For some people, childhood inclinations are like powerful magnets to the mind – you can’t run away from them. Imagine the kid who won all the races going on to become a world-class athlete. The neighborhood songbird landing massive record deals at 18. The unofficial ballet teacher launching a dance studio fifty years later.
It gets even more inspiring when the popular bookworm grows up to become the CEO of a book publishing firm. Australian businesswoman and book coach, Tarryn Reeves, hadn’t taken a business or publishing course in college. However, after years in the corporate world, she found her way back to what she truly loved. Reeves is the founder and CEO of Four Eagles Publishing and The Publishing House Concierge, a publishing firm committed to turning authors’ ideas into best-selling books to expand their businesses and grow their foundations.
Reeves is a USA-Today bestselling author herself and has published over 41 authors who attained best-selling status. Her journey to building a stronghold in the tricky industry of publishing was never easy, but a faithful outlook made a world of difference.
With the hot drink in hand, we were ready to face the evening chill and move on. The city is small and crowded, traffic jams were a frequent occurrence so we spent most of the day up on our feet, exploring. There was no stopping, photos needed to be taken, the beach needed visiting, I was in a hurry to absorb as much of the experience as possible.
The struggles of young adulthood
When Reeves was an eight-year-old girl growing up in Harare, Zimbabwe, she launched her first “business” running a small library for the neighborhood kids. She’d charge her friends small sums to hire books, and being an ardent book lover herself, she believed there was a solid impact in encouraging other kids to read.
She later went on to college to acquire a criminology degree in Australia. While studying, she took up a job handling management and procedures at the railway. However, it was a male-dominated field and the career hurdles eventually overwhelmed her.
“I had a spectacular burnout,” Reeves recalls. “I had quit my high-flying job overnight and I found myself in that dark hole, being diagnosed with PTSD, chronic depression, and major anxiety. This was also a result of being born in Zimbabwe, a war-torn country in Africa. Growing up there, I witnessed a lot of political violence and we lost pretty much everything. We lost our homes, our farms, our livelihoods – everything. I was 15 at the time when we fled to Australia.”
Eight years after she landed in Australia, from an outsider’s perspective, Reeves seemed to be doing remarkably well for herself. She had a house, a car, and a six-figure job – everything society cumulatively terms “success”. However, her different diagnoses told a different story. After quitting her first job, she got another roster management position in a healthcare facility, but it didn’t work out and she was laid off, exactly one week before she discovered she was pregnant.
And then, her awakening began.
“Nobody would hire me because I was pregnant, even though they were not allowed to say that,” Reeves narrates. “When I first found out I was pregnant, the news just set this laser clarity and I told myself, ‘I’m not doing this anymore’. I didn’t want this to be the path that my daughter would have to face. It was not an acceptable way for a human to live. As far as I know, we only get one chance at this. And there I was, doing it wrong. So I decided it was time to switch things up.”
Finding her path
As her pregnancy progressed, Reeves decided she was completely done with not being in charge of her own life. Her daughter deserved better, and after she had her baby, it was time to step up and make some changes. She immediately realized that she could only service a finite number of clients at any time, so she expanded her business model into a virtual assistance and web development agency.
“I then got a bit bored,” says Reeves. “This was because there wasn’t much to do as I would usually set all the systems up to run pretty much on their own. Then I added business coaching to my setup because I’m good at that. I know how to help people break a big picture idea down into very doable, implementable things.”
Everything was going well at the time, but Reeves still had a part of her yearning for something more. An opportunity came to invest heavily in the publishing business and reconnect with her old love of books. Reeves considered the option but she was stuck at an impasse where she couldn’t decide which path to face – continue with the current business which now bored her or delve into a whole new world of possibilities.
She needed a strong sign, and at that point, she let her faith in the universe take the wheels. She went down a road that most people wouldn’t have taken seriously, but in her case, it led to the birth of Four Eagles Publishing.
“The eagle is my spirit animal,” Reeves recalls her remarkable revelation. “I said to the universe, ‘Okay, show me an eagle if I’m going to do this’. Eagles aren’t common where I live, and so I added, ‘You have to show it to me within the next 24 hours.’ After that declaration, I went down the road to get food for my chickens. Suddenly, this huge eagle flies across the road in front of me, and I was like, ‘No, that’s just a coincidence’. As I drove back home, two separate eagles flew across the road in front of me. They were different from the first one but I still wasn’t convinced. I stopped at my mom’s on the way home and in the living room, she had National Geographic on and there was an eagle on the screen. I was like, ‘Oh, okay, this is all I need’.
Reeves quit marketing her coaching and virtual assisting business almost immediately. She set about making fresh business plans, laying out financial goals, writing, and publishing books intended to offer straight-up information that people needed. She eventually launched the company and named it Four Eagles Publishing, a tribute to the universe for making the leap of faith worth her while.
The major difference between people who achieve remarkable business goals and others who stay average is simple – courage. It lies in the boldness to decide that this decision would be best for you, your family, and the future you want to build.
Over time, Reeves has grown her business into a six-figure firm with a wide range of services including book coaching, writing, content creation, full publishing services, book marketing, and several more. She runs a team of dedicated people bringing authors to the limelight and fostering a community of best-selling creative minds.
Reeves believes that one of the most powerful strategies to building a successful business is to ask oneself the important questions and receive foundational answers – the bits that would truly matter. She recommends taking each step and breaking it down into smaller bits, to avoid getting overwhelmed by the enormity that is entrepreneurship.
“Okay, using my business as an example, I want to be bigger than Hay House one day. How do I get there? I need to build a team, have funnels in place, and have something to sell. I need to position myself and have my brand message on point, right? If you look at it like that, it can seem really overwhelming because there’s just too much to do. Well, it’s okay because it’s all long-term. We just have to break it down into parts. You have to gradually put one step in front of the other and this is how we get to where we need to be.”
Reeves admits that it won’t be an easy journey, no matter how passionate you are about the path you’ve chosen. You’d experience those peculiar moments of frustration where anger seems like the only outlet. However, you do what you have to do and get your head back in the game. Also, you can depend on your network because you will meet people along the way who will become a part of your support system.
Reeves has a few words for aspiring authors: “If you’ve got a message, you’ve got something you want to pass on, even if it’s just one sentence a day, a paragraph, you need to sit down and write it. Get started and work toward finishing it.”