Have you ever heard someone say, “I should write a book?” Perhaps you’ve said it yourself.
I believe everyone has a book in them.
As an author, people often approach me with the “everyone says I should write a book” line. They then proceed to either tell me their idea, which I always like to hear, or ask me how the publishing process works, which I find far less exciting to describe.
Writing a book is hard enough. Getting it published is even more challenging. You have to want it pretty badly.
People want to write books for a lot of reasons. They want to be famous. They want to make a pile of money. They want everybody from high school to see that they’re not a big fat loser after all.
But there’s really only one good reason to write a book: because you can’t stand not to write it.
You have a story or idea that you truly must share with the world, or you will just die.
I know it was that way for me. You get to a certain point emotionally, where it’s easier to do the book than to not do the book.
My latest book, The Triangle of Truth, was born when I saw the same problem cropping up in multiple places. I work as a sales leadership consultant. I also write a personal development column and I’m a keen observer of politics. Here’s what I observed in each area.
Salespeople who can’t put themselves in the customer’s shoes miss opportunities. When they’re only focused on their own products and services, they miss what’s going on with their customer. They become so attached to their own agenda that they’re blind to any perspective other than their own. The result is frustration, unhappiness and lack of success.
Every time I write about personal relationships in my newspaper column I get loads of letters from hurt, angry, jaded people describing the many ways their partner didn’t “get it.” They want more conversation; their partner wants physical contact. They want a tight budget; their partner wants the freedom to spend. They become so attached to their own agenda that they’re blind to any perspective other than their own. The result is frustration, unhappiness and lack of success.
Which leads me to politics, where for years I’ve watched both parties take a hard line either/or stance refusing to work together. Wait for it, there’s a pattern here, they become so attached to their own agenda that they’re blind to any perspective other than their own. The result is frustration, unhappiness and lack of success.
I came to realize that the problem isn’t salespeople, romantic partners or politicians. The problem is people and the way that we think. When we get overly attached to our own agenda, we perceive that other agendas are in conflict with ours, when in reality, they may be complimentary. The “I’m right so you must be wrong mental habit wreaks havoc on our relationships and our organizations.
Once I saw the problem, I started searching for answers. After I found some answers I couldn’t bear not to write them down. Eventually I became so passionate about solving this problem, I couldn’t not write the book.
Do you have a book in you? I suspect that you do. You’ll know it’s time to write it when it becomes too hard not to write it.
(c) Lisa Earle McLeod
Lisa Earle McLeod is a sales leadership consultant. Companies like Apple, Kimberly-Clark and Pfizer hire her to help them create passionate, purpose-driven sales forces.
She the author of The Triangle of Truth, which the Washington Post named as a “Top Five Book for Leaders.”
She has appeared on The Today Show, and has been featured in Forbes, Fortune and The Wall Street Journal. She provides executive coaching sessions, strategy workshops, and keynote speeches.
Copyright 2012 Lisa Earle McLeod. All rights reserved.