Writing has always been a part of my life, I wish I knew then what I know now and had created an exit strategy when I was in corporate that included writing a book and building my brand before I moved on.
Having the opportunity and foresight to plan your exit or entrance is a wonderful thing. You may be running a business that you think you are enjoying when a change in government rules changes everything overnight. Or in a career that no longer feeds your soul.
Or you may be struggling after the pandemic – which has changed everything.
The business or career that you thought you loved may become a complete nightmare. Imagine going from being profitable, loving every day to pulling your hair out because you cannot make any headway.
Currently, there are no more lockdowns. However, none of us know what is around the corner and now seems like a good idea to ask…
When would be a good idea to start living my life?
Many years ago I was running a government-funded project within an organisation which was amazing and massively profitable.
Oh, foresight where were you when we thought our little consultancy could do just as well? The government pulled the plug with just six weeks’ notice. Doh!
How I wished that I had a backup plan, book, online course, something…
What if you wake up one day and a quiet voice in your head asks you to wake up. You are not really happy, the business/career is ok, but you are not going anywhere fast soon. You are using your skills but you certainly don’t feel any passion. (Check out finding your IKIGAI)
The wake-up call however it reaches you is often too late. If you are a tad impulsive, you may don your rubber armbands, hold your nose and jump into the sea of new opportunities with some consideration, but not your all-important well-crafted business strategy.
Blimey who needs a strategy?
A vision without a strategy remains an illusion.Lee Bolman
We all have something that we could write about or build a business around. It may not seem like it right now. But consider this…
What if your story was turned into a self-help book? What if you could turn that into an online course or a coaching business?
Have you had stress and anxiety? Perhaps you have been plagued by IBS, Candida or some other gut issue? What about low self-worth or imposter syndrome?
Write yourself a list of possibilities – what fills you with joy or a passion? Or what could be a passion project for 1-2 years?
If you wrote a book, what else could you turn it into so that you have a pipeline of products and services?
I once wrote a book called healing osteoporosis naturally and never published it. I did indeed heal the osteoporosis naturally and writing the book helped me to do that.
But the subject left me cold…
Whereas journaling and writing excite me. The Memoir Book Project is a point in hand. There is a different energy around supporting women to write a brilliant book based on their story and wisdom.
So, think for a while, journal around your thoughts and feelings and let’s chat.
Writing a book is not just about the book, it is a process that connects you to your inner wisdom, helps you to discover your voice, find your voice, helps you to grow as a person and gives you a great marketing vehicle. It is an amazing brand and confidence building tool.
Before you start to write a book
One of the areas I always explore with my writers is their values, passion, vision and purpose, these set the foundations of the book (and your personal branding strategy).
What do you want to create?
Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”– Muriel Strode (Poet)
Creation is about envisioning. Often if you can’t see it, you can’t create it or manifest it. You may have already created some of what you want to create, but you might not have realised it.
Other questions might include:
- What are the greatest things you could accomplish, given the right circumstances, inspiration, support, resources and motivation?
- When you die, what would you want people to say and remember about you?
- What kind of life do you want to have lived at age 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 and 80?
- What kinds of people do you want to be surrounded by and who do you want to have a relationship with?
- What could you contribute to the world that would make you feel proud and content?
Values are ways of being that mean something important to you. Your values are the qualities that you want to present to the world. They are what you believe are important. They are the foundations of who you are. Your book and strategy must embody your values.
Your passion (combined with your knowledge, skills and experience) is what you will be distilling through your writing. You may not be clear on what that is yet. You may be passionate about many things, what we are looking for is the one thing right now that you could write about that resonates with you.
Vision drives your direction; it is future-based and relies on you taking action to get you there. Your vision, then, is something that will propel you towards things that you want to achieve in the future. You must write a book for where you want to be, not where you are or what you are currently doing.
You need purpose to propel you in the right direction, keep you motivated and on track, especially on bad hair days.
Finding your purpose leads to a purposeful book or one that has a purpose. A purpose-led book is one that is written from your heart; it has meaning to you and to those that you share it with. When you write with purpose, your writing will flow; you will feel a deep connection to it.
The purpose of your book is to help others to imagine what is possible for them from what you have discovered, experienced, learnt and are now sharing.
What about your personal story?
People often get confused about autobiography, biography, memoir, and personal story. For clarity they are:-
- Autobiography is most of your life – it’s what famous people do…
- A biography is about someone else
- A memoir is a slice of your life – told in story form about any part of your life
- A healing memoir is a slice of your life with a learning point and contains how-to/self-help
A healing memoir is a way to write about a part of your life that has enabled you to create change, expansion and transformation and is designed to inspire someone else to do something with their life. It is connected to your core message and is often used as a part of your personal brand.
You will probably use it for coaching, courses, workshops and programs. It is the perfect formula for a transition book.
The next steps for writing a book include
- Creating a personal branding strategy and whatever that might entail. You may start blogging and going to local networking meetings.
- Market and ideal reader (customer) research.
- Consider your business strategy – will you provide coaching, workshops, online training and speaking?
- Your book and business marketing strategy.
- Asking what questions your book answers.
- What value will your reader get?
- Create an outline and chapter framework to give you clarity and chunk it down to make it easier to write. You will be writing it before you head to work or possibly at weekends and evenings. Yes, you do need to be dedicated and motivated.
- Writing to the first draft.
- Cover design.
- Ongoing marketing.
- Perhaps an online course?
What your book will give you
Today a business book adds an extra dimension to your credibility as an expert. It allows you to demonstrate your expertise, skills, knowledge, experiences and passion. A business book can support your workshops, help you to develop other products and services and be used as a highly effective marketing tool.
Not only that you can use it as a lead generator, driving traffic to your website and if you turn it into an online course another source of revenue (and that can’t be bad can it?).
Go on what are you waiting for write your book and jump into the sea, the temperature is just perfect.
Don’t forget to get your copy of 101 questions.