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Meet Dianna Booher of Booher Research Institute

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dianna Booher.

Dianna, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I haven’t always been a professional writer and public speaker. Far from it. In fact, I started this business as a young mom with two small kids and a husband struggling with severe depression. Although I substituted teaching a few days a month, I feared that my husband wasn’t going to be able to hold his job much longer and that I was about to become the sole support for our family.

“So what do you like to do?” a friend asked me, as we began brainstorming full-time job possibilities. “I liked to write English compositions back in school. But how do I make a living doing that?” “I suggest you find out,” my friend responded.

So I did. I drove to the library and checked out every book I could find on writing—from writing mysteries and romance novels to writing inspirational articles and press releases, and even creating greeting card verses!

Reading almost around the clock for about three weeks, I taught myself the principles of good writing––all the things that I failed to pick up in high school and college English classes—along with the process of writing and publishing a book. Then over lunch with an engineer friend at Exxon, I told him my plan to write a business book on communication.

“Do you think there’s a need?” He burst out laughing. “Engineers can’t write! Do you have any idea how much time and money we waste rewriting reports?” He spent the next two hours over lunch on war stories. So I put together a book proposal from what I’d learned in my reading. And viola! I got an agent and sold the book to Facts on File (hardcover) and Random House (paperback).

Once the book was scheduled for release, I developed a training course around the book’s contents. When the publisher sent me on an author tour, my phone began to ring. People called, asking if I could come to speak to their organizations on the book’s topic.

To date, I’ve repeated that process 48 times–and built a team around me in the process to present the programs so I could devote even more of my time to writing, coaching executives on communication challenges within their organizations, and coaching CEOs, entrepreneurs, and consultants who want to get their stories out by writing and publishing a book.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
John Steinbeck once remarked, “Book writing makes horse racing seem like a stable occupation.” Authors receive royalties from their publishers only twice a year. That’s when you know how many readers loved your work. And before those royalties even start to roll in, you’re sitting behind a PC pounding out the words for months before you send the manuscript off to your agent. That’s like going to a job for a year before you find out if the company is going to pay you for your work! So self-discipline to “keep churning out the work” without knowing if you have a buyer is in itself always a challenge.

Also in being a professional speaker and running a communication consulting and training firm for 32 years has always presented the challenge of life balance because of all the travel involved. When you have a family, need to keep all the wheels turning at the office so as not to block the workflow for your employees, and carry responsibilities in your communities–all while traveling 2-4 days a week–you maintain a hectic pace. The time crunch creates high stress when you see calendar conflicts! The roles and commitments collide!

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
Booher Research Institute works with organizations to help them communicate clearly and with individuals to increase their influence by a strong executive presence.

For the past three decades, my company has offered communication training to primarily to Fortune 500 clients and government agencies. In late 2017, we sold the training division and now deliver our content exclusively through keynotes and personal coaching.

Another area of focus is consulting with organizations and entrepreneurs to help them get their message out through books published with major houses such as Penguin Random House, Simon and Schuster, HarperBusiness, McGraw-Hill, and the like.

My entire career has been focused on authorship and communication (oral, written, interpersonal, enterprise-wide). Having written 48 full-length books published in 60 foreign editions, with nearly 4 million copies sold, I’ve discovered deep satisfaction in helping people improve their lives by better communication.

And helping entrepreneurs promote their business or professional practice by writing and publishing is a “close second” in satisfaction as a subsidiary business.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was studious, intense, serious about school and most things. Until I was in the fourth grade, my parents farmed, so after school and in the summers, I helped with farming chores. Then we moved into town, and fortunately, I escaped the farming routines–and early and late hours.

But my days were still filled with responsibilities. My mom always worked full-time, and I had a younger brother and a baby sister. So I took on several household responsibilities to help out because I wanted my parents to be able to attend all our school sporting events in the evenings.

Both my brother and I played just about every sport offered, so just about every evening and most weekends were filled with either a game or a practice. I played basketball, softball, and volleyball!

In addition to the sports, my family and I were always very active in church and all the related youth activities there such as camps, retreats, and community service activities. So life was full and focused!

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