Annette Estrada: “KEEP UP YOUR SHINE and don’t take it personal!”

KEEP UP YOUR SHINE and don’t take it personal! Through this whole process of creating, output, and existence, there will be many opportunities to take things personally, but the best thing I’m learning is monitoring the good work at play! When I focus on all the positive outcomes, nothing else matters. As part of my series […]

Thrive invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

KEEP UP YOUR SHINE and don’t take it personal! Through this whole process of creating, output, and existence, there will be many opportunities to take things personally, but the best thing I’m learning is monitoring the good work at play! When I focus on all the positive outcomes, nothing else matters.

As part of my series about “How to write a book that sparks a movement” I had the pleasure of interviewing Annette Estrada of Mini Manifesters.

Annette has taught elementary, middle, and high school students in formal and informal settings for 19 years and continues to teach as a credentialed classroom teacher. Annette proudly presents her first book, Mini Manifesters, A Pocketbook To Energize The Young Leaders Of The Now, available at As the founder of Mini Manifesters, she is piloting her program, The Mini Manifesters’ Discovery Program, and publicizing the team’s efforts on her podcast, Mini Manifesters: Small Talk Big Minds.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share the “backstory” about how you grew up?

I am a first-generation Filipina American. My life started in a small migrant working town, Orange Cove, located close to Fresno, California. In the latter part of my elementary school years, my parents separated, and my mother relocated us to San Jose, California. It was a tough beginning, where my family of six lived within meager means. My parents finally divorced when I was in 3rd grade, and I continued to live with my mother, brother, and grandmother, in different multi-family homes where my father was rarely involved. My young life was a blur, but luckily, I was blessed to have good people in my life.

When you were younger, was there a book that you read that inspired you to take action or changed your life? Can you share a story?

A book that impacted my young life greatly was Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Both movie and book reminded me of the importance of being a good-hearted person; it doesn’t matter how much you don’t have, being a good person makes you the richest. It takes huge amounts of awareness to do what’s right and not fall into unhealthy self-serving habits.

What was the moment or series of events that made you decide to bring your message to the greater world? Can you share a story about that?

Of course, my own children were the catalyst to it all; in addition, another group that comes to mind are the students I taught for 2-years straight in 2018–2020. This was the first group of students, at that point, that embraced the pure potential they all had living inside of them. The whole group was insightful, mature beyond their years, intelligent, and TALENTED! I’m not saying all other students I taught before this class lacked any of these qualities, it just seemed as a whole, Room A1 created the most CREATIVE energy as a TEAM! The synergy was amazing! I didn’t feel like I was teaching! I felt like, we were all partners in ELEVATING the energy around!

What impact did you hope to make when you wrote this book?

Today’s generation of kids and young adults are consuming more than producing. Technology and instant gratification allow our youth to dim their creative minds! Additionally, parents are just as consumed. My book opens the door to positive creative energy! It gives parents activities that directly relate to bringing in positive energy. It allows room to teach children how to create a social impact movement by chasing the passion within!

Did the actual results align with your expectations? Can you explain?

Yes, and then some! I’ve been leading virtual book tours leading my readers through the activities as a community and so much raw truth is revealed about parental responsibility and our leadership in creating a healthy environment for our young leaders! I am currently in the process of spreading this material county-wide for as many school-based providers who feel it necessary for our young leaders and their families! Soon, parents, teachers, and youth service providers alike, in my county, will know the power of the energy or “vibes” they put out in their child’s environment.

What moment let you know that your book had started a movement? Please share a story.

The first couple book tours I led told me how important the concept of energy flipping for EVERYONE is! The parents I’ve worked with were in tune with the content and had difficult and courageous discussions about what is and isn’t going well. Any environment that encourages vulnerability promises growth and healing!

What kinds of things did you hear right away from readers? What are the most frequent things you hear from readers about your book now? Are they the same? Different?

I’ve heard a number of different things! How unintimidating and addictive my pocketbook is! Some parents also appreciated the community provided to practice the activities in the book during my virtual book tour offerings. It has been an amazing experience processing my pocketbook with actual parents!

What is the most moving or fulfilling experience you’ve had as a result of writing this book? Can you share a story?

