Alesha R. Brown of Fruition Publishing Concierge Services: “Treat exercise, your food regimen, and meditation as top priorities in your business”

Have a solid network of seasoned mentors and leaders that have achieved the levels of success you desire. I have heard it said repeatedly but I have found it to be true: we are the reflection of the five people we spend the most time with. Sure, you can study and research how to train for […]

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Have a solid network of seasoned mentors and leaders that have achieved the levels of success you desire.

I have heard it said repeatedly but I have found it to be true: we are the reflection of the five people we spend the most time with. Sure, you can study and research how to train for a triathlon and do it yourself. You can desire to lose weight or have a fitter appearance and follow your own exercise or diet program. But the wise person higher the experts and allow them to train and guide them to the goal.

It is vital that you have a network of seasoned leaders and professionals that have achieved the levels of success you desire. Investing in masterminds with these high-level professionals will not only shorten your learning curve but stop the pleading. If I had it all to do again, I would have acquired them sooner.

Being a founder, entrepreneur, or business owner can have many exciting and thrilling moments. But it is also punctuated with periods of doubt, slump, and anxiety. So how does one successfully and healthily ride the highs and lows of Entrepreneurship? In this series, called “How To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur” we are talking to successful entrepreneurs who can share stories from their experience. I had the pleasure of interviewing Alesha Brown.

Alesha Brown, The Joy Guru, is an award-winning entrepreneur, book publisher, and transformational speaker who encourages audiences by igniting the fire within and helping them take center stage. She is the owner of Fruition Publishing Concierge Services (a division of Alesha Brown, LLC) where she offers ghostwriting, writing coaching, and full publishing services to help people share their stories with the masses. As a childhood abuse survivor, she is on a mission to reverse the damage of abuse by encouraging survivors to write and publish their stories in order to pay it forward and create a circle of healing.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

Thank you so much for this opportunity. I am honored to be on this platform and to share any lessons learned to make it easier for your readers. I unknowingly started my journey to 100 percent self-employment by fulfilling a dream of becoming a published author. As a child abuse survivor that battled the plague of suicide, I wanted to write a book for other survivors that were on the edge of life and the weight of their trauma was becoming too much and leaving them feeling hopeless. I wanted to show them that they could regain control of their lives and create their success. I wanted them to know that there is life after and it can be a glorious one if you decide to make it so. After the fact, I learned that my story of survival in life would be my own source of inspiration and validation for surviving and thriving in entrepreneurship.

What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?

When people learned that I was a published author, they would ask me questions about how to write and publish a book. Again, I had no aspirations for entrepreneurship, so I gave the information away for free. (Side Note: If you are an author you are a business owner. If you don’t know that going in, there are a lot of advantages that you will miss because you have not positioned yourself for the business side of writing and publication.)

To my surprise, when I would run across them later and ask how their book launch went, they often dropped their head and admitted that they never wrote the book. Unfortunately, that is typical because only 3% of people who say they want to write a book actually do. I just couldn’t understand how the same person that was so passionate about their book idea and the difference it would make wouldn’t see it to completion. And then I had an a-ha moment: it wasn’t about what they didn’t know that stopped them from finishing the book, people need accountability. They need a partner to validate their vision and assist them throughout the process. The beginning of Alesha Brown, LLC, was born and after several years of author consulting, we expanded to being an independent publishing house.

In your opinion, were you a natural born entrepreneur or did you develop that aptitude later on? Can you explain what you mean?

I believe I was born with some natural traits and gifts that make for a successful entrepreneur (i.e. determination-my parents called it stubbornness; self-motivation; curiosity about the why, how, and what of a process, etc.). I also know that these gifts must be developed, strengthened, and nurtured consistently for optimum success. My parents did not realize my entrepreneurial aptitude, like most parents, so they were not able to nurture or help me develop and strengthen them. Therefore, it wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I realized this gift and how I naturally operated in it although I had no aspirations to be an entrepreneur at that time. Many of us were born with a predisposition towards something that may never materialize because it was never developed, nurtured, or strengthened.

Was there somebody in your life who inspired or helped you to start your journey with your business? Can you share a story with us?

