Halloween is over so we can’t be overly annoyed with the Christmas merchandise that’s been in stores for a month now, and, the holiday tunes starting to come from the Muzak speakers on elevators.
I don’t need to look at a calendar to know the holidays are coming fast - I can feel it in the air. My Circadian rhythyms are playing red and green. My instincts are telling me it’s time to start making lists.
This week I’ve gone on Epicurious and started comparing recipes for Cranberry Sauce and healthy sweet potatoes. I’m wondering if I want to do anything different with my holiday decorations.
I generally ponder these holiday questions because from mid-November to January its always the slowest time of the year for me.
Prospective clients say, “Oh Denise, I’d love to start working with you – after the holidays.” That’s the pattern I’ve seen all the years since I started marketing mentoring. I’ve learned to set aside money so I can enjoy the holidays without dipping into credit cards or real savings. After all it’s the most expensive time of the year and the time when clients say, “I want to take a break until after the holidays.”
This year is different. Back in April when I started my first Group Book Mentoring program I had no idea how much life would change. I didn’t know how many people I’d help by guiding and supporting them in writing their how-to or personal growth book.
Oh, I live in the same home and drive the same car. I’m married to the same man. But I’m busy right now – in a good way - and I didn’t expect that. I figured I’d have the typical holiday season slowdown. Take a break, enjoy the holidays and start another group in January.
Not this time around. Within the last 36 hours I’ve had three people say they want to get started working with me before December. Yowsers!! That means just a few people more (I only accept 6-8 people per group) and it’ll be a full group. All three said they want to wait until after the holidays before actually writing. They want to align with me right away and get going in some way. Does that sound like you?
So, this group will be a little different. Sign up by December 1st and you’ll get a private mentoring session with me before starting into the six month, group book mentoring program in January.
It’s not exclusively about writing a book - it’s also about sorting through and developing a vision, a business model and a plan that will sustain both your book and your business. We can talk over a cuppa something warm to keep the winter chill away and talk about what you want to create. That’s what we can do together before you write word one so it all comes together and makes sense. That’s what synergy is all about.
When you create your strategy and build leverage by aligning your how-to or personal growth book with your business - the book succeeds and your business succeeds. That’s how I made my book a business bestseller sold in 15 countries.
The actual program is six months long and takes you through all the steps of writing your book. Step by step and word by word your book grows. You also learn about editors, publishing options, promoting your book and more.
As mentioned, I had no intention of doing any marketing or selling appointments during November and December. I figured that would be my ”kick back for the holidays” and “hunker down and write my goals” time of year. That’s the way it’s been for so long.
Surprise, surprise! I had three of these appointments this week and all three aspiring book authors said “yes” to working with me.
In fact, I have a meeting Monday morning with a woman referred to me by another happy client. She’s a life coach who lives in New York City. Yes, the same NYC ripped to shreds by Hurricane Sandy and the flood surge that happened Monday night this week. Now that’s dedication and passion.
One big lesson I’ve gotten in 2012 is that flexibility and a willingness to adapt to changing conditions (changing for the better!) is a good thing. Not that I was inflexible before – but I’m really discovering that things go best for me when I check in with how certain decisions feel in my body and then follow my heart. It’s working for me – and I’ll bet it’ll work for you, too.
So if the idea of finally getting your how-to or personal growth book makes sense to you and feels right in your body, you’ll know it. You’ll just sense a little imperceptible shift or that small still voice inside urging you forward. That’s what 2012 has been like for me – and it’s been a very good year. If that sounds like you, we’re in alignment. Connect with me and let’s talk about it. I’ll give you all the details so you can decide if it’s right for you.
Denise Michaels is C.E.O. and founder of the “International Book Writing Guild.” Contact Denise via email at firstname.lastname@example.org on Facebook or text her at 702-401-6313 to set up a time to connect and discover more.
Many people in my Group Book Mentoring program start the journey of writing their book with excitement and a spirit of discovery. Sooner or later they hit that wall famously known as “writer’s block.”
(Which is why we do a Bonus Call once a month that provides an opportunity for writers to talk about writer’s block, obstacles, time management issues and more. But I digress.)
What I believe truly stops a lot of writers of how-to or personal growth books cold, is at some point it suddenly dawns upon them: Wow, positioning myself as an expert or authority really means taking on the mantle of being just that – an expert or authority.
Self-doubt comes rushing in like a lava flow off the side of a volcano. All the, “Who am I to say I’m an expert?” questions start crowding the mind. The book writing process stops dead in it’s tracks. Often, its the end of many aspiring book authors quest to become the author of a how-to or personal growth book. Like the lava flow those self-doubts about their expertise destroys everything in it’s path.
So, this begs the question, “What makes you an expert?”
If you’re a scientist – the bar is pretty high. I once knew a woman who was a Chiropractor. She has tons of post-doctoral training, fifteen years of experience and has developed and championed techniques used in her profession that have gained widespread acceptance in per profession as beneficial to patients. Yet she revealed to me, she didn’t feel like an expert.
When you write your how-to or personal growth book, your experience is your expertise. If you’re writing a book about how to raise successful, happy kids and your experience is your six successful, happy kids – say so. Don’t shy away from the fact that you don’t have a degree in Child Development or Child Psychology, say it clearly. Don’t skirt around the issue. State your credentials based on your experience with pride.
If you don’t have a bunch of initials based on advanced degrees after your name, don’t worry about it. Most how-to or personal growth books don’t reqire educational requirements. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to have a college degree. My book, “Testosterone-Free Marketing” is about Marketing for women, small and micro business owners and I do have a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. But I don’t have a Masters degree. I’ve never run the marketing department for a Fortune 500 company. I’ve only run my own small businesses – for over two decades.
- Your grandma’s best pie recipes without being a Master Chef
- Growing amazing vintage tomatoes without being a Horticulturist
- Increasing your confidence without a Ph.D. in Psychology
- Developing a closer connection with your faith without a Theology degree
- Opening a coffee shop without a degree in Hospitality and Restaurant Management
- Losing weight and keeping it off without being an Exercise Physiologist and Nutritionist
- . . . and many more
Remember, if book readers want a book written by someone with a bunch of initials after their name they will find that book and bypass your book. They’re simply not your ideal book reader. They’re not going to hunt you down and shout in your face, “Hey, who do you THINK you are?!? You can’t write this book?” That might happen in your mind – it doesn’t happen in reality. I believe with all my heart there are just as many people who would rather avoid that kind of ivory-tower expertise and look for someone who can relate to them in a down-to-earth way based on personal experience.
So if your heart is set on writing a how-to or personal growth book, get writing. If you know being the author of your book will help people see you as an expert they they will want to work with, leveraging your income - don’t delay. When you say you’re an expert or authority, and, you’re proud of the credentials you DO have people will sit up, take notice and buy your book.
Denise Michaels is Founder of the International Book Writing Guild which provides aspiring, enterprising book authors of how-to and personal growth books with the support, knowledge, strategies and tips to successfully write a book. Michaels is also author of the Business Bestseller, “Testosterone-Free Marketing” which became a business bestseller and sold in fifteen countries.