Tracey Leak grew up in country Australia in a home-based business. She started her first business was when she was just seven years old.
Tracey lived in Canada for a year on a Rotary Youth Exchange, returning to Australia to complete high school and go on to complete a bachelor of applied science at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
Working as a radiographer, Tracey was unable to ignore the entrepreneur in her heart. After being diagnosed with a brain tumour, which she no longer has, she made her leap into being a full-time business owner.
Tracey’s journey led her to become a business coach after much coaxing from her own business coach. Eight and half years after helping many business owners find their success, Tracey has returned to her childhood roots as a specialist in home-based business.
Tracey still works from home on the Gold Coast, Australia and can be found most days in her PJs.
What inspires you to write?
When I first got started in business, I didn’t have a lot of money, but I needed help in my business. Books were a great way for me to get information and it not to cost me lots of money.
I grew up in a home-based business and have my own home-based business today. I believe that home-based business is a great way to work and an even better way to live.
In today’s world it is almost impossible to live on a single income for a family. This leads to what I call a cycle of guilt. Parents are going off to a full time job to provide an income for their family, but at the same time they feel guilty because they are not caring for their children full time, often having to put their kids into childcare or after school care. But, if they are stay at home parents, caring for their children full time, they then feel guilty because they are not providing an income for their family. It’s a no win situation. Add to this that by the time they get to the end of the week, having worked full time (in a job they probably don’t love), caring for their kids and doing all those ‘chores’ of running a household, they haven’t done anything that makes them feel of worth, that gives them a sense that they have done something for themselves, it leaves many people in a total cycle of guilt.
I believe home-based business is the answer – for women AND men. A lot of men want to be their for their kids. Home-based business is not something just for Mum’s and it is not a ‘hobby’ business. They can be big businesses.
I grew up in a home-based business and I know the impact it can have on a child – in a good way – as they grow up. I want to help people get out of this cycle of guilt and start loving their life, whilst still providing for their family with money AND time.
Tell us about your writing process.
I start with a notepad and pen and brainstorm the topics I could write on. I actually don’t have to do this now as I have a rather long list of possible topics!
I then brainstorm on the different ideas around that topic.
Next I hit my computer. I type at 70+ words a minute and my brain works pretty fast, so it is faster for me to type my manuscript than with pen and paper. I actually really enjoy the process. I basically go through my brainstorm topics and start writing about each of them and my brain kind of just puts them into the logical order of which topic goes next.
Once the book is written I go through the editing process, which start with me rereading the book myself several times before anyone else.
Once edited, I format it up and publish it.
The editing process is the longest part. Because I try and write very direct books on specific topics, the writing process is quite fast. I also write on topics that I totally understand so often times I just write as if I was presenting a seminar on the topic which is why you will find that my books read as if I am talking to you!.
I only write when I am feeling good and ‘in the mood’. If I try and push myself to write, then it is not as good and anytime I’ve tried to do that, I’ve just deleted anything I’ve written. I like to write on weekends or early in the morning because I don’t get any interuptions from the phone or emails and generally don’t have to be anywhere by a specific time, so I’m relaxed.
I love writing. There is something about staring at a blank page and then in a few hours you have a large chunk of a written manuscript, that in my hopes, will really help someone in their business and life. Whilst I’m writing I am always thinking, will this really help someone? It keeps me going to do the best I can do.
What advice would you give other writers?
Just do it.
Everything that I thought was the ‘wrong’ things to do as an author are the things I get the most comments on. For example, I write as if I am talking to you, which a big wig guru told me was a ‘bad’ thing to do, but this is one of the most commented things I get from readers. They contact me and say ‘Wow, I loved it and it felt like you were there talking to me. It made it so easy to read’. This means I’ve stopped listening to others and I trust my intution.
Not everyone is going to love you or your books. I always just think about what if this book helped just one person, only person, would it be worth it? My answer is yes. So I think about who it is helping, rather than the people I will never please.
Don’t push yourself to write. it is too much pressure. Wait until you ‘feel good’ and then go for it. For one of my books, I woke up on a Saturday morning and started to write and ended up writing a whole book! Your writing is generally not very good when forced.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I did have a publishing contract with a large publishing company in the USA. I started down that path, but in the end, it just wasn’t going to work for me. I decided to leave that contract, which did cost me money, but I am so happy I did that. I love self publishing as it allows me to write as me, not as me trying to be someone that a publisher wants me to be. I started writing to help people in home-based business and that is what I can focus on. I can offer my books at a much lower price, because I don’t have to make sure all the other people get their ‘cut’. I can help my readers in a way that will help them, plus I get to be me.
When I discovered that I could simply upload my manuscripts to sites such as Amazon and be able to get my information out to my readers for just $2.99, I was so excited. It makes it so much easier for me to help people.
I have wasted many years trying to follow the traditional rules of business and publishing, but the world is different. You don’t need a big end publisher to write a book and get it out there. I don’t even care when people talk about having a publisher or that self publishers are small etc. That is all ego to me. My goal is to write great books that will truly help people in home-based business owners or those that want to get into home-based business and make this information easily accessible and value for dollar. Self publishing allows me to do that in the most effective and fastest way. Business is changing with the internet and we need to realize that some of the old business models are just not effective anymore. Not wrong, not bad or don’t work, just that things are different and we have more options available to us.
My advice to you, be true to you and focus on who you are writing for….
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It’s moving to a phase where everyone can have a book and have a book for zero cost to them. It is becoming more efficient for authors and readers to get information out or to access it. The one thing that will never change – if it isn’t great information, then no one will read it! You have to write good stuff.
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print