Use your pen and activism to massively impact lives, tell your story and avoid becoming a prisoner of state lies!
Tell your story! We're Making Conversations about activism by pen Count!Episode 74 - Dawn Bates
Do you have a yearning to tell your story? We’re making conversations about doing so count, with Dawn Bates!
Big take-away quote from this conversation about getting the secret formula for success in business:
“The thing is when they’ve got that book and it’s in paper and it’s in their hands, it’s almost like they open up a page and the words already start healing them. The fact that they choose to buy the book, it starts to heal them, they’ve taken that next step…”
Dawn Bates, Making Conversations Count – (March 2022)
(Hard of hearing? Transcript here).
Strapped for data? You can hear a lower-bandwidth version of the episode here.)
Ms Mermaid helps you tell your story amid the giggles
Dawn Bates is a high-energy spirit with the gift of laughter.
She’s best known for her profound wisdom, truth-slaying and infectious giggle that will make you want to laugh until it hurts!
As well as being an international bestselling author who has a series called “The Trilogy of Life Itself” she’s also a magnet for fun, coining the nickname ‘Ms Mermaid’.
She appears regularly in various media channels highlighting important issues around social injustice and humanities, and anything that she feels strongly about.
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How Dawn helps writers
Dawn is looking for clients who want to make a difference in the world and are not afraid of putting their life on pause and really focussing on their work.
Ideal candidates for her coaching include entrepreneurs, non-profit leaders and CEO’s that have big dreams but don’t know how they can get there!
In other words, she enjoys working with clients who have an ‘optimistic spirit’ and are ‘dreamers’.
And she has a real way of helping would-be-authors like you to ‘find the perfect voice’ and tell your story.
“When you are sharing all of this and you are writing — so for example, with my client, Corey, who wrote Becoming a Champion, his story, oh my God, it was so painful for me to read.
It must have been even more for him to have lived through it and to then relived it by writing it.
But he has a deep South American drawl, and I was like, “You have to keep that in there, because you can’t put that into Chicago English, you have to put that into deep South American, you’ve got to keep that”.
Dawns vision when wanting to help you tell your story
She’s especially keen to work with those who have desires for social change movements which Dawn herself finds herself drawn to each day through her work.
If you’re ready to write your epic story, and want to use your pen to massively impact lives, then Dawn Bates is the coach for you!
Most authors who want to sell books don’t follow the correct procedures, and therefore struggle to get attention for their work.
The thing is when they’ve got that book and it’s in paper and it’s in their hands, it’s almost like they open up a page and the words already start healing them.
The fact that they choose to buy the book, it starts to heal them, they’ve taken that next step.
I remember after I had written Leila, the second book in the Sacral series — I felt the emotion come up there — I received this message from someone who said, “I just feel like I’ve just read my own story”.
When you have messages from people that say that, “Reading your book, I knew I wasn’t alone”, “Reading your book has given me the courage to go forward”, “Reading your book has helped me start a business”, “Reading your book has help saved my marriage”, when you write a book you never know the impact you’re going to have on someone’s life, which is why I’m so determined to sell 1 million books this year.
Watch the episode promo!
Managed to catch the previous episode yet? Click play on the player below to listen!
Why work with Dawn?
Dawn Bates is a writing coach with experience of what works and what doesn’t and she uses this knowledge to help people who are serious about using their pen for activism and to massively impact lives.
During this episode, you’ll learn all about how Dawn approaches a writing project, and the things that most authors need to avoid doing if they want success with their writing!
“One of the things a lot of people don’t realise about working with boutique publishers and author coaches like myself is we can help you create those strategies that will get you published.
Provided you get the sales in and start making noise and getting yourself seen, instead of you chasing, the top five come to you.
That is a very powerful position to be in which is why we work a lot — we’re always talking with top five publishers, we have published to all the top 150,000 publishing platforms my company publishes to.”
(Full transcript here)
Why Dawn is on the podcast. She truly wants to help you to tell your story!
“We’ve got the special offer on for your listeners.
That’s the seven-week author course, which again is a standalone programme that they can either buy module, they either buy it in two parts, or they can buy it as a one-off thing.
That’s a distanced learning.
Or they can join like the live classes.
There’s an author mastermind series, where we will get to meet twice a month for seven months.”
What are you waiting for?
Dive in now!
But not before you’ve listened to this one!!!
During this episode you’ll learn:
- What type of writer is eligible for that big front end display you see at Waterstones?
- The very real impact writing has on your body, physically
- The challenges of being vulnerable and putting your writing out there
- Wendy’s own experience with writing and self-publishing a best-selling book
- The importance of owning your writer voice
- The even bigger important of investing in your authorship
- How Dawn helps her authors further stretch their impact from beyond the pages and into charities and foundations’ coffers!
So, Wendy’s takeaway from the conversation in this episode about activism by pen with Dawn Bates?
