Hi everyone! Today I have a stop on the Realizing You blog tour. There is a spotlight on the book, an excerpt, an interview and a giveaway.
Ron Doades with Susan Sloate
Meet Robby Aihn, the newest star in the self-help universe and author of the runaway bestseller, Realizing You, now struggling with his first taste of fame. Though his five principles for good living are changing other people’s lives, his own life is starting to fall apart. When Robby stages a lavish self-help conference in Dallas, he attracts others with their own secrets: his estranged wife and unhappy teenage daughter; the businessman pursuing his own agenda; the all-star pitcher facing the end of his career; and the shy co-author Robby never acknowledged, who is searching for meaning in her own life. Join Robby and the others on their journey toward understanding and fulfillment, in this truly novel approach to changing YOUR life.
ExcerptLiz liked him like this—listening to other people’s problems, thinking about how to help them. This was the Robby whose principles in coaching and teaching had been the basis of his bestselling book. They were solid principles, and he’d taught them for years, and Liz knew herself that they did change people’s lives.
The Robby she had trouble admiring had emerged as the book shot up the bestseller lists. Always neat and well groomed, he’d now become fanatically clothes-conscious. He’d recently begun to order custom-made suits and add monograms to his expensive English shirts. While she decided how many new computers they needed for the office, he flew to New York for fittings with the city’s most exclusive tailor. She hired and trained new staff, and he consulted a professional colorist and lightened his hair.
When Robby solicited her opinion afterward, Liz asked, “What about the people who were fans before, some of our biggest customers? Won’t these flashy changes bother them?”
“You’re not looking at the big picture,” he said patiently. “These people are coming to me for answers. They expect to see someone who has them.”
Liz chose her words carefully. “And someone who has the answers is—attractive? Youthful? Using a facelift?”
“Stop it.” He glared at her. “The spa people I talked to said weekly facials were a good idea. They said it would make my skin softer and make me seem more approachable.”
Liz couldn’t think of any polite answer to that.
The current Robby had shown up after Marie moved out. It didn’t help that Liz knew why. But what did his wife expect him to do, now that he was finally creating a national impression?
It’s difficult seeing him humbled, Liz thought. Robby had worked a long time for success and done whatever was necessary, cheerfully and willingly, to achieve it. Yeah, he’d gone overboard with the glitzy success guy. It was still hard watching him hurt—not because he’d failed, but because he’d succeeded, after years of striving. And seeing him hurt over his family’s defection upset Liz. It wasn’t right, but there was nothing she could do about it.
Liz thought all these things while she watched Robby stare out the window. Sad that things hadn’t been good for him personally since the publication of Realizing You.
Professionally, things were fantastic. The book was a runaway bestseller, the website hits had gone crazy, Robby’s online presence had gone viral. One month after the book shot to number one, Liz arranged joint ventures, after five years of trying, with three of the top personal-development people in the country, all who eagerly endorsed Robby’s work and sought his endorsement as well.
They’d taken a huge step forward. Robby’s plan, scrawled on a piece of paper torn from a dime-store notebook, was starting to come true, in a big way. He’d been aiming at this success for a decade, and he’d brought in Liz five years ago to set up the structure and foundation while he set about becoming the persona in whom people could put their faith.
Both of them had succeeded, but now Robby was failing in all the important areas of his life.
1. What is the sweetest thing someone has done for you?
Given me an unexpected, positive surprise. My former wife completely surprised me on my 40th birthday. We went out to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, arriving back at our apartment at 11:00 p.m., a little tipsy after a couple of drinks. I put the key in the door, opened it, and there were about 30 of my closest friends starting to sing happy birthday. A sweet gift from my wife at time—it doesn’t get any sweeter than that.
2. What kind of music you like?
I like a wide variety of music; but, my two favorites are jazz and baroque. I listen to my local jazz station, preferring piano and sax renditions. I find jazz music expressive, liberating and just plain fun. It puts a smile on my face and warmth in my heart. I like the traditional baroque of the two+ centuries ago, especially Pachelbel. And, I am a continuing fan of the Beatles, who adapted baroque to an innovative form. I started humming “I Want to Hold Your Hand” as I was typing this.
3. Do you like to dance?
Yes, but I’m not good at it. I have no natural rhythm; I just don’t feel the beat. And, I almost always start on the wrong beat. But, if my dance partner will stay with me, I can really enjoy being on the dance floor. A warning to all—stay away from me in a line dance, I can’t seem to follow the leader.
4. Can you describe your dream home?
My dream home would be somewhere near San Diego, on the ocean, with one floor and lot of windows and skylights and spacious rooms, with some distance from my closest neighbors. I would, also, like it to be within walking distance of some little stores that sell a few groceries and current newspapers and magazines. I would like for the house to have separate living quarters for family and friends, whom I would like to see a lot of. Space, light, privacy, walks and runs on the beach and lot of visitors (in their own living space). Sounds good to me.
5. If you could be any character, from any literary work, who would you choose to be? Why?
It would probably be the Scarlett Pimpernel. He was fearless, romantic, smart, kind, and generous, and believed in justice for all. Moreover, he was a thoughtful person who knew when and how to act on his convictions and the needs of others. To me, he was a true hero, who knew when and how to love and to fight.
RON DOADES is president of Ronald Doades & Company, a consulting firm that, since 1977, has helped the people of large and mid-size energy companies improve their individual and corporate performance results by learning from the best-practice experiences of others. A popular speaker on the topic of managing change for optimal results, he holds an MBA from Columbia University and an MS in Psychology from The New School in New York City. Visit him at www.realizingyoubook.com
SUSAN SLOATE is the author of twenty published books, including STEALING FIRE, a #2 Amazon bestseller and Quarter-Finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest, and FORWARD TO CAMELOT (authored with Kevin Finn), which in its first edition was a #6 Amazon bestseller, took honors in 3 literary competitions and was optioned for film by a Hollywood production company. She lives in Mount Pleasant, SC. Visit her online at http://susansloate.com.
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