Write Your Success Story

The Spiritual Voice News Mag July 2006
The Spiritual Voice News Mag July 2006

(Write Your Success Story as it appeared in the TSV News Mag, July 2006)

Marilyn Joyce/Augusta, GA:  Are you a speaker who has survived abuse, tragedy, layoff, crisis, or setbacks? You are a survivor with a success story! Your  experiences have shaped your views and perspectives. No one else is capable of sharing your story with the unique set of concepts and insights you’ve gained from those experiences. We all have a story; but how you got through your personal crisis might be the desperate solution someone else needs. What’s more, your struggle to survive was not about you; it was for all who would need a roadmap to follow on the road you’ve already traveled.

When I talk about domestic violence, I weave statistical facts about domestic violence around my personal story of survival after homelessness, abuse, and scandal. Because of the unique details of my life, I often receive letters from people in prominent public positions who can relate to what I’ve gone through. In other words, people are looking for answers that make sense. So, don’t underestimate how much good you can do for others when you find the courage to write about what you’ve been through. Bad things do happen to good people, misguided people do change their lives, and struggling people do become successful. And many of those same people say they would have done it all sooner if they had known how.

Testimonial books:  All you’ll do here is share your story along with whatever it took to get you through that time in your life; quotes, specific scriptures, words of encouragement from friends, relatives, clergy, or total strangers. Your purpose is to simply tell your story with the hope of helping someone else. People grow tired of hearing the same rhetoric over and over. If your books and speeches are putting people to sleep, it’s time to make some changes. How you survived, bounced back, and got on with life adds a deeper dimension to your speeches and books. Personal experience pieces (stories, books) tend to be the most interesting to the general public. In fact, ‘how to’ or self-help books (which include religious books) are the most popular categories in book sales – bringing in more than 1.5 billion dollars each year.

Just keep in mind that what worked for you will not work for everyone. Even those you help may not benefit in exactly the same way that it worked for you. Focus on your victorious results and prayerfully share your story.

The Combo:  Then there’s the combination of your personal story intertwined with historical facts. This will include statistical data, scriptural references, historical facts, and word studies. Once explored, explained, and expanded the data relating to your supportive references will help establish your credibility. It will show that you have thoroughly researched your subject and will give you the opportunity to share deeper, and more meaningful, life-changing nuggets. The references may be more appealing to more educated readers. Since more books are purchased by people with college degrees, these are readers you want to reach.

Don’t underestimate how much good you may do for others when you find the courage to write about what you know about. For some reason, many believers make the big mistake of thinking that religious topics are all their books should address. But in reality, the answers people are looking for are not necessarily found in religious publications. Most believers work in industries in which they do extremely well. Yet, many of their writing, speaking or other business endeavors ignore the very topics about which they are the most knowledgeable. Training manuals, management guides, money saving strategies, gardening secrets, physical fitness, fashion design tips, and organizational strategies are just a few of the thousands of subjects you might be qualified to write (or speak) about.

I published my first book while serving in the US Army. In addition to being an author, I’m a retired Army nurse and a disabled Veteran. My life has many dimensions as a Certified Domestic Violence Counselor, professional speaker, minister, and radio talk show host. You’re sure to agree that I have a lot to talk and write about and so do you. Don’t limit your horizons. Take advantage of other opportunities to spread your wings and distinguish yourself as an expert by writing about what you know about in your realm of knowledge and in your field.

Ownership Thinking Tips: Before you write your success story, there are you should practice:

  1. Copyright your manuscript or book yourself. As of 1 July 2006, the cost of copyrighting your book increased from $30 to $45.
  2. Protect your IP rights. Your books, tapes, CD/DVDs, manuscripts, voice, and image belong to you as Intellectual Property. This property can be left to your loved ones in your will, but can only be protected if you do the legal (copyright) paperwork. Protect what you got.
  3. You own your story.  If you’re going to write a book, (especially the story of your life) make sure that you legally own the rights to it. Contact the Library of Congress and file copyright Form TX yourself. Fill it out, make a copy for your files and mail it in. Don’t let someone else offer to do it for you for free or a fee. That’s just taking the lazy way out and it allows someone else the opportunity to legally declare ownership of your book. Contact the Library of Congress by phone: (202) 707-3000 or on the internet at: www.LOC.com/copyright.
  4. The same rule applies for those of you who are self-publishing. Make sure that you purchase your ISBN catalogue of numbers yourself. Whoever owns the ISBN numbers, owns the book. If you don’t buy it, you don’t own it. In today’s market, it’s simply too easy to ensure that you own the rights to your own materials.

Is there a Book Inside you?  Lucinda Clark (706-855-8920) and I (877-650-2141) will be hosting an ‘Is There a Book Inside of You’ seminar on Saturday, September 30 from 2-4:45 pm at the new Columbia County Library. Learn how to write your book in 15 minutes and so much more. Keep reading The Spiritual Voice’ for the details.


Are you a speaker, writer or coach who has a story of survival from abuse, tragedy, layoff, crisis, or setbacks? Join me “In The Purpose Zone with Marilyn Joyce” where straight talk about abuse collides with success strategies to survive, get a life and Do Your Destiny!

Success Strategies for 2016

Marilyn Joyce Maze/Augusta,GA:  Success strategies are often the result of a natural process of reflection. The result of these reflections can be quickly forgotten as the months slip away. How easy it is to find yourself at the beginning of another season of reflection – wondering if another project will be worth your time.

