I can write a book, so can you

It’s been a while since I blogged…for myself.  As well as coaching, I write a lot on behalf of clients, so I am a typical case of the cobbler’s kids having no shoes.  In other words, I’m better at doing for others than for myself.  And most of us are like that.  Every now and then I beat up on myself for not treating myself like I would a client.  But mostly I remember that it’s my choice.  

The truth is as fond as I am of my Mac, there are many times when I want a break from our relationship. Sometimes the very sound Mac makes when it starts up makes me wonder what I ever saw in it in the first place.   

As I say in The Follow-Through Factor, when you say yes to something, you are saying no to something else (like blogging).  The key is to make sure you have the conversation with yourself.   

I’m saying yes now to writing a blog to talk about a workshop I’m giving that I’m very excited about. I’m teaching how to write and pitch a self-help book that sells at Humber College, Toronto. on Oct. 20.  Since I self-published and then got picked up by a publishers in Canada and in six other countries, I’ve learned a lot.  

The self-help genre is the fastest growing area in book publishing.  It’s a huge market, but you do have to know how to crack it.  There’s good reason to do it.   It’s really gratifying to weave your story and experiences into a how-to book that can help people and spur them on.  Having a book also opens up all kinds of opportunities for speaking and mentoring.  

 If you want to find out more, here’s the link: http://calendardb.humber.ca/LIS/WebCalendar/CE/CourseOffering.do?name=CRWR_244

 

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To follow-through or not to follow-through?

Not sure about whether to follow-through on an idea?  Fair enough, not every idea is follow-through worthy.  Sometimes, things are just fun to think about, and that’s good enough.

As I described in my book, The Follow-Through Factor, for years I toyed with the idea of going into the catering business, or more to the point the cake business.  In fact, given that I have the patience of a flea with ADD, I can’t really see myself following complex, precise recipes.  And for all my good intentions, I’ve never managed to actually ice a cake, I sort of just fling tablespoons of cream on top of it.

So you can’t reinvent yourself to make an idea fit you.  Think of ideas more like frames for your glasses.  Some are fun, others are really attractive, but not necessarily the right look for you.

When do you know if the idea is one you want to wear?  When if you don’t wear it, you’d always apologize to yourself, for yourself.   When the idea alone makes you feel nostalgic for it– if you didn’t have it, you’d miss it, even before you work on it.

If someone said to you, “I guarantee you will never so much as try to start a cake company” does that make you feel sad?  Not me.  It doesn’t hit me hard, it doesn’t hit me at all.

If someone said to you, “I can guarantee you will never write another book, or never get to Chile”  how does that make you feel?  In my case, it feels like someone just turned off a light somewhere.  And I really need to prove them wrong so I can switch it back on.

When giving up the idea is like saying goodbye to a really good friend, and you are just not prepared to do that…then you’ve got an idea that you need to follow-through on, no matter what.

 

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Is a goal more fun to talk about than make happen?

That’s a great question that many ask me.  The truth is a goal can be a little like a lottery ticket.  From the minute you buy the ticket until the numbers are drawn,  you get to have the time of your life imagining how you’re going to spend the millions.   From the moment you conceive of your goal, you get to run the film in your head of how great life will be when you realize it.

But then, what if when you do hit your destination, it’s lunchbox letdown?  You achieve your goal and it turns out to be a big “so what?”

Reality bite time:   It may not be the super high you anticipate, but that’s not reason to throw in the towel.  The pay-off for following through is this –you shake up your life.  When you go after something, it’s inevitable that you will have different experiences and different conversations.   And that makes you more entertaining to yourself, and to others around the dinner table.

Whereas if you’re always all talk but no action, people secretly just want to hit the mute button on you.

Here’s the thing:  If you don’t set off after your goal, you don’t have failure, you’ve got status quo.  In other words, you are stuck in the same old, same old.   Basically, this is how you bore yourself, and others, into a coma.

So yes, maybe when you reach your goal,  fireworks do not go off every ten minutes for you…but you have a great story to tell about things that happened to you on the way from there to here.  And one goal always leads to another.   And so an engaging life story is written, one that you’d actually like to read.

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