“If there’s one thing that I could really take away from that conversation with Dawn, it’s that investing in training helps you on so many levels.
We are continually growing as people and through that, it helps our business too.
There’s no excuses, go find out that person that you need to help you succeed in that one thing that may be holding you back and then let us know how you get on.”
Are you going to start putting pen to paper, and making preparations to tell your story?
Do let us know.
Please do let us know your take-aways from this episode by leaving a comment at https://makingconversationscount.studio/Review-Dawn-Bates
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“Making Conversations Count” is a podcast from WAG Associates founder and telemarketing trainer Wendy Harris.
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Full Episode Transcript - Conversation about using a pen for activism and to tell your story - "Making Conversations Count"
|Title:||Making Conversations about Activism by Pen Count|
|Guest:||Dawn Bates, Author/Coach|
00:02:36: Mermaid Guides
00:04:20: Author Academy
00:09:10: Dawn’s beginnings
00:11:27: Own your voice
00:15:49: Healing through words
00:21:53: Book Launch Academy
00:25:05: The Molecule Shaker
00:29:09: Share your story
00:32:32: Put in the work to achieve your dreams
00:36:04: Find the giggle
00:40:58: Dawn’s pivotal conversation
00:46:28: Final thoughts
Wendy Harris: Making this show allows me to be such a globetrotter, all from my log cabin in the back garden. It’s brilliant! I have gone from East to West across the United States to several counties. I’ve been to France, I’ve been to Canada, I’ve been to Australia, Bangkok and even Andorra. But today, I am joined by a lady who is circumnavigating the globe all in the name of research.
We held this conversation in Panama, but she was actually about to go to Costa Rica, so who knows where she is going to go next. It’s my absolute pleasure and delight to include international bestselling author and coach, Dawn Bates. She’s on a mission in 2022 to get a million people writing their dream book. She’s also got an offer for you, so hang on till the end, check out the show notes, we are going to make sure that you’ve got all of those details. But it’s going to be my absolute pleasure to be Making Conversations about Activism by Pen Count.
What’s new Wendy Woo? I’ve had an email from a lady that I was helping with her calls. We were doing some coaching together and of course we talk about scripts and words and frameworks and all sorts of things. But there was one tip that she came back to me to say has helped her the most. You won’t be surprised when I said, “Do you know, you would sound so much better if you smiled when you dialled”. Of course she chuckled and I said, “Try it now. Please try it with me now. I’m sitting up straight my shoulders have gone back, and I think you can actually hear that my face has opened up and I really do love what I do”.
Of course I am podcasting but that’s my guilty pleasure. Give it a try, see how that improves your mood and your approach and your productivity and the results that you get. I’d love to have an email from you saying that you heard that tip on the show and what difference that made. You never know, I might even give you a shout out.
Dawn, tell everybody who you are and what you do to help people, when you can stop laughing.
Dawn Bates: Hello, Wendy. How are you?
Wendy Harris: We already know that we’re both a little bit loony.
Dawn Bates: Turn on your weird, so other weirdos find you. Turn on your witch, so other witches find you. As you said, I’m Dawn, I’m also known as Ms Mermaid. I’ve been called the Mermaid since I was little because I was always in the water, either in the bath for hours on end or swimming in a pool or swimming in the sea or jumping in puddles; I just love the water. It kind of stuck, and then when I came up with a series of books about my travels around the world, because I’m a complete nerd, I love circumnavigation, I love sailing and travelling by land, to research I’d say, “God, the Mermaid’s Guide”. That came to me as I was in the middle of cooking dinner and I looked at my dog went, “Mermaid’s Guide, yeah that’s pretty cool”. He tipped his head to one side, I said, “Job done then”. That’s how I come up with titles.
But yes, I’m an author/coach, I’m an international bestselling author on multiple continents with multiple books. I have never used the 99-cent special. Yes, she made me cry listeners, she showed me a picture of her with one of my books, and I started crying.
Wendy Harris: I did confess I hadn’t read it yet, but I will because I’ve known Dawn for a good few years now, and instantly there was a connection there and it was just great to sort of reconnect and get you on the podcast. Then when you were talking about your Mermaid Guides, I literally thought it was about Mermaids.
Dawn Bates: No, I’m a Banksy mermaid rather than a Disney mermaid. People even say to me, “What do you mean by Banksy mermaid?” Banksy, he is a proper activist. His artwork is phenomenal, his creations are very thought provoking and there is really nothing Disney about me. I might be all sweetness and light and lovely to some people, but I am an activist. I have always been an activist and one of my great passions other than helping other people to write their own book, whatever kind of book they want to write, that’s fine I will help them; which is one of the reasons why I developed my Author Academy and I’ve got the seven-week author course, I’ve got a seven-week author activist collaboration course. The first one is a standalone course, but the author activist one, that is a collaboration live class.
I want to help as many people get their book done as possible, and I also offer a lot of author services and publishing services, because the amount of people that say they’re going to write a book and they never do, because they don’t know how to. Trying to get in with the top five publishers is really difficult. One of my clients recently said to me, “I really want one of the tables at the front of Waterstones”. I was like, “Good luck with that!” Unless you are working with the top five, that front table at the front of Waterstones will be booked out at least a year in advance. You are going to have to pay prime positioning for that and have big distribution, which I can help them with.
One of the things a lot of people don’t realise about working with boutique publishers and author coaches like myself is we can help you create those strategies that will get you published. Provided you get the sales in and start making noise and getting yourself seen, instead of you chasing, the top five come to you. That is a very powerful position to be in which is why we work a lot — we’re always talking with top five publishers, we have published to all the top 150,000 publishing platforms my company publishes to.
We all have our own genre, like a friend of mine, Julie, she works specifically on full-on business key books, which I love. I work in the activist memoire biographical, people that are wanting to whistleblow corporate corruption, political corruption, systemic abuse, traumas, which is a very heavy energy to hold for somebody. The problem that you have is not a lot of publishers want to touch those books. But for me, those books are the ones that change humanity, and it gives other people hope and it helps people understand what’s truly going on in the world.
So, I will hold that space for those authors on those painful journeys, because when you write a book you heal yourself. I have this phrase that we discussed at the top of the show that, “Activism by pen is well-thought-out”, but also the healing journey, when you write your story, and you are writing it, you’re getting it out of yourself. I’ve had clients lose tons of weight, because a lot of it was stored trauma and stuff that they’re beating themselves up and they comfort eat. Once they’ve written their book, it’s gone. Beautiful.
Wendy Harris: That kind of caught in my throat a little bit, because I feel a little bit like that. I am not worthy; I am only on Amazon!
Dawn Bates: A lot of people boycott Amazon though, you would be surprised.
Wendy Harris: There’s something that’s just happened very, very recently, and Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk have been able to cut through the red tape, to create a change, because they can. So, no matter what your thoughts are of corporate billionaires, I applaud them at this moment in time because they’ve been able to move swifter than government can.
Dawn Bates: Absolutely.
Wendy Harris: Amazon was the route for me because I self-published. I had a little bit of help on the way, but oh my goodness, to think about what you were telling me about the Author Academy and the modules that go into that, it’s not just about the words on the page; it’s not, it’s way more than that. And, I think that comes back to your own story, your own journey, and how you would have wanted somebody to have gone, “Come on, Dawn, let’s do is this way”.
Dawn Bates: Honestly, when I was recording the videos for this, I actually had a moment where something in me shifted and I felt like a different woman, because I saw myself in a very different way. I first started coaching people in business over 20 years ago. It was mainly in the realm of what it was like working with your husband, because my ex-husband and I, we used to run a business together. We didn’t get divorced because we ran a business together, I just want to make that clear and we are still good friends. We’re just better without being married.
So, I started coaching people on that, but also what was it like being a 20-year-old woman in a male dominated environment. Can I do a speech; can I coach this person; can I mentor this person? I was like, “Yeah, all right then”, kind of fell into it and loved it and seeing the transformation. You’ve got to this point, and then I remembered this huge financial director of this global farm based in Australia, she came to me, she said, “I need your help, I need you to help me get my book published”. I was like, “All right then”, because I’ve always worked in publishing, whether it was publishing software, or magazines or CDs and DVDs, I worked for newspapers, I have been a columnist for newspapers and magazines for over 20 years. All of this came together and every mistake that I have made, I have put in these courses so, “This is how you get around that”, and I didn’t have anybody.
When I wrote Crossing the Line, the book that you’ve just shown, that you’ve just held up and purchased, thank you so much; it really does mean a lot to us as authors when people buy our books, because you spend so much time alone when you’re writing your book. For some of us going through this personal journey it can be very challenging to put your heart and soul onto a page and then have someone who’s never published a book come to you, “I’ve spotted a mistake. I wouldn’t have done it like this”, etc. “You haven’t even written a book, so thank you very much for your opinion”. Some of them it’s like, “You know where you can shove that, don’t you?”
Wendy Harris: I have copyread for a couple of friends actually that have written books. Very quickly, with one previous guest, Clara, she wrote a book, and she wrote very phonetically. Whilst I was proofing it, I started and then realised that that was her style, so I didn’t need to. She was just writing as she would speak.
Dawn Bates: She was owning her author voice.
Wendy Harris: Absolutely.
Dawn Bates: This is what I say to people: own your voice, because when you come on podcasts or when you stand on a stage and speak or you’re on TV, then those who have read your book, when they then hear you speak and they see you, it’s like, “Oh my God, that’s how they sounded”.
I was even in a café in Port Douglas, and I’m sat there minding my own business and writing away and I’ve ordered a coffee from the waitress and a muffin, because I really needed cake. I really want cake as well at the moment, just to let your listeners know I really want cake. I’ve been in Latin America, and they don’t do cake here like a Victoria sponge cake and I really want cake. Anyway, side issue, butterfly brain!
When you are sharing all of this and you are writing — so for example, with my client, Corey, who wrote Becoming a Champion, his story, oh my God, it was so painful for me to read. It must have been even more for him to have lived through it and to then relived it by writing it. But he has a deep South American drawl, and I was like, “You have to keep that in there, because you can’t put that into Chicago English, you have to put that into deep South American, you’ve got to keep that”.
It proved my point when I was in Port Douglas, because someone recognised my voice. I’d only been in Port Douglas less than 48 hours, I knew nobody there, how did this person know me? When I was getting my visa extended for Australia, it turns out that one of the women there had heard about me and knew about my books, and a friend of hers had bought my books and loved them. And the woman who I’m dealing with, she goes, “Oh my God, you sound just like your book”.
When we own our author voice, and we show up on stages or on podcasts or TV, people can relate to us more. It is so much easier when people go, “Where are you from?” after hearing me speaking a few Arabic words or a few Spanish words or a few words in Portuguese; it takes them a moment. “Oh you speak Arabic” or, “You speak Portuguese”. Some of my manuscripts, like the one I’m writing for Digital Nomad, there are some words I’m reading it and I’ve got half a sentence in four different languages! Yeah, writing how I speak.
Again, it’s like when you own who you are as an author and you own your story and you show up as yourself, the impact you have in the world, and that’s what I put into this book, into this course and all of my courses and I’ve created all these PDFs to sell as bundles, like an author starter kit, because if I’d have had all of this information 10 years ago, 15 years ago, oh my God!
Wendy Harris: Shh, you don’t have to count by calendar years.
Dawn Bates: Yes, that is many moons ago, that many fire release rituals on a full moon. If I’d have had all of that information, my author journey, I would have saved tens of thousands of dollars. I’d have saved so much time and that’s why a lot of authors, they don’t invest, or a lot of writers or people that want to write, but they don’t invest in a coach, they don’t invest in training. I did, I’ve invested close to half a million in personal development to get to where I am and I’m giving it to people for next to nothing really.
Wendy Harris: I think that’s where our stars align in lots of ways, that training is so important. Even in my own field picking up the phone, conversation can be just as healing, which is kind of why I have part two of the podcast, which is tell me about that conversation that changed everything. It’s because, speaking it out loud or having to think and anchor on a point can be a healing process, as much for the guest as it can for the listener. Being able to go, “Whoa, what a perspective. I don’t feel so alone in how I’m feeling”.
We never absolutely share experiences, I don’t believe we can because we’re all so unique, but you can get that resonation and that healing of talking it through to make you go, “You know what, actually, I feel better for that”. There’s clearly two things that we can do as human beings to really heal ourselves through words, and that is write a letter and put it in the fire to ourselves, which I have done few times; or speak to a really good friend, or a stranger even. Sometimes, having that conversation with a stranger can be more powerful.
Dawn Bates: I know, right. This was one of the things when I was in New Zealand, a friend of mine goes, “That was really weird”. I was, “What was?” She goes, “That man, he just walked up to you and blurted out his whole life story”. I went, “That happens all the time, doesn’t it?” She went, “No”. “It’s pretty normal to me, I don’t know what you’re talking about. You need to start opening up your energy”, she goes, “You need to start closing yours”.
But this is the thing. When you’re saying about how we speak our words to heal or write our words to heal, what we’re also doing is, when we sit down to write, I always set the intention, “May this book reach the people it is meant to reach so that they can heal and grow in confidence and courage and deal with whatever they need to deal with”. I just got goosebumps and a whole shiver go through me.
The thing is, when someone reads a book, they can read it at their own pace. They can read it in private, they can make notes in the margin. Those of who you have seen Dirty Dancing will understand that reference. I did like that film.
Wendy Harris: Ditto.
Dawn Bates: The thing is when they’ve got that book and it’s in paper and it’s in their hands, it’s almost like they open up a page and the words already start healing them. The fact that they choose to buy the book, it starts to heal them, they’ve taken that next step. I remember after I had written Leila, the second book in the Sacral series — I felt the emotion come up there — I received this message from someone who said, “I just feel like I’ve just read my own story”.
When you have messages from people that say that, “Reading your book, I knew I wasn’t alone”, “Reading your book has given me the courage to go forward”, “Reading your book has helped me start a business”, “Reading your book has help saved my marriage”, when you write a book you never know the impact you’re going to have on someone’s life, which is why I’m so determined to sell 1 million books this year.
I want every single one of my books to sell 1 million copies, because the thing for me is, when one person reads that book, the impact is four, because there are normally three close friends that they have or three people that are really close to them that will be directly impacted. Then those four people will impact another four people, and we get to change, and we get to heal generations of wounding from centuries gone by, generations gone by; we get to change the course of history.
What a beautiful legacy to know that even the chap that said, “You saved my marriage after my wife read your book”. “Really, how did that happen?” Then they tell you their story and you know that you’ve kept the family, you’ve reignited something within not just one person but within a couple and that family has gone on to stay together, that impact on those children, the impact on the families of that couple; it’s huge what we get to do. It’s something that I don’t take lightly either, I take it very seriously what I do.
Wendy Harris: That’s magic with a K in my book.
Dawn Bates: Yeah, and capital M.
Wendy Harris: I get exactly what you mean about writing, it’s similar to me and why I want to podcast, is I don’t know who’s listening. For me, this is a way to reach new audiences, for me to be able to connect people that I don’t know, and when you get those messages saying, “I really love the content. You’re keeping me on track. I’m learning how to do stuff”.
Dawn Bates: Your podcasts are great.
Wendy Harris: It really fills you up, because I don’t know these people, it’s not my auntie or my cousin or my best friend that lives in another county going, “Yay”, as cheerleaders like you would expect them to. This is people all over the planet now.
Dawn Bates: This is the thing when we do this, it is not always our friends and family who will buy our books or listen to the podcast. It’s to meet random strangers who then become friends.
Wendy Harris: Isn’t that great that you can share that? For me, to be able share with as many people as I possibly can, because I have the time and the tools to be able to do that, to say, “Dawn, tell us, what’s going on with the Book Launch Academy; what are the plans; what’s after that?”
Dawn Bates: Once we’ve launched, we’ve got the seven-week author course is the first kick-off in the beginning of March, that’s tomorrow. Then, we’ve got the special offer on for your guests, for your listeners. That’s launching the seven-week author course, which again is a standalone programme that they can either buy module, they either buy it in two parts, or they can buy it as a one-off thing. That’s a distanced learning. Or they can join like the live classes, there’s an author mastermind series, where we will get to meet twice a month for seven months. There are bundles that I’m putting on this learning platform, so there is that.
But I’m going for a million learners, because if I’m going to go for a million readers, I want a million learners. If we can get 1 million books out there or 1 million books written, imagine how many people will feel seen and heard. Imagine the impact, whether they write the book as a record of their family legacy and they don’t want to go on to publish in big grand scales, or whether they want to write a book as a healing journey.
For example, one of the things we do with a lot of the anthologies in a lot of our books, so for example with the Sacral series, because that’s all about trauma and abuse and systemic corruption and what have you, what we then do is we reach out to organisations that are dealing with people, like rape helplines or people that are dealing with abuse, people that have been through abuse, and then they will sell their books at a much-reduced rate. They can then sell the books to people within their network and then the foundations and the charities and the organisations have an additional income stream.
Again, it’s like if you’ve got a women’s network and you buy, for example, 100 copies of Crossing the Line, I will come and I will speak to you for free, you can then sell the books to your network. You’ve bought them at cost price but sold them at a profit, so we’ll help. Again, being an author is an act of philanthropy, because you can actually help a lot of these organisations and raise a lot of income for their foundation, for their charity, for their business network. It’s just a very beautiful thing and this is what the Author Academy is all about. It’s about helping people understand all of these different concepts and what is actually truly possible.
Wendy Harris: I would go as far to say, Dawn, that you’ve almost overthought how many different options and ways there are to be able to make sure that you get that million learners, to do with you, without you.
Dawn Bates: Of course I have.
Wendy Harris: There really is no excuse to get on and —
Dawn Bates: There is no excuse. If you’ve got excuses, I don’t want you in my space. This is the thing, I’ve always been like this, and I remember a guy from New Zealand read my book, Crossing the Line, and he sent me a message he goes, “I’ve just got one thing to say to you”, I was thinking, “Yes…?” He was like, “Thank you for the kick up the arse. I read your book and I wondered what on earth I’ve been doing with my life”. He goes, “Just in that three-year period, you achieved a lot more than I’ve achieved in 20 years”.
Wendy Harris: There are some times in life where something happens that can really shake things up for you.
Dawn Bates: Yeah, they don’t me the Molecule Shaker for nothing, Wendy.
Wendy Harris: The Molecule Mermaid, I like that. That could stick!
Dawn Bates: It might do.
Wendy Harris: I could just see all those shimmery molecules on your mermaid costume.
Dawn Bates: You should see me in a Burlesque outfit!
Wendy Harris: It’s like COVID, isn’t it? When COVID hit, what’s that nearly two years ago now, just over two years when it actually sort of appeared in the world. It made so many people say, “Oh my goodness, anything could happen tomorrow, I’m going to do something about it” and I wonder out of those people that said that, how many of them actually did.
Dawn Bates: Probably about 1%. Even with being an author, when you look at the amount of people that say, “I’m going to write a book”, 3% of those people, on average, write the book. Only 1% of that 3% then go on to publish the book. It flows between 1% and 3%, of those 1% of the 3%, they actually go on to make a profit.
