Laguna Beach's Best Travel Guide

From the time I started writing for Dave Liniger, the founder of RE/MAX in 1989, I’ve been helping authors write books, edit books and FINISH books. When I began my own agency in 1995, I collected a great team to help me with a great number of clients, from Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield to Bob Proctor and others. As I’ve continued creating marketing strategy, writing marketing content and helping with the writing of various books, my amazing team has helped me design book covers, create logos, lay out entire books, prep them for printing, do the press checks and THEN create the websites and the promotional materials to get the books OUT there for our clients.

But never have I ever gotten around to completing my own book.

Since 2008, I’ve been writing a blog about my wonderful town, Laguna Beach. The  blog – – as done out of love and admiration for this town more than anything else, and in a matter of months, I had several thousand readers poking in to see what Laguna Beach had to offer next.

In 2010, I started talking about putting all those blog entries into book form. It made sense. As powerful as blogs are to help you commandeer the geographic space in the search engines, their content is not as easy to drill through after 400 or so blog entries have been written.

So, for two years, I TALKED and PLANNED and TALKED some more about getting this first “travel guide” to Laguna Beach done. I even came up with the name, Laguna Beach’s Best: All the food, drink, places and events you want to know in Laguna Beach … from a resident’s perspective. (That was the easy part.)

The problem, though, with talking OUT LOUD about a great plan is that, eventually, every friend who’s heard you drone on and on about your PLAN begins to call you on your ETA. The question, “When’s the book going to be done?” began to pepper me like those darned “mine-mine-mine” seagulls in the movie, Finding Nemo. This peppering began in earnest, from a variety of sources, at about the first of this year. (It could have been a conspiracy, now that I think about it.)

Reluctantly, I pulled up to the “Book Starting Line” in late February. It was time to get the book done. I rallied my single troop – Patti Knoles – the most patient, amazing book designer in the universe. Before I could even finish the sentence, she readily agreed and vroomed up next to me, tires smoking, engine gunning, grinning over at me. What could I do? I couldn’t back down NOW. She’s already asking for the back cover copy, for criminy’s sake.

That’s when the first realization hit me.

First of all, only one person along the way had told me that the book probably wouldn’t be a very good idea. In contrast, about 20 people were telling me it was going to be the best thing I could do for me, my fellow man and country.

Folks, if you have ONE person on your side, you’re doing better than most. I had 20 … or more …who weren’t going to let this dream die.

Secondly, if you have a good idea, and you think it could be a great reality, God/the angels/the Universe are going to be peeling rubber ahead of you, halfway to the first while you’re still idling at the START line. The Universe is like that – it’s not much for excuses when it’s time to lock and load a dream you keep blabbering on about.

Granted, you have every right to TRY to put a governor on that Universe. Over the last few months, I tried a few tactics (aka: excuses) of my own … I didn’t have time … I was too busy with my clients to work on my own stuff … it was too much work (travel guides are, admittedly a beast) … I had to go out again and take larger photos of many of the entities I’d already taken photos of … the print bids were unworldly, ghastly sums.

At that last excuse, I sent an email to Patti in June. This was costing too much money, the print bids were scandalous, I didn’t have it in the coffers, and we should just shelve the book until 2014. Moratorium. End of story.

I pictured her sitting there at her computer, exhausted, halfway through the design of the book with the biggest sections still looming. She could have said to herself, “Good. I’m tired of this book. Good decision.”

I waited on the other side, computer humming, watching my email, wondering how long it would be before she would respond.

Three minutes later, she wrote, “I’m going to keep working on the book. It’s a great book, Diane. It’ll work out.”

Hunh. Imagine that.

I remember years ago, when I had talked about another dream that had to do with a penthouse panoramic view in Laguna Beach, Bob Proctor told me, “Diane, if you don’t believe in this dream of yours, I’ll believe in it for you.”

For years, I’ve told client after client the same. They hit that Terror Barrier; they hit that fear, and they start to back away, scrabbling back to what they know, what’s comfortable. Who needs a dream anyway? And I tell them that I believe, that my team believes, and we always bring that person through to the other side.

One person believed in my dream … probably more than I did at that moment. And at that very moment, everything changed.

Whose dream can you believe in today?
What you do – or don’t do – can change everything.



P.S. Learn more: Laguna Beach’s Best
To learn more about getting your book (or website) out there with our help, email me personally,