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At a young age, Barbara Breen left Zimbabwe to go to the United Kingdom with her sister to start a new life. Her father sent weekly letters that she describes as so full of life and wonder that it created this lifelong love for reading and writing, and eventually led her to write her own book, “52 Weeks of loving you and others.” Barbara shares how teaching children love and confidence will help them to go out into the world and love others.


From this Episode, You Will Learn 

  • Learning your personality and way of expressing love to others
  • Keeping our passions alive as busy wives/mothers
  • Why teaching children love and confidence is important

Keeping our passions alive as busy wives/mothers

Next, in this episode, Barbara shares how she manages her time as a writer, mother, and working her 9-5 job.


Learning your personality and way of expressing love to others

Barbara talks about her personality and mentions that as an introvert, writing is her way of expressing love to others. We all have different personalities and it is important to learn how we best express love as well.

Why teaching children love and confidence is important

Most importantly, every child is different and deserves to grow up in a home of love and confidence. Barbara teaches that communication and time management are key factors in developing love in your home and helping your children achieve healthy self-confidence.

Episode Resources and Links:



At a young age, Barbara Breen left Zimbabwe to go to the United Kingdom with her sister to start a new life. Her father sent her weekly letters that she describes as so full of life and wonder that it created this lifelong love for reading and writing, and eventually led her to write her own books, "52 Weeks of loving you and others." Barbara shares how we can help teach our children how to develop healthy habits to become happy confident adults so that they can go out into the world and love others. Let's start with this episode. I know you're going to love it.


CAMILLE [0:46]

So, you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business, sharing your voice. How do women do it that handle motherhood, family and still chase after those dreams? Well, listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.


CAMILLE [1:06]

Welcome back everyone to another episode of Call Me CEO. This episode is going to be extra special because I am here with author Barbara Breen, who has just launched a book called "52 Weeks of loving you and others." This book is all about teaching your children how to love themselves and others. And I cannot wait to dive into this story with you, Barbara, today. Thank you so much for being here.


Thank you for having me. It's lovely to be here.

CAMILLE [1:33}

Now, I have to just talk about this right in the beginning. You live in the United Kingdom. I am a huge BBC fan, and so, basically, I want you to talk this whole episode, so people can hear your lovely accent. I love it so much.

BARBARA [1:47]

I don't know if I actually have a British accent, even though I've lived here forever. Sometimes, I feel like my accent is neither here nor there, but you can let me know if it sounds British.

CAMILLE [1:58]

Well, whatever it is, I love it. It's beautiful. In fact, take me back a little bit because I know that you were born in Zimbabwe and you came to the United Kingdom at a very young age.

BARBARA [2:08]


CAMILLE [2:08]

Will you take us back to your roots a little bit and tell us how your life got started?

BARBARA [2:12]

Yeah. Obviously, so I grew up in Zimbabwe. That's where I was born. And my sister happened to relocate to the United Kingdom because of a friend who lived here. And we were close, so she said, "Well, do you want to come around and see?" So, I came to visit, loved it, and I was like, "Okay." And I just finished my education there, which was advanced level.

So, I was like, "You know what? Let me come back and see. If it doesn't work out, I can always go back." And back then, things were fantastic. I know in Zimbabwe now, there's a lot of things. But back then, things were fantastic. So, there were so many opportunities in Zimbabwe. It wasn't the case of, "You have to stay here." I had options to go to university in Zimbabwe. So I came here and loved it, and ended up staying here, and I've been here for over 20 years.

CAMILLE [2:58]

That's wonderful. Now, you are the mother of two children. Tell us a little bit about them.

BARBARA [3:03]

I do. I've got an 11-year-old called Chiara, which is spelled C H I A R A. She is funny, talented. She's also a mini writer, and she is the life of the party. She's always doing something. Never a dull moment with this girl. It's like she's one who is a popular child and I'm like I don't know where she gets this from because certainly not from me, I'm such an introvert. But she's such a life of the party.

And then, I've got Chairan. And Chairan is three, and he is a cheeky monkey. I always say to people, "If I had him first, I don't know if I would have had another child." Because he is just all over the place, and he's a boy. He's climbing literally everything and he just makes us have so much fun in the house because of all the naughty things he does.

CAMILLE [3:51]

Oh my goodness. Three-year-old. I made a blanket for my child, my firstborn and it said, "Cheeky Monkey" on it. It had monkeys all over it, so I love that you referred to that because I think that is a very British way of describing it and it so applies. I was like, "Okay. I know what you mean. I've had a few."

So, it's really fascinating to me that you talked about getting letters from your father and that was where you developed a real passion and interest in written word and the power that it holds. Talk to me about that. Where was your father when you were in that scenario? Was he back in Zimbabwe?

BARBARA [4:27]

He was. Yeah.

CAMILLE [4:27]

Okay. So, talk to me about that time in your life.

BARBARA [4:30]

So, what happened, just to go back a little bit because obviously, I grew up in Zimbabwe. At that time, there really wasn't all this Internet or these telephones. It was years ago. So, the most things you used to do was probably television and television probably only had one channel. Something like that. So, you had to find a creative way to enjoy your life as a young child, apart from just playing with other people.

So, one of the things that I used to love to do was just to read. I used to love to read any book I could get. And my dad was such a reader, so he always had different books. So, I was reading different books. So, when I came here, and because then, again, mobile phones were just literally coming in, so he would write letters, and I would so look forward to receiving those letters. He had a way of putting pen and paper together in such a way that he would describe everything about home in that letter. You describe the bird. You describe the house. You describe the food. You describe everything.

So, he knew that we were home sick, my sister and I. So, he really wanted to just bring home to us and being obviously, at that time, I was a teenager when I moved here, and I think he was also missing me as much as I was missing home and missing him and mum at home. So, that's really when I realized the power of written word because I realized that if you could bring home to me in that letter, then surely you can touch many lives just by writing things down and sharing them with the rest of the world.

CAMILLE [5:56]

Ah, what a beautiful legacy. Do you still have those letters that he wrote to you?

BARBARA [6:02]

Some of them, but this is something I always say to my sister, "That's my biggest regret." I don't like to regret, but that's one. And I always say, "I wished I had kept them." You know when you're a teenager, you move from place to place and stuff like that. You're like, "Oh, let me get rid of some of this stuff." And I did have a few, but not really a lot and I wish I had really kept them, really.

CAMILLE [6:22]

That's wonderful. And I get that. I actually had pen pals as a child and I agree with you. They weren't as many ways to connect and really feel bonded to someone else. So, having a pen pal really knits hearts together.

So, tell me a little bit more about as you're writing developed. And as you found ways to connect, was that something that you dug into and how did you develop that writing skill?

BARBARA [6:49]

I think like I've mentioned, I've always been sort of an introvert. So, in a conversation, people who would know me would probably say I'm quiet. So, I would find that most times if I needed to really say something important, I would end up writing. Even my husband always has little letters and different things.

So, I then realized that, "You know what? I'm actually more good at actually putting things into writing than actually speaking." And I know I'm talking a lot now, and it might sound hard to believe, but in a conversation, I'm probably the one who would probably say not very much. So, I ended up starting to write little letters to my friends, to my husband, to different people.

And that's when I realized that I actually loved how I was writing things and the way people's faces lit up when they read the letter. Because I think nowadays, some gifts, you expect them. Someone who buy you perfume or buy you different, you just expect some. So, I remember on my husband's 29th birthday, I gave him a letter about things I love about him. Today, he still has that framed in our garage, which he converted into an office and he loves to look at it and see it. And I'm like, "This is over 11 or 10 years ago, but he still has this thing and he reads it and he loves it." And even me, when I look at it, I'm like, "Wow. I still love everything that I wrote on that paper about him."

CAMILLE [8:12]

Oh, what a cool way to express your love to someone. I agree with you that it's so rare that we take the time to sit down, especially with pen and paper more than the digital way of expressing love, and especially, doing those things. I think that's something I would encourage everyone listening, to write down things that you love about someone that means something to you in a physical way that they can connect with because what a gift that has been for you and for also him to be able to look and ponder.
And I think a lot of times the things, the words that we visualize and internalize has become more and more real. So, for you and between your husband, I would imagine that only strengthens that bond of love for both of you constantly.

BARBARA [8:54]

Definitely. Yeah, definitely. You're right.

CAMILLE [8:57]

Yup. Well, that's wonderful. So, talk to me a little bit about being a writer because I've been writing a blog for the past, well, more than 10 years, and there have been times that I will feel blocks of tapping into that creativity or really feeling like getting my point across. What are some ways that you've been able to get through writer's block or find ways to connect with what it is that you really want to say?

BARBARA [9:24]

I think for me, it was just starting because I think sometimes you overprocess things. You want to write a book and you're overprocessing. So, once I've just got a quiet space and I just sit there and I just start writing. Sometimes, you write something, and then you go back and you're like, "Hmph. It's not communicating what I want to communicate."

So, sometimes I will leave it for a bit, sometimes take a walk. Do something I like and whatever. Then, come back to it again and by then, you probably have other inspirations. But for me, it's always making sure I'm in a quiet place. I think better if I'm in a quiet place. So, I tend to do most of my writing when the kids have gone to bed or early morning. I'm such an early riser, so early in the morning. It's quiet and I feel like I've rested so my mind is really fresh at that time and that's when I tend to do that, yeah.

CAMILLE [10:18]

I think you said it exactly true because it's really tapping into that piece and creating that Zen feeling. I recently created a Miracle Morning Principle that's available at callmeceopodcast. If you're looking for ways to create a Zen morning or a way to get into the zone. Yeah. So, if you want to go, and you can download that for free.

But tell me, Barbara, what is your miracle morning? What is the way that you really tap in or do you have a ritual or a way that you get into that zone?

BARBARA [10:49]

I don't. I wouldn't say ritual because sometimes when you've got kids, things go out of the way but I do try to keep sort of a routine as much as possible. So, for me, it's waking up early.

CAMILLE [11:01]

How early? Tell me how early.

BARBARA [11:04]

5:30 AM.

CAMILLE [11:07]

Oh, that's early. Yes.

BARBARA [11:08]

That's really early. So, I pray and read my Bible and stuff. I'm a Christian, so I would do that probably to 6. Listen to maybe some music or something I like to do. And then, from then onwards, that's when I start maybe writing or thinking about other businesses or things that I'm doing. I start to plan what I'm going to do, even plan my day. What I'm going to do because I work sort of 9 to 5 days, sort of 9 to 5 work.

So, I would make sure that between that time, I've set everything I want to do to make sure by the time I wake up the kids, get them ready, one for school, one for nursery class. I'm all set. I know what I'm doing that day. I feel more organized when I do that because the days I don't like if I sleep in because maybe I've had a late night, I just find my day is just all over the place. It's not as straightforward as it normally is. So, yeah.

CAMILLE [12:03]

That's really interesting because I don't know if you've read the book The Miracle Morning, but you just talked about nearly every single thing that's listed in that book.

BARBARA [12:12]


CAMILLE [12:12]

To read, to write, to pray, and to set your intentions. And those are all the things that they say you should do to have a successful day. Not that I do them every day. I’m working on that. I'm a work in progress. But you've got it figured out without even having read the book. That's amazing.

BARBARA [12:27]

Yeah. Wow, brilliant.

CAMILLE [12:30]

So, you said you're doing another job on top of writing right now, or when you say 9 to 5, what's the other job that you do?

BARBARA [12:37]

Yes. What I do is I'm like, I don't know what you would say there, but basically, it's like I commission packages for people who are in maybe care homes. That's what my specialist in that. So, my background is in the medical field, so I then trained to do that. So, I work from home. So, it just gives me that I can do everything on the computer. So, even before the COVID, I was also working from home. So, it was actually good in that way. Yeah. I'm a health professional, basically, a health specialist, yeah.

CAMILLE [13:09]

Okay. I can totally attest to understanding that life when COVID hit. I have been working from home all of these years and so it wasn't a big deal or adjustment for me that way, I think, goodness, for many people, it has been.

But I do get a lot of questions from moms who ask, "Because you work from home and you're balancing life with kids and with work, especially if they're at home with you. How do you create that balance so that you're able to manage both and still be able to get the things done that you need to get done?" Because you're doing double duty. You're doing 9 to 5. You're doing your passion of writing, and you're a mom. So, talk to me about that. How do you figure that out?

BARBARA [13:49]

So, for us, the beauty of it is that the creche, which is the nursery for the younger ones, the early younger ones. They are open, so they are able to go to the creche. Because if he was here, I don't think I would be able to work because he's got so much energy, and you have to be in meetings and different things. It's just not going to work. So, he's able to go to the creche, or nursery.

