Author Archive | Birgit Treipl

Finalizing my manuscript

I was just reading my last post. The post about writing my book.

Well… I did it!

The final draft of my manuscript is ready

I finalized the final draft of my manuscript in January 2019. Literary non-fiction, a novel/biography based on my dad’s life story, completed just in time for my dad’s 88th birthday. I printed it and my husband and I flew to France, where my mom and dad live, to hand the final draft to my dad in person. My brother and his wife were there too. It was an emotional, happy and very special weekend with people I love and for various reasons, we drank champagne every day!

Around the same time I gave my final draft to four other proofreaders, my coach Nanda Huneman, my sister-in-law and two dear friends, one of them being a writer herself.

Showing vulnerability

Somehow it is a very exciting feeling to hand your book over to others and to ask for their opinion. Except for my coach and my dad, who both had been very much involved with my writing, no one else had seen any of it. Not even my own husband, since he is Canadian and I have written the book in Dutch.

I had been talking about my book with others quite often, telling them about my process and progress, but sharing my writings was a very vulnerable thing to do. Especially after having dedicated two years of my life to the manuscript.

Would it be good enough? What if they wouldn’t like it? Would it be a good read?

I gave them a copy of the final draft and then I just had to sit and wait. I’m not very good at waiting you know, I like to take action 🤣 I felt quite restless, so I started killing time looking into the next phase: how to publish and promote a book. And I found out it’s a world of its own…

Automatically the next worry started creeping into my mind: would any publisher be interested in publishing my book?

The Dutch readers market is relatively small, the number of people writing books apparently overwhelming so publishing houses and agents can allow themselves to be very picky. Most websites more or less state: “if you’re not already a well-known author please don’t send us your manuscript.”

Author? It still feels like a weird word to me. I don’t feel like an author. Yet. I guess that only comes with publishing your first book…

I didn’t know of anyone working in the publishing branch. How to stand out in the pile of manuscripts… Should I look into self-publishing? But how to get into the bookstores?

We all fight our own demons every day, right?!

Then my proofreaders started coming back to me with their feedback. They loved it! Two of them even called my book a ‘page-turner’! Yay! The suggestions and comments of all of them were really good quality feedback and I was so happy to go back to my desk again and to take my manuscript to the next level. Nanda and I also had a great talk and with all of the input I was able to finalize my manuscript and I felt satisfied with the result.

I posted on FB that I was ready for the next step: to find the right publisher. Various friends reacted to that post. Encouraging reactions of friends that even used to work in the publishing sector and I had forgotten all about it!

The more I share things with people who care about me the more doors seem to open.

Asking for help is a good thing. I’ve sent my manuscript to a limited number of publishers now and there’s some good progress on the horizon. I’m very excited! And very grateful for all the friends supporting me and helping me find new, important connections.

I’ll keep you posted! 😁

With love, Birgit
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Turning my dream into reality

“When I was a teenager, I told my best friend that, one day, I would write down my dad’s life story. A complex family legend, in which happiness and tragedy and the unbreakable bond between my dad and my grandma are central. I have been asking my dad to tell me his story over, and over, and over again. But he had to turn 86 years old, and I needed to go on my own life journey, before I was ready to turn my dream into reality.”

Taking on the challenge

These are the first sentences of the Author’s note of the novel I am finally writing. On January 2nd 2017, I started interviewing my dad via Skype, because he lives in France and I’m in BC Canada. Today, 1.5 years later, with the tremendous support of my coach Nanda Huneman, who is a writer herself, my book is starting to gain serious shape. I’m writing in Dutch, which is my mother tongue. But I will eventually have the book translated into English and other languages too.

The story takes place in the Dutch East Indies between 1910 and 1956. It’s a different story about the Dutch East Indies you might have heard before. Because my dad’s family wasn’t Dutch. They were Austrians. Immigrants from Vienna. As a result he and his family were declared ‘dangerous Germans’ during WWII, even though they weren’t German, and had lived most of their adult life in the Dutch East Indies. My dad was born in Bandung, Java, in 1931. His roots were there. He had never ever been to Europe.

