I read a headline yesterday in a magazine the drove me a little nuts.
“Does Steve Jobs deserve all the adulation?”
(The title did its job though; it led us both to read an article.)
It contained the predictable extreme opinions of some talking heads who argued that Jobs either changed the world or that he was just another an exploitative egomaniac. I learned nothing new from reading it other than the beliefs of people who have no relevance on my life.
However, it was the framing of the article that really got under my skin…
Certainly pitting opinions against one another is good marketing. Strong opinions attract eyeballs and elicit emotional responses from readers. But I believe debates over what one deserves to be pointless.
Implicit in the question of what someone deserves is that somehow we must achieve some level or “worthiness” in order to justify whatever it is that we have allowed into our lives.
Because we are inherently worthy of everything and anything we desire, to question what one deserves is a red herring, a distraction that can keep us from embracing ownership of our creations, both wanted and unwanted.
Only when you own your creations is it possible to work backwards and begin to learn new things about yourself. Specifically, only when you look inward do you have an opportunity to witness the old beliefs that keep you apart from your deepest desires.
In this way, to debate whether someone is worthy over what they have created is like asking, “Does the sky deserve to be so blue?”
While you might find people willing to debate this, it does not change the fact that the sky is blue.
Debating whether Jobs deserves to be lauded and rich does not change the fact that he was lauded and rich. Whether someone else likes these facts due to their own beliefs is irrelevant.
Instead of entering the whether debate regarding what you (or someone else) deserve, you’d be much better served to ask why.
(Consider this especially true if you desire to become rich/lauded yourself, or occasionally find yourself resenting the success of another.)
Why was Steve Jobs so rich? Why was he lauded? Why did his creations resonate so deeply with people?* And so on…
Why not learn from his creations and apply this knowledge (and perhaps taking note of what you like and dislike about how he did it) instead of debating it?
Again, we all inherently deserve to experience anything and everything we desire in this life. That’s not up for debate.
The pertinent question is whether we allow ourselves to experience anything and everything we desire in this life.
Asking this question requires you to put your focus where it belongs, and on the only thing you truly have control over…
Circumstances cannot hold you down. Nor can governments, banks, corporations, or any other institutions. No person wields power over you. No group has the power to lord over what you deserve.
You hold all the power over what you experience in this life. It will be as fantastic (or disappointing) as you choose to allow it to be.
So if you’re not getting exactly what you want, the fastest way to remedy the situation is to begin looking at your beliefs. Specifically, look at why you do not believe you deserve what you desire.
This is where the answer you seek lies.
Anything else is just some version of tongue wagging and finger pointing.
* I did my best to answer these questions a couple years ago when writing my first book, The Very Cool Life Code. My first task was to break down and define the elements of what makes something “cool” and one of the first places I did research was Apple. In short, I defined cool as that which evokes the feelings of freedom, ease, and connection.
Since so many people joined call I did last week with my wife on Writing and Publishing Your Book in 90 Days, it's clear that writing a book is a dream for many people.
However, if you want to move dreaming about a book to holding a copy in your hands a few months from now, there’s some things you need to do.
After the call, we’ve had the opportunity to connect with many of you and hear your thoughts and questions about our program that begins in 15 days.
(FYI – the special “early registration” savings ends this Friday, at midnight.)
If you really want to become an author (and bring much more money into your business), then please read the rest of this post.
We’re going to address your questions and everything we’ve been hearing from you.
(By the way, here’s the link to join us and access our free call recording: http://www.BookIn90Days.com/join/)
1) Am I really ready to write a book?
You’re as ready as you will ever be to write a book.
What if I put it to you this way? Are you really ready to write that blog post? Think about it. While the notion of having to get super-prepared to write a blog post seems a bit silly, (of course you can write a blog post), that is essentially what you are doing when you write your book.
In either case, you’re just sharing an idea.
In the case of your book, you’re just going to go deep and expand on the one idea a bit more.
2) I’m not sure I know enough.
I’ve noticed that for lots of people who are in the business of helping others for a living, as much as they’d like to be seen (and paid!) like an expert, they are waiting around for someone or some big opportunity to come knocking on their door and anoint them.
Here’s the reality:
You are already an expert in something. You already have something valuable to share. No one is ever going to perceive you as an expert until you step into this role yourself.
The most powerful way we know to do this?
Write and publish a book!
3) I know TOO much. How can I possibly put it ALL into ONE book?
