Dr. De'Andrea Matthews is an educator, author and international speaker. She is the founder and CEO of Claire Aldin Publications, an award-winning hybrid publisher that is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association. She is the author of seven books, seven book chapters and two academic journal articles in addition to the clients she has published in an effort to diversify publishing, one author at a time. Most recently, Dr. Matthews was selected to receive one of the Top 100 Leaders in Education award from the Global Forum for Education and Learning.
- CEO Hack: Color-coding my block schedule
- CEO Nugget: Make sure you leave a legacy
- CEO Defined: Taking other people along the journey
Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.
Gresham Harkless 00:29
Hello, hello. Hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today we have dr. D. Andrea Matthews of Claire Alden publications. Dr. D'Andrea, it's awesome to have you on the show.
Dr. De'Andrea Matthews 00:40
Thank you so much. It's a pleasure to be here.
Gresham Harkless 00:42
No problem pleasures, definitely all ours. And before we jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about Dr. D'Andrea, so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And she is an etic educator, author and international speaker. She's the founder and CEO of clear Odin publications and award winning hybrid publisher that is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and a member of the independent book Publishers Association. She is the author of six books, five chapter books in two academic journals art journal articles, in addition to the client she has published in an effort to diversify publishing one author at a time. Most recently, Dr. Matthews was selected to receive one of the top 100 leaders in Education Award from the global forum for education and learning dr. D. Andrea, congratulations. And it's great to have you on the show. Are you ready to be to the IC o community?
Dr. De'Andrea Matthews 01:29
I am ready. Awesome. Let's
Gresham Harkless 01:30
do it. So they kick everything off. I wanted just to hear a little bit more on how you got started. Could you take us through what I call your CEO story? What did you get started with.
Dr. De'Andrea Matthews 01:38
So I started as an author before I became a publisher before I launched my own publishing company. But a part of the reason why I wanted to launch a publishing company is it was such a steep learning curve, I learned so much about the publishing community, and all of the things necessary, in order to produce a professional industry standard book, I knew that a lot of first time authors would not have access to the same people to the same resources that I did. So I decided in actually was 2015 when I made the decision. And I actually launched the company in 2017. But I decided to launch a hybrid publishing company. Now the story behind going hybrid versus other formats for publishing was something else that I put a lot of thought into, obviously, traditional publishing companies have their model, self publishing, or independent publishers have their model, and I want it to really bring together the best of both worlds, which is why I decided on a hybrid publishing company. And really, that's how it came about. I wanted to provide professional services, education and tools to people who wanted to publish a book, but did not know what to do or where to go.
Gresham Harkless 02:42
Yeah, absolutely. And it definitely sounds like it could be an overwhelming process, just trying to kind of figure out all the things that you need to do, and to be able to kind of set it up to get to be the success that you want it to be. So it's great that you provide so much, you know, value to people that are looking to try to find that information and do that in a hybrid way that you mentioned.
Dr. De'Andrea Matthews 03:00
Yes, definitely. And a part of what I provide, again, it's not just the professional services, but also the education because some people may want to do it on their own, but it still is my responsibility to the community to let them know the things that you should know the things you should keep in mind as you're going through the process, even if it's on your own.
Gresham Harkless 03:17
Yeah, absolutely. That's why I love you know that you do that through your process, bringing the best of both worlds, so to speak. It sounds like yeah, it's so could you touch a little bit? I know you touched on it a little bit. But can you drill down a little bit more on how exactly you know you work with your clients, how you support them, and some of those resources and services you provide?
Dr. De'Andrea Matthews 03:34
Definitely. So it clear all the publications, we have developed a five pillar process in order to take your manuscript from blank page, really to publish the book. So that five pillar process includes the book production process, book design, book marketing, book, publishing, and also book distribution. And even though those are some very broad topics within those topics, when you do a deep dive, it includes everything from the editing process. And again, there are 12 different types of editing that you can have in a manuscript, we do at least three rounds of professional edits. And, you know, we have custom book designed covers, we work with various professionals in the industry to make sure that at the end of the day, regardless of how we receive your manuscript, we produce masterpieces.
Gresham Harkless 04:19
Nice. And like I kind of talked about, you know, it's so important to kind of have that goal in mind of what you want to have that that masterpiece, but not understanding or not trying to low all of those different aspects is so huge is it so important to be able to know who to ask about, and I don't even know there's 12 different types of editing. So it's glad to know at least you know the person that knows about that. So you'd be able to kind of pick your brain and hear about those resources.
Dr. De'Andrea Matthews 04:42
That's right. And professional development is a huge part of it. Because there's so much going on in the industry, you need to be connected to an industry professional that stands on top of industry trends, best practices, and things of that nature because things could have changed. say if you published a book two years ago, in the same genre Two years later, it could be a very different landscape.
Gresham Harkless 05:00
Yeah, absolutely. And as we are experiencing a very transformational time to say the least now, we're gonna see a lot of changes. And again, it's so important to be able to know the industry expert to be able to kind of lean on.
