The GREAT Edward here,Rebecca Woodhead!

Happy Friday!

Welcome to this installment of…

Share Your DREAM Friday!
It is with great pleasure that I bring to you today’s Special Guest Dreamer The GREAT Rebecca Woodhead!

I had the pleasure and blessing to meet Rebecca back in the fall of 2010 through the Home And Small Business Network. There was a passion and confidence about her that came through when ever she spoke and would join our sometimes 2 hour conference calls that started at 9 pm EST (2 am local time for her) and never missed one.

Her passion for writing and connecting people is amazing. She paints a picture in your mind and the mind of everyone who reads what she shares. What an amazing gift.

We both share a past of the technology business days where we each grew so much in defining who we are today.

Here first self published book PALACES & CALLUSES is the first online book that I read from my iPhone 3GS and could not put it down once I got started. Looking forward to the sequel!

Please join me in celebrating Rebecca as she shares her story and dream with us today.

The GREAT Rebecca Woodhead – Share Your DREAM Friday

I want to start by thanking Edward for this opportunity to share my dream with all of you. I’m a major dream follower, so I was pretty clear on my dream before I started preparing for this post, but this exercise makes you think so hard about the texture and shape of your dream. I kept stopping myself and saying, ‘yes, but is that it really? Can you be more specific?’ It made me focus minutely on what my dream is in its entire three dimensional glory. My dream is … to be an Amazon bestselling author.

Now I’m going to unpack that a bit, because there’s a bunch of dreams within and around it. I put the short version in the video. This is the long version. The inside story. The secret key.

Why that dream? It’s not because I’m a huge fan of Amazon in particular, it’s because it’s a universal symbol. Everyone knows what that means. It’s visual evidence of something. ‘Amazon bestseller’ is a key. It’s the key to my treasure chest of dreams. Here’s how the key looks:

I had a dream –> I struggled –> I overcame –> I became an Amazon bestseller –> Others can, too.

The key helps me to unlock the dreams of others as well as my own. It’s a cool key! Let me share it with you. Maybe it will unlock something for you, too.

I Had a Dream

Before I went to school, I learnt to read and write. Mum was very patient about my constant demands for word cards and stories, but my big dream then was to go to school and learn more about books. I was such a nerd. Fortunately, there was a little boy-nerd there too. We used to set each other homework, and grade each other’s make-believe papers. Yes. A is for Apple. Correct. Have a star.

As I went through my childhood years, I had all the usual dreams … get into the Guinness Book of World Records, fly to the moon, become one of the cast of Fame, marry a prince, win Badminton Horse Trials … but the one thing that kept coming up was ‘become an author’.

One day, my grandmother asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said the first thing that came into my head, ‘author’. She said, ‘well, then, you shall’. Gran was pretty impressive, so I took her word for it. I was also surprised at how right it had felt when I’d actually said it aloud.

I Struggled

It wasn’t Fame but it was the school play, and I had a leading role. I was about to take my 11+ exam to move into a very posh school with my closest friends the following year. Just as with going to school for the first time, I couldn’t wait to get to my new school, but things were going brilliantly at my own school, too. I’d just been voted class captain; my gang had more members than any of the other gangs in the class – and we had members’ badges and a newsletter. Yep. Still a nerd. I was also in the top eventing team for my county, so Badminton seemed a real possibility. I climbed into my brother’s car for the drive to school. I never made it to the play.

When I came out of the coma, I couldn’t speak. Back then – in the mid-80s – you were not offered counselling and rehabilitation when you left hospital after being in a coma. I wasn’t even given access to a speech therapist. Two weeks after I came out of the coma, I was sent home to fend for myself. Over the next few months, with the help of my family, I taught myself to speak again. Every word was laborious. I remember what it was like to learn to speak the first time around. It was a doddle compared to this. I had to construct each word, manually, in my brain.

1. I would come up with a concept.
2. I would picture it.
3. I would try to mime the concept to another person.
4. Eventually, they’d work it out and say the word.
5. I would need them to repeat it while I thought of the concept and the picture.
6. They would need to write it down.
7. They would need to read it out loud while I looked at the word, and thought of the concept and the picture.
8. I would then try to read it. That took the longest. Many mistakes and much stuttering.

I did that with my whole vocabulary. Meanwhile, I was banned from riding ponies, so the Badminton dream disappeared. I was banned from dancing, so the Fame dream disappeared. My friends were all off to a new school, but my IQ had plummeted so far that not only could I not join them, but the Headmaster of my school wanted to send me back to kindergarten. When I was finally allowed back to school full time, my gang no longer existed. The leader of the rival gang had taken my position as Class Captain. I’d put on weight. When people don’t know how to say ‘sorry your head broke’ to you as a child, they say ‘the worry you brought on your parents …’ in an accusatory tone, and give you chocolate, before leaving the room to talk – I presume – about the worry you brought on your parents.

Chocolate + ban on exercise = around 50 people bullying me for being ugly every day.

In a fog of guilt about bringing worry upon parents by selfishly demolishing a wall with my head, and my resulting ugliness causing people’s eyes to hurt, the idea of my future holding any kind of Prince Charming disappeared. The idea of making it into the Guinness Book of Records for being anything but the most miserable child in England seemed unlikely. Somewhere inside, though, I knew I needed a dream. I knew that I had to pick one of these impossible dreams and find a way to make it possible, one day – even if I had no idea how long it would take. I picked: ‘become an author’.

I Overcame

After refusing to be put back even a single year, I’d saddled myself with the task of teaching myself all the work I’d missed. As it turned out, this was the best training for becoming an author – and an entrepreneur – that I could have had.

My parents secretly wished I’d stop trying so hard, but they knew it was important to me to defy the prediction that I would never reach the same level as my peers, so they paid for me to have extra tuition at the weekends, over holidays, and in the evenings. This was a trend I continued when the insurance money for my accident was paid out. By this time, I was a teenager. I could have bought a new car, but I didn’t. Instead, I hired Oxford University Dons (professors) to teach me English, Politics, and Law. My compensation was a pittance, compared with what a person would get for that kind of injury now, but it was enough to get some brain food. I invested thousands of pounds into private tuition. I sat in the various university colleges, where great authors had studied, and soaked up all the education I could fit into my brain. More than that, I soaked up inspiration. I knew I could get into university, even if I had to talk my way in.

In time, that’s just what I did. The professor who had the faith in me to let me into Southampton University is the one whose seminar inspired my first novel. I graduated with honours (2:1), experience on the University newspaper, and an interview with Stephen Fry under my belt.

This is where things took a bit of a different turn. After a summer in America, working in a restaurant and planning various different writing gigs, and a spell as a Freelance Journalist and Casting Agent in London (neither of which paid enough to justify my Chelsea lifestyle) I had an idea for a business. It would use this new ‘web’ thingy.

To cut a long story short, that business became a Limited Company and I ended up on a Board of Directors dealing with everything from hiring and firing to Venture Capitalists. At the time, I was one of the youngest members of the Institute of Directors – and almost definitely the only female of that age. The furniture there was built for silverbacks. I felt like Tinkerbelle in a suit. I never saw another woman in that building. I know it has changed now, but at the time it took a certain amount of nerve to ignore the disapproving stares and brave it out.

All the time, though, I knew I wanted to be an author. Late at night, I’d mug the flipchart boards of their paper, lay it out on the floor, and scribble plots and character sketches in bright marker-pen colours.

I missed writing, so I found ways to make parts of my job about writing. I told the Directors about ‘stickiness’ and said that I thought that writing interesting things on a regular basis might bring stickiness to a site. Sounds obvious now, but these were the days of dial-up and static pages. I started a blog. I interviewed celebrities, and wrote reviews. I set up a newsletter list and a membership site. Back then, I didn’t touch the HTML, you had a tech department for that kind of thing, but I came up with all the ideas and wrote all the copy. The consequence was that we had click through rates massively higher than the competition, and I kept my word nerd foot in the door.

All my time was taken up with work. The Dot Com Boom came and went, so I’d decided to change the focus of the business, and put resources into something my dad and brother were working on. All was going well then, suddenly, my brother died. Another car accident. Everything fell apart. Most of all … I fell apart. I became too ill to work. My brother was also a huge part of the business so, bit by bit, the business fell apart and when the recession hit, it went under. My husband was working for the business at that point, so he was made redundant.

You might wonder where ‘I overcame’ comes into this. I’ll tell you. As I wasn’t well enough to go out to work, I stayed at home. Within a week I was bored enough to start thinking about writing a book. Within a year, I had written one. Palaces & Calluses. Since 2008, when my husband lost his job, and I started my own blog charting the journey to my own dream of publication, I have written the sequel. I’ve also accomplished another dream and become a columnist for my favourite national magazine, Writing Magazine. Groupon has taken me on as a professional blogger, blogging about writing and my book is now on Amazon.

I Became an Amazon Bestseller

Okay … I haven’t done this bit yet. Every now and then, part of a plan is beyond your control. You have to hope that enough people are inspired by the steps you’ve taken to add their own energy to the journey, and lift you up to the next level. That’s what Edward is doing here, and I’m so grateful for it.

It might seem a huge dream – and it is – but I see no reason why I shouldn’t do it. I’ve accomplished way more impossible dreams than this one. Just this month one of my good friends, Dan Holloway, became an Amazon Bestseller. I did a reading at the Oxford Fringe Festival last week, with Dan. If he can do it, so can I.

Others Can Too!

So, I’m going to take it as written that I will find a way to do this bit. After all, I’ve been named one of the top 100 ‘Most Powerful Women on Twitter’, I’ve won the Ms Twitter UK title, I’ve made it onto Robert Scoble’s Tech Pundits list with such legends as Guy Kawasaki, Chris Brogan and Copyblogger, and I’ve been a finalist in the Shorty Awards – beating JK Rowling in the literature category. I also sold enough books in my first month to make it into profit, and I’m getting great reviews, so with a bit of assistance from my chums … I think I’ll find a way to make it happen.

I’m putting together a training course for writers and aspiring writers, combining my writerly experience with my entrepreneurial experience, and my ability to get through whatever life presents. I want to give aspiring authors the confidence and resources they need to develop an authorpreneurial mindset, and make it to publication.

I’ve also been asked by increasing numbers of people to start coaching. I used to do a lot of consultancy work and training. I loved helping people to reach for their own dreams, and training groups of people on diploma courses, so I’m going to start doing that again. If I can become an Amazon bestseller, inspire aspiring authors, and give a sense of direction to aspiring Directors, I will be a very happy bunny.

Rebecca Woodhead –

How does it get any better than that?

Thanks so much Rebecca, for sharing your story, words, and dream with us today.

If you enjoyed Rebecca’s Story make sure you check these out…

How Shawn & Emily Are Living The Life Of Their Dreams On Purpose!

How Dr. Dain Shows How Being You Is All It Takes To Change The World!

Learn How Relationships Play A Role As David Lives The Life Of His Dreams!

How Networking And Sharing Your Dream With Key People Allows Staci To Live Out Her Dream!

How Wendy Lives Full Out On The Journey Towards Her Dreams!

Meet That One Key Person That Can Change Your Business Forever! 

Become A Special Guest Dreamer Today!

Join Our Tribe Of BIG DREAMERS!

Visit The DREAM Project

Until next week… Live Your DREAM!

Make it a great day!

God Bless,

Tagged with:

Filed under: Share Your DREAM Friday

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!