different platforms, and the keywords are correct, and all those things get done.
But I handle that entire business for Hal so that he can grow the Miracle Morning brand and do his speaking and coaching. And I like it.
I’m at a point in my life where I’ve said no to all the things that I don’t like doing, and so every day when I wake up and I get up and I have my day, whatever it looks like, I’m so excited about it.
I just walk around going I’m so excited. My husband’s like what are you excited about? All of it, the whole thing.
Garrett: That’s wonderful, but these are obviously two very different methods of creating. But you have maintained both of them. What do you like about each one of them that makes you want to do both rather than just I’m just going to write my own stuff, or I’m just going to? What do you like about the one and then the other?
Honoree: Awesome. So, I like the writing myself because obviously I think I have something to say that’s valuable and one of my operating principles personally is to leave everything and everyone better than I found them.
One of the ways I can do that is through when I figure something out, I can write it in a book, and then someone anywhere at any time in the world can pick it up and read it, hopefully just in the nick of time when they need it.
So I can pass that knowledge on.
I can’t work one-on-one with every person, but every person could read my book if they wanted to and found the need.
That’s one side.
The other side is I’m working with people who have one book or no books with Hal’s co-authors and they are experts and the best at what they do. And I get to walk them through the publishing process and hold their hand and guide them in a way that I’m sure very many people could do having my business coaching side and my self-publishing experience.
Those things are married in this process and I like using all of the tools in the toolkit and really helping someone go from concept, to finished product, to best selling book, to stream of income, to everything that comes from having that platform of having that book.
I enjoy it very much.
Garrett: That’s really awesome. It’s funny, we know very few people who are satisfied with only one method of creation, or one method of, you know.
Honoree: Right. That’s true.
Garrett: Even people who think, oh, my dream is just to write books and write books all day. That was my dream. But I find that I have to balance that out with other methods of creativity because do any one thing, no matter how awesome it is, do it for too long and you get stuck and it all gets blocked up so to speak.
Honoree: And I listen to people who do say that they write all day long, and I am not someone who can write all day long. I don’t know if I have attention deficit or something like that, but I like to write for an hour and then do something else.
So my day will consist of writing for an hour or two and then doing a coaching call with a business client, and then doing a call with one of the co-authors, and then doing a call with the ghost writer.
A million other things. It’s very fun. No two days are exactly the same, which I like.
But I do agree with you that I’m interested in writing fiction, although I’m not sure I can.
Garrett: Of course you can. Come on, that’s ridiculous.
Honoree: Well, I’m trying to crack that nut and it doesn’t quite make sense to me like writing a non-fiction book.
Garrett: I can see you being the sort of logical person where you’re looking at the situation that you’ve created or the problem in the book, and you’re like well, just do this you idiots! Oh, wait, those are my characters and they’re supposed to struggle and figure it out. Okay. Okay.
Honoree: I just haven’t cracked that nut but I’m interested in it.
I’m interested in drawing. I like Donovan’s drawing.
Garrett: Donovan’s wonderful.
Honoree: And draws and painting and all different sorts of art. And I’m inspired by travel and seeing different things.
So, you’re right, I couldn’t just sit and write. I think people think oh, that’s the dream. You sit with a beautiful view and you write the books. And yet that’s only one piece of it.
I like the other piece of it too. I like the marketing piece, and the connecting with readers piece, and the business piece.
I really do like each part of it and I would be reticent to try to choose one.
Garrett: All right. Final question. It’s the one we ask everyone. What do you want your legacy to be?
Honoree: That I left everyone and everything better than I found them, and hopefully gave them the seeds of hope that they, with the right amount of work and commitment and all of those sorts of things, that they could create a life that they love and that they wake up everyday and they’re excited about.
Garrett: That’s really wonderful and I think any of us would be very, very lucky to check out with a legacy like that. Honoree, thank you so much for coming on Eight Questions and answering eight questions.
Honoree: It was my pleasure. I hope you get your questions asked some time soon.
Garrett: Start that podcast and maybe I will.
Honoree: I’m working on it.
Garrett: All right. Thanks to all of you reading. I hope you enjoyed this interview.