Robin’s Riff On How To Know When It’s Time To Write Your Book

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TAC Robin | Writing Your Book

 

Like everything important in life, we need to figure out the right timing to do something. The same goes for writing. So how will you know whether or not it is the right time to write your book? In this episode, Robin Colucci discusses the three signs for when it is not the right time and when it is, breaking down each one to help you understand the process. Don’t let the pressure of writing keep you from writing a good book. Watch out for the signs in this conversation.

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Robin’s Riff On How To Know When It’s Time To Write Your Book

The topic of Robin’s Riff is how do you know if it is or is not time to write your book? This is something that I see people struggle with on both sides. I have seen people who feel a lot of pressure that they need to start writing their book when it’s not the right time. I also see a lot of people, who have a book that is long overdue and they keep finding reasons why they can’t start to write their book or what gets in the way. You are never going to find a shortage of reasons why you can’t unless you decide you are going to.

When Not To Write Your Book

I’m going to riff on this a little bit and give you some of my perspective based on a few decades of experience. I hope that this will help give you some guidance as to how to evaluate your situation. I’m going to start with three signs that it is not the right time to write your book. The first one is when you are a total newbie to the particular area that you want to write about. Let me give you an example. I have had people come to me who worked in a particular field or had a corporate job for a number of years.

They figured out how to solve a problem for themselves in their life and became inspired, so they decided to coach other people on how to solve that problem. Pretty quickly after that, in some cases, before they have even had one client, they decide that a great way to help them to have this coaching business would be to write a book. The first thing I want to say about this is that you should never write a book to have a business.

We only want to write a book to grow an existing business. I know that there are people out there who preach this, “If you have a book, you can build a business off of the book.” I don’t agree with that. You need to have a business. For this person that I’m describing, what I told them is, “You have some cool ideas. They have worked on you. What I recommend is that you go out, practice on other people, and try to teach them to get a result based on how you’ve got your result.”

Once you have some experience under your belt of being able to communicate in a way that helps other people get great results and are paying you for it, then you have a business, deeper experience and expertise. Also, examples that you could utilize of stories in your book to illustrate your points and not have it be about what you did for yourself. If you are new to starting some new practice and you don’t have a lot of on-the-ground experience working with people and helping them get that result, it’s too soon to do a full-length book.

It’s feasible and could be helpful to do a 10,000-word booklet that has some of your ideas in it that you could use to get your business off the ground. You could do that at a much lower investment than doing a full-length book. The other point about that is that you could do it at a much faster pace. One of the things that I see people doing who are trying to write a book at the same time that they are struggling to grow a business, for example, brings me to my second sign that it’s not time to write a book, which is avoidance.

You should never write a book to have a business. You go out, practice with other people, and try to teach them to get a result based on how you got your result. Click To Tweet

We will continue with this example because often that being a newbie and this avoidance pattern go hand in hand. Let’s take this same person. Somebody is struggling to build a coaching practice. They think that writing a book can help them develop a client base. When I have had these conversations with people, I will ask, “How many sales conversations are you having every month?” Often, it’s none. Sometimes it’s a few. What that shows me is avoidance.

When you are thinking about writing a book, especially a book to grow your business, you’ve got to ask yourself, “What am I already aware of that I should be doing to grow my business that I’m not doing?” If having sales conversations is on that list, I would suggest it’s not the right time to write a book. This is important because writing a book is a lot of work and focus. It can feel like you are doing a lot to grow your business when you are writing your book because you are putting in a great deal of effort.

The reality is if you don’t have clients, you are not able to cover your bills and you are hoping to get clients by having a book, putting yourself in a precarious position. What’s happening is if you are writing a book while you are avoiding asking people to pay you for your services, having those conversations where you are finding out where the other person is at and if you can help them or not. Asking them to sign up with you if you do believe you can help them, you are not growing your business.

Having a book or a box of books in your living room that you intend to share one day with your clients is also not going to help you get those clients in the first place. The worst part about this is it will give you the illusion that you are being productive and growing your business when you are avoiding what you need to be doing to be able to have the business in the first place. The other thing is if you have wrongfully been given the impression that by writing a book, you can then automatically have a business.

