Love Letters 💌 Where Have I Been? & My First Book Launch “How to Talk to Anyone for Introverts” 📖

Don’t Be Strangers * Podcast Show Notes

xinyi @ don't be strangers
17 min readApr 21, 2023

Where have I been? MIA?

  • DBS is a playground for me — do what I want
  • Full transparency, break out of the 9–5
  • AmazonFBA
  • FB Ads
  • eBooks
  • Self Publishing via Amazon
  • PERFECT — I get to fulfill my dreams of writing a book, etc. And the best part is that I use it to grow Don’t Be Strangers
  • So I set to work beginning of December, working on my first book “How to Talk to Anyone for Introverts” and now 5 months later…I just launched Monday April 17. My goal is to bring awareness to the issue of loneliness and the fact that we have the agency to do something about it, for ourselves, which ultimately impacts our communities. Especially introverts who need deep authentic connections as much as anyone else. So I’m giving away this book for free in return for reviews on Amazon until I get to 100. The idea being that the more reviews this book has, the more Amazon will promote, and the more it will organically reach the readers who are looking for information like this. As of this morning I’m at 11% of this goal, which is amazing. I would love your help to spread the word about this if you think this book could potentially help someone. You can download it by visiting ⁠⁠ or if that’s too long to remember, it’s also linked on the instagram!

So to celebrate this book launch, I asked everyone to ask me some questions which I answered some live on instagram and Discord. We didn’t have time to go through all of them so I thought it’d be good to do so now.

Book Launch Q&A

Full Transcript

00:00 Welcome back to don’t be strangers a podcast and community focus on finding adult loneliness by deepening our connections with ourselves and others. If you’re into personal development and believe there’s something to be learned from everyone, then you’re in the right place. I’m your host XinYi and I typically meet my co hosts for the very first time while recording. If this sounds fun to you, please consider applying to co host a future episode. But to be quite honest, I have actually not touched my podcast. In very many months.

I have a backlog of three episodes that I need to get to that were recorded. Actually one of them at the end of last year and two of them early this year. And everything has been kind of put on hold. Because where have I been? Yes, I am a digital nomad. I’ve been traveling but that’s not the reason why I haven’t touched the podcast. The real reason is because I have been hard at work on this book called How to Talk to Anyone for introverts. So backing up a bit.

MIA? Where Have I Been?

How did this happen? Why am I writing a book? Well, to be quite honest, don’t be strangers has always been a playground for me. So if you’re on listening to this podcast, then maybe you know that it first started as its podcast for me to interview you know, just strangers and sometimes people that I love and know to share the stories of the everyday person because I believe that there is something to be learned from everyone. And a lot of the podcasts out there nowadays. have credibility, because the interviewers are interviewing people with accolades. They have won awards, they’ve spoken, huge conferences, et cetera, et cetera. And while I, I love these podcasts, okay, I regularly consume them, but I also wanted to make it feel more this sense of belonging, like you know that there are other people who are just doing normal things like you and I.

So, anyways, we went from the podcast to me trying to start a digital pen pals club, and then kind of waning. Off of that, turning it into a community primarily digital through discord. And then now I’m trying to do these physical Dobby, physical city chapters, all to say that it has always been an old always will be a playground for me, so adding in a book or a publishing business is, you know, just the continuation. But I also wanted to explain why this came to be how this came to be. And full the print the so full transparency, I’ve always wanted to break out of the nine to five.

I have always been a little rebel, and a little non conforming. I’ve never thought that like a nine to five was for me. If you didn’t know I work full time currently as a software developer. Very I feel very lucky. I do enjoy parts of this job. But there are very other parts where I feel a lot of cognitive dissonance where I don’t feel like I identify as a software engineer or a tech bro. So that being said, I’ve always thought okay, eventually I’ll become an entrepreneur, I’ll do my own thing, but I just didn’t know what and a lot of my friends have heard this story before.

But the struggle that I was going through for all of my career in tech was just this idea of, you know, how long what where do you draw the line between waiting for inspiration to hit and just starting to try random things. So in 2020, in the middle of the pandemic and quarantine, I was hit with an ad from YouTube about starting in business for a course. It was an ad for a course for starting a business with Amazon FBA. So the idea behind that is that you basically have to do all the market research, you know, figure out what your product is, what’s a product that will sell well on Amazon, and then you would have to contact manufacturers in China, figure out logistics of getting them to Amazon’s warehouse but once it’s in Amazon’s warehouse, which you have to pay for, for storage, all of the actual like fulfillment is taken care of by Amazon, which means you don’t have to turn your house into a warehouse. Amazon will like ship it out to the customers, they’ll handle returns. And so that’s really nice. When I started that course, in business, I knew I wouldn’t like it.

