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Want to Write a Business Book?  Put Your Pen Down and Start Talking

Reproduced from The Guardian - Women in Leadership with kind permission.

For many years, I was repeatedly reminded that I should write a book. A book is a necessary appendage to any speaker or business owner. It is, in fact, the new business card. A way to generate business, look cooler at parties and make more money. Yet it took me 12 years to put pen to paper because, honestly, I didn’t really want to write a book.

Luckily, it turns out the quickest way to write a book is to not actually write it. My neighbor, who is herself a successful author, got me started. She suggested I come into her studio where she could film me telling my story. I could then use the transcripts of the video as a starting point for the book. It seemed like a great idea over a glass of wine - save time, get me started and capitalize on my ability to talk.

I went into their studio with the vague idea of the self-help book I was meant to write, something along the lines of “The Top 10 Tips to Create the Life You Want.” You know the idea, the book you see on the shelf that entices you with its promises of an easy and quick fix to your life. You buy it and I promote my business. But while that feels like the sort of book I should be writing, it wouldn’t be the book that I actually wrote. When it comes down to it, the first question you need to ask yourself, and that my neighbor asked as she trained the camera on me, is:

“Why are you writing this book?”

Instantly, I realized that I wasn’t writing this book for me or as my new business card. I was writing it for my kids, Jake and Charlie, and for our soon to be adopted daughter, Grace.

This was the deeper incentive I needed. I wrote it because I want them to understand how I achieved my aspiration to run my own business, found my confidence and defeated my fears, in spite of the many people who said it could never work.

I was hesitant to tell my stories because I did not want people to think I was being self-indulgent. Now, however, I feel compelled to tell them because ultimately I realize in the telling they can help inspire others beyond my family to aspire to ever-higher goals in their lives. The story of my life thus far may help throw some light on your life story.

My recommendation to women who are receiving the same “write a book” advice? Trust your intuition and listen for your answer. If you are writing because you want to make a difference to someone else and you care about what you have to share, I say, go for it. If one person or a thousand people read it, it is so worth it.

The more women that have a voice in the world, the more authentic, inspirational and balanced the world will be. We need your voice. Your book will clarify your life purpose, define your legacy and change a world that needs help.

The clock starts now.

Reprinted with the kind permission of The Guardian - Women in Leadership

Posted by Dr Samantha Collins, CEO and founder of Aspire on Thursday, April 30, 2015

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