The other one is at school but obviously, she's 11. So, she's kind of independent in that way. So, what we do is we have a timetable of what to do. The school, obviously, helps in terms of deciding what to do as well. So, sometimes, I'll get her to sit next to me, where I'm working so that she can see me working and then, she's also working. In that way, she doesn't feel like she's doing so much work than everybody else. And in that way, I can also supervise what she's doing, making sure that she's doing the work that she's supposed to be doing.

You need to be organized. Definitely. Because if you don't, you'll just find yourself getting very overwhelmed. It's really a lot, especially Monday to Friday, when it's the time they go to bed, you're like, "Ooh!"

CAMILLE [14:54]


BARBARA [14:55]

10 minutes to myself. As much as you love them.

CAMILLE [14:58]


BARBARA [14:58]

But it's a lot, and so that's why on weekends, I try to have downtime where you're just literally, just there for them, because Monday to Friday is literally just one thing after the other. Yeah.

CAMILLE [15:10]

Yeah. Is there a system that you like to use as far as keeping organized? Like digitally that you use or a schedule that you keep when you do things and how? Or how do you stay organized?

BARBARA [15:22]

We just have like an organizer that we all can see as a family like in the kitchen or something, where you write who's doing what, who's doing this and that and that. So, we do that. And then, I also use my phone. My phone and my laptop or my iPad are my friends because I use the Diary, just to obviously put in there because sometimes you can forget a meeting or you can forget this. I just input all the meetings in there to make sure that it pops up like this. It pops up 15 minutes say, "Look. You've got a meeting with Camille." Because you could be in the middle of something and it just slipped your mind. So, I use things like that, prompt me for different things.

CAMILLE [15:58]

Yes. Yes. Those are all very good, very good ideas. I love that you have the calendar where everyone can see it. Everyone can read it and kind of know what's up and coming. Do you schedule your meals out as well? Is that something that everyone sees or is that something you do more on the fly?

BARBARA [16:13]

Necessarily, I tend to, I think it's a habit. I tend to cook every day. But because I work 9 to 5 and then, the little one, I have to pick him up at 6. So, I got that one hour before I pick him. So, I tend to do like easy meals, Monday to Friday. So no, I don't really, I just look at what's in the fridge and then, just whip up something for dinner that day. And if my husband is around as well, he will cook as well. So, no, not really. We don't really have a schedule for what to cook in the week.


CAMILLE [16:45]

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CAMILLE [17:23]

So, I want to go change direction a little bit and talk about your book. So, your book is called "52 Weeks of loving you and others." Tell me about the inspiration behind this and where the journey started.

BARBARA [17:37]

I think there are different things that inspired this. Obviously, my dad inspired the love for writing, but I think also when you become a mother, you start to see things you never saw. I remember my sister had kids before me, and when I started having my own kids, I was like, "Oh my god. I'm so sorry. I wish I'd helped you more because I had no clue what was really involved in raising children."

So, when I became a mother myself, I started to see the world around me and look around and just see. And my daughter would come back saying, "This has happened in school. This person has done this. This, this, and this." And you start to think, "What kind of world are we living in?" And bear in mind, I grew up in Zimbabwe, where it was so safe to just play outside. Nowadays, it's just like you have to think twice about different things that were just normal when we were growing up.

So, because of all that, that's also inspired me to say, "This is not just an issue for my kids." And I believe that we need to start looking at things, not just for our families and ourselves, the wider world as a whole. So, I was inspired to write something that people all over the world, children all over the world, can actually read and invest in themselves also. Who knows? Some of them don't have guardians or parents for one reason or another. And they don't have those people to teach them some of those things and this book might be just the answer to them.

So, I thought, "You know what? Let me do this." And some of them, I come telling you, I work Monday to Friday, sometimes maybe the time is just not there. So, maybe this book would just be there as an aid, not to replace the time they need to train the children or to raise the children, but just to help in that way. So, that was also one thing that inspired me.

And then, the other thing, I had a friend, love this friend so much, but they have got so many good qualities, but there was one thing they kept doing. And no matter how much you spoke about it, it just never seemed to resonate with them to change that kind of thing. But everybody else was sort of meddling on just that thing. But she knew them. They were so beautiful. They were such a lovely person.

So, when I started writing this book, they had done something, and this has been going on for a while, and I thought, "You know what? This is beyond them. They've done this for a long time in such a way that instead of just focusing on that, they probably don't even know how to come out of this thing. They probably need some help."

