Thinking about changing direction? Write your book first

  • Writing has always been a part of my life, I wish I knew then what I know now and had created an exit strategy for my old business 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. The business you thought you loved may become a complete nightmare. Imagine going from being profitable, loving the everyday to pulling your hair out because you cannot make any headway.

    On the other hand 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 is ok, but you are not going anywhere fast soon, using your skills and you certainly don’t feel any passion.

    The wake up call however it reaches you is often too late. If you are a tad impulsive, you may don your rubber rings, hold your nose and jump into the sea of new opportunities with some consideration, but not your all important well crafted personal brand and business strategy.

    Your book

    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, helps you to grow as a person and gives you a great marketing vehicle.

    Before you start

    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).

    Values

    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.

    Passion

    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

    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.

    Purpose

    You need purpose to propel you in the right direction, keep you motivated and on track, especially on bad hair days“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.

    Next steps 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?
    • Creating 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 weekends and evenings. Yes you do need to be dedicated and motivated.
    • Writing to first draft.
    • Editing.
    • Cover design.
    • Publishing.
    • Launching.
    • On going marketing.

    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.