I was blessed to be a part of, and I still am an active member, eWomen Network with Sandra Yancey. Having over 500,000 women entrepreneurs in over 25 countries and all different levels of business, was extremely beneficial in the learning curve, uncertainties, and motivation to keep going. After getting my feet wet, I was blessed to be introduced to Michelle Pippin, founder of Women Who Wow, an online alliance of SERIOUSLY driven women entrepreneurs. With members in every state and eight countries, Women Who Wow has been the game-changer for me as an entrepreneur and provides me fluff-free strategy, coaching, support, and accountability necessary for ridiculous growth and revenue on my terms and at rapid speed. Things that others are spending massive amounts of money and time to produce, Michelle has been able to help me achieve the same or better for a fraction of the time and money. As a minority business owner, I am excited to be working on my millionaire status which is especially important since only two percent of all entrepreneurs ever generate a million dollars of revenue in the lifetime of their business. The wage gap needs to end, especially for minority entrepreneurs and I’m excited to help the woman I coach do the same.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Our publishing company is focused on people that want influential, profitable brands, books, and businesses. It is not just about publishing a book but building them as a force to be reckoned with. If an author feels that their message, their book MUST be heard, then why would they want to just blend in? There are a lot of books that an author has to compete with. The only way to do that is to build an author’s platform that is noteworthy and garners recognition. Those are the leaders, experts, and rock stars that Fruition Publishing creates and works with.

What makes Fruition Publishing Concierge Services stand out is that we look at the totality of our clients and their messages that need to be heard. It’s not just about great storylines or books, it is about their visions and the audiences that need to hear from them. It is about helping them identify their expertise and the other pieces that should accompany their books and create their author platforms. It’s about not only creating the brand but legally making sure they protect their brands. Otherwise, they are leaving money on the table, giving away their intellectual property which is their key component for wealth, and eliminating the limiting beliefs.

One client in particular, who reminds me why I decided to offer full publishing services, came to us on a collaborative book project when the “publisher” abruptly dropped everything in her hands. After doing a thorough investigation on this “publisher,” I discovered a fraud. The person had a habit of repurposing former clients’ book ideas and changing wording and pictures and publishing them for her new clients. I was able to rescue the client’s project and also protect the client legally. When the client’s attorney reviewed my contract and the previous “publisher’s” contract, it was our company’s contract that saved the client from litigation and restored her rights.

I believe in protecting the author and, at least in the United States, ignorance is no excuse of the law. You might not know what you don’t know, but you can lose a great deal of money and rights to your intellectual property when you work with the wrong company. Unfortunately, this is what scammers bank on.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

  1. Determination (my parents called me stubborn). I want what I want when I want it and the way I want it. I use this in what I demand my clients and their brands. I expect excellence and I expect those hired to keep their words.
  2. Resilience. As an abuse survivor, I quickly learned that only the strong survive. Business is the same way and you need to fight your way through difficult times and situations.
  3. Independence. I was an only child for eight years born to older parents. I’m also a Taurus with a Type A personality. I learned how to exist in a world of my own. This has served me well as a double minority business owner. I am often at the table as the only black woman and that no longer makes me uncomfortable.

Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?

The average business takes seven years before it is profitable. That can become a crutch and limiting belief, especially when you should be adopting the “begin with the end in mind” concept. It is more important for one to be laser-focused and looking at how to disrupt the industry.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them create a work culture in which employees thrive and do not “burn out” or get overwhelmed?

Build your team early. There are a lot of solo entrepreneurs that are established as legal businesses, but regardless of your finances (or lack thereof), you must begin with the end in mind. Administrative work will suck up the bulk of your time and are the least revenue-generating activities.

Beginning with the end in mind allows you to consider the leadership that is necessary for the level of growth and sustainability your company’s business model requires. You also must keep that at your forefront and keep the spirit of delegation. There are too many virtual assistants available that are extremely affordable and those people can fulfill some of your labor, if only for a few hours per week. It will definitely make a tremendous difference!

What would you advise other business leaders to do in order to build trust, credibility, and Authority in their industry?

