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Niki Hardy

32 Podcast Episodes

Latest 16 Oct 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The Benefits of Working with the Hope Writing Community with Niki Hardy

Become a Writer Today

Writing can be a lonely business. Sitting alone for several hours, just you and your words. This is when a writing community or collaboration can be of real benefit.In this episode, I chat with Niki Hardy from Hope Writers and the author of Breathe Again. How to Live Well When Life Falls Apart.Niki talks to me about how she found the encouragement that she needed from Hope Writers. She believes that without their support, her book would never have been published. In this episode we discuss:What members get from Hope Writers when they joinWhy Niki wrote her bookNiki's writing process. How Hope Writers differs from other communitiesUsing newsletters to promote your writingResources:Hope WritersBreathe AgainNiki HardySupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/becomeawritertoday)

28mins

13 Sep 2021

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Ep. 42 | Niki Hardy: Chemo Chair Prayers

The Heal Podcast

After losing both her mom and sister to cancer, Niki found out six weeks after her sister’s death that she, too, had cancer. Today, she takes us through her journey of colorectal cancer and how God has helped her become a cancer thriver, not just a cancer survivor. Niki is also an author and a podcast host, so check out her resources below: Breathe Again: How to Live Well When Life Falls Apart: http://amzn.com/0800735544 Chemo Chair Prayers Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/chemo-chair-prayers/id1539229249 Website: https://nikihardy.com/ Follow us both on Instagram and grab a copy of Niki’s book to follow along with us in the March Pain to Praise Book Club! IG: @niki.hardy Tera IG: @terabradham

1hr

1 Mar 2021

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E45: Five Steps to Trust God//Niki Hardy

Thriving with 8 Podcast

Trusting God. It's an ongoing, lifelong process. How do you demonstrate trust in God as you tell your children you have cancer- only a short time after losing your mom and sister to the same diagnosis?  In this episode Niki Hardy-author, speaker, and thriver-shares 5 steps she takes to build trust in God and we can take them too. It's never been more important to teach our children to trust God and it starts with our example!  Niki Hardy "Breathe Again: How to Live Well When Life Falls Apart" Article: 5 Steps to Trust God {When You Don't Feel Like it}

18mins

15 Jan 2021

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202 Niki Hardy Ten Lessons From a First Time Author: Part 4 of How to Get a Book Deal on a Small Platform

Podcast | Writing at the Red House

Listen InKathi is back with Niki Hardy, the author of Breathe Again, for part four of how to get a book deal on a small platform, discussing ten lessons from a first time author. In part one of this series they discussed what publishers are looking for, followed by how to maximize your small but mighty platform and common mistakes of first time authors. You will definitely want to take note of these ten important lessons and how you can apply them. In this episode you will learn: Ten great lessons from a first time author Tips on goal setting and staying organized Ways to avoid comparison. Why and how you should celebrate along the way Links and Resources:https://nikihardy.com/ Breathe AgainReady For AnythingConnect with Anna LeBaron:http://annalebaron.com/Connect with Cheri Gregoryhttps://writebesideyou.com/Michael Hyatt Full Focus PlannerWriting at the Red HouseBonus DownloadTo share your thoughts: Leave a note in the comment section below. Share this show on Twtter, Facebook, or Pinterest. To help out the show: Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one. Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our list now and never miss an episode or blog. Meet Your HostsKathi LippAuthor, Speaker, Communicator Academy Creator and CEOCommunicator Academy founder, Leverage: The Speaker Conference creator and master instructor Kathi Lipp, is a national speaker and author of 17 books including “Clutter Free,” “Overwhelmed,” and “The Husband Project.”She is a frequent guest on radio and TV, and has been named Focus on the Family radio’s “Best of Broadcast.”She is the host of the popular podcast “Clutter Free Academy with Kathi Lipp.”Over the past 10 years, Kathi has helped hundreds of people increase their platform through teaching and coaching. She is a frequent teacher at writer’ s conferences and has helped countless authors and speakers find their audiences.Kathi’s desire to help fellow speakers and authors avoid the mistakes she made, increase their confidence and be the person God made them to be, inspired her creation of Communicator Academy. Her newest adventure, is The Red House where she offers writer’s retreats and Writers in Residence events. Learn more about the Red House at https:writingattheredhouse.comFacebookNiki HardyAuthor, SpeakerNiki Hardy is pastor’s wife, cancer survivor, and teller of terrible jokes. As the author of Breathe Again: How to Live Well When Life Falls Apart she’s all about helping you discover that with God, life doesn’t have to be pain-free to be full, then living it. You can find her at www.nikiHardy.com  and https://www.instagram.com/niki.hardy/FacebookTranscript of this EpisodeRead along with the Podcast! Writing at The Red House Podcast # 202 Ten Lessons from a First Time Author <> Welcome to the Writing at The Red House Podcast, where we gather at the table to break bread, and tell tales with some of our favorite writers and speakers.  *** Kathi – Well, hey friends. Welcome to Writing at The Red House Podcast, where our heart is to equip and encourage men and women to become the communicators that God has created them to be. I am back with our final episode. Sadness! It’s going to be a great episode, though, so it’s actually happiness. It’s Niki Hardy, and Niki is the author of Breathe Again and she got a book deal on not the world’s biggest platform. So, I wanted to have her on here, because so many of you are talking about “How can I get a book deal when I don’t have a hundred thousand Instagram followers?” By the way, nobody on this podcast does, but we are going to help you figure out: What is your super power? What is your niche? What can you do? So, Niki, we’re going to talk about these Ten Lessons from a First Time Author. We’ve got 10 lessons in fifteen minutes, so we’re going to get on this. First is, Own Your Own Story: Niche Down Until It Hurts. Talk about, how do you niche down until it hurts? Niki – Yes. It’s very easy to want to write for everyone, but we really have to think about “Who is our person? What’s the thing they are going through? What’s the pain that they are feeling?” It’s not about writing for everybody whose life has fallen apart, but how has it fallen apart? Is it divorce? Is it kids with a diagnosis? What is it? Speak to them. Kathi – Here’s what I love. Your first thing is think through what your audience need is, but your second point is: Ask Your Readers What They Are Struggling With. How did you do that? How did you specifically ask them? Niki – I was part of Facebook groups where my readers were hanging out. I still am. It’s there that I would ask questions. One of the things I talk about is cancer and a cancer diagnosis. I would say, “What’s the most annoying thing someone has said to you?” or “What do you find most frustrating about your cancer journey and being a Christian?” and I was getting all these things that were a complete surprise to me. So that was super helpful. It gives us a window to our reader. It sounds creepy, but it’s like we’re standing outside their house and we’re looking in and what are they doing? Are they pacing backwards and forwards, biting their nails, ‘cause they’re worried? Or are they smashing plates because they’re just so angry. Or are they turned off watching their church live, because they’re just angry with the church? What’s going on? Kathi – I love that. And having some concrete examples. Not just saying, “They’re angry.” No, they’re throwing plates, or they’ve turned off the livestream of their church. Those are concrete examples that people are going to resonate with. Okay, Number Three. You say, Keep Writing Until Your Voice Emerges. Yes! This isn’t about your first draft being the most amazing book that has hit the topic of cancer, ever. This is about writing and writing and writing, until you find your unique writing voice. I bet you found your voice in the midst of, we talked about you writing on Caring Bridge, and that was probably pretty raw. Pretty exposed. But it probably gave you great insight into your own writing voice. Niki – It did, and when it came to writing my book, I thought that suddenly I needed to be a lot more formal. Or a lot more poetic. Actually, I just needed to be me. It was as if, you know, I’m in my fifties and throughout my life, I’ve gone through different types of clothes that I would wear. Kind of, trying on other people’s style. I’m like, “Ooh! She looks so good in floral. I need to wear floral.” I’m like, “I don’t wear floral!” So, figuring out what writing voice we wear and sits well on us and sits well on us and is authentic is a way to go through it. Kathi – I love that. When we become more like ourselves, people identify more deeply with us. It doesn’t just develop your writing voice, it really develops your unique sense of humor. Especially in these hard topics, cancer, clutter (which is a very hard topic for a lot of people). Having that sense of humor is like slicing through to the heart of somebody. Niki – Yes. The number of times my cancer, and I don’t think I’ve said it on this podcast. It was rectal cancer. When I stand up and say, “That’s a bummer. Literally.” People suddenly go, “Oh, it’s okay. I can talk about it. She’s relatable.” Kathi – Yes. I’m sorry that it was relatable in that way, but I love the hope you’re giving to other people. Number Four: Write Tangible, Measurable Goals For Yourself. Okay, this is so my jam. You say annual, quarterly, daily, and I also believe in hourly and minute-by-minute goals, sometimes. So, do you sit down once a year and write annual goals? How does that look for you? Niki – So, I found myself falling in love with Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner. I tweak it a little bit, to make it more mine, but he talks about setting goals for the year, then you update those every quarter, setting quarterly goals. Then, weekly and daily. He talks about having your weekly big three. “If I get nothing else done this week, I want to get done X, Y, and Z.”  