We hear you. However, we want you to know, the reason this feels overwhelming, that is, the idea of finally becoming an author (a real author with your OWN book) and getting your book done QUICKLY, is because you're thinking about book writing in the wrong way.
The wrong way (at least for biz owners) is to put everything you know, or try to, into a tome of a book that you can be proud of.
The downside of that is…
- no one reads tomes any more (who has time!?)
- creating a book in that way takes FOREVER, if it ever gets done (keeping you as the best kept secret in town)
- and trying to share EVERYTHING you know in one book, is incredibly paralyzing
We want you to pick a topic, just a small chunk of what you know (the part that is Irresistibly RELEVANT to your tribe).
This will ensure that your book topic and title invites people to pick it up, read it and get a sense of accomplishment from reading it.
And (this is the most important part) we want your book to inspire your readers to take a specific action. IE – call you to become a client, join your membership club, whatever you want.
That's what happened to Drew just the other day.
A woman he'd never met before read his book on Amazon, booked a coaching day (for several thousand dollars) and is now ready to hire Drew for a 5-figure coaching contract.
So relax, you don’t need to share everything you know.
We’re going to show you how to do this the right way.
4) How do I know what topic to choose? What if I pick the wrong topic?
After the call, we got lots of messages from people thanking us, telling us that they we’re ready to write their books on their own without joining the program.
A few shared their book topic, title and ideas. While we applaud their enthusiasm, if we had to bet, if they indeed write these books they will end up feeling very disappointed because they were going to write on topics/titles that few people would be interested in.
In other words, while these folks have great ideas, understanding the BEST WAY to present your ideas is what determines a successful outcome from a disappointing one.
Please read that last sentence again. It can make or break your book’s success.
Again, you need to choose the RIGHT topic! (We will show you how!)
In fact, in order to ensure you DO pick the right topic, we decided to give EVERYONE in this program a private coaching session with Drew for FREE.
(Something Drew normally charges at least $250 for…)
In about 30 minutes or less, Drew will help you nail down your topic, title and/or outline.
Yep, he’s that good at it.
We’re clearing Drew’s schedule for November to make sure you’ve got this down BEFORE the Thanksgiving holiday. How good would that feel?
5) Who do I think I am? I’ve read the expert type books. I’m no Deepak, Oprah, or Rachel Ray, or ENTER NAME OF EXPERT YOU ADMIRE.
Here are a few things to remember when this comes up…
Just because those experts have a book does not make them smarter than you. Or wiser than you.
It just means they made a very smart decision to write a book.
And what you probably don’t know is that in almost ALL cases, they weren’t well known BEFORE they wrote the book. (Read that again!)
Also understand that every expert (who gets paid well) has a book.
Stop and think about this for a second.
Think about the person in your field that you most admire, respect, and consider really successful.
Does this person have a book? Of course they do.
For you to get where you want to go, at some point, you’re going to need a book.
We’re going to take you through this process and guide you every step of the way.
6) I’m not sure how writing my book will make me money, beyond selling copies of the book.
If you want to be wildly successful in your field, you need to understand the following point. (If you do not wish to be wildly successful, you can stop reading this now).
A book is really just the beginning…
When you write your book in the right way, it will require you to start thinking differently.
(This is what our program is REALLY about, by the way!)
Specifically, thinking like a successful entrepreneur. One who leverages their time, energy and makes money.
First, your book, if you write it with us, will get you out of the trading “time for dollars” business model, by positioning you as the expert you are and give more people an opportunity to experience your great work.
Second, in our program, you’ll create a book that is designed to motivate people to invest in your services and products.
Don’t have any products to sell? No problem. The third idea of writing the book in our program, is to inspire you to start creating information products by using the same design files and vendor relationships you’ll create in this program. Info-products sell for hundreds and thousands of dollars. It’s a game changer.
And lastly, we’ll be teaching you all the different, creative ways to make money with your book, no matter where you are in your business.
You won’t have to figure this out on your own.
7) I’m not sure I can write a best-selling book. I’m not so good a writer
Most people write a book with hopes of hitting the bestseller list and becoming rich and famous. While that’s the hope, it also a major stumbling block. After all, you don’t know the first thing about writing a bestseller, do you?
For lots of people, this daunting notion that their book needs to be an all-time classic is what keeps them from writing anything.
THIS IS THE WRONG APPROACH TO WRITING A BOOK TO BENEFIT YOUR BUSINESS AND MAKE MONEY.
