Seth Godin has two sayings that are stuck in my head worse than that super glue that jammed my fingers a few months ago.
First, he says you must “ship it“. He warns us not to wait. So create your work, your art, your genius for the world and then share it. Get it out there and put it in front of people to see. Now.
Second, he believes that the absolute best medium for consuming an idea in its wholeness is by reading a book. Not a movie, not a magazine, not a blog post, and not even a speech. Nope. He firmly believes that a book remains as the number one best way to change thoughts, shift mindsets or truly empower people to act.
Funny how his wisdom makes perfect sense; there is no arguing with his logic, at least not in my mind. Waiting for perfection before you get your work out to the world is just plain silly, and I for one cannot imagine a higher form of medium for the most powerful transformations in my mind than the amazing books I have read.
But the advice has an underlying discomfort. Just like most things, you hear it, you nod, you agree, and yet, do you do it? Why is there such a gap between what we know and what we do? It is simple and yet difficult to do, but it is entirely possible even for the most stubborn among us. So even if it’s for the sake of experiment, I say, listen to Seth.
In fact, show him how much you are on board with his words that you will take the fusion of his advice and self-publish your own work. You will create your own message, and share your own story in the form of a book. You will not wait for a publisher to come along or for an agent to go hunt down one for you, you will spare yourself rejections and drama and instead, focus on writing a book, shipping it, and giving the world the medium that is best for consumption of your ideas: a book!
A self-published book, no less!
But why should you self-publish a book, aside from the truth in Seth’s wisdom? Because it opens the doors to new opportunities for you. While the residual income can be nice, the credibility that comes with having a book published is priceless. Your book can be in digital form made only for the Kindle and iBooks or it can be in an on-demand print format. The fact that you have written a book positions you as an expert in your field and builds your reputation up. And most of all, you can transform someone with your thoughts, your ideas, your perspective on the angle of life about which you choose.
In June of 2011, I did just that. I had just resigned from my 11-year lucrative Corporate career and given a speech in New York’s Blogworld & New Media conference. I felt compelled to share my secrets to this inner source of motivation that had enabled me to not only crush some serious fears and overcome some tough barriers but to forge ahead in this path of uncertainty without a single seed of doubt in my mind.
So I wrote my book: “Motivation: From Goals to Greatness” and published it in the Kindle store in under a month.
No, I did not skimp on quality. Are you kidding? I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. And at 18,600 words, it wasn’t a terribly short write either. I simply focused on one project the entire month. The hours stretch, and the mind expands and possibilities emerge when you have a clear goal and deadline ahead, trust me. What I accomplished in that month was, appropriately enough, driven by this inner motivation and drive, and a conviction in what Seth Godin teaches us: First, on shipping it and second, on how books are the best medium for spreading ideas and transforming thoughts.
None of this would be possible if I had not self-published my book. The power of self-publishing your work without an editorial, approval process from some entity – my own brother and husband’s approval processes notwithstanding here 🙂 – is the most brilliant advancement of our decade! You are self-publishing your work every single time you get a blog post out there. Now, Amazon has opened its doors and welcomed us to contribute our books, on our own terms, with our own words, and our own names on the cover.
What a grand opportunity, one that the Jane Austens and Emily Brontes of this world would have only dreamt in their wildest imagination. One that is right before you right now if you are willing to take on the challenge.
So will you consider self-publishing a book of your own now?