Then the daily ones relate to your weekly ones. So, that really helped me. Going back to this feeling like we have to everything. No. What is the one thing that I’m going to do to move my goal forward? Kathi – I will add to that. Set goals and hold them loosely. Work hard towards them, but sometimes life circumstances change, goals change, your ministry, your business changes. To be able to say, “Hey, you know what? I was pushing towards this goal, but things have changed.” We finished our annual retreat, where we set all of our goals with my team leadership. We finished that on March 4th of this year. Well, yeah. Then the entire world tipped off its axis. So, we had to change everything. Having writing retreats at our house is no longer our goal. We’re trying to figure it out. The person who survives is the person who can adjust. So, constantly going back to your goals and saying, “Okay, this one is no longer possible, so we’re going to figure this out.” And being able to adjust and pivot when you need to. Number Five: Start And Stay Organized. That’s adorable. That sounds like, “Oh! Okay! I’ll just stay organized.” Tell me your number one tip for staying organized as a creative, as a scientist and as a publisher of words. Niki – I say this because I am not organized. I have really had to work at how I organize. So, whether it’s my files or my computer or the things I’ve downloaded and printed off to reference later. What I often do is, “Oh, I’ll just put it there. Just for now.” Just for now ends up being forever. So, I’ve had to embrace the essentialism manifesto of following through to save yourself time later. “No. I must go put that in the right folder in my Drop Box.” So those were the things I struggled with, and still struggle do. Kathi – I call it Taking Care of Your Future Self. So, Right Now Niki wants to put it there because it’s easy, but Two Hours from Now Niki, when she’s looking for that piece of paper? I’m going to take care of her, and I’m going to put it where it needs to be. Even if it feels like an extra step. It helps so much. It’s such a kind way of saying, “Don’t do that, Kathi. Stop that. Don’t put it there.” No, I’m taking care of my future self, so Future Kathi can find that and not be frustrated. It’s very kind. Okay, we’ve gone through one through five of Lessons from a First Time Author, from Niki Hardy. Own your own story. Ask your reader what they’re struggling with. Keep writing until your voice emerges. Write tangible goals. Start and stay organized. Number Six: Constantly Remind Yourself That Your Value Is Not Proportional To Your Numbers. Whoo! Okay, talk through that. I know that that’s something that many of us struggle with on the daily. Niki – And I still do. We can look at other people’s numbers, whether it’s on Instagram or Facebook, and somehow feel that that person is better than us, or has had more lucky breaks than us. Whatever it is. We equate our value with our numbers. We have to remind ourselves that we are not our platforms. Our value does not come from how many people follow us, or like us, or we have on our email list. So, it’s just a constant reminder to not get caught up in that world. Kathi – I love it. Exactly. It’s interesting, because I had a publisher that I was talking to before, and they said, “You don’t have a hundred thousand people on Instagram.” I’m like, “Okay, that’s adorable.” I still sell books. It’s interesting. “But I still sell books.” So, they’re even doing it to established authors. So, we have to go in and say, “I know where my value lies, if even if you are too shortsighted to see it. It’s okay.” Seven: Ask Yourself, “Is There Another Way To Get Your Message Out There?” Okay, so this is interesting. If you want to be an author, but you’re saying, “Is there another way?” So, talk about that. Niki – I think it is very easy to get fixated on “I want to publish a book.” If we turn that into “I want to serve my audience.” Maybe the best way might not be, at the moment, to do that through a published book. It might be that it’s a podcast. It might be that they’re reading online magazines and contributing there. It might be hosting a Facebook group and showing up live to encourage them. All those things will, actually, if you do them in the right way, serve your audience in such a way that it builds your platform. Then a book deal is a no-brainer. I think we can very easily get into the “I must publish a book. It’s the only way to do it.” Kathi – I think the lie is, “To serve people, I need to write a book.” I think that all the service comes up front and the book comes later. So, how are you going to do that? Okay, Number Eight. Don’t Compare Your First Draft With Other People’s Published Work. Yes! I don’t even know if we need to explain that one, Niki. Your first time writing is going to be terrible. It’s not going to be good, friends. It’s just not. By the time my book gets published, this last book has been through six editors. Six! So, me writing in my notepad in my bed? Is not going to look the same, even compared to my own work, much less somebody else’s. Niki – Exactly. Once again, we compare. We look, and we see that the world looks glossy, so we think it must be glossy. Actually, the grit and the grind happen behind the scenes. Kathi – Number Nine: Hard Moments Lead To Healthy Writing. Well, that’s just mean, Niki. It’s just mean. What do you mean by that? Niki – When I’m talking hard moments, here, I’m not talking about the story we’ve lived through. I’m talking about getting feedback. Getting unsubscribes. Getting people who say, “Well, actually, your message isn’t for me.” As much as those hurt, and each time I send out an email and see those numbers dip a little bit, because people are saying, “Actually, she’s not for me.” I’m learning to say, “Okay. That’s good. She is not my reader. She is not my audience, and I’m not serving her by what I’m doing.” Unless there’s something that I’m doing wrong, that’s annoying her and she’s fed up with me. It’s a shame that I can’t serve her. But actually, that’s a process of niching down. It means we’re honing our audience. Kathi – I’m also going to give you some advice, Niki. Are you looking at those numbers every time you send out an email? Niki – Yes. Kathi – Don’t! I’m going to slap your virtual hand. Here’s the thing. It’s going to make you question everything you’re doing. You’re right. You should be looking at trends. Now, if you have a bunch of unsubscribes and you’re like, “Okay, what did I do there?” that’s okay. But to look at it every week? I unsubscribe from people I love all the time, just because their message isn’t for me. I unfriend people on the regular. ‘Cause I’m like, “Oh, you’re being evil and we don’t need that right now.” I don’t think you’re getting the evil unsubscribe. I’m pretty sure that’s not what’s happening in Niki’s world. I tell people, don’t have those numbers emailed to you. Have somebody else look. They can just tell you if the trend is up or down. Now, the trend might be down because you’re not publishing enough. Or you don’t have a lead magnet out there, bringing people in, or something like that, but I do think it’s a real disservice to be looking at your numbers on a regular basis. Niki – Okay, I hear you. Kathi – Send it to somebody who loves you and can tell you when you need to pay attention. Okay? Just my little free piece of advice, and it’s worth exactly that. Okay, Ten: Celebrate Along the Way. Yes! I would love to hear about some of the small wins that you are celebrating right now. Niki – Right now. I think it’s important to celebrate little and often, as opposed to, “I will celebrate when I get my book deal.” It encourages us along the way. So, I am celebrating, I’m in the process, as we’re airing this, it’ll be done, but I’m pulling together a group of women to talk about Peace in the Pandemic. It’s the first time I’ve ever done a live webinar, Zoom thing with multiple people. Just even getting those people together is a big win for me. So, I’m celebrating that. Then, a little win. I didn’t my first ever Instagram TV. Kathi – Oh, nice. Niki – I was like, “That’s a big win for me!” It’s a small win for many people, but celebrating them along the way acknowledges our progress. Kathi – I think it’s so important to celebrate things you have control of. You don’t have control over a book acceptance, but you do have control of “I went live every day for five days.” Or “I went on IGTV for the first time.” Or “I wrote 500 words and I did that every day for five days.” Those are wins you can celebrate because they are completely in your control. Not always completely in your control. If you have small children, writing 500 words a day might not be completely in your control. Niki this is so good. Okay, if people want to connect with you, how can they do it? Niki – Well, I have a website, where they can find me, read more about me, and download the first couple of chapters of my book, or I’ve got an audio talk on there. All sorts of things. That’s NikiHardy.com. I’m on Instagram. Same name. @Niki.Hardy. I’d love to come and meet people and be friends. Kathi – Yeah. Go find her, you guys. We’ll have links to all of that, below. Guys, don’t forget to download her amazing resource. From Blog to Book Deal Checklist. I love this. This is so great. Niki, thanks for hanging out with us for an entire month of your life. I so appreciate it. Guys, her book Breathe Again is excellent. It would make a great gift for anybody who is going through a hard time. If you read it with your friend? What a gift. Friends, thank you for being here at Writing at The Red House podcast. I’m Kathi Lipp. You have been given the best message in the world. Now, go live it. *** You’ve been listening to Writing at The Red House podcast. Thank you for spending a little time getting better at what God has called you to do. <> *see show notes in podcast post above for any mentioned items The post 202 Niki Hardy Ten Lessons From a First Time Author: Part 4 of How to Get a Book Deal on a Small Platform appeared first on Writing at the Red House.

