What made me decide to write a book? What’s that process even like? Listen to find out why and how I decided to believe in myself enough to make this big investment decision in myself.
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13. OMG I’m writing a BOOK
Episode 13 – OMG I’m Writing a Book
Podcast Transcript Below
Hello everybody. Welcome to the Unicorn Millionaire Podcast. I’m your host, Charlie Stoever. I’m a non-binary Latinx money coach, helping my first gen clients become millionaires. I’m a formerly undocumented Mexican American and currently digital nomad traveling all over the world. Super excited to have you here along with me on my journey.
I talk about personal finance, money, mindset, twerking, unicorns, rainbows, you name it. We’re here. We’re queer, and we are going to build wealth for ourselves and our communities.
Hey y’all, how’s it going Today I wanted to record an episode about, Why and how I’ve decided to hire my friend, Zakiya as my writing coach. We’re gonna be working together for the next six months, starting today, and she’s going to be helping me write a book. And as you listen to my voice, you can probably detect the sense of disbelief, yet exhilaration of what I’m doing.
I’ve shared the news with a lot of people that I’m doing this fun and scary thing, and people have just asked me, what made you decide to write a book? I’ve been thinking about writing a book for years now, and I’ve always enjoyed writing and storytelling.
And I’ve used my social media basically as already I’ve been writing my book through my Instagram and social media posts because I’m so transparent and I talk about vulnerability and I talk about my story and I share so much of my life and my journey, the good and the bad, and so it just made sense at this point. I thought that I wouldn’t have time or the ability to do this creative thing until I was in my seventies.
I had this idea that I wouldn’t be able to express myself or live out my true passions until retirement. And if you can hear grunting in the background, that is Chase doggy. I’m dog sitting here and she likes to grunt a lot, but she’s cute.
Yeah, so I had this idea of that in my seventies when I retire, I’ll be able to paint and create art and write a book about my life because I had lived . And then I’ve just been realizing that this life I’ve created for myself, this financial freedom has already given me time freedom. Which was never really a goal of mine to be financially independent.
In order for me to have more time, I just thought financial independence was important for me to enforce my boundaries to say no to things. I think that was my biggest motivator because I’d always been in jobs. Going from AmeriCorps to Peace Corps to basically all the jobs, me ever working for somebody else, I’ve been exploited, underpaid, and underappreciated.
I was never like told to that I was an amazing worker, that I was a great employee to have all these things. I never felt like I belonged in the nine to five, but I just knew that there was something. Better out there for me. And I was like working for, especially in the private sector, working for a company that I know is publicly traded.
I’m making billions of dollars and I’m just making $40K. It’s like, this is ghetto. I’m not down with this. I’m just gonna work in finance and learn what I need to learn and then dip out. And when I did dip out, nobody was like, no, stay. We’ll pay you more. They were like, all right, bye. I just realized that I was just a cog in the wheel and I was pretty dispensable and I would be easily replaced.
I never felt like my employer was like a second family to me or anything like that. I was always doing side hustles. Even when I worked for a tour company for a short amount of time, I was doing bike tours on the side as well too. I was never loyal to an employer because I never felt like they deserved my full loyalty and undivided attention.
So I left the nine to five, and entrepreneurship was just something that I felt like I preferred doing. But I’ve never had children. I’ve only done long distance relationships really, so I’ve never lived long term with a partner. So I feel like, uh, I’ve always been good at managing my time and always felt like I had enough time, even when I was working nine to five.
Um, I was never like, oh my God, I wish there were more hours in the day. Catch me. Never saying that ever. Uh, maybe because I’ve worked as a teacher before, I am pretty good at guessing what time it is during the day. I rarely feel like time ever flies by. For me, unless I’m doing something creative or coaching my clients or doing an IG live, especially with other people and collaborating in community, that’s when I feel like time flies for me.
So I feel like I’ve already had an abundance of time and, and, and when I did the Peace Corps, I also felt like I had a lot of time on my hands and that’s when I started blogging and, uh, working on the side and painting. In writing because once I had that abundance of time, I allowed myself to be creative, but the perfectionism would always stop me and prevent me from even picking up my paintbrush in the first place.