And can you imagine how many kids may be always late? And then, they grow up to actually become just late for everything. And then, at that time, it's now a habit that's difficult to get rid of. So that's also what inspired me. I said, "You know what? I don't want people to see this friend of mine for just that one thing that they're not doing right because there's so much more about them." So, if I can help other kids to develop and invest them in their self-growth, then for sure, they can actually turn out to be maybe lovely human beings and we can all live in a beautiful world for all of us, really.

CAMILLE [20:34]

That is so fascinating. I think that that's really interesting that you bring up. We all grow up in different environments and homes, and what's considered normal or polite or the opposite. And so, I really like that you stated there are foundational things that we can learn and teach our kids so that they do have better ways of communicating and loving themselves and others.

BARBARA [20:56]

Yes. Definitely.

CAMILLE [20:59]

Tell me about the format of this book. How is it put together and how does it help teach the children these skills?

BARBARA [21:05]

At the beginning, if you buy the hard copy of it, there is a bit where obviously, there's a note to the parents and then, after that I wanted a page where the parents can actually write in what they love for their children. Like I was saying, the letter that I wrote to my husband, the impact it had on him was amazing for a grown-up person.

And I thought, "You know what? How many times do we tell our children positive things that make them feel confident, love themselves?" Regardless, they might be thinking, "Oh, I have braces. I have these." But you just tell them, "You know what? Braces and all, you are the most beautiful girl in the world. Whatever, those things you don’t love about yourself, just to make that unique you." So, I wanted in that way, it's personal to the parent or the guardian to write. So, that's also there.

And then, after that, there's not a set pattern, but there's different things there, things to do with yourself, investing in yourself like maybe respect, self-love even. Things that you can do for yourself. And then, there are things that you can do for other people. Giving to other people. Don't just think of yourself. You've got this lovely wonderful life. What about other people who don't? Then, there are things like exercising. Sometimes, now with the COVID, you could just be at home Monday to Friday, not even taking a walk, not even getting out of the house. So, take a walk. Exercise. Healthy eating, as well.
Those vegetables like I'm always knocking heads with my son. He doesn't like anything green, so I try to create different ways of including those vegetables in that meal because they're important for him. So, different things. Sleeping. Make sure you're resting very well like I have my 11-year-old, does not want to go to bed. She would rather just stay all night long but it's making them understand that all those things are important for their growth. And so, yeah, that's really the book, really.

CAMILLE [23:05]

Oh, you nailed it. You talked about so many things. I have a son. He's my most sensitive child. He's my third son and we talk about, we call them The Five, the five things that we need to do to be happy for our mental health, and you talked about each of those. It was eating healthy, talking, communicating about the thing that is bothering you or having healthy conversation, exercise, and loving ourselves and others, and eating good foods. Sleeping, good foods, all those things, it's the foundation of a happy life. And I'm curious now to hear what the thing was about your friend that you wanted to help them work on it, that was a behavior, one of those areas.

BARBARA [23:51]

It was more time management.

CAMILLE [23:54]


BARBARA [23:55]

Time management. Yeah. It was they were always late for different things, and yeah, just combined with communication even when they're late, they don't really communicate that they're going to be late, and different stuff. So, it's kind of really frustrating that you're waiting for hours and stuff or even if it's 15 minutes, you know that's not going to be 15 minutes. You already know that they say 15 minutes, that's two hours. So, you're going to deal with them that, "You know what? When you say 15, I have to add two hours to that really to be, because I'm going to be waiting two hours if I get there for the time you say." And it's not a good impression on people who don't you. We know them, so obviously we know the other good things about them. But if you meet someone for the first time, that's all you're going to remember.

CAMILLE [24:39]


BARBARA [24:39]

You're late for two hours. And that first impression is so important.

CAMILLE [24:44]

Is time management something that you talk about in the book?

BARBARA [24:47]

Yes, there is. Yeah. Yeah. For kids, as well. Like waking up in the morning. Obviously, I do say that obviously, schedule because this is something that I go through with my daughter. My daughter is so different to me. She loves when she's going to school, she will have a bubble bath, relaxing there. And you're like, "But we only have one hour to get ready and do all these things." She likes to take her time and everything.

So, we have to really schedule things to say, "Okay. You need more time." Because she loves to do all this and we've actually got to a point where we've had to say, "Okay. 15 minutes for this. 5 minutes for this, which is brushing your teeth." She starts dancing, doing this, that. So instead of putting 2 minutes, which is what the dentist recommends brushing your teeth, we say, "You know what? 5 minutes, 3 minutes of dancing and all of the things that would be going on." So, we ended up writing down that schedule. This is what we do.

And in the beginning, I said, "You know what?" I bought her a small little clock. I said, "Nove around with this clock even in the bathroom. Have a look at it. So, if you wake up at 7, and you said you're going to bath for 20 minutes, 20 past seven you need to be coming out of the bath, so look at this clock." So, she was walking around with a clock and it has really helped us to meet that because I was always literally like almost screaming all the time, "Hurry up! Hurry up! Hurry up!" Because she was always so behind with everything. And with this, she's now on time all the time. But it was not easy. We had to wait for a period of time to actually get there.

CAMILLE [26:12]

Oh, that's so fascinating. What a cool idea to have them walk around with a clock. I recently bought a little square timer where you can turn it one way or the other where it's like 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes. I haven't been using it as well as I'd like to, but I have read before that children really don't have a good understanding or concept of time. And so, to have her walk around with the clock, that's brilliant because that really gives them a tangible way that they can look and see. Yeah. This is what 15 minutes means because I think that's a skill that takes time.

BARBARA [26:46]

Yeah. Exactly. It's a skill and they are still children and this is one of the things that I wanted to point out in the book because it has lots of things to do with fun. I didn't want it to be like, "It's this way or nothing else." It's kind of like parents can adapt it to what works for them. This is what worked for us. But obviously, you work it in such a way as to what works for you, but just have that bit of structure in there, so that you help them to manage their time. That's all.

CAMILLE [27:12]

Well, I am so excited to get my copy. I haven't got it yet. It was just released at the end of December and as we're recording this, this is early January. You may be listening to it in March. Now, I know that you had said that you are writing a new book for women. Do you want to talk a little bit about that?

BARBARA [27:29]

Yeah. I actually started that book before this one. And then, I ended up just almost putting everything in this book and then I left that one. I think I'm left with a chapter. I keep saying, "I will. I will. I will." But it was one of those books. When I was growing up, I always had, I don't want to say I'm a feminist in that way, but I think there was some parts of me that actually wasn't comfortable with some of the things I saw towards women.

And especially growing up in Africa, there was a lot of where probably women didn't have a voice in a lot of things. But with this book, I was actually interviewing some people who are of different generations than me, who actually grew up in those situations. And yes, definitely, there were some that really were treated really not so good at all because they were just women. And then, there were some when you talk about them, they actually didn't feel like they were actually sacrificing a whole lot in as much as I would think that they were sacrificing a whole lot. Again, that comes from maybe their own self esteem or it could be just they're happy to find a man who looks after them and they don't have to do anything. Some people are happy like that.

So, it was just looking at those different situations where I grew up, where I saw things that were not really right, so to speak. And looking at, interviewing different people and say, "Okay. In these situations, is this exactly what I think?" Because sometimes, we can also just think, "Yeah. That person is really bad." But there's always two sides of a story.

When you listen to different stories, you then realize that yes, maybe majority of the gravest things was done by this person, but this person also contributed to this, also. And I think sometimes, we're not that very objective. When things present, we just kind of take what we hear because maybe they're our friend, they're our relative, so we just go for that and I don't think it actually helps society as a whole if we do that. I think we need to dig deeper and actually get the answers as to what is really going on in those situations.

And if it is truly that these people are not as nice, some of them were, then, we need to challenge certain things, culture. Some of those religions. We need to challenge some of those things. But then again, some of it may be their choices also and I may not be happy about those choices, but it's their choice. So that's sort of the line of the book, really.

CAMILLE [30:00]

That's fascinating. Do you have an idea what you might call it?

BARBARA [30:03]

Yes. I was thinking "Fortitude is a woman" because I believe that women have got that strength and I believe women are strength.

CAMILLE [30:13]


BARBARA [30:14]

And again, it's probably also I'm so much of a feminist because look at it, how much we go through. Give birth to children. Look after children. So much that we do as women. Of course, nowadays, a lot of men, my husband included, are also now involved. But even in the grand scheme of things, there is still a level where you see that women still do a lot more than the men. So, for me, I feel like women definitely are strength. So that's why I thought, "Fortitude is a woman."