Dr. De'Andrea Matthews 05:11
Oh, yes, so much has changed this year, it's absolutely transformational. And our businesses have to keep in step to make sure that we not only survive, but thrive.
Gresham Harkless 05:20
Exactly, exactly. So I love that you helped so many people do that. So would you consider that to be like your secret sauce, the thing you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique, or your organization is that that ability to be able to kind of stay tuned in and have and stay true to that five step process you mentioned,
Dr. De'Andrea Matthews 05:35
I do think that's a part of what we offer that's unique, the professional development aspect of it, the fact that I continue to challenge myself, whether it is receiving various awards that acknowledge the work, the professionalism, the integrity that I bring to the table, all of that makes a difference when it comes to the clients that you serve, they want to make sure that they are investing in the right product with the right company with the right, of course, mission, vision, etc.
Gresham Harkless 05:59
Yeah, absolutely. And I think that when you have that, you know that mission and vision and you're doing the right things, it's it to me, it starts to kind of lead through everything that you're doing, whether we're talking about the process, or you know, the the resources that you create, or the the service that you provide, you start to see that manifests itself in so many different ways.
Dr. De'Andrea Matthews 06:16
Absolutely. And that's why I always tell people that I publish authors, not just books, I published authors, because the relationship has developed over the process. And we make sure that our authors have a chance to approve each step of the process, we want to make sure that their input is valued, and that they ultimately receive the product that they desire. So it's important to have that collaboration with the author themselves, and not just the book. And as a result of that, I now have authors who were first time authors that are now coming back for their second and third publications.
Gresham Harkless 06:48
Yeah, that's so powerful. I'm glad you made that distinction. Because even my, even myself, I often, you know, think about the book, and we forget about the book being an extension of the author. And that's why you probably have those people coming back, because they're starting to again, try to showcase their expertise or reach whatever goal they might have. And they understand that you're developing the person and the book is a manifestation of it,
Dr. De'Andrea Matthews 07:10
Definitely. And it's a part of the game, what makes me so proud as the CEO of the company.
Gresham Harkless 07:14
Yeah, I absolutely love that. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an apple book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient.
Dr. De'Andrea Matthews 07:26
So one of the bigger things that makes me effective and efficient, is the fact that I color code, my block schedule. So a lot of times, you know, people struggle with productivity, people struggle with time management. And that is something that I've had to master. Because in addition to being the CEO of clear, Alden publications, I'm also a wife, I'm also a mother, I still have a full time day job, in addition to doing this, as well as wearing other hats within the community that I serve. So it's a necessity, that I distinguish those hours of the day that I'm spending on specific projects. That's my biggest hack, making sure that I'm giving the time in my schedule to focus on everything that needs to be done. So it's, I'm a little methodical when it comes to my schedule. My family knows if it's not on the schedule, it does not exist. So those types of things become important. And that's my biggest hack is making sure that I have the time schedule instead of set to complete everything that I'm responsible for.
Gresham Harkless 08:22
Yeah, that's absolutely huge. Your family probably knows my family. Because I say the same thing. On the schedule, it doesn't happen and won't happen. So I try to make sure to do that on a regular basis. Is there a reason that you also kind of take it a step further and color code it is that helps you to kind of see everything a lot quicker,
Dr. De'Andrea Matthews 08:36
it does, I have become more visual, the older that I've gotten so heavy, the color black schedule is much more important than just text on a page, particularly in the season that we're in where so much is on the screen, we want to be able to distinguish it with colors. So I use colors to make sure that it means something if I see green, obviously, that goes for my day job, you know, blue is my husband's favorite color. So that's our quality time as a couple. So those colors are not just to distinguish the schedule, but they mean something, those colors begin to mean something.
Gresham Harkless 09:06
Yeah, and I absolutely love that. And understanding that a lot of there's this whole kind of color psychology around what colors you choose. And red is like an active color. So I love you know that they're they're not just colors kind of chosen willy nilly, randomly, that's even better word, but it's something that has a meaning. And I feel like he when you see it, you start to get that connection. I imagine when you see that blue, you probably get really happy and I know your husband does too. Nice. So now I wanted to ask you for what I call a SEO nugget. And this could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client or if you happen to a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.
Dr. De'Andrea Matthews 09:44
Hmm, that's really good. So the nugget that I would share would be to make sure that you leave a legacy. So whether it's a written legacy as an author that I would share with my clients, something that again outlives you that future generations have a chance to enjoy, learn more about you, whatever that could be, whether it was something regarding your expertise, your life story itself, I would say to leave a legacy a written legacy is a huge part of what I do as a hybrid publisher. But just leaving a legacy period, whatever that looks like, I would encourage people to leave a legacy. And if you haven't thought about it previously, now's a great time to start thinking about what do I want my legacy to look like?
Gresham Harkless 10:27
Yeah, and so huge, and often I'll reference the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. And one of those habits is, you know, beginning with the end in mind. And it's so huge to kind of understand that because I think so many times we forget, the actions that we're taking on a regular basis, whether we know it or not, is kind of creating our legacy, creating what we're going to be known for. So if you do, or if you haven't done that exercise and have that vision, then I think that's a great place to start. Because a lot of times when you create, you know, a book or whatever that might be, that's going to stand longer than us. And it's going to represent your ideas, what you wanted to see the world as in so many different things. So why not be proactive and doing that.