Financial independence has given me a lot of time freedom as an unintentional byproduct, as a business owner, I create my own schedule. I can decide when I want to work, when I take calls, when I don’t, when I want to record a podcast episode, whether it’s on a Sunday, Monday morning. Friday morning, the nine to five, Monday through Friday schedule is out the window for me.
But I think that I grew resentful of my abundance of time because I always see these people around saying, oh, I wish there was more time, more time. And I was like, that’s never been an issue for me. I have all the time in the world to create whatever I want to create.
Part of me had this horrible sense of FOMO that I was like, am I doing life right? Because it seems like everybody else feels frustrated and they want more time. And that’s something that’s I’ve already created and is abundant for myself. So I kind of had this resentful feeling, uh, About my relationship with time. Kind of like how when you grow up in a toxic childhood, cptsd, your parents are always fighting.
You only see romantic relationships as relationships in which you’re hating your partner and not actually see seeing them as a partner, that you’re actually safe and loving and growing. With that, my relationship. With time was like that. I was like, time, you’re too available. You’re too boring. Like that partner that’s just always there is never cheating on you, is consistent, loves you unconditionally, and that freaked me out.
And I felt like I need to spice it up , like, other people want you, but you’re always out here, so what’s up? We need to spice it up. I want to, uh, want you more. And also I’ve had horrible knee issues this summer too, so I can’t work out barely at all. And that’s also making me consider, reconsider my relationship with time.
I was always an athlete in high school. I played tennis, soccer, volleyball, cross country. I played racquetball, all the sports under the sun, cuz I grew up in Eastern Washington state where the only thing to do was math or sports. And I chose sports. Um, so yeah, just always had this abundance of time, but society made me feel like I should want it more, that I should have a toxic relationship with time.
My knees going out made me really realize that I’ve been working out because it made me value myself more, and that wasn’t ingrained in me. And people respond. They like admire you when you work out or you do marathons. There’s this certain level of like worshiping athletes simply because they move their bodies more than other people.
I’ve realized that I was like worshiping myself and valuing myself for running four or five, six miles a day and biking and doing everything and being super athletic and now my knees have pretty much given out since May, and I am gonna see an orthopedist again for them, but when one door closes others open.
So I’ve just been reflecting a lot more on the time that I have and the fact that I’ll probably continue to have this much time for the rest of my life. And if I don’t decide to do something about it now I’m gonna just sit here and be pissed off and resentful about how time is here for me unconditionally.
I was like, well, it looks like I have enough time to write a book now since I have all this time to do crafts and paints and express myself. And I’ve loved writing. People always tell me I need to write a book. So I said, okay, we’re gonna start the process of writing a book because I don’t, I like family members who’ve published books, but I don’t really know what the process is like.
Um, and I heard Jannese from Yo Quiero Dinero podcast casually mention that she’d hired a book coach and y’all know I love coaching. I am a coach. I love, um, just investing in a coach. If you have a problem, you can literally hire somebody to help you solve that problem, and I was like, oh, Jannese is hiring a book coach.
I wanna hire a book coach as well. I don’t know if I want to write fiction or nonfiction or what I’m gonna do, but I want to honor myself and my time freedom that I’ve created for myself without even knowing that this would be a byproduct of financial freedom. So I don’t want to wait and I don’t have to wait until I’m 70 to live my life and express myself and tell my stories through a medium, which is book writing.
Which I think is a very elitist institution in the first place. You have to pitch an idea and then people with money and power publish books into hard copy. So I feel like it’s a realm in which you just need to know people and know the right words, know what to say, and then you can get your books published.
And I’m just like, if the boring cis white men can get dozens of books published in their lifetimes, there’s no reason why I can’t publish a book or why you can’t publish a book. There was not really a, a space for non-binary queer, Latinx digital nomads and finance like me. So I created that space for myself.
I just see writing my book is creating that space in literature. If I don’t see it, I’m a create it. That’s why financial independence is important for me. It gives me the ability to create these spaces instead of working for somebody else’s dream. But that takes a lot of self-reflection and mindset work.
And I go to therapy every two weeks and I will continue until I die because life keeps happening and healing is never ending. So, Those are the big picture motivators of why I’ve decided to write a book. And as a coach, I work a lot on mindsets and my clients not feeling like they deserve to have the amount of money that they do, and they feel guilty about it.
And it’s like we’re not out here trying to feel guilty about what we have. We deserve to have more money than we ever dreamed of, but then what are we going to do with it when we do make that money, when we, we realize that buying a house is not gonna solve our problem. Investing in ourselves and coming to terms with what does serve us and what we do want to do, and the impact we want to make is my shit.
And I help my clients with that. And as I help them self-reflect, I also help myself self-reflect. And I was like, the only thing stopping me from not writing a book at this point is myself. Money is not an excuse. The resources are not an excuse. I can literally hire somebody to help me make this happen.
But as a coach, I know that they’re not gonna make this happen for me. They’re gonna guide me and give me the tools and inspiration, but at the end of the day, I’m responsible for making this happen as well. So why not hire a published author with experienced coaching people like me and creatives, and who knows how to help me?
Why not pay thousands of dollars to help me? A year ago, this would’ve been an absurd decision for me, but , a year ago I also invested just $3,000 in my business and I made that return back like wham bam. Like less than two months later this year in business coaching, I have if we count the writing coach, cuz it’s also gonna help me with my business copy.
Let’s see. 19,000. 20,000. 23,000. 23,500. Yes. I’ve easily invested about $23,500 in coaching this year, all of which counts as a tax write off for my business, so it helps me make more money. I’ve also made more money this year so far than I did the entire last year, and we’re like a little over halfway through the year.
It’s not about them making money. It’s about investing not just in my business but myself because my business is a reflection of myself and, but it has been scary. I realize I felt like I didn’t deserve to publish my story, but who am I to talk to myself this way? If I’m telling my clients and speaking highly of them and encouraging them to live their dreams, who the fuck am I if I’m not willing to do the same for myself?
So, Once I did that, I got on a sales call with my book coach. I’d never spoken with her before, but we were in the same coaching program together. And then right after that, I sent her $4,500 as part of a payment plan. So that’s like half the payment, uh, because I believed. In myself and I wanted to make sure it was a good idea, but it really only took me a couple minutes on the Zoom call with her for me to decide that hell yes, this was an investment I was willing to make.
And, uh, as an investor, I’ve gotten better and better at gauging not just the financial return of things, but the emotional return of things writing a book to me, I honestly haven’t even thought about the financial. For me, this is an emotional thing. It’s an investment in myself and a celebration as well in myself that I’ve realized that I do deserve to have my story told, and I don’t have to wait 40 years for it to be told.
If I have the time to do it, why not get started now? So in between the two weeks where I, I paid her to work with her and today we had our first session and in between then we were messaging each other on Facebook and she was recommending different books for me to read because I had told her during our first call that I loved reading the books, the Country Under My Skin by Gioconda Belli.
She’s Nicaraguan, and I’d read her book about her life in Nicaragua during the, the Sandinista Revolution, I, I mixed Spanish and English Revolution Sandinista. There we go. . Uh, I love that book. And I also told her that I loved the graphic novel Persepolis I love reading about. The stories of, of women overcoming adversity in other countries and, and Persepolis I love the graphic novel aspect to it as well as the story of migration.
And then after our calls ended, recommended that I read Allison Bechtel’s graphic novel called Fun Home because I’d mentioned pros and oh my God, today she asked like, like you went to Wellesley. How the fuck did they not teach you about Fun home. And I was like, I don’t know. I’ve only heard of the Bechtel test.
Uh, she’s a famous lesbian author and I’d heard of that test at Wellesley, which is basically like, you can tell if a movie is feminist, just literally by the fact that if, if you have two women in the movie talk to each other about something that’s. A man and most movies definitely don’t meet that criteria.
That is slowly changing, thank goodness. But, uh, I read Fun Home over the past week and it was an awesome read. It was about Allison growing up. I think she was born in the sixties, growing up in the seventies, eighties, uh, in a family with a lot of emotional abuse, and her father killed himself at 44. He was bipolar.
There was a lot of emotional abuse. He was perfectionist, had a lot of detail. He was very detail oriented and closeted. He didn’t come out until she came out in college as gay, but then he killed himself. And it is a sad book, but I related so much to the themes of growing up in the middle of nowhere, not feeling like you could talk to anybody about your orientation, uh, finding yourself and having your first girlfriend in college, but also overall just using the book as a tool for healing.
Because it showed me that, okay, I’m not alone for having a crappy childhood and having to overcome so much adversity and learning so much about myself. This woman wrote this book and I am sure she cried so many times, and it’s an illustration too, just drawing those pictures and bringing them back to life.
Um, and she was like, white, white. Grew up in Pennsylvania. Yeah. And I was like, wow, I wanna put my own spin on this and make it Latinx, but also with rainbows and unicorns and talk about 30 countries I’ve been to and my travels that have only just started as a digital nomad. Uh, yeah. So I think part of me was like, my life’s not interesting enough.
And again, it’s like these cis hat white men keep writing books about their boring ass lives and people buy them and read them. So, Yeah, my life is interesting enough, and I’m sure yours is too, if you’re listening. Um, and I’d also read a book with a non-binary character in it. I was cat sitting for my friend Maria, and she was like, you should read this book, love Other Disasters written by, I think her name is Anita Kelly, non-binary author.
And at 31, that was a piece of fiction and it was the first time I’d read. Uh, about a non-binary character in fiction, and as them being the object of romantic desire, not just as a character to. to be something like spicy or unique or to check the quota of Yes, diversity was like the central character and I saw the pronouns.
They them, they them over the fuck, over the fuck over again. And that normalized my pronouns for me, because I’m gonna be real every day. I get misgender. And it’s exhausting to correct people or have to explain who I am. And seeing myself reflected, even though it was fiction, meant the world to me and made me feel like, okay, I’m not inconveniencing people.
Even though I’ve had people literally ask me why I have those pronouns and how they wish there was an easier way as if my existence is inconveniencing them. Like, try being me for a day. , um, And so that was mind blowing. I’ve also been reading a lot more here in the US because in Mexico there’s not, uh, bookstores with a lot of books in English and books are shrink wrapped.
Like you can’t just read them, you have to buy them, open them, and then read them. So I’ve just been swallowing books, uh, while I’ve been out here in the States reading like crazy and realizing that reading is something that I do like to do. And again, I have time to do.
Yeah. I have time to read for pleasure now. Wow. And then I read another book called Chef’s Kiss, similar premise, whites, non-binary characters, white non-binary, uh, author takes place on a cooking show. And I’m like, okay, I sense a pattern. This is cool to see myself represented, but I don’t give a fuck about cooking shows.
I don’t understand why it has to be set on one. Uh, my story is not gonna be taking place on a cooking show. Let’s add some unicorns, glitter, gayness, still non-binary. Ullo and travel seemed, yeah, so that was why I decided to, to write a book and just talking about these things and sharing that I’m writing a book is exciting for me, and that’s something I tell my coach today.
When we first met, she was, what are your celebrations? And I just said, I’m celebrating the fact that I’m doing this and that I’m so excited telling other people about how I’m writing their book to normalize that it’s something that they can and should do if they want to, to normalize it. I’m all about normalizing shit just by me existing as a non-binary person in this world, I’m normalizing that you don’t have to be one thing or the other.
So that was a celebration for me. And I didn’t really know what to expect in our first session. Uh, we met for a little less than an hour to just brainstorm what it is I wanna do. And she started just asking me about different pivotal events in my life. And I thought of events that were very me and unique to my experience, going back all the way to childhood.
Like memories, specific memories came up a lot quicker than I thought they would. Uh, but she’s really good at helping me tease out things that I do want to include in the book. And we haven’t really established, like, will it be fiction, will it be nonfiction? The structure, we’re just teasing things out and getting the creative juices flowing so far.
