I came “face to mirror” with the lumps and bumps I gained since my student days last week. It challenged my views on how we see vulnerability and how it can help us in our cause.
I realised I have increased my dress measurements by three sizes since I had the first of my children. It is the reason I dislike clothing shopping. Those mirrors that capture every angle can be disheartening. But the shopping quest was one I had to embark on because I had a branding photoshoot planned for the next day.
Our branding mentor at the Professional Speakers Association challenged our group of speakers at our last check in. She tasked both male and female speakers with making sure that our photos are professional and current. You can’t be promoting a brand that is outdated and so I braved the winter weather and subjected myself to a view of all my angles. I have to admit that somewhere in my not so not so distant past, those mirrors made me consider “Post Traumatic Stress” therapy after every shopping exertion. Every time I changed into a different size or outfit, I had to view angles that I never see on a day-to-day basis. I now know where those carbs went and what happened to that extra piece of chocolate cake.
As a writer, I realise that like our first draft of our books can be edited, a speaker’s suits and dresses can be chosen that reflect their best attributes. To find those best angles, you must come face to face with your vulnerabilities and decide which ones your audience can learn from.
I got over my former fear of being vulnerable, and this time I laughed at my contortionist moves inside the changing cubicle. I am comforted by knowing that a well-chosen outfit would present me in a favourable light. In the same way, seeing the ramblings of my mind transformed by my editor into a market ready book makes me realise that I need not be afraid of saying the wrong thing. Just as my professional speaking mentors can nudge me in a better direction, an editor can help me convey my messages in my books to reach the heart of my readers.
I had to be vulnerable to find the gem of a dress that I would use for my future talks and photoshoots. In the same way, our writing has to reflect some of our vulnerabilities. Some consultants have said that a book is an excellent business card. While I agree it is an excellent way to build credibility, I see books as a way of reaching people who don’t get to sit in your audiences. Books have the power to transform hearts and minds, but yet too many authors see them as a way of merely vomiting their experiences on the pages.
To be truly transformational, you must allow readers to peer into your soul. I am not talking about seeing all your lumps and bumps like I had to last week. Just one or two experiences that show that you are a genuine person and not a superhuman that can overcome every single challenge.
No one reaches the peak of their career without facing some challenges, no matter what industry you find yourself in. Your experience can make you the shoulders that your audience can stand on to get to the next stage of their career. Your struggles may just be the very thing that gives your audience hope and gives them permission to draw on their own courage.
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Hello, I am Kim Vermaak
I spent most of my adult life helping other companies build their dream and their brands.
After I turned 40, I wondered if there was more to life than taking care of children and slaving away to earn a living.
I wanted to create a legacy for my children and the next generation. I found that through my books I could celebrate who I am as well as teach others to earn a living through their writing.
Being an author is not a hobby. It is a business, and it is my passion to teach authors how to thrive in that business. I look forward to seeing your book business grow.
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