Two years ago, I published my first book, The Cheat Code. As a young millennial in a space largely populated by older generations, I knew I had valuable information to offer, that could help people like me achieve their dreams. Still, though, figuring out what to say and how to say it was difficult, and required a great deal of introspection, planning and brainstorming.
Many great entrepreneurs have written books over the years, giving us an inside look at how they achieved their success, and lessons we can apply to our own lives. As you prepare to write yours, here are five things to consider, in order to avoid getting lost in the shuffle of entrepreneurial books.
What do I have to say?
This probably seems incredibly obvious, and that's because it is. But just because something is obvious doesn't mean it's easy. I had a lot to say when I first started thinking about writing a book, but I had to narrow it all down to a fundamental idea first. Simplicity is key.
Think about your own company's mission statement; you probably had to go through a lot of brainstorming and editing before you got it to something clear and concise. However many things you have to say, try to find a common theme or thread among all of them, to help guide the direction of your book.
Has it been said before?
There's a lot of talk these days about echo chambers and recycled ideas, and a lot of it is valid; but even if something has been said before, it can still be said again, and effectively.
If you find that your main statements or themes are relatively common (at least some of them likely will be), try to think about what they mean to you specifically. How have your unique experiences informed what you want to say? It's all about finding a unique way to get your message across.
Who do I want to say it to?
The oldest question in the book: who is the audience? Are you writing for aspiring youngsters who look up to you? Your friends and colleagues who have similar knowledge as you? A different group entirely?
Most of us would love to say, "This book is for everyone!" but that can be difficult to execute. Try to focus on one, maybe two specific audiences; it's better to forge a deep connection with a smaller audience than a vague one with a bigger audience.
Because I'm so young compared to others in my industry, I knew I wanted to write something for people in a similar position. But I tried to do so in a way that even if someone older than me picked up my book, they could still find a little bit of wisdom in it. One main audience, and a potential second.
How do I get my message across?
Once you've identified your audience, it's time to figure out how to best communicate with them. Now, a lot of you might be thinking, "Are books the best way to communicate with anyone these days?" And to that I say, of course they are! But there are different ways to go about it.
I know that it's difficult to keep eyes on a webpage, much less a book page, so I chose to make my chapters short and sweet (seriously, some of them are less than two pages long). This way, when my intended audience is reading my book, they feel catered to; public speaking advice that takes less than 3 minutes to read? Sign me up!
Making your content as audience-friendly as possible will make your message stick.
Why do I want to write it?
At the root of everything we do is motivation, something that moves us to work, to achieve, to create. So why do you want to write a book? Do you want to be a best-selling author? Do you want to impact your industry? Do you want to help people?
None of these are the "right" or "wrong" reason, truly--purpose is personal. That being said, honor your purpose; don't write a book with a hidden agenda. Be honest with yourself and your audience, like any good entrepreneur.