The other problem with that is maybe you have spent tens of thousands of dollars to get that book done. You have not only lost time but you have lost that cash that you could have applied to create other opportunities for you to have those sales conversations, whether it would be to sponsor an event or whatever that might be. I’m not going to talk about social media ads or anything like that. Even if it would extend your runway and give you more time to be able to take care of yourself while you are figuring out who your people are that you are destined to serve and how can you best communicate the value that you have to offer them.

It can be a precarious situation if you are putting all your time, money, and energy into writing a book when you need to be having sales conversations instead. These are all connected. The third sign that it isn’t time to write a book is if you are truly broke. If you are not making your monthly bills and living in debt, off of credit cards, help from family or whatever it is, it’s not the right time to write a book because not only does it take investment to write a book. If you are self-publishing, it takes investment to get it published, either way, it takes investment to do something with it.

TAC Robin | Writing Your Book
Writing Your Book: When you are a total newbie to the particular area you want to write about, it’s not the right time to write a book.

 

When To Write Your Book

You can’t put it up on Amazon and expect to sell hundreds of thousands of copies and all of a sudden, the uneasy street. That does happen on rare occasions but I would caution you that the odds of something like that happening are closer to the odds of winning the Powerball lottery than they are to any real strategy working out for you. Those are the three signs that it is not the right time to write a book. Now that we have covered the bad news, let’s talk about the good news and a happier position of being able to recognize that it is the right time to write your book.

One clear signal is if people keep asking you if you have a book. A lot of times when I talk to somebody about the possibility of working together, they will say, “Every time I go speak somewhere, people are asking me if I have a book. If I’m talking about my work where I’m mentoring someone on my team, they will say, ‘You should write a book.’” That’s usually a good sign that it is the right time to write a book. What it’s telling you is that you’ve got this piece of fruit on the tree and it’s ripe and ready to drop but you’ve got to go pick it and put it in the bucket. That’s a great indicator that it is time to write a book.

The only caveat I would put to that is if people keep telling you that you should write a book because you have a story of something tragic or extremely difficult that occurred in your life. I would caution you. Maybe it is an indicator that you should write a book but there’s something to keep in mind. When you think about what you are going to write your book about, you want to ask yourself, “Is this something that I would be excited to lead a conversation about for at least the next five years?” If the answer is no, then it might be time for you to write a book but not about that.

Be aware because a lot of times, dramatic things can happen to us. This happened to me. I had a relationship with a romantic financial predatory fellow. It was a dicey story. It cost me a great deal of money and heartache. I did write a book about it and publish it in an eBook format. Thank God I only spent about a weekend writing it because it was only 90 pages. I published it, did a few interviews about it, and realized after the 3rd or 4th interview that, “I don’t want to talk about this and keep reliving this. This is not who I am. This is not the brand I’m creating for myself. This is something unfortunate that happened to me but it’s not how I want to be known.”

People keep telling you, “You should write a book about that.” Pause before you jump in and ask yourself, “Is this how I want to be known?” You will be known by your book. If they keep telling you that you should write a book about your area of expertise or something that is related to your brand, who you are, and how you want to be known, then that could be a great indicator that this is the right time to write a book.

The other indicator that it is time is if you need a bridge to a transition. This is a little bit different than somebody breaking into an entirely new field. We have had many clients where this has been the case. Let’s say you have worked in the corporate world for a number of years. You have a couple of decades possibly of real on-the-ground experience in your field.

You want to make a transition into potentially consulting or building a business around doing speaking and keynoting. The big difference in this situation compared to the previous one where you are a newbie is that even though you want to transition into a new expression, you are still basing your work on that deep experience that you have.

It isn't time to write a book if you are truly broke. It takes investment to get it published. Click To Tweet

That’s different than leaping over to a whole new area and not having those stories and on-the-ground experiences that you could relate to this new phase of your life where you are using the same skills and experience. You are just expressing them in a different context. When you need that bridge to be able to make that leap from potentially a CEO of a company to being a consultant for startups would be one good example that we have helped a few people make that transition. That’s great timing to write a book.

