Author interview with Elaina Zuker of ‘A Swift Kick in the Can’ts – The New Peer Mentor Model for Success Now’


The road to Success in any endeavor need not be a lonely or isolated one. Packed with simple and practical ideas, this is a “must read” if you want to “up” your game in today’s world. This new book offers a unique system of support which combines the practices of barter, sharing and mentoring. “A Swift Kick in the Can’ts” is a 21st Century version of age-old customs and practices.

Today I’m chatting with Elaina Zuker, author of ‘A Swift Kick in the Can’ts – The New Peer Mentor Model for Success Now’. This book is a pragmatic resource on how people can use Peer Mentoring to improve your life. For those who are uninitiated with the Peer-Mentoring method, can you take us through more of how this works? Peer-Mentoring is a powerful method for achieving success in a focused, targeted and accelerated way, by providing support via a “Success Buddy” system, which anyone can create either in person, by phone, Skype or email.

Beginning with clearly defined goals, two individuals with complementary skills and resources form a mutual “support for success” contract to achieve real results in any category of life.



As you’ve written an entire book, you are obviously now well versed in the principals and concepts of Peer Mentoring. Can you cast your mind back to your first experience with Peer Mentoring like, and let us know what impressed on you so much that you felt you needed to write a book on this topic?
I first discovered the idea of Peer-Mentoring when I began using it for myself. I met another woman consultant who had many of the skills, experiences, and contacts that I lacked and I had some of the resources and talents she needed. We formed a contract with each other, in which we made very clear statements of our separate goals, and then we stated clear written commitments to support each other in achieving those goals. Some of this support came from teaching each other the skills the other needed, sharing our contacts, educating each other in areas where we needed more information, and, most importantly, just knowing that I had a “buddy” rooting for me. We called it a “loving kick in the “can’ts”.
We were so amazed by our success that we decided to teach this process to others. Now, thousands of people all over the country have learned the process and are actively forming Peer-Mentor pairs to help each other to be more successful.


When you are teaching this process, what are the transformations like in other people?

I’m a management consultant, public speaker and corporate trainer – I get lots of exposure to different kinds of people and learn from their problems, challenges and how they handle things. It must be interesting seeing how many different people deal with their problems differently.


When you were working on this book did you also explore other mentoring techniques?

Yes indeed, especially about all kinds of mentoring in addition to the work on Peer Mentoring. The book describes the historical and anthropological foundation for these idea and practices, beginning with the reciprocity customs of various tribes and clans (in a chapter contributed by anthropologist, Dr. Gabriella Djerrahian); the custom and history of barter and the zeitgeist of the current “Sharing Economy”.


What makes your book unique about how you tackle mentoring?
The techniques and ideas in the book simply make these mentoring processes more user-friendly and specific.


Was the presentation of these ideas in a user-friendly format the most rewarding part of writing this book for you?
Yes, finally getting to organize and put to paper all the ideas I had been thinking about and practicing for a long time was rewarding.


And receiving feedback from the readers like reviews must have been fantastic too.

I was thrilled, of course.


Did you find that you left anything out of this book, and are you currently working on any new resources in the Peer Mentoring space to extend on what you covered in this book?
No, I’m taking a break from writing.


And when you were in the thick of the writing process, what techniques did you use to approach for writing and editing?
I started with bits of paper/notes, did drafts in Word on the computer then I hired a concept editor to help me with flow of ideas, consistency of as well as a basic editor.


Did you also attempt to edit your work yourself?
Not really.


Do you have any tips for self-publishing for other authors?

Use Brian Schwartz & his team; they do it all – interior formatting, cover design, launch on Kindle, Amazon and other outlets and P.R. I hope that many other authors will benefit from your recomendation. And now we’re onto my favourite section of the interview, the Quick Fire round where inhibitions are left at the door and the readers can get a bit more insight into your personality in a fun way.


What is your favourite quote?

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.


What was your favourite book as a child?

You can never go wrong with Babar. Do you have any philosophies that you live by?

Try to see the glass half full.


What is your zodiac sign?

What are you currently reading?

Robert Hellenga( Sixteen Pleasures), Joan Didion, Carl Hiassen, Calvin Trillin, John Grisham.


What is your best tip for authors?

Just sit down and DO IT!


Who is your favourite literary character?

Can’t think of one right now – it would have to be a woman who is independent and heroic. Maybe a character played by Katherine Hepburn What is your favourite quote from another author? Until one is committed there is hesitating, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: “The moment one definitely commits oneself, Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one, that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way”



What is your favourite word?



And with that word, I think it’s a good point to end today’s interview, Elaina thank you for joining me today and I hope that you are able to connect and help many people improving the level of success in their lives.


Want to connect with Elaina?  You can find her here: