Writing a Book Can Propel Your Business and Credibility in the Marketplace – Here’s How!
It is estimated that 80% of Americans have a great desire to write a book about something important to them. It used to be expensive, daunting, and selective with publishers who got their book printed and published. But today, literally anybody can author a book, especially with the self-publishing boom and the print-on-demand capabilities today. Writing a book has never been easier than it is today.
I recently interviewed Rich Cavaness, author of the Top 10 self help book for 2018, The Gratitude Effect, and the author of four other books and two workbooks about this subject:
RM: So many people want to write a book. Why is it that most people never get around to actually getting it done?
RC: I believe everyone has at least ONE book inside of them. The challenge is processing the story and ideas from their head to printed form. Most people struggle with HOW to organize their thoughts much less know the basics of HOW to write a book.
It really comes down to this Randy, The biggest reason people don’t ever get around to writing their book is fear. Fear of failure, not being good enough, not being qualified enough. Most people defeat themselves before they ever get moving forward with their book ideas. Then you add in the myths of needing a traditional publisher to write a book, have to have hundreds of pages of content, it takes too much time, and it costs too much money, most people allow fear to sabotage their dreams before they ever get started. That’s why my first- time author workshop is so popular, we show and teach people how to get their book from their head to completion.
RM: You believe, Rich, that writing a book can grow and influence a person’s business, what are the actual benefits to writing a book professionally?
RC: I see basically 5 main benefits in writing a book:
- You become a perceived expert in your field of expertise
- Opens the door to getting speaking engagements
- Increases your personal and professional credibility and authority
- Has the potential to generate more leads and opportunities for sales
- Helps you to become crystal clear on your brand and your message
RM: How does fear actually play into the picture for those who are wanting to write a book? Is this where procrastination comes into play?
RC: Procrastination is one of the greatest enemies of success. Many people put off something when they view the pain of doing it more than the pleasure of putting it off. To many, the thought of writing a book is so overwhelming that fear and anxiety creep in and take over when they think about it, so they just don’t take action. What I tell people is that everything you want in life – goals, dreams, aspirations – is on the other side of fear. That is why we put on workshops for first time authors; to debunk the myths, reduce the fears, and give them hope that they can become authors.
RM: What are the main subject areas a first-time author could focus on when writing their book?
RC: In the marketing arena today, there are three main areas that people are concerned about right now that revolve around their happiness: Health, Wealth, and Relationships. Within each of these areas are numerous ways to pain points for others.
- Health: weight loss, nutrition, exercise, stress, sex, mental illness
- Wealth: finance, career-work, investing, real estate, sales, marketing, income generation, side hustles
- Relationships: marriage, divorce, blended family, dating, love, PTSD, leadership
Within these three areas lies where the majority of book interests lie today.
RM: Is it true that to publish a book today you have to have a publisher, and that self-publishing is too expensive for the average person to afford?
RC: Actually, today is a great time to author a book. The options are numerous, with self-publishing and print on demand opening up many new avenues for the first- time author. There are small self-publishing companies today that even offer low priced packages that include editing, cover design, ISBN numbers, print formatting, distribution, and marketing, all for under $2,000.00. Some of those companies are:
- Outskirts Publishing
- Ingram Spark
Rich Cavaness will be conducting a BONUS SESSION (at no cost, other than your attendance at the regular First Friday Book Synopsis session) at the First Friday Book Synopsis, at the Park City Club in Dallas, TX beginning at 8:30 am on Friday, February 1 — immediately following the regular session the First Friday Book Synopsis.
Click here to register for Rich’s First Time Author Workshop titled, “How to Get Your Book from Your Head to Completion,” which will help you take action steps to actually getting that book inside your head actually done in 2019. This workshop is being held in Plano, TX on February 21.
Rich Cavaness is a recognized popular author, speaker, and coach in the field of success and personal development. He is a Certified Master Coach Practitioner through the Certified Coaches Federation and a Certified Instructor with the Napoleon Hill Foundation, with his areas of expertise including the 17 Principles of Success, by Napoleon Hill, and personal development seminars and workshops. Rich has the unique and powerful ability to take any topic and make it easy for people to understand and apply to their lives. He teaches people today how to master the important areas of their lives: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, financial, and relational.
Here are ways to learn more about, and contact Rich:
Richard J. Cavaness
As a white man, I always feel like an intruder on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
We know the simple story. On Dec. 1, 1955, while Rosa Parks was in jail for breaking the law for not giving up her seat on the bus, the African Americans of Montgomery gathered in a large church auditorium, deciding what to do. The young pastor ran the meeting, and they decided to boycott the city bus system until the laws changed. Thus was born the Montgomery Bus Boycott. And the young pastor’s name was Martin Luther King, Jr.
