This blog is Part 2 in a multi-part blog series: How to Write a Book for Your Business for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
This blog continues where we left off in Part I (Read it here), and examines the intrinsic benefits of writing a book and how investing in writing a book can be extraordinarily positive for you–and your business.
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Shark Tank Investor and Entrepreneur Lori Greiner once said, “Entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week” for a reason. It’s no joke; as an entrepreneur or small business owner, you are one busy banana.
While you’re already bursting at your seams, you also know that time expands to fit whatever you stick in it (same with getting a larger purse to fit all your stuff or the city building another lane on the highway- soon the need swells to fit the new parameters as if the larger container never were). The phenomenon is called Parkinson’s Law, and everything you do with in your life follows this rule. Meaning, if you say yes to everything, somehow, magically, you will get it all done. And if all you have to do is lie on the sofa eating popcorn? A) that sounds like heaven, and b) it will somehow expand to take up the whole day.
In Part I of this blog series, “How Do You Know When You’re Ready to Write a Book?” I look at how entrepreneurs and small business owners arrive at the idea of writing a book and what aspects of their business, experiences, or day-to-day work with clients and customers can lend themselves to the book’s purpose and content.
Now, while writing a book is no small feat, and adding it to your list of responsibilities may sound like a lot to take on, consider this: you as a person, you as a business owner, and your business itself will derive enormous benefit from writing a book that will be evident both now and long into the future, namely emotional/spiritual fulfillment, intellectual satisfaction, holding a position of authority in your industry, and financial gain.
The investment you make in writing a book now will, like a stone thrown into a pond, send ringed waves outward until your presence is felt on every shore. (Sounds so nice like that, right?) Or as Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront would’ve said: you’ll be a much more serious contender.
If you pause to remember all the books you have read that have informed and guided you, given you a feeling of camaraderie and community, made you re-think how you run your business with tips, tricks and insider secrets, you will realize what a benevolent act writing a book is. You’re giving people the gift of expanding, broadening and deepening themselves. As Charles du Gaulle once noted, “A lion is made up of the lambs he’s digested.”
Books mentor, support, and bring us a sense of companionship so we in reading them, feel much more knitted together as a community with everyone else who reads the same books. When you contribute your ideas to readers, you’re giving people the opportunity to feel more connected with you and your mutual field, and on a larger scale, with the greater peer collective. There is enormous satisfaction in knowing you are providing this for others.
You have worked hard- very hard- for your entire career. You are now in the glorious position of knowing stuff. Your ability to be able to distil said stuff into a digestible package for others is a remarkable feat. If you’ve ever had to explain a complicated concept you take for granted, you’ll know it’s a whole different skill set to go inside and underneath, be able to partition it out, explain the various components, and make each of them make sense so someone else can learn as you once did. There’s tremendous power in figuring out how to do this, and then, organizing it so it seems easy.
Writing a Book Establishes You As an Authority in Your Field
When you write a book, you automatically launch yourself into a different and higher echelon among your peers and the general public. Where you were once just going about the business of business, now you’re in a position to effect change with a packaged, cohesive story, how-to guide, or specific perspective on an area or aspect of your field.
Writing a book enables people to develop an intimate connection, rapport, and trust with you. As a business owner, that kind of relationship is invaluable. If the work is well written, engaging, and has practical application, people will gladly share it with others, because by proxy it lends them more authority to keep such company. All of this relationship building with your clients and customers increases your standing in the community as well as your business’ visibility and sales.
People naturally believe- whether consciously or unconsciously- that if you take the time and care to organize your ideas and package them in a book, you are serious about what you do. Someone just starting out in her field or who is dabbling doesn’t write books. People who are entrenched, invested, and serious do. Readers know this and respect it.
Short and Long-Term Financial Gain
There are costs to publishing a book. Regardless whether you submit the manuscript to a traditional publisher or self publish, you’ll want to have it professionally edited to ensure you’re putting your best self forward. Also nowadays, all writers apart from the biggest names, are responsible for organizing and paying for their books’ promotion and book tours. And should you choose to self publish, while you’ve have more autonomy in a number of areas, including setting how much you can earn per book, you’ll have bulk costs upfront to have copies printed, among other costs in line with such an investment.
However, consider the initial outlay a necessary investment toward future opportunity and years of passive income potential. Books don’t go bad; nor do they suffer the ephemerality of web-based content. If the book is generally applicable, it can earn you profit in perpetuity, and should you choose to update it as the years pass, that’s further opportunity to easily turn an existing product into a continual revenue stream.
If your book is time-specific or speaks to current industry trends, it may have a big coming out party and then simmer a bit, however that’s simply a launching place from which to consider it first in a series and then you write a second. And a third.
Books also bloom into bigger and more opportunities by their sheer existence. Grass-roots sales to individuals foster word of mouth and more sales, which soon opens up your book to being news-worthy and receiving press.
From there, it’s easy to move into speaking engagements by being a panellist at a conference or seminar, being invited to run book clubs and other promotional book events, and should you like, you can adapt the book’s content into corporate trainings and a speaker series- all of which benefit your core business both now and down the line.
Ultimately, not to sound overly dramatic or anything, but given all of this, one can rest easy in the knowledge that the benefits of writing a book will continue throughout your entire life (even after you retire!).
Whether you have written a fair amount or you’re new to the page, the option of writing a book as an entrepreneur, coach, freelancer, or small business owner is always an exciting prospect. All you need is to be willing to explore your work in a cohesive, dynamic way that meets your clients’ and customers’ needs—something you’re already doing every day.
Distilling your ideas and parsing them out chapter by chapter to create a book-length project is entirely possible. Whether you create government policy or deliver babies into the world, make handmade jewellery or design websites, you’re a professional in your field whose passion, perspective, and acumen people have come to trust. With a book, you have the opportunity to bring your knowledge, your solutions, and your personality onto the page to reap enormous reward in innumerable ways.
Next in this multi-part series on Writing A Book for Your Business, the getting down to the writing: where and how to begin.