Ani Alexander Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Ani Alexander
Ani Alexander is todays guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots free podcast interview.
She is someone that I am proud to say has become one of my closest friends in the world.
I have never met her, don’t know too much about her personal life, but can honestly say she has become one of the people that has helped me so much as Join Up Dots keeps on growing.
She has a fascinating story, which starts by being born in a country that now is no longer there, the soviet union, and as teenager loved to write.
In her heart she believes that everyone has a story to tell, and would like nothing more than putting pen to paper and getting creative as a child.
But as we see time and time again, the thing that we liked as kids somehow got forgotten as we grow into adulthood.
And instead of thinking “Lets make a career out of something that I love doing”…which of course is the sensible thing to do, she instead went into the corporate world.
And joined the masses.
How The Dots Joined Up For Ani
Yes, for the next twelve years Ani Alexander followed a path that left her with a paycheck every month, but nothing more. She was lost and definitely feeling uninspired.
So she took the leap of faith and went for it on her own
And now with her business flourishing, her network of aspiring authors flocking to help her get them in the bestsellers list, life is getting better everyday.
She is also the author of three books “Emotional Moments”, “Dream Down” and “Highfall”
But if this sounds like an easy transition then think again.
I know her well, and I know the hustle and work ethic that it is taking to get to the point she wants to be.
She is climbing up the ladder of success everyday, one rung at a time even when exhausted, even when she was unsure she could climb any higher?
So how does she keep herself going when sometimes the world seems against her?
And why did she feel along with everything else on her plate, she would go and conquer the world by recording the Write 2 b Read podcasts in English, not her natural tongue.
Well lets find out as we bring on to the show to start joining up dots the one and only Ani Alexander
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Ani Alexander such as:
How she had to overcome the fears about releasing her own podcast due to her belief that her accent would hold her back. She didn’t realise that this was a key part of what makes her who she is.
How a great way to find your path in life is to simply get curious look around and see what other people are doing that excites you.
How solving peoples problems is a sure fire way to create a great income for yourself. Look for the problems and then supply the answer
How she believes that the fall of the Soviet Union was a great thing and allowed freedom of choice and the prospect of greater opportunities for everyone.
Why she feels that very few people in their younger years can go against the social norm, and will do what is expected and not what they should do that’s best for them.
Books By Ani Alexander
How To Connect With Ani Alexander
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Audio Transcription Of Ani Alexander Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph. He
David Ralph [0:27]
says, Hello, Bear, it’s Episode 201 women to the next block, who knows where it’s going to go, I don’t really know where it’s going to go or I know it’s going to go because I will be here, churning them out on a daily basis. And as long as you’re out there listening, what more could I want in life? Well, today’s guest is someone that I am proud to say, has become one of my closest friends in the world. Now, I’ve never met her. I actually don’t know too much about her personal life, but I can honestly say she’s become one of those people that has helped me so much as Join Up Dots keeps on growing. She has a fascinating storey, which starts by Boeing being born in a country but now is no longer there. The Soviet Union and as a teenager love to write in her heart, she believes everyone has a storey to tell. And she would like nothing more than putting pen to paper and getting creative as a child. But as we see time and time again, the thing that we liked is kids somehow gets forgotten as we grow into adulthood. And instead of thinking, let’s make a career out of something that I love doing, which of course is a sensible thing to do. She instead went into the corporate world and joined the masses, yes, but the next 12 years she followed apart but left her with a paycheck every month. But nothing more. She was lost, and definitely feeling uninspired. So she took the leap of faith and went for it on her own. And now with a business flourishing network of aspiring authors flocking to help her get them in the best sellers list. Life is getting better every day. She’s also the author of three books, emotional moments, Dream down and higher for but if this sounds like an easy transition, but I think again, I know how well and I know the hustle and work ethic but is taking to get to the point she wants to be. She is climbing up the ladder of success every day, one rung at a time, even when exhausted, and actually unsure if she can climb any higher. I know how she feels. So how does she keep herself going? When sometimes the world sings against her? What did she feel along with everything else on her plate? She would go and conquer the world by recording the right to be read podcast in English, not her natural tongue. Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up thought but one and only. And my friend, Ani Alexander, how are you?
Ani Alexander [2:35]
I’m fine. Thank you that that was a very impressive intro. I mean, I know you’re famous for your great intros. But this one was really amazing.
David Ralph [2:44]
I could have said some things about being a Bond girl and things like that. Can I?
Ani Alexander [2:50]
Maybe I don’t know, it’s your show
David Ralph [2:52]
that the very first time that I heard any I heard on a podcast, her own podcast, and I can’t hide it. She has accent. And as I was listening, I just had this image of a Bond girl spy villain who would I would go into the room, she’d be very nice to me for a while. And Ben do do me a favour and just sort of leave me for dead. And you have got that that kind of exotic sounding accent? Do people talk about it? Or is it just me that talks about it?
Ani Alexander [3:19]
No. Well, actually, people really notice it because I can’t hide it either. Of course, obviously. But yes, I had the Bond girl Association. You know, you’re not the first one, actually. So it seems that some people really get that image somehow. But I don’t think you’ll have that image once you met me. So it’s just the accent, I suppose?
David Ralph [3:46]
Is it just men that have an image, or we just one track mind any?
Ani Alexander [3:51]
Well, I have a feeling that my you know, most of my listeners are men somehow, or at least the ones who provide to the backgrounds, the ones who get in touch with me later on, are mainly men. So maybe
David Ralph [4:06]
that’s the way to do it. You say I can’t do that. I can’t do that I just had middle aged balding men that contact me, you know, I have no glamour coming back to me too fast. actually not true. I, I do have some lovely ladies, that sort of them, send their emails in and ask for my help and stuff. But um, it’s funny when you do the show. And we’re going to sort of come back to it a bit later. But you you record inside though you’re basically on your own. Occasionally, if you’re doing an interview show, you will have a conversation with somebody that you can’t even see. And then you throw it out to the world. And it makes a huge difference to people, doesn’t it? It’s that intimate reaction that like got it in their ears. And they’re eavesdropping on a conversation. I’ve never had anything as powerful in my life. Do
Ani Alexander [4:50]
you feel about the same? Absolutely. It’s just amazing. I mean, I’ve been doing blogging before. And I can tell that you know, the effect that podcasts in can, it’s completely different and much more powerful and intimate. You get really strong connexion and relationship with your listeners, which you not always can manage with the blogging.
David Ralph [5:13]
So so where you are podcasting sort of Guru beforehand, would you sort of listen to loads of them all? Have you stumbled into it? No, actually.
Ani Alexander [5:23]
Like, I did listen to them very often. So I did it periodically, whenever I needed to, you know, kill time when I was on the road or outside waiting for something. So it wasn’t regular. I wasn’t a regular listener. And I didn’t even have a specific show I listened to all the time. So no, I wasn’t really very familiar with podcasting. I thought about it a while ago, like about two years ago, or a year ago, even. But I never considered doing that. Because it didn’t think I could. And I
David Ralph [6:03]
think you could do it though, because obviously you can speak English. And surely
Ani Alexander [6:08]
I can speak English. You can load
David Ralph [6:10]
of other languages as well.
Ani Alexander [6:12]
Yeah, I speak five languages. And you know, most of them with accent, I suppose different accents mainly? Well, the first thing was the accent, I thought that people wouldn’t really listen to someone who has who’s not fluent. And he was not clear in in speaking the language because it’s an audio show. So it’s kind of you know, you capitalise on the fact how you speak. And the second thing was, I was a bit scared of the technical part, because I thought it was extremely complicated. It appears that it was not at all but you, you don’t know until you find out. So basically, from the moment I started seriously considering launching a podcast and started learning thinks about that. Until the day I launched my podcast, I had three weeks.
David Ralph [7:06]
Oh, that’s quick, I took a long time to sort of get going with mine. So you really went right? You’re going to do it. And nobody stopped me. And before the fears took you over, you just ploughed into it.
Ani Alexander [7:19]
Yeah, well, you know, I just thought that I’ve already decided that I’m going to do that. So sooner I do it better it will be.
David Ralph [7:26]
Well, your show is great. And I listened to probably three or four of them. I don’t listen to hundreds of them. Because I’ll be honest, Danny, you don’t mention me very much. I still get a thrill. I guess. I was listening to a show yesterday. And I just randomly picked one because I thought Oh, that sounds interesting. And they spoke about me and I get so excited. It’s a I don’t know how Tom Hanks and people who must get mentioned all the time. actually deal with it. Because once I actually spoke about me up Oh, oh my god. Oh my god, these people are talking about me. Did you do ever have that? Are you you’re listening to ones when any Zonda is mentioned?
Ani Alexander [8:03]
Oh, well, I haven’t came across that yet. I don’t know how it feels.
David Ralph [8:10]
It feels good. I tell you, it really does feel good. So let’s go back in time, because that’s what we do on this show. But if we go back in time, is interesting to me that as I was saying in the intro, you were born in a country that is no longer there. Because I can’t fathom how that would feel. Because I’m I’m English. I was born in the United Kingdom. And as far as I’m aware, I’m always going to be that way. So when that happened? Was that something that you were happy about? Or did you sort of fight it? Or did you feel lost after it occurred? What actually went through your mind when that was?
Ani Alexander [8:48]
When it happened? Actually, I was quite young. So I was my son’s age, maybe a bit older. So I was around 1213 max. So I didn’t really realise that exactly what the impact would be and what it really man, so I didn’t really you know, overanalyze that it just happened. And it’s I, you know, now looking back, I’m really happy that it happened peacefully, because it could have gone quite bad. So it it’s, how can I say that the thing is, Soviet Union was kind of an artificial country because it included 15 Republic’s, which had 15, different nationalities with 15, different cultural mentalities. So it was quite difficult to hold all these differences in one place and how it was done, it was done through control and fear, and censorship and things like that. So we, we were kind of a closed country who had no idea what was happening go broke, because you couldn’t travel abroad. And the news were so costly optimised to what you were supposed to hear that, you know, you, you didn’t have the clear and real picture of what was going on in the world. So it was it wasn’t a natural thing. And the country itself wasn’t really, you know, it didn’t happen just as a natural process. So the natural process was when it collapsed, actually. And it was something that had to happen and would happen sooner or later anyway. And it went quite smooth, in terms of you know, how countries separated. But of course, the service mentality still stayed with the older generation, because I mean, that’s how they lived. And that’s what they believed in for like years, it existed for 17 years. So we had generations going there. And it was quite difficult for that generation, because the transitional process was very hard. I mean, you you went from the Soviet system, socialistic system to capitalistic system, which was like a huge, huge difference, and people had to adapt. So it was psychologically It was very hard, I suppose. But now looking back, I think it was great, because, you know, you you ended up becoming, you know, relatively free. And you ended up seeing what was happening in the world. And you you kind of you were not told everything you were supposed to think and so, you know, you kind of you could you started expressing yourself, which was not the case during the seven years.
David Ralph [11:45]
Because when, when I was growing up, I used to look at the globe, and it was just a big lump of red. And the Soviet Union was just bear a big mass. And right, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And my whole image of it was pretty much based on spy films, and James Bond and sort of war films and all that. So it’s, I have an image of just snow, and people were walking around in furry hats, and just just sort of very oppressive. So when it did go down, and we’re not going to make this a political show, because is about you, but I think it is fascinating, because obviously, you’ve been through that. And you’ve also made transitions in your own life. Did Did you see any difference with your parents? Did? Was there a freeing of your parents mentality that helped you along when you decided to make a go with it yourself?
