Have you ever had the thought maybe I should write a book? I think it’s a great impulse, especially if you are an entrepreneur. Writing a book is no small feat, but there are a lot of wonderful reasons for you to take up the challenge. Here are six of them:
1) To establish and/or build upon your credibility.
Entrepreneurship is all about credibility. Most entrepreneurs, by definition, are out there on their own. If you do have a brand behind you, you likely built it yourself. For most of us, we are one and the same with our brands.
You’ve probably heard about the importance of the “know, like, and trust factor” that drives people when making choices about what they buy. Writing a book hits all of these levers.
- Knowing: a well-written book is a great way to connect with your ideal clients at a deep level. It’s a time commitment for someone to read a book and depending on your level of self-disclosure, the reader is likely to come away with the feeling that they know something about you. Even if your book doesn’t venture into personal territory, the reader will get a strong feel for how you think, what captures your interest, and what you deem important.
- Liking: to the extent that you reveal your personality through your writing, your reader will be able to make a decision about how much they like you. Now, don’t go all Sally Field on me, worrying about whether they’re going to like you. If you put yourself out there authentically, your people will connect with you. It’s all about showing up and being seen so that you can be found.
- Trusting: if you can provide information that moves and enriches your reader, you will hit the trifecta. I don’t know about you, but some of the most extraordinary shifts in my thinking have come through reading. It’s pretty much why I read non-fiction: to learn something new, to have my perspective changed, to get a new insight. When you can expand somebody’s horizons, you have provided tremendous value. That inspires confidence and builds trust.
2) To make a deeper impact with your work.
You are passionate about your work. I know this because entrepreneurship is challenging. It is not for the faint of heart, so I know you’ve got a strong why pulsing through your system causing you to throw yourself into work that has no guarantees. You are doing what you do for a reason. I suspect you love it.
So, what is it about your work that you love? Maybe it’s that you are lighting up your clients with transformative products or services, maybe it’s the role model that you are being for your children, maybe it’s that you’ve found a different way of operating in a staid industry, maybe it’s the jobs that you are creating as a small business owner, maybe it’s the change that you see in your clients one conversation at a time. Right now your clients probably only get that from you when you are sitting down engaging with them. Write a book, and that impact goes into hyperdrive. You’ll be making a difference while you sleep, literally.
3) To find your tribe
Did you know that Amazon is the third largest search engine in the world? And what do you need to be on there? A product, especially a book. If you’re a service provider of some kind, a well-titled book is your key to being found on the internet.
When people find your book they will tend to assume that you are an expert in your field. As they begin to explore your book, all the factors that we discussed related to your credibility come into play. Being discovered by potential clients because of your book is an excellent way for you to find your tribe.
4) To share your knowledge
The format of a book allows you a lot of space in which you can choose to dive deep with your topic or go broad. It is an expansive form. Via your book, you will be spending dozens of hours with each potential client. That gives you the opportunity to really showcase what you know, to tie together all your thoughts in a cohesive way, and to support your statements with evidence (this could take many forms, including anecdotes, citing other’s research, or even detailing your own research). It gives you unprecedented control over managing the conversation.
5) To tell your story
This one goes further than just sharing your knowledge. When you tell your story, you add your sense of meaning to the undertaking. You provide your personal spin, your interpretation. Telling your story accomplishes a few things: it can be a deeply meaningful experience for you, it enhances your know, like, trust factor, and it engages your audience on a visceral level.
Perhaps I should take a step back and address the elephant in the room. Maybe you haven’t already written a book because you doubt yourself. Who am I to write a book? you might be asking. I’ll go into greater detail in another blog post, but let me say here that everyone has a story. It is what makes us unique. You might choose to write a book that has facts that have been presented elsewhere. But it will be the way that you weave together those facts—the sense that you make of them—that will make your book special. And if you add narrative, particularly personal narrative, then you’ll be tapping into the well stream of meaning that makes us human.
In A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink writes about the ubiquity of knowledge in the Internet Age. “What begins to matter more [in this age] is the ability to place these facts in context and to deliver them with emotional impact.” When you write your book, that’s what you will do differently, in a way that no one else could. You will tell your story.
6) To build your business
Combine all the reasons above with a few more benefits, like reaching a larger audience and creating a magnet for media coverage, and I think the conclusion will be clear. Writing a book is fuel for driving business growth.
Not quite convinced? What’s holding you back? Let me know in the comments.