Caroline Ceniza-Levine – How the Fierce Handle Fear

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

How the Fierce Handle Fear – Secrets to Succeeding in Challenging Times 2010; Two Harbors Press is an anthology of 22 essays on fear by leading business authors, including Donald Trump and JackCanfield. I write on fear and career transition, including one of my own career transitions a few years ago when I left a big corporate career to be an actor.

Tell us something about yourself.

I am a native New Yorker and an extreme career changer: classical pianist, banker, consultant, executive recruiter, actor, life coach (created in 2000), corporate HR director, real estate investor, and career coach (co-founded in 2007). I currently write, speak and coach on achieving life and career goals. I teach Professional Development at Columbia University and write career columns for, and formerly Conde Nast’s I’ve also been writing for my own coaching newsletters and/or blogs since 2000.

What inspired you to write this book?

I saw a call for writers from the editor of the Fierce project, Sophfronia Scott. People will have multiple careers over their lifetime and given the economy there is a lot of fear associated with that big a change, so an essay on fear and career seemed essential, timely, and timeless.

How did you choose the title?

Sophfronia came up with the overall book title. My chapter title is Fighting Fear With Fear, and that is mine. I selected it because that’s the main thrust of the essay – you don’t have to wait till the fear subsides because it might never go away. In fact, if you’re extremely risk-averse like me, you’ll have even more fear. I just learned to use the fear of regret and of missing out to combat the fear of change and potential failure.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

I’m used to writing career advice articles where I specifically don’t talk about myself, so when Sophfronia asked me to personalize my chapter I had to shift gears and write in a different way.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

Writing is a natural extension of what I do overall – teaching, coaching, sharing advice. I got started with short pieces for my own newsletters and then reached out to small local publications and then once I had a portfolio of clips I was able to pitch larger publications.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I write several pieces every week. Some weeks are better than others, but I always write. I write best in the early morning, so I try to reserve that time for writing.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

I learned the power of just getting stuff done. A lot of people I know wait around for the perfect inspiration or the perfect publisher. I opted for a path of least resistance – I knew Sophfronia would do a great job getting the project together, and I could just worry about my small piece. But now, I am a published author, the book is a bestseller, and I have a contract for a 2nd book – this time just 2 co-authors, myself and my SixFigureStart business partner Connie Thanasoulis. We’re writing a job search textbook.

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

Now that I’ve done it, I am ready to do a book solo and am not as intimidated by the process.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?

I am a business book junkie – it’s part of my work as a career coach to stay on top of the economy, trends, etc, but luckily I would follow these stories for fun as well. I just read The Zeroes by Randall Lane, co-founder and editor in chief of the now defunct Trader Monthly. It’s a great look at this last financial decade and the implosion of the markets.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

Yes, I have a book coming out in spring 2011, tentatively titled Six Steps To Job Search Success to be published by Flat World Knowledge. It will be a textbook on job search technique, and we (my SixFigureStart partner and I) are excited to bring our coaching techniques to a broader audience – colleges and universities across the US.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Write regularly, even when you don’t feel like it. Get published, even if it means your own blog or local publications. The habit of putting stuff out there and meeting deadlines is more important than the perfect situation.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

For my chapter on career transition, the perfect reader is the person who is unfulfilled in their career and wants the encouragement and some actionable strategies to get to a new place. This person may have a specific idea for their next career or may still be experimenting but they know they want something different.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

My website has a blog, info about the book, and more info about our company You can subscribe to the blog and also to a bimonthly newsletter that offers career advice, notice of upcoming events and discounts and freebies.