January 4

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[SGC-16]The Easiest Way To Remember Every Book You Read With Vivian Najib

By Melissa Brown, MDMelissa Brown, MD


Get ready to retain everything from the next book you read, keep it organized for your next book club meeting (or just for yourself), and prep like the pro that you are so you can easily facilitate your next book group discussion and each one after that.

Meet the person I’m calling the Book Club Whisperer, Vivian Najib from The Fig Tree Boutique. She’s created a unique Reading Journal that is both beautiful and functional.

After our recording, Vivian and I had a chat off the mic and I twisted her arm (gently) and she shared a discount coupon code for her beautiful Reading Journals–exclusively for the listeners of the She’s Got Content Podcast! You can find that discount code right down below in the section labeled, “Links and products mentioned in today’s episode.”

Don’t Miss Inside This Episode:

  • A unique idea for a gift or lead magnet for your audience.
  • An idea for coaches so you can add more value to your already-existing group coaching program.
  • The one-word simple concept that helps you have a much more meaningful book discussion–whether it’s for book club or for making book recommendations to others.
  • Listen in to discover how we came up with a name for the book awards for Vivian’s community!
  • Introducing The Figgy Awards!

Links and products mentioned in today’s episode:

Vivian’s free gift–15 Questions For Your Next Book

“She’s Got Content” special discount on any digital reading journal (or any other digital notebook, journal, or diary in the shop). Enter code SGC at checkout for 20% off your order! Go to TheFigTreeBoutique.com to check out the selections.

GoodNotes App PDF reader for iPad users

Xodo PDF reader for Android users

Swedish death cleaning–If you’re not familiar with this term, check out this article.

“Shelf help” books–Link to a blog post I wrote about what are shelf help books and how to deal with them.

Donald Miller’s books mentioned:

  • Business Made Simple–60 Days to Master Leadership, Sales, Marketing, Execution, Management, Personal Productivity, and More
  • Building a Story Brand–Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen

About Vivian Najib

Meet Vivian from The Fig Tree Boutique. Vivian is the creator of The Reading Journal –for people who read multiple books a month and want to remember what they read, keep it all organized in one place, and be ready to discuss on book club day.

Downloaded directly to your iPad or tablet, this journal will help keep everything you’re reading organized and in one place.

Customers rave that The Reading Journal has transformed the way they approach reading, especially with the 15 thoughtful questions and brackets to uncover your favorite book of the year.

When she’s not judging books by their cover on Amazon, you can find Vivian Zoom-organizing her friends’ closets, practicing her Portuguese by shopping at the antique market for cool stuff to decorate a house she doesn’t have, or asking Alexa “where is the nearest lazy river”.

Vivian’s Website

The Fig Tree Boutique

Connect With Vivian on Social

Vivian on Instagram

Connect on Facebook

Vivian’s YouTube channel

About Your Host

Melissa Brown, MD – Coach, Author, Speaker, Teacher, and Podcast Host.

After leaving medical practice in 2009, Melissa discovered the online world and never looked back! After coach certification, she began a healthy lifestyle coaching practice online and quickly fell in love with blogging, writing, and content marketing.

Melissa believes that coaches have the power to change the world. Unfortunately, too many coaches get discouraged by the amount of content they need to create for marketing their business and this can lead to overwhelm and giving up on their dreams. There’s such a ripple effect when a dream dies, so Melissa is on a mission to help coaches and solopreneurs overcome the overwhelm when it comes to content creation so they keep those dreams alive.

Your content can impact massive amounts of people and positively change the world. You’ve got content in there inside you; let’s get it out into the world.

Check out these social media sites:

She’s Got Content Facebook group:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Get your FREE Never Run Out of Content Ideas Tool Kit/Workbook

Thanks for listening!

Thanks so much for listening to this podcast. It means the world to me to have you here on this journey! If you got value from this episode, please share it on social media, and recommend it to your business besties.

Please leave feedback or questions about this episode in the comment section below.

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Transcript
Melissa Brown:

Hello there, Content Creators.

Melissa Brown:

You're listening to the She's Got Content podcast where it's all about creating

Melissa Brown:

content for your coaching business.

Melissa Brown:

I'm your host, Dr.

Melissa Brown:

Melissa Brown, and I'm here every week to help you get your content out of your

Melissa Brown:

head, out of your heart, and out there into the world where that information and

Melissa Brown:

your services can impact the most people.

Melissa Brown:

Get ready to take notes today and then take action, Content Creators.

Melissa Brown:

Let's dive in with today's episode because you've got content to get out there.

Melissa Brown:

You know how when book club time rolls around and you're struggling

Melissa Brown:

to remember the book, all those golden nuggets and the ahas you got

Melissa Brown:

from it, or even if you read it?

Melissa Brown:

Well get ready to retain everything from the next book you read, keep it organized

Melissa Brown:

for your next book club meeting and prep like the pro that you are, so you can

Melissa Brown:

easily facilitate your next book group discussion and every one after that.

Melissa Brown:

My next guest, Vivian Najib, from the Fig Tree Boutique, is the creator of

Melissa Brown:

the Reading Journal, for people who read multiple books a month and want

Melissa Brown:

to remember what they read, keep it all organized in one place, and be

Melissa Brown:

ready to discuss on book club day.