Ani Alexander [12:31]
Well, my my parents mentality, you know, I mean, the thing is that not all people, I mean, there were many people who didn’t believe in everything which was going on, and they didn’t believe in the system. But since they have this control and fear system in place, people didn’t express that. So you, you’re not supposed to talk about that, and you can’t do much about that. So you know, that’s the way things were. So I had a feeling that my parents, you know, didn’t really believe in it, everything which was going on, and they were quiet. You know, I don’t know if they were happy, but they were okay with the changes. So the only thing was the practical part, because they had to adapt to that change. And they had to go through several transitions themselves. Because in those years, it kind of you know, coincided just after the Soviet Union collapsed, Armenia, was in war with its neighbour, which was also an ex Soviet Union country, the Azerbaijan. So we had a war over over a territory, which was border on the border. And we had very, very hard years, we didn’t have electricity, it was freezing outside freezing winter, we didn’t have water, we, I mean, it was just, you know, even if you are you were not in the war territory. If the bombs were not, you know, dropping, you still had a problem. with food, we were blocked. We had a block at we were kind of closed, and our only route was the air aeroplanes. So you know, there are many, many different difficult years ahead. And those were the years when my father got a job in Bulgaria, and we kind of moved because my, my brother was a baby. And we kind of had to make this through. And so we had quiet big changes besides the collapse of the Soviet Union. So we had the collapse, then we had the war, and then we moved from the country. So it was kind of, you know, many things came at once. But we managed somehow. So we’re fine.
David Ralph [14:49]
Which is life generally, isn’t it when when you look at everything that you go through, although it’s hard at the time, you look back on it, and you kind of you lose the hardness, somehow you lose the edge of it, and it just becomes a part of your life that you went through.
Ani Alexander [15:05]
Yeah, exactly. It’s Somehow, I don’t know, my nation has a very tragic history, like, in general, not only about this war, or the collapse of the Soviet Union, going back even before that, we we had a genocide. We had, you know, our own difficulties. And we had an earthquake, which completely, like, brought to ground, three cities. So you know, we periodically went through kind of breaking experiences, and the nation ended up having this history and genetic code of tragedy, like linked inside themselves. So I personally, when I was leaving, GoPros, I was recognising and Armenians Hi, there said, Luke’s in the rise. So even if they didn’t look exactly like, you know, typical, Armenia’s, I could, you know, recognise them by their eyes. And it’s something you don’t forget. But even after you pass through all those things, you know, the nation still exists, they still leave, they still laugh, and you know, things move forward,
David Ralph [16:21]
I now recognise podcasters, by the black rings around their eyes, it’s almost the same kind of thing. So, so you, you, you’ve been bashing on at me over the last couple of weeks without myself not looking after myself, as I’m doing this show. And you’re quite, quite madly in certain ways that I should eat, and I should get my rest and all that kind of stuff. But you you’re doing the same thing, you are working incredibly hard at the moment to build up your business. And you are a mother and your wife as well. So how do you balance by and how do you break down those barriers, but you probably had, that the accent was going to hold you back? your location wasn’t congruent to success? How did you actually overcome those fears when you started to sort of move into your own area?
Ani Alexander [17:14]
of well, the excellent part, you know, I somehow one day I woke up, I said, Okay, you know, the accent thing, I hear my accent, I have my own perception of the accent, I have to find out what my potential listeners would think. And I decided, since it’s an English language podcast, my potential listeners should be either from the US or from the UK, mainly. So what I did was, I got in touch with several people I knew from the UK, I recorded like, a very short, like, two minutes think I sent them over. And I said, you know, what do you think? Yeah. Can you understand what I’m saying? You know, is the accent unknowing? Is it not? What do you think about the wise, what do you think about the accent? And, and I’ve got the feedback, which was, like, you know, you should promise us that you’re going to do a podcast. So that’s how it all started, mainly. And I also had a short talk with Pat Flynn, who also like, had his share of encouragement. And, and I said, Okay, you know, if these people are telling that it’s not bad, and you know, the accent won’t really get into the way, then. And it was my main concern, because the technical issues, okay, you know, I thought they were hard. But you know, it’s, it’s nothing you can’t learn anyway. So it wasn’t like my main concern. And I just decided to try
David Ralph [18:46]
and try is all you can do, you know, as she was saying that I was thinking about Arnold Schwarzenegger, because he, he’s a classic one of basically you struggled to understand what he says, after all these years. But he absolutely got to the top, just perseverance and working and that in heaven believe that he was going to be at the top of his game. So if you think about him, and he actually was in films, and he became the governor of California, you have nothing really to be worried about, did you?
Ani Alexander [19:18]
Well, I mean, at that point, I didn’t really recall Arnold Schwarzenegger, to be honest. But But yes, I mean, I I believe that, you know, nothing is impossible. So you just have to try. And you will never know what will happen until you try. So you know, if you don’t do anything, nothing will be what you will be getting anyway. So and we try and you don’t have anything to lose, because Okay, you know, it, it won’t have let’s say, you want to get the success you were hoping for maybe but that’s the worst case that can happen. Well, what else can happen? I mean, nothing really tragic. Oh, nothing really, extremely scary. It’s not the end of the world. So you know, you can try again something else or you can try again, the same thing by learning from your errors. So it’s it’s it’s nothing everything. I mean, if you try to analyse your fears, you will see that there’s nothing scary about them anyway. It’s just you know, you make them up and you make them stronger, but in reality, they are not as strong as you think they are.
David Ralph [20:27]
Is Wait, though you say that and you’re absolutely right. But we don’t take your own advice, do we? We don’t believe although you’re saying as I would say, is not going to kill you. What’s the worst thing can happen? Blah, blah, blah. It’s still really scary, isn’t it? And it’s madness. Why do we allow that to dominate us?
