If you’re eager to take that step and begin writing a book, Isabel Fagan has all the key tips. Alongside her husband, she’s been able to launch a Top Talent Agency that includes TopTalent Publishing, TopTalent Magazine, TopTalentJV and TopTalent Membership. Isabel is the best-selling author of many books and the winner of the 2019 TWC Most Outstanding Rising Star Award. Her experience has led her into helping guide authors and those who want to get into content creation.
“If you’re on the fence about whether or not to write your book, then another way to look at it is that a book is a tool that can be used to separate you from the rest of your competition.”
In your book ‘Becoming Significant: How To Invoke Sacred Words that Unlock Real Power’, you share all the ways to leave a legacy. How can a book help someone with their legacy? What is unique about this particular book?
A book is a powerful tool to share your life’s story to get the reader to connect with you on a deeper level, where they can learn from your experiences. You may have been the first in your field, revolutionised a method, or simply gained greater insight through the school of hard knocks. It’s not easy to talk about yourself in general, but to put the words onto a page can be that much harder, but the people you will inspire will be limitless.
Becoming Significant is the second book I’ve done, and I co-authored it with my husband, David Fagan. What makes this one so unique is that as book publishing advances, you need to find new ways to make the pages of your book more exciting to the reader versus them looking at long black blocks of print. We have used 3rd party technology to advance how pictures are laid onto the page to appear more like a watermark.
You work alongside your husband, David Fagan. What advice would you give to fellow business owners who work with family? How do you separate your work life from your personal life?
We all have the same 24 hours, and roughly 6 to 8 of them are spent sleeping. That means a majority of your day is spent working either in your business or on your business, and yes, there is a difference. The people who work for you rely on your ability to hand out assignments and bring in new clients to constantly feed this machine you’ve built. This also means that you will have to trade time to do one thing over another.
Instead of having a two hour meeting, make it sixty minutes and trade the remaining to have a meal with your spouse. Instead of staying up late and burning the candle at both ends, go to bed early so you can wake up and make breakfast for your kids. Plan a date night with your significant other instead of going to the gym in the evening. Everything is a trade-off, whether we like to admit it or not, and at the end of the day, you have to be happy with the choices you make.
What experiences influenced your own entrepreneurial path? Did you pursue a different path before becoming an entrepreneur?
I was unfulfilled with college. Going to classes, learning from a professor, and by the time you graduate (depending on your field), what you learned would be outdated. I’ve always been more of a hands-on learner, so when I got the opportunity to learn how things worked behind the scenes, something clicked for me. Before starting my business, I was in school to pursue a Major in Business Administration and a Minor in Literature with the goal to start a business; I just didn’t know what business yet at the time.
What is some advice you would give to someone that wants to start writing a book?
It can be a challenge just to start writing, so the best advice I can give is a quote directly from Shia LaBeouf, “Just do it!” Once you start typing away and don’t focus on whether you’re using the correct their, there, or they’re, you’ll find that the words just pour out of you. I have dyslexia and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), so I understand the struggle. You want to be a perfectionist, but you have to think of your book like a painter does with their canvas. You cannot focus on the little details if you have not even gotten the majority of your work created yet. There is nothing to improve if it remains in your head.
How do you work through procrastination or lack of motivation?
You can feel the need to burn the midnight oil to get ahead, but when you feel stuck in a rut, take a beat. Walk away for an hour or the whole day to clear your head and get out that excess energy. Procrastination stems from looking at the whole picture and getting overwhelmed, so to counteract that feeling, the brain tells you to do literally anything except that one thing you’re supposed to be doing. That break will help you refocus so you can truly commit to the process when you sit back down.
As a publisher, how do you find clients who want to have their books published through you? What makes you different from other book publishers?
More often than not, we find our potential clients at our Top Talent JV Mastermind events, where we do book launches. This displays the variety of authors and topics that we work with and shows the end result, a best-selling book, and how we’ve advanced our efforts to help the text stand the test of time.
A book publisher may offer ghost-writing, proofreading and editing, book cover creation with split testing, or make your book a bestseller. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to write your book, then another way to look at it is that a book is a tool that can be used to separate you from the rest of your competition.
Top Talent Magazine is your digital magazine. Why did you choose to get into magazine publishing, and what is the difference between that and book publishing?
I have always had a love for people’s stories. What they’ve had to overcome, lessons learned, their educational and professional background, and what inspired them to start their business. This created a surreal experience when I realised that some situations you see on tv could be someone’s reality, and I wanted to know more.
The difference between magazine publishing and book publishing is that an article is just an appetiser, while a book is a whole meal. When someone reads an article you wrote or got interviewed for, they get a taste of who you are and your essence. But when you talk about your book, when it’s in your hands, there is a moment when you are seen as the success you are now.
What are some of the best advice you’ve gotten from influential people that stuck with you?
I’ve connected with some powerful, influential people over the years, but the one that remains relevant is from Wesley Snipes. I connected with him at an event and started talking about life, business, and how they’re interconnected. He shared his advice with me: “If you have to be the hardest worker to make sure that your team is operating, then change up your team.” There is only so much time in a day, and if you’re trying to work twice or three times as hard to make sure your responsibilities and the responsibilities of others are being met, then you will crash hard, and the love you have for your business will take a turn for the worst.
What are you doing to stay on the cutting edge of the latest trends?
The greatest way we stay on the cutting edge is by hiring members of my team that are more knowledgeable than I am when it comes to new systems, technology, or design work. As a business owner, you are limited by two choices: I have more money than time, or I have more time than money. If you’re experiencing more of the former, then you should invest in your team and work on the business versus in the business.
I believe that if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. I like to be surprised by what my team presents to me and then I experiment with how we can improve our systems, technology, and deliverables for our clients. The longest-lasting results are what you experiment with because good times create bad policy.
What is next in terms of goals and launches you want to achieve?
There is always the element of adapt or die because change is always taking place. When the pandemic hit, we pivoted to online events and found a lot of success. Now that travel has opened back up, we’re making our presence felt at international events in person while hosting live events again. We’ve focused on training speakers and show hosts to talk in soundbites and segments, pitch themselves to the media, learn video structure and scripts, and more. Our goal is to not only know how we can take you from A to A+ as a speaker, presenter, and show host but to also showcase that we are the leading experts that you should have on your team.