Why You Ought to Write a Book (and why you ought to write it right now)

Here is a simple, but passionate post on why you really ought to write your first book.

10 days of a little bit of sweat, and probably very few tears.  (and definitely no blood, unless he is a compulsive fingernail picker like me)

https://medium.com/@mattrudnitsky/how-this-idiot-blogger-wrote-a-book-in-10-days-and-made-1-150-06-in-a-month-with-0-marketing-6dfea22a2dbc

One thing I’ve learned over the last month or so is that for most of those of us….. the thought of “writing a book” is filtered through some sort of unconcious mechanism where the default network of our sinking sense of self importance says –

“Me – write a book?  What a silly idea?  Who cares what I have to say?  What do I know?  And who would read it even if I did?”

The answer is, probably a heck of a lot more people than you think.

The truth is, even though I still feel like a complete newbie when it comes to publishing books on Amazon (I have 2 live books in my own name which aren’t selling at all, a 3rd in a pen name that is, and I’ve helped a few clients publish and some promote some books that have had some pretty good success) the power and potential and pure passion that I feel for creating content, and connecting with a community of people who share that passion, is a huge daily driver for me everyday.

Of course, not that this is going to make anyone rich by any stretch of the imagination, but my first “pen” name book of 2015 ain’t setting any sales records, but the first 2 weeks of May has sold well over 100 copies on Kindle, and it’s a niche that I really have no “name” in at all.

amazon_orders_may_1430 sales (31 I think) on the best day of the month thus far isn’t going to make anyone rich, but if I can replicate that same success with 10 books, all at 2.99 – and all taking under a week to write and publish, that’s a pretty good automated, passive income stream without much upkeep.

I did NO promotion on the book above, other than putting a link to it in the sidebar of a site I own and manage in the “spiritual” development niche.

What I like the best about the whole Amazon self publishing space is that it truly is a strategy you can scale.  There is a pretty good book on the best way to build a self publishing “empire” on Amazon where the title is really the only thing you need to read to understand the approach.

Write. Publish. Repeat.

The only thing I didn’t like about the book was everything after the title.

And that one of the guy’s who published it has a blog called “Writer Dad” which makes me dry heave a little bit.

But just a little bit.  Mostly because I appreciated the overall advice and I read it on an empty stomach and am trying to be a good person in 2015.  And no one likes a puker.

That aside –

Don’t even buy the book. Just let the title sink in, as that really IS the best piece of advice when it comes to creating content that converts into cash.

Keep writing.  Keep publishing.  And keep adding to your empire of ideas.

Another super simple idea that has really impacted my thinking on the whole self publishing thing has been a return to the idea of keeping my books super simple, with a focus on one super actionable idea that will really help the reader overcome one obstacle.

I’ve found that people don’t want to pay for pontification.  They don’t want to be be-dazzled by the weight and wisdom of my words.  They may be impressed with the power of your prose……but if they don’t LEARN something they can apply that solves a problem, even spending 2.99 on a book will feel like a waste.  (something that undoubtedly will show up in the reviews)

When I wrote FLOW (a book I gave away on Amazon that spent a few weeks as the #1 FREE book in the personal development category at different junctures) I was amazed at how different the reaction was from those who read it.

Many of my existing blog readers really seemed to love it, and that was really meaningful for me.  (especially because it was a compilation of previous posts I had already published :-)

Many new readers told me how inspired they were by the words…..and that was even more meaningful, as I could feel my audience expand, and my little bit of influence extend to a new audience.

But…..there were others who hated it.

And who weren’t shy about sharing why.  (including the one guy who wrote ” I needed a shower after reading this” :-)

The truth is, when I fairly evaluated the book, and tried to figure out why there were a lot of people who didn’t seem to benefit from it, I sort of reluctantly realized that it didn’t solve any problems.

It didn’t show anyone how do DO anything.

It didn’t show people how to enter a “flow” state.  (even though the title is/was FLOW)  3 or 4 people commented on just that alone.  (even a few people who liked it – still said they thought the title was misleading)

Anyway, I eventually un-published the book.

Mostly because I’m sensitive and in therapy.

But also because I realized that what I appreciate most from the books that I read is learning something new.

How to tackle a problem, or fix a flat or overcome an obstacle in a very straightforward way.  If I want to read or experience someone emote and express about their own existential life crisis, and pursuit of purpose, I’d watch more Glenn Beck.

So I decided that everything I publish on Amazon going forward would help people solve a problem that was central to the reason they bought my book….and even if they hated my strategy or solution, it would still be worth 3 bucks to discover why.

 

 

Some Thoughts About Bullshit

In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

George Orwell

It’s pushing 3am.

