Share your mission with everyone you meet. I remember the first time I shared the mission with someone outside of my family, I was at a business retreat 4 months after the vision. I was the last in the group to share my mission and as I talked about what had happened and my desire to positively impact on one billion lives I was met with deathly silence. As I waited for them to say something, I noticed that those around the table were overtaken with emotion and a massive outpouring of support followed. This gave me the confidence to take my mission out to the wider world
As part of my series about “How to write a book that sparks a movement” I had the pleasure of interviewing Kezia Luckett.
Kezia Luckett is a Positive Psychologist, three times international best-selling author of “The Pay it Forward Series: Notes to My Younger Self” volume 1,2 & 3 and the creator behind Mind Conditioning Therapy™ a process to release the past &reframe your brain for optimum levels of success, wealth & happiness.
Kezia´s work with clients — including celebrities, lawyers, CEOs, influencers, entrepreneurs, business owners, philanthropists, and socialites sees her shift limiting beliefs that restrict people from reaching the optimum levels of Success they desire.
Kezia has appeared on Medium, Thrive Global, the “Awakening Giants” docuseries, Good Housekeeping, BBC Radio and UK Health Radio. She is a member of the Association of Transformational Leaders of Europe, lives in the UK, and enjoys travelling with her husband and two children.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share the “backstory” about how you grew up?
I grew up in the UK near to the seaside town of Brighton and when I was in my early teens my parents moved to a tiny village in the countryside in Devon. Going to a new school proved difficult for me, as I hadn´t grown up in the area, I instantly became the target for several groups of girls who bullied me verbally and physically. This continued for many years, completely losing any trust I had in girls to be supportive and kind to one another. This type of bullying also continued into the workplace later in life so I created a belief that no woman could be trusted especially in large groups, until I created Women of Contribution.
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?
I was an avid reader consuming books every week when the library van made its route past our house, it was my way to escape my life and the reality of what I was going through. My favorite book was a child´s book that I came back to time and time again and it was called “The Little Princess”. The story was created around the main character, a princess who was sent off to boarding school. She had everything she could possibly desire until her father died and she was left penniless.
The book eloquently demonstrated, the fickleness of young girls and the thousand different reasons why they will and won´t be your friend. It inspired me to believe that regardless of what is happening out there, within me I always have the choice on how I conduct myself and interact with others and my choice was always to be kind.
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?
On Boxing Day 2016, I woke up early to go for a walk and clear my head after the busyness of Christmas. Within 5 minutes of being outside walking in the rain, I started to see images pop into my head and hear questions, such as “if you could go back in time right now, knowing what you know, would you change anything?”.
With so much information coming through, I hurried home sat in front of my computer and began to type. My fingers had a mind of their own and at the end of the hour two things were evident. This information would lead me to create a movement where every woman would understand the importance of being themselves and that is enough, and in the sharing of those dark times, moments of adversity, they could provide a roadmap for others going through the same.
I started to contact many of the phenomenal women that I knew across the globe, to ask if they would be willing to write a note back to their younger selves at a pivotal moment, sharing the hope, wisdom, knowledge and inspiration they gained in the hopes of helping others and the first in the Pay it Forward Series: Notes to My Younger Self was born
What impact did you hope to make when you wrote this book?
I wanted to create a movement that demonstrates what happens when women support each other rather than tearing each other down. I hoped that in the sharing of our stories, the pay it forward aspect of our book, the charities we support, and also the readers getting involved in our movement by writing their own message of inspiration in the front of the book and placing a post it note on the front that reads “THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU. READ IT. LOVE IT. PAY IT FORWARD” and leaving it for a stranger to find, that we could positively impact on one billion lives.
Did the actual results align with your expectations? Can you explain?
Our movement has now been running for 3 years and stretches out to over 15 different countries around the world with 55 contributing authors. With the sales of the book, the charities we support and the pay it forward aspect we believe that we have already positively impacted on over 150,000 men, women and children across the globe and we are just getting started.
What moment let you know that your book had started a movement? Please share a story.
Within two weeks of our first book being released I was at an all-women´s event where I was speaking, when a man strolled over to my stand. He introduced himself and told me that he had just returned from a holiday in Morocco, where he had discovered our book in a bedside cabinet. At first I thought he must be mistaken until he shared some highlights from my own chapter and told me that he had made the journey to the event not only to say thank you for highlighting some of these heart felt stories, but also to buy 5 more copies for the Women of Contribution in his life to pay forward.
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?