The RIGHT way to write your book means that you understand that when done correctly, the purpose of your book isn’t to try to get on the best-seller list. (Although that’s very cool if that happens!)
The purpose of a book, for business owners, is to give people valuable information about a subject that you (and they) love. And by the time they finish your book, the logical conclusion in their mind is to invest more into your programs and services.
Consider this: I can make more money from one new client who’s read my book than 99% of the authors in the world who try to only make money from selling their books.
This is because I understood what the book is designed to do before I even wrote it, and as a result, I wrote the RIGHT book.
You can do this too!
8 ) Can’t I do this on my own?
Of course you can do this on your own. As we’ve been saying, there really is nothing especially difficult about this.
But consider this…
Right this minute, do you know how to get your book on a Kindle or an iPad? Do you know the best way to get your book printed and distributed without you having to buy hundreds of copies upfront? Do you know what it should cost to have your book formatted? Do you have a plan for how you will use your book to make more money?
We invested A LOT of time and money learning the answers to all these questions, many of which you have not begun to consider. And we can tell you from experience that making one mistake will likely cost you more than what we’re charging for the entire program.
For the serious business owner, this program is an investment, not an expense.
9) Why do I need the structure of this program?
We heard from some people that they we’re not sure they needed the structure of this program to write their book.
Shortly after the start of 2012, members of this program will get a box in the mail. They will rip it open and feel the thrill of holding their creation, their new book, in their hands for the first time. Later there will be a celebratory toast…
Going forward, their business will have a much clearer identity and focus and they will have many ways to make money from this creation.
And they will be published authors; experts in their fields.
Here’s to becoming authors!
PS – Do you have a question we didn’t address here, let us know in the comments and we’ll answer it!
Are you ready to finally write (and publish!) that book that you've been threatening to write for years now?
If your answer is "yes" I encourage you to join me this Wednesday, October 12th, 2011. (Details below)
Writing my book, The Very Cool Life Code, has been one of the very best things I've ever done for my business (the only thing that comes close would be creating my website in 1998).
The thing is, I struggled to write a book for about a decade. I wrote thousands and thousands and thousands of words with nothing to show for my efforts.
I also wrote about 10 versions of book proposals, and spent a lot of time and energy trying to convince agents and publishers to believe in what I had to offer.
Looking back and knowing what I know now, I can see how misguided I was with my old approach.
The fact is that when I finally got coached on the RIGHT way to think about my book and HOW to write it easily, I wrote everything in less than 60 days. And it was easy. What's more, I ended up with a product that I love, and my book has become the most powerful tool for attracting new people (and the RIGHT people) into my network. It's been a game-changer for me.
I had been thinking about teaching everything I've learned about writing and publishing a book into a program for a while. At my recent Very Cool Life live event, I asked the folks there if they'd be interested in learning this stuff and every hand went in the air. That told me I was on to something…
So, here it is…
My wife Karin (the marketing wiz) and I will be hosting a free call, Wednesday October 12th to go over everything you need to know about the easiest, most effective ways to write and publish your book in 90 days.
If this is something that you've dreamed of, join us. It will be fun and worth your time.
You can read more about the call and register by clicking this link.
Writing my book has upgraded my life is so many ways. If you're interested, I'd like to share with you everything I've learned…
I wrote this piece for my old newsletter, The Drewsletter on July 5th, 2005.
The inspiration came from the commencement speech Steve Jobs had just delivered at Stanford University.
His words got me thinking about my own life, and this is what came out of me six years ago.
Thought it was worth a re-post in honor of the man who led me to write it.
* * *
"You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards." – Steve Jobs
It's high school graduation season, and as I see all the parties taking place on the lawns, I find myself reflecting back on this era of my life. Eighteen years ago I was gearing up to fly from the nest and head towards college. My imminent departure was bittersweet. During the previous months I started to receive the letters from the colleges that I applied to that would hold my destiny.
I had applied to seven schools, gained acceptance to the five I had heard from. While this was all well and good, I had not yet heard from my top choices: The University of Virginia and The University of Notre Dame.
I owned one of those massive college guide books and each night before going to bed, I would open it and pore over the admissions statistics to the University of Virginia.
GPA? Check. SATs? Check. Activites? Check.
By the numbers, I believed I belonged there and I prayed that I would soon be walking the halls founded by Thomas Jefferson.
