Bev Ryan – always focus on why you ARE good enough

Meet Bev Ryan

Bev encourages women in business to Step up to find your voice and shine your light through publishing your own book.

We all have previous chapters in our stories – Tell me about your working life/business experiences before now?

I wish I could come up with a smart term to describe women like me – over 60, in business, enterprising, engaged, and over the hype. But I dislike stereotypes so there is probably no point. I live with my partner in Brisbane, Australia, work from a modest and loving home, love my children and their interestingly expanding lives, and provide book coaching and book production services to smart women.

We all have previous chapters in our stories – Tell me about your working life/business experiences before now?

Reinvention is something I now recognise as a strength, though there was a time (in my forties) where I thought that the many changes I had made in my life reflected a weaker side of me. Why couldn’t I choose one thing and stick with it?

Like most women, changes in my life have been both confronting and enriching—some by choice; some forced upon me.

After two stints as a high school English teacher, I released that the classroom was not for me. Twice I found work in the Australian Public Service after scoring in the top percentile in the entry tests they once used to run. I have trained and worked as a Certified Kitchen Designer; assisted the manager of an Adult Education Centre in Brisbane; run a regional Learning for Life program for The Smith Family.

It wasn’t until I went through a career crisis and discovered publishing to be my thing that I felt I was in the right place. My first adventure in 1997 was to publish a niche magazine, ‘Work from Home’, that sold nationally. That was sooo exciting and brought about so much change, both personally and professionally.

At the same time, I took an interest in career coaching, after recognising how important that kind of support can be at different times in women’s lives. I have been fortunate to have also had the opportunity to train and work in that space and continue to do so on a part-time basis as a consultant on a call with a career management company.

Eventually, I understood that I thrive on variety, accepted that to be my strength, and have built a business that brings me just that.

I went on to publish another magazine, ‘Honestly, Woman’ just prior to the GFC, and that lead me to the work I now do when I moved from publishing a business magazine for women to assisting women to self-publish their own non-fiction books.

Please provide a snapshot of your business

Today I work at the intersection of publishing and professional growth. I feel that my publishing, education, and career coaching experiences come together well to help women through the self-publishing process, which helps them make changes in their lives, gain access to new opportunities, and become recognised and rewarded for their professional value.

As a book coach, I assist women to plan and write their books, then I can coordinate book production services to create their books when the writing is complete.

I am also the author of ‘Smart Women Publish – Write the book that elevates you in your business or profession’.

Assuming you are now in “Your Next Chapter”, what led you here? Tell me about your purpose, your why, the difference you want to make, who you are called to serve?

I discovered publishing as a career when I took time out to investigate what I was actually good at, what activities lit me up, and who out there needed what I could offer. The purpose of the magazines I published was always to encourage and inspire women to believe in themselves, raise their voice, and succeed on their own terms.

I suspect this came from being the quiet girl at school, and later the naively trusting young woman who had to find her own way out of two difficult marriages, only then acknowledging the strength that was there all of the time.

My passion now is to support other women in business and professions to stand out in their field by producing quality non-fiction books in their area of expertise.

Have you experienced self-doubt? What causes it to flare and how do you work through it when it hits?

Pre-publishing panic—whether it be magazines, music, films, books, artwork, drama—is a very real phenomenon. I know it well.

I now face that fear down by following art makers I connect with (like Liz Gilbert and Austin Kleon) and seeing how well originality is received, then ensuring my own work has a quality about it, and still feels like a warm friend I (and others) would like to be around.

The smart, talented women I support often doubt their brilliance, especially just before they go public. As Dr. Valerie Young, an expert on the Imposter Syndrome, would agree, we seem to focus more easily on why we aren’t good enough, rather than on why we are. We often seem to need external validation and reassurance before we take a step into our own brave new world.

But while we are waiting for that validation to arrive – and who are we handing that responsibility to, I wonder? – we are doing a disservice to others who need what we have to give.

Oprah, Ita and Maggie Beer began somewhere. They brought their own magic mix of energy and ability to the table. They fought their demons, they learned, practised, refined, failed, and reinvented. They are so much more than women in the spotlight – they are about impact.

What would you say to other women who are standing on the edge of their own Next Chapter, not sure if they can take the leap?

Create your own highlight reel of your past achievements and your brave new world. Create a PowerPoint slide show and save it to video format – then look at it every day.

What’s next for you? Share your vision!

My vision includes coaching small groups of women to start and finish books that matter to them, and turn them into special works of art – because they are.

 

When I’m facing something new and challenging
I reduce it down to the one small next step I can take that moves me in the right direction.

I know my greatest strengths are…
A calm nature, a curious mind, my mix of pragmatism and imagination, and my integrity.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is:
To value yourself, then refuse to settle for less than you are worth.

Some of my favourite books, apart from those my clients publish, are:
By Barbara Sher who passed away in 2020: ‘Wishcraft’ and ‘I Could Do Anything If Only I Knew What It Was’

My favourite business tool or resource is:
Canva – it has given me the chance to play with design and I have found I have a good eye. Followed closely by Upwork.

My favourite quote is:
From Elizabeth Gilbert, author of ‘Big Magic’: “It might have been done before, but it hasn’t been done by you.”

Not many people know that:
I traveled and backpacked in Asia, Africa, and Europe in the 70s.

You can connect with Bev here.

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Angela Raspass

Mentoring women in their 40's and beyond to build sustainable businesses blending contribution, fulfilment and financial reward.

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