You’ve been burning to write a book. It seems like a good business idea, but for you there’s something deeper to it: you’re being called. By writing a book you know you can bring your message to a much wider audience, and if you can do that, you’ll have a greater impact on people’s lives. And that’s why you’re in business in the first place: to make a difference

But you have no idea where to get started to make this dream a reality. How will you wrangle all of your ideas into something cohesive? Where will you find the time? What are the first steps? And do you have what it takes?

I can help with that!


I’m a coach for entrepreneurs like you who want to make a larger impact with their work by writing a book, but the process of writing seems daunting. I help shape your ideas into a cohesive whole, create an action plan, and get down to the writing so you can make deeper inroads with the people you want to serve.

Hearing the call…

Growing up, I knew I was going to be a writer. And I did what writers do: I wrote. I wrote simple little stories as a kid, fan fiction for Fantasy Island before fan fiction was a thing, and took my first crack at writing novels in high school. In college, I majored in Psychology because I thought it would help me to develop characters and understand people, and I studied literature and film. I worked as a writing tutor and came to understand the roots of writer’s block.

… and not answering it

But something happened after I got out of college. I lost sight of my goals and I got busy just making a living.

By the time I decided to get an MBA in my late twenties, I had all but forgotten my childhood plan. But a spark remained. I got the idea that maybe I could combine my passion for entertainment with my MBA by finding an internship in Hollywood.

At Duke, the expectation was that business students line up conservative, a well-paying internship for the summer—something engineered to be a resume booster, something that would present a clear narrative to potential employers. But that’s not what I wanted. I was certain there had to be a place for an MBA in Hollywood and I was determined to find it.

But how the hell would I pay for this? I mean, Hollywood internships are notoriously underpaid. Plan A was to manifest the money through the universe. For Plan B, I ran my whacky idea past my parents. I explained that I would always regret it if I didn’t take this one last chance to make my dreams come true. They agreed to be my safety net.

To Live and Thrive in L.A.

When the summer began, I still didn’t have an internship lined up, just a few leads, but I got in my VW and drove the 2,500 miles to LA anyway.

Something magical happens when you declare to the universe that you’re not settling. That you’re not playing small anymore when it comes to your ambitions. It starts to line things up for you.

Once in LA, being in the right place did open up opportunities. I got not one internship, but two. One was a film studio, and I thought it was just what I wanted, except, small detail: it was unpaid, which, while normal in the film industry, is unacceptable for a business school internship.

The other opportunity was a record label, Rhino Records. The culture there was epic (we’re talking dogs in the office). But my ambition was the movies, so I had the audacity to ask Rhino if I could work odd hours around the other job so that I could do both. What’s crazier: they said yes. That’s how the universe operates when you’re unwavering about your intentions.

Ultimately the film studio gig was not what I expected so I ditched it after two weeks (you know, answering phones, going on coffee errands…). The Rhino job, on the other hand, turned out to be spectacular. The work was challenging, intriguing, and aligned with my values. And I got two raises and ended up exceeding the school internship salary average.

It was a life-altering experience. I was completely unreasonable in my demands of the universe and it indulged me with great opportunities that were deeply fulfilling and that informed my life’s work.

Back at school in the fall, I had found the piece that I thought was missing. I was able to take that new-found confidence and do business school my way. But more importantly, I cultivated a sense that I could rebel against convention and make it work for me. I tapped into my courage to take risk.

The Trance State

But despite my brief foray into the land of milk and honey, my intimidating student loans led me into the financial security of a well-paid corporate gig. You see, I have this really healthy right brain/left brain balance and it turns out my left brain is really good at earning money. I succumbed to that allure for a long time, falling into a kind of materialistic trance state.

Externally I was thriving in roles where I oversaw project managers and engineers and led initiatives that saved my company millions. And I was excelling in a leadership capacity — developing future leaders through coaching, guidance, and motivation. But inside these accomplishments felt flat. They lacked meaning for me.

I was feeding my hunger for something more soulful in activities outside of work: I studied the psychology of Carl Jung. Through my exploration of depth psychology, I learned about the archetypes: universal patterns of energy that influence our lives. I enrolled in a two-year certificate program to become an Archetypal Pattern Consultant and this provided my soulful side with much-needed sustenance. Eventually, I woke up to the fact that working at a Fortune 100 company wasn’t my jam. So I made a big move toward honoring my whole self.