I have no plans for Memorial Day Weekend.

I may do what I did today.

And Yesterday.

Tomorrow.

Play a few hours of hoops.

Hit some tennis balls.

Run a few miles.

Write a few sentences.

Think a bunch of thoughts.

Scribble some notes.

Smile at a few strangers.

Take a risk or two.

Try to hold a door.

Somewhere.

For someone.

And like Blockbuster used to strongly suggest, come home, be kind and rewind.

I’m not going to spend much time worrying about how to be a better leader.

I find articles like this one maddeningly silly.

I don’t mean to be mean.

But I wish I could un-read it.

And maybe this is the sort of thing i ought to think quietly to myself, and not publish.

I’m trying to be kinder.

But I don’t want to learn to be a better leader.

And if I did, I would hope that crisis or circumstance would baptize my becoming.

Not a blog post.

I don’t want to get feedback from my friends on how to amp up my alpha male mojo.

I don’t want to stress and obsess and find the fractures in the facade that need fixing if I’m going to inspire others to follow my lead.

I just want to be.

Me.

We are all drowning in bullshit.

Drinking from a ferocious firehose of bullshit that just won’t quit.

I know I’m guilty of it, too.  I read some of my words, and it makes me cringe.

But you need blinders on – fluff filters – to even open your eyes and absorb anymore.

Everyone wants to tell you how to be.

Better.

Bigger.

Bolder.

And yet, the emperor has no clothes.

We are all naked and afraid – the silliness of our specialness something that don’t survive the slightest scrutiny and certainly ain’t found in the wisdom of our words.

This morning I got an email from an online marketing “guru” who I happened to follow from years back – he wrote a 5000 word post on why he no longer was going to working in the “show people how to make money niche”.

Instead, he was launching something brand new.  Something passionate, and purposeful that wasn’t going to be about teaching others how to do something he had grown so tired of doing.

He had all kinds of reasons.  Reasons that resonated well with me.

Good for you, I thought.

And then….at the end of this emotive, expressive data dump of exposed nerves and raw emotion, he said – “now pay X to watch me do it”

(but only till Tuesday when the price goes up.  Twice)

Usually i’ll wait 2 weeks before i backtrack that badly.

He managed to slip in the bait and switch a slender sentence away.

And I know him.  He’s a good and likeable guy.

But he’s drowning in bullshit.

So thick now – he can’t even scrape it off to see how silly it’s all starting to sound.

So many examples.

So little time.

I signed up for a free trial for what is advertised as a pretty expensive piece of software a few weeks ago.

$4K for a license.

Impressive but expensive.

I was excited.

On day 2, I woke up to an email offering a “rare” opportunity to save 50% for 24 hours.

It opened my eyes, but I knew it was bullshit.

3 hours later, I got an even “rarer” offer to save 75%.

I laughed and shook my head.

more_bullshitBut doubt…and disappointment, and the feeling of being deceived – those seeds were starting to sprout.

BULLSHITAnd then today….after spending a friendly hour on the phone with the sales rep earlier in the week, yet another notice that the “one time once in a lifetime discount” was about to expire.

I love the software.

And I’m excited about buying it.

But –

Why the bullshit?

I’m already there.

Why must you lie?

Why not be the Tiger Woods of Trustworthiness?

The Kobe Bryant of Communicating clearly?

(And why can’t I pick two better athlete examples to punctuate this point?)

Easy.

Because it’s now almost 4am.

And I’m optimistic, hopeful, helpful, aware, aware and inspired.

But tired of the bullshit.

Just like you.

“Trust is like a mirror, you can fix it if it’s broken, but you can still see the crack in that mother fucker’s reflection.”

Lady Gaga

 

LAUNCHiT! (Re-loaded)

One of the problems I’d like to overcome this decade is my propensity to think up informercial-esque titles for my blog posts.

It’s sort of strange, because I’m a pretty subdued guy, but my brain works like a bad Don Lapre infomercial ad, complete with the “how much are YOU spending on small classified ads per month” soundtrack in the background whenever I sit down and think about business.

And if you don’t know who Don Lapre is, don’t ask.  It will date me.  (and depress me)  Plus he’s dead.  Which unlike most inspiring stories, feels like a bad place to begin.

I like to get the bad news out of the way first.

The good news?

I have a ton of what I think are good answers to some really great subscriber questions that have been asked in one form or another over the last 3 months or so, all pretty much ready for publication.

I’ve decide to include them here as well as part and parcel of an ongoing series……and to serve as an example of one of the simple ways to use content curation to re-purpose your content (or in this case mine) across multiple mediums and marketplaces, to enhance exposure and the appearance of expertise.