Melissa Brown:

I met Vivian in a breakout group for a course that we both participated in

Melissa Brown:

earlier this year, and we just clicked and I knew I had to have her on the podcast.

Melissa Brown:

Help me welcome Vivian to the She's Got Content Podcast.

Melissa Brown:

Welcome, Vivian.

Vivian Najib:

Thank you.

Vivian Najib:

Thank you, thank you.

Vivian Najib:

It's so good to see you again.

Melissa Brown:

Yeah.

Melissa Brown:

I just am so excited about this discussion today because I think a

Melissa Brown:

lot of the listeners here read a lot.

Melissa Brown:

Everybody loves learning.

Melissa Brown:

There may be more people here reading personal growth and development books

Melissa Brown:

than fiction books, but that's okay.

Melissa Brown:

Or maybe there's a little mix of both.

Melissa Brown:

So, I'm curious, I bet you're a very, very prolific reader.

Melissa Brown:w many books did you read in:Melissa Brown:

Do you have a number?

Vivian Najib:

I do have a number.

Vivian Najib:So in:Vivian Najib:

I'm gonna say I only read 54 books.

Melissa Brown:

Only?

Vivian Najib:

Yeah, I know.

Vivian Najib:

That's why people are gonna laugh.

Vivian Najib:

I say only because this year I, well, let me tell you about the last few years.

Vivian Najib:

So the last few years I've been reading, gosh, 6, 7, 8,

Vivian Najib:

9, 10 books a month sometimes.

Vivian Najib:

And I've really felt like I was just consuming them like I was junk food

Vivian Najib:

binging on books and it was just too much.

Vivian Najib:

I wasn't really taking it with me.

Vivian Najib:

It was like in one ear, out the other completely.

Vivian Najib:

And so this year I thought, you know what?

Vivian Najib:

I'm gonna try to go a little bit slower and try to really, really make

Vivian Najib:

notes on the books and really think about the characters and the scenes.

Vivian Najib:

And I had these elaborate things going on in my journal of best

Vivian Najib:

scene, best supporting character.

Vivian Najib:

I had all of these things going on cuz I just wanted to honor the

Vivian Najib:

authors, honor the book, honor my own reading time and make it mean

Vivian Najib:

more than just reading reading reading, reading, reading, reading.

Melissa Brown:

Yeah.

Melissa Brown:

I get that.

Vivian Najib:

That's why I say I only did 54 this year, and I'm in the middle

Vivian Najib:

of one that I may finish before the end, so we might be at 55, but I am

Melissa Brown:

Wow.

Vivian Najib:

Completely okay with that because I feel like it

Vivian Najib:

was a good reading year for me.

Melissa Brown:

Were those mostly non-fiction or mostly

Melissa Brown:

fiction, or mostly non-fiction?

Vivian Najib:

Mostly fiction.

Vivian Najib:

Yeah, mostly fiction.

Vivian Najib:

I picked up some non-fiction this year, memoirs or um

Vivian Najib:

business related sort of things.

Vivian Najib:

But yeah, I'm mostly a fiction reader.

Melissa Brown:

Okay.

Melissa Brown:

So it sounds like you got your idea for this reading journal because

Melissa Brown:

you were binging and probably not remembering a lot of the points that

Melissa Brown:

you wanted to remember from the books?

Vivian Najib:

Oh my God.

Vivian Najib:

Not remembering anything about the books.

Vivian Najib:

Like not even remembering that I had the book.

Vivian Najib:

Years ago, I was living in Vietnam taking some time away from work.

Vivian Najib:

So I wasn't working.

Vivian Najib:

I was basically every day going to the beach reading books.

Vivian Najib:

And I don't have any idea how many books I read that year.

Vivian Najib:

I was reading like a book a day.

Melissa Brown:

Wow.

Vivian Najib:

Because that's all I was doing was just

Vivian Najib:

sitting there reading books.

Vivian Najib:

And it got to the point where I was,one, going broke, right?

Vivian Najib:

Because I would be on Amazon every day buying a new book and that's

Vivian Najib:

not where I wanna be . So like Broke is not where I wanna be.

Vivian Najib:

On Amazon is actually where, or buying books is absolutely where I wanna be.

Vivian Najib:

Broke is not where I wanna be.

Vivian Najib:

And then I noticed Amazon, when I'd go to buy a book, Amazon would be like,

Vivian Najib:

um, you already bought this book.

Melissa Brown:

Oh no.

Vivian Najib:

And it happened over and over again because I just, I would even

Vivian Najib:

read the descriptions of the books, right?

Vivian Najib:

The little blurbs.

Vivian Najib:

No recollection.

Vivian Najib:

Nothing.

Vivian Najib:

I had nothing.

Vivian Najib:

Nothing was sticking at all.

Vivian Najib:

And I was like, this is not right.

Vivian Najib:

So, I knocked up a stupid little thing where it was literally just

Vivian Najib:

a, let me just write down the author and the name of the book.

Melissa Brown:

Mm-hmm.

Vivian Najib:

And tick it off when I read it.

Vivian Najib:

It was a nothing burger of a journal.

Vivian Najib:

And then over the years it's evolved and evolved and evolved

Vivian Najib:

and I've just been using it myself.

Vivian Najib:

And loving it.

Vivian Najib:

And I don't never even told anyone that I had it.

Vivian Najib:

It was just my little thing I was doing.

Vivian Najib:

And I had a customer send me a message one day and say, Vivian, have you

Vivian Najib:

thought of doing a reading journal?

Vivian Najib:

Because if you made a reading journal, I would definitely buy it.

Vivian Najib:

And so I was like, Ooh, hey, I actually, I could make a reading journal and it's

Vivian Najib:

something that I actually really like.

Vivian Najib:

So that sort of started the whole process of , did some research

Vivian Najib:

to see, I know what I like in my reading journal, but I'm just me.

Vivian Najib:

Right?

Vivian Najib:

What do other people like?

Vivian Najib:

What kinds of spreads and what kinds of trackers and what kinds of

Vivian Najib:

whatever would people want if they were gonna do a reading journal?

Vivian Najib:

So months and months of researching, we went through about, oh gosh, three,

Vivian Najib:

four, maybe five different drafts of a reading journal out to beta testers until

Vivian Najib:

we finally, in end of October this year.

Vivian Najib:

I was like, all right, I think this is it.

Vivian Najib:

This is good ,and this is something that I want out there for people to have.

Vivian Najib:

So just before Thanksgiving, we put it out in the world and the

Vivian Najib:

customers are really loving it.

Vivian Najib:

So it's exciting to me.

Vivian Najib:

They're all excited about the book brackets to choose their

Vivian Najib:

favorite books of the year.

Vivian Najib:

They're excited about filling up their libraries.

Vivian Najib:

I'm getting such great feedback from it, so it makes me super

Vivian Najib:to get started filling in for:Vivian Najib:

It really, as one of my customers said It has changed the way

Vivian Najib:I'm gonna read books in:Vivian Najib:

And that is absolutely what it did for me too.

Vivian Najib:

It changed the way I read books.

Vivian Najib:

. Especially this past year, right?

Vivian Najib:

When I was like, I'm just in one ear and out the other.

Vivian Najib:

No, no.

Melissa Brown:

Absolutely.

Melissa Brown:This past January,:Melissa Brown:

We started reading a book a month and discussing it.

Vivian Najib:

I think that's awesome.

Melissa Brown:

They're all personal growth and development books or

Melissa Brown:

business related books or books about messaging or copywriting.

Melissa Brown:

And sometimes I would wait till the last minute to read it because if I

Melissa Brown:

read it at the beginning of the month, I wouldn't remember it to discuss it.

Melissa Brown:

Having something where I could actually write down what I wanna remember.

Melissa Brown:

Well, one of the little tricks and tips that I used to use, and I still

Melissa Brown:

do it, is an idea John Maxwell gave.

Melissa Brown:

And that is to take the inside cover of your book, and this doesn't necessarily

Melissa Brown:

work if you're reading it digitally or if you have an audio book, but to take

Melissa Brown:

the inside cover where there is nothing written and write your notes inside there.

Melissa Brown:

What I'm finding are people don't want to mess up the book, but I think it's

Melissa Brown:

a great way for somebody else to pick up the book and say, oh, someone else

Melissa Brown:

wrote down some really cool nuggets here and putting the page number for those

Melissa Brown:

nuggets too, so you can go back to it.

Vivian Najib:

So you can find it.

Vivian Najib:

Yeah

Melissa Brown:

So yeah.

Vivian Najib:

The thing that I hear all the time from readers who

Vivian Najib:

go to book club are two things.

Vivian Najib:

One, like you said, they either wait until the last minute to read the

Vivian Najib:

book and then they don't finish it.

Vivian Najib:

They're scrambling to get it done in the last 10 minutes before book club,

Vivian Najib:

cuz they're like, oh crap, we gotta talk about this and I'm only on chapter four.

Vivian Najib:

I don't know.

Vivian Najib:

Or if they do take notes and remember it, their notes are everywhere.

Vivian Najib:

And they make no sense.

Vivian Najib:

So your idea of keeping the notes in one place is what people need.

Vivian Najib:

People are like, I've got notes on my phone, and then I've got a note

Vivian Najib:

on a scrap of paper in my planner, and then there's a notebook by my

Vivian Najib:

bed that I've scribbled things in.

Vivian Najib:

You cannot be running around your house trying to gather a bunch

Vivian Najib:

of sticky notes before book club.

Vivian Najib:

It'll make you crazy.

Melissa Brown:

One of the things that I've discovered with my little system

Melissa Brown:

of writing notes in the book is if you misplace that book, you're kind of sunk.

Vivian Najib:

Yeah.

Melissa Brown:

So I love your idea of having a digital journal

Melissa Brown:

to write down all the ideas.

Melissa Brown:

My books sometimes disappear in my house because my husband is kind of a neat

Melissa Brown:

nick and he likes things in its place, and if I leave a book laying around in

Melissa Brown:

another part of the house other than my messy office, it may disappear.

Melissa Brown:

So that's why I'm saying I know from experience that

Melissa Brown:

that book could be misplaced.

Melissa Brown:

And therefore all my notes all of my notes go.

Melissa Brown:

So I love that idea.

Melissa Brown:

Your journal, is it printable or is it only in the digital form?

Vivian Najib:

So it is a pdf that you download.

Vivian Najib:

You could print the pdf and write on it that way.