I walked away to pursue my PhD in Organizational Systems from Saybrook University. After several months of pouring myself 100% into my doctoral program, I realized that I could probably slow down my academic pace and start working again, but no way was I going to return to a corporate setting. I’d heard about life coaching and I’d experienced the benefits of working with a coach, so I decided to get certified by the Coaching Training Alliance.

Coaching was a blast: it was like taking all the aspects that I loved about being a business leader — working one-to-one with employees, helping them to get focused on what was most important, identifying and overcoming obstacles — and distilling it into my own entrepreneurial enterprise. I was hooked.

The trouble was…

I didn’t know what I was doing from a business perspective. And I didn’t have the right mindset for the venture. Then my dog had a health crisis and paying the vet bills tripped my switch: I started to think that I needed a salary. All too easily, I found myself right back in a corporate setting working for another financial services company.

It was a pretty sweet gig, comparatively speaking. Now, instead of driving out costs, my role was to improve the customer experience. I learned a lot about the criticality of putting the customer first in your business and making their experience of your offering a top priority. I also continued to refine my skills in project leadership and motivating others. But I wasn’t driven by a profit motive. I longed to make a more significant impact with my work.

So I did something radical, I was honest with my boss about my ambitions: I didn’t want to climb the corporate ladder, but I did want to help others on their journey to self-improvement. We came up with an unorthodox plan: I could lead the company’s professional development function if I was willing to take a step back. The fact that my salary would be unchanged made this a no-brainer for me. I was carving out my own little niche inside a corporate setting.

But constant organizational change, including employee layoffs, took a toll. Ultimately my return to a corporate setting reinforced that it wasn’t the environment for me. I have a strong independent, unconventional streak and I felt too stifled within the confines of the staid environment of financial services.

Outside of work, my doctoral studies were keeping my soul on life support. Saybrook is sort of a hippie school that grew out of the Humanistic Psychology tradition. I was taking electives in topics like consciousness and mythology and added an esoteric bent to my quiver of tricks. It was quite a contrast to the corporate setting. Eventually, I decided to leave my corporate job in order to focus on the final six months of my doctorate. And so I chose to walk away from another six-figure job.

Figuring Out What I Wanted to Be When I Grew Up

Once I had my PhD and 300-page dissertation in hand and had taken a much needed breather, I turned my attention to that age old question: what did I want to be when I grew up? I thought about how I had lost courage in my fledgling coaching career. Perhaps most importantly for me at a soul level, I finally resurrected that old dream to be a writer. I vowed that as I created a new business for myself, that writing would be at the center. For one thing, I would begin each day by honoring my own writing practice.

After some additional honing of my coaching offerings, I came to realize that my deepest passion, writing, needed to be the core of my business. I immersed myself in learning about how to be a better writer and coach, how to build my business, and how to sculpt my mindset. I started training with some of the best and hired coaches to help me navigate my new business venture.

Fast Forward to Today

Now, I share my own unique experiences of a being a lapsed (and reignited) writer with other aspirants. I help them figure what has held them back from their aspirations, and together we navigate around those obstacles.

I bring all the skills I’ve learned and honed along the way (top-notch project management, the ability to find a client’s hidden fire, knowledge of adult learning) together with a passion and talent for the writing process to create a writing coaching experience exquisitely tailored to the needs of each client.

I know the pain of turning away from your ambition, of refusing the call to create, but I also know the magic that unfolds when you do finally answer that call.

So, let’s get you moving on your book! Check out my Book Writing Blueprint to see the steps you can take to get started today. Just provide your email address below to get the free download.

Looking for personalized help with the Blueprint? I’ll walk you through it in detail and provide a customized critique as well. See my Let’s Do This Book Launcher for more details.

Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line at kira@kiraswanson.com.

 

The Lighter Side

I’m an INTP and have equal doses of right-brain/left-brain. I love hiking, soccer, dogs, books, and movies. Here are some of my favorites.

TV:

  • Breaking Bad
  • Fargo
  • The Sopranos
  • Mary Tyler Moore

Film:

  • My Cousin Vinny
  • Adaptation
  • As Good As It Gets
  • Harold and Maude

Music:

  • Peter Gabriel
  • The Cure
  • Cat Stevens
  • The Doors

Fiction:

  • All Our Wrong Todays, Elan Mastai
  • Night Film, Marissa Pessl
  • The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
  • Demian, Herman Hesse

Non-Fiction:

  • The Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge
  • The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz
  • Loving What Is, Byron Katie
  • Memories, Dreams, and Reflections, Carl Jung
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