LESSONS LEARNED AFTER PUBLISHING MY FIRST BOOK
My book, “The Integrated Entrepreneur: Achieving Happiness in Relationships, Business and Life” hit the Amazon shelves on September 1, 2021.
It is a business book 10 plus years in the making, with plenty of stops and starts, rewrites, and course corrections.
There were jokes that the infamous manuscript would forever be buried in the bowels of my laptop, never to see the light of day.
But it did. And now that it is out there, I’d like to share a few lessons I learned about my experience of writing a book while running a business.
Lesson #1: It’s hard.
Plain and simple. I’m not often lost for words, but writing a book is not as easy as everyone thinks it’s going to be. Organizing your thoughts and articulating those thoughts in a way that is valuable is difficult.
Start with an outline of what you want to cover in your book, and plan a schedule to slowly but surely get it done.
Make it a priority, and a project you keep pushing along. I did everything the wrong way. Make the investment in the process out of the gate and stick to it.
Dedicating four to six hours a month doesn’t seem like it would be enough, but those months will go by whether you work on your book or not. Prioritize your project, and at the end of each month, you’ll be closer to your goal.
Lesson #2: Know your why.
Be clear about why you want to write a book. For me, it was a discovery process and vetting my own thinking. It forced me to catalog and organize my thoughts on important topics.
I recommend writing a book about something you are a subject matter expert on, or something you WANT to be a subject matter expert on that relates to your profession.
Lesson #3: Write it to satisfy your own curiosity.
Your reasons for writing a book should be less about the book and first and foremost about satisfying your own curiosity, with a bonus that along the way it will help other people.
If you are writing it exclusively to help other people, it might be a loss. It’s greater to satisfy your own curiosity.
Lesson #4: Don’t underestimate the power of your words.
If you don’t start because you don’t think you have anything to say that hasn’t already been said, think again.
Don’t underestimate the impact of articulating your thoughts and opinions on a subject. You will be able to seamlessly talk about the topics covered in your book that didn’t come naturally to you before.
It will also impact other people. You will be able to reach people and help them make sense of things by the way you present them.
If you’re in an advice-driven business, the book will give advice. If you are not in an advice-driven business, you will have to formulate the content in a fashion where there will be takeaways.
Lesson #5: Have a dedicated team to help you.
It’s your book, but you don’t have to do all the heavy lifting.
I wrote part of my book myself, hired a couple of ghostwriters, a researcher, editors, proofreaders and a company to help design the cover and pages. Have a dedicated team with a dedicated process who will get that book through the finish line.
Lesson #6: Be prepared to talk about your book and answer questions.
Once you’ve written a book, people will ask you questions about the content in your book, or ask you to elaborate about specific chapters.
I was pleasantly surprised and flattered to receive questions about parts of my book from people who had read it. They were curious, interested, and wanted to know more. Be prepared for those conversations and discussions —and enjoy knowing you’ve made an impact!