CAMILLE [30:44]

Oh, that is a good name. You're in good company. I can't wait to read that book. That sounds incredible. So, talk to me a little bit about publishing. How did you decide to go with publishing? How did you think about self-publishing? I know that you have a publicist. How did you find that route and how did you decide to go that route? And tell me how that works.

BARBARA [31:12]

I think once I decided I was going to write, and obviously, publish a book. I had to start doing my research in terms of the company that can edit, proofread, do all different things. And I eventually settled for this company. And I always knew. I actually self-published. I always knew that I was going to self-publish. And so, I started to publish on Amazon. I have abilities on Amazon, though I'm looking to put it on the other sites as well. But I always knew I was going to self-publish.

At that time, when I actually wrote this book. I was more geared in terms of people that I know and are around me in my world. At least if I start from there, then if other people actually find it on Amazon, fantastic. But when I actually went through that, which I realized that my dream is kind of small. If I'm talking that I want to reach the whole world and I want people to know about this book, then I need to look beyond just my friends and my family and all those other people in the world.

So, in the end, that's why I got a press release and all that to actually spread it out. Even if it was one or two people, who knows? I just believe that the people who end up reading this book really were meant to read it and I believe they will really enjoy it and they will learn a thing or two from it. So, yeah, I self-published, although I used an editor to proofread and all that before I self-published.

CAMILLE [32:31]

Now, is Amazon doing the fulfillment with the printing? I know that they're doing the shipping. They're doing the printing. That's actually something I'm curious about because I recently released a parent and child prompt journal called "Time For Us" and I have been using a manufacturer to print and ship those products, but tell me about Amazon doing that. Do they take a big cut of that or how much of the profits do they cut out?

BARBARA [32:59]

They do take a cut of it, definitely. So, obviously, you have to think about the pricing of it. But at the same time, for me, when you look at it, if you want, they make it so expensive to take that into consideration, then again, think about your audience. Are they then going to be able buy it?

So, I think you also look at it from a business sense, you need to look at it like, "Is this a wise move?" Just because they're taking a cut doesn't necessarily mean you have to raise your price so high because people still need to be able to buy the book. And if you have just maybe 1000, 2000 people buying that book on every month, you actually probably make more money than somebody who has the book so highly priced and they're only maybe selling five copies a month.

So, you have to look at all that. They do take a cut, definitely, but I think they take away that whole thing of just printing book, and then they end up stuck with you and you don't have anywhere to sell. I have a few copies for myself for friends who, for some reason, don't like to use the Internet or whatever. They wanted the book, so I order some copies so that they can also buy the book from me directly. I have a few copies like that, but mostly I just wanted that whole thing, that print on demand, so when you purchase the book, then they print it. And it's also electronic, so some people don't have to even have that print option because you can actually use it on your Kindle as well. You can buy it that way.

CAMILLE [34:23]

Oh, so they're printing it on demand so you don't have to pay for shelf space or anything like that?

BARBARA [34:28]

No, no. They just print it. So, if you order the book, they print it, and then send it directly to you. And then, they just take a cut from it for their printing, and obviously deliver, and all that.

CAMILLE [34:39]

Yeah. Do they offer soft bound and hard bound?

BARBARA [34:44]

They offer. Yes, but I think for me, I just wanted paperback, which was just like that, really, that's what I just want. Yeah. But there are different options that they offer you there, yeah.

CAMILLE [34:54]

Interesting. I'll have to look into that. So, in working with a publicist, is that an expensive add-on?

BARBARA [35:04]

Yeah. Definitely there is some expenses in that. To be honest, I didn't think it was a whole lot. But again, this was my first book, and obviously, considering what they have to do, because they also had to do the illustrations for me. And so, when you look at all that, and that proofread, and obviously, they send it to you. You have to look at it and say, "Are you happy?" So, it was to and fro for a long time. So, for me, there was a lot of hours spent to make it to the final product. So, for me, I didn't think it was very expensive but there is some cost definitely. You have to be prepared that when you're publishing a book, there's going to be some cost definitely.

CAMILLE [35:43]

Yeah. Well, I appreciate you. Those are questions I had, so I appreciate that. And I know that there could be many who are listening right now, who are interested in publishing a book and getting started and really taking that leap. What would be a piece of advice that you would give to that person listening right now?

BARBARA [35:58]

I think do your research. Find out the reviews about the different people that you are using. I think majority of the times, we've used actually fairly good things. I've gone to hotels that had bad reviews and surely, they were bad reviews when I got there. And I've gone to some hotels that had good reviews and they were surely good reviews. So, I think it's not always the case but majority of the times, I think it is.