Dr. De'Andrea Matthews 11:06
So true. And a lot of the literary works that we enjoy today were produced hundreds of years ago. So we want to keep that in mind. It's, it's, it's lasting, it still continues, people still enjoy it today. So we want to make sure that we have something that's a part of, again, that legacy, whatever that looks like,
Gresham Harkless 11:22
yeah, so so important to kind of take the action to be able to figure out what exactly you want that to be. And then the actions come from there. So love that. And now when it asked me my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO, and we're hoping that different, quote, unquote, CEOs on the show, so dr. D. Andrea,
Dr. De'Andrea Matthews 11:38
what is being a CEO mean to you, being a CEO means taking other people along the journey. Even though a CTO CEO position is a leadership position, one of the highest leadership positions in most companies and corporations, it's really about taking other people along that journey. There's always a team behind the scenes that contributes to the work product that contributes to what is actually being accomplished. The CEO might take the credit for, they might be the front person get all the great PR, but there's always a team. And I try to lead in a way where that team knows that they're valued, and that I could not do the things that I do without them.
Gresham Harkless 12:16
Yeah, and so huge. And I think we sometimes forget about that journey piece that you spoke about, we often think it's instant, like oatmeal, where you just, you know, having a microwave, and there you have it. But in so many ways, it's definitely a journey. And I love how you kind of talked about letting people know reminding the people that are around us, our team and the people that help support us of the role and the support that they provide. Because I think often as leaders, we can sometimes forget that. And it's so important to kind of make sure that they understand that because I think that empowers them makes them want to, you know, be even stronger at their role, because it allows us to create those Win Win opportunities,
Dr. De'Andrea Matthews 12:51
it does. And because I've been in various roles before I got to see Oh, I know what it's like being that team member, I know what it's like contributing, and you want to make sure that your people are know that they're valued, know that they're appreciated, because in that retention piece, retaining those great people that we have on our team, it's important that they know it so that they they understand what they're contributing and how it, you know, equates to the bottom line, not just for the projects and the monetary aspect of it. But you develop relationships with the people that you work with, you spend more time at work a lot of times than you do with your family members during the run of a week. So you want to make sure that that team dynamic is in place, and that they understand that they're an important part of what takes place.
Gresham Harkless 13:33
Yeah, absolutely. And kind of even going back to your nugget where we talked about legacy, understanding, you know, how the people that are on your team are contributing to their legacy as well. So because like we said, you know, obviously, you can do that in a book in a written book that we're enjoying, you know, 1000s of years later. But a lot of times, it's in the actions and the things that we're doing. And we want to make sure that the people on our team also are in line with their, their mission and their vision and their legacy. So they understand how that that accounts to what's going on and what's happening within organizations.
Dr. De'Andrea Matthews 14:01
Yes. And one of the other things I learned is part of being on the team, you always want to maximize the opportunity to promote from within. So if ever I decided that you know what, I'm no longer going to hold this position. But I want someone who's been working right alongside me, who knows and understands and appreciates the business and the work that goes into it to promote with from within. So we want to make sure that we're not just looking externally when we're looking to hire people or promote them. But we're also looking at the people who've been serving us well all along.
Yeah, because a lot of times those are the people if we're really being aware of what and how they're contributing, and we understand, you know, how they can, you know, maybe evolve or maybe they do have skills that maybe can be used in this next role. We want to be aware of that as leaders, because so many times as you said, we're always looking externally, whether it be people to hire or sometimes even solutions to problems, when a lot of times answers might be all within us or around us. That's absolutely right.
Gresham Harkless 14:53
Awesome, awesome. Awesome. Well, Dr. D'Andrea, I truly appreciate that definition. And I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do as passionate Mike so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know and of course, how best they can get a hold of you and find out about all the awesome things that you're working on.
Dr. De'Andrea Matthews 15:08
Well, thank you so much again, for everyone watching, you're listening. My name is Dr. Andrea Matthews. I am the founder and CEO of clear Alton publications and award winning hybrid publishing company that is a member of the independent book Publishers Association and is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and that's where I turn manuscripts into masterpieces. If you want to follow our business account and declare all the publications we're on social media at Claire Alden, that CLA IR E, al di n, you can also visit our website at www that clear alden.com. And you can also follow me on my personal social media pages at Dr. DC Matthews. So on all of the social media, you will find me at Dr. DC ma TT h p Ws.
Gresham Harkless 15:52
Awesome, awesome, awesome. And to make it even easier, we will have the links and information in the show notes as well too, so that everybody can follow you and see all the awesome work that you're doing. But I appreciate you. So many times we forget that there's really great ideas is really phenomenal. People that don't really get to give their gifts don't really get to tell their stories, talk about their expertise. So I appreciate you for helping so many people do that. And I think we as a culture as a world get to benefit from the work that you're doing. So I appreciate you for doing that and I appreciate your time as well and hope you have a great rest of the day.
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