I have been using this framework as my secret sauce for the past 10 years, but streamlining that process into a digestible, lesson-oriented book that can be read in one sitting was extremely difficult and daunting. That said, the CatalystCreativ team helped me tremendously by providing feedback as people who were close to the content but also far enough removed to help me make sure what I was writing was easily understood. I always say that when you are standing on the sun you are blind. Sometimes it’s incredibly hard—especially when you’re trying to communicate something so important to you—to know what works and doesn't work. The CC team was like a pair of sunglasses helping me see straight!
Writing about your passion can lead to you experiencing it in a whole new way
During the time I spent writing The Seventh Level, we hosted a free course with HubSpot all around Brand Engagement and Emotional Connection; we released multiple blog posts; I taught courses at universities and gave talks at conferences all over; I trained people on the Seventh Level, hosted workshops, and tested out the framework by teaching people as I wrote. All of this is what truly brought the framework to life. The more I actually worked with people, the more I learned about what worked and didn't work. I think so often we wait until something is perfect to let the world in on what we are up to, but I let the world help me decide what was relevant, digestible, and informative, and I learned so much in the process.
The more you write, the more important it is to stay grounded in your thesis
Apologies to every English teacher in the world, whose students roll their eyes when they’re reminded repeatedly about the importance of their papers containing a strong thesis! It’s absolutely true: having a central argument that serves as the glue for your book is essential. Not just for your reader, but for you as a writer! I can’t tell you how many times I felt like I was about to start typing out a tangent, only to be reminded by myself, or a member of my team, to bring it back to the Seventh Level!
There are two things I hope every reader learns from The Seventh Level. First, I want people to take away what I actually mean by engagement: authentic, meaningful human connection, which leads to the granting of time and attention. I’m talking about humans, not just metrics—and that’s a big change-up for a lot of people. Engagement impacts where real people choose to allocate their time, their energy, their attention. Second, I want people to understand that engagement is not binary: it is not just about disengagement and engagement, it is much more nuanced than that, and—as the title suggests—can be broken down into seven distinct levels!
It was cathartic and inspiring to write about CatalystCreativ’s past and present
My favorite part of the book was sharing relevant case studies that we have worked on over the years and connecting them with each level. By showing the actual work we have done as real examples, it helped crystallize the work we have done over the years. That was really cool to look back on, and almost relive!
And I can’t wait to share The Seventh Level with everyone!
I was most excited to share the finished product with the whole CatalystCreativ team, and then all of the people—and one dog—I have thanked in my acknowledgment section. I wouldn't be here or anywhere without my team, family, friends, clients, partners, and network. And I can't wait for everyone and anyone to read The Seventh Level and share this with everyone they care about.
The Seventh Level will be released on October 29! Sign up to get notified as soon as it’s available.