Episode 30 – Target Markets & Relationships with Dana Pharant and Barb Stuhlemmer

Mark chats with Dana Pharant and Barb Stuhlemmer about elements of running their own businesses that also apply to writers. Mark, Dana and Barb are 3 of 5 members of a recent business mastermind that took place where 5 business owners from different industries and areas of expertise all work together to hold one another accountable for business plans, visions, goals and next steps for growth.

For the personal update segment, Mark shares his perspective on this first business mastermind group he has been a part of and then talks about his own specific takeaways, including the publication of a book he is 20,000 words into called INDIE PUBLISHING INSIDER SECRETS: What Running Kobo Writing Life, a Print-on-Demand Business and 25 Years of Bookselling Taught Me About Success for Authors, Publishers & Self-Publishing Services. He shares how the group is holding him accountable for a proposed publishing and delivery schedule for this book that he has already dropped onto the back burner.

This episode’s tongue twister is a new twist. Mark asks the listener to say his full name “Mark Leslie Lefebvre” a few times really fast, and then, to spell “Lefebvre” out really fast a few times. Quite the mouthful to help explain the reasoning why he writes under the name “Mark Leslie”

The Terrible Tongue Twister segment (AKA “Twisting by the Fool”) is sponsored by Findaway Voices, who provide all the tools that an independent author or small publisher needs in order to get into the digital audiobook market.


In their chat, Mark, Dana and Barb discuss:

  • Strategies on how to find and define your core audience, with an example that Dana shares about not doing it right the first time and how it lost her about 6 months of traction
    * The challenges of taking money from the people who aren’t part of the ideal target audience and the related “Steak and Burger” analogy
  • Barb’s experiences of knowing what company needs a service, but the challenge of finding the specific person within that company to speak to and to sell to, which can relate to sub-genres and other more specific niche targeting for authors
  • Targeting the right people, but with the wrong product
  • How Dana and Barb, who have been friends for about eight years, originally met
  • How in relationships, if you are GIVING, in the right aspect and for the right reasons, you get back a huge amount
  • The people and the relationships and the circles that can be cultivated among your peers who are willing to rise
  • How knowing who you can count on (not just for support, but for honesty) in your inner circle can really make a difference
  • Authenticity in engagement with one’s audience, mailing list, and core followers or fans
  • How you can’t impress people with things that you’re not; you can only impress people with what you have
  • The concept of creating the “ideal reader” as a character sketch the same way one might sketch out a character in their book
  • Advice on success in turning passion into profit

After the chat, Mark shares his reflections on the importance of taking insights, wisdom and learning from people and industries outside one’s own area of expertise and perspective and how, listening to the business intelligence and strategies of 4 women from different business pursuits helped Mark to grow his own knowledge and strategy in writing and publishing.


Links of Interest:


Dana Pharant is a business owner, a speaker, and author and the host of the Inner Dominatrix Podcast where she shares insights into how people can be the leader in their business, by owning that space, by becoming the dominatrix in your business. As Dana says: “Dominatrix energy is feminine energy—a totally different kind of power. You simply stand and state your position. You don’t try to justify it; you don’t second-guess yourself. When you step into your dominatrix energy and surrender into the present moment, you can see the bigger picture and scout out what needs to be done. And that will take your business to an entirely new level of success. You’ll be a superstar, handling everything with ease!”

Barb Stuhlemmer, is a speaker, author and master business strategist who has worked for more than 30 years with incorporated businesses.  Her goal it is to inspire Ambitious Business Growth so entrepreneurs, that are driven to grow their business, can reach the million and multi-million dollar mark in their business and still enjoy their lives. She has developed a unique process for owners of the businesses who are fed up with being overwhelmed by all the responsibilities and the lack of control over the time and money required to grow the business. Through her company BLITZ Business Success, she is a confidant to CEO and business leaders. I learned so much from her book Entrepreneur Awakening: Making the Move from Employee to Business Owner and you can be sure I used that to help guide me in my own recent transition of the type.



The music for this podcast (“Laser Groove”) was composed and produced by Kevin MacLeod of and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

RSS options for this podcast: Mark Leslie at Libsyn or Feedburner

3 thoughts on “Episode 30 – Target Markets & Relationships with Dana Pharant and Barb Stuhlemmer”

  1. I know I was a guest on this, but I so enjoyed coming to listen to the full episode and your reflections and wandering thoughts on the recording. I feel like I have sat down with you over coffee as I play the recording. Thank you Mark. So good!!

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