It’s an intriguing story, sometimes hard to wrap your head around. Especially when you’re of Dutch descent, as I have noticed through the reactions of my Dutch coach. I set a challenge with her: to have the first version of my book, complete with Epilogue, finished by the end of August. This post helps me to keep me accountable and reach my goal. I am determined to publish my book. And I hope you are going to read it! To be continued 😉

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Starting, growing or realigning your business?

Are you starting a business?

Congratulations! Starting a business is a very exciting adventure! But there’s also a lot to think about. First of all: do you have your foundations in place? Did you ask yourself questions like: What is your purpose? Do you know your niche? And what is your unique selling point? Who are your ideal customers?

Would you like to grow your business?

Have you owned your business for quite a while and you’d like to grow it or move it to the next level? Good for you! You have come to a point where some fundamental questions need to be asked and answered, like: How did we get in this business? Why are we providing that product? Why are we pursuing those clients? Is your company presented in such a way that prospects will take you seriously and that they will choose your company over another one? Do you look like a leader and an expert? And do you look credible? And also professional?

Not sure about the direction?

Or maybe you’re not sure which direction to go next with your business, and you want to rethink your strategy: what’s next? what’s possible? and how do I make it happen?

The Leadership Dashboard

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a simple tool that will offer you great clarity about what is important and why, whether you are starting, growing or realigning your business? Here’s the happy answer: such a tool exists and I am using it in my business coaching practice.

It is called The Leadership Dashboard. It has it’s roots in Procter & Gamble’s famous one-page memo. At P&G, employees learn quickly that ideas are best expressed in a single page. The thinking goes that, if it takes longer than a page to explain an idea, then the idea is still fuzzy and not fully thought out.

I challenge my clients to do the same thing and the tool I use focuses exclusively on the most important areas where as a business owner you must have clarity and focus. Even though it is a simple tool, it takes a lot of reflection and dialogue to answer the questions. It’ll take you from mission, vision and values to core talents and priorities, performance, key relationships and opportunities for professional development.

Once you’ve answered all of the questions, you can use it as your own guide, challenge your employees to create their own dashboards and you can implement the dashboard throughout your organization. That way, you can confirm that everyone is on the same page about what matters, and is moving in the same direction towards results.

Starting, growing or realigning your business and do you want to know more? Book a free coaching session with me and find out for yourself!

Book Here

Wishing you a happy business!

Birgit

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Leading an organization, what does it take?

How many crises do you address every day? How many requests for your time distract you from achieving your real goals and handling your primary responsibilities? How often do you end up doing things that others should be doing?

It doesn’t really matter how big your organization is, if you’re the owner of a small business, or a manager in a large organization. You are likely facing unprecedented pressures. Markets change more quickly. Customers demand more and forgive less. Employees feel less loyal than you’d like.

Leading an organization is not an easy job. And I am not even talking about the other roles in your life that you are trying to handle at the same time, like being a loving and dedicated life partner, being a great mom or dad to your kids, and a thoughtful son or daughter to your elderly parent.

In this environment, it becomes difficult to keep track of the things that really matter to you, and to your organization: vision, mission, values, your edge, strategic priorities, metrics for success, relationships and how to become more effective.

You can be busy, but are you being productive? It’s important to figure out who you want to be before you start to do. You can easily lose perspective and become overwhelmed, when you really need to be grounded, focused, calm, resilient and powerful…

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Our Inner Critic

It’s a slow Sunday morning here in Nelson BC. The first snow on the mountaintops, a cold breeze on the lake, temperatures are dropping. Winter is around the corner. A good moment to snuggle up in warm clothes behind my computer and to write this blogpost to you!

I have been dealing with a lot of significant changes in my life lately. Even though I initiated most of the changes myself it doesn’t mean that I have been without fear. On the contrary! Fear usually is a big factor when we deal with changes. Our ‘Inner Critic’ starts talking to us. And it mostly speaks to us when we least expect it.

Last week I realized it was sixteen years ago I started my own business. I started it from scratch, in a small room upstairs in my home in the Netherlands. And I am doing it again today. After completing 104 hours of training with The Coaches Training Institute in Vancouver I just opened up my office in Nelson BC and will start working as a Life coach & Small business consultant. But here I am, upstairs in my sunny office room, fighting my own demons. Did I make the right decision to move to Nelson? Where do I start? Will I be successful? I do not have a network. How will I find clients? What if I fail? Am I good enough?

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