Any coach worth her salt knows that writing a book is a brilliant way to share your knowledge and expertise. And, I’m not ashamed to say it’s a great marketing tool too.
Today I started Day One of the 10 Day Business Book Proposal Challenge run by the amazingly inspirational Alison Jones.
Alison runs this challenge three times a year. I started the challenge last year but my focus and inspiration fizzled out after about 4 or 5 days. At the time, I felt I was at a crossroads and was adjusting my focus to ‘go back to my roots’ to work with women in technology and professional services.
Like many others on the challenge, I am already a published author. A second book is part of the 5 year plan that I developed in September.
This time I have much greater clarity about WHO my book is for and HOW it will serve my business. What I am not clear on is WHAT my book will provide you and in WHAT format.
My hopes for my second book
By the end of the 10 day challenge, I will have a much clearer idea of the research I need to do, what direction the book is taking, and the format e.g. will it be a series of interviews or more autobiographical or a ‘how to’ type book.
My expectations for my second book
As I start the challenge, I feel curiosity, excitement and anxiety. All at once. I know how much time a book will take and that is daunting.
I want this book to set me up as an expert, as a leader, and therefore the book HAS to be good. It has to be readable, it has to be ‘unputdownable’ ….. but am I capable of writing such a book? am I good enough? am I knowledgeable enough? am I expert enough? experienced enough?
Logically I know that only I can write ‘my way’. Only I can share my perspective. Although I have been studying equality for 30+ years, does that make me an expert yet? Am I writing the right book? Is it equality or is it leadership? Or is it helping women to get equality by helping them to get leadership confidence.
My fears for my second book
What if I get to the end of the 10 day challenge and I think “YES – I WANT TO WRITE THIS BOOK. NOW. IMMEDIATELY.” Where the hell will I find the time? Though even as I type I’m thinking “school holidays” because that’s when business gets quieter.
Can I do it? Can I write a book? Yes. I can. I did it before and I can do it again.
Why is equality so important?
Recently one of the women in my mastermind asked “Why is equality so important to you? Have you experienced discrimination yourself?“
If I went back over my career, I might find instances of discrimination which I was unaware of at the time. I spent my formative years at Arthur Andersen working for a female CIO. Technology was a relatively new field. I did what I did because I could and nobody told me I couldn’t.
However Caroline’s question got me thinking … “Why is women’s equality SO important to me?”
I had assumed women’s equality is a burning passion for everybody. I realise though that maybe I have a bigger passion than most. After all, I have been reading and researching (and ranting) about it for more than 30 years. But why? And how does this relate to confidence? Or leadership?
My big WHY
My big WHY – I want children to have happy memories of family life. I help to make that happen by helping women to feel confident and powerful. If you are confident, you are happy. If you are happy, you will have a happy family life. And your children will have happy memories. That logic might not work for you or your sister or your best friend. But it is the logic that makes sense to me.
While I was out running on Saturday morning, my thought process continued: you need confidence to get equality. You need equality to be powerful. When you are powerful, you are not powerless. That’s the moment I realised that my burning passion goes back to my childhood. (I’ve been thinking a lot about my childhood after my Brain Working Recursive Therapy session last week – more on that another time).
As a child I felt powerless. I had no control; no power over what was happening to me or to my life. I felt vulnerable. And scared. There’s more about my story in my book however in brief, my parents divorced when I was a teenager (about the age my eldest is now); followed by a series of family tragedies.
I want women to feel powerful
THAT is why equality is so important to me. I want women to feel powerful not powerless. I want all women to feel they have power, control and choices over the decisions they make.
Because this is SO important to me, I might have a hard time taming my gremlins. I want to get it right. I want this to be a book that is powerful and empowering. That gives women the power to make choices and decisions. To have confidence. To be a leader.
I want it to be a book that makes a difference. That makes THE difference.
No pressure then.
p.s. If this sounds like it could be a book for you, I’d love to hear from you. I want to talk to ambitious women who want confidence, who want recognition in their career, who want to make a bigger impact at work. I want to understand your fears and your frustrations. Your hopes and your dreams. I want to know what would make a difference for you. Get in touch with me here.