Andrea Putting is an author, speaker, and guide who shares a message about the power of community and collaboration with leaders. She and I met a little over a year ago and have been networking ever since. Andrea is an advocate for social mission and the founder of Chocolate and Coffee Day. She lives in Melbourne, Australia.
A: I have authored four books, three of which I self-published in 2022.
Compassionate Prosperity – When Success is Not Enough and Compassionate Purpose – Discovering a Life of Fulfilment are both about finding that passion within that stirs you into action. They connect you with a higher purpose that drives you when nothing else will.
Compassionate Prosperity is for businesses and encourages them to find a purpose beyond profit and connect with a social mission that will inspire them in their everyday work and build stronger relationships within the workplace and the community.
Compassionate Purpose is for individuals or small groups. It encourages you to connect with that inner calling to make a difference. Each of us has our own unique way of doing this. When you touch the lives of one person, you change the world. You change it for yourself, you change it for that person, and you change it for everyone they connect with. You create a legacy worth living.
Moment of Infinity is an anthology of daily devotions. It consists of stories, psalms and reflections. They are my spiritual writings from 2020. I will soon be publishing more of these from 2021 and 2022.
Awakened Stealth Leadership - A Soulful Approach to Growing People and Organizations was written in 2018. It is a guide to bringing people together and working in a way where all thrive. I was exploring employment engagement and what leadership was required to ensure the best outcomes for leaders, employees and businesses.
I have also been a co-author in 3 collective books.
Q: Compassion, leadership, inspiration, and one fantasy novel... that is a lot of different genres. How long have you been writing?
A: I never knew I was a writer. When I started my first web-based business last century, way back in the dinosaur era of the internet, I began writing newsletters and articles. Before I knew it, there were articles spread all over the internet. I knew that what I had written had touched people’s lives and was meaningful. However, I didn’t think much of it. When I sold that business, I put it aside, writing for a few years, then slowly started again as I returned to the internet. My serious direction in writing was reignited when my focus went to speaking around eight years ago. My speeches became articles. My articles became speeches. All of that created the foundation for my books.
"When we work together,
we can change the world."
Q: How long does it take you to write a book? (talk about the writing process)
A: Writing a book happens within a month. I set the time aside and focus solely on getting the book done. However, the truth is that writing a book happens over a long period. What I do over this short time is compile articles and writings that I have previously done, sometimes over years, into one place. I think about each chapter and what I need to share. As I start to write, I remember something I had already written, an article or a talk. I pull this in, making any minor adjustments needed to make it fit the context. Of course, there are new stories to add and new information that I have found from research. However, it feels like building a brick wall. I have all these bricks already waiting to be laid. The book writing time is mixing the mortal and putting the bricks together.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is interested in your topic?
A: There is a question that I ask on my podcast, Social Mission Revolution, and in consultations. It is this, “If there were just one thing for you to fight for, what would it be?” Take a look at this and see where it leads you. It reveals something special that can connect you to your compassionate purpose. It is your guiding light that will lead you to where you can make a difference in the world. Then you add your strengths, skills and the things that light you up to this. If you get yourself a copy of Compassionate Purpose – Discovering a Life of Fulfilment, you will be guided to uncover these things and pull them together to discover a legacy worth living.
Q: What kinds of benefits come from participating in groups and organizations?
A: This is a passion for me. I love the power of collaboration. When people come together with open hearts, open minds and open hands, we can have the ability to overcome all obstacles and limitations. We can tap into the universal power that provides greater ideas that can be accomplished. We can work together to achieve far more than we can alone. Our individual strengths and skills are magnified by those of others. Solutions are found, problems are solved, and a community is built. We find acceptance, a sense of belonging and an opportunity to contribute.
Q: What are your thoughts on the publishing industry?
A: Getting a shoe in the door with traditional publishing companies, who take over the whole works for you, is challenging. Ultimately, that is what most authors want. “Here’s my book. Just pay me the royalties.” Nothing up front.
The reality is different for the majority of us. We need to find alternatives. Some options are so expensive and restrictive that it makes it extremely difficult for the average author to publish their books.