Wendy Harris: I did kind of follow you with the maths. It’s a bit like that with podcasting. There’s like 2.7 million podcasts in the world but there’s only something like 350,000 active ones, which is over a three‑month period; and sometimes over a three-month period, they could have only six episodes, so soon that number could dwindle again. However, many are launched are every day. The maths can sort of do your head in.
Dawn Bates: They can and that’s the thing. It’s like if you say you want something and you don’t do whatever it takes to make that happen, you don’t want that thing, you don’t want that experience; because if you did, you’d make it happen. I mean, there was that law of attraction, “I want a cup of tea”. If I sit here and go, “I want a cup of tea, I want a cup of tea, I want a cup of tea”, the kettle’s not going to boil itself, put a teabag and bring it to me, is it? No, I’ve got to get off my backside and go and make myself a cup of tea. I can’t say I want something if I’m not going to take the aligned action to make it happen.
Wendy Harris: I don’t know if you’ve heard the Rob Begg episode. But get him round, offer tea! Law of attraction works for some people, and I think it works for some people because that’s where their mental ability is, and we all have different abilities. It’s like speaking, listening, watching. How we consume stuff differs, doesn’t it? Ultimately, we’re here to experience life.
Dawn Bates: Yeah, we are.
Wendy Harris: There’s only ever going to be one person in charge of that.
Dawn Bates: Yeah, us. Yeah, we’ve got one life. We might live it several times over, we’ve got one life.
Wendy Harris: Go out and live, that’s the message from that, isn’t it? Go out and live and write about it, I would say.
Dawn Bates: Absolutely. Share your story, again whether that’s through words that you write or words that you speak, I’ve been told so many times, “You need to make a film”. Yeah, I know my books are going to be turned into TV documentary and films, I have no doubt about that.
Wendy Harris: Can I be an extra?
Dawn Bates: The thing is, the more I talk about it, the more people I’m introduced to, the more recommendations my books are getting, the more opportunities my book has of being turned into a film. I’ve already been speaking to one TV producer who absolutely loves it. She goes, “It’s too big a project for me, but go and speak to this person”. So bit by bit, we’ve already got the episodic range written up, the brief and all of the stuff they want. Like your podcast guest sheet that you need to do or my media sheet. You need to do these things and there’s no point whinging and moaning about not having the results you want if you’re not going to show up.
Wendy Harris: But you’re learning a whole new process because you’re into a whole new room in your world really, aren’t you? That’s the same as people saying, “Oh Wendy, you should you do a podcast because you’re great at audio”. That’s fine, I might be great at audio, and being able to hold a conversation; but learning to podcast was a different route with different processes. So, if you want to do something, you’ve got to appreciate that there’s going to be an element of growth and growing pains on the way.
Dawn Bates: Yeah, they are some serious growing pains. I think this is the thing, people think that we get to this point. I’ve had so many people say, “It’s all right for you”. The minute I hear, “It’s all right, for you”, I’m like, “Yeah, I’m switching off the record you’ve got today”. My mum was a single mum. My mum’s still waiting for me to get a proper job after all these years. I’ve been running my own businesses for 20-odd years.
Wendy Harris: Mrs Bates, what does your daughter do?
Dawn Bates: Too much.
Wendy Harris: My mum would say the same.
Dawn Bates: That’s the thing, I grew up in a village of 200 people, my dad worked on the land. I’m the first entrepreneur in my family, I am the first one to leave the three-mile radius where all my family now live. I’m in Panama at the moment about to cross the border into Costa Rica tomorrow and I speak several different languages and I sail around the world writing books. I’ve created this online business and it’s not because I was born, “This is where my life was, look what I’ve created”. I’ve had to learn, I’ve had to break the money mindset things, like investing a certain amount of money.
For me it’s like, “Do I trust myself or not?” If I invest $1,000 or $10,000 or $100,000 whatever the number, do I trust myself that I’m going to make that money back? Absolutely, because I’m either going to make it back in knowledge, I’m going to make it back in money or I’m going to make it back in personal growth and actions taken. It’s not just about a monetary return when we invest in something, it’s about the skillset that we gain.
With the author course, as you said, my seven-week author course, it’s not just about getting the words written down; it’s the whole business blueprint. My coach even said to me, “It’s like an MBA you’ve written, Dawn, for authors”. When I write a workbook, you’ll laugh at me, “Yeah it’s a proper workbook, isn’t it, Dawn?” Yeah, it is a proper workbook, 20 to 30 pages and there are activities, and each activity has lots of different exercises in it. There’s stuff to write, there’s stuff to read, there’s stuff to research there’s stuff to plan and calculate and project and vision.
Wendy Harris: It goes back to, are you serious about this?
Dawn Bates: Yes.
Wendy Harris: If you’re not serious about it, you’re not going to do it.
Dawn Bates: No. If you’re going to spend $2,000 on a TV or whatever it is that people buy these days, and you’re just going to sit there for hours looking at it; I mean, when I see a TV in a hotel room or an Airbnb, I put a sarong over the top of it. I don’t want to see it, it’s like a black hole of nothingness and it just absorbs you and it wastes your time, and it wastes your energy. For me, I would rather be going after my dreams and living my dreams. I’m achieving everything that I set out to do, than wasting hours watching Netflix.
Getting everything ready for this documentary, I’ve had to watch documentaries. What makes that one more successful than this one? This is in the realm of human rights; okay, who are the directors, who are the producers, who are the musicians? I am getting a dream-team list so all the documentaries that I really enjoy and that are doing really well on Netflix, I am writing down all the names of all the people that are on that production team. Then I will be emailing them, “Okay, I’ve seen this”, and I just had a message back from a producer in the UK after his documentary series which was massive, four seasons on Netflix. Now, him and I are in conversation. That wouldn’t have happened unless I’d have spent time, money and effort and then had the confidence to reach out to him. I wasn’t born with this confidence.
Wendy Harris: No.
Dawn Bates: I was a shy girl, I had to take drama to come out of my shell.
Wendy Harris: I think that’s the drive for the goal, and I would say that the way that I got into picking up the phone was because I was actually quite shy and lacking in confidence. That gave me a boundary. They couldn’t see that I was actually bright pink from the neck up through my face when I was talking, because I was really, really bricking it. But I could perform on stage at school, because that was a release. It was pretending to be something else, which stopped me from wallowing in the life that I had at the time.
Dawn Bates: Playing Aphrodite was amazing for me in the school production of Troy. Oh my God, I loved that role. Playing Lady Macbeth was amazing. Powerful women, both of them that I played there and that was really powerful for me.
Wendy Harris: Cleaning genie in Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves with a bright pink lambswool top and a double-D 40!
Dawn Bates: You unleased the magic into the world. That’s so you!
Wendy Harris: It was so comical, honestly, I’d just walk on, and the audience would just start falling about with laughter that I had to wait for them so that I could deliver the lines.
Dawn Bates: Yes, but you gifted so much to those people in that moment and that is what people don’t always recognise. This is why when we work with people like you and me, when you’re coaching them through their podcasting journey and you’re helping them to get launched and figure everything out and get everything in place; or whether I’m helping them get their story out of them and written and then published, those insights that we have, like you walking on stage, making people laugh, just being in that role, what a gift to give somebody that much laughter that you couldn’t even deliver your line. That is so healing on so many levels. It’s such a beautiful gift to give somebody and we get to reflect that back at people.
Wendy Harris: I’m sitting here with a great big smile on my face almost like, “Sorry, Dawn, I’ve gone drifting off”. I’d love to do that again. Yeah, I’m going to back to genie land, I’m going to be a genie one day.
Dawn Bates: We can be very serious businesswomen, or we can also be —
Wendy Harris: Deadly serious.
Dawn Bates: Deadly serious, yes, or we can have a giggle and that’s the thing people say to me, “How do you always find giggles, giggles in the day?” because a lot of the subjects that I write about like Alpha, the fourth book in the Sacral series, that was entered in for an outstanding writing competition. When people have read it, they were like, “Oh my God, you write books”.
The Sacral series are nine true stories, which I’ve had to write as fiction to protect the identities, but the content is very heavy. People are like, “How do you keep so positive and giggle so much when you’re writing about these subjects, like female genital mutilation, rape within marriage and things like this?” It’s because I’m honoured that these people shared their story with me and trusted me, but I’m also grateful for the fact that we get to share our story.
We live in the best times now. People go, “Life is really bad and internet and all this”, but it’s like, look at what we can achieve. I’m in the Panamanian mountains, I’m amazed the Wi-Fi has stuck this long, to be honest, not that I’m putting it out there for you to cancel, Universe, thank you very much. But every time I show up somewhere like, “Where are you now, Dawn?” I woke up the other day going, “I’ve got to go to Panama. No, I’m not going to Panama, I’m in Panama”.
Wendy Harris: It’s when you sent me a message going, “I’ve made friends with Elon and we’re off to Mars”.
Dawn Bates: What do you mean you need me to be friends with Elon to get to Mars, Dawn, I thought you were already there? Again, even looking at something like the planets, people say the sky is the limit. No it’s not, why would you limit yourself by saying that. The sky is not the limit, there are cosmoses and black holes and wormholes. Grab that hessian helter-skelter mat and go for it, the ones you used to get on the helter-skelter and the bumpy slides. Just grab one of them and just go into the cosmos.
Dawn Bates: Yeah.
Wendy Harris: I do listen honestly. We both do, Rob. I need to ask you to share that one conversation that changed everything for you, your pivotal moment.
Dawn Bates: I can’t even remember what it was, there have been so many. I remember for me, as you’ve got Crossing the Line, choosing that moment of standing in my truth of being given a bribe or presented with a plea bargain, ie a bribe by the lawyers in Scotland when I was falsely arrested when I had my children taken off me. Still to this day, I haven’t been questioned and you will need to read Crossing the Line, listeners, to understand what went on.
The lawyer said to me, “If you admit to this and this, we’ll let you off on this, or if you admit to this, we’ll let you off on these two”. I just looked at him and I said, “I’m not accepting a bribe”. He goes, “It’s not a bribe”. I’m like, “It kind of is a bribe”. And I said to them, “I would rather go to prison for telling the truth than lie and give truth to their lies and go free”. Truth is our ultimate freedom, living in our truth.
They went back into the courtroom, and they rejected the offer, the plea bargain, and I’m just at that point going, “Okay, I’d better win this now”. I drew a line in the sand, but I declared, “I’d rather go to prison for telling the truth than go free for lying”. That has always been my thing. Some people say, “Keep the truth hidden”. I’m like, “No, we’ve got to speak our truth”. I could still be in prison right now if I had lost that court case. I would still be in prison until 2029, I think. The guy was determined to win, because they were not going to take my children away from me, and keep my children away from me, my children are everything to me.
Again, that is one of the reasons why what I’m doing now, working my backside off to make sure that I’m creating a better world for my children, I’m also leading them by example, because when I told my sons, “Boys, this is what has just happened in the courtroom today”, and I told them, “I would rather go to prison for telling the truth than give truth to their lies by lying, and that would mean this. If I lose this court case now, this is what it means for our family”. My boys threw their arms around me and said, “We love you mummy”. That’s the thing when you tell the truth, and you step into your power, everything comes for you. It is a game-changing conversation.
Wendy Harris: I don’t think there’s any bond any stronger than a mother’s love.
Dawn Bates: Yeah, you mess with my children, you mess with the wrong mama bear, absolutely. Not only the shamanic fire, the mama fire, but it’s the Celtic fire and the Sagittarian fire and I will come after you with everything I have.
Wendy Harris: As a Libran, I would have to say that the balance of those scales have got to swing in favour of the truth. So, it was never in doubt that you would win.
Dawn Bates: I was in the courtroom on my 40th birthday, that was the final day of the court case. Took me three years to fight them and to win. I remember standing in the hotel room that morning, in the Airbnb, going to the courtroom, I’m like, “Happy birthday Dawn, go win this”. I stood there and I remember standing there waiting to hear everything and the judge said, “Not guilty on all charges”.
My legs just went to complete jelly, and I was all by myself, and the big thing is that I was in that courtroom by myself and if I’d have been found guilty, there would have been no one there to tell my boys I’d been found guilty or how long I was being sent to prison, where I was going. I had to do all of that by myself, there was no one by my side.
This is the thing, because I’d been by myself through so much, I don’t want other writers or other people to feel that they are alone, which is why I do this author coaching. This is why I share the stories I do, so other people know they are not alone, so that there is somebody speaking their story and there is somebody there that’s got their back, and it is somebody who has got to the other side.
Wendy Harris: This is why I knew you had to come and talk to me, Dawn, is because you’re not just another coach that helps authors. You’ve really lived a life.
Dawn Bates: Dragged through a hedge backwards, mama used to say.
Wendy Harris: Thank you for your time. Thank you for the offer that you’ve given to the listeners as well. We will stick that in the show notes, there’s going to be special links on the website. Just reach out to Dawn. There’s no telling where she’s going to be in the world, but she will always have a conversation with you.
Dawn Bates: Always happy to have a conversation. Sorry to have put you off while you were complimenting me, thank you. I do appreciate them.
Wendy Harris: Dawn we’ll catch up soon, but it’s been an absolute pleasure.
Dawn Bates: Lots of love to you, thank you everybody for listening.
Wendy Harris: That was a whirlwind of conversation, wasn’t it, between Dawn and I? There was so much energy and magic with a kicking K. If you want to turn that dream into a reality and transform what’s in your head into something that you can hold onto in your hands, then please do reach out to Dawn. Email her at email@example.com. All the details are in the show notes, they’re on our website www.makingconversationscount.com just look up Dawn on there and you will find everything you need.
If there’s one thing that I could really take away from that conversation with Dawn, it’s that investing in training helps you on so many levels. We are continually growing as people and through that, it helps our business too. There’s no excuses, go find out that person that you need to help you succeed in that one thing that may be holding you back and then let us know how you get on.
Next time, on Making Conversations Count, I’m joined by communication coach, Trisha Lewis, who talks us through the benefits of overcoming imposter syndrome. We’re going to be Making Conversations about ‘unsquashing yourself’ Count. Can’t wait.
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Sometimes this means I change something I do, or something I would say, and other times it’s a real opportunity for reflection.
Thanks for sharing your guests with us Wendy, the podcasts are brilliant.
We all have pivotal moments and Wendy manages to find the right parts, showcasing the reasons why someone is who they are.
It’s those details that we connect to and come to more understanding of why people do what they do.
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