Ten years later, 1965, standing just down a few steps from the spot where Jefferson Davis took the oath of office as President of the Confederate States of America, and just a couple of blocks from that church building where the meeting had been held in 1955, Dr. King delivered his memorable speech at the conclusion of the march that included a walk across a bridge in Selma — a bridge named after a two-term U.S. senator and a Confederate general, and a Grand Dragon of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan. It was this speech that included the famous words: How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.
A lot happened in that decade.
A little white girl had sent him a note after he had been stabbed years earlier by a demented black woman, and she wrote: “I read in the paper of your misfortune, and of your suffering. And I read that if you had sneezed, you would have died. And I’m simply writing you to say that I’m so happy that you didn’t sneeze.” So, with that as a springboard, he spoke these words in his last speech, summarizing the work of a decade:
And I want to say tonight — I want to say tonight that I too am happy that I didn’t sneeze. Because if I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been around here in 1960, when students all over the South started sitting-in at lunch counters. And I knew that as they were sitting in, they were really standing up for the best in the American dream, and taking the whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been around here in 1961, when we decided to take a ride for freedom and ended segregation in inter-state travel.
If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been around here in 1962, when Negroes in Albany, Georgia, decided to straighten their backs up. And whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can’t ride your back unless it is bent.
If I had sneezed — If I had sneezed I wouldn’t have been here in 1963, when the black people of Birmingham, Alabama, aroused the conscience of this nation, and brought into being the Civil Rights Bill.
If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have had a chance later that year, in August, to try to tell America about a dream that I had had.
If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been down in Selma, Alabama, to see the great Movement there.
If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been in Memphis to see a community rally around those brothers and sisters who are suffering.
I’m so happy that I didn’t sneeze.
Now, back to feeling like an intruder. On Saturday, my wife and I went to the exhibition at the African American Museum in Dallas, Monticello: The Legacy of Slavery. We saw artifacts from the slave families that lived at Jefferson’s Monticello. And we read of the reality, the cruelty, the inhumanity against the enslaved people.
I took many pictures, but read the one on this graphic carefully. A black man was threatened with bodily harm if he was ever again caught with a book. Just imagine…
There were a few white people at the exhibit. But there were many, many more black people. And as I walked through, I realized that if these same people had been around a couple of hundred years ago, the white people in the room would have been the owners, and the black people would have been the slaves; slaves with not much prospect for any kind of genuine free advance into life, liberty, and their own pursuit of happiness..
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”
Yes, he called for nonviolence. Yes, he is now revered by many, from all ends of the American political spectrum. But make no mistake, he was seeking to right a very deep and very long-lasting injustice against the black people of this country. And it was a difficult and costly struggle.
I do not know their pain. I cannot feel their humiliation. (Yes, he wrote and spoke about that also). But I can listen, and learn, and honor.
There is no American holiday any truer to our values as a country than Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Again from his last speech: All we say to America is, “Be true to what you said on paper.”
It is the reminder we need every year; and all the time…
(Note: for over 20+ years, I have presented synopses of business books at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas. But I have also presented similar synopses presentations on books on social justice issues for CitySquare in Dallas for nearly 14 years. This post is about those gatherings).
Here’s the world we live in. We are divided in countless ways. And among the ways are: division over race; division over class; struggles with poverty, and education… In other words, there are many human concerns that deserve our attention and our best efforts.
For well over a decade, CitySquare has sponsored an event called the Urban Engagement Book Club. Each month, I present a synopsis of a book dealing with some aspect of social justice. The aim is understadning, and suggestions for action.
These session always meet on the third Thursday of the month, at the CitySquare Opportunity Center in Dallas, at noon:
Every Third Thursday at Noon
1610 S. Malcolm X Blvd,
Dallas Texas 75226
If you would like to receive an e-mail reminder each month, please click here to send an e-mail request to Ashley Wilson at CitySquare. Please put in the subject line:
“Please add me to the Urban Engagement Book Club e-mail list.”
Call these old-fashioned Consciousness Raising Sessions. First we learn, then we grasp, and then we act.
Here is the line-up of books we have selected for our sessions in 2019. Each synopsis comes with my multi-page, comprehensive handout. And then, following the synopsis, a community leader reflects on and leads a brief discussion of the ideas in the book.
Come learn with us.
Stop and be silent.
Stop; be still.
Stop, and don’t talk (for a while).
Stop and listen.
Stop and think.
Stop and ponder.
Stop, and…be more attentive.
Stop, and breathe.