Vivian Najib:

Easy peasy.

Vivian Najib:

It's designed really though to be downloaded and used on your iPad or your

Vivian Najib:

tablet with a PDF annotation app, like Good Notes is popular with iPad users.

Vivian Najib:

I use an app called Xodo because I have an Android tablet.

Vivian Najib:

And I just this morning actually I got a question about whether you can

Vivian Najib:

use it on a laptop and the answer is yes, you can, but you need to

Vivian Najib:

use it or on your desktop, whatever.

Vivian Najib:

But you still need a PDF annotation or editing app.

Vivian Najib:

Adobe Acrobat can be that app.

Vivian Najib:

You are able to use it across the board.

Vivian Najib:

You can print it.

Vivian Najib:

It's a pdf.

Melissa Brown:

Okay.

Vivian Najib:

It's just a pdf.

Melissa Brown:

So it's accessible pretty much everywhere then.

Vivian Najib:

Everywhere for anyone, for any reason.

Melissa Brown:

I love that.

Vivian Najib:

I love it.

Vivian Najib:

The whole digital thing really changed the way I work really, because I

Vivian Najib:

used to have just so many notebooks laying around, like a lot of people do.

Vivian Najib:

I'm a notebook fanatic and I like to keep lots of notebooks, physical notebooks.

Vivian Najib:

Right?

Vivian Najib:

All my life I've been like this, and it just gets to be so much, clutter,

Vivian Najib:

but it's not clutter cuz it's your entire life in these notebooks.

Vivian Najib:

Right?

Melissa Brown:

Yeah, the whole world is going to more digital

Melissa Brown:

education, more digital memories.

Melissa Brown:

It's just the wave of the future.

Melissa Brown:

And I myself have stacks and stacks of journals, notes that I took at

Melissa Brown:

meetings or journals that I've written.

Melissa Brown:

And occasionally I do go back and look things up in them, but for the

Melissa Brown:

most part, they haven't been indexed.

Melissa Brown:

It's just stuff.

Vivian Najib:

But it's stuff that's important.

Vivian Najib:

It's your life.

Melissa Brown:

It is!

Melissa Brown:

I can't get rid of it.

Melissa Brown:

No, I can't.

Melissa Brown:

I can't get rid of it and I don't wanna get rid of it.

Melissa Brown:

But, there is this thing about Swedish death cleaning.

Vivian Najib:

Yes.

Melissa Brown:

Or what have you.

Melissa Brown:

Well, then I think my kids will probably, they'll have a record of my life

Melissa Brown:

looking through some of these journals.

Melissa Brown:

Hopefully they will and not just pitch them.

Vivian Najib:

Hopefully they'll at least flip through it for a minute, you know?

Melissa Brown:

Yeah, yeah.

Melissa Brown:

Exactly.

Melissa Brown:

So with all those books that you're reading, are you in

Melissa Brown:

book clubs now currently?

Vivian Najib:

I am.

Vivian Najib:

I am in two book clubs, one virtual and then one where I actually, it's in

Vivian Najib:

the next town over from where I live.

Vivian Najib:

So it's an actual physical book club.

Vivian Najib:

And I've been in a lot of book clubs, some of them more successful than others.

Melissa Brown:

Do you take turns being the facilitator for the book club or is

Melissa Brown:

there one person who is the facilitator?

Vivian Najib:

The one where I actually travel now, it's one

Vivian Najib:

woman who's always the facilitator and she does I think a nice job.

Vivian Najib:

The other one that's online, it's more informal cuz it's just like me and a bunch

Vivian Najib:

of friends and so nobody facilitates.

Vivian Najib:

We all just talk, because we're all friends.

Vivian Najib:

But I've been in some where it's been both ways.

Vivian Najib:

Where if you chose the book, you are the facilitator, where it's just one person

Vivian Najib:

all the time, and where it's nobody.

Vivian Najib:

And all three of those ways can work.

Melissa Brown:

Absolutely.

Vivian Najib:

I've seen them all work.

Vivian Najib:

And I've seen them all fail.

Melissa Brown:

Yeah.

Melissa Brown:

I've been in all of those different formats as well.

Melissa Brown:

When we started reading a book a month in my group coaching, initially it was me.

Melissa Brown:

We kind of voted.

Melissa Brown:

We looked at a different list of titles that everybody threw out

Melissa Brown:

that they would like to read.

Melissa Brown:

I have a term, I didn't coin this term, but there's something called shelf-help.

Melissa Brown:

As opposed to self-help.

Melissa Brown:

Shelf help books are books that sit on your shelf.

Melissa Brown:

You buy them because you intend to read them and they sit on your

Melissa Brown:

shelf, but you don't read them because you didn't get to it yet.

Melissa Brown:

And I have a bunch of shelf help books that I wanted to get through this year.

Melissa Brown:

So I started out like, let's read this one, or let's read that one.

Melissa Brown:

And at some point during the year, we read a book and I, and now because I don't

Melissa Brown:

have my journal I don't remember which book it was, but I remember reading that

Melissa Brown:

book and having the thought that it would really help each person who participates

Melissa Brown:

in my group coaching to choose a book and for them to facilitate the discussion.

Melissa Brown:

So somewhere probably mid-year or a little later we switched.

Melissa Brown:

Each group member picks a book and they are the facilitator for that month.

Melissa Brown:

We read during the month, and then the second Tuesday of the following month

Melissa Brown:

is when we actually discuss that book.

Melissa Brown:

It's just worked out that way.

Melissa Brown:

So this month we're reading a book by Donald Miller, the Story Brand book.

Vivian Najib:

Yeah.

Vivian Najib:

Oh, you're reading the Story Brand one?

Melissa Brown:

Yes.

Vivian Najib:

One of my books this year was the, um,

Melissa Brown:

Business Made Simple?

Vivian Najib:

Yeah.

Melissa Brown:

We read that last month.

Melissa Brown:

We're doing Donald Miller two months in a row.

Vivian Najib:

Well, he's got stuff to say that's great.

Melissa Brown:

He's got good, good stuff.

Melissa Brown:

Really good stuff.

Melissa Brown:

You probably don't have the shelf help because you read so prolifically that

Melissa Brown:

you're probably reading all the time and if you get a book in your hands,

Vivian Najib:

I've got a digital shelf help.

Vivian Najib:

I've got a digital shelf of books cuz I just, whenever someone recommends

Vivian Najib:

something, I pop the cover into my journal and think, all right,

Vivian Najib:

I'm gonna go, when I get a minute, I'll go buy and read that book.

Vivian Najib:

So I got all these books that I'll never, ever read.

Vivian Najib:

Just because nobody has time for all of it but I don't wanna lose it.

Vivian Najib:

It's a good recommendation.

Vivian Najib:

I wanna read it.

Melissa Brown:

Go back and say something about that.

Melissa Brown:

You said you popped the book cover into your journal.

Melissa Brown:

Tell us about that.

Vivian Najib:

Oh yeah.

Vivian Najib:

So it's a digital journal and on my tablet, like you just gave me

Vivian Najib:

a recommendation of a book, right?

Vivian Najib:

You're doing that book for your book club, so I go to Amazon.com.

Vivian Najib:

I find the book on Amazon.com.

Vivian Najib:

I copy the image of the book cover, and then I just paste it into the library

Vivian Najib:

page in my digital reading journal.

Vivian Najib:

And then the cover is there.

Vivian Najib:

And when I go to buy the book or I go to read the book, I can just

Vivian Najib:

copy it onto my book review page.

Vivian Najib:

And I've got what the cover of the book looks like so that if I go to the library

Vivian Najib:

with my tablet or I go to a bookstore with my tablet, I have on my library

Vivian Najib:

page, all of the books that I wanna read with the picture of the cover.

Vivian Najib:

So I can literally walk around with my tablet and that library page

Vivian Najib:

and find the books cause the covers

Melissa Brown:

beautiful

Vivian Najib:

are exactly the way they look in the bookstore.

Melissa Brown:

I love that idea.

Vivian Najib:

Now it's never what was the name of that?

Vivian Najib:

Like I'm at the library going, oh, what was that book?

Vivian Najib:

I can't even remember what the book cover looked like.

Vivian Najib:

Like how do I know?

Vivian Najib:

I don't know the author.

Vivian Najib:

I don't know.

Vivian Najib:

Whatever.

Vivian Najib:

The card catalog, what's going on at the library?

Vivian Najib:

I don't know.

Vivian Najib:

So having it, the book cover in my reading journal, it's like there.

Melissa Brown:

That is brilliant.

Melissa Brown:

That's like one of the things that I recommend for content creators is anytime

Melissa Brown:

you get a spark for an idea for content to write is always pop that into your

Melissa Brown:

container, your content container, because you're never gonna remember it when you're

Melissa Brown:

sitting in front of the computer looking at a cursor that's blinking at you.

Melissa Brown:

So you want to pop it into a container.

Melissa Brown:

That's beautiful, that you get a recommendation for a book, or you see

Melissa Brown:

a book someplace where you're reading along or you like an author and you wanna

Melissa Brown:

read another one of that author's books.

Melissa Brown:

Pop it into your journal.

Melissa Brown:

You got the picture and you know that book.

Melissa Brown:

That is the book that you wanna read.

Melissa Brown:

At some point.

Melissa Brown:

You don't have to read it next, but at least you've saved it in the journal.

Vivian Najib:

Yeah.

Melissa Brown:

So I'm also very curious about your brackets.

Melissa Brown:

Tell us about your brackets.

Vivian Najib:

Oh, My God, my favorite thing in the journal.

Vivian Najib:

Favorite thing!

Vivian Najib:

Yes.

Vivian Najib:

So you know, like March Madness in the US.

Melissa Brown:

Yes.

Vivian Najib:

You've got the brackets that everybody's got.

Vivian Najib:

It narrows it down to from whatever, 58 or however many there

Vivian Najib:

are, all the way down to two.

Vivian Najib:

And then you have your winner.

Melissa Brown:

That's for basketball, right?

Melissa Brown:

Basketball.

Vivian Najib:

That's for basketball.

Vivian Najib:

So I did the same thing with my books.

Vivian Najib:

And so I've got a book bracket for fiction and for non-fiction, but it wouldn't

Vivian Najib:

have to be, it could just be whatever.

Vivian Najib:

And so sometimes I cheat, right?

Vivian Najib:

But the idea is, is that I choose the best book of every

Vivian Najib:

month and pop it into the slot.

Vivian Najib:

So there's 12 slots at the top of the bracket.

Melissa Brown:

Okay.

Vivian Najib:

One for every month, the favorite book of every month.

Vivian Najib:

But like I said, sometimes I cheat cuz there are months that I read,

Vivian Najib:

like three great books and months that I read some that are like, eh.

Melissa Brown:

Right.

Vivian Najib:

So sometimes I cheat and it's not the best book of

Vivian Najib:

January, the best book of February.

Vivian Najib:

I start with 12.

Vivian Najib:

And then I pick between January and February, whichever book

Vivian Najib:

I like better drops down.

Vivian Najib:

And then I pick between March and April and then that book drops down and

Vivian Najib:

then I pick between January and April.

Vivian Najib:

Like it just keeps dropping down in the bracket until I'm down to

Vivian Najib:

the two final books of the year.

Vivian Najib:

Which one do I like the best?

Vivian Najib:

It's a completely unscientific,

Melissa Brown:

But I love it.

Vivian Najib:

Way of choosing the best book of the year, but it's super fun.

Vivian Najib:

So I've got that bracket, which I love.

Vivian Najib:

But then my favorite, favorite thing is not a bracket really.

Vivian Najib:

It's like the Academy Awards of Reading.

Vivian Najib:

I have this thing where it's like all year long.

Vivian Najib:

So at the beginning of the year, I have to choose what my categories are gonna be.

Vivian Najib:For:Vivian Najib:

choose a best of for the year.

Melissa Brown:

This is completely customizable?

Melissa Brown:

Anyone who has the journal, they can create their own academy awards.

Vivian Najib:

Yeah.

Melissa Brown:

Or Oscars.

Vivian Najib:

Yeah.

Vivian Najib:

Create your own.

Vivian Najib:

Even if you don't have the journal, create your own, cuz it helps

Vivian Najib:

you as you're reading books and you're thinking through them.

Vivian Najib:

You're just paying more attention because, you know, is this gonna be

Vivian Najib:

a contender for one of the awards?

Vivian Najib:So for:Vivian Najib:

that's always a good one.

Vivian Najib:

Best supporting character.

Vivian Najib:

What else did I choose?

Vivian Najib:

Funniest scene, I think.

Melissa Brown:

That makes sense.

Vivian Najib:

What's the other one?

Vivian Najib:

I can't remember it.

Melissa Brown:

Plot twist?

Vivian Najib:

Plot twist is a good one.

Vivian Najib:

I've got most magical setting if you like reading that kind of stuff.

Vivian Najib:

Scariest setting if you're into like horror and things like that.

Vivian Najib:

And then I also chose like best poem because one of my goals for next year,

Vivian Najib:

I wanna try to read some more poetry.

Vivian Najib:

I don't read much poetry.

Vivian Najib:

So I've got my categories and then every month, as I'm reading a book,

Vivian Najib:

I gotta keep this in my head, right?

Vivian Najib:

Does this scene qualify for best scene or is it the most romantic scene, or

Vivian Najib:

is this the best meet cute, right?

Vivian Najib:

And then I get to, at the end of the year, do my Academy awards.

Vivian Najib:

I love that.

Vivian Najib:

That's by far, my favorite thing about the Reading Journal and my favorite thing

Vivian Najib:

that I do every year because it's fun and it's weird, and it also, it really

Vivian Najib:

does help me when I'm reading the book cuz I am paying attention to characters

Vivian Najib:

and scenes and plots and what happens and it makes the books more enjoyable

Vivian Najib:

for me and more memorable for me.

Vivian Najib:

And way easier when it comes to book club or just discussing the book with people,

Vivian Najib:

because I have this in my head and I'm like, oh my God, when Yinka did when she

Vivian Najib:

started sitting on that sofa and whatever?

Vivian Najib:

And I have the scene in my head, right?

Vivian Najib:

Because I have paid attention so that Academy Awards thing, I need

Vivian Najib:

to think of a better word for it.

Vivian Najib:

The Book Club awards?

Vivian Najib:

I don't know.

Vivian Najib:

Cuz it's not the academy, it's the Fig Tree Boutique Awards.

Vivian Najib:

I don't know.

Melissa Brown:

There you go.

Melissa Brown:

The Fig Tree Boutique Award Fig Tree.

Vivian Najib:

It's my own boutique personal awards, but I love it.

Vivian Najib:

Just cuz it's just mindful reading.

Melissa Brown:

Yes.

Vivian Najib:

That's how you have great book club discussions is

Vivian Najib:

if you're reading mindfully and so that's why you take notes.

Vivian Najib:

Right?

Vivian Najib:

That's why you scribble things.

Vivian Najib:

That's why.

Melissa Brown:

Well, you've got your brackets where you're coming

Melissa Brown:

up with the best book of the year and you've got your Figtree Boutique

Melissa Brown:

awards that are sort of like Oscars.

Vivian Najib:

Yes.

Melissa Brown:

They could be Figgys.

Melissa Brown:

They could be Figgys.

Vivian Najib:

They could be Figgys.

Vivian Najib:

Oh my God, the Figgys!

Melissa Brown:

Figgys-The Figgy Awards.

Vivian Najib:

Oh I love it!

