(Forbes first published my article here.)
We’ve heard all these or similar comments before—but they keep coming:
—“The culture here encourages us to show up and shut up.”
—“I feel invisible in meetings. When I comment, total silence, long pause. Then they move on.”
—“I passed on the idea to my boss—but he took credit for it himself.”
—“I work twice as hard as my three coworkers, but we all get the same merit raises.”
The best way around all these bottlenecks and drawbacks? A published article or a bestselling book to showcase your ideas and your work. No, no, no. Don’t duck your head and say you know nothing worthy of a published book or journal article. You do.
According to humorist Will Rogers, “We’re all ignorant—only on different subjects.” So your challenge: Investigate the ignorance. Focus on what you know that others don’t know, need to know, and would pay good money to know.
Here’s a starter kit of ideas to prime your thinking:
—Mastering XYZ software to accomplish a specific goal
—Organizing your space at work or home
—Leadership tips for every level of the organization
—Dealing with change positively
—Increasing personal satisfaction by career moves
—Setting clear, achievable goals
—Caring for family elders without sapping your energy
—Establishing excellent parenting practices
—Resolving conflict with coworkers
—Budgeting while living in style
—Living comfortably in retirement
—Writing clear, concise reports
—Choosing your dream community
—Deciding when to see a doctor
—Staying fit and healthy
You get the idea. Consider the positive feedback you’ve received through the years about your accomplishments, talents, and skills. For an article, identify and expand upon 3-5 key points. For a book, select about 10-15 subtopics to help your reader master the topic or skill.
So what’s to gain from published books and articles? Plenty.
We’ve all seen social media posts go viral. So when you have a major publisher promoting and distributing your book, reporters find their way to you. As the guest or interviewee, you have the opportunity to mention your expertise and related products or services that you’d like the public to know about. The reporter or host gets your time, and you get their audience. The arrangement works well for both of you.
Many sole proprietors and entrepreneurs use their book or published article as their primary marketing and selling tool. When I started my consulting/training firm more than three decades ago, the thought of cold-calling left me, well, … cold. So I considered what I needed to do to “stand out” from the competition.
How many people in your organization have published an article or a book? I’m guessing you can count them on one hand—even including the executive ranks. Yet, that publish-or-perish mandate common in academia has now moved into the marketplace. Celebrity CEOs often write their memoirs as they retire, as do politicians and government employees when they leave office. As a published author, you’ll be part of a very “select” group.
I’m still getting royalty checks on books written four decades ago—albeit, the checks have grown smaller during the last few years. Even if you’re writing only short articles for online outlets that do not pay, you’ll gain experience and confidence for bigger writing projects that do pay.
Immediately, four fields that bestow “celebrity” status come to mind: Pro sports. Politics. Movies. Authorship. My quick personal assessment: Not strong enough to throw a football. Couldn’t shake enough hands to become a politician. No acting talent to land a movie contract. So to generate in-bound calls, that leaves book writing as a main marketing avenue. Fifty books later, I can say that writing has put food on the table. Calling on clients with a book in hand gets them to “yes” quite quickly. Many of my coaching clients comment on the same phenomenon.
So if you’re in a stifling environment or just want to “break away from the pack” of competitors, consider authorship to increase your credibility in a crowded field.
Need guidance on how to write and sell your book to a major publisher? Sign up for Dianna’s Booher Book Camp at BooherBookCamp.com