Stop, and wait.
Stop and ponder some more.
Just stop for a few moments – today; everyday; every week.
Stop…and read to learn.
Stop and plan.
Stop and ask: am I being kind; am I listening to others well; am I being human these days at work, and everywhere else I circulate.
Stop for a while.
The average CEO made 20x the amount of money in the 1950s (through 1965) than the average worker in the company; the average CEO made 361x the amount of money than the average worker in the company in 2017.
(one source, among many: CEO Pay Skyrockets To 361 Times That Of The Average Worker)
Milton Friedman famously wrote/said: “There is one and only one social responsibility of business – to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”
Or, the shorter version that is frequently quoted: “There is one and only one social responsibility of business…to increase its profits.”
But, I wonder if this question skips a crucial concern.
If a corporation’s only concern (“one and only”) is to increase its profits, then that allows the corporation to not take into account the human needs of its team members; its employees; the people that work to generate those profits.
So, maybe, it should be this: after committing to caring for its people as people – as human beings – then, a corporation has an obligation to increase its profits.
The epigraph of Daring Greatly is this quote from Theodore Roosevelt:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again… who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.
Choose courage over comfort. Choose whole hearts over armor. And choose the great adventure of being brave and afraid. At the exact same time. Brené Brown
When an author is trending – you know, everything she/he writes is a must-read – that is usually a signal to pay some serious attention to the offerings of this author.
At this moment, Brené Brown is trending. And I concur – she is worth reading.
If you don’t know the name Brené Brown, then you have truly missed out. She has the 5th most watched TED Talk – and it’s not even an actual TED Talk (it is a TEDX talk – and, yes, there is a difference). Her previoius books have been big best sellers. And this newest offering, Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts has been #1 (Dec. 2019) and #2 (Jan. 2019) on the New York Times Business Books best sellers list.
I presented my synopsis of this book at the January First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas. I began with an empty jar, and a separate container of marbles. She describes how every single interaction that is human, caring, attentive, puts a single marble of trust in the jar. I told a story or two about people in the room, and dropped a couple of marbles in the jar. She argues that it takes a lot of such interactions to build trust. You don’t get trust by asking for it. You get trust by demonstrating human caring, one interaction at a time. Great illustration!
In this so-many-devices era, with technological breakthroughs creating chaos in workplaces and work practices all over, this book is a call to remember the human factor. We are not robots; we are people working together.
I ask, what is the point? Here is my answer: We dance around, but don’t dance with, the people at work, and all the other people in our lives. It is time for true connection. This book will help us make such genuine connection; will help us make connecting the center of our life…
And I ask “Why is this book worth our time?” Here are my three reasons for this book:
#1 – This is the #1 best seller (New York Times, December, 2018, business books). Her TED talk is the fifth most viewed. In other words, Brené Brown is trending, and we should know who she is and what she has to say.
#2 – We live in a beat-around-the-bush culture. This book calls us to not beat around the bush any longer.
#3 – It takes real courage to be brave. And it takes our whole hearts. This book will help us bring our whole heart into our work and into our life.
Here is how I summarized the book, with a quote from Ms. Brown:
What, if anything, about the way people are leading today needs to change in order for leaders to be successful in a complex, rapidly changing environment where we’re faced with seemingly intractable challenges and an insatiable demand for innovation? …We need braver leaders and more courageous cultures.
When I read, I highlight a lot of passages. There were so many highlight-worthy passages in this book. These are the best of the best to my highlighted passages:
I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential. pg. 4
We desperately need more leaders who are committed to courageous, wholehearted leadership and who are self-aware enough to lead from their hearts, rather than unevolved leaders who lead from hurt and fear.
Too much shame and blame, not enough accountability and learning.
If the culture in our school, organization, place of worship, or even family requires armor because of issues like racism, classism, sexism, or any manifestation of fear-based leadership, we can’t expect wholehearted engagement.
Trust is the stacking and layering of small moments and reciprocal vulnerability over time. Trust and vulnerability grow together, and to betray one is to destroy both.
Simply put, psychological safety makes it possible to give tough feedback and have difficult conversations without the need to tiptoe around the truth. …This belief comes about when people both trust and respect each other.…Thus psychological safety is a taken-for-granted belief about how others will respond when you ask a question, seek feedback, admit a mistake, or propose a possibly wacky idea.
Sharing just to share without understanding your role, recognizing your professional boundaries, and getting clear on your intentions and expectations (especially those flying under the radar) is just purging or venting or gossip or a million other things that are often propelled by hidden needs.
…More than occasionally, I find that the people who misrepresent my work on vulnerability and conflate it with disclosure or emotional purging either don’t understand it, or they have so much personal resistance to the notion of being vulnerable that they stretch the concept until it appears ridiculous and easy to discount.
“We are not necessarily thinking machines. We are feeling machines that think.”
You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.
While some leaders consider apologizing to be a sign of weakness, we teach it as a skill and frame the willingness to apologize and make amends as brave leadership.
The words we use really matter. But words like loneliness, empathy, compassion, are not words often discussed in our leadership training, nor are they included in our leadership literature.
In the past, jobs were about muscles, now they’re about brains, but in the future they’ll be about the heart. —MINOUCHE SHAFIK, director, London School of Economics
Healthy striving is self-focused: How can I improve? Perfectionism is other-focused: What will people think?
Great leaders make tough “people decisions” and are tender in implementing them.
Empathy is a hard skill to learn because mastery requires practice, and practice means you’ll screw it up big-time more than once.
Easy learning doesn’t build strong skills.
In the book, I discerned this as THE issue: it takes human understanding, and human skills (“soft skills”) to help develop effective and successful people, employees, teams, companies…societies.
She really says this strongly: Never allow, never tolerate contempt!
• and beware of cynicism and sarcasm (and; R.M. – ridicule).
• never allow “power over.” — Hierarchy can work, except when those in leadership positions hold power over others—when their decisions benefit the minority and oppress the majority.
Here are her elements that make up the Heart of Daring Leadership
- You can’t get to courage without rumbling with vulnerability. Embrace the suck. — A rumble is a discussion, conversation, or meeting defined by a commitment to lean into vulnerability, to stay curious and generous, to stick with the messy middle of problem identification and solving, to take a break and circle back when necessary, to be fearless in owning our parts, and, as psychologist Harriet Lerner teaches, to listen with the same passion with which we want to be heard. — Courage is a collection of four skill sets that can be taught, observed, and measured. The four skill sets are: Rumbling with Vulnerability; Living into Our Values; Braving Trust; Learning to Rise
- Self-awareness and self-love matter. Who we are is how we lead. — Practicing self-compassion and having patience with ourselves are essential in this process.
- Courage is contagious. To scale daring leadership and build courage in teams and organizations, we have to cultivate a culture in which brave work, tough conversations, and whole hearts are the expectation, and armor is not necessary or rewarded.
Here’s my list of what I called the BIG issues:
• shame – “Fess up to experiencing shame or admit that you’re a sociopath.” — Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love, belonging, and connection.
• armor — You can’t fully grow and contribute behind armor. — The Vulnerability Armory: The first three—perfectionism, foreboding joy, and numbing—
• vulnerability — Vulnerability is not winning or losing. It’s having the courage to show up when you can’t control the outcome. — TO FEEL IS TO BE VULNERABLE.
• clarity – set clear standards; expectations• feedback — We avoid tough conversations, including giving honest, productive feedback. – Never sit across from someone when giving feedback! And, get very good at receiving feedback. “I’m brave enough to listen.”
• diversity and inclusion— People are opting out of vital conversations about diversity and inclusivity because they fear looking wrong, saying something wrong, or being wrong.
•Choosing our own comfort over hard conversations is the epitome of privilege,
• problem identification— When something goes wrong, individuals and teams are rushing into ineffective or unsustainable solutions rather than staying with problem identification and solving.
• create a safe container — by asking the team what they need to feel open and safe in the conversation.(psychological safety; a recurring theme for successful teams).• boundaries — we teach that setting boundaries is making clear what’s okay and what’s not okay, and why.
And here are my six lessons and takeaways from the book:
#1 – You’ve simply got to have those tough conversations. First, with yourself. Then, with your team. You cannot, you must not, avoid them!
#2 – Identify your core values; and then, live into them. Practice them! Live them!
#3 – Aim for mastery. (Mastery; not perfection). Thus, get very good at giving, and receiving, feedback.
#4 – Breathe. Practice taking breaths in and out. (Use the count of four: inhale through nose; hold; exhale through mouth; hold).
#5 – Pay careful attention to the stories you tell – to and about yourself; and your team; and your company; and our world.
#6 – Be brave enough to be vulnerable. This opens the path to growth and mastery.
Brené Brown is trending for a reason. We are starved for authenticity, vulnerability, being human in and at work. If you lead people, if you serve on a team with people, my recommendation is simple: read this book. You will be the better for it – especially if you put the lessons of the book into practice.
My synopsis of this book will be available soon from the buy synopses page on this web site. Each synopsis comes with the multi-page, comprehensive synopsis handout, plus the audio recording of my presentation. Click here for the newest additions to our synopses.