Today we’d like to introduce you to Stefani Seek.
Hi Stefani, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today.
I’ve loved reading books my entire life. I was the girl who preferred to read books in her room during the hot St. Louis summers instead of playing outside! I had always wanted to write a book, but the urge increased as I approached my forties. I knew I needed a good topic to write about and something valuable to say. I considered writing about sales and corporate America, as I’ve spent my entire career in sales or sales leadership roles, but the topics weren’t pulling at my heartstrings. Little did I know that my personal life was evolving as the subject of a non-fiction, self-help book. One day, my teenage daughter and her girlfriends came to me for advice about boys and dating, and one of the girls exclaimed, “You should write all of this advice down in a book for us!” I soon realized that the experiences and lessons learned that I had cultivated across dating, two marriages, and two divorces, and then dating again, could be of service to young women trying to find fulfilling romantic relationships. I started writing the book that would become The Love Compass during the Covid-19 pandemic in the late fall of 2020. The words spilled onto the pages as I shared the stories and learnings that impacted how I had approached the dating world in my twenties and thirties. Ultimately, I realized I had not loved myself in the way that I should and that lack of self-love negatively impacted the relationships I brought into my life.
I also discovered things like boundaries, the differences between standards and expectations, and how bringing thoughts of genuine love into every situation eventually empowers the authentic voice we all have waiting within us. I wanted to turn my tales of happiness and heartache into a guide to help other women find their “true north” more quickly and easily than I did. Writing this book has been a fulfilling journey, and I’ve always had the intention throughout the entire process that it would help at least 100,000 young women find their authentic voice so they can show up in relationships as their true selves. The book is now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s website in paperback and Kindle versions. I’m working with Shock City Studios in downtown St. Louis to record an audiobook, which will be available in late November on all major platforms, including Audible. The first round of feedback from the young women reading and reviewing the book has been incredibly gratifying as I’m told that the advice and journaling exercises in the book are helping them to realize how they think of themselves in dating and relationships. It’s very fulfilling that this labor of love is already positively impacting young women I care deeply about. I’m the Mom of three daughters, and it was important to me to create for them this guidebook that comes from a place of loving intentions.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been smooth?
Writing a book while in a full-time leadership role for a large company and being a single mom is a challenge! I wrote many late nights until 2 am following a long day of work and running my beautiful daughters around to their various activities. We even had high school graduation and transitioned into college during this time! Some days, I would write for hours. Then I would take an extended break to focus on my day job and my kiddos. But the book and my mission to help 100,000 young women always pulled me back to my laptop to write. The creative process has wonderful ups and downs as you work to “get into the flow” and bring your creation over the finish line. I learned that just sitting still, tuning out distractions, and putting thoughts to paper is an incredibly cathartic and fulfilling experience if you stick with it.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
The last two and half decades of my career have been dedicated to technology sales and sales leadership for large, national, or international corporations. While the work can get very intense, it has also been a rewarding career. The most valuable thing I learned was human psychology. There’s nothing quite like the ups and downs and wins and rejections in a sales career to helping you learn resilience! I learned how people are motivated and what makes them tick. I became a master at “reading the room” and asking great questions to uncover someone’s personal and professional goals. This discovery and relationship-building fueled a very successful sales career, leading to promotions into leadership. I genuinely loved understanding people and connecting well with co-workers and clients alike. However, all the while, during this professional success, I was experiencing failures in my romantic relationships and two marriages; it was such a contrast to be recognized globally in my industry for my professional career yet experience the dissolution of my marriages, which had started with the best intentions. I felt like a failure in my personal life, frequently asking myself what I was doing wrong. After my second divorce, I committed myself to a self-guided immersion into podcasts, books, audiobook interviews, and working with a therapist to understand why my romantic life wasn’t working out. I contrasted my business relationship experiences with my romantic relationships and found commonalities and gaps. I was decisive and confident in business; I was not that way with men in romantic relationships. I learned what I missed in my teens, twenties, and thirties. I was scared to share my authentic voice in intimate relationships, didn’t know how to set boundaries, and wasn’t listening to my own voice and intuition. I’m grateful for this holistic journey in business and my personal life because the contrasts and lessons learned gave me a great perspective that I can now share with young women to help them on their self-love and dating paths.
In terms of your work and the industry, what are some changes you expect to see over the next five to ten years?
I am so grateful to now be able to call myself an “author”! For authors and creative writers, technology and social media are rapidly changing how our books are consumed and how we get paid for our work. Amazon recently announced that readers could no longer “return” an e-book if they have read more than 10% of the book because many speed readers were gaming the one-week return policy. Reading the books within that timeframe and returning them for a refund hurts authors financially. I’m grateful to be entering this new career as an author with advocates going before me to voice authors’ rights. Writing non-fiction makes you very vulnerable, as those who write real-life stories expose our thoughts to the world, subject to the judgment of our family, friends, and strangers. People will always love to read, and writers will always love to write. But social media and technology can help a book spread positively or hurt an author if they say what is perceived as “the wrong thing.” The author’s rights are fundamental, and I’m happy to see that positive changes are being made in the industry. Gone are the days when you could only go to a bookstore to buy a book! The additions of e-books and audiobooks are so exciting, but with technology rapidly evolving, we who love books still need to experience the joy of finding them too! I am a huge advocate of shopping at your local bookstores; I cannot imagine a world where we couldn’t peruse, pick up, and touch books. A bookstore holds certain magic you can’t get from buying online. I’m trying to work with local bookstores to carry The Love Compass as I want to be a part of the bookstore experience and help them bring newer, younger readers into their stores.
- 16.99 for paperback on Amazon
- 9.99 for Kindle version
- Website: www.stefaniseek.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/thelovecompassbook
- Facebook: facebook.com/stefaniseek
Jeannie Liautaud Photography, LLC