LAUNCHiT! 101 Things Worth Knowing about building BUZZ for your books, brand, blog and business……on a bootstrap budget and 100% from ScratchI’m going to cover 101 frequently asked questions about building buzz for your books, brand, blog, business (and bank account) using simple, scalable marketing strategies for literally creating something out of nothing.

(other than a powerful sense of passion and purpose about doing what you love for a living)

A little background before we begin….

About half of these questions have been asked over the course of the last few months via email (both my entrepreneurial list…and my mindful marketing list) and the others i’m going to codify and curate from other (older) Q and A’s – or other ideas i think are really valuable – or things I’ve picked up a long the way that I wish i learned earlier, and think will help you as you go and grow your own suite of services, products or programs in the area you have expertise.

As always, remember….this is just MY experience – my thoughts, my opinions and my perspective on this process.

I could be wrong. (but i doubt it)

Or, your experience may vary.

The truth is, it’s the journey that matters most to me – the art of attending – of painting something new on the canvas of my creativity – that’s what inspires me and makes me want to get up and do “work” that makes me happy.

There often are more practical or pragmatic paths to profit that you may want to explore…..that I probably ignore, and i always try to offer that advice where possible. (even if I take a more circuitous route myself)

Also – feel free to ask me anything – and i’ll include all Q and A’s in this evolving section, and ultimately, in the product that is going to be come from this Q and A.

(an Amazon book, a recorded audio/pdf combo, and quite likely, an inexpensive service as well)

I’ll do as many of these per day as I can – rather than waiting to have the whole thing done and posting it at once, I’m going to allow it to grow and flow over organically and then compile the final Q and A into one master doc, which will also be available for download here in a big fat juicy PDF.

I’m going to keep them short and sweet, with 1-3 questions per post.

(And if God is on my side – which he (or she/it/they) has conspicuously not been for the first 40 + years of my life – I will be adding at least one of these per day, for the next two weeks, until it’s ready to be published in full form.

They will be unedited and hopefully super easy to implement and follow, and i truly believe that if you try and apply these ideas with care and consistency, you will see an exponential improvement in both your ability to implement your ideas – as well as a pretty immediate increase in your income as well.

Also note – if you’ve asked a question and you see it in a slightly different context below……forgive me as I’ve edited a few of the questions as they’ve been submitted or asked for clarity, but i think (and hope) I’ve captured the spirit of what was asked in each in the answers below.


Before we begin……START here!

The big piece of the puzzle in one sweeping series of small statements.

THESE are the Core Principles to the LAUNCHiT! Strategy.

The 6 c’s

  1. Content (articles, amazon books, blog posts, pdfs, social media updates, surveys, quizzes, images, slideshares, audios, videos and otherwise)
  2. Character (your public persona)
  3. Community (your tribe)
  4. Conversation (what you say to engage, inspire and entertain your community)
  5. Curriculum (codifying your content into something structured and saleable – a coaching program a book a product or program or ideally….a combiatino of all of the above)
  6. Conversion (the process by which you move a small percentage of your community into clients and subscribers into sales)

The 4 S’s

  • Strategy (what is the goal?)
  • Structure (what does it look like on paper)
  • Sequence (what goes where and why)
  • Story (why it all matters to you….and to us)

The Strategy of Straight Lines

Keep things simple.

Focus on turning strangers into subscribers, your content into a curriculum (books, products, prorgrams and services) your community into clients (and cash) and your ideas into income.

Go get this whole project off the ground…….You really ought only need to focus on:

  1. Opt in’s (newsletter subscribers)
  2. Offers (a cacaphony of creative ways to build perpetual profits from your passion, while still focusing on contribution over cash, meaning over marketing and purpose and over pure profits)

Said differently –

You need a LIST (a community of subscribers who are paying attention, much like the 9 of you are paying attention to me right now – HI Aunt Myrna!)

And –

You need to have something to teach, preach, sell or service to a small percentage of your subscribers to make money. (I promise, Aunt Myrna…..last time, you can pay with PAYPAL, too!)

inspire people

The POWER of Purpose. What does the world want from you?

Ask yourself empowering and clarifying questions that allow you to get ferociously focused on your unique skills and strengths – while doing what you love….and how you are going to change the lives of those who need you most.

 

 

This is SO huge….please don’t overlook this exercise.  This process is probably the single most important idea I can share, and it’s not even mine.  (it’s word for word the life purpose exercise I watched Adam Leipzig teach at a TedX…and it’s probably not his, either!)

  1. Who am I?
  2. What do i do?
  3. Who do i do it for?
  4. What do they need?
  5. How do they change when i do it for them?

Note:  the art of getting hyper clear and ferociously focused works for products, programs, books and services equally as well.

You can ask the same questions about your “stuff” as well.

  • What is this book/blog/brand/business about?  What does it do?
  • Who is it for?  (who is your ideal audience)
  • What does it teach/preach/inform/educate/inspire in my audience?
  • What do they need?
  • How are they better by having bought/read or experienced it?

You can play with these concepts in all sorts of cool and creative ways…..but it’s amazing how many “A-ha” moments you can give yourself (or your clients, if you are a coach) simply by re-identifying who you are – what you do – who you do it for – what they REALLY need – and how they change for the better by having invited you (or your ideas) into their world.

I can’t count how many times I’ve lost my way and have felt trapped or disillusioned in a bad decision or pattern of poisoning my own sense of purpose……only to come back to these questions, and remember what is so enlightening obvious about my own strengths (and weaknesses) that a failure to keep them stapled to my forehead should almost be a crime.

“Oh……now I remember.  THIS is who I am.  and THIS is what i do.  And THIS is who I do it for.  And THIS is what they need.  And THIS is how they change for the better when I do what I do BEST for them”

When I do anything else – it just ain’t the same.

Everything I really believe about doing meaningful work in my own small corner of the universe grows and flows from the basic concepts above, and they are the “cornerstone” of what I hope to  communicate going forward as well.

Deadlines Detours, Disappointments, “Do- Overs” and Deepak

April 29th – 21 days into the challenge and I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. If you are following along by email update here is what has happened thus far.

I was supposed to have my first Mindfulness book published on Amazon on the 15th of April. (2 weeks ago…AHEM. Fail #1)

I wrote it in less than a week (about 5 days of 2000 words a day) using the content cornerstone approach (a master outline that I’ve described and demonstrated in length over the years)

What happened next?

This is sort of where the disappointment, detour and do-over comes into place.

– I asked a few of my current friends and clients to read the just about finished product, and do light editing on my notoriously bad grammar.

Out of 4 people who had access to the pre-published copy – 1 loved it and 3 didn’t.

The problem is, the 1 who loved it was Me. Read More

tirekingdom

Day 6

Some random thoughts about where I am in the first 7 days of the 52 week 1 product/program/site or service per week enlightened entrepreneur challenge Read More

Day 1

365 Days – 52 New Books, Products, Programs, Sites or Services. Today is Day 1.  The challenge begins.  I haven’t even named it yet.  April 8th, 2015.

I’ve got a bunch of suggestions and things people would love to see – if you have anything you’d like to see developed – let me know (ianrhollander@gmail.com) or connect with me on Facebook here.

These little updates are going to come pretty much everyday, and largely be thinking out loud style stream of consciousness thoughts about where i am in each weeks creation process, and what I’m learning along the way. Read More

whatwedo.png (PNG Image, 600 × 392 pixels)

The Fierce Urgency of Now

Join the Enlightened Entrepreneur Challenge!

Do what you love for a living….& wake up the world with your work!



I have a recurring dream that I’m running out of time.

In my dream, I’m never sure exactly what it was that I was supposed to do, I just know, when I wake up, that it’s too late.

I know it’s just a dream.  And with the right amount of caffeine and conversation, I’m usually able to shake it off before 10am. Read More

mark twain

Would You Be Interested in This?

For those of you who truly feel called to do what you love……in fun, creative, innovative and inspiring ways

A new Challenge.

A brand new “back to the basics” blog, brand and business building Challenge that will be bold, ambitious and yet super simple to start.

52 weeks of  launching new products, programs, sites and services from scratch.

Read More

This is Your Life

KARMIC-LOGOThis is your life.

  • Every minute.
  • Every moment.
  • You.
  • Are.
  • Alive.

How many moments in the last day have you been intensely and acutely alive?

How about in the last week?

The last month?

Actually, the answer is all of them.

Read More

cd-square

In My Experience: 10 Things Worth Knowing About Authority Sites and Online Agency Style Offers (AUDIO)

Better late, than never! (I hope, anyway :-)

Here is a 50 minute audio I recorded earlier today on some of what I’ve learned about using the authority site model, in combination with growing an online agency style service, that works wonderfully well.

10 things worth knowing about building an online community, niche authority site or passion portal

Any questions? Feel free to email me at ianrhollander@gmail.com or connect with me on Facebook, and I’ll do my best to answer ASAP.

mountainroad

Things I’m Doing More of in 2015

I’m not a big fan of new year’s resolutions.

But, I am a big fan of convincing myself I’m going to do things differently in the future, than I have in the past.