20mins

27 Jul 2020

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200 Niki Hardy How to Maximize Your Small (but Mighty) Platform: Part 2

Podcast | Writing at the Red House

Listen InKathi is back with author Niki Hardy to continue the conversation about how to get a book deal on a small platform. Last week Niki gave great insights into what publishers are looking for through a very practical scientific approach to the art of writing! Today, in part two they are talking about how to maximize your small but mighty platform. The specifics publishers are looking for in a platform may change, but these principles will stand the test of time friends: Understand that your platform is bigger than you think Look around you Learn along the way Lay it out clearly Demonstrate a Clear Growth Strategy to Prime the Pump Links and Resources:https://nikihardy.com/ Breathe AgainReady For AnythingConnect with Cheri Gregory:https://cherigregory.com/https://writebesideyou.com/Connect with Ginny Ytrupp:http://ginnyyttrup.com/https://www.wordsforwriters.net/Writing at the Red HouseDon’t miss next week to hear about common mistakes that authors make! To share your thoughts: Leave a note in the comment section below. Share this show on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest. To help out the show: Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one. Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our list now and never miss an episode or blog. Meet Your HostsKathi LippAuthor, Speaker, Communicator Academy Creator and CEOCommunicator Academy founder, Leverage: The Speaker Conference creator and master instructor Kathi Lipp, is a national speaker and author of 17 books including “Clutter Free,” “Overwhelmed,” and “The Husband Project.”She is a frequent guest on radio and TV, and has been named Focus on the Family radio’s “Best of Broadcast.”She is the host of the popular podcast “Clutter Free Academy with Kathi Lipp.”Over the past 10 years, Kathi has helped hundreds of people increase their platform through teaching and coaching. She is a frequent teacher at writer’ s conferences and has helped countless authors and speakers find their audiences.Kathi’s desire to help fellow speakers and authors avoid the mistakes she made, increase their confidence and be the person God made them to be, inspired her creation of Communicator Academy. Her newest adventure, is The Red House where she offers writer’s retreats and Writers in Residence events. Learn more about the Red House at https:writingattheredhouse.comFacebookNiki HardyAuthor, SpeakerNiki Hardy is pastor’s wife, cancer survivor, and teller of terrible jokes. As the author of Breathe Again: How to Live Well When Life Falls Apart she’s all about helping you discover that with God, life doesn’t have to be pain-free to be full, then living it. You can find her at www.nikiHardy.com  and https://www.instagram.com/niki.hardy/FacebookTranscript of this EpisodeRead along with the Podcast! Writing at The Red House Podcast # 200 How to Maximize Your Small (but Mighty!) Platform <> Welcome to the Writing at The Red House Podcast, where we gather at the table to break bread, and tell tales with some of our favorite writers and speakers.  Kathi – Well, hey friends. Welcome to Writing at The Red House Podcast, where our heart is to equip men and women to become the communicators that God has created them to be. This is part two in our series with author Niki Hardy. We are so excited. I love this topic so much. How to Get a Book Deal on a Small Platform. Niki, welcome back to writing at The Red House. Niki – Thank you, Kathi. It’s great to be here. Kathi – Okay, we are on to topic number two. So, if you didn’t catch our podcast last week, Niki gave us some great insights into what publishers are looking for. I love Niki’s brain. She took a scientific approach to the art of writing and said, “Okay, quantify: This is what people are looking for.” This is a great conversation. Go back and listen to it. Today, what we want to talk about is, most of us have a small platform. Here’s the thing, what a small platform is to one person is huge to another, and vice versa. What some publishers are looking for in a platform changes all the time. Our goal here is to help you make the most of the platform that you have and also grow it at the same time. So, Niki’s got a few ideas here, and I want to discuss them. Okay, so your first tip is Look Around You. So, tell me, what do you mean by Look Around You? Niki – Well, I think it’s terribly easy to look at our email list, that’s got three old ladies and a dormouse on it, and one of them is your mom. Kathi – Okay, so hold on. A dormouse? Niki – Like a church mouse. A little field mouse. Kathi – Can I just tell you? I learn a new word every time I go with Niki. So, bijou was my last word which means small and precious and wonderful. Now, dormouse. I can’t tell you how delighted I am. Please continue. Niki – You know, last week, how we talked about having a unique voice. I write with an English accent. Kathi – It makes me so happy, I can’t even stand it. I spent a summer in England and everything on my television is AcornTV, so let’s just be clear. I don’t mean to make you quaint, but this is making everything in my anglophile heart just so happy, I can’t even stand it. Niki – Well, I’m so glad. I’m told I could read you the phone book and you’d think I was a genius. I’ll take it. Kathi – You’ll take it. Hey, any advantage you have as a writer or a communicator, you need to hop on that. That’s one of your superpowers, friend. Niki – It really is. So, I think we can look just at the numbers and think, “Woe is me. I’m not going to get a book deal.” But, actually, if we look around us, our platforms are bigger than we think. They’re bigger than our email list or our Instagram numbers. We are all so much more connected than we think we are. We have our church. Maybe your church is part of a network of churches that you can tap into. Where is your audience hanging out? Are you connected there? If you’re not, you probably should be. So, be talking with them and hanging out with them and listening to how they talk about the problem they are facing. Are there speaking venues? Are there other ministries? If you’re writing a mom book, are you connected to your local MOPS groups? So there are all sorts of other ways we can be connected. Are you part of a writing community? All these things add to just the raw data on the page. Kathi – So, I think one of those is worth exploring a little deeper. Are you in this community? If you’re not, why aren’t you? You got your start, really, with Caring Bridge, talking about your own journey. People there were saying, “You should write a blog.” And you were like, “What’s a blog?” So, you figured it out. One of the things that I see that many writers want to do is, they want to talk as an expert on a subject that they have no audience for. I want to dissuade people from doing that, because you have to know if your message is resonating with people. There are a million people out there talking about clutter, but none of them, as far as I know, are talking about it as the daughter of a hoarder and their own recovery. That’s a unique angle with a very self-deprecating voice. I’m somebody that says, “By the way, my nightstand right now is a hot mess.” I know how to get it back to a place of peace in 15 minutes or less. You have to figure out if your message is resonating. That’s when your audience starts to build. When people are like, “Oh. She’s like me. I get it.” Niki – Exactly. I think people want relatability as much as anything. Kathi – Yes. They want to know that you’re in it. You don’t have to come in as the expert. You’re a fellow journeyer. That’s wonderful. Okay, you say Learn Along the Way. Tell me more about that. What do you mean about that, Niki? Niki – Well, one of the things I did was, I would try something, then I would think, “Oh. Well, that’s not working to grow my platform, to engage people, to show how compact and bijou my platform is.” So, it’s being willing to pivot. It’s being willing to look around you, within your niche and say, “What’s working? What’s not working? What are other people doing? Am I willing to see what they’re doing and say, ‘Huh. I could make that kind of thing work in my unique way.’” Then, to build relationships. I think it’s so sad when we have this scarcity mentality. “So and so has written a book in that niche, so I can’t.” or, “My book came out six months after Lysa TerKeurst’s book, It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way.” At first, I was like, “Well, great. She’s done it.” But actually telling my audience what a great book her book is, and sharing that, I was serving my readers right where they needed it, still be able to help. So, learn along the way and pivot can be really useful. Kathi – Yeah. My two biggest books, the first one was The Husband Project, was in production, and my kids texted me from a movie theatre and they said, “They made your book into a movie.” I’m like, “I don’t think that’s what happened. That would be wonderful, but that’s not what happened.” Well, it was a similar concept called The Love Dare. Which was Something Fire. I can’t remember. At that point I was like, “All hope is lost!” Right? “There’s no way I’m ever going to get over it.” Then, Clutter Free came out the same day that the Magical Art of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo’s book, released in the United States. Here’s what we need to know. If people are interested in that topic, they’re not going to stop at one book. They want