When you’re an entrepreneur, there are so many reasons to write a book. Audience! Credibility! Passive income!
But, reasons are different than motivations. Reasons live in your brain. Motivations live in your heart. No matter how many good reasons there are to write a book, we all have to discover the heart-centered motivations that will compel us to actually sit down and write the damn thing.
Recently, I met with a client who’d stalled out on his progress with his book. “Why do you want to write the book?” I asked. In reply, he quipped, “Because…it’s lame that I don’t have a book.” We had a good laugh over that, but it pointed toward a deeper truth: his “why” wasn’t enough—it didn’t wrap itself around his heart, and wasn’t truly motivating him to put in the hard work. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a compelling “why”; it just means he hasn’t tapped into it yet.
Writing a book is challenging. In some ways, it’s wonderful and fulfilling. But it’s also a long slog that puts many of us in painfully close contact with insecurities and perceived deficiencies. Surface-level reasons can be enough to ignite us at the start, but there will be a point where the intensity flags. You might start to lose interest or realize that you don’t know as much as you thought you did. If we’re going to endure these hard times and bump up against painful stuff, we’ve got to have an extremely compelling motivation to do so.
The trick, then, is to get connected to your why. Connect to your motivation early, often, and—most importantly—deeply.
If you’re an entrepreneur with a service-based mission, and you’re motivated by helping people, here are some ideas for connecting to your “why”:
First, think of the deep, heart-centered benefits you’ll gain from writing the book.
- What skills will you strengthen through the process of writing and publishing a book? In what ways will those skills transfer to other areas of your business or life?
- What new opportunities will arise in your business as a result of authoring a book?
- How will your book allow you to connect to more of the ideal clients who you LOVE to work with?
Second, remind yourself of the ways your work serves others.
- Remember: You've cultivated a specialized expertise. When we get immersed in our own work, it can be easy to forget that the deep knowledge we’ve accrued in our chosen field is NOT common knowledge. You’ve got something truly special to share.
- Think of someone who has benefited from working with you. What were their needs and pains before they worked with you, and how did you help? Now, imagine that benefit spreading to the thousands of people who could be touched by your book.
- Re-read testimonials. Revisit words of praise and encouragement from enthusiastic clients and colleagues. People value your work, and you can multiply that value when you have a book to offer.
Your motivations are personal, and there’s no right or wrong. The way I see it, whatever gets you to the finish line is the “right” motivation. Just be sure to figure out what your motivations are, and revisit them frequently to keep them top of mind when you hit those inevitable moments of writer’s block.