If you’re a coach, service professional, or consultant dedicated to making positive change in the world, then writing a book can do big things for your career. But that’s not really what it’s all about. Many of my clients have said, “If my book can help just one person avoid this problem, I will have accomplished my mission.” It’s not just about growing your business, and it’s not even really about spreading your message to bigger audiences. Writing a book profits is about helping others and making positive change, and it’s one of the most powerful ways to achieve that.
Think about it: What was the most influential book you’ve ever read? It probably doesn’t take you long to remember the title, does it? You’ve probably read it several times and shared it with all your friends and colleagues.
Now, try to think about the most influential article you ever read. Or the most influential blog post. This is a little harder. Even though these written pieces got the writer’s message into the world, they didn’t last long enough to make a real difference. Because books are more permanent, longer in length, and allow the writer the space to delve deep into a topic, they make a greater impact on the world. They stick with us for longer, which makes writing one pretty scary-even when the world desperately needs the information you can provide.
Not only is writing a book a huge, often overwhelming project, it’s also an extension of yourself, in a way, that’s sent out into the world to represent you and your ideas. And that, like any big step in your professional or personal life, can be frightening. You’re on the verge of something big, and although you know it will be good for you, you’re scared to jump.
You want your book to be really good. You want it to be well written; you want it to represent you in a positive way-because people are going to read it, and it’s going to stick with them for a lot longer than anything else you’ve ever written. This is why I’m such a proponent of quality, versus speed or just getting the book done so you can add the word “author” to your bio. The difference between a great book and a mediocre book is that a great book is always getting passed around and talked about. It is memorable (in a good way), and therefore has an opportunity to make that big positive change you want it to make. A poorly written book, or even a mediocre book, is easily forgotten.
If you’re not 100 percent confident in your book ideas, your writing skills, and your ability to put everything together in a book, then you’ll be too scared to take the leap and write the book. And if you do get it done, it will probably sit on your computer for months, or even years, before anyone ever reads it. Why? Because something inside you isn’t ready to do what it takes to get the book out there. And that, I believe, is a huge tragedy.
So if this sounds familiar, what can you do? How can you make that jump and get your book written, so it can start doing all the wonderful things you and your readers?
First, understand that everything it takes to put together a great book can be learned. You don’t have to do it on your own. You’ve probably worked with a coach or taken classes for other aspects of your business because you were dedicated and committed to being successful. And writing your best book will take the same level of commitment.
And second, realize that people-the readers you want to help-are struggling with a problem that you can solve. Regardless of what mindset issues you’re tangling with around writing your book, remember, the world is waiting. And as someone who has dedicated their life to serving others, it’s your responsibility to jump.