Vivian Najib:

The Figgy Awards.

Vivian Najib:

You're on to something.

Melissa Brown:

Yeah!

Melissa Brown:

Hmmm..

Melissa Brown:

Do you write blog posts about that?

Melissa Brown:

So are you like teasing,

Vivian Najib:

Well, I am now!

Melissa Brown:

Are you teasing your audience about what's to come about the

Melissa Brown:

Figgy Awards or the best book of the year?

Vivian Najib:

Yes.

Melissa Brown:

Is that something

Vivian Najib:

Yes, absolutely.

Vivian Najib:

And this is stuff any content creator could do as well.

Vivian Najib:

I love reading book quotes.

Melissa Brown:

I do too.

Melissa Brown:

I love that.

Vivian Najib:

When people on social media share book quotes, and I feel

Vivian Najib:

like that's the kind of thing that is great to do when you're reading a book.

Vivian Najib:

If you've read something that's like, wow, people should hear this.

Vivian Najib:

Put it out there, put a blog post.

Vivian Najib:

Right now I'm actually, because it's the end of the year and it's Christmas,

Vivian Najib:

I'm working on a little magazine that I'm gonna send out to my subscribers

Vivian Najib:

that has just on social media I've been doing an Advent calendar.

Vivian Najib:

I call it my book-vent calendar.

Melissa Brown:

Oh!

Vivian Najib:

With quotes.

Melissa Brown:

That's cool.

Vivian Najib:

That I've had in my journal from books that I've read this year.

Vivian Najib:

So I've been doing it every day and I'm just gonna put it all in a magazine and

Vivian Najib:

send that out to subscribers as just like a little gift that they can flip through.

Vivian Najib:

Because everybody likes to read book quotes.

Melissa Brown:

Yes.

Vivian Najib:

Some of them are really, well, all of them I

Vivian Najib:

think are really, really good.

Vivian Najib:

But especially if you were doing like a business one.

Vivian Najib:

Can you imagine getting a magazine full of 25 or 30 or 50 of the best quotes about

Vivian Najib:

your business in books that you read.

Melissa Brown:

Okay.

Melissa Brown:

Content Creators!

Melissa Brown:

Did you just hear that bomb, that truth bomb there?

Melissa Brown:

Oh my gosh, what a great idea.

Melissa Brown:

So yes!

Vivian Najib:

I would love to get something like that.

Melissa Brown:

That could be a lead magnet

Vivian Najib:

If you do, send it to me.

Melissa Brown:

That could be a lead magnet.

Melissa Brown:

That could be a little gift.

Vivian Najib:

It could absolutely be a magnet.

Melissa Brown:

A loyalty gift to your readers.

Melissa Brown:

Oh, that's a great idea.

Melissa Brown:

Vivian, you just are so full of such wonderful tips and ideas.

Melissa Brown:

I love this idea of your journal, and I think it really holds a place

Melissa Brown:

for coaches, for solopreneurs.

Melissa Brown:

And, and here's an idea for all you coaches out there.

Melissa Brown:

If you've got a group coaching, a mastermind group and you wanna actually

Melissa Brown:

add some flavor to it, create a book club within and discuss a book every month or

Melissa Brown:

more often if you are a prolific reader.

Melissa Brown:

But for me, I think it's been very doable to do this once a month.

Melissa Brown:

And Vivian's journal might be the way that you're gonna be able to keep everything

Melissa Brown:

in place, keep yourself organized.

Melissa Brown:

You'd mentioned that you're doing this gift for your readers, for

Melissa Brown:

your audience, but you also have a gift here for our audience.

Melissa Brown:

Tell us about that.

Vivian Najib:

I do.

Vivian Najib:

So two things that people are always talking about

Vivian Najib:

when it's time for book club.

Vivian Najib:

They don't remember the book, but even more than that, once

Vivian Najib:

they get there, they're not sure how to talk about the book.

Vivian Najib:

Or your worst fear is it's gonna be six people on a Zoom

Vivian Najib:

call going; yeah, I liked it.

Vivian Najib:

Yeah, it was good.

Vivian Najib:

Where no one's really talking.

Vivian Najib:

So I've got 15 questions for you to ask your next book.

Vivian Najib:

It's 15 questions for fiction book and 15 questions for a non-fiction book.

Vivian Najib:

It's just a quick little guide.

Vivian Najib:

It's one page with the questions that you can actually print and fold and stick it

Vivian Najib:

in your book and use it as a bookmark.

Melissa Brown:

Oh, I love.

Vivian Najib:

Yeah, very cool.

Vivian Najib:

Right?

Vivian Najib:

Or if you're already a digital journal kind of person, a digital planner

Vivian Najib:

person, I'll give you a sticker with the questions that you can just stick in your

Vivian Najib:

notebook or journal or planner to use.

Melissa Brown:

I love that.

Melissa Brown:

This is great.

Vivian Najib:

Just a quick little guide that's gonna give you some strategies

Vivian Najib:

for thinking about and reading, like I said, fiction versus non-fiction.

Vivian Najib:

It's gonna give you the number one thing you can do to be ready for book

Vivian Najib:

club and when you need to do it, and it's gonna help you just tweak just a

Vivian Najib:

little bit, the way you read, that's going to make every book you read more

Vivian Najib:

memorable and discussable so that you have things to talk about at book club

Vivian Najib:

so you can go deeper into the book.

Vivian Najib:

And have ideas in your head about what kinds of things you're gonna be

Vivian Najib:

looking for and paying attention to when you read so that you can take

Vivian Najib:

the lead in discussions of certain topics or you can go deeper into

Vivian Najib:

conversations about the topics.

Vivian Najib:

And they're questions that you can use with every single book you own.

Vivian Najib:

So they're not like the questions at the end of the book for book club, right?

Melissa Brown:

Right.

Melissa Brown:

Right.

Vivian Najib:

Some you go, you see that sometimes.

Melissa Brown:

Generic.

Vivian Najib:

These are questions you can use for every book.

Melissa Brown:

Okay, beautiful.

Melissa Brown:

I love that.

Melissa Brown:

So Content Creators, we're gonna have that link to get the free

Melissa Brown:

gift from Vivian in the show notes.

Melissa Brown:

So make sure you head over to the show notes to get that

Melissa Brown:

link and get your free gift.

Melissa Brown:

Listen, make sure you get on her list so that you can get those book quotes too.

Melissa Brown:

Awesome.

Melissa Brown:

Well, this has just been so amazing, this discussion today Vivian.

Melissa Brown:

Tell everybody your website, where people can find you, and

Melissa Brown:

what's your favorite social media platform where we can find you, too.

Vivian Najib:

All right, you can find the website and the reading

Vivian Najib:

journals at thefigtreeboutique.com.

Melissa Brown:

The home of the Figgy Awards!

Vivian Najib:

Home of the Figgy Awards.

Vivian Najib:

Oh my God, I'm totally doing this.

Vivian Najib:

You're gonna, yeah.

Vivian Najib:

Go to the website.

Vivian Najib:

You're gonna see all kinds of stuff in the new year about the Figgys.

Vivian Najib:

We'll all have to wear our gowns when the awards are announced.

Vivian Najib:

Right.

Vivian Najib:

We can all get together with our gowns on.

Melissa Brown:

Oh, I hope it's not just a Fig leaf

Melissa Brown:

. Vivian Najib: Oh boy.

Melissa Brown:

That's going in a whole other direction.

Melissa Brown:

Gowns.

Melissa Brown:

We need gowns.

Melissa Brown:

Okay.

Melissa Brown:

Gowns.

Melissa Brown:

Gowns, okay.

Vivian Najib:

You can find me on Instagram, but I'm really

Vivian Najib:

starting to move into YouTube.

Vivian Najib:

So this coming year, you're gonna find a lot more book related

Vivian Najib:

information from me on YouTube.

Vivian Najib:

And so that's youtube.com/ @thefigtreeboutique

Melissa Brown:

okay.

Melissa Brown:

I'll make sure that we get all of your social links on the show notes

Melissa Brown:

so people can get in contact with you and can watch you on YouTube.

Melissa Brown:

Awesome.

Melissa Brown:

All right, well, thanks again, Vivian.

Melissa Brown:

This has been great and thank you so much.

Vivian Najib:

I've had so much fun!

Melissa Brown:

Thank you so much, Content Creators, for being here,

Melissa Brown:

and we will see you next week.

Melissa Brown:

Bye for now.

Melissa Brown:

Thank you for tuning into this episode of the She's Got Content podcast.

Melissa Brown:

I hope you got at least one nugget to take action on this week.

Melissa Brown:

If you got value from today's episode, I would be so grateful

Melissa Brown:

when you leave a five star rating wherever you listen to podcasts.

Melissa Brown:

It only takes a second and it really helps me get my message out

Melissa Brown:

to impact even more people so they can in turn, keep the ripple going.

Melissa Brown:

If you're listening on Apple Podcast and leave a review of the show, it

Melissa Brown:

would really make my day, and you just might receive a shout out on

Melissa Brown:

the show as my Content Creator of the week when I read out your review.

Melissa Brown:

And last but never least, if you want an endless supply of just right ideas

Melissa Brown:

for content you can write about for your blog post, your emails, your videos,

Melissa Brown:

podcast episodes, all the content things, then you wanna head over to my

Melissa Brown:

website at shesgotcontent.com/content and pick up your free workbook,

Melissa Brown:

Never Run Out of Content Ideas.

Melissa Brown:

Look for that link in the show notes today along with the other

Melissa Brown:

links mentioned in today's episode.

Melissa Brown:

Until next time, Content Creators, you've got an audience waiting to hear from you

Melissa Brown:

and you've got content to share with them.

Melissa Brown:

Stop being the best kept secret and make a bigger impact when you've

This blog post may contain recommendations for products, services, and events. In some cases, the links provided are affiliate links. That means that if you click on the link and then buy a product at the site recommended, you won't pay a penny more and the author may earn compensation as a thank you. You can be assured that any of the promoted products have personally been used by or researched by the author for you and found to be high quality before being recommended. 

Melissa Brown, MD

About the author

Dr. Melissa Brown's career journey has always had an element of teaching. After retirement from clinical pediatric practice, Dr. Brown has taught and mentored as a healthy lifestyle coach, author, and speaker. She currently teaches solopreneurs and coaches how to stop being the world's best-kept secret. Her mission is to help you: Create great content. Impact people. Change the world.

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