to find all the things on that book, so understanding that is really important. So, I think you’re right. Figuring out, what is it about those other books? I love that you were promoting Lysa’s book, because you say, “You know what? My goal is for my readers, the people who have trusted me with their follow, I want to give them the best information I can.” Sometimes that’s other resources, and that’s okay. I think it shows a confidence that say, “You know what? We all have a different take on this, but here’s some things you’re going to find helpful.” Okay, Niki, you’ve given us two ideas about how to maximize your small (but mighty!) platform. Look Around. Learn Along the Way. Learn what’s working for you. I love that you can also look at what happens in other places. People who are not writing on your topic, and you say, “How can this apply to me?” That’s how I first learned to do a book study. It wasn’t a book study on your marriage, but I saw someone else doing it, and I was like, “Oh, that can apply to my book as well.” So, learning to pivot is so important. Think creatively, outside your own box. Niki – Exactly. Kathi – Okay, so now, you say, Lay It Out Clearly. What does that mean as it comes to your platform? Niki – This is when you’re laying out your platform in your book proposal. Kathi – Oh, okay. Niki – So, for me, when I thought about it, to start off, you’ve got this section in your book proposal and it says, “Platform and Promotion” and I’ve these three little numbers that are terrible and dwindling, and it felt so empty and hollow, like it was in a vacuum. But, actually, once I’d done all the work of looking around me, and thinking about my different networks and connections and communities, I brain dumped that. It was this long list of all the things and the connections and all the things I can do and all the things I will do. Then I realized that it was super important to make the editor’s job as easy as possible. Kathi – Because the editor is going to their publication board to say, “This is why we should have Niki. She’s amazing and here’s the information to prove it.” Niki – Exactly. She was my voice in the room, so I needed her to clearly understand the different areas where I was connected, the different levels of influence I had in different places, the names. So, I really set it out super clearly, with clear formatting, bullet points, bold, and had different sections. So, hopefully, I was able to serve her by making it clear. She was able to be my voice in the room. I think editors notice that. When you serve them well, that speaks of how you’re going to be for the rest of the whole book writing process. I had a very interesting moment where, I was on the phone to my acquisitions editor, and she said, “Okay, we’re going to take this to Publishing Board.” And I said, “Well, what else can I do for you to make this as easy as possible, to make it a win for you? What else do you need from me?” She said, “Nobody has ever asked me that question before.” Kathi – Wow. Niki – So, we want to serve our readers, but in the book proposal, we want to serve the editor. Kathi – Okay, I have written more than my fair share of book proposals and yes! I’ve never articulated it this way, or understood it this way. Niki, this is brilliant. Can I tell you what one of my friends did? And she’s talked about it on our podcast before. This is Cheri Gregory. So, she will be the first to say that she doesn’t have a giant platform, but she has a niche that is so important. It’s for highly sensitive women. She was trying to express to the board how much this topic was needed, but there weren’t numbers to show it. There wasn’t anything. So, what she did, and I think this is just genius, is, every letter she ever received. Every email that said, “Thank you for doing this work. Thank you for writing about this. Thank you for explaining this to my family.” She photo copied every one of those and put it in a big binder and sent it to her editor. Her editor, at the end of the presentation, said, “This is the weight of women who are waiting for this book.” And plopped it on the table. What you’re talking about, it’s a tool they can use to say, “This is why this book is needed, and why this author is the right one to write it.” Niki, this is genius. This is a highlight moment. I love that. Okay, finally, you talk about Demonstrate a Clear Growth Strategy to Prime the Pump. So, explain your four-pronged approach to that. What does that mean? What is your clear growth strategy? Niki – I think it’s really important. They’re going to get a snapshot of where you are right now.  I think it’s very important. If we can say, “Look, 6 months or a year ago, I was way behind that. I have grown to this current point, but here’s what I’m going to do moving forward to prime the pump for launch.” For me, it was a two year process between meeting an editor and the book hitting the shelf. I had two years to grow my platform and get out there and get known. So, laying out a clear strategy for what you’re going to do not only shows that you’re going to do it, but it shows that you know where your audience is. It shows you know how to serve them. It shows you know how to build relationships. So, the four points to that. We can guest post. We can do book reviews. We can, generally, increase our visibility. It’s a great thing to do to spend those two years, just posting. It doesn’t have to be in Christianity Today or Relevant Magazine. Friends’ blogs, if you’re part of the writing community. Just start getting out there, testing out your message. Always offering a freebie at the end, so people can sign up and get to know you. You can submit to all sorts of places. You can google “Places to submit for Christian mom writers.” Lists will come up. My point to sharing Lysa Terkeurst’s book. Do a review on that and post it on your website. It serves your reader, but it will also serve the author and you might get connected. There’s ways of doing that and increasing your visibility. Then, keep building relationships with readers. So again, that’s about going to where they are. Kathi – Right. I think a lot of people, they want to save everything for the book, and it’s like, you can’t do that. You have to start building that trust and saying, “I’m a go-to resource for this, this and this.” You have to be generous with what you’re doing. Now, know that a lot of people are going to listen to this and they’re going to say, “Ugh, Niki, that’s a lot of work.” Yeah. It is. Niki – It is. Kathi – A lot of people what to publish books. What an editor is looking for, is for somebody who is going to show up and serve their audience over and over again. Niki – So, what is the core nugget of your book, and how can you serve that up time and time again, in different ways? You feel like you’re giving away the farm, but as I’ve heard marketing people say, “You give away the what.” What to do. The book is really the how to do it. The backstory. The relatability and stuff. This is what you’ve got to do. Keep serving it up and building. Kathi – It’s so true. I want to equip just the person who’s doing a drive by of my blog, or of my Facebook post. I want to serve them as well, but there are some that want to go deeper and that’s what the book is for. The book is not for everybody. Let’s be super clear. When I’m talking about being prepared, some people couldn’t care less right now. Maybe someday they will and they’ll come back. There are some people, this is at the forefront of their mind. So, those are the people I’m trying to serve. I’m not trying to serve everybody. I’m trying to serve the people that are ready. Niki – Exactly. Kathi – Okay. Niki, such good stuff. How to maximize your small (but mighty!) platform. Look around you. Understand that your platform is bigger than you think. Gather all of that data. I love that there’s such a scientific approach to this. Learn along the way. Figure out what’s working for you. See what’s working for other people and how you can apply it to your unique situation. Lay it out clearly. Give you editor all the ammunition that they need. Give them all the tools they need. Ask the question of the editor, “How can I make your job easier, going into that Pub Board room? There are lots of people who are going to ask lots of questions. They’re looking for reasons not to publish books. They’ve got so many that are coming at them. Finally, demonstrate a clear growth strategy to prime the pump. Show them where you’ve been. Show them where you’re planning on going. Show them the strategy you’re going to use to get there. Niki. Such good stuff. Guys. We have some free downloads that Niki has created for us, here at Writing at The Red House, that you can use to follow along this path. We want this to be a learning session for each and every one of you and take away, so you can go do this for your own book proposals, for your own marketing for all that you’re doing. Niki, thanks for being a part of Writing at The Red House. Niki – You’re welcome. It’s such fun. Kathi – Guys, join us next week. We’re going to be talking about common mistakes first time authors (and let me just be clear, sometimes second and third and eighth time authors) commit. So, you’re not going to want to miss this. You don’t want to be that person. You’ve been listening to Writing at The Red House podcast. I’m Kathi Lipp. Now, God has given you the best message. Go live it. <> *see show notes in podcast post above for any mentioned items The post 200 Niki Hardy How to Maximize Your Small (but Mighty) Platform: Part 2 appeared first on Writing at the Red House.

