5 Question Q&A with… Monica F. Anderson, DDS, author of “Success Is a Side Effect”

JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview 
5 Question Q&A With… 
Monica F. Anderson, DDS, aka “Dr. mOe,” author of Success Is a Side Effect: Leadership, Relationships, and Selective Amnesia
TyMAC Books

Success Is a Side Effect is a powerful, practical guide to achieving more fulfilling relationships at work, at home, and in your community by best-selling author and motivational speaker Dr. Monica Anderson. Her unique approach to personal growth is illustrated with real-world situations, surprising statistics, and laugh-out-loud anecdotes.

Discover the positive side effects of authentically pursuing your passions with practical lessons in leadership like:

  • Schedule your nervous breakdowns
  • The trouble with cheerleading
  • How to avoid emotional miscarriages
  • The cougar myth
  • Eat lunch with strangers
  • And why you absolutely must have multiple streams of happiness

Joey Pinkney: What inspired you to write Success Is a Side Effect? Out of your fiction and nonfiction paperbacks, what inspired you to offer this title in audiobook format?

Monica F. Anderson, DDS, aka Dr. mOe: In the second and third decades of my life, I focused too much on trying to make that paper. Achievements, awards, dollar bills…you name it. Western society convinced me–and others–success was a person, place, or thing. I sincerely believed that was the best way to help my family and my community.

So, I worked like a circus clown to have “my own business,” be with “that guy,” and maintain “relevance” in my ‘hood.” But I wasn’t fulfilled. If it weren’t for my loving family – my foundation, I probably would have lost my mind. I had everything I was told to want and my only thought was “Meh, is this it?”

I had to go through seven layers of hell before I understood the most important work one can do is build strong relationships and know your purpose. Neither society, another person, or the dictionary should decide what success looks like for an individual. We define success for ourselves by passionately working toward things we are passionate about.

I wrote this book to help others take a shortcut around the poor decisions that lead to self-destruction. The take-away from these life lessons, in fact, from every life lesson, is that success is the side effect of making better choices every day.

Here’s why I produced Success Is a Side Effect first. I have published six books. Three are contemporary fiction with lots of characters. It took me umpteenth sessions in the studio to record my natural voice so fiction was out of the question. When I talked to experts in the audiobook industry, they suggested that a nonfiction book would be easier the first time.

Since most of my public speaking is on personal development, I thought Success Is A Side Effect would be easier for me to maintain the same tone and emotion throughout the recording. It wasn’t but that’s what I thought going in! I’m so glad I did it but it was HARD work.

JP: How does Success Is a Side Effect approach and communicate the Cougar Myth?

Dr. mOe: Quiet as it is kept, “cougars” are not sexual objects of a certain age who prefer young, virile men. They don’t work at being “hot” because manufactured hotness eventually cools. But that never-say-die appeal is a result of confidence, a healthy lifestyle, independence, and a beautiful spirit that loves, despite the pain that love sometimes brings.

This is an irresistible, powerful charisma that exudes through the pores—from the inside out. Self-love is the genesis of sexy. The media, fashion magazines, and movies have inexplicably changed the meaning of cougar from “big cat” to “aging sex kitten.” Is that a compliment or an unfair depiction of experienced, accomplished women who happen to have an unlimited dating pool by default, rather than by design?

JP: How is selective amnesia discussed in Success Is a Side Effect? Is it used as a compartmentalized benefit in the audiobook, or is it addressed as an unnecessary detriment?

Dr. mOe: Selective amnesia is an essential tool for moving beyond the inevitable disappointments we all encounter. You can’t do it easily, but you can deliberately delete events, destructive criticism, and even people who are unforgettably awful in a way that allows you to move forward with your life.

None of us have unlimited time on earth, so try not to waste hours of it caressing things you regret. When you start approaching those emotional landmines from past relationships, literally tell yourself “No! No! No!” and don’t go there. Where should you go? Get your keys and move yourself physically and emotionally away from danger. Dance to happy music, watch a funny movie, or immerse yourself in a good book until your mind takes every negative thought captive.

JP: As an author of both fiction and nonfiction, you are a wordsmith when it comes to the uses and energies of words. How did the making of this audiobook add to your creative wheelhouse?

Dr. mOe: First, the discipline and time it took to make this audiobook made me more appreciative of the professionals who do it every day. This experience will change the way I write going forward.

I recall one day I went to a recording session, and I was very upset about a personal matter. I thought I moved on, but after 10 minutes of recording, Terence Cowan, my engineer, asked if I was a’right. He said, “Your energy is waaayyyy off.” At that point, he barely knew me.

I took a break and deliberately exercised “selective amnesia” to get my mind right. That moment resonates with me still. The thing is I write and speak from a very special place internally. If he could detect spiritual anorexia in my spoken words, it occurs to me that my readers may detect it in my writing, as well. That never occurred to me before. From now on, I will make sure my emotions are stable when I write so my words are not potentially contaminated by a bad mood.

JP: What is one Do and one Don’t for authors considering turning their paperback into an audiobook?

Dr. mOe: DO work with a professional engineer and producer if you are a rookie like me. Yes, you can do it at home with your podcasting equipment, but the difference in the quality of the audio is tangible. Trust me. I tried. What was good enough for YouTube and my podcast did not work for a 5-hour recording that had to pass ACX’s strict requirements in order to be accepted by Audible and others. Additionally, people who listen to audiobooks all the time have hearing like Superman! For example, my producer was across the country from me and the engineer. When we sent him the first sample, he asked if I was sitting near a door with glass panes or a window. (I was sitting too close to a French door. The studio was being remodeled so the engineer had shifted things around.) In the next session, I moved away from the door. That’s two hours of my life I will never get back. We had to do everything over. Just sayin’…

DON’T skip a single word in the book, omit a long list, or make contractions where none previously existed. Keep in mind some software displays the type as the audio plays. A cursor literally follows every word. Yes, they are that picky. I had to re-record half an hour of moments where I took poetic license with my own book.

JP: I’ve been meaning to ask. Why do you stylize mOe like this? I guess that’s a bonus question.

Dr. mOe: Ha! Many years ago, I was emailing a PR person, and I made a typo in my sig. I typed mOe when I meant to type Moe. He replied that he liked the branding! I respected his opinion, so I kept it. It makes my common nickname distinctive.

The reverse capitalization also uncannily helps me find great independent contractors. By far, the best people I’ve worked with adopt my preferred spelling after seeing it once or twice. I don’t ask them to change, they just do. I think it reflects attention to details. I still find that interesting after all these years.

Get the Success Is a Side Effect audiobook on Audible at https://www.audible.com/pd/Success-Is-a-Side-Effect-Audiobook/B07H8PRDT6.

Be one of twenty people to win a free audiobook copy of Success Is a Side Effect at http://joeypinkney.com/giveaway/audiobook-giveaway-success-is-a-side-effect-by-monica-f-anderson-dds.php.