“Do you think everyone has a book in them?”
People seem compelled to ask that question when they discover what I do for a living. I have no idea how to answer it. But I do know two things for sure. The people who ask me the question are usually thinking about fiction of some kind, not business books. And if you do, indeed, have a book inside you, birthing it will be an arduous process.
Two Roads to Writing a Business Books
I spend my days working with people who want to write great business books. They have a variety of reasons. Many want to boost their reputation in business. Some have important ideas they want to share. And for some, it’s a bucket list item. Regardless of the reason, there are two roads that I’ve noticed on the way to a business book.
Most people don’t leap out of bed one morning, decide to write a book, and get right to it. More often, they think about the possibility of writing a book until a situation convinces them that the time has come.
For Stephen Lynch, writing a book was a bucket list item. When he took on an assignment with his firm, RESULTS.com, that required him to review and consolidate all his company’s training materials, he thought the time to write a book had come. The result was his award-winning book, Business Execution for RESULTS.
Tom Hall started to write a book about fast-growing companies. He did a bunch of the research, but then, the governor of his state asked him to head up part of the drug abuse program. Tom put his book project on hold for a decade.
When he went back to the research, he saw that many of those high-flying companies he’d admired ten years before had disappeared entirely and others were struggling. He wondered why and decided to write a book about companies with staying power. The result was Ruthless Focus.
When people are on the opportunity beckons road, they are pretty sure they want to write a book, someday, but someday hasn’t come yet. Then they have an insight, an assignment, or an opportunity that shouts, “Now’s the time!” That’s when they go to work in earnest.
Working the Plan
Other people I work with are more strategic. Rod Santomassimo is the most strategic of all. He founded one of the top commercial real estate brokerage coaching firms in the world and he knew that he needed to do some things, including write a book, to demonstrate his expertise. When the time came, he set to work on what became the best-selling Brokers Who DOMINATE.
Bill Jensen is working on his 9th book. Like Rod, he’s a strategic thinker. He thinks that he needs to have a new book every couple of years to maintain his revenue stream and keep his name in front of people.
Jim Blasingame is known as “The Small Business Advocate.” Jim’s one of those people who’s just a little bit ahead of the rest of us. He spends his mornings doing his radio show, and the rest of the time thinking about what it all means. His most recent book is about the evolution of ethical challenges in a digital world. It’s called The 3rd Ingredient. I suspect he’s already thinking about what his next book will be.
What This Means for You
There are a couple of things I’d like you take away from this post. The first one is that it’s absolutely normal to think about writing a book for a long time before you actually do it. That’s how it happens for most of us. Then, the time comes when the book either fits into your plan or you have a flash of insight about what you want your book to be.
Either way, the hard work is still ahead of you.