Establish the core values of your business and clearly communicate and exude those daily and throughout your operations. Every employee and shareholder must understand why your company chose your business’s core values, the importance of them combined with your mission and vision, and why they make the difference in the services you provide to your clients, shareholders, and community.

Can you help articulate why doing that is essential today?

I am glad you asked. Many people would probably wonder why I think core values are so vital in building trust, credibility, and authority in your industry versus skillsets, staying ahead of trends, or innovation. The core is the center of all things: it’s what fuels you, it’s what greases the wheel so to speak, and it’s truly what defines the spirit and feeling that people get when they do business with your company. I think we undervalue that too much in today’s society. Your core values are what builds a firm foundation and are vital to the growth and sustainability of your business when combined with other key factors. Otherwise, it’s like working extensive hours in the gym to build a six-pack and constantly feeding your body junk and fast food. It simply will not work.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

The same I see authors make in the book publishing industry: they fall in love with a book idea and fixate on the “bright and shiny objects” versus creating a solid strategy and plan for success. It is easy to legally start a business. A few licenses and fees and you are “legally” a business owner. You can sign up to sell Avon and legally be a business owner. But:

  • How will you make your “business idea” profitable in the first quarter, second quarter, first year, five years, and beyond?
  • Is your focus a six-figure, seven-figure, or eight-figure business or one that has multiple streams, each or any of which can be a six-figure, seven-figure, or eight-figure revenue stream?
  • What is your capacity from business conception and how much growth does your current capacity allow for?
  • What is your sustainability plan?
  • What is your growth plan?
  • What will it take to make your business scalable?
  • What are the key positions/partners you need and at what points should they be brought in? Who do you need on board before you start your business?

True business owners answer these questions in the business planning stages versus immediately creating. And while it is easy to start a business in theory, it is not easy to maintain one.

Ok fantastic. Thank you for those excellent insights, Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview about How to Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur. The journey of an entrepreneur is never easy, and is filled with challenges, failures, setbacks, as well as joys, thrills and celebrations. This might be intuitive, but I think it will be very useful to specifically articulate it. Can you describe to our readers why no matter how successful you are as an entrepreneur, you will always have fairly dramatic highs and lows? Particularly, can you help explain why this is different from someone with a “regular job”?

Entrepreneurship, for many, can seem like a wild rollercoaster ride that never ends. Sure, certain things can be anticipated like cash flow shortages, unexpected expenses, and employee management. But what many cannot fully conceptualize until experienced is the emotional tax that entrepreneurship requires.

In general, every day can be a constant string of highs and lows:

  • 8:00 am Receive confirmation of acceptance of a business proposal
  • 11:00 am Complete a negotiation meeting where one of your largest clients decides not to renew his contract
  • 1:00 pm Acquire two new clients
  • 3:00 pm Receive resignation for two of your employees, effective immediately
  • 4:00 pm Notified of an accounting error that resulted in payroll overpayment and account balance is in the red as a result

And this can be a typical day in the life of an entrepreneur. As you see from the above illustration, there are constant highs and lows with the position that one might be prepared for, especially when you add the commitments of family and your personal life.

Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually high and excited as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.

I feel high in the big and small wins. There’s nothing like new client and project acquisitions or multiple book deals from the same author. Seeing every client’s growth from day one to launch and beyond is exhilarating. I love how I am able to coach them from a simple book idea to a profitable platform and brand. Do you know how powerful it is to have someone come to you to publish a book and watch them in less than a year become a global speaker, be on panels, have experts globally pursue them on courses, platforms, and boards that were not a part of their vision but was yours for them? There is no great high and I literally love the work I do and the magic we create every single day. This is what keeps me going and makes me smile every day I have the opportunity to work in my calling and business.

Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually low, and vulnerable as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.

I had hit a wall. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. I was working extremely hard and financially the company was at a standstill. I was a solo entrepreneur then and I vividly remember laying in my recliner crying. Actually, I wasn’t crying physically because my body was so depleted I could no longer produce tears. I remember asking God what I was doing wrong and I told Him that I released everything back to Him. I didn’t want to necessarily go back to my former employer, but I no longer wanted the stress of entrepreneurship.

