Member of the Week: Lynn Schmidt, author of Shift Into Thrive

Lynn SchmidtName: Lynn Schmidt

Book Title: Shift Into Thrive: Six Strategies for Women to Unlock the Power of Resiliency

Your book’s Amazon purchase link:

https://www.amazon.com/Shift-Into-Thrive-Strategies-Resiliency/dp/0997564105/

What is your book about?

While much has been learned about the value women create for organizations, recent research indicates that women are still facing significant barriers to gender equality in the workforce and to advancement into leadership roles. Women frequently experience unique roadblocks like gender bias and stereotypes that are difficult to overcome and extract a big price both personally and professionally. Shift Into Thrive provides proven resilience-building strategies for women to thrive, not just survive. The ability to maintain your resiliency and thrive in the midst of adversity is not a given. Rather, it is an intentional choice. Shift Into Thrive provides six resilience-building strategies that women use successfully to thrive in the face of career challenges. These six powerful strategies and practical action steps will enable you to create a career accompanied by growth, success, and satisfaction.

What inspired you to write your book?

As a child I watched my mother transform herself from a stay-at-home mom into a career woman when my father died. She made the choice to be resilient when my father died; she chose to thrive, not just survive the loss. Even though we often don’t realize the impact of childhood events until we are older, I now realize this event shaped who I eventually became. As I entered the world of work, my career became focused on helping leaders develop, both men and women, as a leadership development expert in corporate America and an executive coach. When I began working on my Ph.D, I knew the focus of my dissertation would be on women’s issues in thShift Into Thrivee workplace—more specifically, women leaders’ perceptions of the factors that contributed to their career derailment. Career derailment is defined as being fired, forced out, or asked to resign.  And as I worked my way up the corporate career ladder I experienced my own work-related challenges as a woman. The writing of my dissertation and personal experiences led to my new book written with Kevin Nourse, which includes strategies focused on helping women thrive work-related challenges, not just survive.

Can you describe your writing process?

I have three other books published, and when I wrote those, I was working full time in corporate America as a leadership development executive. My writing for those three books took place in the evenings and weekends.  When I wrote Shift Into Thrive, I had decided to take a one-year sabbatical, to build my own resiliency. I was needing a break from the corporate world. I spent one year in Europe, primarily in France, Italy, and Greece. Prior to my personal sabbatical year, my co-author and I had done all our research for the book and we were ready to begin writing. While I was on my sabbatical, my co-author and I each wrote one chapter a month (about 4,000 words each), swapped and edited each other’s chapters, and then had our beta readers provide feedback. We would then make edits and move on to the next chapters. This worked perfectly as I didn’t want to spend my year in Europe inside a room, not getting to explore the world around me. My time in Europe enabled me to make sure the book has a global focus. I met with women from around the world, shared the resiliency framework, and got feedback on its applicability in other cultures.  What I learned is that regardless of the culture, the resiliency framework is applicable. When my sabbatical year was up, my co-author and I were finished with the writing, and ready to move on to cover design, editing, marketing, and publishing. You can summarize my writing process as research, outlining, writing, gathering feedback from beta readers, and editing. 

How did you come to do what you’re doing today?

I am a lifelong learner; I have been in school most of my life. As a believer in personal and professional development, I love helping others develop in my role as a leadership development expert, coach, and author. Nonfiction writing has always seemed to fit in well with my career choice. The intent of my books is to help others grow and develop through the information I provide. Working on my dissertation helped to hone my research skills. The writing and research skills you learn from writing a dissertation are incredible. When I started writing Shift Into Thrive, I focused on developing my creative nonfiction writing skills in order to create stories for the book, as well as a resiliency framework and application activities.

Can you describe a typical day in your life?

After my one-year sabbatical, I went back into corporate America as a global leadership development executive. My work day—Monday-Friday, 8-5—is typically focused on the responsibilities of my full-time job. Fortunately, my work as an author integrates well with my day job. I am able to present at conferences and teach as an adjunct professor on the topic of women and leadership. In the evenings and weekends, I work on the ongoing marketing for the book. And of course I incorporate fun activities as well. I love to read, travel, and be outdoors exploring. One of my hobbies is photography. I enjoy the arts, including movies, theater, and concerts.

What do you most enjoy about what you do?

I believe that authors, nonfiction authors in particular, write because they have something to share that they believe will help others. My day job and my writing are focused on helping others be successful in their careers. I enjoy the variety that my day job, writing, traveling, and hobbies provide me. When I know that I have helped someone move toward the career he or she desires, that is meaningful for me.

Are there any people and/or books that have inspired you along your journey?

The person who has inspired me the most is my mother; the strength she demonstrated and her ability to overcome adversity has made me who I am. When it comes to books, I have always been an avid reader. I remember as a child going to the library and coming home with a large bag of books. It was a wonderful time. I have read so many books, which inspired me to write. I love books about adventures, journeys, and discovering who you are; one of my favorites is The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien. A book that I read before I took my sabbatical that inspired me was Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I’m currently reading My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem. 

Can you share something that people may be surprised to learn about you?

Not sure how surprising this will be but I’m an avid dog lover—in particular Shelties. I’ve adopted eight Shelties over the years and I currently have two four-year-old brothers, Neeko and Bobo, whom I recently adopted from a Minnesota rescue.

What’s next for you?

I would love to write a historical fiction novel about a strong woman, or women, from an earlier time.  This interests me as it integrates well with my focus on women’s issues and would allow me to continue to develop my creative writing skills. Something in the vein of The Paris Wife or Circling the Sun by Paula McLain. My friends are always sending me names of women they learn about that they think would be good central characters for my historical fiction novel.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I’m excited to share that Shift Into Thrive was a #1 new release on Amazon in two categories: business, health, and stress, and work-life balance in business. Shift Into Thrive was awarded the 2016 Idaho Author Award in the business category.

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