Ani Alexander [20:48]
Yeah. Well, I’ll tell you what my biggest care I mean, fear was and I shared this with with the guy who was kind of, you know, helping me learn the podcasting tips and tricks and such rights. It’s Matt Ron barricade from podcast incubator. I told him when when my podcast was almost ready, and I was going to launch like, the next day. I spoke with him with him. And I said, you know, what, if no one will listen, I mean, this was like, the worst thing that happened to me, I was like, Okay, I put so much time and effort. And I tried this thing, and and it’s going to be live tomorrow. But what if I’m just talking to myself, and no one listens? What’s happening to them? So that was the scariest thing, and
David Ralph [21:34]
what was your fear? But no one would listen, would you just stop? Or because somebody’s gonna listen on me?
Ani Alexander [21:41]
Well, I didn’t know. Because
I don’t know. I mean, I might have ended up having no one listening. I listened to you, it would just be
Unknown Speaker [21:51]
you and me.
Ani Alexander [21:53]
Yeah, you see. So I don’t know what the fear was about whether it was like subconsciously, I was thinking, if no one listens, I want to be able to keep the motivation and enthusiasm, just by myself. And and to keep on going. That might have been something also i’m very impatient person. So I thought that, you know, if no one listens, and I don’t get any results I can track, then I might, you know, just think that everything is in vain. So no one is interested. And I shouldn’t continue doing that. So those were like, you know, the things I was worried about, and because I didn’t want to give up anything, especially in the very beginning. But you know, things went well didn’t happen, people listened, and even more people than I kind of hoped for, in the very beginning. So
David Ralph [22:49]
how many were you hoping for on that on that first episode when it went live? And right to be read was out there?
Ani Alexander [22:55]
Well, I was targeting like hundreds people.
Unknown Speaker [23:02]
David Ralph [23:04]
You didn’t? Did you? How many did you get?
Ani Alexander [23:07]
Well, in day one, I had three episodes out like one was the welcome episode. And then I had to two more. One was a seller episode, the shorter one and one was an interview. And the three together during the first day I had about 200 listens. And I didn’t know whether it’s, you know, too much or too late to learn what it really meant, because I had my target of hundred, but I didn’t know what it was compared to other podcasts who were launching the same day. So
David Ralph [23:40]
isn’t it 200? If you went into a room, and there was 200, people sitting in chairs, and you had to present to them, you’d probably think I’m doing all right here.
Ani Alexander [23:50]
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I was very happy about that. And I, when, when I started getting reviews in, I was even happier, because, you know, they were very positive, they kind of kept me going forward. And they, they validated the the thoughts that what I was doing was the right thing, in a sense that, you know, it was valuable, and people really needed it.
David Ralph [24:19]
And I didn’t get any listeners, really, in the early in the in the first five weeks, I wasn’t getting more than 20 a day 25 episodes I released and I could not get a listener for love nor money. And most of those Actually, I look back on it was probably me testing to see if it was working. So I was clicking on it. And that was recording, obviously. So I couldn’t get a listener for love nor money. So 200 I think I would have died and gone to heaven. But I started off the show. And I did kind of naively think that I was going to press the button and there will be thousands of people waiting for me. And it just didn’t happen at all. So you do have to pass through these things, don’t you?
Ani Alexander [24:58]
Yeah, well, I didn’t have a real kind of really high expectations, because I had passed through self publishing before. And I you know, that’s exactly what I thought about my first book that you know, I will just put it out there on Amazon. And you know, people will start buying good reading good, and you know, the money will come in, etc. So I had past that stage already. So I don’t I usually don’t get unrealistic expectations in advance. And, you know, podcasting was yet another thing, which I presumed wouldn’t happen with with just the push of a magic button anyway. So,
David Ralph [25:38]
yeah, so so so what do you like best, because I’m going to go and take you back to your corporate land, because obviously seem to be a part of your path. That wasn’t really you, but you still went into it. So at the moment, if I said to you any, there’s only one thing you can do. You can either write books, help other people write their books, or do the podcast, what would you do?
Unknown Speaker [25:59]
I’m, I choose,
David Ralph [26:01]
because I’m in control of this. This is like the Soviet Union again in this show. And I’m controlling you.
Ani Alexander [26:09]
It’s difficult. I can’t I can’t I mean, why I’m doing all these three things simultaneously, is because I can’t choose one actually. That’s the reason it’s not like you got to choose one.
David Ralph [26:21]
You got to choose one just just make a decision.
Ani Alexander [26:25]
Oh, well, if you put away the strategy, the business side of it, and and everything related to that, most probably, I would write fiction books.
David Ralph [26:37]
I knew you were gonna say that anyway. It seems to be in you, doesn’t it?
Ani Alexander [26:42]
Well, it’s it’s kind of, you know, it’s something that always gets back to me. I mean, I’ve embraced it now. But before I was chasing it away, and it was always coming back to me in various different forms. So it’s, it’s something that I I’m not going to fight anymore, because it’s just senseless. It’s, you know, it’s there. And and it’s always knocks me and it’s something I’m I’m always going to do regardless what else I will be doing.
David Ralph [27:11]
Did you think it’s strange over as you’re saying those words, and also, as a young child, you like nothing more than putting pen to paper and getting creative? That you for many, many years, just walked away from it? You You went off a totally different path? It just seems strange, but we do this time and time again?
