Monday, June 02, 2008

Author Karen Salmansohn

Welcome, Karen! Thanks so much for answering these questions. I admire what you have accomplished!

Thanks for having me on very fun and inspiring site!!

What prompted you to leave your job as Senior VP ad creative director? What went through your mind at that time?

I have many good horror stories about working in the ad biz ..In one I was helping Purina come up with the 'chow-chow-chow' theme for the 90s. My boss told me that it was okay to do three chows in a row in a jingle, because that was copyrighted, but I couldn't do two chows in a row – but then again, I could do three chows and then another chow. Soon after I found myself in a recording studio for an hour discussing whether four chows was three chows then one -- or two then two. Add on a few more experiences like that and I was ready to give up advertising to become a fulltime writer. I figured if I could make it in a profession I wasn’t passionate about – if I just followed the same principles for success, I could perhaps make it as an author – which I was very very passionate about.

Twenty-nine books! Where on earth did you find time to write so many books in such a short amount of time? How long does it take you to write the average book?

I suppose I’m very self motivated – and a fan of caffeine. Plus I pick topics to write about which excite me – so I stay in an empassioned state of mind to research and write. It usually takes 1 to 2 months to write a proposal to pitch a book. To publishers. Then after the book is sold it takes anywhere from 6 to 9 months to write it – sometimes a year – depending on the book.

Your latest book is The Bounce Back Book: How to Thrive in the Face of Adversity, Setbacks and Losses – talk to me about this book! Why would someone want to read it?

My book is called “The Bounce Back Book” – and has a symbolic red rubber cover on the outside. Inside are all kinds of tips on how to thrive in the face of adversity, setbacks, and losses -- covering everything -- a bad breakup, a serious illness, the loss of a job, the death of someone close, bankrupcy, slander, rejection…all kinds of life challenges. But I guess one of the main principles in the book is to always purposefully look for meaning and insights from whatever your challenge. If it’s a love break up – then tell yourself you’re going through the break up that leads to the ultimate break-through, and that you’re now a wiser partner due to what you went through – lucky unlucky you. Be a student – not a victim!

You offer many seminars – how did you get started? Which ones do you enjoy presenting the most?

After I left my job in advertising and became a best selling author I began doing seminars to women’s organizations about how to pursue and snag your dream career. I was on the phone with my agent before a seminar, and as a joke I said “I gotta go – I have to give my how to succeed in business without a penis seminar.” She laughed – then insisted I write a book with this title – and kept insisting. I wrote the book – it became a big best seller – and soon after I did lots of business seminars – for men and women alike. One of the principles in that book is that a woman doesn’t need a penis to succeed – just ballsy. Soon after I wrote a book called Ballsy – and have a seminar with that title too. I lovelovelove giving my Ballsy Seminar. It’s a lot of fun to give that seminar.

How did the BE HAPPY DAMMIT HOUR come about? You’ve also got things going on with TV & film – give us the scoop!

I was giving happiness tips on a Sirius show – and they liked my tips – and my voice – they thought I had an appealing radio voice – so they offered me a full time radio gig on Sirius. I also have sold a bunch of sit com ideas to the networks – but so far none of them have made it to air. Thankfully I follow my own bounce back career advice, and I’m still out there pitching sit com ideas – so you never know…

I’m all about ‘spunk’ and attitude as well! How important are these elements to authors & speakers? What advice would you give to those struggling up the ladder?

In The Bounce Back Book I say…you gotta view work failure as “fullure”--full of lessons.
And if you’ve just endured a career adversity, join the crowd—which is by the way a very distinguished successful crowd. Many members of the Fortune 500 Club could easily earn membership in the Misfortune 500 Club. Successful people are not people who never fail. They’re people who know how to fail really, really well. If they fall on their faces, they use that leverage to push themselves up higher. Bill Gates actually relishes the lessons of failure so much, he purposefully hires people at Microsoft who have made mistakes. “It shows that they take risks,” says Gates. And Harvard business school professor John Kotter says it’s more worrisome to executives if a job applicant claims they’ve never failed--because this means they’ve never taken risks. So if you’re someone who’s fumbled recently, seek out the positive lesson—dust yourself off – and go at it again!

And the final word, Karen?

If I had to literally pick the final word…well, I’d pick the final word of “forward.” If you’re bouncing back from a tough time right now, and tempted to dwell in the past, get yourself to repeat this single word: “Forward” whenever your looking backwards. Then brainstorm one positive thought and action to use to keep you moving forward.

Enter my Bounce Back contest for a chance to win a FREE Fairmont Spa vacation! (Yes! A fabulous spa package for 3 days/2 nights for two people -- and 2 personalized spa treatments for each person at Willow Stream Spa in gorgeous Fairmont Newport Beach, California. You will be indulged like never before in one of seven decadent treatment rooms appointed with oversized spa beds!)

Simply buy THE BOUNCE BACK BOOK before July 1st and send me the proof of Amazon receipt to Then you have until August 1st to send me an uplifting story of glory over a tough time. Submissions should be between 400 and 1200 words and depict your personal tale of "woe" to "wow." Looking forward to hearing about your incredible come-back!!

For more information about Karen Salmansohn’s Bounce Back Book tour, visit

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