Well, I don’t have to tell you that closing my business was not what He instructed me to do and, today, I am so thankful I didn’t give up. Looking back, it’s comical because I worked in my business was extremely ill and I didn’t quit. Entrepreneurship is who I am, it’s like breathing. Every day and with every transaction, I get to demand what I am worth and receive that and more. I have learned that the universe is really working for you, but you have to show up and work for yourself first. You have to take risks, fall, get back up, and aim higher. You have to push past adversity and be comfortable with people not agreeing with you. The best inventions and highly successful entities were once thought to be ridiculous in the beginning and were no an overnight success. Entrepreneurship is often the path of least resistance which always comes with more challenges and obstacles.

Based on your experience can you tell us what you did to bounce back?

Well, I remember walking through the scenario of “going back to my old life.” Mentally, I walked through my life before I resigned for 100% self-employment.

Yeah, NO! I mean, just the thought of returning to an office with a set schedule and at the will of someone else…I can’t do it. I mean, I literally abhor the idea. I wouldn’t make it past starting to fill out the employment application. My heart isn’t in proving to an employer why I should be hired and then having them tell me what I am worth. No amount of money compares to me being able to plan my day and come and go as I see fit and to the rhythms of my talent…Priceless.

So, that made me reflect and analyze what the problems were and possible solutions. Then it was strategizing and pivoting. I had to remind myself that despite the “hard times”, I was fully capable of pulling myself out of the rut and rebuilding, refueling, and strengthening my business. Once I made that decision, once I reclaimed my confidence and self-worth, I watched as everything came together. I was giving up on the universe, but it wasn’t done with me yet. Once I recommitted, I gave myself and the universe permission to work in my favor and it did.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Things You Need To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur”? Please share a story or an example for each.

1.Identify your triggers and establish healthy coping strategies and mechanisms. My abusive childhood environment cultivated a comfortability with high-stress environments where I work under pressure. In every management and work environment, I was the “fixer.” I came into chaotic and stressful situations and organized the environments and brought clarity to confusion. I took pride in my work and the difference I made.

But these environments were really not conducive to my well-being. Often being the only or one of the few minorities in my corporate environments, I always had to work three times harder to prove myself and for less wages and a chance for advancement compared to my counterparts. That triggered my insomnia, perfectionism, high functioning anxiety that was undiagnosed, and that combined with racial bias and career advancement suppression was coming to a boil.

Looking back on it, my first year of entrepreneurship coupled with a debilitating illness, made me pivot and realize the danger of trying to be a “strong, black woman” in the work environment and life in general. I had to make my spiritual, physical, and mental health; peace; joy, and fulfillment the highest priorities with everything else second. But this is a work in progress and must be adjusted continuously.

2. Have outlets that have nothing to do with business and regularly incorporate them into your life.

Even your friends need to be categorized in different buckets. I have my friends and associates that we can’t help but talk about business when we are together. We just look at things differently and can come up with eight business ideas while eating a meal or having a telephone conversation. Then there are other friends and associates who, like family, love and support you but are not business-focused. Too many times we look to them for answers when that is not their job.

So I keep the two separate. I schedule times, events, and fun activities frequently, especially during times of high stress, because I know the time will be relaxing and calibrating. Some of my business-focused friends can also be a part of those activities, but only when we both commit to not discuss any business at all. We commit to having fun and being present in the moment.

3. Treat exercise, your food regimen, and meditation as top priorities in your business.

Often in prolonged periods of high stress, we resort to sources of comfort: comfort foods, alcohol, drugs (prescription and illegal), retail therapy, sleep, etc. (The pandemic is the perfect illustration.) Temporarily, some of these may be fine. But what if we treated taking care of our bodies, our peace, our mental wellness, time management, rest, and relaxation, etc., with the same urgency that we do the financial strength of our company?

Well, successful CEOs do. The list of things I mentioned is their top priority because they know they are fuel for running these massive enterprises. When I embraced these as my priorities, they shifted how I showed up and the endurance in which I serve and reign.

4. Have a solid network of seasoned mentors and leaders that have achieved the levels of success you desire.

I have heard it said repeatedly but I have found it to be true: we are the reflection of the five people we spend the most time with. Sure, you can study and research how to train for a triathlon and do it yourself. You can desire to lose weight or have a fitter appearance and follow your own exercise or diet program. But the wise person higher the experts and allow them to train and guide them to the goal.

It is vital that you have a network of seasoned leaders and professionals that have achieved the levels of success you desire. Investing in masterminds with these high-level professionals will not only shorten your learning curve but stop the pleading. If I had it all to do again, I would have acquired them sooner.

5. Make mental wellness a top priority and have a therapist and life coach in your phone book.

The high percentage of entrepreneurs and executives who suffer from depression and who commit suicide is alarming. However, from experience, I completely understand why it is true. Our nation as a whole should focus on mental wellness and make it a part of a regular annual check and establish our own regular checkups with life coaches and or therapists depending on our need. Waiting until you think you “need a therapist” to help you cope may be too late.

We are living during challenging times and resilience is critical during times like these. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

Resilience deals with the ability to bounce back or rebound. We often attribute the traits of determination, tenacity, and confidence as resilient traits. But we ought to focus on other traits like having an internal locus of control; problem-solving skills and being able to ask for help. Resiliency requires a strong sense of self and believing you control your outcomes. Therefore, confidence in your ability to pivot and solve any problem are key ingredients in the recipe of resiliency.

Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Would you mind sharing a story?

I definitely would say that the abuse I suffered in childhood including battling the plague of suicide, ironically helped build my resiliency. No one was coming to “save me,” I had to save myself. I did and often remind myself of all the near-death experiences I have had in my life but survived them all. They say “what doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger” and that has definitely been the case in my life.

In your opinion, do you tend to keep a positive attitude during difficult situations? What helps you to do so?

I do believe in keeping a positive attitude during difficult situations. I am more of the “glass half full” sort of person than the opposite. What helps me to do so is realizing that negativity does not help you feel better. The energy spent worrying, reciting the story, or laboring the situation brings no resolution. I’d rather calm myself, remain confident that change is coming (often because I have to facilitate that change), and just breathe.

Can you help articulate why a leader’s positive attitude can have a positive impact both on their clients and their team? Please share a story or example if you can.

Someone has to remain calm and make a decision. Can you imagine what a corporation looks like when the key decision-makers freak out every time a challenge or problem occurs? You create anxiety amongst your clients and team with no solution or resolution made. CEOs, leaders, executives, and any other decision-maker has to make decisions and time is always of the essence. Often those decisions have to be made quickly, sometimes on the spur of a moment. A negative attitude does not make for the best present of mind or spirit in which to make decisions.

Early in my business, I suffered from various health challenges. I can still remember times where I would almost crawl to the phone and conduct a consultation or strategy session and that was all the strength I could muster for the day. I needed the revenue and I was doing the best I could. My clients and prospective clients did not need to know about my health problems, illnesses, or struggles. They didn’t pay me for that. They paid for results. Therefore, that was my focus and how I showed up. I held onto the hope for a brighter day and handled the business at hand.

Ok. Super. We are nearly done. What is your favorite inspirational quote that motivates you to pursue greatness? Can you share a story about how it was relevant to you in your own life?

“But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth…” Deuteronomy 8:18a, KJV. Many read this and miss the depth of this scripture. God gives us the power to get wealth inspires me in two ways. First, He lets me know that wealth and success are my birthrights because they are given by God. More importantly, this scripture also tells me that to receive this wealth, I must use my power. God doesn’t give you wealth, he gives you the power to get it. This inspires me because it tells me that I can have what I want if I am willing to work for it. There’s no magical formula or specific date where wealth will just fall from the skies. I have what I work for and the success that I am not willing to work for is the success I will never have. Either way, I have to make a decision. I decide to live full out and aim high while matching my desire with my effort and diligence.

I even embody this ideology in one of my platform mantras: Success is scheduled. I believe that success is scheduled because it is the deliberate actions and steps strategically aligned for the success desired. You have what you work for.

How can our readers further follow you online?

They can follow me perfectly through my speaking and motivational platform at For all things publishing, they can follow me at Each website has all the social media links associated with that platform/brand.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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