Ani Alexander [27:30]
Well, it’s it’s just, you know, I think that’s how life goes usually a very few people really realise that, you know, that’s their passion. And that’s the right way to go. And very few just are able to stand against the the social norms, which are telling you that you’re supposed to choose something which, which will kind of ensure you a secure future. So, I mean, I don’t know, I’ve never really given up writing during all those times. But I’ve never considered that as something really serious, or as a career or looked at it kind of as a professional path before. Maybe it was because no one told me that it, it was a possibility and or it was an option. Or maybe it was because many other things came through and I kind of I wasn’t really picky, and I went with the flow. I don’t really know. But I, I don’t know, I mean, back then. That’s how it went. And maybe it wasn’t really the wrong group, so to say, so to speak, because I studied business, and I worked in corporate. And somehow there are things which which kind of, I still use now Jays as an entrepreneur, because, you know, as an entrepreneur, you are supposed to know about marketing and and you know, you you’re supposed to know something about customer relationships and things like that. So it’s not like, you know, I wasted all those years. And also, I think that if whatever happened to me didn’t happen back then. I might not have been so fed up with the corporate that I decided that no, you know, I’m not going to work in the corporate ever, if not forced, because, you know, I might end up ended up just looking for another job, and moved from one company to another most probably. So, you know, I’m really happy that things got really, really Taz. And I got to the boiling point. And I was in a situation that I just had to make a very drastic decision. And just, you know,
take it all away,
David Ralph [29:55]
say, say, we’ve got something in common, where we talked literally on a daily basis, and there’s nothing we’ve got in common, but you got to corporate land, end point that you just thought, I can’t do this anymore. I had to take this leap. It, I just can’t go back to working for someone. And I felt exactly the same way. And when you find that, and when you suddenly realise, although you know that you’re going into an area where you’re going to be working probably twice as hard, probably three times as hard as you were before. It does free you up, doesn’t it? It does seem to be an enjoyable mindset to switch into. Did you feel that? Or was it scary for you to go into the to the next phase?
Ani Alexander [30:35]
Well, actually, it was a bit different. Because when I was leaving corporate, I wasn’t leaving to write a book, or to start a podcast or I mean, I had no idea what I was going to do. I’m honest, I didn’t, I didn’t have any plan in place, which is maybe not the best thing to do. So you know, I don’t advise people doing that, doing as I did. But what I knew was I, I had to look for, you know, different routes, which will keep me away from corporate. So I knew that I wouldn’t be happy being just a housewife and a mother. Because it’s a very good role. I don’t say anything about that. But that’s only that is not enough for me. So I knew that eventually I would be doing something but I didn’t know what exactly. So at that point, what I wanted to do was just get away, take a break, get back my house, which was completely ruined, and get you know, a clear mind and understand what I’m doing next.
David Ralph [31:43]
I’m going to play some words from Jim Carrey we normally play around about this time in the show. And I want to see if you felt the same vibe. This is Jim Carrey,
Jim Carrey [31:51]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job and an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [32:17]
Now, you seem to be going on the route of just getting away from a painful situation, you knew that you couldn’t work there anymore, you had to go away. If you look back at it now, would you go the route but Jim Carrey says, go for something that you love take a risk on something you love?
Ani Alexander [32:35]
Well, actually, yes, because I have a feeling that you know, we perceive the corporate job as a secure thing. But actually, it’s just a perception. Because in life, there are no guarantees, and there’s nothing 100% secure. So you all you never know what will happen. So, at the end, when when things like what set things like that happen, and you get fired, or you know, you get a new situation, when you just you know have to get away, you you end up realising that you kind of wasted many years. And during all those years, you could have done so much more. So actually, you end up realising I mean, I had, it’s not like I had a huge regrets. But I realised that, you know, I kind of I worked and I gave too much to a lifeless brand, which didn’t appreciate you. So you ended up like, you know, I mean, the point when I started thinking about big changes was the point when I realised that I didn’t have the why, why I was doing that, I had no reason. Because I have a husband to who has a good job I could afford not working at all. So it wasn’t the financial issue that forced me to go to work. I didn’t enjoy the work anymore. I did in the beginning, but not any more. And I’m not career driven. So even if I’ve got to a CEO level, it wouldn’t really make me happy. So I ended up thinking, why am I my drink that? I mean, why am I wasting so much time in the office? Why I don’t have time for my family? Why am I you know, getting nervous breakdowns periodically, why don’t I sleep? Well, and then, you know, I was realising there is no answer to that. So I thought, you know, either I’m crazy, or, you know, inadequate person, or, you know, if, if, if I am not, then I should do something about that. Because when I realised that in five or 10 years, I will be in the same situation that was like, you know, a very terrible scenario for me.
David Ralph [34:47]
I realised when I was leaving corporate land, but I used to look around at people in the office, and they just seem to be content, doing what they were doing, getting through to lunchtime, going to lunch time, I’m coming back getting to five o’clock going home. And I didn’t seem to have that kind of inner turmoil that I had when I was just thinking, there’s got to be more to life than this. You know, why? Why am I doing this? Why am I wasting my time? Now I look back on it. And I think I couldn’t do this. Without that, first of all, and I wasn’t ready to do this, you’ve got to get to that time when it feels right for you. And some people find that very early in life, I’ve been speaking to people who are sort of 14 and 15 and 16. No way I couldn’t have done it when I was 44 years old, when I decided that I had to make the inroads I had to do something. And like you, I took the leap or the slide, as I call it. And I found this, I didn’t really have a plan of such but I found with and when it comes together is just so powerful. It feels like the stars have aligned somehow. So for the listeners out there for the people who are just in that moment, when they first got that feeling of God, I hate this job. But I don’t want to go to another job. But I don’t know what I want to do is the best way of finding what their path just looking back at themselves and thinking about what they liked, or is it better to join up with forums and social groups and find out what other people are doing until someone clicks? What do you think?
Ani Alexander [36:22]
Well, I’m I personally don’t really like listening to other people, let’s say. So I mean, I never take I mean, I’m bad in taking advice, let’s say so I never even listened to my mom’s advice, which is, you know, sometimes good, sometimes bad. But anyway, I mean, what what I’m more inclined to is just, you know, instead of listening to advice, I tend to listen to my heart, and try to feel what I really want. Because I believe that no one knows you, and no one knows your life, and no one can tell what’s best for you, besides yourself. So instead of maybe going and I mean, networking is great, I don’t say anything about that. It’s perfect. But the thing is that, you know, no one is in the exactly same situation like you are. So you know, if some things worked for him, it doesn’t really mean that it will work for you, even if you copy everything he did just, you know, do it identically the same way. So what I would, I don’t know. I mean, I, since I don’t take advisors I don’t like giving advice is either. So I don’t know, I mean, what I would do, let’s say, I would just try to try to know myself better and try to listen to my inner voice.
