Awake at the Wheel

Exploring the intersection between work, play, and the creative process.

How One Woman Built a Feel-Good Empire

“Self-help for people who wouldn’t be caught dead doing self-help.”

I’m always talking to entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs about branding statements – what makes them different.

Personal development author, columnist, speaker and creative savant, Karen Salmansohn, has a great one…

“Self-help for people who wouldn’t be caught dead doing self-help.”

Not only does this tell you what she does, it immediately polarizes a tribe and it addresses the single biggest knee-jerk response from the people who need the most help, but don’t want to own it themselves and absolutely don’t want others seeing them read any of that “foofy-ass, self-help mumbo jumbo!”

Underneath this branding statement, though, you’ll find an incredibly insightful, edgy and smart author, multi-space creative, entrepreneur and a real fighter. Someone who doesn’t listen to other peoples’ (or entire industry’s) limiting proclamations.

When the old guard says “no,” she says “just watch me!”

The publishing industry didn’t “get” the type of hyper-stylized books she wanted to create. So, she collaborated with a team of designers to craft them herself. Once publishers saw the actual finished designs, they started tripping over themselves to buy the books. Now, Karen has more than 1,000,000 books in print. And plenty more on the way.

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Seeing the handwriting on the Facebook wall, she started blending her genius at inspirational one-liners with moving images to create digital posters that exploded her Facebook following and led to a new book, Instant Happy, that features her posters.

And, as a mom, she started to explore the idea of turning her posters into thematic curricula as a way to get into the heads of kids without the standard “oh look, the grown up are spouting junk again” response. Her first educational poster campaign focuses on anti-bullying and it’s already being adopted by school-districts.

And, still, Karen’s just getting rolling.

In this week’s Good Life Project, we go behind the curtain in Karen’s amazing journey. We find out what it’s like to be madly inspired to create, to write, to design, to speak, to build an empire that helps millions of people who publicly proclaim an aversion to being helped. And so much more.

With gratitude,

Jonathan

Jonathan Fields is an attorney turned lifestyle-entrepreneur, speaker, and author of Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel For Brilliance.

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