Who am I to write a book?

I’ve asked myself this many times during this process. How am I an expert? What makes me so special? How did I get here? Who am I to write a book?

I sit here with my finger on the approval button – about to finalize the manuscript for my book. Once I do this, it will be too late – it will be out in the world for anyone to see, to read, to judge. That’s scary – more than scary…it’s terrifying. Even though I have shared some of these stories from my book on the stage in my keynotes, it is a whole different idea to have it be on a page, in black and white, for perpetuity.

Throughout my career, I’ve heard countless times that I should write a book. “You have knowledge and experiences to share that will positively impact others!” So here I am, about to click approve after almost five years of working to get to this point. I learned a great deal over the many weekends and late nights trying to put words on paper. I’ve learned about the overall book writing process (authors, I applaud you), and I have learned some leadership lessons that just might impact someone reading this post. So, what have I learned?

  • Vulnerability: Many books have been written about the topic of vulnerability. I have found that being vulnerable, sharing your story, no matter how messy it is, can be very impactful to others. Some reactions I have gotten are, “Wow, he overcame that situation; mine is not nearly as bad so I have a chance.” It’s easier said than done, but my advice is not to close yourself off. By sharing your story, the good and the bad, it creates a ripple effect. Others feel brave enough to share theirs, and so on. Trust can be built this way too. Try it in your organization and see what happens. Great leaders will make themselves vulnerable.
  • Your attitude is everything: As you will read in my book, there are several stories I share that describe being in a less than ideal situation, and coming out better for it. Start where you are. Use what you’ve got. You would be surprised at how resourceful you can be. Don’t think that just because you don’t feel you are in a great place in life at this very moment that you can’t be greatly successful. This goes for projects and life. But remember, your attitude is everything. There is a quote from the great Henry Ford that sums this concept up nicely, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” 
  • Confidence in the face of doubt: This concept is another theme I talk about in the book, but it also was put to the test in writing it in the first place. I had doubts the entire way. I threw the book and my ideas in the trash no less than five times in the last 18 months. I still have doubts. But I also knew that if I could impact one person by this book, it would have been worth it. Sometimes you just have to fake it until you make it.

So, who am I to write a book? I am just a person, just like you, with knowledge and experiences to share. So are you. Impact someone today – share your story. When I click approve – you will be able to read mine. I hope it impacts you.