David Ralph [37:48]
I don’t take advice, I have her. But I love giving advice. And I will give advice everywhere. And I think the best way now really is through the internet. If you spend enough time looking around at stuff, then quite often you will see things and you go, that looks fun. And if that looks fun, then that’s that’s half the battle laughing but you look at it. And if you can find something that looks fun, and you actually think I think I can do that. But what we find is we are so so focused on a career, that if you end up at the end of that career, and you decide you need to leave more often than not, we go to another company that does the same thing. So I would suggest to everyone out there if you are thinking but there must be more to life than I’m getting at the moment, is spend time looking around the internet and looking at how other people earn in living, or just listen to this show on a daily basis. Because you’ll hear people making money and doing great things. And you kind of think, How the hell am I doing that? How can you make money, I’ve got a chat coming on tomorrow. And he’s going to be recorded about Episode 211 or something like that. And he is making his life that he’s income talk about pizza. Now you rematching there. And he actually flies around the world, talking to other people about pizza. So I’m looking forward to having him on the show, because I kind of think I don’t even get how you can do that. But, but he’s doing it. And that’s the thing isn’t and there’s so many options nowadays, due to the power of the internet, due to the ability of reaching out and making Connexions that you go back 20 years unsure. The only way that you could make a living on pizza was actually selling pizza, making it and selling it. But now he’s like in the Guinness Book of Records for the most piece of pizza boxes on earth or something. You know, it’s fascinating. We have got options everywhere. But you only know those options by looking around becoming curious. I think that’s the key. And I think we need to get the audience to be curious what’s up?
Ani Alexander [39:48]
Yeah, well, I think that, you know, until they reach the point that they have this feeling that you know, it’s not enough, just you know, going to work is not enough, there are many other things they would like to do. Nothing goes come up. So I mean, I have many ex colleagues who are still going to where I worked and still held the same position, do the same thing over and over again every single day. But they feel happy they are okay because they can afford driving a car they dreamed driving, or you know, they can afford their vacation in in a year, or things like that. I mean, that that’s what makes them happy. And they are okay with that. And those are the people who will never really do anything different because they don’t have the need. So you know, until you have to reach a certain stage before being curious and trying to look for solutions. Because honestly, I don’t think it’s for everyone, not everyone. I mean, there are some people who are working in corporate and they’re happy. And that’s exactly where they should be.
David Ralph [40:49]
I went back to a reunion yesterday and I met a lady that I see quite often called Melanie, if you’re listening, Melanie, this is about you again. And I was saying to you know, I happy? And she was say, yeah, I’m really happy. And I was kind of going, but how are you happy? You’re working in finance? That’s that’s just boring, isn’t it? And she was? No, no, I like it. I like it, David, and I was going on Mel, you’re a young lady, you can do better things in this. And I suddenly realised as I was talking, I was basically talking about myself every day with me is kind of exciting, not knowing what’s going to happen. But with her. She likes to routine. She likes to go in there. She likes to do her thing. And she likes to go home at night. And yeah, you’re absolutely right, one thing one mesh to another, you need people to go to work, but you don’t need people to go to work and be unhappy. I think that’s the key thing. If you aren’t happy in a situation, then do something about it. But if you love your job, well, I’m gonna give you a round of applause. Here we go. There you go, a round of applause for all the happy workers in the world. I hope there’s millions of you. And of course, if you are happy in your job, you’re not going to be listening to the show anyway, I imagine.
Ani Alexander [41:55]
Yeah, well, it’s very difficult to understand them, but they are there. And that’s their choice. And, you know, I respect the freedom of choice and that everyone has to choose for himself, what he wants, and what makes him happy.
David Ralph [42:08]
So with your job that you’re doing at the moment, because I know there is so much involved in it. And I know the fact that you are in a location, which means bed very late hours ahead very early mornings, how do you go about getting back going? How did you start connecting with people and getting people to find you?
Ani Alexander [42:31]
Well, I mean, connecting with people, I think it’s kind of part of my personality. So I did that all the time. Anyway, even before I started doing anything else. So as after the corporate, I mean, because then that was when I already had some free time and could dedicate it to social networks and things like that. So I mean, connecting people or finding people for the show or are you know, for for anything I needed like it on the later stages was not really difficult. And actually kind of the idea of what I’m doing now also came from, from the fact that one day, I was kind of trying to analyse what’s happening around in the social network. And I realised that most of the people who connect with me on Facebook and Twitter are actually authors. And I saw a problem there, because authors usually don’t read books you I mean, if you are a fiction writer, you’re supposed to have a bigger network of readers, actually not the authors if you want to sell your books, right? So, um, that’s made me realise that if these people are connecting with me, and if these people have many questions, and they they come to me for help, and I’m doing that already, like, on officially, let’s say, and in a much more organised way, why don’t structure it and and even, you know, more professional world way of dealing with this, if there is a need, and if there is the audience already, then you know, let’s come up with something which will solve the problems.
David Ralph [44:10]
That is the classic entrepreneur answer, isn’t it? You have to find an issue a problem and solve it. And if you solve it for enough people, vain you become very wealthy end of storey?
Ani Alexander [44:23]
Oh, yeah, most probably. But there is a bit more than that. Because I mean, if you put it that way, it It sounds more like a nonfiction book, where you just, you know, take a problem and you solve it and you sell that book. But I think there’s much more to that. Because these days, you know, just providing the knowledge or providing the solution is not enough. I think you need to build relationships with your audience.
David Ralph [44:51]
With you, we’re not just talking about the audience, we’re talking about the office, that’s the problem, isn’t it, you’re, you’re helping them get published, you’re helping them some of the problems in their own life to get their storeys out. So you’ve got Yes, on one side, you’ve got the listeners, you’ve got the audience who read your work. But the problem that you’re solving, which is where your business is based, is actually the problem for other offers.
Ani Alexander [45:16]
Yeah, absolutely. But what I mean is that in my offer, I also include the relationship part and the encouragement part and the inspirational part. So it’s not just the knowledge like the pure dry knowledge part, it it’s also the emotional part involved, because when I’m doing coaching with with writers, I’m doing one on one coaching via Skype, and I build relationships. And I I mean, later on, I keep the the connexion, I figure out what happened later on what happened for your book, How did it go? And you know, it’s, it’s, it’s not, because that’s what many writers really need, besides the knowledge, because many writers in their lives, they are not surrounded by I mean, people might think that if you’re a writer, if you’re writing a book, many people will be kind of, you know, really happy for you, they will encourage you, they will ask how it’s going, you know, did you finish it? Did you know but that’s not how it happens. If people around you are not interested about, let’s say, fiction, books, or about what you’re writing, like, let’s say the genre you’re writing, and they don’t care too much, actually. I mean, if you post something saying, okay, you know, became a best seller, they will put a like, or two and that’s it. So, very often you end up lacking that support emotional support, which you’re not getting in real life. Which
David Ralph [46:41]
brings us back to the podcasting. And that’s why it’s so intimate, because you have a personal connexion is all about but making that personal connexion with people, isn’t it?
Ani Alexander [46:50]
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Because I think it’s very important. I mean, if if the personal connexion wasn’t important, then people would end up just, you know, browsing the internet, right? Reading different blog posts about their the solutions they’re seeking, or buying a nonfiction book and going through that. And you know, that would be it, they would get everything they needed. But they need much more than that.
David Ralph [47:15]
So so we view providing support for be offers and picking them up when they need it, which is exactly what you should do. How do you get back yourself? Because I know we we touch on Facebook quite a bit. And sometimes you will say to me, I feel really low at the moment, and I go, come on, get yourself together. And then other times I go, I’m so tired, I’ll just you know, and you sort of do the same for me. And it’s been a great support for me that he really has went up and I’m just feel like you’re pushing a boulder uphill, and it never ever stopped it. That is what entrepreneurial work is about, isn’t it? It’s about going that extra mile. So how do you find that support? When you just think I’m just so tired? I don’t think I can go that one more step?
Ani Alexander [47:57]
Well, I’ve realised actually, in the very beginning, I didn’t realise that and I was getting really annoyed by some people who who are kind of, you know, part of your life, but don’t really get it. And you’re not getting like what you’re supposed to get from them, like, you know, support wise. But that’s not because they don’t care. That’s just because they don’t know how to do that. And it’s because they don’t know what it is about, and they don’t really imagine what you’re doing. So the best place to find support is among people who are like in your shoes. And to I mean, you don’t have to explain them very thoroughly what’s going on, and why you feel bad about certain things. Because they they already know, because they’ve either gone through that, or they they’re periodically there too. So I mean, the best way is to connect with people who who get it and to who are where you are now.
David Ralph [48:56]
Did you have to look for people that are where you are now? Or do you need to look at the people that are several steps ahead. What was the best way?
Ani Alexander [49:06]
Well, I think both, I think both because when you see people who are several steps ahead, and who went through what you are going to now you get this encouragement and hope that you know, eventually you will get to somehow. But at the same time, if you end up comparing yourself where you are now with the people who are already ahead, you may get even discouraged at some point. So it depends. I mean, I don’t really I try not to compare the situations, I just tried to get like a genuine human relationships in place. And I guess that’s that’s enough.
David Ralph [49:51]
So there’s a word where do you feel that your your role is going to progress? Because that’s the beauty of what we do we start on something, and we’re more work on it, it kind of moves into something else. And when you get to a point where you think actually, this is quite successful, then people start believing in you. And then it becomes slightly easier. But then it’s harder again, because you’ve got to go to the next level when you’re playing against the sort of big boys. So as you are at the moment, do you have those dreams of where it’s going to be? Are you purely in the moment of going to the next round to the next round?
Ani Alexander [50:26]
Well, I mean, right now I’m trying I mean, I tend to have too many projects going on at the same time. And that was one of my biggest mistakes, because I ended up with mediocre results with each of them because I was doing them like parallel to each other. And mediocre is something I absolutely hate. So it’s just you know, I prefer not to do anything rather than having my vehicle results. So if it if I don’t believe I will get like, to certain point which will be above mediocre, I wouldn’t even start anything. So what what my short term goal for now is, is you know, continue doing what I’m doing, and to become better in that and become successful in that. And only after that, eventually I think the time and the audience itself will lead me to the new project, which will come up later on. But right now, I mean, I don’t think I’m at a level. I mean, at that enough high level that I should just, you know, be okay with what’s going on now and then go to the next level. I’m not there yet.
David Ralph [51:36]
I bet you are. I listened to a show that you was on the other day. And you know where I’m going to go with this Annie. And that the lady was recording and you turned up late, which is always when you at a level and you can turn up when you want. And the woman was going,
Unknown Speaker [51:50]
Oh my god, she’s coming. She’s coming. She’s
David Ralph [51:52]
she was so excited that I played it about four or five times I thought it was the funniest thing ever.
Ani Alexander [51:59]
So, so embarrassing. Go.
David Ralph [52:03]
It was good. It was good. She was cheap. She was having an out of body experience. She was so pleased that you turned up.
Ani Alexander [52:11]
Yeah, well, you know, things like that happen. Just it’s just you know, this time difference, and different misunderstandings sometimes come across. But yeah, I was late on the show. That’s embarrassing. But you know, no, she she did a good job of, you know, keeping them live for how 17 minutes.