So you might be thinking like why? But I drew the line, I drew the line, and I said, I don’t want to wait any more. Let me just try this and at the very minimum, I’ll learn one potential business model. And there are many things I learned from from attempting that that I have kept. And, you know, I see value in what I learned from that particular course. I went through all the trouble of like, negotiating with the manufacturers. Getting it all the way into the warehouse. I actually launched my product it was dog bandanas and I didn’t feel passionate about it at all i part of the main reason why I knew I wouldn’t enjoy this is because I’m a minimalist and I am a nomad, which means I don’t really believe in stuff and so it felt really weird that I was basically supporting the

05:47 the creation of more stuff, and people putting stuff in their environment. But you know, that’s another conversation. So I thought to myself, like you know, I got it all the way out into the world. I had I bought like some ridiculous amounts of I don’t know how many units but for it to be worth buying from the manufacturer 1000s of units of this of just stuck, then I was starting this business, trying to advertise get reviews on it, and it just sat so unwell in me. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this before, but just felt so bad like I was just like “God I don’t even want to like tell people I do this because I don’t believe in what I’m doing” not because of like, from a financial standpoint. I didn’t think it would work. It was just like it was so hard for me to market this just because I didn’t feel any purpose in doing it. So a couple months after going after having launched that product. I scrapped everything like literally liquidated all my stock.

But near the end of my journey with Amazon FBA I found another course called Facebook ads for a Facebook ads. And I thought oh you know like this is a good skill to learn. I can use it to market my dog bandanas and this business. I’m starting this e commerce business. And then this will also be a great skill for me to use to help any of my other friends because I love promoting, you know, good businesses, which is good ideas in general. And for whatever reason, that was also really hard for me. Learning is fantastic. I love learning. I am a student of life. But when it came to the actual application, I really struggled a lot. So I will sit down and create the campaigns that was really painful for me and then actually putting money into these campaigns and running them was also really painful. For me. I think there were some mental blocks and I know that some of my other friends were just like more in touch with themselves would say like, maybe you should look into that in therapy. There’s something and so that’s something that I couldn’t even though I really wanted to learn it couldn’t make much progress on. So that kind of fizzled out.

I think about a year or so or Yeah, like about a year later I got hit with another course. So you’re probably seeing a pattern here. I’m trying things and I have a tendency to buy information and courses. This course was basically saying that I should create digital products, ebooks, really short pamphlets that I can you know, jam packed with the information that customers or potential clients were looking for, and then provide the service to them, of having done the research and consolidation of the information and delivering it to them in a very easy ebook that you can read in like an hour for example. I was really really excited because while I was doing Amazon FBA, I was like, you know, I’m doing the physical products I knew in my heart eventually I would transition to digital products because that’s what I buy. I buy education. And so I was like this is it like I’m on like I was waiting for this.

The only issue was I actually like sat down wrote this book in like the span of three or four days and then I designed it in the span of like, a weekend or something like that. And then I had to create my own landing page, which meant you know, this is a page where if you’re not, if you’re not variable, versed in marketing and understanding what this is, it’s the page that you land on for a product and they tell you all about it, but they’re also trying to sell you on it because they’ll include testimonials, etc. etc. And so I had the ebook that I was supposed to create the landing page, I had all the testimonials and then promote that landing page and get people to land on that landing page and buy it and there we were, again at like the marketing step. I couldn’t do it. I was like, Oh my gosh. Yeah, this is a real mental block and I’m working through it. But I felt so excited about the ebook, and then I didn’t do anything more with it, which felt like a disappointment to me but you know, I was getting warmer.

