We thought we’d do a little something different this week since our book is officially launching on March 6th! We are often asked some “when, why and how” questions so thought we would use our blog to answer a few here.
When did you first meet?
Well, that’s a little bit of a complicated answer because we sort of met twice. Our first meeting wouldn’t likely have resulted in us co-authoring a book! We first met as competitors back in the 90’s when we held competing jobs with the two fastest growing CRO’s (Contract Research Organizations). We were both leading the sales function and literally competing for the SAME multi-million-dollar contracts. Needless to say, we were not the biggest fan of the other. We did not like to compete against the other. We were both determined to win the business, so didn’t like to bump into one another in a client’s lobby. You might have called us bitter rivals for a time. While we respected each other as daunting competitors, we certainly weren’t friends. Fast forward a decade and we met a second time in 2002. A mutual friend kept insisting that we meet, so we finally acquiesced. He insisted that we had much in common and would enjoy each other’s company. In fact, he went so far as to say we would be able to complete each other’s sentences. So, in 2002 at Babymoon Café off of Aviation Boulevard in Morrisville, NC, the two of us sat down for lunch – and he didn’t even show up. So there we sat, and talked, and talked. But he was right – after about 15 minutes, the claws retracted, we were finishing each other’s sentences and we haven’t stopped since.
Why did you write Remember Who YOU Are?
We were both spending a lot of time coaching and mentoring young professionals. When we would get together, we found we were sharing similar stories and similar insights. One night while we were out together for an evening with our husbands, Paula’s husband Greg asked “Why don’t y’all put everything you’re saying together in a book? You both like helping people and that’s a way to reach more folks.” So that’s how the idea for the book was birthed.
The title evolved, the chapters developed and in the end we highlighted topics we wished we had known earlier in our careers. We focused on the elusive trifecta of success, balance, and fulfillment that we’re all seeking. While we don’t pretend to have all the answers, together we have over 60 years of experiences – so there was no shortage of stories to tell.
How did you agree on all the topics? Who wrote what? Who got the final say?
There were so many topics we wanted to include – maybe we will tackle others in a future book! We each listed the topics we thought we should cover and compared notes and found a surprising number of similarities on the two lists. So we whittled the list down to a reasonable number that could be covered in a book that wouldn’t take too long to read. We are all busy and have limited time to read a “business” book, so we decided to keep it fairly short.
At first, we each wrote a chapter by ourselves – independently – then we would share drafts with each other. Ultimately, we decided to hire a professional writer, Jennifer Buehrle Williams, to work with us to ensure we shared one voice – to make it an easier read. And we hired a professional editor, D. Eric Frederick to complete a final edit, or two, or three.
If we didn’t agree on a topic, a word, a story, we discussed it and came to resolution. Let’s face it. Alan, the mutual friend who insisted that we meet, saw how similar we were before we did – our similarities were and are a blessing. So not only are we co-authors and business partners, we’re the best of friends.
Did you discover anything new about each other while writing Remember Who YOU Are?
Yes, we sure did! Things like we both started working at age 13 – Paula in her family’s restaurant in her hometown of Raleigh and Lisa in a flower nursery in her hometown of Hamilton – yes, we’re both North Carolina natives. We found out unique things like we both met our husbands in February – Paula in 1988 and Lisa in 1979. We shared a love for the same dark chocolate – and we ate plenty while we were writing the book! We were both STEM girls and obtained our college degrees from UNC Chapel Hill and our respective programs were literally next door to each other on campus. We both have two children . . . and the list goes on. We learned just last week, with the passing of Rev. Billy Graham, that we both attended his crusade in Raleigh, NC, on September 24, 1973.
We hope you’ve enjoyed hearing some of the “when, why and how” of Remember Who YOU Are. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of our book, please visit a local bookstore, online retailer, or go to book.habergeon.com.