Monday, October 17, 2011

Spotlight - Chen Lizra author of My Seductive Cuba

Join Chen Lizra, author of the travel memoir, My Seductive Cuba – A Unique Travel Guide (Latidos Productions Corp.), as she virtually tours the blogosphere October 3 – November 23, 2011, on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!

About the Book...
Enough books have been written about Cuba to fill an entire library, but few take the approach Chen Lizra does with “My Seductive Cuba.” Deeply personal and always engaging, Lizra — an Israeli-born dance instructor and entrepreneur now living in Canada — fuses history and politics with her real-life experiences among the people of this often-visited but little-understood island. The result is a moving portrayal of Cuba on the verge of historic change. Packed with practical information on where to go in Cuba, what to pack and the best ways to get there, “My Seductive Cuba” also helps readers ferret out persistent opportunists while finding Havana’s best reggaetón, flamenco, jazz and salsa clubs. A glossary of Cuban slang and a description of the Santería religion — along with a vivid chapter titled “Getting Possessed” — makes Lizra’s humorous travel guide even more compelling. This is one book you won’t want to be without, even if you don’t plan on going anywhere!

 About the Author...

CHEN LIZRA started traveling to Cuba in 2005 in order to train with the island’s best professional dancers. Each year she finds more excuses to visit Cuba, discovering the culture from within and hanging out with her close friends.
Chen grew up in Israel and later moved to Canada. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in marketing, which allowed her to turn her passion — Cuban dance and music — into an inspiring lifestyle for others through her company, Latidos Productions®.

Chen was selected as the Student Entrepreneur Champion for British Columbia in 2008. The following year, she was nominated as one of the “Women of Distinction in Vancouver,” and in 2010, she was named “Woman of the Month” by Modern Working Woman Magazine. In addition, the Australian government has honoured Chen with a distinguished talent permanent visa. She’s also been featured in numerous newspaper articles and TV shows.

 In Chen Lizra's own words...

A friend posted on my Facebook page the following message:
“I wanna know who you had to be - to stay on track, what you had to do - to not give in to fear, how you pulled it off - what challenges you faced and how you decided to overcome them to create something that is meaningful to you... And who you have become by doing it... As it ain’t easy and few dare to go the whole nine yards... And you did... “
I’d like to address each and every question he raised in hopes that it will inspire him and others to go after their dreams. Let me explain to you what I faced when I decided to write and self publish My Seductive Cuba. 

I want know who you had to be - to stay on track
·         I had to decide who I wanted to become and what I wanted to create. I didn’t want to create a project that would be only about money. I wanted to impact and make a difference. My project had to be an extension of who I am and what I believed in for it to be worth my time, and in order for me to offer people something really valuable. Only something authentic really inspire.
·         When it comes to staying on track, I had to stay focused on the why I was doing this and lock down on the goal, then nothing would stop me. I started walking forward not even knowing how I would make it happen. I just took a leap of faith because I believed that I could do it. Then there was just a target in front of me. There were many ups and downs, many breaking points, and so many compromises along the way, but when you are truly committed you become fearless and unstoppable.

What you had to do - to not give in to fear
·         I did a few things:
o        Had great friends and family that caught me when I fell, and kept me strong
o        Came up with an action plan and then followed it fierce fully
o        Had to be flexible enough to adjust to rapid changes and correct mistakes when things weren’t going well
o        Took on a coach who was there to make me win – both training me in large volume sales and life coaching
o        Allowed myself  to have bad days and days when I didn’t believe in myself
o        Pampered myself at times to boost myself for what I did well
o        Stayed accountable for my actions and choices

 How you pulled it off - what challenges you faced and how you decided to overcome them to create something that is meaningful to you... 
·         I faced many challenges:
o        I have never written a book before
o        My English was not perfect for book writing
o        I have never worked with a book designer before nor did I know how to find a good one
o        I never printed a book in my life or distributed one
o        I knew nothing about book marketing and self publishing
o        The list goes on and on.. 
·         How did I overcome the challenges?
o        I decided that I will just do it!
o        I started looking for solutions to my challenges and educated myself through research and talking to people who have done it already
o        I got up and kept going every time I fell on my face. I never give up!
o        You can’t avoid falling on your face if you are doing something new, just like a child trying to learn how to walk. You can cry here and there when it hurts, just make sure not to get stuck. It’s part of the growing process. You’ll fall once, twice, three times; eventually you will get it right. Too many people quit too quickly!
o        Knowing that this was so meaningful to me, that I was fighting for my life, is part of what gave me the drive to keep going. If it wasn’t so close to my heart, it wouldn’t matter
o        If it were easy, everyone would do it! This is the mantra I have learned from my coach
o        And the fact that it’s so hard for people to do this is why I am planning on mentoring others helping them make their dreams come true (a new program I am starting)

 And who you have become by doing it, as it ain’t easy and few dare to go the whole nine yards... And you did...
I believe that when you go after your dream and just do it, it makes you a better person. I feel more whole. As things progress with my project I feel happier and I can see things aligning on· other fronts as well. I think that to succeed we have to let go of a lot of baggage that weights us down, sometimes even past hurt. And the trick is to let go rather than cling. The lighter you become, the easier it is to move forward. Anything that is incomplete in your life will come up as you move forward, as well as the fear of succeeding. And in that specific moment it will come back to your commitment. If you are committed to success topped with values of integrity and compassion, you will change for the better.