Saturday, 16 January 2010

Business books: write or construct

‘If you can gain one idea or insight from a book then it’s worth reading.’

This was the statement of a multi-millionaire, writer with serial business start-ups under his belt and more fingers in more pies than most of us could imagine.

His method of speed reading was very specific and targeted on gaining the maximum benefit from his reading for the least investment of time.

Which might come as a blow to the many authors who sweated at their laptops or notebooks long hours to produce their work.

But and it’s an important but… it’s a great lesson in how to think about writing a business book.

How many business books have you read and really benefited from?

Probably not as many as you might first think. That is if you assume you have to read the whole thing cover to cover in depth. But if you have a strategy to extract the nutrition of the bone marrow from the book like a juicer, then you can turn this strategy on its head to give you the perfect guide to constructing a book.

Since I published my first book last January, gosh was it only last January, I’ve shared many conversations with fellow business people who really, really, really want to write books. But worry about starting, about keeping going and about finishing.

And what they worry about most is the writing.

So then I say, think about constructing your book.

It’s very odd the expression that unfolds across their face at that point. As if I’ve suggested they steal a toy from a child or drown a puppy.

Write a book versus

They can’t be one and the same thing can they? Writing is a venerable art practised over centuries by the most intelligent, the most academic, the most artistic of the population.

Construct on the other hand refers to, building, manufacturing and industry.

And they definitely want to be WRITERS.

Except they aren’t because they can’t get started, or… you know the rest.

The bottom line for me is this. Whatever business you run there is a book there waiting to emerge. A book that will proclaim your expert status to the world, enhance your reputation… and lead to profitable business for you.

And for me if you are in business that means you can construct a book.

Constructing a book takes away all the fear of writing because you are working from the known and understood instead of leaping off a cliff without a safety net.

Or remember Indiana Jones leaping off his cliffs – well he had stepping stones waiting for him and so will you on your leap to become a writer/constructor.

More on this in a few days.

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