[quote style=”boxed”]Try to be good to yourself the way you are good to others.[/quote]
Lihi Lapid is an Israeli author and journalist whose books and weekly newspaper column deal with contemporary women’s issues. Her popular weekly newspaper column is published in the weekend supplement of one of Israel’s major newspapers. Lihi has written two bestselling novels in Hebrew, Secrets from Within and Woman of Valor, as well as a cookbook and a bestselling children’s book.
Prior to becoming a writer, Ms. Lapid was a professional photographer. These days in addition to her writing, speaking and being a mother of two, she is also helping her husband, Yair Lapid, with his political campaign and run for the Israeli Knesset.
What are you working on right now?
The ten year anniversary of my weekly newspaper column is a few months away. In honor of that milestone I ‘m in the midst of publishing a book based on a decade of columns. As I sift through these columns, so many memories and emotions are being bought to the surface. I find myself excited, touched, laughing and even crying. I’m also realizing how many things I have experienced and I ‘m remembering the wonderful women I have met. Mostly, I understand how much I have learned about what it means to be a woman, a daughter, a mother and a wife.
Where do get the ideas for your writing?
I get my ideas from my day-to-day involvement with women and issues pertaining to women. My passion is to encourage women to love themselves a little more and be a little less critical of themselves. (We women are our own harshest critics.) I have been writing about and for women for the past ten years.
I don’t think there has been another era in which being a women is as complicated as it is today. The modern day woman has unbelievable expectations, both from within and from others. She has more to do and is expected to do it all and to be successful at everything. That’s even before trying to make the time to go to the gym to exercise so that she can look and feel great as well.
With my writing I am trying to make women and men aware that doing everything and being perfect is impossible. We are allowed to mess up and make mistakes and be imperfect. Learning to accept my imperfections was the impetus for me writing My Personal Declaration of Independence.
What does your typical day look like?
I spend most of the hours of my days alone at the computer. I do a lot of writing but I also spend a lot of time in dialogue with other women. I hear about their lives, learn what is bothering or troubling them, what gives them strength and what brings them joy. That is what I write about. In the afternoons I try to spend time with my kids, that is if my teenagers let me.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I listen. I listen to every woman I meet. (And sometimes to men too.) Generally the women I meet teach me about what their needs are and that is the basis for the growth of wonderful ideas.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Facebook. Initially I was a bit hesitant about joining Facebook. Today, I have a fantastic community of 17,000 women (and maybe some men) who through this amazing tool allow me into their lives to get to know them, their families and what they are feeling. It makes me accessible to people.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
Before I started writing, I was a press photographer. Sadly, people don’t always like press photographers and think its okay to push them around, curse at them, shove them and even break their expensive equipment. After someone broke my camera I realized that I wanted to only do things that made people happy.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Every day I start anew. Every evening I review the day that has passed and I know that I could have done things better. The wisdom is remembering that tomorrow is a new day and a new start.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Try to be good to yourself the way you are good to others.
What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I think that too many of us forget to think, to sit quietly and think. I try to do that and I am still trying to make the quiet time for that.
What is one idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Treat yourself like a start up. Invest in yourself and remember that you are your own best investment.
If you could change one thing in the world – what would it be – and how would you go about it?
I would have every country on this planet, from small to big, give women the honor and respect they deserve and treat them accordingly. When that happens, I will know that I am living in a wonderful world.
Tell us a secret.
Every time I sit down to write, I’m sure that this is the time that I won’t be able to write anything worthwhile.
What are your favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
I love Facebook because I get to network and I meet a lot of people that way. I’m also addicted to emails because it’s a genius way to communicate and stay connected.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Obviously, I wouldn’t be a good writer if I didn’t recommend my books because they portray motherhood in a way that is rarely spoken about. The books were bestsellers in Israel and I am in the midst of translating one of them into English. (I’m still looking for a publisher so any suggestions would be warmly welcomed.)
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
This may be somewhat of a shock, but I don’t have a twitter account. I do have 17,000 Facebook fans which for me at this point in time, is enough.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
I laugh all the time because kids make me laugh. I especially love the faces and expressions kids make, like the way they pucker up their faces when they taste something tart like a lemon.
Who is your hero?
My hero is every woman who is at peace with herself especially one who knows how to laugh at herself as well.
Why does it take you an average of four years to write each book?
I have absolutely no idea.
What is your favorite form of exercise?
There is no exercise I like, but at least when I do Zumba, the music is great and takes my mind off the pain.
Lihi Lapid on Facebook: Lihi Lapid
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.