So last Black Friday, so I ended up November. I was hit with this other course for selling the course teaches you how to self publish via Amazon. So full circle, we’re back at Amazon, whatever. I’m just trying things out and having fun. All right. Trying to have fun and treat life as like a playground. And you know, the great thing is that the whole reason why, you know they were even promoting Amazon FBA is that the marketing is also happening within the Amazon platform. So the idea of self publishing via Amazon is that I will be creating these ebooks myself and then I will get to take advantage of the you know, the customer base on Amazon, the people who are already using the Amazon search engine and then I can also use their ads and stuff and I thought to myself this, I think is finally it because when I first started with Amazon FBA, I did not have Don’t be strangers. It was like within the span of these different things I was exploring. I started Don’t be strangers as this passion project. And so the second time around, kind of, you know, now that I know I’m doing digital products, I’m rounding back to Amazon. I thought to myself, perfect. I’ll get to fulfill my dreams of writing books, you know, putting them out into the world, but I’ll also get to do all of this under the branding of don’t be strangers, which means that I can promote this community and this platform and our fight against loneliness.

The Book

So, all that being said, I started this journey and of November 2022, so truly the beginning of December. And then now five months later, I just launched on Monday, this Monday, five days ago, April 17. And the goal always is to just bring awareness to the issue of loneliness and the fact that we have the agency to do something about it for ourselves, which ultimately impacts our communities, especially for introverts who need deep authentic connections as much as anyone else. So this book, How to Talk to Anyone for introverts. I’m trying to give it away for free until I get 100 reviews on Amazon. And the idea is that the more reviews this book has the more Amazon the more Amazon will promote it and the more it’ll organically reach the readers who are looking for information just like this. So as of this morning, I am at 11% of this goal, which is amazing.

And you know, I’m proud of myself for having pushed this far, especially given how hard it is for me to do a promotion and talk about my work. And the fact that like we’re here, and I feel like yes, it is getting easier with more practice. And I would love your help to spread the word about this book. If you know that it could potentially help someone. You can download it for free by visiting. Don’t be strangers dot club slash free dash book. I’ll repeat one more time. Don’t be strangers dot club, slash free dash book, or if that’s too long to remember, it’s also linked on the Instagram.

I just asked that if you’re getting a copy for free that you can also help leave a review on Amazon. So to celebrate this book launch I asked everyone to ask me some questions which I answered on a live on Instagram and discord last night. And we didn’t have enough time to go through all of them. So I thought it’d be good to do so in this bonus podcast episode. In fact, I think I might actually just break this episode into two parts because they’re 11 questions, and I’m just going to cover five of them right now.


So starting with Dallas book tribe asked, What is your best advice on writing a book and without a doubt, writing an outline? So yes, this is what the course taught me. But I was actually catching up with my author friend, literary Lila, she does nonfiction, like Korean KPop Korean culture like LGB GT.

14:56 I always have to think for a second for the acronym novels. And you know, I was asking her about her writing process and I asked her like, do you ever get writer’s block? And she says no, because she was explaining to me that she went to film school, and she did a lot of like screenwriting and they teach you in film school to write the treatment, which is essentially the outline. And I’m sorry, Lila if I’m getting any of this wrong, but I hope I’m getting the gist of it is basically you just write the outline of the film. And so she says that she writes her books in this way too. In that she writes her outline first and then her first draft is always way too short. But then in the like full writing process. She’s only ever just going into full details. So there’s no there’s never any like question or like confusion about the direction of what her novel or like where it’s going. And I really felt that for myself too. Because once I had the outline I basically had an agenda and everyday was like, gotta fill in chapter one got it, fill in chapter two, etc, etc. Until I got it done. So, yes, make a plan.

Molly Molly Ho Studio. I asked me who’s a very good friend of mine. By the way, she has been part of this. She’s been hearing about my writers during the I guess since almost the beginning. And so she asked me what was your favorite part about putting the book together? And without a doubt it was researching and learning. I love learning. I don’t know how many times I have to say like you probably got the gist and it was just a lot of fun I just loved there was a part where I had to go and understand the audience a bit better. Like kind of look at what other people were saying about other self help books in this niche of, you know, communication and connection and seeing what people thought about the topic and just kind of understanding them and it me being an introvert it’s not too hard for me because this niche is near and dear to my heart not only because of there’ll be certain years but the fact that I was and still am introverted for the majority of my life and to this to today. I would say that I’m more so an ambivert which is like a little mix of both, but still very much like the target audience of my own book.

