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Emily Mishler of The Cultivated Group: How To Grow Your Business or Brand By Writing A Book

…Infuse with Intention: Intention is the energy we put into an act, a word, or a feeling. … Intention is what makes the difference between creating an outcome of joy, and one of misalignment. Intention is how we create a world and a life by design, instead of by default. Clarity of intent (or desire) can only arise when you are willing to connect with yourself and thus get a sense of the experiences you wish to have, that feel aligned with you, based on awareness of your present life and knowing yourself as you truly are.

As a part of our series about “How You Can Grow Your Business or Brand By Writing A Book”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Emily Mishler of The Cultivated Group®.

Born and raised in the rural Midwest of the United States, Emily Mishler is an intrepid optimist with a keen sense of adventure, eye for design, hand in the start-up world, and heart for philanthropy. She is the driving force behind The Cultivated Group® and the world of Esmè the Curious Cat® — on a mission to ignite and empower individuals and organizations to: “be the change you wish to see in the world”.

Specializing in business development, creative strategic planning, and fundraising, Emily launched her first company at the age of 22 and has since raised and distributed over $20M of private investment for private clients, for-profit entities and NGO’s.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share a story about what motivated you to become an expert in the particular area that you are writing about?

Absolutely! Thanks so much for having me and for asking. It’s funny — I hadn’t ever actually planned to be an author, writing, producing, and publishing books came about for me as a medium for impact. Esmè the Curious Cat® came about as a way to share lessons learned whilst traveling all over the world. We are so excited to be intentionally and actively engaged in shaking up the tools through which children learn. Esmè the Curious Cat® is a children’s book series and brand whose goal is to inspire, empower and educate our children (ages 5–12) to “be the change we wish to see in the world”. Through Esmè’s adventures, travels, challenges, discoveries, and exploration, readers are taught life-lessons, the value of diversity, about conservation and advocacy, how to further employ characteristics of being a good and kind human, generosity, and more. It’s now available on Amazon, at Walmart, Barnes & Noble, and wherever books are sold — and the point is that traveling and exploration of this beautiful world expands and grows each element of our being often so much more than we recognize to be possible. Rather than counting the number of cities and countries; the focus is on the experiences and really relishing, connecting, and learning through each gift we’re given in life — travel-related or not! A huge part of the “wellness” shift for me was learning to take care of my body and self throughout travel (quality of experience & care) and dropping the expectations and ego as a part of the experience. Really learning to taste and savor each of the flavors!

Can you share a pivotal story that shaped the course of your career?

Hindsight tends to be 20/20 and all the dots tend to connect looking backward and that’s certainly a trend amidst my own eclectic career path. While I studied Communication and Design at University, helping others through different opportunities was always a focal point. A series of decisions that I perceived to be big risks (at the time) and chose to jump and lean into, whilst always keeping my eyes and ears open for possibility and opportunity were huge contributing factors as my career and life’s mission has continued to unfold. Doors and opportunities presented themselves, to which I bet on myself and said “yes” (albeit sometimes with a bit of fear!) and based on my passions, experiences, and drive to influence the world for the better — stumbled into corporate philanthropy as a career. In August of 2018, I completed a MBA with a concentration in Philanthropy and shortly thereafter, began a new chapter of life in traveling the world and running my own location-independent, impact-driven companies. Nothing like my companies existed at the time we created it, and the intersection of many things brought me to this specific opportunity!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Are you working on any new writing projects?

Absolutely! It’s a pleasure to be here — thanks for having us. I’ve always had a knack for adventure, an insatiable curiosity, a creative flair, and a heart for helping others — and my career has absolutely been an extension of that. I grew up on a farm in the middle of the rural United States. We lived very modestly and simply — serving others and giving of what we had was ingrained in our family’s “culture” from a very young age.

I grew up in a very small town in the middle of the Midwest United States. I come from a family of farmers and values like hard work (sometimes to a fault), exploration, diligence, tenacity, and grit were instilled in me from a very young age. Those rural “roots” were a piece of the inspiration behind our companies’ name: The Cultivated Group®.

Proudly housing four separate companies under the “Cultivated” umbrella, we’re redefining business as usual for businesses all over the globe (and even in outer space!). Each subsidiary equips organizations and individuals with the tools, skills, resources, frameworks, and funding they need to function fully as profitable, healthy businesses. Our team connects the business brain to the servant-leaders’ heart that’s at the forefront of the business of doing good. The work The Cultivated Group® focuses on is all impact-based, which means at the end of the day our goal is to make the world a better place and use businesses and the influence we all have in our day-to-day lives to be the vessels for doing so.