Writing this book has thrusted me into starting my youth groups! So, while I’m leading the parent sessions, I’m also leading the Mini Manifesters young leader groups which is ideal; both experiences inform each other and my next steps of planning and adjusting both programs. I almost feel like a second book will come of this as well, but just working on pushing the first couple of outputs into the public!

Have you experienced anything negative? Do you feel there are drawbacks to writing a book that starts such colossal conversation and change?

I currently have not experienced anything negative drawbacks based on my book’s topic. I do feel though, some people may not understand how we are directly responsible for raising capable young problem solvers. Especially where energy is involved. It’s like someone holding up a mirror for people to confront; I assume people who are not honest about themselves could have issues with this. In the end, people are going to have to ask, “what’s it going to take for me to raise a capable, independent, problem solver?” Some people don’t know where to begin and that’s difficult to sit with.

Can you articulate why you think books in particular have the power to create movements, revolutions, and true change?

Mini Manifesters is a SOCIAL CHANGE MOVEMENT!

This is a paradigm shift for sure! World-wide, can you imagine kids being referred to for solving “complicated” issues? AMAZING! This idea brings fresh social justice warriors to the world’s table! We need more people with fresh energy to help create lasting and new change. It’s all about welcoming diversity which brings about fresh energy, ideas, and action! Energy is an esoteric idea lightly touched by mainstream; my pocketbook encourages adults to nurture our natural born leaders and not dismiss the essential role ENERGY has in this movement.

What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a bestselling writer? (i.e. perseverance, discipline, play, craft study) Can you share a story or example?

One habit is perseverance. Keep grinding and be open to different ideas to get the book out. I have a true belief in what my pocketbook is teaching which fuels my perseverance.

What challenge or failure did you learn the most from in your writing career? Can you share the lesson(s) that you learned?


A challenge I face often is being my toughest critic. I feel like I have to: Especially due to the fact that there are so many critics and people indifferent to the idea of energy work. Although, being hard on myself is not loving and will bring my energy down, lesson learned. There have been many times in my life where I have allowed sad and upset energy into my life due to failures, but it brings no good into my life. Being gentle with yourself is LOVING YOURSELF! This is all we can ever do for ourselves when things are not going well.

Many aspiring authors would love to make an impact similar to what you have done. What are the 5 things writers need to know if they want to spark a movement with a book? (please include a story or example for each)

  1. WRITE WITH PASSION: A movement is all about change good for ALL not some! Passion is the connector from one shift to another into another reality.
  2. Feedback is good, and you can choose to take it or leave it. The good thing about feedback is it exists, and it is definitely there for consideration. Take it or leave it! Simply put, no need to take anything personal.
  3. KEEP UP YOUR SHINE and don’t take it personal! Through this whole process of creating, output, and existence, there will be many opportunities to take things personally, but the best thing I’m learning is monitoring the good work at play! When I focus on all the positive outcomes, nothing else matters.
  4. Failures are GOOD! When you fail, just keep going until you’re satisfied. There have been a number of times even to this day, where mistakes are made as a teacher, parent, partner, and entrepreneur and you have to keep moving forward. No one is perfect. Now if you’re like me and you like to dwell in your dark mental cave for a bit, go ahead, but eventually you have to get back up and keep moving forward.
  5. OFFER ideas for action steps! A movement is all about catalytic change! Ideas are the seeds that nurture change, once the seed is planted, someone’s mind will change, and the actions that follow will steadily shift the reality! This is the key to manifestation!

The world, of course, needs progress in many areas. What movement do you hope someone (or you!) starts next? Can you explain why that is so important?

My hope is that others create a movement that complements the Mini Manifesters’ social change movement! This is an EVERYBODY ISSUE! Shaping the world into a better place needs the attention of our global community because injustices exist everywhere, so we need as many SOCIAL CHANGE WARRIORS as possible! So, the more the merrier!

How can our readers follow you on social media?




Thank you so much for these insights. It was a true pleasure to do this with you.

You might also like...


Annette Estrada of Mini Manifesters: “Failures are GOOD!”

by Edward Sylvan

Annette Estrada: “Failures are GOOD!”

by Fotis Georgiadis

Annette Estrada of Mini Manifesters: “Self-care is the best care!”

by Penny Bauder, Founder of Green Kid Crafts
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.