Today’s marketplace is flooded with books: old ones, new ones, out-of-print ones and newly reissued ones; fiction, non-fiction, poetry; books on every subject for every age group. There are even books written by dogs to be read to their owners. (I happen to know about this particular subject because I was asked to edit and publish one.) I’m sure other species in the animal kingdom have also authored books.
You: If so many books on every subject imaginable are already out there, why should I or anyone else write another one? Haven’t we reached the saturation point?
Me: Difficult questions deserve easy answers. Simply because a book you write will be yours. Your book that will be the “Hi-5 W + 1 H” that is you: the Who-What-Where-When-Why & How of the person who answers to your name, physical description, birth date and place, etc., etc.
You: You mean The Who That I Am is so incredibly different from other people’s “who’s” that’s it’s actually worthy of a book?
Me: You bet it is! Don’t sell yourself short. And incidentally, speaking of selling, that’s what this is all about. As a business owner, entrepreneur or professional who offers products and services, by now you’ve learned that business—and life—are all about networking or sharing: informing, inspiring, enlightening, entertaining, and telling stories. Your business is your story. And so is a book that bears your byline. Both tell the world who you are and what you’re all about.
Your book is also about success
You probably know by now that the key to success is doing what you love, loving what you do, and finding a way to support yourself in the process. A person who loves nature—hiking and camping, for example, may decide to become a forest ranger. If they also love animals, they may start an exotic animal farm. A person who loves to play the violin may decide to become a concert violinist, violin teacher or orchestral player.
You: Okay, so I do love what I do. You’re right about that. And I do it well. I’m an auto mechanic and I have a repair shop in the medium-size town where I live. Now let’s get back to the book idea. Why do I need to write a book?
Me: You don’t. You don’t have to do anything in this world that you don’t want to! You really don’t have to share your passion for fixing vehicles—I happen to know that you’re also a collector. You have some vintage cars that you’re mighty proud of! (Your eyes start to sparkle.)
I wonder if you have some tips you’d like to share with other folks who love cars as much as you do. How did you get started? Did you have to go to school to earn a degree or did you learn by figuring things out for yourself? I bet you’ve got some interesting stories about those first years working for other mechanics, and then making the decision to open your own shop.
You: Well… I did have some pretty crazy things happen. For a while there one time, during the recession I was wondering how I was going to survive. But I learned some pretty neat tricks about helping folks out and making it a win/win for everyone. You know, I’ve got this incredible ’59 Cadillac Convertible 62-S…
Me: I think you’re catching on! Believe me, every business owner, every entrepreneur and every professional, has a story.
Several years ago, a 59-year-old world champion martial artist who specialized in tai kwan do, contacted me. “I’ve got a great rejuvenation program,” he told me. “Imagine at my age, I’m a world champion. I’m still as strong and agile as I was thirty years ago!”
“I want to share my health and fitness program with the world,” he said excitedly. “I want everyone to know how I stay fit. It’s a mind-body thing. Most people don’t know that.”
I was listening carefully. The all-important “who” was a man who had made a name for himself; he was known the world over for his martial arts achievements at an age when people are supposed to be physically on the decline.
The “what” was a rejuvenation program: this man’s personal fitness regime that he felt he could duplicate and restructure or customize to work for people of all ages and backgrounds, athletic or not.
The “where” was anywhere he could find a listening or reading public, and the “when” was now. Get the book written now. The “why” was obvious. This man was inspired and he wanted to motivate others. He was passionate about helping people live longer and better and showing them how to make the most of every minute of their lives.
He had only one problem. His education had stopped after eighth grade. So he’d come to me, asking me if I would write his book for him.
What an honor! Because this high achiever was determined to make it happen, he’d found an investor to pay for having me ghostwrite his book, and also for setting up a rejuvenation company. He would be the manager and spokesperson for the company, I would direct the publishing division, and we would hire a marketing and promotion director.
Ultimately, the book became his entrance to the local and regional fitness world where he conducted seminars and demonstrations. His target market covered a large demographic group. In addition to the health and fitness crowd ranging from teens to seniors, his program and book attracted martial artists as well as the retired “snowbird” group in the Florida area where he lived. They especially loved the tai chi classes he installed in the various seniors’ communities up and down the Florida coast. He sold books everywhere and even started to do a series of rejuvenation cruise seminars.
As he continued to compete, he won yet another world championship during the year the book was published. Eventually he added more products, including an excellent line of tai chi DVDs. In addition to his martial arts career, he launched two other businesses through the publishing of his book.