And that’s exactly what would have happened, had I been wearing any. Suzanne Waldron, author of the hard-to-put-down recently released-and-doing-very-well book, ‘A Flourishing Mind’ had warned me – and my sox would have been blown to smithereens, had it been cool enough to wear them that day! This little gem? It took Suzanne five days to write this book. Just the writing – all the rest that is involved in getting a book published and out there took much longer but the writing, her bit – five days! Ouch.
But let’s start at the beginning. Suzanne, as she says, has been through a heck of a lot – all very daunting and much of which would make even the strongest of people want to hibernate for the rest of their lives. But not this lady – not a hope. If anything, it has had the opposite effect. She’s written a book about it. As Suzanne tells it, by the ripe old age of eight she had already had a nervous breakdown! By her mid-teens she’d been fostered out and then became homeless. By her mid-thirties (where she is now), she had studied a lot in human behavioural change – and she describes ‘A Flourishing Mind’ as being about how one can go through adversity and come into a place where you would flourish. ‘My very early years were difficult and really my teens and my twenties were also very difficult as I was confused and angry about many of the residual feelings, the impact of some of the activities and circumstances of my life but as I got older I started to realise I really wanted to feel very differently and also have other people feel differently about themselves too’.
The catalyst for her putting pen to paper initially was her father’s death and her lack of contact with her mother – she felt she had to tell their story in order to tell her own. And she felt that this was the permission needed for her to be able to actually tell hers. She was connected to her dad, but not so much her mum, so she finally felt she could really share and help others. Suzanne is thrilled to be able to say ‘A Flourishing Mind’ is selling very well and sold out within ten days of its launch. Suzanne is currently being presented with distribution opportunities for Australia and New Zealand.
As for the gem mentioned earlier – writing the book in five whole days – to top this off she was doing her masters in the same year and establishing her business as well as winning a court case and then mourning her father’s death so she actually intentionally set five days aside to devote to her writing. Writing the book was the easiest part in her view. Editing with thousands of changes and production of the book goes through many stages. It takes a big team to produce a book, which many don’t realise.
When asked to describe her ‘normal’ day – Suzanne admits her ‘normal’ means variant in that she has a lot of activities that are very different – there is no routine. She usually starts work at 7 am – usually in her nightie – which is not a problem since she works from a home office. As a child, her aspiration was very pure and simple – to be safe. Something she didn’t feel much of as she was growing up.
Prior to running her own business and writing, she usually held leadership roles in the corporate world. So she feels most of her roles have been humanistic – and she loves strategy as well. She also directs on a board for Uniting for Homelessness in Perth. With efforts to half homelessness in the metro area in the pilot case.
Her strength in writing is certainly getting on with it. ‘I hope it is easy to read and you’re not lost in the meaning and that people can actually read what I write and feel something for themselves’. And her weaknesses are definitely grammar and making up words, which sortof leaves her editors scratching their heads a bit! Suzanne feels that writing a book requires great organisational skills. ‘I know that sounds very practical, but if you want to write a book you have to work through it like it’s a project and it also needs to looked at from an organisational time perspective’. And she has even won an award: ‘Striving to Succeed’ Runner Up. It was an organisational award where there were 1,500 people in the organisation. And inspirational people in her life? Fran Berry, owner and director of ‘Alive & Kicking Solutions’, who has taught and inspired Suzanne a lot. The kindness of strangers also plays a big part in what inspires Suzanne.
Goals – short term is to get as much exposure as possible for the book to make sure it is doing what she intended it to do – help people think differently about themselves. And long term – to create a foundation for people who would value learning to think about themselves well, especially younger people. Her values are kindness, honesty, increasing others’ self image, integrity – doing what you say you are going to do. And love. She is passionate about helping people to have lives worth living. And ‘spare’ time – again, it’s simple – her spare time is about being curious. Going to acting classes or life drawing classes, or to see a live show. Curiosity.
And Suzanne is a member of the International Coaching Federation and the National Speakers’ Association as well as a number of smaller groups.
And a final word: ‘I try to get my message out to men and women without excluding any gender. It’s about having a life worth living set by each and everyone’s own standard. And it seems she is succeeding in doing just that. Well done.