And even before we first met, I came to the realization that I do kind of wanna make it a graphic novel because I am artistic. I am an artist, even if it feels weird saying that because I don’t get paid tens of thousands of dollars for my art but we don’t have to sell shit in order to make it valid. And not all art is up for consumption.
But I am an artist and I can easily see myself illustrating my own book, whether it’s a complete graphic novel or if I have it in, in long pros, if I read it out, and then maybe certain sections will be illustrated by me. Um, so. Yeah, we haven’t really decided nothing is set in stone, especially as coaches.
Both of us are coaches, so we know that what matters is the mindset and realizations and that things can evolve and fluctuate, uh, and getting over the, the whole, oh, I, I shouldn’t do this. I don’t deserve to do this. I can’t do it. That is one of the biggest parts. Over this whole journey. Biggest takeaway, I was the one stopping myself.
No one else was stopping me from doing this. But once I realized that I did deserve this, uh, this is why I have money so I can invest for things that do emotionally fill my cup. So our first meeting went great and she was like, what’s one scene that you definitely want to include in this book, like from your life?
And I said, uh, when I dress up as Daddy Yankee and performed at the Lip Sync Contest at Wellesley College in 2010, I believe, and I had like eight Latina, I think they’re all straight backup dancers, perform to a choreographed dance, and we lip synced the song room be. That was so much fun. I have the video on Facebook.
So she asked me to just brainstorm and write 500 words on that specific scene and maybe draw it out, uh, just to get those creative juices flowing. We haven’t even talked about publishers or publish lists or the to-dos. It’s really all about mindset and bringing the joy out of this process and really talking about what, how do I even want to structure the book or what will I even look like?
And teasing out specific memories that are very me. So I’m already in love with this process. I want to say I’m in love with myself because that was something that I love hearing what my clients say. I’ve had my client, I remember Evie when she met with me, she’s like, I’m enamored. And I was like, with who?
And she’s like, with myself. I was like, yes,
And I’ll have her on the podcast soon too. She’s a salary negotiation coach and about us. Yeah, I’m so happy I decided to invest almost five figures in a writing coach, and the journeys only started. This is the first session of like 24. Yay. So that’s how it’s going. And I wanna keep updating y’all on, on how it’s going.
And I still feel like I’m in this state of disbelief, like I’m actually writing a book. What? But I’ve also keep doing, I keep doing things that I never would’ve imagined. Like the me from 10, 15, 20 years ago would never have imagined that I’d just be out here in DC dog sitting meeting amazing people on the internet, money coaching, being a money therapist and helping people become millionaires.
Like what? But that’s how life turns out. And this is only the beginning. The last thing I’ll say is, uh, za had asked me at the end of our session, are there any big takeaways for you? And I said, yes. This made me think of how, I didn’t read the book, but James Joyce wrote the massive novel Ulysses. Uh, and the book, I believe only takes place over the course of an entire day.
And I realize from these specific memories like the daddy lip sync contest memory, I have all these memories that I can write entire books about. So it’s not the quantity of events, it’s which events are significant to me and how I write about them that matters. So the possibilities are endless. So that was like my brain exploded when I realized that I do have more than enough stories to tell.
I can write a book about why that lip sync experience was significant to me. So it’s not the quality, um, of our lives necessarily, or the quantity of things that happened. It’s how we tell the stories. And when we tell them from a place of truth and they resonate with us, they’re gonna resonate with other people.
So my mind was blown today. I hope that this has helped y’all just understand what it’s like to start the book writing process and the mindset work that went into making this decision. That’s been 31 years in the making. So I’ll keep sharing. I’ll keep y’all posted. I’m super excited to have invested in myself in this creative journey.
Ah, like what am I doing? I’m doing the damn thing. That’s what.
Yes. And in other news. Y’all wanna start on your money coaching journey. If y’all are ready to embody your millionaire selves to start investing in yourselves, not just in getting good at money, but in investing in becoming that future millionaire. Hire yourself. That’s not scared to invest in themselves.
Hit me up. I’m taking clients for my six month one-on-one money coaching program, so I’ll put the link in my bio for that. Can’t wait to meet you. Okay? Have a fabulous day. Bye.