You’ve probably heard that writing a book can help your business, but that can raise so many questions. How exactly does a book grow my business? Where would I fit in the time to write one? What is my best option for publishing?

Today’s interview is with Vanessa Lapointe, a psychologist, parenting educator and author of Discipline Without Damage. Hear author stories like Vanessa’s at the upcoming Book Publishing day long event where you’ll learn exactly what it takes to plan, write, publish and market a nonfiction book that can boost your business, showcase your expertise, and build your personal or professional brand. See the full program here.

What is your book called? Do you have more than one?

The book is called Discipline Without Damage. And I am in the process of writing my second book, with a third one also on the horizon.

Discipline without Damage

Why did you decide to write a book?

My passion and ultimate focus as a psychologist and parenting educator is to change the conversation about how we understand our children. When I meet with parents one on one in my office, I can see the shift that happens and how this can literally change a child’s world. In writing a book, I now get to have that same conversation with 15,000 people. They are parents and educators and caregivers and grandparents. So imagine how many children they represent—maybe 100,000? 200,000? And if the lives of those children are affected even in a small way for the better, mission accomplished.

You are a busy entrepreneur!  How did you fit in the time for writing a book?

I took a partial leave, got serious about some boundary setting, and carved out day-long chunks of writing time. I was also purposeful about creating a space and a schedule around all of this that was most conducive to focus and creation. I knew going in that I was not going to be the type who wrote a book across months and months. Instead, I took a deep dive in a shorter time period than most and that worked for me.

What was your business model before the book?  Has the book changed this?  If so, how?

My business mentor, Pamela Chatry, was supporting me in the establishment of my clinical team/practice and in the process helped me to see that the clinic is but one part of my bigger vision—the idea of changing the conversation around how we understand our children. As soon as I understood that, it became clear to me that my umbrella focus is one of education, including the book. Writing and launching my first book really crystallized that for me. So now I look at my business model as a much broader umbrella under which is housed multiple approaches to the overall purpose.

How has the book leveraged you and/or your business to greater success and increased its reputation?

The book provided credibility, visibility, and a bigger arena in which to actualize my purpose. I am invited to speak at events all over the world (I will be leaving shortly for a tour in Australia), I am in front of larger and broader audiences with my speaking engagements than before, and in addition to carrying on with some of my clinical work, I am also getting the opportunity to transform the book into manualized programs in various settings to really make a difference for parents and families. As well, I am invited to write for various media outlets, and interview on radio and television regularly, allowing yet another opportunity to connect with the “big people” of the world—all towards my overall purpose. And finally, my clinic is so busy that each and every one of our team is waitlisted and booked for months in advance.

What advice would you give to a business owner or professional who is sitting on the fence about writing a book?

If you want to grow yourself, grow your mind, grow your brand, then writing is a spectacular conduit. The process of creating a book allows your thoughts about your area of expertise become exceptionally clear and organized. And it positions you in a wonderful way to take your message beyond the confines of your office walls or the seats of a lecture theatre. So don’t sit on that fence. Jump off of it, knock it down, and get writing.