Zoe McKey is the bestselling author of Find What You Were Born For: Discover Your Inborn Skills, Forge Your Own Path, Live The Life You Want. Zoe speaks five languages fluently and provides communication and personal development coaching to clients all over the world.
Zoe is from Romania, a post-communist state bordered by Serbia, Hungary, Ukraine and Moldova. Because of its communist history, capitalism has not yet fully taken hold there, and Zoe calls her self publishing adventure a “reckless jump” that has paid great dividends. When she took the leap into self publishing she was a working student and she decided to quit everything to focus on self publishing as her career.
When Zoe decided to take the plunge and write a book to be self published she had several doubts, any one of which might have stopped another person from writing their book. First, Zoe is not a native English speaker. Second, this was her first self-help book. She wasn’t well-known in the marketplace, although she had a few coaching clients. Finally, as a woman in her 20s, she doubted that she had wisdom worth sharing.
Now she has a whole line of personal development books available on Kindle Unlimited. She has helped people all over the world. This interview is really an inspiration and just goes to show that anyone with persistence and determination can be successful at self-publishing.
Zoe has a fascinating personal story. Her father left her to fend for herself at the age of 14 after giving her just $30 to live on, all the money he had in his pocket. She survived 11 years on her own before moving back to Romania.
We had a wide-ranging conversation which included the topics of: self-publishing, personal development, and the importance of listening and developing personal relationships.
Here are some of the highlights of our conversation:
- Don’t wait to share your wisdom. You don’t know who your book will help.
- How Zoe uses the example of Harry Potter and Hogwarts to keep her going.
- The best way to learn is directly from your audience. That’s the power of self-publishing. Authors can directly connect with the people buying their book. They can use feedback directly from their audience to decide whether or not to change their message in any way.
- It’s important to filter out negative feedback that is not constructive from constructive criticism. You can learn from constructive criticism. Negative feedback that isn’t specific should be ignored.
- Every book you publish makes you a better writer. So every time you write and publish a book you’re the best writer you can be, and you get better every time.
- How to write books quickly and with a lot less struggle.
- It’s important to get along with as many people as possible. The only way you get anywhere in life is with the help of other people.
- There is true power in reciprocity and giving back to others.
- How to write several different books in the same niche using the “pickle jar” analogy.
- We all have the same types of problems, whether we are a billionaire, blue-collar worker or homeless. The human condition is universal.
- Listening skills are important. Practice them with your friends. The more you listen, the more you will learn, and the more you will be able to accomplish your goals.
- To practice your listening skills in conversation, ask questions related to what you’re talking about with your friends, continue to listen and ask more questions.
- Zoe’s coaching clients usually know the answer to their problems. Zoe’s expertise as a coach comes with knowing the right questions to ask.
- One way to increase your social skills is to be genuinely interested in other people. The most important person in anyone’s life is themself. If you are genuinely interested in them they will like you better.
- If you approach people with interest and a genuine smile that will go a long way to making a good first impression.
- A smile is a very simple way to connect with other people easily.
- How to begin the process of writing a book in English if English isn’t your first language.
- If you are a non-native English speaker and your main clients are in America it is best to choose an American native speaker. If you choose someone in England or Australia they will have different idioms and spellings of words than the American audience is used to.
Books by Zoe McKey
Links and Resources Mentioned in the Interview
Just Listen by Mark Gholston.
grammarly.com — online grammar checker.
upwork.com — Zoe recommends this site as a place to start your search for an editor.
fiverr.com — another place to start looking for an editor.
Connect with Zoe McKey
E-mail Zoe McKey at email@example.com for her personal recommendation of an editor for people who aren’t native English speakers.
www.zoemckey.com — learn more about Zoe, her coaching services, her books and how to contact her on her website.
Connect with Zoe on Facebook at facebook.com/zoemckey
Connect with Zoe on twitter at twitter.com/zoemckey