So, look at the reviews of those companies. If you know anybody who has used somebody, let them show you the work that they've actually done, but do your research. Don't just jump in to the mix because remember, it's a business for them as well, so they're going to just want to also just say, "Look I'm going to offer you these services and that." But you need to be happy with what they're offering and if you're not happy with what they've done, keep going back.

Like me, I've kept going back for the things I wasn't happy because obviously, at the end of the day, I want to release a product that I'm going to be proud of and I'm going to be happy with. It's my name on the book at the end of the day. So, yeah.

CAMILLE [37:00]

And what advice would you give to that author, that someone listening who wants to write a book, but they're a little nervous and they just haven't quite made that leap yet. What bit of advice would you give them now that you've been through the process. What is something you wish you would have known, or that encouragement?

BARBARA [37:20]

I think you can do more than you actually think you can. And I think the only way that you're going to know that is to just start. Like I say, sometimes we overprocess things, or am I going to be able to finish it? Different things you've been thinking. Is it going to be a good book? Just start.

All these people that you see, J.K. Rowling, who has written Harry Potter and all that. I don't think at that time, they thought this book was going to go and become what it became. But they just had a passion. They wanted to write a book. They believed in themselves and that book, and look what happened. Your book could be the next book that a movie is coming out of it. So, even if it never does, like for me, just the fact that I finished something that I had believed in and I had set to do, that's success and that's a great accomplishment for me. So, just start.

CAMILLE [38:11]

You absolutely have and what a thing to be proud of. I mean, I think more than ever, our world needs love and we need tools for teaching our kids how to love themselves because it is only then that they can turn outward and really build the world better for the future. So, I think that that is such a gift. I'm so grateful that you interviewed with me today. It's been such a pleasure.

BARBARA [38:36]

It's been a pleasure as well. It's lovely. Thank you. That's all I can just say. Thank you and it's just nice to be here. Breath of fresh air, just relaxed atmosphere. Thank you very much. I'm so happy I did this podcast with you today.

CAMILLE [38:50]

You're so welcome. Tell everyone that's listening now where we can go and support you and to help purchase your book.

BARBARA [38:57]

Okay. So, the book is available on Amazon in different countries, so whether you're in the United States, U.K., France, everywhere, just go on Amazon and you can get it as an e-copy or you can get it as a paperback as well. So, it's available, just go. It's 52 Weeks of loving you and others. And remember, you need to love you before you can then love other people. So, invest in you and then, you can love other people.

CAMILLE [39:22]

Amen. And are you on social media as well? What is your handle on Instagram?

BARBARA [39:27]

I am on Facebook. I haven't actually put the book yet on Facebook, but I am starting a YouTube channel and I'm just starting with sort of family, friends who have read the book, the kids who have read the book, just to sort of share their experiences. Because I've got a lot of kids, my family, friends, who are really excited, who started the book at the beginning of the year and they're really excited because of the little exercises that they have to do at the end of each week.

So, I'm going to be getting different children to just come in the platform if they want to, their parents are happy to do that. If not, they can just write in and we can read that anonymously, or also if they want to put their name there, we can do that. And just to see how it's been, what went right, what didn't go right with that week. What did they learn? What are they going to do better? So, we're going to be doing that week after week. So, that's sort of coming in the next few weeks.

CAMILLE [40:20]

What a gift. Well, I cannot wait to get started with my kids. Thank you so much, Barbara. I have had such a wonderful time.

BARBARA [40:27]

Thank you so much, Camille. I really enjoyed this podcast and I wish you well with everything that you do with the podcast and everything beyond. Thank you so much for having me.

CAMILLE [40:37]

You're so welcome.


CAMILLE [40:38]

Thank you for joining today's episode. I cannot tell you how much it means to me to be receiving your reviews and when you share this to social media, please tag me so that I can re-share it. That really means the absolute most to me. And today, we have a review from Future Client that says, "It’s refreshing to have a podcast that talks about how motherhood and being a CEO complement each other and are separate all in the same sentence."

I love this review so much because there really is a lot that goes into running a business and a lot that goes into being a mother. And this podcast is about celebrating both. This community is absolutely amazing and if you've found something helpful with it today, please share. That's how this podcast can grow and I cannot think you enough. We will see you next week.



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