The third sign that it is the right time to write a book is when you are ready to up-level your game. You want to stay essentially in the same field but you recognize that, “My business is doing well. I love what I do. I have tremendous success with my clients. It’s time now for me to come out of the shadows, be seen, and scale my impact by taking what I know, sharing it beyond the people that I’m having direct contact with, and putting my methodology and philosophy out there for consumption in the mass market.”

Quick Review

As a result of understanding that you will receive all these other benefits of greater visibility, greater access, more opportunities coming your way, and greater access to traditional media as well as online media, the list goes on and on, those are the three signs that it is time to write a book. Let’s do a quick review. Three signs it is not time to write a book are when you are a total newbie, avoiding something important in your business like sales, and when you are broke and you need to focus on taking care of your basic needs.

The three signs it is time to write a book is people keep asking you if you have a book and it’s related to something that you want to be known for, you need a bridge to a transition where you are taking your expertise and planning to apply it in a new context, and finally when you are ready to up your game. You have a strong concern, you’ve got people who are benefiting from your services, and you want to up your game.

I want to share a quick story that relates to 2 and 3 regarding a client of mine, Vince Del Monte. When he came to me, he was a successful online fitness expert. He was already an internet millionaire before he turned 30. He was in his mid-30s when we first started working together. He had been at this for a while. My sense was that Vince was recognizing that talking about building muscle and how to naturally add muscle mass to your frame was running out of juice for him in a way in terms of the contribution that he wanted to make.

Jack LaLanne was, for those of you who remember, a world-renowned fitness expert and was still talking fitness well into his 80s. I could tell Vince he was wanting to help people in more multidimensional ways. We came up with a book concept where it would provide him the opportunity to transition from being known as a fitness expert to getting his audience to begin to recognize him as somebody who could give them value in other ways.

We came up with a book concept, which ended up being titled Living Large. The middle of the book is all about a fitness program for skinny guys to add muscle mass to their bodies naturally, which was what Vince was known for. What we did was in the first and last third of the book, we had chapters in the first part that addressed mindset, how to deal with naysayers, and how to think about your goals and create the right frame of mind to succeed.

TAC Robin | Writing Your Book
Writing Your Book: If people keep telling you that you should write a book about your area of expertise, something that is related to your brand, then that could be a really great indicator that this is the right time to write a book.

 

In the last third of the book, we talked about things like taking the lessons that you learned in the gym and applying them to other areas of your life like your relationships and business. Soon after Vince’s book came out in October of 2016, he was successful in selling low price point fitness programs for $49 to $249 or $247. I talked to him about coaching other people and selling coaching programs as well. Shortly after the book came out, I saw on Facebook that Vince was excited because he put 6 people in his 6-figure fitness business mastermind weekend thing that he put together.

I was excited to see that because I could see that he was already moving in the direction of helping people in these more dynamic ways. A couple of months later, I saw another Facebook post and he had put 60 people into a similar program. A little bit after that, it became the 7-Figure Mastermind because he had helped create a few internet millionaires behind him who had taken his six-figure fitness expert program. Now he’s running the successful 7-Figure Mastermind, which I believe has a couple of hundred members.

I was in Vince’s program for a couple of years myself because I knew I could learn some things from Vince about scaling my business. I don’t know all of his rates but I know it’s way over $200. He has catapulted his income and most importantly he is satisfying that urge to support people, not just in their physical fitness but also in their financial, emotional, and mental fitness. That’s a good example of utilizing not just the book product but also the process of writing the book to get clear on what is your next level and how can you use this book as a tool to help you with that transition.

Vince needed to reeducate his audience about how to look at him and his expertise and send them a beacon or signal that said, “You can count on me for more than how to do the proper form on a triceps extension. I have a lot more to offer here.” By sending that signal with his book, it supported him in making that transition. That’s one good example of how this can work. That’s all I have to say on that topic for now. Thank you for reading Robin’s Riff. We will see you in the next episode.

If after reading this you figured out that it is time for you to write a book, check out my book and business development Bootcamp. You can find information on it at RobinColucci.com and click on my Live Events tab.

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