We believe in our lives, we’re given the opportunity to learn, grow, and become through each situation we’re presented with in our lives. In fact, we are presented in our lives with the exact lessons we need in order to become more able to fulfill the purpose of our lives. For me, it isn’t so much about coping — but it is about the deepened understanding and Trust that comes with learning, evolving, and tuning into our life’s purpose. Opportunities like these are where we are given a chance to build the “muscle” it takes to become: to learn, stretch, and grow. In addition to these consulting projects, we infuse our books with the same spirit.

Thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. Can you please tell us a bit about your book? Can you please share a specific passage or story that illustrates the main theme of your book?

Absolutely! Our first series, Esmè the Curious Cat, came about as a way to share lessons learned whilst traveling all over the world. We are so excited to be intentionally and actively engaged in shaking up the tools through which children learn. Esmè the Curious Cat is a children’s book series and brand whose goal is to inspire, empower and educate our children (ages 5–12) to “be the change we wish to see in the world”. Through Esmè’s adventures, travels, challenges, discoveries, and exploration, readers are taught life-lessons, the value of diversity, about conservation and advocacy, how to further employ characteristics of being a good and kind human, generosity, and more. It’s now available on Amazon, at Walmart, Barnes & Noble, and wherever books are sold — and the point is that traveling and exploration of this beautiful world expands and grows each element of our being often so much more than we recognize to be possible. Rather than counting the number of cities and countries; the focus is on the experiences and really relishing, connecting, and learning through each gift we’re given in life — travel-related or not! A huge part of the “wellness” shift for me was learning to take care of my body and self throughout travel (quality of experience & care) and dropping the expectations and ego as a part of the experience. Really learning to taste and savor each of the flavors!

You are a successful author and thought leader. Which three character traits do you feel were most instrumental to your success when launching your book?

Thank you very much! This is a great question. From my experience, cultivating the ability to listen to ourselves and others; exercising courage; and leading with curiosity and wonder (rather than judgment or projection) have been instrumental.

In my work, I have found that writing a book can be a great way to grow a brand. Can you share some stories or examples from your own experience about how you helped your own business or brand grow by writing a book? What was the “before and after picture?” What were things like before, and how did things change after the book?

Our book and brand is in complete alignment with our purpose, mission, and vision. The process was also incredibly organic in our experience as we were starting. There is a certain magic about the creative process that comes about when you loosen the reins and focus on expression — we’d recommend starting there and seeing what wants to express itself!

If a friend came to you and said “I’m considering writing a book but I’m on the fence if it is worth the effort and expense” what would you answer? Can you explain how writing a book in particular, and thought leadership in general, can create lucrative opportunities and help a business or brand grow?

At the end of the day, I don’t know that I agree with the idea of writing books or becoming a thought leader simply to create lucrative opportunities or brand growth. I believe in our lives, we’re given the opportunity to learn, grow, and become through each situation we’re presented with in our lives. In fact, we are presented in our lives with the exact lessons we need in order to become more able to fulfill the purpose of our lives. For me, it’s about the deepened understanding and Trust that comes with learning, evolving, and tuning into my life’s purpose. Opportunities like these are where we are given a chance to build the “muscle” it takes to become: to learn, stretch, and grow. A book and brand have the ability to share the incredible things we’ve learned and continue the legacy and impact you’re hoping to have in your own life.

What are the things that you wish you knew about promoting a book before you started? What did you learn the hard way? Can you share some stories about that which other aspiring writers can learn from? Based on your experience, which promotional elements would you recommend to an author to cover on their own and when would you recommend engaging an expert?

Much of the earlier parts of my life were focused on and fueled by external validation, approval, and seeking attention. What I didn’t realize at the time was that much of the advice I was unconsciously attracting, receiving, and internalizing as truth was fueled by many people who were of the same vein. I wish I would have sought counsel from people who had been in and to places that I wanted to be, rather than people who had the same dreams I did. Learning through the experiences of others can be an incredible tool as we continue to grow! Ask questions, be brave, and move forward with gumption — onward! :)

Wonderful. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your own experience and success, what are the “five things an author needs to know to successfully promote and market a book?” If you can, please share a story or example for each.

