When she was in eigth grade, Margaret Feinberg’s teachers asked the class to write a story. While most students turned in four pages, Margaret turned in a 127 page book.
Today, Margaret has sold over a million books and in this episode, we unpack how not being one of the cool kids shaped Margaret for the future, dissect the daily disciplines she uses to create content, why she spends 95% of her time as a writer marketing, and why never mixing business and pleasure has been so energizing for her.
Welcome to Episode 267 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.
Anatomy of the Soul by Curt Thompson
Into the Silent Land by Martin Laird
3 Insights from Margaret
1. Draw clear lines between work trips and vacations
Logic would say if you’re going somewhere and someone else is covering your travel, it would make sense to tag on a few days either before or after for vacation and rest. The problem that Margaret and her husband have found is that they never fully leave work mode throughout the duration of the trip. Whether they do the vacation portion on the frontend or the backend, their brains never fully disengage from work.
When Margaret and her husband would return from these trips, they would feel more tired and drained than when they left. They now completely separate personal trips from work trips and it has been game-changing for them. Margaret’s rhythm while on a vacation is to spend 10 minutes a day on high-priority email and spend 2 and a half hours working during the middle of the trip. She also does her best to leave her phone in her hotel room as often as possible.
2. In your relationship with God, not everything should be “for sale”
In this life of leadership, and especially church leadership, you can easily make it so that you’re sharing everything you discover from God with others. That is not a healthy place to live. If we are going to stay healthy as leaders, we need to be able to keep a few things just between God and us.
This is really tempting as a preacher, writer, podcaster, or blogger. It is so easy to use those really good lessons from God for our platform, but we need to have a filter so that we have a few things that we keep between God and us. There’s something so healthy and so rich for leaders who practice this. It allows them to have a more unique and personal relationship with God.
3. Writing should be an act of self-sacrifice
Oftentimes, writers sit down and the only thing they write about is themselves. This is a huge problem if you want to reach a broader audience. If you write for yourself, you are the only one who’s going to read your book. As authors and content creators, we have to constantly be thinking about what our audience needs and how we can serve them.
It is helpful to think of an “avatar” that you are trying to write for. Imagine this person’s life situations, struggles, challenges, and what you can do to help them. Margaret often found that the avatars she was trying to serve with her books looked similar to the friends that had become a huge part of her life. Margaret is constantly trying to find ways to practically add value to those people’s lives. She views her writing as an act of love for her audience.
Quotes from Episode 267
Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
Get Your Church Growing (Again…or for the First Time)
Getting a stuck church growing, or helping a church that’s reaching new people grow even further can seem daunting.
It doesn’t have to be.
Whether you’re a church that isn’t growing, has plateaued, or whether you wish your church was growing faster than it is, I’d love to help you break through. That’s why I created the Church Growth Masterclass.
The Church Growth Masterclass is everything I wish I knew about church growth when I got into ministry more than 20 years ago.
Naturally, I can’t make a church grow. You can’t make a church grow. Only God can do that.
But I believe you can position your church to grow.
You can knock down the barriers that keep you from growing. You can eliminate the things that keep your church from growing and implement some strategies that will help you reach far more people. That’s what I’d love to help you do in the Church Growth Masterclass.
In the Church Growth Masterclass I’ll show you:
- The 10 reasons your church isn’t growing
- Why even committed church-goers aren’t attending as often as before
- How to tell if your church leaders are getting burned out
- The 5 keys to your church better impacting millennials.
- What to do when a church wants to grow … but not change
- 5 essentials for church growth
- 5 disruptive church trends to watch—and how to respond
- How to increase church attendance by increasing engagement.
The Church Growth Masterclass includes a complete set of videos that you can play with your team, board or staff, PDF workbooks that will help you tackle the issues you’re facing, and bonus materials that will help you navigate the most pressing issues facing churches that want to reach their cities today.
Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Nancy Duarte, Henry Cloud, Patrick Lencioni, Francis Chan, Ann Voskamp, Erwin McManus and many others.
Subscribe using your favorite podcast app via
Spread the Word. Leave a Rating and Review
Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?
The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn as well.
Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.
Thank you for being so awesome.
Next Episode: Luis Palau
Luis Palau has been leading crusades for over 53 years. In this powerful interview, he talks about his friendship with Billy Graham, why crusades were so effective a generation ago, and how he and his team changed the methods to keep the mission alive. Luis is now 84 and has stage 4 cancer, but you’d never know it. He has more energy and passion than most 24 year olds, and shares how he has kept his vitality so strong over eight decades.
Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 268.