As an author of multiple books, I knew that publishing would be a costly experience. I looked around at different options and knew the only way for me was to learn how to publish myself. I invested in coaching to make sure I got it right.
Now that I have learnt the skills, I have started providing publishing services to others. I aim to make publishing accessible and stress-free to new authors so that everyone can share their stories.
Q: How does writing help you make a difference in the world?
A: You never know who will read your book. It might be someone deep in need, and you have the right words and the right story to touch their lives. For me, it goes a step further. As 2 of my books are about making a difference in the world, I hope that people who read either will take time to think about how they can make a difference. If they follow my advice, they can find ways to do this. It creates a chain reaction. If one person is touched by what they read, that starts a chain reaction in all avenues of their lives and, as a result, those whose lives they feel.
Q: What do you do when you are not writing?
A: My life is filled with many projects. I am a multipotentialite, meaning I have many different passions and interests, often simultaneously. They keep me busy. Aside from writing, I am also a keynote speaker and a podcaster. I guide leaders on the journey to finding their compassionate purpose. I guide teams in working together in an inclusive way, allowing them to be more innovative and productive. I am passionate about nurturing community, which follows in much of my work with leaders and all the communities I am involved in.
However, my greatest area for nurturing comes from Chocolate and Coffee Day and Chocolate and Coffee Breaks. These are wonderful experiences that invite people into the community and connect with others, overcoming their differences. Add to all of that. I now offer publishing services to other authors. One day a week, it’s Grandma Day, and my two grandchildren come over to play. When I can fit it in, I also love to sew.
Q: What gave you the inspiration for your books?
A: Inspiration comes from many different places and in itself is a chain reaction. It started from my experience as a business owner who lost interest in what I was doing. My purpose got lost in the everyday humdrum of running a business. I sold my business and got a job. After a while, when the excitement had well and truly worn off, I looked around and discovered that the workplace was a dysfunctional world where people lost themselves. I saw how it affected them, their families and the community. I needed to get out and search for purpose.
While searching for the answers, I took a detour that revealed more than I could imagine. On the 15th of December 2015, a gunman carrying an ISIS flag stormed the Lindt Chocolate Café in Sydney, taking the patrons and staff hostage. In the aftermath, two victims and the gunman passed away. It was feared there would be retaliation against the Muslim community. Instead, 150,000 people flooded social media with #Iwillridewithyou, offering to ride public transport with Muslims to keep them safe. Why should we wait until there is a tragedy before we declare that we are people of love and acceptance? In response, I started a social mission, Chocolate and Coffee Day for Religious Harmony. I encourage people to share Chocolate, coffee and conversation with someone different to them, as when we do, we break down barriers that divide us.
Dr Jorge Moll, a research psychologist, conducted a study that showed that being altruistic is as pleasurable as having sex. Interesting.
Could this be what I was looking for? What if we combined this power of altruism with business? How would that change how we feel about our business or how employees feel about going to work?
Fascinated with this, I started my podcast, Social Mission Revolution, to speak to people involved in social missions. I wanted to find out what it means to them and their businesses.
What came to light is that businesses with social missions are more respected by clients and consumers. The business has greater productivity, innovation and profit. And business owners, CEOs, leaders, and employees are more fulfilled in what they do. They find joy in their work as they make a difference beyond just going to work each day.
"I found the key to prosperity lay beyond profit.
It is compassion."
With all the stories that are shared, my podcast and the knowledge and experience I gained along the way. Writing a book was the next step. I wanted to share this information with you. It needs to be shared and accessible. The world is crying out for great change. People are crying out for the purpose in their lives. When we put the two together, great things happen. I now have two young grandchildren, and I want them to grow up in a world where people care about each other and the environment. This is important.
Q: What were some of the challenges you faced in writing your non-fiction books?
A: One of the biggest challenges with non-fiction books is getting all the facts together. There needs to be research that proves your point and stories that get the message across. It isn’t always easy to find just the right ones. Sometimes you need to tweak your message to fit in with what you find.