Of course, Notre Dame was no slouch either – an excellent Irish Catholic school with a great sports program seemed right up my alley. Everyone around me thought that this school would be prefect for me. While I was certain Virginia was the school for me, I knew I couldn’t go wrong in South Bend.
Every day I would come home from school at lunchtime. My heart would start pounding as I fished my hand into the mailbox, hoping my hand would find a fat envelope that would inform me of the good news. (Thin envelopes = standard form rejection letters.)
And one day, there it was… A thin envelope with the UVA logo. I tore it open and absorbed the words on the page. In disbelief, I reread the part where they “regretfully informed” me. I collapsed. I cried and screamed, a crumpled mess sprawled on the floor. I called my mother at work and wailed. (Only now can I begin to imagine how helpless she felt.)
My dream was over. All I had worked for the past decade was for naught.
In a few hours I pulled myself together and did my best to get excited about the prospects of attending Notre Dame. The next day I returned to the kitchen floor, crying into the phone to my mother again. There had to be some mistake, right?
My whole life was over before it began.
And just for good measure, within the year my hair would begin its permanent vacation from my head.
Four years later, I would once again be waiting on some envelopes as I applied to graduate school for clinical psychology.
Eight envelopes came in the mail. All of them thin. I graduated magna cum laude and not only was I not good enough to fulfill my dream of becoming a psychologist; I couldn't even get the most menial job. (My nadir — the mall pet shop rejected me for the coveted minimum wage "cage cleaner" position. True story.)
I’d have to wait another entire year before applying to graduate schools again. After 5 more thin envelopes, I received a sixth from Syracuse University. I threw in the trash without opening it, but my curiosity made me dig it out and read the rejection. In complete shock, I discovered that I had been accepted into the social psychology program at Syracuse University with a full scholarship. (They sent me a second, fat envelope a few days later.)
As I sit here today, living a life that I would not trade for anyone else's, I can reflect on those past experiences and connect some of the dots. In other words, with the gift of perspective I am able to make sense of why things happened the way they did in my life. I can see how the experiences I've had — no matter how traumatic at the time — have really been placed in my path so that I could evolve and apply the wisdom gained at some point in the future.
For example, the college I graduated from, the State University of New York at Geneseo, was a magical place where I had as much fun in a few year as some people do in decades. I cannot think of that period in my life and not smile. The school was a perfect fit for me. Deep down I know that would not have had those same experiences at Virginia or Notre Dame.
And, yes I went bald, but my being bald helped me become me. Even if I could have hair today, I would prefer to remain as I am.
When I got into graduate school, many of my classmates and friends were studying clinical psychology. I got to see what clinical psychology was like up close and personal and I knew it wasn’t for me. My "second choice" of social psychology turned out to be my true love.
As Mr. Jobs states in his quote, we can only connect the dots by going backwards in time. We can only make sense of why things worked out the way they did by looking at the events of the past in the context of the now. Even then, we are not privy to the Truth about why things happen, but often we can come up with stories that seem to make intuitive sense.
At some point we have to release our grip on thinking we control all of the outcomes of our lives. When we can release our expectations of how we believe things are supposed to happen and lighten our judgments about the events of our lives having to be characterized as either good or bad, we step into the surrender of the infinite power of the universe.
But while surrendering sounds good, no one said it was easy to do. For every place I am able to now connect the dots, there are several dots in my life that seem to lead nowhere.
I do not know why my mother has Alzheimer's disease and slowly wastes away in a nursing home. I can come up with stories to placate my mind and explain this dot in my life, but the truth is that I do not know why this experience is in my life. I may never know. There will always be more mysteries, more puzzles with missing pieces than solutions in this lifetime. But among all those mysteries, there are enough of those times where we can connect the dots and see the perfection of life.
Still, it's a challenge to have faith in life and trust that things are perfect "even when they ain't."
During those times when I get caught up in needing to know all the answers, or the illusion that I can know the answers, I come back to question asked by Einstein –
“Is the universe friendly?”
Personally, I believe that the universe is a benevolent place. I believe that life is good, that people are good, and that we're here to experience the joys of being human. I had enough experiences where I could connect the dots where I've cultivated this faith. And I believe that when my thoughts and actions reflect my belief in a friendly universe that I draw more good things into my experience.
Things go "wrong." And yes, being human means that we all experience disappointment, confusion, and pain. Yes, the expression "things work out for the best" is trite and it takes tremendous courage to believe in the goodness of things when there's a seemingly endless supply of evidence to the contrary.
But what the hell…
Believe it anyway.