We often hear that our stories have changed someone´s life, that our stories have made them feel that they are not alone in the experiences they are going through. Our books give our readers the permission to share their own stories of adversity, with confidence that they will not be judged. We had many stories from male readers who were touched and visibly moved from what they had read and each of our authors have had someone reach out to them personally to thank them for sharing stories that many would prefer to keep silent.
What is the most moving or fulfilling experience you’ve had as a result of writing this book? Can you share a story?
In 2019 as I was traveling back to the airport after speaking at an event about the book and movement. I was sat next to a woman who was traveling back to the Far East having spent several weeks in the country on holiday. We struck up a conversation and I told her about our book and happened to mention one of our authors stories as an example. The story was from Debbie Moore who had gone shopping one day with her sister, only to come face to face with her long-term partner walking in the opposite direction with another woman on his arm.
It turned out that he had been living a double life for years that she wasn’t aware of. As I was sharing this story, the lady next to me burst into tears as she admitted the reason for her being in the UK, was to get away, as just three weeks before she had discovered her father had been living a double life and had another family that she was not aware of. She told me that her mum was so ashamed as she felt that no one else had ever experienced this and didn’t know how she would pull through. The woman wrote to me when she returned home to say she had bought the book for her mum and she was doing much better.
Have you experienced anything negative? Do you feel there are drawbacks to writing a book that starts such colossal conversation and change?
I have been incredibly lucky that I haven´t experienced negativity with our book, everyone we have spoken to has been so supportive and encouraging.
Can you articulate why you think books in particular have the power to create movements, revolutions, and true change?
Books are one of the most personal outlets for truth known to mankind. Each one selected, gifted or shared with the aim, to inspire, shift, change and contribute. Regardless of whether fact or fiction, they are a personal interaction that can touch the hearts, minds and souls of the reader.
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?
Our books have become international best sellers for many different reasons: Firstly, each of our authors not only believed in our mission a thousand percent as it aligned with their own beliefs and vision, they worked together as a beautiful team to bring it out to the world. Secondly our book is very unique as we actively encourage our readers to get involved with our mission, by paying forward our books with hand written messages to other people in their lives, or to complete strangers by leaving the books on the bus, café, hotel room or even on the train.
What challenge or failure did you learn the most from in your writing career? Can you share the lesson(s) that you learned?
I would say the biggest lesson I learnt is to keep things simple:
The process of writing a chapter for The Pay it Forward Series: Notes to My Younger Self was two-fold. Not only did each of the authors write a chapter they also went through a therapeutic process called Mind Conditioning Therapy to release the limitations and beliefs these stories and experiences had created. In hindsight this doubled the time needed to write each chapter for the book, which meant many pressurized moments as we attempted to meet the deadlines set by the publishers.
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? (please include a story or example for each)
1. Be crystal clear on the mission of your book and movement and what you are trying to achieve. In order for people to join the movement, it needs to be simple and make perfect sense. They also need clear direction as to what action they need to take following the reading of the book, in order to join the movement.
2. Share your mission with everyone you meet. I remember the first time I shared the mission with someone outside of my family, I was at a business retreat 4 months after the vision. I was the last in the group to share my mission and as I talked about what had happened and my desire to positively impact on one billion lives I was met with deathly silence. As I waited for them to say something, I noticed that those around the table were overtaken with emotion and a massive outpouring of support followed. This gave me the confidence to take my mission out to the wider world
3. Ensure that you have the media on board to help you spread your message. Each of our authors were given media training and support with personalized articles for them to send out to the local and international press, to help us gain greater exposure but also offer another avenue for our authors to share their stories.
4. Select individuals to write your foreword that believe in what you have written and to want to share the message. My own personal journey was inspired by the phenomenal hit film and book “The Secret” and I was incredibly fortunate to make contact with two women from the film, Marie Diamond and Marci Shimoff, who stepped forward not only to endorse our book, but write the most heartfelt forewords for our readers.
5. Create something unique or different. Our pay it forward format is unique. Not only do we have a page dedicated for messages of hope and inspiration that our readers can complete at the front of the book before paying forward, we have clear instructions for our readers to follow in order to pay forward. We also run several campaigns like our “Around the World in 60 Days” where readers purchase our books for their holidays and take photos of themselves and the books being paid forward, which are then uploaded to our Facebook page, giving both us and them exposure.
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?
So many people are held back from truly living the life they were put on this planet to live, due to limitations, beliefs, fears and outdated stories, often dying without the opportunity to share their talents and gifts with the world. I would love to start a Mind Conditioning Movement where people across the globe would realize that at any moment in time, they can rewrite and reframe their past to empower them into the future and change the landscape of their world.
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.