21mins

13 Jul 2020

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199 Niki Hardy What Are Publishers Looking For?

Podcast | Writing at the Red House

Listen InIf you have been wondering about how to get a book deal on a small platform, you will love this conversation between Kathi Lipp and Niki Hardy, author of Breathe Again. Niki candidly talks about how she was able to fit into what publishers are looking for, even without an abundance of previous knowledge and specific skill-sets.In this episode you will learn: Seven things publishers are looking for The two things that will get a publisher more invested in you as a creator How knowing these things makes it easier to build your platform There is a science to the art of writing Links and Resources:https://nikihardy.com/ Breathe AgainReady For AnythingThe Husband ProjectWriting at the Red House To share your thoughts: Leave a note in the comment section below. Share this show on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest. To help out the show: Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one. Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our list now and never miss an episode or blog. Meet Your HostsKathi LippAuthor, Speaker, Communicator Academy Creator and CEOCommunicator Academy founder, Leverage: The Speaker Conference creator and master instructor Kathi Lipp, is a national speaker and author of 17 books including “Clutter Free,” “Overwhelmed,” and “The Husband Project.”She is a frequent guest on radio and TV, and has been named Focus on the Family radio’s “Best of Broadcast.”She is the host of the popular podcast “Clutter Free Academy with Kathi Lipp.”Over the past 10 years, Kathi has helped hundreds of people increase their platform through teaching and coaching. She is a frequent teacher at writer’ s conferences and has helped countless authors and speakers find their audiences.Kathi’s desire to help fellow speakers and authors avoid the mistakes she made, increase their confidence and be the person God made them to be, inspired her creation of Communicator Academy. Her newest adventure, is The Red House where she offers writer’s retreats and Writers in Residence events. Learn more about the Red House at https:writingattheredhouse.comFacebookNiki HardyAuthor, SpeakerNiki Hardy is pastor’s wife, cancer survivor, and teller of terrible jokes. As the author of Breathe Again: How to Live Well When Life Falls Apart she’s all about helping you discover that with God, life doesn’t have to be pain-free to be full, then living it. You can find her at www.nikiHardy.com  and https://www.instagram.com/niki.hardy/FacebookTranscript of this EpisodeRead along with the Podcast! Writing at The Red House Podcast # 199 What are Publishers Looking For? <> Welcome to the Writing at The Red House podcast, where we gather at the table to break bread, and tell tales with some of our favorite writers and speakers.  Kathi – Well, hey friends. Welcome to Writing at The Red House Podcast, where our heart is to equip men and women to become the communicators that God has created them to be. I am very excited with our brand new format. Instead of doing one-offs, or one-two series, we are going to be taking each month and delving deep into a topic. For our very first guest, I’m so pleased to have back to the podcast, Niki Hardy. Niki is the author of Breathe Again. When she approached me with this topic, I said, “Yes please. Yes please. Yes please.” How to Get a Book Deal on a Small Platform. Niki, welcome to Writing at The Red House. Niki – Thank you. It’s a delight to be here. Kathi – This was so interesting to me, because I get asked this question all the time, but not necessarily in those words. “If I’m not world famous, if I’m not the leading expert, if I’m not on Sundays with Oprah or The Ellen Show or a New York Times best seller in the past… I’ve just got this great idea and I’ve got this small platform, how do you actually get a book contract?” Tell me why this is a topic that is resonating with you? Tell me a little bit about your journey. Niki – Yeah, the reason it resonates so much with me is because I’m one of these people who got a book deal on a very small platform. I’m even one of those people who, kind of, didn’t really set out to write a book. It’s not like I grew up writing and journaling and wanting to be an author. Kathi – I was not that person either. No. Writing was punishment for me. Niki – Exactly. I can’t spell. Even Spell Check. We’re good friends, but I think even Spell Check gets annoyed with me. Kathi – I have to ask you. Do you write the same word five different ways and then just decide to use a different word, ‘cause you can’t figure it out? Niki – Oh yes. And even Spell Check goes, “No. I still don’t get what you’re trying to say. Try again.” So, I’m not a natural writer, but my story is one where I lost my mom and my sister to cancer, then was diagnosed myself. I went through this journey of being determined to survive. That was all I was doing, merely surviving, because with all the treatment, the chemo, the radiation, the surgeries, and all that jazz. I thought, “Oh my goodness. Where is the abundant life God has for us?” So, out of this came a story of learning to thrive and not just survive, and how to do that. As I was sharing my story, at first, purely on Caring Bridge, the website where you can update friends and family. It went from sharing medical updates to “This is the ridiculously funny story that happened.” Because my type of cancer has ridiculously funny stories happen, so I would share those. Then I would encourage people. Afterwards, people said, “Don’t stop. You should write a blog.” And Kathi, I was probably the only person in 2014 who said, “What’s a blog?” I had no idea. The reason I’m so passionate about this topic is because if I can do it, you can do it. Anyone can do it. I have gone from not knowing what a blog is, and not knowing how to spell, to having a book published traditionally. So, everyone can do it. Kathi – Okay, so here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to break this into four sections. Today we’re going to talk about what publishers are looking for. Next week, How to Maximize your Small (but Mighty) Platform. Week 3: Common Mistakes for First Time Authors, which, between you and me, we can cover all of them. Then, Ten Lessons from a First Time Author. So, I love that you’re going to give a road map. So, here’s what I want to talk about today. What are publishers looking for? I think that’s the golden question. I want to understand what they’re looking for, but also, how you were able to fit in. So, let’s go over this. The first thing you say that publishers are looking for is writing talent. Now, you said you’re not a writer. I did not start off being a writer. Are you saying you are not a traditionally trained writer but you captured an audience on Caring Bridge? Niki – Yes. I think, really, it’s not about, necessarily, about being a beautiful writer. I am no Ann Voskamp. You know, she’s just poetic. But that’s not who I am, but I think it’s possible to learn how to be clear, how to be concise, how to connect with your audience, how to show, not tell, how to craft sticky statements, or power statements. I’m a logical, scientific person, and I’m like, “Okay, there’s an art, for sure, but my voice is much more chatty and relatable.” So, there are some formulas I can put into that. So, that’s what I think what I mean. You’ve got to be able to write. Kathi – I love that you took a scientific approach. I’m all about the science right now. Don’t tell me about politics. Don’t tell me about opinion. I want to know the scientific facts. I love that you took a scientific approach to what most people would consider an art, but I do believe there is a science to this and I think that part of that is discovering what your writing voice is and becoming the best at your unique voice. Niki – Exactly. And it does take time. So, I wrote a book proposal, originally, that was terrible, Kathi. The sample chapters swung from hilarious to angry to unprocessed. One minute I was trying to Ann Voskamp, and the next minute I was trying to be someone cool and funny. So, writing enough to let yourself be seen and known on the page, in terms of your voice, I think, is needed. But you don’t need to be a literary master.Kathi – Okay, I feel like your first two points here are Writing Talent and Strong Execution of a Unique Idea. I feel like those are the one-two punch that often authors are missing. So, talk about that strong execution of a unique idea. I think this is where most people fall down because they have a cancer story, or they have a mothering story, or they have an idea of how people can do something better. It feels unique to them, but it’s not. So, talk about that. Niki – Yes. In a nutshell, mine is a cancer story. Nothing unique about that, unfortunately. Kathi – Sadly. Niki – But, what we need to do is figure out the unique angle. The unique way you’re coming at it. I’m writing into a market that has loads of books on coming through suffering and how to deal with pain, and finding hope, and all those things, but it’s finding a kind of angle that’s unique. A slant on it that hasn’t been tackled before. I would say that even goes through how you want to format the book. So, I talk about how life doesn’t have to be pain-free to be full. It’s possible to thrive, not just survive. Then, what I did within the book was lay out seven practical tools that people can do that share my story, somebody else’s story, the often forgotten women of the Bible. There are questions and there are prayers. I wanted it to be a how-to roadmap that was, kind of, part spiritual cheerleader, part coach and 100% BFF. So that was my unique angle on something that has been done a hundred times before, and much better. It’s finding that angling. Kathi – I don’t want to give away too many secrets from editors and publicists and agents that I know, but here is one thing that I know. If you have a unique writing voice that is well developed and full, and you have a unique angle on, maybe a very classic topic, but a unique angle, an agent or an editor, they may not be able to get you past Pub Board, but they will hang with you until and maybe offer suggestions and say, maybe, “Bring this back to me.” When you have somebody say that, you can safely say that your writing is good and your angle is unique. If you don’t have those two things, it’s very hard to get a book, for anybody, especially a first time author. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. That’s the powerful one-two punch that will get an editor or agent more invested in you as a creator. Niki – Exactly, and when you have those two in place, it’s much easier to grow your platform. You have that unique hook, and you’re able to speak with your unique voice into the audience. So, you know where they are. You know what they’re feeling. You know how to help them. So, then it’s much easier to build your platform. Kathi – I released my first book on a small platform, back in the dark ages. Really, back before Facebook. I’m not the best writer in the world, but I do have a unique voice that connects deeply with people. It’s very self-deprecating. It’s fun. It’s flirty. Then, I had this idea about putting your marriage on Project Status, so it’s all about loving your husband. They hadn’t seen something like that before, so that’s how I got everybody’s attention. Trust me, I had tried a bunch of things and nothing was working. This is the project where everybody said ‘yes’. The agent said yes. The editor said yes. It all came together. I love that. Okay, so a couple other things you say publishers are looking for. Strong selling topics, or upcoming cultural generational conversation topics. Talk a little bit about that. How is an author supposed to dig out their crystal ball? Now, I just released a book called Ready for Anything. As we’re recording, we are launching today. Preparing Your Heart and Home for Any Crisis Big or Small. It doesn’t get much more topical than that, because, guys, right at this moment, we’re all in self-isolation. It’s just craziness. How can you see forward and see what people are going to want? ‘Cause it’s going to be a year, two years, before a book hits the shelf. Share your crystal ball. Niki – Well, I wish I had one. I’m sorry. This is something I was chatting with my editor about, so this comes from her a little bit. The strong selling topics are timeless. So, like your book, like my book, living through hard times, that kind of stuff. So, those are strong selling topics, if you’ve got the right hook. What I’ve heard, in regards to cultural and generational conversation topics, what is coming more and more to the forefront, that people are looking for, are unique angles on the racial conversation, on mental health. Things like that are also needed. If there’s something that is hugely timely, I do think some publishers will not take the two year lead gap. Rush something through quicker because it’s so timely to the current conversation. Maybe a traditionally published book isn’t the best medium to get your message out, if something is so timely and needs to be out. There are other ways to get that message out. Kathi – Yes. You can get that message out on a blog, doing a podcast, something like that. Also, by the time it’s time to write a book, there may be a new, fresh angle. I think the best way to find that angle is to already be talking about it. It’s not some surprise you’re putting out there. Okay, Credentials. This is for non-fiction books, obviously. Now, you didn’t have the credentials. Niki – I didn’t have writing credentials. I didn’t have a PhD in creative writing, or a masters or anything like that, but my credentials are more, I’d lived the story. I was already talking to people about it, and they were already responding. So, it was evidence that there was a need and a desire for the way I was talking about it. It’s that kind of credibility. Kathi – When I talk about clutter, my credential is, my dad was hoarder. What you may think is a deficit, is actually an asset, because if you’ve overcome something, that is a credential. Okay, connections and networking. I think this freaks authors out. Niki – It freaked me out and to a little extent, it still freaks me out. I feel like everyone knows each other. You read the endorsements in the front of everyone’s book and you’re like, “How do they all know each other?” It’s very easy to feel like you’re on the outside. I think the important thing to remember is that it’s not just author connections that publishers are looking for. Yes, those people are influencers, but they also want connections and networking. That can be speaking events. That can be ministries and places where your audience already hangs out. Are you related to some of those places in some shape or form? That’s where you can speak into and get your book into the world. I think we’re a lot more connected and networked that we think. Kathi – Also, when I started all this a million years ago, I wasn’t connected to anybody. I didn’t know anybody. So, now I’m connected to a lot of people, but you have to find your own connections, because you’re coming up in a different time. Okay, Tenacity. I love this one. I think this is so underrated. We all think it’s this lucky connection, or sitting next to the right editor at the conference, or something like that. But, just showing up again and again? Here’s where I’ll say Tenacity, with an Attitude of Servanthood. When you’re showing up and serving your audience over and over again? They will keep coming back for more. What is your tenacity angle? Niki – I think, partly, it’s that. Willing to serve my audience, to keep speaking about it, to keep serving them. Also, willingness to show up and serve other writers and influencers. Support them in that connection. Then, being willing to fail and start again and learn. It’s so hard. When I was told, really, how awful that first proposal was? It was really hard to hear, but there were some nuggets in there where I was like, “Oh! I can fix that. I’m willing to do that. I’m willing to make the changes to figure this out.” I’m so glad that original book was never published. It would have been terrible. Having a track record of that can help. Kathi – Then, finally, you say Platform. I love your point on here. There is a way to have a small platform, but it has to have something added to it. What is that? Niki – It is much better to have a small and engaged platform that you are in communication with, that you know the names of the people that you are helping and serving and connecting with on many different levels. Whether it’s social media and email. All sorts of different ways. They are the ones that are going to be buying your book, putting up reviews, cheerleading it, asking you to come and speak. Having a platform that is compact and bijou is so much better than having a bajillion followers or on your email list that don’t give a hoot about who you are and what you’re talking about. Kathi – What is bijou? Niki – It’s like a jewel. Kathi – Oh! Okay! I’ve heard that, but I’ve never known what it meant. Now I have new and fabulous word. Niki – That’s a little phrase. Compact and bijou. Kathi – Compact and bijou. Oh, I love it. Okay, so I want to run over these one more time, Niki. What you say publishers are looking for: One, writing talent. Next, strong execution of a unique idea. Third, strong selling topics. Credentials, and they may not be what you think they are. Connections and networking. Tenacity. It’s one of my favorite words ever. Platform. Remember, small and engaged is better than big and uninterested. It’s so true. Niki, this is so great, and I can’t wait for next week, when we’re going to talk about how to maximize your small but mighty platform. Your compact and bijou platform. Did I say that right? Niki – You said it wonderfully, yes. Kathi – Perfect. I’m so excited. Okay, guys, I can’t wait for you to join us next week. You’ve been listening to the Writing at The Red House podcast. You’ve been given the best message in the world. Now, go live it. You’ve been listening to the Writing at The Red House podcast. Thank you for spending a little time getting better at what God has called you to do. <> *see show notes in podcast post above for any mentioned itemsThe post 199 Niki Hardy What Are Publishers Looking For? appeared first on Writing at the Red House.

22mins

6 Jul 2020

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#91: Can I Still Thrive When My Life Falls Apart? With Niki Hardy

4:13 Podcast with Jennifer Rothschild

A painful season in your life can still be part of the abundant life Jesus promised. And, that’s what we talk about today with author Niki Hardy. She calls herself a cancer thriver, not just a survivor. She’s gut honest about how hard it is to thrive when your life falls apart. And she’ll debunk the lies that she believed. Plus, you’ll get seven practical ways to live well and thrive even if you’re going through a tough time. So, pour your tea, and let’s hang out together. SHOW NOTES: 413podcast.com/91

29mins

28 May 2020

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020. How to Live Well When Life Falls Apart with Niki Hardy

Radical Radiance™

The one where I share an inspiring book and story with you from my new friend Niki Hardy! She's a rectal cancer thriver (we'll talk all about that term she coined!) and author of Breathe Again: How to Live Well When Life Falls Apart. You're going to fall in love with her British accent and be just as encouraged by her as I am! Visit Niki's website here! Connect with Rebecca Dotson George Instagram | @rebeccadotsongeorge Facebook | Rebecca Dotson George Website | Do The Thing Movement Connect about Speaking | www.rebeccadotsongeorge.com Email | Say hello! Pinterest | Do The Thing Movement Become An Insider | Sign up here!

32mins

30 Apr 2020

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Doing the Will of the Father - Niki Hardy

CityChurch Talks

Jesus says that not everyone who calls him Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. What does that mean for us and how can we make sure we can lay hold of the promises of the Kingdom of Heaven if calling Jesus Lord isn't enough?Text: Matt 7:21-23 & Luke 6:46-49

35mins

8 Mar 2020

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Niki Hardy

The Love Offering

Niki Hardy lost her mom and sister to cancer and then she was also diagnosed with cancer. She has written the book she wishes she would have had for her journey titled Breathe Again. In it she explores how to live well when life falls apart by offering practical tips to stop merely surviving and start thriving right where you are.

35mins

14 Jan 2020

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