“I will never do that again.”
I thought that, and I’m pretty sure I said this to my wife, after I finished I’m on LinkedIn – Now What???
Writing a book is a big, time-consuming process. It taxes you mentally and is challenging. Making the time, week after week, to keep writing is hard. Second-guessing your ideas is common (but good).
When I wrote my LinkedIn book I honestly had no idea what the benefits would be (they were great, both financial and as it relates to my career and marketing of JibberJobber).
I coauthored my second book on Facebook, which was a different kind of hard. Then my third book (51 Alternatives to a Real Job) was self-published… and I needed to write it but haven’t marketed it. It was THE book that most people asked about at the end of my presentations, though. Everyone was interested in alternatives to a traditional job.
I’ve really enjoyed the time off, but there has been another book that’s been nagging me. It started, I think, when Susan Joyce (owner of Job-Hunt.org) was with me during some presentations in the Boston area. She said “I know what the title of your next book should be!”
“My next book?! I was a retired author,” I thought.
But once you get the author bug, it’s hard to shake it. Like mono, you have it for life. Many times over the years I have thought “man, I could write a book about this.” Worse, sometimes I have thought “I should write a book about this!”
This fourth book is different from the rest. It is a collection of ideas, thoughts, observations, and suggestions that I’ve accumulated over the last twelve years. It includes brilliant ideas I’ve had (I figure I have a brilliant idea every 18 months), tactics and tips for job seekers I’ve come across, and strategy and thoughts for professionals interested in career management (that is, taking a bigger role in managing their own careers).
As I’ve been working on this book it’s one that I have thought my future generations might read and think “huh… great-great-great-grandpa was kind of cool.” Or at least “really interesting.” Unlike my first three books (which are too technical and will be irrelevant in a hundred years, the third is money making ideas that are good now but probably won’t be in a hundred years) this book is more principal-based… and principals can last for centuries. This book would be, as they say, evergreen.
So, why am I writing this book, and what does it have to do with you? Think about the “why” below, and realize that while I’m doing this as owner of JibberJobber, you are the owner of Me, Inc. (and should consider your own big project, whether it’s a book or not):
It’s a brand and marketing play. This book keeps me relevant as an expert in this space. It gives me something to talk about (self-promotion) and it gives others a reason to talk about me (and JibberJobber). I’ve learned that if I stop making things, people stop having reasons to think and talk about me. A key principal in marketing is to create new things and stay relevant. How can YOU, as a job seeker, apply this principal to your marketing strategy?
It’s to monetize: No secret here, I hope to sell a lot of these. I’ll market this book mostly through JibberJobber, to people who sign up for the system. This is a perfect book for them. I hope that somehow it gets bigger than just my immediate audience though. I think it’s a super relevant book for the whole world. I could write pages and pages on this topic, but the idea is to create another passive revenue stream (passive because once I write the book and get the right systems in place for marketing and delivering it, I don’t plan on spending hardly any time on it, but I do expect it to create a revenue stream worth hundreds of dollars per month for a long time).
It’s to help me rethink and challenge my expertise: I sit at my home office and interact with a handful of people every day. I am not on stage nearly as much as I was a few years ago. I’ve found that when I was on stage I got challenged regularly… either by myself or by others. I had ideas and I put them out there to audiences that would help me refine my thoughts. But sitting alone in an office doesn’t force you to challenge and refine your thoughts. Writing a book does, though. As you write you think and rethink and second-guess. This is an excellent way to really figure out where you are at and what you think and what you champion. I learned it’s even better (for this purpose) than writing a blog. You see, I can edit a blog post any time… but once your book is printed, the idea is out there. It’s way more permanent, and so you are more careful as you write down what will be definitive statements and positions.
It’s the right thing to do. The ideas in this book have been building over the twelve years I’ve been doing JibberJobber. And, for a few years before that, as I immersed myself into corporate America. The thoughts have been nagging at me. I just feel like it’s what I’m supposed to do. Apparently writing is what I do, and authoring books is what I do (it’s taken years to be at peace with this).
As you think about my journey, and my decision, I hope you will implement some of this in your own journey. Whether you do “that thing” (might not be writing a book) because it’s nagging at you, or it will refine you, or it will be a new revenue stream for you, one thing I know is that you have to START, and consistently follow through. I want you to be a FINISHER, and finish your projects.
Can you do that?
Here’s a relevant quote I saw on my friend Wendy Terwelp’s Facebook feed: