Below is an interview I conducted with Jessica Levin, entrepreneur, marketer, president of Seven Degrees Communications, people connector and author of Everyone Has Sh*t: Unsolicited Advice for Being Human. A copy can be purchased on Amazon. Jessica is a long-time friend and continues to be a guiding light as I develop my skills in marketing (and struggle to find the best gin & tonic in Washington, DC).
This is your second book. How does it differ from the first, Perfect Pairings: The Art of Connecting People?
This one is completely unique for me. I’m used to writing and talking about business topics. This is personal. It examines humanity from a variety of perspectives. It’s based on my experience and observations as well as the stories of people I have encountered. Both books are research-based, but this one looks at human behavior in surprising and not-so-surprising ways. There are two chapters dedicated to relationships so from the perspective there is a similarity, the interactions between people are what fuels everything. I meet a lot of people and ponder how they co-exist so it’s natural that theme found its way into this book.
What was the hardest part to write?
The chapter on perceptions was difficult as I really wanted to be sensitive, but realistic. There is so much racism in the world today and I didn’t want to come off as an authority on something I have not experienced myself. I tried to be transparent about where I was coming from. My editor helped a lot with this. She has a bi-racial son and deals with sensitive issues on a regular basis. Whenever I was in doubt she helped me to express my thoughts with compassion.
Would you say this book has a purpose?
That’s a great question, Jay. Have you ever done something you can’t explain? I can’t tell you why I felt the need to write this book. It was always in me. My goal was to help people. I had a rocky childhood, but have been very blessed as an adult. There are so many factors that played into how I live my life, but I believe attitude is one of them. The book is written so that someone may learn something from all of the chapters or just one. I learned so much about life as I wrote it. I hope others can use it to find joy, to discover kindness and to deal with all of the shit life throws at us a little easier.
The great thing about this book is that so many conversation have come up about the topics that I address. Everyone has toxic people in their life. I’ve heard some amazing stories of survival and positivity. I’m developing a podcast to continue the conversation. There are more stories to be told and more room to show people that everyone really does have shit.
Purchase a copy of Everyone Has Sh*t: Unsolicited Advice for Being Human by Jessica Levin on Amazon.
Click here to read other contributions in Jay Lemming’s interview series with authors of literary and contemporary fiction.