Friday, May 01, 2009

An Interview with Tiffany Colter

What type of hints do you share in your newsletter?

I actually have two newsletters. In Writing Coach Career I share tips on marketing as well as craft. I spend a good deal of time editing other people's writing as well as learning new ways to market my work. I like to share some of those tips with my readers.

In the Balanced Life I share the money management tools we've used as a family during my husband's cancer battle and subsequent unemployment. It was only two years ago that I was going through the same things many people are experiencing right now. I learned that having a balanced look at money and focusing on united financial goals with my husband was the best way. I also learned how to tweak recipes to be delicious and CHEAP. One I shared last month feeds six people for about $2!

Where do you get your tips?

I read books, blogs, and articles quite a bit. My husband also spends a great deal of time reading, and he shares with me what he has learned. There is also knowledge that you gather by watching what other people are doing. Writers can read a book and notice the story structure and the mechanics of a book. I can do that with marketing. I took my kids to a concert recently and left with five marketing ideas based on what happened there.

How often do you send out your newsletter?

I send them out monthly but I'm debating if I want to continue monthly or go to every other month. Some of my good friends have reminded me I write on balance and I have to make sure I don't get my life out of balance by overcommitting myself. It can be tough because I simply LOVE being a writer, speaker, and Writing Career Coach, but I also love being a wife and mom.

Where did you get the idea to begin this newsletter?

The subject matter? Both newsletters were simply organic outgrowths of my blog topics I decided to do newsletters because I love newsletters. I subscribe to a few of them and I find that when they're done well, they are a great benefit to the reader.

Everything I do with my websites, speaking and the products I offer my central focus is always "How will this benefit my reader?" I think that as an author when I write books, and I focus on it even more when I'm working on my coaching and money tips, I will stop doing it if people ever stop seeing value in it.

Why would anyone want to sign up (read) your newsletter?

Why would they want to or need to, hmmm. I can only tell you what other people have told me. I present not only information, but I present them in an unusual way. For authors, I teach marketing and platform but as a writer, I also share tips to improve your writing. I have used horror films to teach about marketing. I've used music videos to teach about showing vs. telling and internal conflict.

On my Balanced Life blog, I try to be real. I am a real woman who faced foreclosure two years ago because my husband's cancer battle left him unable to work for six months and unable to work full time for two years.

I know what it feels like when you can't afford food and creditors call you to make you feel like scum of the earth. All after watchiing your loved one battle a life-threatening disease.

I also know that many financial problems are a result of the PITIFUL lessons taught to us in school. We are taught a good credit score is more mportant than balancing our checkbook. We are taught that balancing our checkbook is the equivalent of budgeting.

If people want real lessons from a real person, whether an author or a wife/mother, they will not only enjoy my newsletters--but learn a great deal from them.

What makes you an "expert?" Would you share some background of your life?

Wow, an expert is such a big word! I think I covered some of it in the previous question, but let me go deeper. As a writing career coach I have learned how to build a platform and develop my own speaking business-without publishing a book. what makes me unique is I realize that my books are a product. Right now there are not many manuscripts being acquired from new authors by publishers.

This gives us the responsibility and the opportunity to build other areas of our writing business so that we will continue to grow. Just because publishers aren't buying doesn't mean we are at a standstill. the companies that innovated in the 20's were in prime position to grow in the 40's and 50's. The people who built cars became rich. The people who insisted on sticking with the locomotive became obsolete.

On the finances, I have been able to live pretty well on a single income for the last ten years. Not only that, but I know what it is like to suddenly have NO income! When Chris was diagnosed with cancer we had two weeks worth of money in savings, we had four young children (one of whom we'd just adopted) and the prospect of as much as a two year battle with cancer. We were denied state disability payments (long story) and a paperwork misunderstanding left us without the disability from the employer. I know that there is HOPE in the midst of the trouble.

I also know how to live now! We have debt from the two years he couldn't work. I know how to live frugally without being a total tightwad. I used to be one. I learneed that "frugal" people are oftentimes rooted in fear. They find their security in the collection of money. They begin to worship their security. That is out of balance. That is how I lived the first twenty-nine years of my life.

My husband, on the other hand, has the love language of gifts. He wanted to give me and our daughters things to show us how much he loved us.

You can see where this is going, right? (If you live like this then get my free article "A Saver Married to a Spender" at

Now that we are earning money again we know how to keep ourselves in balance. We know how to put a large sum of money towards expenses while still putting money in savings. This is important because a common cycle for people is to try to get out of debt by putting all their extra money to debt. THEN when something unexpected happens (like a car needs repaired) there is no money left. You use your credit card . . . and you're right back in the same mess again!

Why do you care about "us" to do this?

I hate to see people hurting. I truly want to see things turn around. A government stimulus or bailout won't help anyone. Lower taxes and personal responsibility are what is needed. The problem with that, however, is no one is taking the time to teach people that they DON'T need to spend every penny. However, people who have money should not feel gulty for spending it. I am not richer because you feel guilty. I become richer when I take a balanced approach to my finances and execute my spending plan.

I want so badly for people to be empowered, rather than fearful. So many feel there is no way out. There is!

What's the "catch" if we sign up for your newsletter?

Personal responsibility! I am not asking for money. I am not selling anything (although I am in the process of writing a book about this topic and will tell people about it when it releases if they tell me they want to know.

The Balanced Life is a website of free stuff to help people. I put my OWN money into this website to help other people. If you sign up for the newsletter you will hear from me when each one goes out. You will hear from me to ask if you want to be informed about webinars or speaking engagements. I WILL NOT sell your information to anyone. You will NOT be attacked with ads to purchase things. I am targeting people who want to try to get control of their finances so why in the world would I try to sell them a bunch of stuff???

Please share the addresses where readers can sign up for these newsletters.

You can sign up for my Balanced Life newsletter, The Balance Sheet, at:

Writers can sign up for my Writing Coach Career newsletter, Writing Coach Career Playbook, at:

There you have it, folks. Tiffany is an enthusiastic, talented speaker and writer. I've sat in her classes and enjoyed her comments. I'm impressed that she's willing to do this at no cost to us.

Do me, no, do yourself the favor and sign up today for her Balanced Life newsletter. And if you know of a writer, encourage them to check out her Writing Coach Career newsletter.

It is only when I am doing my work that I feel truly alive. --Fedrico Fellini


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