Writing a book had always been a dream of mine, but it often seemed out of reach and too big to tackle. I also questioned my ability to write something people would want to read. A year ago, after my first year at a leadership development program called EMP, I made one simple change that led to writing my first book, Performance Partnerships, which went on sale this week.
I decided that I would never again say, “I want to write a book” and instead began to say “I am going to write a book.” I combined this with a deadline set for before the group met again this May for our second year.
Suddenly, all my energy went into figuring out how to do it, settling on my topic, finding a publisher, scheduling interviews, etc. It wasn’t easy by any stretch, but once I decided it was going to happen, there was no more wavering, doubt or regret. Changing my vocabulary changed everything else.
There were four key lessons I learned in the process of writing Performance Partnerships, which I believe have broader implications.
- Share your Plan/Goal: Once I began telling people I was writing a book, there was no going back. I sounded confident, even when I really had no clue what I was doing. That public accountability became a powerful source of intrinsic motivation.
- Chunk It: A book is not written in a weekend and this same logic applies to any lofty task. If you put the pressure on yourself to accomplish it all at once, you will likely become overwhelmed and quit. Big goals need to be “chunked” piece-by-piece and tackled, bit-by-bit, on a daily and quarterly basis. Performance Partnerships was written and edited over nine months. It’s much easier to write a page each day than to try and take on a chapter a day.
- It Takes a Village: From the beginning, I never tried to do this alone. From the amazing team at Lioncrest, to colleagues and friends who spent hours reading multiple drafts and provided critical comments and suggestions, my book was completed through collaboration. I also benefited from the generosity of other authors who took the time to share both their successes and failures with me. I am very grateful for all the help I received.
- Field of Dreams is a Movie, Not a Marketing Strategy. The famous line from this classic movie was “if you build it they will come.” My experience talking to other authors and entrepreneurs is that nothing could be further from the truth. When you create something new, that’s only part of the process. You also have to sell it and get it out in the world and you need to be your #1 advocate. Don’t assume things will come to you, go get them.
If you have a similar desire to write a book or achieve a lofty goal, I hope that by sharing this experience, you’ll try changing your vocabulary and see what happens.
And if you are interested in learning more about my vision for the future of performance marketing and performance-based partnerships, I’d love it if you read the book and share your feedback.
Quote of The Week
“Your words control your life, your progress, your results, even your mental and physical health. You cannot talk like a failure and expect to be successful.”