  1. Infuse with Intention: Intention is the energy we put into an act, a word, or a feeling. … Intention is what makes the difference between creating an outcome of joy, and one of misalignment. Intention is how we create a world and a life by design, instead of by default. Clarity of intent (or desire) can only arise when you are willing to connect with yourself and thus get a sense of the experiences you wish to have, that feel aligned with you, based on awareness of your present life and knowing yourself as you truly are.
  2. Clarity of Purpose: When you are absolutely clear about what you want to achieve, you can then formulate a solid plan to get there and take the right action to produce the right result. Clarity of business purpose acts as a powerful performance catalyst. Such a sense of purpose is proven not just to enhance team morale and performance but also to be a powerful initiator of innovation and service quality.
  3. Clarity of Vision: Clarity of vision is knowing what you want the future to look like and what steps need to be taken to get there. Developing clarity of vision requires investing in the education and time needed to truly understand what you’re chasing, and it requires saying no to the things that can distract you from it. When your team recognizes that their activities are consistent with the vision you’ve shared with them, business processes will experience fewer interruptions and roadblocks will be discovered early. In real terms, this translates to greater productivity and profitability. Steps 1–3 of this clarity loop all provide incredibly valuable focus.
  4. A Mission and Vision: From concept to formation, to implementation, chances are your dreams are going to grow. At The Cultivated Group, we believe that if your dreams include only you, they’re too small. If that’s the case, you’re going to need more incredible, intentional, aligned, passionate, and purpose-driven people around you and in order to move things forward, effective communication will be critical. Two incredible tools to communicate and align your team are your mission and vision statements. These communicate why your organization exists (mission) and what you will accomplish (vision). As we worked with clients, we recognized that this isn’t as common-practice as we’d hoped and to fill a growing need, we put together a few free resources at The Elevated Method® — one of which is a Mission & Vision Statements Guide!
  5. A Fluid Framework® & Strategic Plan: A business plan doesn’t have to be formal, long, scary, or set in stone. Many of the folks we chat with don’t have formal business education and what’s great? You don’t need one to build a business! A business plan helps to communicate with stakeholders where you’re at, who’s on board, where you’re headed, how you’ll get there, and what you’ll need throughout the journey and upon arrival. We have a thorough (and fun!) workbook to get you started: here!

5–10 years down the road, do you know exactly where you’ll be? Good, us either. Building out a strategic plan isn’t about mapping out every single piece of the company’s journey you’re building, but it is about orienting your compass to True North, plotting out the next few moves (years) of the journey on a map, and communicating that to everyone who needs to know. This provides a pulse on the direction you’d like to go, and a basic framework of how you plan to get there with measurable success milestones along the way. Curious? Here’s a quick template to get the juices flowing!

Can you share with our readers how you have used your success to bring goodness to the world?

For us, it’s all about paying it forward and equipping and empowering others. Our organization is driven and led by the mantra and mission “be the change you wish to see” in the world. Our mission is to connect impactful ideas and opportunities to provide access, action, and ignite equity to change and preserve our world.

Because we believe life happens in the full spectrum and we understand that sometimes founders need the right tools and guidance to activate and ignite their ideas, we recently launched a product offering of download-able business building tools to move the needle in business and life. We’re providing equitable access to business consulting without the hourly fee through a new branch of our companies called The Elevated Method®. We’re transforming businesses from the inside-out, creating through purpose with intention: we’re elevating the art of living.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them :-)

I’d absolutely love to have lunch with Sara Blakely and her husband, Jesse Itzler. Not only have they both been incredibly successful individually, the pair seems to have “figured out life” too. Raising a family together, encouraging one another, and making the world better along the way. I’d love to be able to learn from and create with them!

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Emily Mishler

Instagram: @emilymishler

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emily.mishler

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emilymishler

Website: www.emilymishler.com

The Cultivated Group®

Instagram: @thecultivatedgroup

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecultivatedgroup

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-cultivated-group

Website: www.thecultivatedgroup.co

The Elevated Method®

Instagram: @theelevatedmethod

Website: www.theelevatedmethod.com

Esmè the Curious Cat®:

Instagram: @esmethecuriouscat

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/esmethecuriouscat

Website: www.esmethecuriouscat.com

Thank you for these excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent. We wish you continued success with your book promotion and growing your brand.

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