As an author, I want to let you in on a little secret: Most people do not write about their experiences to get published. They write to gain objectivity. My newest book, The Bite-Sized Entrepreneur, crystallizes my lessons from running a successful startup while taking care of my baby. The other great new books that will change your business, from Unmistakable to Unleash Your Inner Company, were written by entrepreneurs who were grasping for their startup narrative. As a reader, your enjoyment is icing on the cake.
If you have been an active entrepreneur and have a story to tell, then you should absolutely write a book. Should you publish it? Well, maybe not for Penguin or Random House, but you can definitely put it out there yourself independently, as I have, if you want to. You can even start with a short blog post on Medium and feel around for your big story.
No matter your end game, here are 3 powerful reasons to commit your narrative to paper.
It is still the best medium to be understood
The COO of the most powerful social media platform in the world just announced her next book. Why doesn't Sheryl Sandberg just convey her message on a series of Facebook posts or, in a more current way, Facebook videos? Because she understands that there is a level of depth and gravitas only books can provide.
Even in today's age of tiny messages and quick news, books are still the ultimate platform to have the most impactful discussions.
It establishes your myth
The polarizing presidential candidate Donald Trump wouldn't have made it this far without his '80s defining best-seller, The Art of the Deal. In fact, Trump's co-author, Tony Schwartz, recently said he deeply regretted being involved (with some references to Frankenstein). As the New Yorker says, the book pushed Trump's notoriety well beyond the five boroughs and helped create the platform that enabled him to run for president.
From Jack Dorsey to Steve Jobs to, well, you, establishing your narrative as an entrepreneur and as a leader is crucial to your success. If you don't understand the narrative of where you have been, then how can you convey to others that you know where you are going?
It is the ultimate business card
Entrepreneur Tara Gentile has been saying it for a while. Entrepreneur and author James Altucher shouted it years ago. I've been telling people I mentor for more than a decade. How can you quickly convey what you stand for? Tell people the name of your book. Even better if they can read it and it is actually clearly written. It is an incredibly efficient elevator pitch.
When I speak to a new client, I usually send them a copy of Our Virtual Shadow, Porn & Pong and Playboy's Greatest Covers (and, now, The Bite-Sized Entrepreneur). First, they know I'm not afraid to push boundaries in my work. Second, they understand that I can explore controversial, complex topics in a mainstream way. It conveys my strengths way better than I could argue in a face-to-face conversation.
As Altucher once said, "Self-publishing is the new business card."