Which, I guess, you could argue are new year’s resolutions.

And one of the big reason’s I love Mondays, too.

I want to do more work that I love….with people I like, and less that I don’t with both.

(because everyone knows the best time to change your life for the better are Monday’s.  Any other day is like swimming upstream on the transformational totem pole of doomed to disappoint)

Here are a few of the things I want to do more of in 2015.

Read More

cliff

This Truth

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. 

This breath, the next breath, is the first breath of the rest of my life.

This moment, and this moment, are every moment, for the rest of my life.

This truth, and only this truth, i will hold close and embrace, lest I forget yet again.

I will live them well.

crowdfunding

The Best Content Marketing Strategy You Aren’t Using (But Really Ought to Start)

I have this perpetually procrastinated blog post always quasi prepared, loosely titled – “What to do when Google hates You”.

I just can’t really come up with the time to flesh the whole idea out in it’s entirety, so it never gets posted, which is a shame…..because one of the things I do know for sure is that Google does in fact hate me.

I don’t think it’s a personal hate per se….because I’m a pretty good guy deep down where it matters most.  But on the surface, and that’s really where Google tends to look, I’m easy to dislike.

A little bit of quick background: Read More

hartsee3

The Secret of the Irresistible Offer – How to Turn “FREE” into a Profitable Business Doing What You Love

If you are looking for some good ideas (and an email template you can copy and use) for creating new clients out of “thin air”, you are going to love this approach.

The steps are simple:

  • Have a high value FREE service to offer that has empirical, real world value.
  • Have a back end “THIS is what I do” value proposition to extend the offer beyond free.
  • Simply pick 10 or 12 local professionals who are in your ideal audience, or who you’ve identified as your target market, and copy and paste the basic email template I’ve included at the end of the post.

Hope you enjoy….and more importantly, that you try, apply and actually USE this approach to build your own local consulting business, starting this weekend! 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Product Launch Specialist Strategy (LAUNCHiT Local)

Do What You LOVE for a Living

Join our brand new beta marketplace of coaches,consultants, teachers, trainers, artists, authors, marketers, mentors, enlightened entrepreneurs and PASSION professionals who want to wake the WORLD through your work!




If you are NOT on my email list…..here is a short, simple but VERY powerful process for literally branding yourself as the go to person for local LAUNCHES…...for everything from realtors to lenders, to brokers, bakers and candlestick makers.

The truth is, it’s amazing how many amazing opportunities there are these days to leverage TOOLS, templates and technology to offer world class services to people of passion and purpose who really CAN use them, without having to reinvent the wheel, or be super duper smart yourself.  (everything from ROLL YOUR OWN crowdfunding campaign plugins to viral launch frameworks like the one I write about in today’s newsletter) Read More

cliff

The LAST Niche Marketing Exercise You Will Ever Have to do (Or…….How to Discover Your Life Purpose and Embrace the Privilege of Being Yourself)

I know that many people who read this blog aren’t on my email list…..so I wanted to share this simple, exciting, enlightening and exhilarating exercise for picking a niche that CAN transform your life, your focus and your sense of passion and purpose…..all in about 5 minutes.

It is….i can confidently state with 100% certainly – the only niche picking exercise you’ll ever need to do. Read More

Doing it like Deepak (Part 2)

One of my Facebook friends shared this with me after reading my “Deepak……& Disappointments” post.

(I wrote it after the critique I received from a friend that my book was a little too “Deepak” for her taste….when the whole idea of this series of books was to be a NON Deepak Chopra take on a “spiritual” subject that unfortunately, is infected with far too much new age nonsense)

And again….for the record, I happen to like Deepak.  He’s certainly smarter than I am and there is something about his style that makes me smile.   It’s  his propensity for lumping all sorts of smart sounding but specious combinations of scientific words  to weave a word salad of speculative spiritual silliness that’s a problem – as it does a huge disservice to the subject matter at hand.

(and convinces many smart people who are well informed on those very subjects that it’s ALL snake oil and silliness, and not worthwhile to explore, which I think is a shame)So here is the Random Deepak Chopra Tweet generator – it takes real words found in Deepak’s tweets, and randomly combines them to generate social media magic.   You can also tweet these mini morsels of magic to the Universe, and probably…..find yorself with a devoted fan base of 100 thousand followers by the Summer solstice.

http://www.wisdomofchopra.com/

And, if that’s not good enough for your cynical side, her is The New Age Bullshit generator, which will actually write your sales copy for your spiritual product launch for you….using a similar approach that’s literally, better than many sales pitches I’ve seen.

http://sebpearce.com/bullshit/

 

 

 

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