Empower your tribe.Allow people to feel they are part of the movement. Help them to see that they matter to movement. Allow them to contribute in ways that are meaningful for them.
As part of my series about “How to write a book that sparks a movement” I had the great pleasure of interviewing…
Dr. Denise Moore Revel, a best-selling author, speaker, entrepreneur, and personal development coach. Dr. Denise works with highly-successful women who long for more meaning and fulfilment in their live. Dr. Denise understands that many highly-successful women still struggle with poor self-image, feelings of inadequacy, and self-doubt. Her mission has been to help those struggling to own their personal power. In her book, “Own Your Amazing: Discover Your Power to Create an Amazing Life You Love,” Dr. Denise shares how self-discovery is the catalyst to creating an amazing life.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share the “backstory” about how you grew up?
I grew up in a small town in North Carolina, within a tight-knit family and community. I am the youngest of five children. My family faced many challenges. Because of the many challenges, I had to learn at any early age to be resourceful and not allow my circumstances to be an excuse for not excelling. Whether in school or in recreational activities, I wasn’t allowed to make excuses as to why I couldn’t do my best. I had to learn to use the resources I had to figure thing out how to make things work. I excelled academically, primarily because those around, my family and teachers, held me to high standards.
I was expected to stay committed and persevere through any challenges I faced. I was taught that if I started something, then I had to finish it. One story that stands out in my mind is when I was 10 years old and I decided to play summer recreational softball. After a few practices, I told my parents I didn’t want to play anymore. My dad told me that because I had started playing on the team, I had to finish the season. I went reluctantly back to the next practice. I was very happy I was forced to finish the season, because my team won the champion. I still have the trophy and the newspaper clipping from being on the championship team. I’m glad my parents taught me, at an early age, what it means to stay committed and to persevere. Anytime I want to quit or give up on something I’ve started, I remind myself of that champion team.
When you were younger, was there a book that you read that inspired you to take action or changed your life?
I read many books as a child. Reading was a way of escaping some of the harsh realities I faced at home and at school. Some of my favorite books were Charlotte’s Web, Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, and the Adventures of Huckleberry Fin.The one book that significantly impacted me the most was, I Know Why a Caged Bird Sings, by Dr. Maya Angelou. I could relate to many of the things Dr. Angelou experienced. I saw myself in her story. Like Dr. Angelou, I was challenged with issues of racism, trauma, and finding my own voice. The fact that for five years Dr. Angelou refused to speak really impacted me. She had lost her voice — the power to speak her truth. She eventually spoke again and went on to use her voice to speak powerfully to the world. I believe the Own Your Amazing Movement is about helping women to find their voice and truly know who they are.
What was the moment or series of events that made you decide to bring your message to the greater world?
A few years ago, I attended a business conference where several of the presenters talked about the importance of sharing your story and message with the world. I knew they were right, but I wasn’t sure my story was worth sharing nor was I clear on my message. In 2016, while attending a business conference, I got the clarity I was looking for. One of the fellow attendees, who I had met at the conference, told me she knew what my problem was — why I was struggling to have a more fulfilling life. My first thought as she said those words to me was “how can you know what’s wrong with me when we just met a few hours ago?” The attendee told me that I was beautiful, smart, talented, and gifted, but my problem was I did not own it. Her next words changed my life. She said, “You need to own your amazing!”
At that moment, as the tears ran down my face, I knew my movement had just begun. She helped me to find the words I had been searching for to express how I was feeling and what I wanted others to embrace, as well. Since that day, I have been committed to sharing the message of owning your amazing. The message of the movement is simple, but powerful. To “own your amazing” is to embrace your value, align with your purpose, and to share your unique brilliance with the world.
What impact did you hope to make when you wrote this book?
When I wrote this book, I hoped that it would impact women in a way that they had not experienced before. I hoped the impact would be deep and life-changing. I wanted women to get at their core of what is stopping them from having more meaningful and amazing lives. I didn’t want the book to be just another self-help book, but instead a book that would change who they are at their core.
Did the actual results align with your expectations?
The actual results have exceeded my expectations. I hoped the book would impact many lives, but the dept in which the book has impacted others has been beyond my expectations. I have seen women do things they never thought they could. One reader decided to ask for a promotion so she could relocate her family to be closer to her extended family. Another reader got awarded a grant to start her dream business. One of my favorite stories is of a reader who revealed she had stopped taking pictures for years — since she was a teenager, because she struggled with her body image. Since joining the movement, she has learned to value her beauty and accept herself as she is. Now, she’s taking selfies and happily poses for pictures with others.
What moment let you know that your book had started a movement?
The moment I knew my book had started a movement was when Itold my close family members about my experience at the business conference, when the attendee told me to own my amazing. They all said, “You have to share this message because everyone needs to hear this.” They were so excited about the message and wanted to see the message reach others. My family and I knew the movement could change the world.
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?
Some of things I heard right away from readers were how simple, yet profound the principles in the book are. Many told me they had heard the concepts and principles before, but for some reason they resonated this time. Some commented that the self-reflection exercises helped them to understand the principles on a deeper level.
One of the most frequent things I hear from readers is they found themselves in my stories — they could relate to my stories of struggle. Many readers shared they thought they were alone when it came to struggling with issues of self-esteem, self-confidence, and personal power. But after reading my book, they discovered they weren’t alone, and they too can learn to own their amazing. Many have come out of hiding to proclaim their place in the world.
What is the most moving or fulfilling experience you’ve had as a result of writing this book?
I have several fulfilling experiences as a result of writing this book, but I will share two that stick out in my mind. The first one happened when I hosted my book event, the Book Club Luncheon. Upon arrival to the even, one of the attendees came up to me and said she needed to give me a big hug because the book was so amazing. I was truly moved by her sincerity. But the biggest impact came when the same attendee shared with me and the other women her initial thoughts about the book. She shared when she first started reading the book, she called a friend to say the book was just okay — nothing impressive. She went on the share that as she continued to read the book, she said, “Oh my God, this is me and so many women I know!” She called her friend back and told her to forget everything she had said about the book, because the book was amazing! She thanked me for sharing my story so that she knew she’s was not alone and that she could begin to own her amazing.
The second story that stands out in my mind is one reader got the book and sold fifteen copies of the book in two days. She told me that book had impacted her life so deeply that she had to share it with women she thought needed it. This reader continues to be one of the biggest promoters of the book and movement.
Have you experienced anything negative? Do you feel there are drawbacks to writing a book that starts such colossal conversation and change?
I haven’t experienced anything negativity nor have I felt there have been drawbacks to writing a book that has started a conversation about personal power. I just wish more people would be join the conversation.
Can you articulate why you think books in particular have the power to create movements, revolutions, and true change?
I believe books have the power to create movements, revolutions, and true change because words have the power. I believe the two quotes beautifully express the power of books. The first one by Teresa Mummert says, “Things spoken can be forgotten and forgiven, but the written word has the power to change the course of history, to alter our lives.” The second quote by Joseph Conrad states, “my task, which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel — it is, before all, to make you see.” I believe books in particularhave the power to heal, inspire, inform, transform, and liberate.
What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a bestselling writer?
The one habit I believe contributed the most to me becoming a bestselling writer is perseverance. Perseverance is being able to persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay. When I finally made the decision to write the book, I told myself I would finish it regardless of any challenges I faced. Even though I faced many challenges, I was determined to keep my commitment I made to finish the book. As I mentioned earlier, I was taught at a young age to finish whatever I started.
What challenge or failure did you learn the most from in your writing career?
One challenge I learnt the most from my writing career is that it’s okay for me to write my story the way that feels right for me. I had to learn that it is okay for me to share my story in a way that best expresses my authentic self. I had to get comfortable with possibly offending someone, or someone not liking something I wrote. I accepted that I had the right to tell my story from my own voice.
Many aspiring authors would love to make an impact similar to what you have done. What are the 5 things writers needs to know if they want to spark a movement with a book?
I believe an aspiring author who wants to make an impact and spark a movement with a book should remember these five things:
1. It all about purpose.
Make sure the movement aligns with who you are and what you’re passionate about. Don’t try to start a movement because you think it’s a good idea or may be popular, but instead start a movement because you believe deeply in the pursue of it. A quote by Buddha says, “Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.”
2. Confirm your own unique message.
Don’t rely on external validation. Internal validation is key to moving forward. In those times when others may not see the value in your movement, as long as you are committed to the movement, it will move forward. There will always be nay-sayers and those who try to discourage you from moving forward. But if you believe in what you’re doing, no one else’s opinion will matter.
3. You are a niche.
Being a niche means you are a specialty. You are unique, special, and suitable for a specific group of people. There are certain people who need your specific message. Your message may not resonate with everyone, but it will resonate with someone. You are exactly who someone is looking for. Don’t try to be anyone other than who you are. There are people who need what you have to offer. Nobody can do what you do in the exact way that you do it.
4. Empower your tribe.
Allow people to feel they are part of the movement. Help them to see that they matter to movement. Allow them to contribute in ways that are meaningful for them. For example, many of the women in the Own Your Amazing movement regularly share and post about the movement on their social media platforms. They often tell their family and friends about being a part of the movement. Also, consistently ask your tribe for their feedback as to how to get the message to more people. Help them take ownership in the movement.
5. The company you keep.
It is important to surround yourself with people who celebrate you and your movement. You need a support system. You need people around you who are going to support the new vision you have for your life and encourage you to not turn back or stay stuck where you are. You need to surround yourself with people who are going to celebrate you, who are going to push you, and who are going to encourage you to keep moving forward.
You have surround yourself with people who themselves are trying to go higher and do more. The old saying, “Birds of a feather flock together,” is so true. Eagles fly with eagles, not chickens. They fly with birds who are going to continue to elevate them, to take them higher, and you have to do the same thing if you want your movement to impact the world.
The world, of course, needs progress in many areas. What movement do you hope someone (or you!) starts next?
Yes, the world definitely needs progress in many areas. I hope someone starts a movement that focuses on the mental health of young children. Many children experience challenges and traumas at a very young age. Their mental health isn’t usually focused on. I think it is would be really powerful to teach children to take care of their mental health at a young age. There are many adults who are still finding it hard to deal with childhood issues and traumas. Helping young children focus on their mental health is important because it would help them deal with issues like bullying, peer pressure, suicide, body-image, and achievement in healthier ways.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Your readers can follow me on Facebook @DrDeniseOwnYourAmazing Instagram: @ Dr.DeniseMoore Twitter: @ OwnYourAmazing
Thank you so much for these insights. It was a true pleasure to do this with you.