The Power of Promise: How to Win and Keep Customers by Telling the Truth About Your Brand is available at Amazon.
I’ve waited one year and nine months to say that.
In January 2017, I joined Self-Publishing School online. Their promise was bold: write and publish a best-selling book in as little as 90 days. I jumped in. Here’s what I learned.
ONE – The process was confronting.
Taking time to write every day sounds easy, but it requires discipline and focus. For me that meant scheduling it in my calendar like a meeting, and turning off email and my phone while I wrote. Beyond that I wondered, often times daily, if I had anything of value to say, and I feared that what I wrote would not be well received. And then what?
I had left my full-time job and taken on full-time consulting. I made the book my savior instead of another tool. At times, the fear of rejection became paralyzing, and I wouldn’t write for a few weeks. A friend suggested that I incorporate personal stories before each chapter as a means to set my book apart, and it was at that point that everything took off.
TWO – Distilling 20 years of consulting experience into a single book is challenging.
I looked back through old strategic plans, customer experience maps, communications trainings, coaching notes, and realized that I had the makings of a small library on my hands. While that was great, I needed to narrow the scope of the book, and then select the best material to incorporate in it. Finally, I had to find the most powerful way to communicate a message using the fewest words possible.
While it was a fairly exhausting task, what came out of it was a sense of confidence and power, and a natural fluidity in how I spoke about my work. Once I got to the core message in every topic area, I was free to be in the moment with whomever I was talking, and to engage them meaningfully.
THREE – Declaring something “done” that you’ve worked on for over a year was terrifying and rewarding.
I found myself creating distractions at every stage of the process, but never so intensely as at the end of the editing phase. Because once I declared it complete, then it was off to the proofreader and formatter, and there was no going back.
Rachel Penning McCracken, one of my editors, had the “come to Jesus” with me, and it was pretty straightforward: stop. She told me that any more editing would result in my having to rewrite the book, and I needed to declare it done. And done it is – and worth every bit of effort that I put into it.