So Pinche Kelly or Kelly also another very good friend of mine asked me have any favorite icebreakers when meeting new people. And I don’t know if this is an icebreaker per se. But I have a tendency to ask this of everyone whether we’re strangers like we’re just we just met and we’re like starting to become friends or we’re really close friends. I always ask what are you working on or thinking about? Because I just want to know, like, beyond, beyond the surface level facts and chronology of your life, right? Like, you know, I went to school here and currently doing this I’m really curious to know like, are you doing a renovation for your house? If you are like, what is the process of that like, like, What is your thought process on that like you have any experience? Do you have any friends or family that whose experience you’re drawing from? That’s a very, like, random example. But I like just through that conversation. There’s so much to learn from someone else because even if I’m nowhere close to owning a home, nor wanting to renovate a home, I think it gives me ideas because I like to draw and make connections and basically drive years from, you know, the process of home renovation to like my own creative art process. I hope that doesn’t sound like a huge leap, but in my mind, that makes perfect sense. So my icebreaker question for all the new friends. What are you working on and thinking about?

Tia have to Joseph or No, I think it’s to Joe’s. Yeah, to ex Joe’s asked me top three favorite ways to make friends. Definitely online I detail this a lot in my book about how I do it. But I’ve met so many amazing friends online first. So two questions ago Molly, she’s a girl that I met online and now we have weekly co working and like just weekly calls to catch up on life. One of my favorite friends of hos is another friend who I met online first and he’s also someone that I do weekly calls for with. So one online to consistent small for you local meetups. So I typically look at Eventbrite, or sometimes I use to try to find events that are free so it’s like assessable and then I also like it when they’re small and consistent. So when I what I mean by this is like, this is all personal. So obviously take this with a grain of salt. But I prefer groups are smaller than 10 people. So it’s like, easy to remember names. I don’t get overwhelmed being an introvert. And then the consistency allows me to, you know, do name face recognition over time and then also have continuity right like to me Kimi is a good friend of mine who I met first through the Dallas ladies wine and design group and it took like three or four meetups for me to actually like start talking to her and asking her for like we could hang out and work out together outside of these meetups. So I kind of like build courage with someone over time. So it’s just easier if I have that consistency to meet up with them again. And then the third is meeting friends or friends because I also detail this in the book but the idea is that you hopefully you’ve embedded your group of friends so that they align with you and values or hobbies or just something and then ideally your friends have vetted their group of friends so it’s more likely that you’ll have a have a shared interest or a shared value with your friends, friends. Than which is just like a random stranger. So the three ideas are one online, like typically through social media, Instagram for me to consistent small, free local meetups, and then three friends of friends.

And the last question, I’m going to cover on today’s episode is from Joyce, as an introvert How do you personally recharge your batteries after socializing? And I have three ways I do this one. I think that movement is a really important part of my life. It’s sort of the way that I meditate. So when I say movement I think stretching going out for a walk, exercising, going to the gym type situation yoga, and then secondly, creating art and self expression and that is really sacred time for myself. I think it’s not I think for the everyday people, if you don’t identify as an artist, which I have a whole other like spiel about this for because I believe that everyone’s an artist. But just the idea of like creative Plitt creative problem solving and play. So however you do that I feel like it’s important for anyone to just use that as recharge time to reinspire your life. And then the third one is actually social which is finding the people who recharge your batteries. I my little sibling and my husband or two people who give me a lot of peace just because of their energy. That sounds very woowoo but like they’re very calm people and I would like to be more Zen, but I don’t think I’m necessarily the calmest person. So when I’m with them, I kind of take on their vibe, and it makes me feel recharged, sometimes in the same way that meditation recharges me or in the same way that art inspires me. So that’s how I personally recharge after socializing in new environments with new people, which is more draining for me.

So I still have about six more questions I’m gonna leave for answering it in a part two. I’d love for you to write to me your thoughts about this episode? What are you currently reading? Have you downloaded my book? No worries if not, what are you working on are thinking about LoL. So if you use Instagram you can just directly DM me or find the posts associated with this particular episode. And write to me the Instagram handle is at Don’t be strangers or if you don’t use social media, you can just visit the website Don’t be strangers dot club. And I have like a little contact form there and you just write to me. So until next time, as always, don’t be a stranger.



xinyi @ don't be strangers

musings of a creative chimera + nowhere girl🌙🐉 ✨ illustrator, videographer, whatev-er. 📍 somewhere between knowing & searching (host of @dontbestrangers pod)