George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) once said: “It’s never too late to be what you could have been”. How true; and through the years, I’ve had the privilege of coaching a lot of people who felt this way about their purpose. Having the desire to Do Your Destiny is the essential first step to achieving your purpose, but there’s more. Allow me to share a few important success strategies with you.

*     Keep doing what you’re doing

There’s so much excitement generated by the desire to get started that it can sometimes override good judgment. How many times have you heard someone complain about the fact that their husband or wife is no longer contributing to their financial obligations because he or she quit their job (prematurely) in order to start an MLM (multilevel marketing) type of business? Maybe they started a ministry, or a ‘real estate in a box’ business. Perhaps they’ve gone into debt to invest in exercise equipment, a gym membership, diet foods, or computer equipment they’ve never actually used.

Avoid making drastic changes that will create too much immediate chaos with those you love. Too many people give up on their goals when they don’t have the support of family and close friends. Alienating them from the onset may cost you more than you’re willing to pay in the long run.

*     Legitimize your credentials

Are you starting a business this year? Writing a book? Setting up an office from which to run your operation? Whatever you plan to do, make sure that you are qualified to do it. Many times people have a natural talent or ability to provide products or services to the public: sewing, painting, selling items on Ebay, or event planning may fall into that category. But there are some fields of expertise that require a license or special certification. If that’s the case, you should pursue your purpose by taking ownership of the process. Instead of renting office space, invest the time, money and energy into training for credentials that will qualify you to be a legitimate competitor in the industry.

*     Market your credibility

The success of doing your destiny may depend upon a creative marketing campaign. The internet offers advantages that have become as traditional as radio, newspaper and television. Whatever services you’re selling, your website and other materials should reflect your credibility. For example, if you own a car lot, when potential customers visit your website there should not be 3 pages of preaching and scripture before they see the first car for sell. If you own a cleaning service, your website and brochures should tell potential customers about the services you offer, prices, and contact information. You may be a very devout Christian, but that’s not the product you’re selling. If you do have a ministry in addition to a business, separate them. Set up separate ministry products (brochures, websites, etc) from your business products.

Through the years, there have been a number of business scams done in the name of religion and people no longer assume that doing business with a religious person will be a better experience than doing business with another organization. Being a Christian doesn’t tell the public that they’re going to get a better deal because you advertise your faith in connection with your business. Let your business advertising reflect your business credibility, experience and the advantage of doing business with you. For example: 18 years of experience, ranked #1 in the state, or we open earlier and close late for your convenience.

If the pursuit of your purpose has nothing to do with business this year, don’t cast your pearls before swine. In other words, work on your destiny quietly. It’s really not anyone else’s business what you’re working on unless you can deal with the criticism that it may bring. Everyone is not going to celebrate you. And if you’re not strong enough to be your own cheerleader, we may be meeting here at this same time next year to talk about this same thing. It is time for you to pursue your purpose and Do Your Destiny!

In The PZ where we explore rising above the challenges of setbacks and equip you with information so that you can create recovery strategies, and have the resources to Survive, Get a Life, and Do Your Destiny!  So tune in, read on, spread the word, and post your comments here on the blog.


Marilyn Joyce: Defining your process, Inspiration for progress, Vision for success, and Adding momentum to the pursuit of your purpose. www.ThePurposeZone.com


Sound Bites from the Zone

This was one of the most powerful shows in the PZ. Constance Paino was my guest. I always say: survive, get a life, and do your destiny; and Constance did just that – and did it so well.


Do Your Destiny!

MJoyce, In the PZ



Welcome to the PZ!!

2016 In the PZ will focus on creating a new you. I have a vision to transport you through a series of Destiny Steps designed to show you how to take the pursuit of your purpose to realistic levels.  So if challenges, devastation, abuse, layoffs, illness, crisis or divorce are part of the story of your life – The Purpose Zone is for you.

It’s time for Personal upgrades:  Combat the mindset that says reading and is a waste of time. I’m constantly amazed about the number of people who tell me they don’t read. They don’t read newspapers, books or magazines. The influence of Oprah’s Book Club helped thousands of Americans admit they had not picked up a book in years. In fact, if you’re among the hundreds of people who have asked me to help them write a book or set up a publishing company, you know that I will direct you to read at least 3 books – one of them written by me – to help with that process.

Surround yourself with positive people: I invited Dennis Williams editor of The Spiritual Voice Newspaper, and Ben Hasan editor of The Urban Pro Weekly into The PZ radio broadcast to discuss what it takes to provide valuable journalistic services to the CSRA community. Then, all the way from the Larry King Show (CNN), Cedric Bills joined me to talk about living a life of purpose with a disability after serving in the military. Authors Sandy Geroux and Chris Gloss discussed getting out of the way of our own success, the role Emotional IQ plays in that process, and how to create a new you. I’ll be sharing audio clips of those shows with you throughout the year.

I lost my best friend in 2015. She died suddenly and unexpectedly from an illness she didn’t know she had. How often have you heard me say this: Your purpose means nothing if you’re not healthy enough to pursue it? In 2016, let’s not talk about it, let’s be about it. Follow through with every health resolution you’ve made for the new year.

Of course, you can look forward to The J (that’s me) covering news reports about domestic violence and abuse issues on TheJNewsWeekly.com.

But here in the PZ, we’ll explore rising above the challenges of setbacks and equip you with information so that you can create recovery strategies, and have resources to Survive, Get a Life, and Do Your Destiny!  So tune in, read on, spread the word, and post your comments on the blog.


Marilyn Joyce: Defining your process, Inspiration for progress, Vision for success, and Adding momentum to the pursuit of your purpose. www.ThePurposeZone.com.