David Ralph [52:36]
She said the same thing over and over again, for 17 minutes, it’s it must have been killer for her to feel that much time because she wasn’t prepared Anyway, she was expecting you to just be there. And so she went live, and it was a live recording that you could sort of tap into. And yeah, imagine that you start talking and for 17 minutes, you don’t know what you’re going to talk about. No wonder she started screaming, she’s coming. She’s gonna make God thank god, he’s here.
Ani Alexander [53:02]
But the thing was, I mean, she wasn’t sure I will show up. So I mean, she was, she sounded very certain that I was coming. But she didn’t know that, because she didn’t have any communication about that. So that was Yeah,
David Ralph [53:19]
well, I can’t wait till I get to the level when people start screaming that when I when I appear, that hasn’t happened yet. What I want to do now I want to start with Join Up Dots of your life. And I’m going to play the words of Steve Jobs, because it is so important. And it is the fame of the whole show. And as you were saying, you know, in in life generally, even though you look back at things, and they weren’t good for you, you can take something and you can use those talents, those skills and move on to the next level. So I’m going to play these words, and we’re going to ask whether it was relevant to you. And maybe it’s still relevant. This is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [53:56]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [54:31]
So can you join up your dots when you look back? At the an event left the corporate world? Or probably the me before then to now? Can you see how it’s occurred?
Unknown Speaker [54:42]
Well, I think
Ani Alexander [54:45]
I think everything that happens to me kind of shaped up my personality. And although in Soviet Union, you were taught that you’re supposed to be extremely modest. With the time after travelling and living in different countries, I ended up realising that, you know, that’s not true. You shouldn’t be modest. And I think and I do believe that my personality is the key to what I’m doing now. And it will be a major part of the future success. So I’m really thankful to everything that happens to me, I’m including all the bad things, because they kind of they made me stronger. They they shaped my personality, they made me the way I am. And I think that’s my unique selling point, if you can put it in the business terms, let’s say,
David Ralph [55:40]
I think that’s the key thing as well, isn’t it that even the bad things? You look back on it? And you kind of go Yeah, okay, that was terrible. I’ve really wasn’t happy at that time. But I took something from it. And I wouldn’t be who I am. Now, I don’t think you could go through life. When everything goes your way. You need to have light and dark, don’t you
Ani Alexander [55:58]
think no one has life when everything goes their way. So it’s just it’s impossible life very often. I mean, I hate those periods. But very often there are periods when life gets out of your control. And there are just periods when you just can’t do anything about that. And that’s life. And it happens. And it happens very often. Because, you know, you may have plans, but life has completely different plans for you. So when I’m looking back, again, if I look back to myself about 20 years ago, and when I was studying in the university, and what kind of plans I had and what kind of hopes I had for my life, I was kind of I was going to completely different direction. I wasn’t planning any of the things I did later on during the the next 20 years. And that’s the beauty of it. I mean, if everything was very predictable, I don’t think they’re there be any excitement left?
David Ralph [57:02]
I think my life is a life of two hearts. Really, I think the first part of it was very predictable. And I think now it’s very unpredictable. And I think because I, I had those two halves, and they were clearly defined moments in my life. I think it’s easier for me to transition, I think if I was trying things and they weren’t working, and then folding back and going into the sort of the employment route and then coming back out and entrepreneurial. And that didn’t work. I think I would struggle. But because I know that ultimately, if it doesn’t pan out, I can step back. I think it’s um, it’s a freedom is a mindset thing, isn’t it?
Ani Alexander [57:38]
Yeah, exactly. It’s just I think it’s just, you know, when when you have like video games and you you, you have to pass different levels. And you know, after each level, you get a new one. That’s what happens with with entrepreneurs, you just, you know, you get to a certain level to become an entrepreneur, and later on you, you just continue with different levels moving forward.
David Ralph [58:01]
I love it when people actually write the title for the show. And you just did that. A lady who believes Life is like a video game. And that is perfect, isn’t it? It is perfect. Yeah, I could see that totally. You work, you work, you work. And you get to that point in that game that you just can’t do it. And then suddenly you realise, Oh, I know what I need to do, I can do that. And you go to the next level, and then you struggle and struggle and struggle. That is that is one of the most perfect titles Life is like a video game. Yeah, it is. You are a creative writer, you see, you’ve got it oozing out of you in every area. Well, this is the end of the show me and this is the bit that what I’m gonna do and send you back in time. And if you could go back in time and speak to the younger any, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give? Well, I’m going to play the theme tune. And when it fades you up Mrs. The sermon on the mic?
Unknown Speaker [58:55]
Unknown Speaker [58:58]
with the best?
Ani Alexander [59:14]
Well, with all these transitions, you have a much more sophisticated show than I have. Actually, Well, okay, let’s let’s go back. Maybe I should talk to my teenage self, because those were the times when, you know, I was going through different changes. And you It was a tough time, actually. So I had many, many different changes. And I changed many countries. And I ended up with many different people and different languages, different cultures. So you know, at some point I was a bit confused. So what I would tell myself on in those teenage years is that you know, don’t listen to advice, listen to yourself. Don’t be too modest. And you know, the self confidence should be in you. Because if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.
David Ralph [1:00:10]
Perfect advice. How can our audience connect with you Ani?
Ani Alexander [1:00:14]
Well, my website is at www on.anialexander.com on is spelled ani. And while there is pretty much everything so you can get all the social network accounts. You can see my books, you can have my blog, my podcast, it’s basically the hub of everything I’m doing.
David Ralph [1:00:35]
We will have all the links on the show notes. And he thank you so much for spending time with us today joining those dots of your life. And please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up those dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. And Alexander, thank you so much.
Ani Alexander [1:00:52]
Thank you, thank you for having me there.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become so he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up Dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.